Yesterday On The Creek
It's quite a change in venue, visiting the creek this time of year. Especially when compared to the quiet starkness of winter that I'm accustomed to. June. Profusion. An explosion of life and color. Pastures green, trees and shrubs leaf and bloom. Birds sing and chatter incessantly from the streamside vegetation. A day on this, or any creek for that matter, is a spectacular experience. And that is a woefully inadequate understatement.
In spite of verdancy, and the activity of myriad critters, one key element is lacking. Insect life. The vaunted hatches that bring trout to the surface have yet to commence. Other than a couple of wayward caddis, no bugs. PMD's are allegedly still days to weeks off. When they appear, so do the fisherman, expectant and hopeful.
So, in a day filled with hope, but lacking surface feeding trout, I nymphed. Essentially the same gig as winter. Dry dropper. Beetle dropper (which I couldn't see worth a darn). Finally, I resorted the dreaded "Thingamabobber." A small one, but at least I could see it. The fly(s) du jour? The usual suspects. Midge pupa, pheasant tail, small bead head whatever. I think the highlight of the day was being able to repeatedly knot 6X to my fly, usually on the first or second try. Well, that and getting my waders on.
The first fish of the day was, surprisingly, a cutthroat. It was a first too in that I'd never caught one on the creek before. The word is that a few, intent on spawning, run into the creek from the Yellowstone each year. This one already appeared spent.
I finished the day stripping a streamer. I had a few chases, a couple of half hearted grabs. The browns were there, but they didn't want to climb on for keeps. That was ok.
I didn't expect to make it the whole day. Eight-thirty. A small victory, my first day out since February.
As the shadows lengthened, the fields filled with feeding deer. Lots of does, plump with soon to be born fawns. Meanwhile, last years unspotted fawns playfully chased each other in the high grass. Carefree, as we should all be.