The Magic Hour

A nice day recently.  In contrast to a windy previous day, this day was calm.  A quiet morning, with light snow gave way to a pleasant day with peeks of sunshine.

I nymphed half heartedly in the morning, then quit by eleven, hoping to find a few rising fish.

I broke for tea.  Settled in, and waited.

And waited some more.

After an hour, a fish rose.

Eventually, another.

After a half hour three fish were working.  Something had their attention.  It was time to slip into the water for a closer look.

A few midges buzzed but the fish weren't interested in my offerings.  

Midge cluster.  Nope.

Hatching midge.  Nope.

Pupa.  Nope.

A blue winged olive drifted by.  Well now.  I better take a look in my fly box.

The fish were rising more steadily now.  Their rises more enthusiastic.  Not the soft dimple of midging fish.

A fish ate on the first cast with the cdc olive.  It was a beautiful cutthroat.

I dried the fly, waited.  The next target rose, close.  Another cast.  Another eat.  This time a rainbow.  He jumped six times.  A great fish.

More rises, more eats.

In between fish, I doctored and revived the fly with the magic powder.  I marveled that a few dabs with the brush turned a matted feather into its former fluffy self.  I also noted that my supply of Frogs Fanny needed replenishing.  I'll have to write a note to Santa.

This day, if the fish saw the fly, they ate it.  There weren't enough of the real thing to distract them.  It was gratifying to cast and expect a take.  Not only that.  But to cast, watch the drift, say to ones self..."now" and have the fish eat, right then.   It doesn't happen near often enough. 

In a little over an hour it was over.  But what an hour it was!


  1. Well now! Sweet. You buy that magic powder in bulk, right? (Ebay). Decade or two supply for 20 or 25 bucks. Looks like hardly any snow in the valley.

  2. Dang it Jim, I just bought a little bottle for around five bucks.

    Snow has been pretty scarce. That's fine by me since I quit hunting elk years ago. Does make for good driving conditions though.

    All the best...

  3. Lester
    What gets my attention most as read this post is "patience" which a lot of trout fishermen don't have. On this day the trout told you what they wanted instead of you telling the trout what they wanted.
    Were the trout in what I call a sipping mode before the real surface action took place, meaning were just breaking barely breaking the surface as they were feeding? I have seen this many times on the Sipsey and the Caney where I fish, and then all of a sudden they will break sipping mode and go full blast breaking the surface. Beautiful area you were fishing--thanks for sharing

    1. Well thanks Bill, I like to think of myself as being a patient angler. Actually, it's more a matter of being stubborn. I was willing to wait, and hoped that the fish would eat something (anything) on top.

      There was nothing happening when I got to the run that I wanted to fish. Eventually there was the infrequent dimple. Whether the fish were picking off the odd midge or nymph is beyond me. I never noticed much drifting in the current. Later, the fish really got excited by the few adult olives that emerged. I think that the fish keyed on the movement of the adults as they flexed their wings. Clearly, the fish were cruising and hunting for olives as long they were available.

  4. The photographs are artful, sometimes like watercolors, sometimes like oil, always real. I'm glad you and those trout got into the BWOs!

    1. Thanks Walt. As you well know, light makes the photo. In the landscapes, it's the angle of light and how it plays against the texture of the land.

      I'm glad about the BWO's too. I might not see another until March!


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking time to comment.