Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Like Big Bugs and I Cannot Lie... Part 2

July 1, 2012:
I like big bugs / Part 2
Today was one of those classic summer hopper days:
It was in the nineties with no wind. A few wispy cirrus clouds were seen thru the sweat and sunscreen that was dripping into my eyes. Today was a typical big bug, mid-summer day. The creek was low and clear. It was the kind of day that you commit to stealth and an accurate cast or go home. Days like this are both both easy and hard. Easy because of the huge flies you use, hard because of the fish you fish for. On a big bug day:

There is no squinting at tiny dries. There is no changing to a #20 blue dun on a baetis hatch so you can find your fly in the reflection of a white billowing thunderhead. There is no fumbling with fingers to put on a #22 parachute Adams so you can see your fly in the shadows from streamside willows. There is no searching frantically to find your little fly in a sea of tiny naturals during a blanket hatch. 

Now you tie on a short leader with a 3X tippet. Now you just throw on a Chernobyl, a tarantula or one of 6 billion hopper patterns and have at it. When the fly hits the water you can see it... there are no struggles to find it. You don't have to worry too much about your presentation. A sloppy, slapping entry sounds just like a hopper blown into the creek from streamside grass. You can get lazy when fishing big bugs... maybe casual is a better word.

Today was one of those days. It was a day of big bugs and big trout including this 24" monster that was nosing up into a very shallow riffle. His tail broke the surface briefly in the riffle. This is how I spotted him. This simple clue helped me immensely for if I had not seen his tail, I might have spooked him with a cast made just downstream of his position. But now I knew where he was. I threw a # 6 olive hopper above him and let it drift a few feet to his position. Even as big as the fly was, it was still hard to seein the sharp reflected sunlight of late Wyoming afternoon. The big buck brown made it easy though. He slashed at my big fly throwing a plume of whitewater that caught the sunlight in a hundred bright droplets. If I'd missed this take, I would officially be an idiot. The big brown jumped twice in a foot of clear creek water, then powered downstream. I chased him hard with my 4 wt. held overhead. I struggled to keep up. Eventually, he sought cover under a mat of weeds. I spooked a big snapping turtle when I netted him inside the weeded mat. He was a fish to remember... one brought to you by a Wyoming summer and big bugs...

Did I mention I love big bugs!


  1. Yer be a brave lad to be stickin' yer tumb inter the gob of a carnivorous fish like that one.