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Two Days on the East Walker

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Fished the East Walker with Ange for a couple of days this week. Those fish get hammered and are very moody. My goal was to get a big one on a streamer. Flows were a little low and probably should have fished the little bugs with an indicator. Larger fish were off the bank and moving through the deeper midstream runs. Had many large follows and misses. When it's low you can see how they react to the fly, loads of fun. The longer I fish the more I am intrigued in the quarry. Finally got into some water I knew holds a couple of big fish. Roll casted above a log and stripped the bug out, let it swing about ten feet and it stopped. Swung the rod down stream and came tight. The fish exploded like a Steelhead coming clear of the water and threw the hook. A guy fishing below me turned just in time to see a 24+" Brown get airborne.

Midday a BWO hatch got the interest of some nice fish. Ange kicked my butt on the dries. Managed to get a couple smaller fish on top. I wish I had one of Robert Bolt's cane rods for the dries. At least I'd look good when Ange out fishes me. In the evening I did manage a couple of respectable fish on spinner imitations. Ange took some good ones on #22 Zebra midges below an indicator. 

Next morning we hit the river after the first wave of fishermen blew through the upper holes. A little tough, we hooked some on tiny midge patterns. I watched an older fisherman methodically working a nymph rig below me picking fish at a regular pace, eight or ten at least. Not wishing to intrude in his good fortune I passed him and went looking for the BWO's and found them in a deep glide with fish rising very regularly. Tied on a high-floating hackled BWO and blew three strikes in a row, “Hollyitis” (named after Ange’s friend). Ruined that fly and went to the box to find it was the last. Sitting there, the guy I saw cleaning up on nymphs stopped to watch the show. We talked and he mentioned all his fish came on a #22 WD-40, it looked to be a darker olive one. Sometimes I'm a little slow but I can put 2+2 together. I do wonder why the Micro-Mayflies and the S&M nymphs didn't work. Too much expression? The hatch slowed and the fish, it was time to get some lunch and get out of Dodge. Over lunch Ange told me she killed them again, this time on a large Brown Rubber-Legs. Stripers are easier to catch than these educated Browns. You got to love it, someone asked me yesterday why I fish for difficult fish. Conway Bowman said something to the affect that the best part of fishing is "figuring it all out."

- Steve A.

5/11/2010