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Fishing Report 10/25 - 10/29

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Well I managed to work out all the details and went down to BSSP for the Monday through Friday of the last full week of the regular season. Of course, the weather decided to do some really strange stuff - with the lowest sustained low pressure system rolling through the Midwest, lots of gusting winds and the temps ranging from 82 on Monday sfternoon to 27 on Friday morning. Both Thursday and Friday mornings were fairly brisk, with Thursday starting out at only 36 at the whistle. The advantage of the cold weather was that it scared off all the normal crowd for a while - I had the stream from the disabled access piers down to the dam totally to myself for 1.5 hours on Thur and for almost 2 hours on Fri, and even then on both days only a few folks drifted in over the next couple of hours - talk about no crowding!! Of course Friday morning you did have to clear out the ice in the rod guides every so often, but not really a big deal, just swish it in the water (which by the way, felt really warm when you stuck your hands in it (water was 54 degrees, air was 27 degrees) until you took your hands out of the water and the wind blew a little bit! The water was about normal depth, with a slightly below average flow rate; but was almost gin clear - truly the clearest water conditions I have seen all year at BSSP. This would drive the need for light tippets and small flies (at least for me it did).

Now, on to the fishing - Monday morning was the hot day until the wind came up in the afternoon, then the fish got a bit picky. Still, I caught quite a few mostly on size 18 beadhead midges in dark colors. I tried shifting up to size 16, but they would not take them until the wind started to blow. Mon through Thur there was a small black caddis hatch around mid-morning, and with the wind it was fun - every time another gust of wind would hit it would blow a bunch of caddis back into the water, and you would see 12-20 fish all hitting the surface at the same time. I fished with size 16 and size 18 renegades and caught several on the dry flies. When the wind got too bad I switched over to stripping a size 12 crackleback just under the surface and took several in this manner each day; in fact I even took several on top while it was very windy when I was throwing the crackleback, before it would sink and I started stripping it - lots of fun. By the way, when I say windy, on Tuesday it was blowing 15-20 gusting 25 and higher - you really had to pay attention to the wind to get your cast to go where you wanted it to land. On Wed & Thur there was apparently a small callibaetis hatch in the mid-afternoon - I did not see this hatch but several people who did see it said with the wind, the hatch worked just as I described with the caddis - you just had to use a very small white colored dry fly. Bottom line, I still did the best drifting the small midges. One minor exception to the midge success was at the whistle Thursday morning - for about 30 minutes there was not a breath of wind and the surface of the stream at the head of the island was like a sheet of glass - I threw the smallest Renegades I had (size 20) and caught more than a dozen fish on the top - just an absolute blast. I saw people catching fish on several different patterns, from glo-balls to soft-hackle flies - only complaint was that at times the size of the fish was a little disappointing. A couple of us decided that if the BSSP hatchery folks were telling the truth about the average size fish being about 11 inches long, that we did not seem to be catching many of the 16 inch ones required to balance out to that average length! In fact at one point someone said to get back to the average the next fish they caught would have to be about 28 inches in length! ;-)

Of course no trip is ever complete without at least one issue. When I said it was windy I was NOT kidding. On Tuesday I took a brief break and went back to my truck. Knowing that leaning my rod against the truck would be futile in the wind, I laid the rod on top of my truck bed camper shell (level with the truck cab roof)with the tip extending across onto the roof of the truck, then I got into the truck to get something out. Of course that was when Mother Nature decided to have a little fun at my expense - a particularly hard gust of wind came up and 1) blew the rod and reel off the roof of the truck (I told you it was windy!) and 2) at the same time blew the door of the truck closed. Yup! - you guessed it....old Mother nature timed it perfectly for the door to shut on the rod as it was falling off the roof of the truck and neatly clipped off about a foot of the end of the rod. Of course it had to be the 5wt which I was using for the times when it was windy (i.e. - almost all time that week)- this is the rod I just had replaced earl;ier this year due to a defective (broken) snake guide. Other than the loss of the rod for most of the week, not a big issue - it was a TFO Jim Teeny rod, and I called TFO and they said it is covered in their lifetime warranty, so all I had to do was send it in with a check for $25 and they will replace it - no hassles (cost $8 to ship USPS).

So overall, a great week of fishing - as a bonus, I ran into a lot of old friends on the stream and got caught up on their lastest happenings. Now I am itching to head back down for the Winter fishing season - looking forward to throwing a few flies in Zone 3!!

´¯`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸ ><((((((º>
`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸ ><((((º>
.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸ ><((((((º>

I look in my fly box and think about what should guide my choice of the best fly: the amount/angle of sun on the water, the water temp & clarity, what bugs are hatching, what the fish might be eating, and what worked last time. Then I remember what an old man told me... " Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown, fuzzy, about 1/2 inch long and underwater."

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