about 15 inches long. I keep going downstream, again surrounded by dinks, when a swarm of Trico spinners descends, cranking up the tempo of the rises. Fortunately, it lasts only a minute or two, not long enough to take the fish off the mayfly duns, so I don't bother changing flies.
As the hatch tails off, I come to some deeper water I can't wade, and spot a couple of really big fish holding against the reeds and taking the last of the duns. They spot me about the same time, and that is that. They melt quietly away. I do some more exploring of the upper water, enough to convince me I'm not missing anything up there, size-wise.
I move the van down to the Kilpatrick Bridge and set out in the float tube. There are occasional large fish rising in slow, head and tail rises. The water is deeper and slower, giving the fish even more time to inspect the fly. Even so, I get a take out of 90% of the fish I can cover, but not one sticks. I can only
surmise that the #22 hooks are to blame. Eventually I work some regularly rising fish and find that one of my own flies, a deerhair wing, thorax style no hackle dun works even better than the $1.75 official versions, and are infinitely more durable. But my hooking rate doesn't improve. A change to a beetle brings slashing rises from each new fish to see it, but again, no hookups.
After lunch I poke around the edges of the water above the bridge; you can no longer use float tubes or other floating devices there, and most of the water is too deep and/or soft and mucky, so all the water beyond the shoreline is essentially a fish preserve. Even so, every time I poke through the trees to the water I spot a regular feeder along the shoreline weeds; soft, sucking rises that indicate size, and get at least one take from each. Again, no fish. I do learn one reason, though. My own spring creek flies are about six plus years old and rusted, and the hooks give way. Two fish lost on jumps, and another take on a fly without a point.
I hang around until dusk to see if there is an evening rise. There isn't. It just gets slower until the sun and the rises die simultaneously.
Back to the motel room, a little hole in the wall in Bellevue that I got for $100 a week! With the savings in the room, I figure I can afford to buy more flies. Even so, I set up the vise and tie up more of my own deerhair duns, learning again why I hate tying #20 flies, and realizing how much smaller they have gotten in the past five years. I definitely have #8 thumbs.
Day 2 - Humility time. I arrive at 9:00 to see if I had missed anything the previous day. I didn't. Not a fly or a fish of any size in sight. All sleeping in the weeds, I guess. At 9:45 the first little duns began appearing. I start on the water where I left off yesterday, with the idea of casing the middle water I still had never fished. Most of the early risers are dinks, but then a hatch of big grey duns, the so-called red quill, starts to come off heavily. No big fish in sight. I wade down a long barren stretch, then come to
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