haven't figured it out already, is that which someone who knows better tells you to keep you out of their spot. Dave was already smiling. He was late in fact to the airstrip because the fishing had been so good.
"They're taking damselflies," he said. "Dry!"
We hiked the short distance into the eastern end of Nunnally, sans fins, tubes, or waders. We were going to simply fish along the shoreline, wading wet. Dave parceled out to Frank and myself some of his newest creations, a bright blue deer hair adult damselfly imitation.
"Just put it in front of a cruising fish," was all he said.
Hiking in from the road, Dave and Frank split off to fish the cove by the outlet while I continued up the south side of the lake a ways to the first flat, an extension of the high sand dunes that rim the southern edge. As I stepped down to the water, I pushed out a good fish that was cruising the reeds in eight inches of water. I waded out over my ankles, sorted out my leader, and tied on Dave's fly. Immediately I spotted a big brown cruising toward me and flipped the blue floppy creation six feet in front. It charged the fly, and a few minutes later I was releasing a 22 inch brown. Good start! The next four casts, in
fact, produced hookups. I got spooled once and broke off two of my three allotted flies, so I switched to heavier tippet.
What was happening was obvious. In the bright sunlight morning of a cool, for this area, 70 degree day, the damselflies were hatching heavily. Swarms of the adult (male?) blue flies clustered over weed tips that broke the surface along the dropoff and in the shallows and mobbed the brown (female?) newly hatched adults. The surface was covered with tumbling brown/blue copulating pairs. They even did unspeakable things to my imitation. The fish were cruising the dropoff and the weedbeds, lazily planing up to take any adults that crossed their paths. Cast in front of a rise and FISH ON!. Spot a cruiser either in the flat or just under the surface in the deep water and FISH ON! If there were no fish in sight, we just cast the fly out over the dropoff and waited. A fish happened along every few minutes. This rather nice scenario continued through the afternoon until about 4 o'clock, when the hatch and cruising
stopped. Then it was slow for an hour or two until the light began to wane. Then the fish moved back into the shallows and dutifully found our flies whenever we could get it near them. I landed maybe 25 fish, that is, 19-20 inch Nunnally fish, and pricked or lost that many more. Not a bad way to start a trip, I
thought. We saw only two other fishermen on the lakes.
"We might regret leaving this to go to Montana," Dave remarked.
It would be a hard act to follow.
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