Monday, May 01, 2017

Spring Break Chapter II: Weekend with Kid II

Kid I gets BWCA now, so in effort to be equitable, we've installed a hardcore trout weekend during which the younger guy can get all the attention and all the shots.  Big brother stays at home.  We did the same trip last April; same water and nearly identical dates.  In this case the weather was a shade warmer and we encountered more people.  The basic strategy is to do this on the weekend before harvest opener (which is also before any turkey season): that affords the latest possible non-zoo weekend.

Started out nymphing.  At this hole last year, he caught his first ever rainbow trout.  This go-around he hooked and lost a nice fish.

In this case he made a nice flip cast into a little holding water between two current seams; saw the indicator indicate, and put the hook in the fish.

In an interesting twist that was maybe a direct communication to me, he was struggling a bit getting the nymphs where they needed to be.  He's a good flipper and roller but sometimes can't reach quite far enough across the current.  He started out catching six fish nymphing, over quite a span of hours.  Missed a few; lost a few.  We were fishing right behind somebody pretty much all day.  I tried to call the guy over to talk about strategy (e.g. was going to suggest we walk ahead of him for maybe half hour and then start fishing) but he wanted nothing to do with us; kept his head down and moved to the immediate next hole every time we saw him.  I think it's impolite to jump ahead of someone without talking to him; so we didn't do that; we just accepted the deal.  On day two we had the water to ourselves and the dry fly action was good.  Nice lesson for me: don't make the kids do things just as you do them.  I always figure nymphing is the easiest most consistent means of catching trout.  But the kid welcomed the dry fly and with about 6-10 feet of fly line out he proceeded to flip that thing (a generic parachute adams with a pink post) all over current seams and in broken water catching trout consistently.  Thus relieved of the numerous points of weight and the occasional tangles; welcoming quite a few fish to hand.

He doesn't have the burning focus of his older brother; he hung it up a little early on some water and in those cases I would clean up the residual fish often in the tougher lays.  He always got first shot at everything and I only fished after; and those cases were few; mostly we just walked and fished; I barked at him while he fished.

A point of emphasis was learning to use both hands at once.

He got a few on this generic too.  One of my favorite flies.  No name as far as I know.  It never sinks due to foam head; trailing shuck is money in any hatch situation.  It kind of doubles as wing too.  Fish eat the hell out of it, upstream or swung down.  Really easy to tie. Continuous rebellion against the hatch-specific flies (!).

He got sixteen trout to hand (we were both counting) before noon of the second day.  Of which fourteen were on the para adams.  A top few hours for both of us; I sat the bank and watched.  Netted the first few but then had him concentrate on bringing them to hand without net.  The mechanics of how much line to keep out, how to swing fish in to near-body, etc.


He remembered this gnarly trunk from last year; wanted to stop for portrait.

Study in scale; observation.

14 incher; a top fish for him; caught using the streamer his older brother tied during Spring Break Chapter I.

And then again on the same streamer, at our very exit point, I put two casts upstream of DNR's penned formula for big trout: 3+ feet depth, adjacent to thalweg, presence of woody debris.  This 18+ came out and followed maybe six feet and then ate the streamer.  A sort of guide's reward (among many others).  Photo by kid.

Up out of the valley.  Back next year.


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