O.K. so the story really starts out at spring creek, and it does not involve me in any way. But, it is a good one none the less. Two of my friends (Jessie and Luke) started their day at spring creek, and after a few fish caught on a small grey scud, they decided to move to the Oatka. I was told they went to the "nice hole." The nice hole is a spot that produces a lot of fish for us on a regular basis. And for those that have fished with us...you know where this place is.
Luke started things off by fishing a FB pheasant tail nymph. This produced a couple of good strikes, but no fish came to the net. Then a change here and there to the nymph rig, and an addition of a second fly...wham. This was the ticket! Fish came easily now. Soon after those changes, Jessie met back up with Luke. He too made some adjustments, and quickly got into a good number of fish. In fact I was told he was "slamming the fish." There were some good size fish that were landed I'm told, a few that were in the 15" range. This is what great fisherman do. They are constantly making adjustments to find what works in each situation. And it is only a matter of time until they find the solution, even for the pickiest of fish.
After a good while of catching fish, Jessie made his way back home and left Luke to his own devices. This is when Luke spotted "the White Whale." A fish of near mythic proportions for a stream like the Oatka. It was a large fish, maybe 20" Luke had thought. His head tried in vain to decipher the code of the great fish. It took an hour of refusals by the great fish before an addition of a small midge larvae changed the course of the day. Fish on! It ran upstream. Then with some effort, Luke worked the fish back down to the deep hole. Next, the fish jumped, headed for the weeds, and broke off.
Captain Ahab now recounts the tale with great enthusiasm. And his obsession grows deeper. The "White Whale" is free for now, but I would guess not for long. The good captain will be back to claim his prize another day.
Photos taken by Lucas.