Like the title of this blog says, "it's been a while!" At least that is the how it feels. And I mean since I last wet my toes in the cool water of one of my all time favorite streams.....the Oatka! And this time I was joined by my oldest son Jonathan. And that made the morning even better!
I had made the decision to fish the Oatka that morning. There were thunderstorms and heavy rain last week that had blown out the creek and the water gage was reading at over 3.2 the previous night. But that morning when I saw that the flow rate was at 2.0 and the gage was now reading 3.0, I had to give it a try.
As we arrived at the parking spot I saw that we were the third car in line. There was an older fly fishing guy getting his gear ready. And for a moment I thought we might not get our spot. But that fear was put to rest when we made it up to the "honey hole" and saw that no one was around. I rigged one rod with a woolly bugger and the other a san juan worm. We began tossing our flies into the water, and after a while of nothing, we changed flies. More casting and more of nothing. The older fly fisherman we saw at the parking spot had now worked his way up from somewhere way downstream, to fish right below us in the flat water. He seemed to be casting dry flies to places he thought would hold fish. But like us, he did not hook a single fish. And after a while longer he left.
Jonathan and I continued to fish. Actually I fished, he played in shallow water and had some snacks. We saw two other fly fisherman come and go that morning. Neither of them caught anything. They were looking to fish the trico hatch. A hatch in which many serious fly fisherman enjoy because you can catch weary trout on small dry flies. The only problem with that is you can't catch those weary trout on top when there aren't many bugs around.
We stuck with our game plan to fish nymphs deep. But it wasn't until I tied on a #16 flash back pheasant tail nymph, did the fishing change. And after a few adjustments, the indicator finally dipped. And when I set the hook, something pulled back. A trout!!! Finally. I quickly handed the rod to Jonathan, and he carefully played and landed our first and only Oatka brown trout of the morning. I took a few photos and then Jonathan revived the trout and let it swim away. I was proud of him. He stuck it out with dad and spent the extra time to make sure that fish was ready to swim away.
Our morning came to what seemed like an early end. But not before I hooked one more fish that got off before I could even see it. We left feeling good that we had caught a trout, and had done it together!
See you guys on the water!