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The plan started as a return trip to Clark Canyon Reservoir where we had stumbled on a great chironomid bite two summers ago. Watching the weather and water conditions it looked primed for a repeat. Lake level at 100+% couldn’t be bad. Right?

My buddy arrived Friday afternoon and fished the water near camp. He reported two takes and one decent brown to the boat. Friday was a travel day for me and I arrived at the lake Saturday morning in time for coffee at camp while we swatted mosquitoes and large midges out of our faces. Game on! Except is wasn't. By 1pm I was getting frustrated. Midges were thick, a few callibaetis and damsels showing as well. No fish showing, no takes, and a big thunderstorm rolling in. We got off the lake and ate lunch in the truck while the storm rolled through. The evening was gorgeous but gave up no fish. The next morning we tried a different part of the lake and my buddy hooked two fish but landed none. We got off the water around lunch time as another storm moved in. We talked to four guys packing up after a weekend with one trout and two carp caught between them. WTF is wrong with the lake?

Time for plan B. The word from a few fly shops was to try something that hadn’t been affected by all the recent rain. Ennis and Hebgen were muddy and not fishing well. Henry’s was hit or miss. Go to the high country.

This turned out to be solid advice. The first morning we found a bay with a large shoal and birds working the surface at 7am. After moving a bit and adjusting presentation to visible fish over the weeds we got on a great bite that lasted all morning. Unweighted chironomids on an intermediate line got eaten more often than not. In the afternoon we got a few on callibaetis nymphs. At dusk I rowed while my buddy worked a Griffith’s Gnat to risers. This was worth the drive! The next morning was even better with four browns to the boat along with a bunch of ‘bows. The final morning we picked off cruisers early on an olive willy and got into an outstanding callibaetis hatch. Midges finally got going after the mayflies and kept us busy into the afternoon.

Then it was time to pack up and drive back west. Uggh.
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