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· Driven by irrational exuberance.
1,584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried to fish the March Brown hatch in the early afternoon this weekend. At the Fish and Wildlife pullout below the Slab Saturday the hatch started about 1:30 and lasted almost an hour, with BWOs mixed in, but almost nothing was interested in coming to the surface. Then we got into a pod of ticks just north of the fence. Did there used to be livestock on that side of the fence to support such a concentration of ticks?

But the coolest thing I saw was a huge stonefly that burst up into the air from under my feet, like a flushed quail. As she climbed high over the river, a red winged blackbird locked on and intercepted like a patriot missile. But the Pteronarcys wacked it with its wings, and dazed it with a high round kick and the bird retreated. I was thinking this is real early for the big guys.

Sunday I tried the same drill just above the Slab. The water was up a bit but still stayed clear. But the March Brown hatch was seriously lame. It was another bright day and sometimes windy. At 1:30, there was a rise of a large fish and I spotted the first adults on the water. I saw one other rise and by 1:45 it was over. Boat loads of dejected clients and pensive guides floated by. The clients were suffering buyer remorse and were contemplating filling the guides' waders with rocks and throwing them in. Thin tips were the best outcome the guides could expect.

I was going to go back home to do the honey dos, but I saw the shuck of a big black Pteronarcys float by. I pulled out the biggest stone dry I had in the box , and tried the standard technique of laying it along a brushy undercut bank and had a hit in a few casts. Then I lost one behind a finger weir. I wanted to keep trying the stone fly tactic in the evening hours, but I had to go. I put on a big black wiggle bug colored like a Pteronarcys nymph on a sink tip to swing downstream on my way back to the truck. I caught a nice one and it did a couple of jumps just as two boats and a bank angler came into view. "Nice to see at least one fish today" one guy said as they floated by.
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