I snuck off to the West Carson river to the gauging station section for a quick morning outing. What I love about this time of year is that you can get out on the water, fish for an hour or so, and be back to work before anyone even knows you were gone. Gotta’ love those early AM’s!
The river was running lower and clearer than last week, so it seems like the snow melt event is winding down. As I string up I observe a small fly on the water along with some straggling March Browns. I decide to string up with a March Brown dry and a Hare’s Ear soft hackle as an emergent dropper. I wade into position and immediately start getting strikes. It took about 4 drifts before I got the timing dialed in, but I was no more than 10 minutes into my morning when I hooked my first fish. I proceeded to catch three smaller fish in rapid succession on the March Brown dry before the strikes ended.
I decide to re-rig with an Elk Hair Caddis with a flying ant as a dropper. I was able to catch and land two 8 inchers on the ant before this rig stopped getting interest. Off with the ant and on with a Trude. I took about 15 drifts with no interest in either fly. I decide to stop and just sit on a rock and observe what was happening.
At this point, the sun is definately up, but there are plenty of nooks and corners that were still in the shade. I kept scanning these shady sections for clues. That is when I saw noticed a large bug on the water. It appears as if a fly the size of a #8 Western Brown Drake was showing up to lay eggs in the water. I did not see any obvious interest in these large flies from the fish, but decided to tie on a much larger dry fly to see if i could elicit a strike from some larger fish. I tie on a #10 Brown Drake dry and EUREKA! Back in business.
I was able to catch another two fish landing one of them while the other shook the hook and got off. The whole time I have been fishing I was working a single slot pulling fish from the head, the center and the tail of the riffle. I love it when you can work a hole and pull out many fish in the hole before having to move on.
I moved upstream to another one of my favorite holes. I was able to get a few rejections and chases, but could not get a solid hookup. I moved upstream one more hole and tried a few more drifts. The sun was now fully on the water and even though there were a ton of bugs flying around, I was not able to convince another fish to rise to my offerings. It was time to pack up and head to work.