After seeing the terrestrials flee we rigged up and tied on a fly I had never used on the Owyhee before, a Pico Spider. Some say that it’s unwise and downright arrogant to tie a fly on before you have checked out the water. Well they’re right, but that didn’t stop me from doing it. Sure enough, an unsuspecting trout surfaced near the overhanging shrubs. My Pico splatted down in its feeding lane, and leisurely the trout surfaced, taking in my Pico Spider.
I called Mert down to where I was fishing to see if I could help him. We switched his dropper and casted his new menu of flies to the rising fish. A fish took his dropper, but the hook wasn’t set! “MERT! Set the hook!” Mert’s rod went up, but with no fish attached. He had a hopper dropper set up, “I was expecting my hopper to go under when I had a fish.” he said. I explained that with the nature of these fish and with our current water flow, to set the hook when the hopper stops moving. Mert did just that on his next opportunity. He set the hook hard enough to break off his zebra midge dropper that was secured with 6X tippet.
“Well at least the fish took,” he said with high spirits.
The fish were starting to refuse my fly, so I switched back to the Pico. Despite how delicately presented the Pico was, the fish seemed to spook when it landed. I switched to a little green beetle, and that got their attention.
Even the snobby-ist of fish would hit the green beetle. The bad thing about the fly was that it was almost impossible for me to see. Over time I have built up my confidence in my casting ability, almost to the point where I don’t even need to see my fly to know where it is; this was developed after fishing 26- and 28-sized flies. Every fish that took the beetle did not break the surface of the water. Instead, there would be a slight disturbance where I thought my fly would be, then I would set the hook and would have a fish on every time.