When a white fish fights, it tends to stay low in the water and it is extremely rare for one to jump. Perhaps its equilibrium is better than a rainbow trout, but a fish jumping is a sure indication you have a rainbow trout on this river.
Once more I was picking off white fish when I heard a strange trumpet noise coming from the woods. Turkey, was the only thing I thought it could be, and curious to see one, I set my rod down and bolted into the woods. The squawking was so loud as I walked further away from the water, and at a crouch, I saw something that wasn’t a turkey. The tan body stepped lightly through the shrubs in the distance and disappeared before I could get a better look. Later, after I played a recording of the trumpet noise to a friend, I discovered that what I saw and heard was a sandhill crane.
The dark figure of the sucker fish swam off lazily. Both Steve and I looked out onto the water, watching a small baetis hatch take place.
“Any rainbows?” I asked Steve, who was dying to catch one; and I knew full well he hadn’t caught one yet.
“Nope...” He said, “Any bull trout?” He asked me, very snobby-like. I looked over at him, and smiled...
“Well played, Steve... Well played.”
The baetis had started hatching, and a few fish starting rising to them. I took off my nymphing leader, and switched my Shadow 2 into a dry fly rod. I got into position to cast out my RS2 BWO fly to a non-suspecting fish. The fly floated gingerly over the feeding fish, and it came up and ate my fly. The fish thrashed as I brought it in, and Steve was there to snap a picture.
“I want to get a rainbow.” Steve said, as I let the fish go.
“Go for a rising one, then you know it will be a bow.” I suggested, and handed the rod to Steve. We could see fish rising all over the place, so it was now a matter of choosing a fish to catch. I suggested to Steve that we get closer to the fish we were going for; that way there was no need to make some fancy, long distance cast when just a simple one would do. Steve’s fly was a little out of the feeding lane, but the fish came up for it anyway and Steve set the hook! SNAP!
“Whoa, Steve. You are only fishing with 6X tippet.” I said, before I tied on a new fly for him. More fish were rising, as Steve regained his confidence, and presented his fly to another fish. The fish willing took his fly, and Steve set the hook! Splash, splash, gone...
“What am I doing wrong?” Steve asked, frustrated. I explained that it would just be a matter of time and experience that would eventually work itself out. By now most of the fish had stopped rising and we headed back to the truck. Just as we approached where we would walk out, a fish rose.
“I want to watch you catch it.” Steve said. I presented my fly, and the fish came up to take it. I set the hook, and brought in this nice rainbow.
"Well, until next time!" I said.
"Yes Sir!" Steve replied, and we drove home.