It’s not every day, year or even decade that you get a 26” rainbow on a dry fly, but last weekend the stars aligned and that’s what happened on Hosmer Lake. It’s a catch to remember and making it happen was a team effort, which I’ll explain at the end of this report.
Most of us arrived Thursday evening for a dinner of BBQ Chicken cooked by Lane & Laura. It was a little too late to do any fishing so we took a walk along the Fall River, which was just up the road.
Friday we hit Hosmer Lake and the weather was perfect. The fishing was good too but you had to be on your toes, all day the fish kept shifting gears. They’d go on and off the bite, hatches changed plus there were lots of short strikes. We caught brookies, rainbows and a few cutthroat. Damsel nymphs were the best subsurface pattern. With good numbers of callibaetis mayflies hatching you’d think that would be the fly to use but this day the fish preferred ants or dry damsels. That took a while to figure out but it paid off with my biggest dry fly trout ever, a fat & hard fighting 26” rainbow.
After a long sunny day on Hosmer it was great to get back to Chris’ place and down a few cold ones before inhaling some top notch BBQ Burgers cooked by Chris. Mmmm!
Saturday we hit East Lake and Chris’ brother Steve joined us. Again, the fishing was pretty good but you had to work for your fish. We tried for the numerous cruisers in the morning and while it was fun to cast to them, mostly they ignored your flies. Getting a follow & rejection was a small victory. Most of the fish we caught on East were rainbows but there were some small brookies mixed in and even a Kokanee. Damsel nymphs on an intermediate line worked OK but most strikes didn’t stick and strangely, most of the fish taken this way were small. Steve had this great beetle pattern and he brought enough for everyone. Today, we mostly pounded the banks with beetles. It worked good, got the bigger fish plus its just a fun way to fish.
It was a hot day on East so after chugging a few cold ones we had a delicious dinner of Flank Steak provided by Laura, then washed it down with “the good stuff” provided by Lane. We finished the eveing with a game of scrabble while flicking beetles off the table. Theres a lot of beetles so it’s no wonder that fly works so well.
Sunday we enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast cooked by Chris. After we were stuffed to the gills with good food we went to Crane Prairie Reservoir, putting in at Quinn River launch. It was another sunny, mostly windless day. The preferred strategy on Crane is to suspend balanced leeches under an indicator in the channel. Laura got a takedown about 5 seconds after we started fishing but it didn’t stick. We all had a few strikes that didn’t stick! Lane landed a nice fish on a damsel nymph fished on an intermediate line. Since we had to drive home we wrapped it up early and got on the road.
This fish a long was really a team effort, both in terms of catching nice fish, eating good food and having a great time. Naturally I’d like to say I got that big rainbow on a dry because I’m such a good angler and luck didn’t have anything to do with it, but the truth is I couldn’t have done it without my CFF team. Chris put together a top notch fish a long and got us down there. Then he put me in the right spot on Hosmer Lake. Finally, I never would have had any dry damsel patterns in my fly box if Trux Dole hadn’t figured out that trout get focused on flying damsels & sometimes ignore other good hatches when the damsels are out in force, which he did several years ago at the Justesen Ranch fish a long.
Special thanks Chris for putting this together and to everyone that came and made this a fish a long to remember!
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