Last night, Karl and I hit the Willamette around Oakridge, looking for an evening hatch. We’d been at the confluence of Salt Creek and the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, checking on the USFS bull trout monitoring system. TU 678 replaces the batteries on the system every weekend. So far, no bull trout have headed up Salt Creek this year.
I pulled a tiny trout on a size 14 dry fly, some generic tan thing — deer hair comparadun with an Antron shuck. First fish I’ve pulled out of that hole all year, and I’ve fished it a dozen times. It looks damn good, but not much for producing.
After we changed the batteries we headed to an undisclosed spot to fish for a monster trout that breaks Karl off every year. He’s been putting on a brand new tapered leader every time he’s gone fishing this year, specifically because of this trout.
Karl fished his big old homegrown green stimulator and I kept my tan thing on for a while, but when I saw him pull the first fish in the 15-plus range, I switched over to one of Karl’s Ping-Pong ball-sized green dries. I caught a few fish under 10 inches or so.
We did a little stunt wading and eventually pulled up next to “the spot” where the monster lived. Probably not the same monster, but it’s a good hole, a place where a certain size of fish would hole up year after year.
We fished it, worked back down, resting it. And then we came back late, just as a mini-hatch was coming off. Tiny mayflies, lots of caddis (check out the swarm in the photo) — but we didn’t have much luck until way late. I pulled a couple tiny trout, but Karl landed a monster. Perseverance — I had opted to fish the other bank where I could stand in water about ankle deep, whereas Karl was in up to his nipples, holding bottom with his toes and freezing. I was ready to go, but Karl stuck it out and nailed a last minute beauty. Photo didn’t work out since it was so dark and I was on the other end of the river.