Wednesday, October 16, 2013

If you listen carefully, good things will happen.

"Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout."

I think the most interesting thing for me about fishing the Pan as much as I have is seeing things that I haven’t seen before. Especially now that I am fishing on average of 3-4 days a week. This weekend Melissa and I got out and fished together. Something we haven’t done in quite a while. We planned on packing a lunch and heading out for a day of fishing on the Pan. It turned out to be a great day.

I am guessing that you might be getting sick of me and my love for the FryingPan but honestly it is a special place. Last Sunday was no different. Melissa and I got out onto the river at about 10am. We headed to my spot and found it full. In fact I have never seen so many people fishing my spot before. I was thrilled and angry all at the same time. Thrilled that my spot rocks and angry that people know that my spot rocks.
Anyway after a short walk Melissa and I found a section of the river to wade into and started fishing. It was a partly cloudy day which in the fly fishing world usually means it is going to be a good day. Why? Because there are some bugs that hatch when the sun goes behind the clouds, weird huh?

We started fishing nymphs. The spot where we were fishing is the same spot that I had my first religious experience of the Green Drake hatch in full effect here on the Pan 2 years ago. Someday I will tell that story as well. That faithful day I had 30 fish in the net in about two and half hours of dry fly fishing with size 10 and 12 green drake flies. It was to date the most amazing 2 hours of fly fishing I have ever had.  Anyway back to Sunday… Like I said we start fishing nymphs, all the while I was watching the water for insects hatching and the air bugs flying. I started to see some tiny mayflies that are called Blue Wing Olives or BWOs flying around. The problem with BWOs is there are usually tiny. Like tiny. And these were no exception. Maybe a size 28 or 30 in hook size and that is tiny.
Blue Wing Olive
 I didn't see any fish rising at all to eat them so we continued on fishing our nymphs, but all the while I was watching to see if something was going to happen. Something bigger.  We fished for about two hours and decided to take a break and have our lunch. We hadn't caught anything or even had a bite so, we thought lets break for lunch and rethink our strategy.

We got our lunch out and set up our folding chairs and sat together and ate, we talked about the weather and how perfect it was, talked to a few other fishermen and heard it was a touch slow for them as well. Other fishermen were leaving in their cars to change spots, which was good for us, less people in our area. While I was eating I felt a bug land on my hand. I looked down and to my surprise there was a black winged Caddis on my hand. A Caddis is a little bug that looks kind of like a moth except it folds its wings up into a little tent shape instead of them lying flat out right like a moth does.  I paused a minute and looked at the little Caddis on my hand. I watched him sit there and then he flew away. I thought a Caddis this far up the Pan? I know there are some Caddis on the lower Pan, but I thought maybe this guy was lost, because we were quite a ways up from the lower Pan.  I guess I just ignored it till I saw another one flying above us and then another and another. Caddis were everywhere. It was time to get back in the river and check it out.
Melissa and I finished our lunches and headed back down. This time we got a prime spot because others had left. We were about 100’ apart and each fishing some prime runs. I got in my spot and started to look around at what was going on. There were bugs everywhere in the air. Blue Wing Olives (BWOs), Pale Morning Duns(PMDs)
Pale Morning Dun
 and Caddis. BWOs were still tiny, the PMDs were a nice size, maybe 16 or 18 and the Caddis were large, size 14 or 16. In the run that I was fishing I could see at least 12-14 nice size trout feeding, they were swimming back and forth in their lanes and making quick movements which means they were eating nymphs. I gambled on tying on a dry fly but decided to go for it. I put on a size 26 BWO and started casting. There was another fisherman 75' away from me and after a couple of my own casts I noticed he just got a fish. I watched him for a moment and then looked back at my run and it was crazy, there were splashes everywhere from trout all of a sudden rising for bugs. Just like that the feeding frenzy turned on. The sun just ducked behind the clouds, Caddis, BWOs, and PMDs were flying around and coming off the water. And the trout were going nuts. I started casting again and tried to put my fly in a lane with a rising fish and just like that I had a fish on. Got him to the net, a very nice Brown, fat and about 17" long. I released him and started casting, two casts later, another fish. And then another and another. I caught six really nice Brown trout in the span of about 45 minutes. I looked over at the other fisherman and he was looking over at me and we both said at about the same time, "This is crazy!" There were fish rising everywhere between him and I. He was catching as many fish as I was. I asked what he was using and he said a size 20 Parachute Adams. Which is my favorite fly by the way. I caught a couple more fish and decided to head over and see how Melissa was doing. I walked over and Melissa saw me and said I caught three of the biggest fish I have ever caught on the Pan. She was all smiles. I was so glad she had caught some fish as well. I asked her how she caught them and she replied, "On a Caddis fly!" She went on and on about how big her fish were, and how she tried to get my attention to come and see her fish, but she was a little to far away. I was bummed I wasn't able to see them, but like I said I was so glad that she got some quality fish.

She went on to tell me how she was fishing with nymphs, when all of a sudden she started seeing fish rising and switched to a caddis fly after seeing fish eating them off the surface. I beamed with pride. I tried to teach Melissa to pay attention to what the river and the fish were telling her. She picked up on hatch and made the proper fly change and landed by the sounds of it so great fish. I was very proud of her.

We stood on the side of the river and talked for a few minutes and decided to call it a very successful fishing day!

This was a great day for me. First I saw Caddis on the Pan in mass, which I had never seen before. Second I caught some great fish on some really small flies which in itself is very challenging, and most of all Melissa caught some fish with some tips I had given her. She stepped outside her comfort zone and fished with dry flies and caught some good quality fish.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I miss you guys!

  2. We miss you too... Come fish with me soon...