Fly fishing diaries | Fishing our own lake

Solid rain for days on end... not especially great for fly fishing. But if you live in our little corner of the world, you'd better get used to getting wet occasionally if you ever hope to do anything outdoors.

Today I read, and wrote, and cooked, and washed dishes. We watched it rain and blow, watched the skies occasionally turn blue, then watched it happen all over again. And again. And again. The eagle didn't mind; it came through on a breakfast run and flew off victorious. The swallows did well too... there must have been a hatch going on.

In between rain squalls, I watched the lake for signs of fish rising. About 4:00, we couldn't wait any longer. Time to go fish our own lake.

The float tubes were already in the back of the Pilot; we grabbed wadersand headed for the public landing, just across the narrow end of the lake from our cabin. It's a safer place to launch than our own shoreline, which isn't used to inflatable boats. Clearing out the twigs and branches is on the list. We had just loaded up the boats and rigged our lines and were just about to step into the water when we heard it. Wait for it... yep, that's thunder. Really? Now?

So we waded in and fished from shore while we watched the weather. I practiced casting, and caught the bush behind me a few times. Oops. Dave gave me some pointers, and told me when I was missing my ten-to-two frame. Besides my casting "frame" we also watched the weather. Black clouds all around the lake, blowing south to north, then circling to the west. Not a normal weather pattern for us. The black clouds blew past, and the thunder got faint. Then the lightning started. Great.

Tired of waiting. Time to launch and get out there, loving the smooth calm water and ignoring the rain. Like my sister Laurie says, it's only water.

It's my third time out in the float tube, and it's starting to feel natural. I've floated this lake a couple of hundred times in the 16 years we've owned a piece of it, but this is the first time I've fished it.

Our next-door neighbor was home from work, and he kept calling out advice. He lives here full-time, and knows the lake from one end to the other. "Try fishing around the white buoy, that's the sweet spot." He turned his steaks, and went back inside. A bit later he was back. "What are you fishing with? Wooly buggers work really well right now." Then a bit later: "Worms work, too... I've got some if you want."

He was right about the Wooly bugger; I had dozens of nibbles, and had trout following my fly as I trolled. And I got enough bites and fish on to make me happy, even if I didn't catch anything. Dave did; he got a nice rainbow a couple of feet from the white buoy, just like Gary said he would.

We fished nearly two hours in the pouring rain, and finally went in when my Tilly hat started to droop and I couldn't see. Wet, wet, wet... even more wet after we loaded our boats and gear into the Pilot.

Mental note: Get towels, lots and lots of big towels. 'Cause there will be lots of fishing in the rain in our future.

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