I fished the South Wilderness Area after having an email discussion with a soon to be friend in Barry Shrader. The river wasn't too busy around this time and I saw folks coming off the river having already caught their limit. I walked up to about the forth trash barrel after the little crowds died off This first step into the water was an important one because I was testing out some new Cabelas breathable waders that my wife bought me for Christmas. It very tough at time for me to keep money in my wallet living less than 5 minutes from Cabelas in Fort Worth. Simply put they worked out nicely and for a non-fisherman, "Well done Mrs. Haney".
For the most part I found the fish today to be stacked up in certain holes. This maybe due to the fact the state had just restocked a couple days earlier. Some areas were void of fish, while others were like a buffet line. My first fish were caught on a #12 wooly bugger. After loosing those to snags I decided to tie on a #14 BH Olive Hares Ear with a flashback that I put together the night before. I have found the Hares Ear to be my "go to fly" no matter if I'm fishing for trout in Oklahoma or back in my home waters of New England. I don't know why but when all other nymph flies have failed me, the Hares Ear comes to my rescue. I've got a whole buch of natural colored versions tied up in my box, but I've never tried an oliver colored version before. I fished it as the lead fly about 3 1/2 feet under an indicator with San Juan worm as a trailer just for the fun of it. Alot of people like the San Juan Worm but for me it has never caught a fish, and after today that statistic still holds true.
However, worm did try its best while in the water and what I have to show for it is "My Catch of the Day" below. Yup, I caught a 3 inch rock with it and brought that very lethargic rock to hand. I know there are many of us who have lost hundreds of flys to a rock, but I bet there are very few of us that can say I won this battle and caught the rock!
After this, the Hare's Ear won the battles and fish were being caught. Right on the top lip of the mouth is the Olive Hares Ear in the picture below. I find that the hook normally sets in this part of the trout's mouth when I'm nympying. I have no idea what that says about my fishing style.
I headed up to Scotty's for a burger when I ran into Charlie, Mike, and Barry for the first time. We exchanged greetings and conversation then headed back to fish the South Wilderness together. I can say the only that happend for me was a big ZERO. No fish, not even a rock. I lost my only pride and joy Olive Hares Ear in the trees. From there I tried a natural color but all I got to show for it was two poor hook sets that the fish said "not today". Barry, Mike and Charlie headed a little further up river and they later told me they hooked into some fish. Ugg....I should have followed them. However, with 1530 approaching I needed to be home for dinner. Another day on the Blue with good weather, good fishing, good friends, and a not so good "Catch of the Day".