Last Chance Trico #22

Yes, yes, I know, where have I been lately? Let’s just say that life got in the way the last week. The good thing is there is a bunch of news to report.

First, Gray Goat is now a dealer for Seaguar Products . Once again The Goat is bringing you the best products on the market. The products I use. The products that will perform at the highest level fly fishing can offer, all at unbeatable prices. Simply put, Seaguar Grand Max is the best fluorocarbon on the market. Knot strength and strength to diameter ratio puts this tippet at the top of the class. Anyone who has experienced a hook-up with a trophy fish knows the difference between landing and losing a large fish mainly lies in your terminal tackle and the knots you tie. There has been somewhat of a cult following developing among trout fishermen and especially Great Lakes Steelheaders for this product. For this reason, and after numerous requests, I have decided to become a dealer for Seaguar. The Grand Max Tippet is in stock and ready to ship in sizes 1x-6x and will shortly appear on the shopping cart. If you can’t wait, shoot me an email and we will get the product in your hands.

Two new trico patterns are in stock and soon to be added to the product cart.

CDC Thorax Trico #20

The CDC Thorax Trico #20 is an excellent dun pattern and is the perfect lead fly in a two fly combo or can be fished alone. The advantage of this fly is the thorax style of tie. The v-cut hackle enables the fly to ride high and stable on the waters surface while the CDC wing provides great visibility. This fly also fishes great as a single when the duns are on the water or the trout are competing for food. On hand quantities are limited.

Hi-Viz Trico #20

Hi-Viz Trico Spinner  #20 is a great spinner pattern for those of us who are visually challenged. There is nothing more rewarding than actually fooling a flaky trout  into eating your fly during a frenzied feeding session……However, when Walter (a large trout), eats your fly and spits it out because you have lost sight of it , you have missed a great opportunity. This fly takes care of that problem. This fly is ingeniously tied with a quick sight, Hi-Vis, hot orange post that makes spotting it on the water a piece of cake for most anglers. The post is only visible from above and makes for a great indicator fly as well in a two fly combo. On hand quantities limited.


The temps were peaking in the mid 90’s, the sun was hot,  the humidity was oppressive………

The call had come in at 9:15 PM the previous evening, and I informed my client that the conditions would be as tough as they get for trout fishing in the Midwest if we were to fish the next day . The response was bring it on, these guys were gamers. There was a slight pause when I said we would be meeting at sunrise for the best fishing opportunities but the clients were right on time. When we arrived at our destination, the valley was socked in by fog. Fog so thick you could cut it with a knife. I could not see a bug in the air, or a bird in the sky. The air temp on my truck thermometer read 68 degrees. Where were the tricos? Had they completed their morning mating dance before sunrise? Had the humidity put them off? I had seen it before, no bugs, and had a longing for more information to understand why.

The walk to our fishing spot was wet and wild. The foliage of buttercup and nettle was chest high. The goldenrod and bergamot were dripping with the morning moisture. The parsnip, gone to seed and bedraggled lurked, tangled within the stems of  a dozen other plants that had previously lodged and woven their way across a trail. A trail that had not been used in the recent past. I assured my clients that I knew where I was going and to feel the trail with their feet for they could not see it. I told them that the drenching they were taking was completely necessary in order to locate the elusive tricos. I was apprehensively hopeful.

As the fog began to clear, the tiny white winged insects began to fall from the clouds of moisture. Like flakes of snow they fell to the water and the fish responded. As we patiently watched the upstream water, we talked of rise forms and approach. We discussed the importance of casting and presentation. As the rings of feeding fish grew more numerous, I smiled and looked to my box of miniature mayfly soldiers, who would be the first to go to battle? I then asked the most important question, “Can you see this?”.

The fishing and pattern changing commenced with great fervor. There were takes and misses; there were bumps and refusals; there were a few hookups. The watching and assisting for the next two hours was marvelous. From a guide’s perspective I could see the bands of roving guerrilla trout changing direction at random, offering little chance of  targeting. There were the rhythmic feeders located tight to rocks and wood, that only a perfect cast might garner a glance from the picky trout. The mid-stream sippers took up their positions, eating only select morsels and sent fleeing by fly line hitting the water in close proximity. The fast water feeders, mostly small fish that were forced to fight the current, gobbled with reckless abandon and were probably the most vulnerable but still not easy. Along the back eddy seam there were the schmoot kloopers that fed under the thick foam, untouchable for the most part. Along the front edge of the drop pool were a group of fish that were good sized and in competition for the front of the feeding line. These trout would momentarily poke up from the deep cover at the lip of the pool and grab the first bugs over the edge. They were risk takers, and their whole bodies would momentarily flash in the sunlight as they fed. A perfect down stream presentation while crouching low in the broken water above the pool proved to be the ticket, and was amazing to watch. All in all my guys worked hard. They struggled and succeeded. They watched and they learned; they fished and they learned. It was as it should be. From a non-angling view, I learned a lot. Many times when the rod is in my hand my focus is narrow. As I was entertained and involved yesterday, by both the fish and my anglers, I was able to view a much bigger picture. I hunted, but only through observation; I partook, but only indirectly. I stored the information. It was a heck of a lot of fun. Pictured are the two trico patterns that fished best yesterday. The CDC Thorax trico is available for purchase on this site. Get them while their hot.

As we hit the trail back to the truck we were overcome by the heat and humidity. Bathed in 63 degree water for the past 5 hours had made all the difference. When we emerged from the river, we all knew we had entered a different world.

Marty and Crew

As we arrived back at the truck we were shocked to see two trucks and trailers drive up. Out jumped at least a dozen guys and gals dressed in waders and boots. A large fishing group on such a hot day? As I looked up from the conversation I was having with another angler, I saw a familiar face. It was Marty Engel, senior fisheries biologist for the DNR, and his shocking crew ready to take his yearly index survey on the stretch of the river we had just fished. Respectfully as always, he greeted me and let me know of his intentions. He hoped it would not ruin our day or our fishing. Fortunately for us, we were done for the day. The angler who had just arrived and rigged up was not so lucky. I could see his eyes sorrowfully watch as the first few fish from the pool he intended to fish began to rise. They rose not to his fly or the insects on the water, they rose from the shock of electricity flowing through the water. The trout were measured and recorded and released back to the water. When Marty is at work, he is all business. That’s why our streams are so good. Thanks Marty. We cracked a can of Leinenkugel’s and watched the show. We also watched the other angler drive off to find another spot to fish.

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