Carl H.

It has continued. The mild winter temperatures and the lack of snow has made this winter trout season more than tolerable so far. On Thursday I visited Hay Creek once again. This time, with my old friend Carl Haensel. Carl was also once employed at Bentley’s Outfitters and many of you may remember him. He and his wife Cindy own a beautiful piece of property on the Sucker River North of Duluth, Mn. The two run a what I would call an adventure education business complete with camping and lodging. They run programs from wilderness medicine  to stream and habitat restoration. The name of their business is Namebini. Go to the link and read about them if you have not already.  Carl is also a longtime fly fishing guide and is one of those guys you would consider just plain fishy.

Hay was clear and seemed to be holding good waterflows. The sun was shining on Thursday and we both figured the catching could be a bit tough. It was slow until Carl began to experiment with his old friend Larva boy. Except Carl calls it the white nymph, and remember he is the one who first showed me this pattern tied a bit differently.

To keep it short here is a re-cap. We targeted only deeper bend pools. Blind casting and drifting nymph indicator rigs produced few to no trout. We began to look for pods of fish holding together. By doing this you could get your fly to the right location almost every time. The fish we saw were not readily moving to flies, they were staying quite stationary. Sometimes finding their location in the pool is the toughest part. The water was clear and the bottoms were sand so it made this process a bit easier. Our presence above them did not seem to frighten them because of the depth of the water. The white nymph(a.k.a. Larva boy) was used as a lead fly in order to see its location as it sunk to the bottom. The location of the trail fly could be judged but not seen(at least not by me). Larva boy would be drifted through the pod of trout and suckers. Instead of watching the indicator you would watch the white nymph and the movement of the fish. If your drift was just right the fish would move. You would set the hook. The oddest thing was that the indicator would not move even though the fish moved to the fly and put his/her lips on it. What I was seeing was an extremely soft bite. I believe that this happens more than we know with our standard indicator rigs and being able to sight fish in this way had its advantages on this day.  We caught some fish and had some fun. The weather will be warm again this week. Get out there if you can.