Page 22 - Vol02No03
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Destinations- California Trophy Trout (cont.)

        of food competition.

        Again given the clear, still water, I got to see a rejection I had never seen or maybe

        just never noticed before. On small fast streams when I saw a fish miss a fly I thought

        that was exactly what I was seeing. At Sugar Creek, several times that weekend I got

        to see a fish coming at a fly facing directly toward me with his mouth opening just be-

        fore the take. The surprise was the opportunity to see a rejection that I had never seen

        before where the fish went through the entire motion of opening the mouth, coming all

        the way to the surface, but turning his head just slightly at the last second so that he

        purposely didn’t get the fly. From any other angle this would have looked like he just

        missed the fly or miscalculated. It was amazing to see that this was a purposeful rejec-

        tion so late as to be a full rise.

        Every day proved to be a different challenge. The large north lake has some of the

        largest trout, but proved to be some of the most difficult fishing, especially for those of

        us, like myself, who insist on dry fly fishing at every opportunity. In these small lakes

        the fish tend to cruise around considerably and sight fishing was the only way to quick-

        ly improve your odds. On the second day when four of us were fishing Twin Deer, (the

        large north lake) there was not much apparently happening except at the inlet to this

        pool where some small (14-18 inch!) trout were watching for and eating nymphs drift-

        ing in. In search of bigger prey, I moved slowly around the lake until I would see a fish

        cruising the shores and then try to end up ahead of its path with casts designed to be

        just in it field of vision but not so close as to scare it off. The last minute rejection rate

        was high, but preceded with nervous excitement each time that I’d see the obvious in-

        terest indicated by the trout heading toward my fly. After a few of these, I finally noticed

        some white specks further out on the water that was either a very small white Mayfly

        or bits of a dandelion. When I finally saw a large trout dine on one of these, despera-

        tion drove me to digging for a small white Mayfly imitation. The general rules of order of

        importance of matching the hatch go something like this: Size, Shape, Color. I was in

        trouble. I didn’t have anything close and considered just trying a pale morning dun fol-
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