Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 1: Cascade Lake

June 22nd, my first day turned out to be the most emotional up-&-down day of this trip. Dramatic, I would call.

I really wanted to explore new waters in the Park. Also, I wanted to catch Arctic Grayling for the first time. My destination was Cascade Lake. I just followed information from Craig Mathews' book and people at Blue Ribbon Flies. Cascade Lake is reached by a 2-mile hike. So I really planned one whole day here.

But as I was driving, I was slumped by the construction toward Norris. They had closed this road all through summer and fall last year but it looked like something big was still going on with 30-minute delay and who knows when they will be done.

I got through the construction and sightseeing people. There are two trail heads for Cascade Lake. I saw there were already several cars on both spots. I thought "OMG, I am behind due to the construction in spite of my effort and determination"..............
I was really determined to catch Grayling. I made a hike but also I heard that this area has lots of bear activities. Before fishing, I was already in emotional up-&-down.
But as I made a 2-mile hike, I noticed people along these trails were just hiking, not for fishing Cascade Lake!!! I was the only one who was interested in the lake.
To fish the lake, I was with my 6-wt and I thought I would be fishing with scud, leech, and damsel nymph pattern. I even carried an intermediate line. But as I walking and looking around the bank. I saw some rises. I stepped in quickly and saw what was going on. It was a midge hatching.
Then I noticed that I didn't bring any midge patterns at all!!! Only one closest was a Micro Wulff Cripple. But it was a specific hatch at a stillwater so it didn't do well.
I needed something like Zelon Midge........................
Then this is what was going on in my mind and emotion.
Zelon Midge......
Craig invented that one.........
Yeah, Blue Ribbon Flies people have been very helpful and kind to me........
Craig and BRF reminded me of something..........Dutch Box.
Right, I tried to create my own Dutch Box with the best flies one of each. Here's my post in January.
I did have one and only Zelon Midge in my secret Dutch Box in my best!!!!!

Wind was picking up on stillwater, causing waves, but this actually helped me wade a step or two to get closer to risers and compensate my casting with my contingency leader and tippet construction. The first cast after I tied on one and only Zelon Midge behind Micro Wulff Cripple, I finally got a hook up. I handled carefully so I don't lose the fish and the only one fly. My first catch was this 12-inch Grayling.......................Finally all of my effort and perseverance paid off.....
I really wanted to see these large fins with my eyes.....

With the only one Zelon Midge, I kept hooking and catching Grayling.
Then suddenly they stopped rising on my Zelon Midge though they were still coming to the surface. I stepped in and observed what was going on. I figured there was cluster/mating midges on the surface and that was what they were rising for.

I tied on Griffith's Gnat.
Also for the same looking, Micro Wulff Cripple worked. I caught a few more for cluster/mating midge situation.

I fished from 10:00am to noon with a 40-minute one way hike.
There were several more new waters to try in the afternoon in my mind but I chose Gibbon. I caught a nice 13-incher.

So it turned to be a great day but also I decided I wouldn't head this way due to construction that waste my time. Maybe in the fall, it would get better to let me drive into northeast corner of the Park.

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