Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 7th - Part 2: Flying Ant Mating Swarm at Lower Slough (Yes, I Timed Just Right!!)

So after Lamar, already after 3pm, I headed to Lower Meadow of Slough Creek. The biggest reason and objective was: Exactly on the same date last year, I was suddenly hit by mating swarms of flying ant. Please reminisce my past post. It was a biggest defeat in my fishing life but within a few days, I came up with new flies and conquered the puzzle (another post). So my object was: "am I going to see Ant Swarm again?" and "can I handle better this year?".

In my notes, swarms started in the evening (5 to 6pm). So I just fished along in a usual way and it was slow. Just around 5pm, I moved to down-stream for observation. And YES, it happened!!!
Queens like this, along with tiny males, were flying all over the meadow and trout were gulping all over!!

However.................This year they were size 14 or 16...........
This is from last year. You can tell the difference by comparing two.

So my S.C.Ant, developed based on my last year's experience, in size 10 or 12 were detected as FAKE!!! Trout were gulping but they did remain picky!!

I had a few bites with other generic patterns but not quite for my satisfaction. I didn't cry or become desperate like last year. It was just another homework. Queens were apparently thinned out by 6pm. Trout were still rising with quieter gulping sound. Lots of midges were in the air. Were they taking midges? But it didn't sound like midge feeding. I went close to the surface. I discovered  ONLY TINY MALES were abundant on the water!! That was what they were gulping on!!

Now generic black ant patterns size 20 or 22 were the key though those were hard to see. I focused on one spot and cruisers underneath. A huge nose came up and sipped my ant and I set the hook!! It was bigger than I expected!! With a very long leader ending with 6X tippet, fighting was very careful............

THE BEST CUTBOW!! I have caught this length of trout at Lower Slough but not as massive as this one!!

Rises continued way after dark, even after 8pm, with mix of midges and BWO. I had to go home as fishing with artificial light is prohibited in YNP and well, scary to be along in the meadow!!

I can't overstate my LOVE of Lower Slough and its technical & challenging water. I was sure that I grew up into a better angler, guide, and observer from experience at here. I caught a nice trout but at the same time I was assigned more homework. I want to be further better!

I might visit once or twice more before season ends..........

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