|Here's the Eagle Valley Reservoir boat dock, looking west|
towards the Spring Valley State Park campground.
|This photo looks southeast over Ursine Valley ranch land.|
|Floating on the reservoir looking southeast.|
|I had difficulty finding any rainbows over twelve inches.|
This trip was more purposeful than the last three. I had taken this week off and planned to do an overnighter in Ely, or perhaps southern Utah, but the weather was not cooperating. The strange weather we experienced through the winter was carrying through into the late spring. There just was not two days together of “floatable” weather. However, the weatherman predicted calm winds at Eagle Valley until noon, so I decided to give it another shot.
|Here's one of the few "colorful" rainbows, this|
one was caught on woolly bugger.
|Another brightly colored rainbow; note unraveled hackle feather |
which made the woolly bugger resemble a streamer
|Just tying a brown nymph on the tippet.|
In the last decade or so the Nevada Department of Wildlife has added tiger trout to its rainbow stocking program, although brown trout are still present. The tiger trout is a hatchery hybrid between a brown trout and a brook trout (these hybrids are sterile). So far on this trip everything was a rainbow, and I had hoped to hook into a tiger or brown.
As I waded into the bay I was casting a little black gnat on a floating line. In three successive casts I landed three little rainbows. Even the gentlemen on the dock had their curiosity piqued by this fly angler. Although the fish were small nine-inchers, there is still a special thrill catching trout on a dry fly, and the little seven and one-half foot rod still bent over as they fought to get away. I had another surface strike that I miss timed. After action slowed I switched to a little elk hair caddis fly. That did not receive any surface strikes, but as I was retrieving a cast parallel to the shoreline the fly submerged and I felt a take. To my surprise and satisfaction, I had hooked into a fourteen inch tiger trout which was obviously attracted by the “swimming” fly. It was the first tiger trout I had ever caught. It was the last trout of the day, partly because it was so pleasing and partly because I had promised Denise I would be home at a certain hour.
|My first ever tiger trout was about fourteen|
inches. He fell to a caddis dry fly that had sunken
under the water film.
|A photo of the little "bay" area to left of dock. The wading was easy|
and produced some fun dry-fly action, including the fourteen-inch
|Here's the elk hair caddis fly that fooled the tiger trout.|
I am always surprised how one fish, caught on one particular cast, can make a whole trip. Thousands of books have been written about fly fishing, and many of them describe that enchanting event when a difficult fish is caught by just the right fly at the end of a perfect cast. Often it becomes that defining moment where a budding fly fisherman has forever hooked himself into the sport, or when a more seasoned fisherman finally feels he has “arrived” in the sport. Not sure that the tiger was such a defining moment for me; I’ve been blessed with more than my share of memorable fish. It could be the flawless cast on a handmade rod that I recall, the special fly I tied with my own hands, the size or type of fish itself, or the uniquely pleasing setting in which it all took place. Memories of two or more in one event, well those are highly special. I think it is the pursuit of those events that brings me back to fly fishing for trout over and over…