It was Oakley's second birthday July 1st. I took him Back to the A and camped out on a little meadow next to the stream. I got there a little late; I had to complete some maintenance on the truck. But I planned to complete one of my 2009 goals OTF, so I planned to fish far into the night. I purchased a new head lamp that included a night setting with two red LED lights. I hoped to be able to see better at night without spooking the fish.
I didn't worry about setting up camp, the fish were rising and the river was calling my name. I hiked down stream to about where I started last week. I rigged my DC SigV 3wt with a dry and put a mouse pattern on the XP 5wt. I started with the mouse and had a few aggressive strikes in the first couple pools. But no solid hook-ups. I gave up on the mouse for a while and decided to fish to the rising trout. I caught a few stockies on top and headed up stream. There is a pool where a fence runs into the river that has a giant brown in it. I saw it last time chasing an eight inch trout. I wanted to break my mouse curse with it. As I came up to the pool, I could see it working in the current. I got into position and right as I was about to cast, Oakley decided to take a dip. The brown was spooked and I was forced to move on. I caught a few more stockies as I rounded the bend to my campsite. I dropped the 3wt off at my truck and worked a pool close to my campsite. I lost the first mouse pattern in the tree behind me. The second fell victim to the log across the river. I had one more, but it wasn't my best tie.
This pattern wasn't making much of a splash when it hit and I wasn't getting the follows like I had with the other two wayward mice. I switched to various patterns of meat without much success.
I ended up tying on a zonker leech and drift it under the biggest Thingamabobber I had. I ended up using the 2 white LED setting when I was drifting the rig. The red light would dissipate too much to see my drift. I caught a number of 13"ish Stockies but not browns. I called it a night and went back to set up camp.
The next morning, I got up early and set out down stream for what I hoped a phenomenal day. I never broke the mouse curse, but I caught my fair share of stocked trout. I think its time to find a new stretch, I think I'm tapped on the stockie-bows. But by the end of the trip, Oakley is much more comfortable with the water and is much more willing to follow me across. He loved to chase after the hooked fish, even in deeper water that required a breast stroke. Happy Birthday Oakley!