As planned, Stan and I hit the Swift River again from the hatchery pipe to the area below Cady Lane. Short report: crowded; fooled a few; had fun.
The real story is that unlike Monday (see Oct 27 report) all the "good spots" were taken. This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The hatchery pipe is like fly fishing junk food. Fish stack up there and if you are even a marginally competent "bobber" angler, you can clean up with fish after fish falling for your egg pattern or tiny nymph. The further you move from this epicenter of trout gluttony, the tougher the fishing is. Just 30 or 40 feet downstream, the successful anglers usually need to bring their "A-Game" matching the hatch, perfect presentation, etc. When I saw the big crowd huddled around the pipe run, I had to readjust my expectations. On Monday, after being satiated with junk food, I had moved upstream to fish the run from the roll dam to the gauge pool with some success. This time I chose to follow Stan downstream on shanks mare and find some solitude and tough fish - mission accomplished. The trout downstream were highly visible, since the water is clear as air and slick as didymo on a door-knob. Like all trout, when the water temperature is right and food is available, they are compelled to feed, so there was no shortage of opportunities. Conditions like this can either intimidate or inspire the fly angler. Since it was the only game in town, I had no choice but to become inspired. I would like to say that I conquered every fish I targeted, but as often as not, the most I got was a perfunctory glance before being summarily dismissed. But, often enough to keep me interested, I was able to elicit a quick strike, about half of which resulted in a break-off. I always figure that fooling the fish into a strike is 90% of the fun of fly fishing, so I wasn't too disturbed, other than with the loss of a successful fly on a number of occasions. Oddly enough, some of the successful patterns were not hatch-matchers, but the fly fishing equivalents of "Hail Mary" efforts. Who knows why these pea-brained trout Einsteins chose a skated Henryville Special after ignoring a dozen different tiny BWO patterns, but some did. In any case, fish were seen, fish were fooled and fish were caught-and a few were self-released wearing a bushy mustache, a day early for Halloween. None were caught with the benefit of an egg pattern, floated under a bobber. (Not that there is anything wrong with that! See Ken's commentary <Why I hate indicators>)