While my camera has sat idly on my desk over the last month, a little voice in the back of my head has nagged me to release the contents to the world. It’s not that I haven’t taken any pictures, on the contrary there’s been a decent smattering of megapixels accumulating. It’s just that life and work have hindered the steady flow of new content on the site. Social media has pretty much done away with any semblance of patience when it comes to these matters. It’s not like I’m publishing an old school monthly magazine here. I’ve almost felt guilty for not immediately releasing big fish photos for wide distribution via my iphone while still on the stream. Everything easily digestible in bite size nuggets is the order of the day. With that in mind, let’s consider this post Adrift: Greatest Hits So Far, August 2012.

Many mornings over the last couple of weeks have been a cooler, dew-filled affair. I’ve had to adjust my tactics almost every time I’ve been out. What’s worked one day typically hasn’t the next. I think August can be one of the tougher months for finding trout. Feast or famine is how I roll. I must confess that I’m already pissed that I can see the end of the season of the horizon. As I sit here, penning this post, we’ve only got 35 days left in the trout season. But enough of that negativity, let’s just load up this bad boy with some trout.

 

 

The End of an Era.
Look at this dude closely, because he’s the only fish I caught this day. I went out a few weeks back with the hope that I could nab some topwater gold. This was the only bite and fish I was able to procure. My run on Chernobyl Ant success has come to a close for the time being. I don’t tend to get knee deep in fly tying since I’m a hack at best, but I figured I’ll offer up some insight as to my version. For starters I’ve grown weary of the constant reference to Ivan Drago’s worst nightmare. From here on my version will be referred to as a Duane Arnold. I grew up in cold war fear of the beloved nuclear power plant Duane Arnold Energy Center, or Palo as we called it. Why give the Russkies credit for such a delectable piece of foam goodness? My Duane Arnold’s are tied “man-sized.” The red one is a standard commercially tied fly, the sloppy yellow one has been beat to within an inch of it’s life by a good number of browns lately. My Duane ain’t pretty, tied up on a 3/0 bass hook, but it gets the job done. An excellent replacement for a standard mouse pattern. I’ve found that my hooking and landing percentage had gone through the roof compared to other topwater offerings.

 

 

Life is Like a Box of Chocolate?
I popped in on some new marginal water and was surprised, yet pleased with the results. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the first good looking hole was thick with carp. I spent a short time trying to coax them into my clutches with no success. I moved on to hole #2 where I was greeted by Mr. Esox. This is the biggest pike I’ve gotten this year, though I admittedly have focused on them much and didn’t bother to measure her. While not a true monster, it had a very unique body shape. A very flat head (almost like a canoe paddle or sturgeon) and a fat body. The bugger was hooked nicely on the outside of the jaw, so no break-off, hell yeah! On a sour note, I lost one of my Korkers soles on this trek. It’s the second time it has happened this year. As nice as these boots are, the mechanism that holds the soles on the boots isn’t fullproof. Bummer.

 

 

Any day is a good day to be on the water.
Do yourself a favor and don’t come to the realization that August is the beginning of the end. Sure it’s still summer, but the first signs of impending coolness have reared their ugly heads. In the interest of changing it up I went back to throwing clousers. Tee it high and let it fly, strip, strip, strip my friends. I was pretty happy with my results. One real nice one and a handful of younger siblings to boot. The early clouser bite was surprisingly good.

This fish got me thinking about how I’ve been approaching fish photography. Readers often comment on my photography probably more than anything on else on Adrift. I don’t really go for the grip-n-grin shot very often when I’m fishing by myself. It’s kind of an ordeal setting up the Panasonic TS3 on my Joby GorillaPod Mini Video tripod. You have to set the 10 second time delay and hope you can wrangle the ill-tempered slippery beast into frame. I’d say 1 out 3 pics even turn out remotely useable, and even those will likely be blurry. On the other hand the Joby Mini tripod is a sweet little invention and well worth the investment. Most shots of me fishing are executed using the Joby trick. If you’re shooting video it will give you fairly fluid movement. Most of my fish shots tend to be a handful of quick water level shots then I release the fish into the abyss. Low light situations like the shots above throw another complication into the matter. The TS3 can do well in dusk and dawn situations, just not when you’re shooting a flip flopper like a big old trout. That is a nut I have yet to crack.

If you can’t tell I’m a little bored with the abundance of handheld brown pics at water level. Maybe I need to get back to some underwater shots as I haven’t been using my GoPro nearly as much as I was earlier in the season. Who knows? Only time will tell.

 

 

Rain, Rain Go Away…
Not really. Is there anything better than August rain? Precipitation is a friend to the low stream levels that tend to be the norm this time of year. We’ve had a weekly shower or two that have actually put some fish back on a Strawberry Twizzler bite. The key to this pattern is to hit it after water levels are starting to recede. Timing is everything. Too early and the stream may be too muddy, too late and the fish have possibly returned to their late summer wariness. I had a moderately decent outing this week using this pattern.

The end of summer is a funny thing. I find myself looking forward to things like football and fall colors, but dreading what follows. It’s a big week here at the homestead. My kids are running off to school. Jack finally starts kindergarden. It’s all responsibility from here on out my boy, enjoy the freedom while you can.  As far as the upper midwest trout are concerned, it’s a done deal in 35 days.