After the long drive back to Lake City I hit the water in a great canyon stretch. The water was high but there were salmon flies hitting the water all around me. I thought it was odd that not a single fish came to the surface for the salmon fly adults or my imitation. After some frustration I jokingly put an #18 bead head flash back pheasant tail beneath my stone fly nymph and began hooking up some nice fish but it was relatively slow for this time of year.
Today was the day as everything came together. While on a small stream with some clients the bugs were out in force and the fish were gorging. We caught 14-17" browns all morning. After the day ended I headed out to the river near town to meet a friend. He had just lost a good size fish so I grabbed my rod and began fishing. For the next hour I caught and released five rainbows over 16" with the largest pushing 20". The water was still high on the Lake Fork but the fish were sitting in shallow water near the bank eating stonefly nymphs. They were all full and fat. The water is receding every day and the action is beginning to get really good. These fish have had a long winter and they are hungry. Things are really looking up around here.