Thursday, June 4, 2015

                                                       BROWN   DRAKE   HATCH
                                                                     by Mike Morin

I finally made it to Brown Drake hatch on Silver Creek Idaho. Being my first time fishing this epic hatch, I had some questions.  As we pulled along side the creek, there were trucks parked everywhere.  We approached the first group of guys we came too and started chatting.  These guys gave great info, on areas to fish, what time the hatch was expected, how the fishing has been the two previous nights, etc.  A great group of fishers.

We decided to fish just up river of the first bridge past Picabo Fly Shop. Being my first time catching the Drake Hatch, I was first impressed with the number of fly fishers that were already there. Trucks lined up and down the road. And it was early in the day, about 2:00. As we were arriving, other fishers were leaving for a late lunch/early dinner. They all planned to arrive around 6:00. We walked this stretch of river checking things out before the hatch arrived… I was able to pick up a couple of fish, nothing of any size, but it was fun.

As fishers started showing up, we staked our claim. Truck after truck pulled up and multiple fishers climbed out. Everyone one was very friendly and filled with anticipation of a great night. The previous night had a great hatch, and tonight was looking good as well. Warm temps and low wind. 

If not familier with Silver Creek, the water is Clear, slow and shallow… As we stood looking into the water and seeing not one decent fish, we questioned if this stretch of water actually held any good size fish at all. Typically when walking the banks, you will spook a fish or two, but not today. The only fish we actually saw were the ones we had caught previously. I spoke with a couple of local guys that fish the drake hatch often… Their take was that so many fishers were on the bank last night and in the morning that most of the fish were hanging tight to the grassy bottom in the center of the creek. It was about 15 minutes after the hatch really got going strong that the creek came alive with fish. There were pods of big fish feeding ferociously everywhere. We were within earshot of at least 25-35 anglers. Not one hoot / holler or any indication of a fish on the line for a long time. 

After many casts into this feeding frenzy, I got a hook-up… short lived as the fish spit the hook almost as fast as he hit it. This got my blood pumping even more. I switched to a one size smaller Brown Drake Dry… I put a little extra wiggle in this cast giving me a 10’ perfect drift. You know when you make a great cast and this was it. (I had many not so great cast up to this moment), but this one was a good one. Anticipation was high as my fly drifted into a pod of feeding trout. Fish on. I did not yell and hoot, but my fishing buddies knew I had one on. Now, imagine the spectator wave at a sporting stadium. That is what occured Creekside. Fellow fishers discussing the hook up. Because of the low wind, and quite evening, you could hear the conversations from a great distance away. I could hear, fellow fishers yelling, “fish down river”, “is that you Bob, nope, not me”, What fly… etc, etc. 
As the hatch died down and fishers began making their way back to the trucks, the words “Humbling experience” was uttered more than a few times. I only brought two fish the net that evening, but it turns out, I was luckier than most. Being my first time, I was excited to simply be a part of this whole experience of which I have heard / read about for years.

While back at the truck, each and every fisher would stop to discuss their experience. Many seasoned Brown Drake Fishers commented on the lack of fish brought to hand this evening. No one had any definitive reasons, but I did hear many comment that the size of this Year’s Brown drake naturals were smaller than most of the fly’s in their box. I know the two fish I did catch were on the smallest Brown Drake pattern I had.

Even if I did not land a fish, my experience would have been a positive one. Amazing weather, Lots of bugs, a great group of fellow fly fishers . The lack of wind, warm temps, scenery and the sounds of all the birds made for a great evening on the water. I will be returning to this stretch of water in very near future. 

Leader used was an Ultimate Dry Fly Leader with 4X tippet  stepped down to 5X.
Ultimate Dry Fly Leader

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