Trout Hallucinations


I’m way upstream on the South Platte River in Cheesman Canyon wondering if I’m hallucinating. The hike in was tougher than I expected, but I’m not making excuses. Anyway, I thought I saw a trout flash just below the water’s surface, but I have to remind myself that I do occasionally hallucinate---especially when the fishing is a wee bit slow. It is a perfect bluebird morning. Maybe it’s just all those sparkles on the water. I’m fishing a size 18 Elk Hair Caddis. The actual elk hair is a bleached out blond color. I just like my Elk Hair Caddis that way this time of year. So anyway, I drift the fly over where I might have seen the flash. Nothing happens. I’ll call this Trout Area 51.

A few minutes later I see a brown trout perform a head-to-tail rise. Here’s the deal, I don’t usually hallucinate head-to-tails. This is as real a rise as they ever get for me. A few casts later I hook and land a nice brown trout. Cancel the Trout Area 51 alert. I’m on to something here----a real live Pale Morning Dun just popped into the air. I know trout take my washed out, bleach blond Elk Hair Caddis for emerging PMD’s. This is good. The lesson is don’t discount every hallucination. I ended up fishing a great PMD hatch on and off for the rest of the day. I’m just home now after 10 hours on the water and writing after dark. I hope it doesn’t read too weird.


You’ll see the down side to this “lone angler” business in one of the photos. It’s really hard to get good fish photos when you fish alone. There’s one I’m posting of that first brown trout in the landing net. I was messing around with him too much and had to get him released. I’ll always do that if I have to. With luck I’ll get some pals to fish with me once in a while…

I’m too tired to go on. More tomorrow….