It was a nice morning to be out, 60 degrees at 7am and partly cloudy. I was the first to get to Masemore but Lou Reichel was crossing the bridge coming from the other way before I could get out of my truck. A light mist gathered underneath the Iron Bridge shrouded in foliage still mostly green but starting to give way to yellow. The river quite low at 37cfs exposed damp river bottom, and as I walked down my side of the bank to take a couple pictures, a squadron of Mallards waddled off the far side and into the current slowly paddling away.
Within a few more minutes the other contestants were there, and after everyone had declared their one fly were off. Selections were as follows; Bob Dietz Renegade size #16, Ken Bowyer Simple Three hackle #16, Lou Reichel Suspender Midge Emerger #18, Bob O'Donnell # 18 Beadhead Midge, John Lee Blue Winged Olive #18, Dave Simms Trico Parachute #20, Dennis Covert Blue Wined Olive #22.
The river being so low and clear I could easily spot fish in the pool below Falls Road. Some were rising to something I couldn't detect, and after showing them my fly a dozen or so times to no avail, I hiked up river.
I didn't see any Tricos swarms all morning but did occasionally see the lone Trico lifting off here and there. Best I could make out there were a few Olives about, some as large as #18, some very tiny Cream & Grey midges #28 and smaller, and a huge dangly Crane fly the length and width of a hummingbird just not as hefty.
I fished my fly most of the morning without a look, thought I lost it once on a log but no such luck, and wondered if it was sporting to lose it on purpose. Deciding it was I went on to fish it dry, emerger, and sunken in pools, riffles, and pockets, but nothing. On the tying bench I thought my fly design somewhat clever; in theory it should have represented both the BWO & Trico dun. In practice it didn't represent anything any fish wanted, and I wasn't sorry a bush finally ate it around 11:15am just after I came across Ken fishing the pool I started from. The fish were really boiling the surface and Ken was into it, he'd got one, but just one. Neither of us could see what they were taking for sure but my guess either the Trico spinner, or, the Midge. My best guess was the Midge because sometimes it looked like fish were slashing at emergers, at other times just bulging and kissing the under surface. Tying on#22 Three Simple Hackle I did fool a 8 incher, but just him, I'm guessing the village idiot and future main course of a heron breakfast. By this time it was after noon, Ken deciding to head back down river to the parking area, I the other way to get to my truck at the lower falls lot.
I knew because of the autumn hikers/waders it would be crowded at Masemore at our 12:30 Rendezvous, but crowded doesn't catch it, people were everywhere, cars double parked on both sides of the bridge. A flock of kids in bathing suits and life jackets were in the river, people carrying Kayaks & canoes. No place for me to even pull over, we decided to meet at the Inn for a nice lunch and declare a winner there.
Bob O'Donnell is the winner with 43 inches of trout, followed by Lou Reichel at 12 inches, and Bob Dietz 3rd with 10 inches, the rest of us straggling in behind. So, President O'Donnell not only gets to brag for the next year, he also gets to accompany Lou Reichel to the Rose River in late October to Represent PPTU in Casting For Recovery's One Fly Contest, so join me in wishing our team luck.
Congratulations Bob and well done!