I'm not much of a birthday person. I don't ask for gifts or anything special really, just a nice dinner, a day on the water and hopefully some good friends. Yesterday I turned 41 and was lucky enough to spend it on Muir Lake with two good friends. Brent Checkwich and Phil Rowley along with his two sons had joined me for a day of fly-fishing. I got out on the water at about 11am with Phil and his two boys right behind me. Brent had arrived earlier and according to Brent and Ayr (a member of my fly-fishing forum), not many trout were being caught at least not in the hole before the narrows. I decided to make my way over to the south-east end of the lake and see if the deep hole or the flats were producing but just as I got past the narrows I noticed some chironomid shucks floating on the surface. So I rowed over to a spot I had fished in years past. It's not very deep, about 8 & 1/2 ft but with lots of weed growth in the area. Once I anchored I not only noticed more of these shucks but also noticed some bomber shucks on the surface. I know I'm very predictable when fishing chironomids as there are usually only three flies I fish with and rarely have to rely on any other midge patterns. So can you guess which two out of the three I used? If you said the Redd October as the dropper, you'd be wrong. I thought I'd give the ol' X-mas Chronie a go today for the first time in 2008. I rigged up with a black thread midge and a x-mas chronie as a dropper and lickity split I netted a nice 19 incher. I think it took me a whole eight seconds before the indicator went under and yes, it did take the x-mas. I caught a 16 incher and lost another before moving on to the deep hole (I was getting lonely).
I anchored in about 11 feet of water, Ayr was anchored just west of me and Phil made his way over with his boys. Brent came into the area but I think he thought we all smelled or something 'cause he stayed out in the deeper water. I hooked into a couple but lost them both, Phil caught a couple and his son caught a few. I then moved over beside Phil's boat and shared a sandwich with him and after switching to a bloodworm (Redd October) we all started doing well as the bite was on. I got broken off twice here and when rigging back up I tied on a scud as my first fly but didn't get any hits on it although continued to get hits on the bloodworm. I called Brent over and now we were all fishing in a row, Brandon (Phil's son), Phil and his other son Sean, Myself, and Brent all looking like a blockade to the south-easter shore. We were all catching fish but just as quickly as the bite went on, it turned off again. The blockade now disbursed, Phil chose the point off the island, Brent moved over to the narrows and I went to to the north flats and fished in about 10 feet of water. I caught two here and lost two, Phil nor his two sons had any luck at there spot and Brent had the same luck as Phil at the narrows. The temperature today got up to 29 degrees Celsius (about 84F for my U.S. friends) and my sunburned forearms told me it was time to go. We all had a decent day, I caught about seven and lost about the same with my other buddies catch rates in the same ballpark. Big thanks to Phil and Brent for a fun birthday on the water. If things work out, we might be after big toothy critters on the fly for Monday.