Let’s just get this out in the open: you never know what you’ll stumble across on a hot summer day on a public lake.

Saturday night I’d dragged my float tube to Lake Siskiyou looking for smallies, and while I found quite a few, I was also witness to the endless parade of humanity that irritates, confounds, or amuses me (often all three at once).

Last night’s parade included a small, barely-above-the-water boat weighed down by three large men and a dog (I’m guessing it was about 100 pounds of Bubba too much), and pontoon boat “featuring” a pair of women who were under the impression that this was Mardi Gras, and that the handsome fly fishing float tuber had beads.

He didn’t, but I certainly appreciated the effort. (Sorry guys, too dark for the camera). And now, the fishing…

fly fishing smallmouth
The pretty, pugnacious Smallmouth Bass. Always thought “The Fighting Smallmouths” would be a great high school team name – a team to be feared and respected…

Using a sinking line and my own small “lazy leech” pattern (so named because I’m too lazy to tie a real leech, and this one’s so easy it’s an insult to any real fly tyer), I hit the water at 6:45 and proceeded to catch the hound out of 9″-11″ smallies, “released” two nice smallies (12″-13″) at my flippers, and even hooked up with a nice trout long enough to see him before I… ahem… “released” him too.

The bite typically improves as the sun goes down, but oddly, things slowed, and though I continued to catch fish, it wasn’t at the same frenetic pace. The overall size went up a little, but the big right-at-dark hatch I was looking for never really came off.

Still, you never know what’s going to crawl up on your float tube, and as it grew dark, a half dozen small (#22-#24) mayflies crawled out on my tube. Someone once identified these as a caenis, but in any case, they emerged from the water still half in their shucks. Forgive the crummy picture quality (light was gone so I’m going macro with a flash), but here’s one of the lucky escapees.
fly fishing Lake Siskiyou mayfly
fly fishing Lake Siskiyou Mayfly and Shuck

As for the river, reports suggest it’s falling into the morning & evening pattern it always does in the summer, and the evening dry fly fishing can be good though hard to predict. Me? I’m headed back out on the lake with beads.

Today’s Underground Entertainment

Through the redoubtable Moldy Chum we find a new video about a fly fishing trip in the woods gone horribly, horribly wrong. (Don’t eat what you can’t identify…) Also, earlier we showed you the video of the surfer crunched by a killer whale. So if that compelled you to give up surfing and take up say… sky diving, well, better see this… hard-luck skydiver at GetOutdoors.com.

Finally, yet another plug for Fly Fishing Yellowstone. Obviously, I’ve never spent a whole spring fishing that area, but after reading the often-and-massively updated Yellowstone blog for a few months, it feels like I have. That represents a lot of work, and kudos to the writer… See you at Mardi Gras, Tom Chandler