In Wisconsin I have to match the hatch, even in small streams, at least until terrestrials start showing up. This sort of technical dry fly fishing is new to me, but it's even more rewarding than fishing a big attractor back home.
During my last two trips I saw a few sporadic rises, but nothing consistent enough to merit switching from a nymph to a dry. Yesterday, however, was a different story. I arrived at my favorite pool, a large one underneath a bridge. I began by sight fishing a nymph to some fish in the tail of the pool, but I couldn't convince any of them to take. Just as I was about to move on to another pool, a ripple caught my eye. As I looked more carefully, I noticed several fish rising at the head of the pool. These were not obvious, splashy rises. The trout were poking their snouts just above the water to sip something I couldn't see. I tied on a small dry and some 6X tippet, slowly moved towards the head of the pool, and made a cast.
I wish I could say this first cast was perfect and that I hooked a fish immediately, but alas that was not the case. My tippet and fly landed in a pile and drifted downstream untouched. To make matters worse, I noticed a nice trout spook and race past me downstream.
After a few choice words I sat back and waited to see if the trout kept rising.
They did, and my next cast was on the mark. I watched as a dark shadow followed my fly downstream, then I saw a head peak above the water and I set the hook.
I felt weight on the other end, and the fight was on. I soon had this nice wild brown in my hand.
Unfortunately the fish stopped rising, and I couldn't find any more fish for the rest of the day, but his one fish made the whole trip worthwhile.