Fishing with dogs

My wife Rhonda and I have always been labrador folk.  We’re on our 6th one--Sam.  It’s not that we go thru them fast.  Our first one—Fred—lived several months shy of 17 years.  Barney, George, Casey, and Homer each lived into their teens (in human years, that is).   We’ve always taken them into the mountains with us. Homer, the best hunter outta the bunch, took about a half day to figure out I was seeking the rise while I was fishing on Long Draw Reservoir in north central Colorado.  I was shoreline fishing and would walk down the lake shore until I spotted a rise that was within casting distance.  The trout up there aren’t very picky. I think I was using a Humpy’s pattern tied on my EZEYEFLY hooks. Wind can be an issue so you often have to wait out the gusts.  Like most places, having a little cloud cover helps with the number of rises you see. Homer figured out I was looking for rises and he too would keep an eye out on the lake’s surface looking for ripples.  Once Homer spotted a rise he would run down the bank, barking at the cutthroat trout he just saw come up. He figured his job was done and would then watch me cast and sometimes hook and land a trout. Sam, our current yellow lab, figured it out on Spinney Mountain Reservoir in central Colorado in about half an hour.   He’ll spot a rise and then swim out in an effort to keep me from having to go thru the trouble of casting and landing it, I guess.  The fish in Spinney can be a little more selective. I usually use my go to fly--a tent-winged caddis. At Spinney, I normally have to wade out to get to fish that are feeding a fair distance from the shore.  Once I see a rise that has eluded Sam’s notice, he’s pretty good at staying put on the shore--until he realizes that I’ve hooked one. Then he’s swimming out to “help” me land it. For folks familiar with Spinney, I know I broke the rules by not having him on a leash.  In my defense, I had hiked some 2 miles on the back side of the reservoir to get away from anyone else. I know taking our dogs cost me fish but the thing is, I usually remember more about what the dogs did to make me laugh than the fish that I caught (or didn’t catch).
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