Last Friday I spent a beautiful day hiking and fishing along Salmon Creek, NE of Oakridge. On a stretch miles up the creek from town I was casting into small pools with short, lazy tosses when I heard a “thwack” on the backcast and felt the fly and line change course. As the fly passed near my left ear I saw a large object on the end of the line. Thinking it was a leaf, I recast but the fly seemed to flutter away. I finally stopped casting and found a large blue dragonfly wrapped around the fly. When it landed on the ground it attempted to take off with the fly, but was slightly tangled in the tippet. I untangled it and tried to get the fly back, but the dragonfly (probably a California Darner) held on with it two front pairs of legs and its mandible (a jaw-like structure). I eventually retrieved the fly and the dragonfly, probably dazed by the wild take-down, took a few moments to recover before departing. The remainder of the day was spent catching beautiful wild cutthroats, with golden/orange slashes, and one especially large rainbow.
For those interested in casting to dragonflies, I recommend a #16 Parachute Adams with a 9’, 5 wt. tapered leader, although the 5 wt. gear may be more than is needed.