I managed to set aside some time, yesterday, to get out to one of my favorite spots to fly fish. A much-needed break from a few different stressors and a chance to just enjoy nature and see how the river was shaping up, since the opening day trip.
Upon arrival, the air temp was in the low 80’s with clear skies and a bright sun. The river had also dropped from the roughly 800cfs rate on the previous trip to a much more manageable 350, or so. Not bad for wading, but not as easy as it gets later in the season. A good opportunity for leg exercise and balance honing!
First few steps in reminded me of a couple of things:
- I am out of practice wading with a real push, so I needed to slow down. A twist, current push, and rock in my path ended with my right arm in the river to stop my body from following.
- I had left on the felt-only soles of my Korkers! Mental note: change to felt with studs for future trips.
Although the water was cool, it was just refreshing and not bone-chilling, as it had been two weeks prior! I forgot to grab an actual temp, though.
I tied on a fat #12 rusty orange Parachute Adams (with #10 hackle for a wider floating platform in rough water) that I had tied, recently, and started working my way upstream.
As I moved through the first stretch, I saw a fish take something from the surface with a splash, maybe 100 feet upstream, and realized that there were what looked like smaller Caddis working up the far bank in a loose group. I switched to a roughly similar fly, worked over to that bank, and continued upstream.
The sense of peace and calm that comes from fly fishing was slowly returning…once I got steadier on the already slick rocks, and I focused more on just smooth casting and fly placement as I continued.
I gave the #14 Caddis about 30 minutes, with no success. No worries. This early in the season, they often ignore dries, anyway. I switched to a #12 Stroby, and kept moving.
In this pool, I took a bit of extra time, and practiced dropping the fly at various points around each larger rock, along the far side drop-off, and generally anywhere I felt could be “fishy.” still no takers, but I stopped and soaked up a bit of sun and very gentle breeze for a bit.
Rested and relaxed, I moved farther up, noting that I had only about 40 minutes left before I had to head back, and wanting to be sure that I hit the main pool, where I sometimes scale the rocks.
The water was high enough that the inflow did not yet have the usual “micro waterfall” effect, but still thoroughly beautiful. A switch to a traditional Adams (#12) proved enjoyable in the casting and targeting of specific current seams, but still no sign of any fish!
I tinkered with swapping in previously tried flies, casting across the various currents with slack line options, and generally exhausting options, but the trout eluded me, this day.
As I’ve said, before…I really don’t mind this, at all. The pleasure of just being in the current and practicing casting and problem-solving is more than enough.
From there, slipping out of the water and back to the truck is only a 3-minute drill. Gear stowed, I turned back towards the main road and the state highway. On the way, I noticed a couple of other anglers, so I stopped to swap information with them. I told them all the fly variations I had tried and they shared with me that they had not seen any fish, at all. Wishing them much success, I climbed back in the driver’s seat and continued on.
Altogether, a very enjoyable couple of hours. Maybe I will catch something after the waters warm up a bit more…or I shed my Dry Fly snobbery, but either way, I will be back.