Apologies for the delay in getting this out, but I’ve been busy … being under the weather, unfortunately … since making the trip. Certainly not planned, but that’s part of life, isn’t it?
A good drive up, that day, with a few really nice views along the way.
Heading out, the air was a steady 91°F, and the breeze so gentle you had to really look for it in the high leaves of the taller trees.
Great day for fly casting! Couple that with the river of choice running around 75cfs, and my only remaining concern was that the water may be too warm to safely hook and fight a trout.
No matter. If I get to the river and the water is too warm, at the very least I’ve had a relaxing drive, right? Time in nature is always appreciated, after all.
Pulling onto the FS access road, I observed that pretty standard drop of about 10° in air temp, compared to home, and picked my way through the various options to park, before wading in.
Such a beautiful area, even just to drive through.
Finding one of the good pools open, I geared up, walked well downstream, and cut through the brush to the river. On the way, and I can’t explain why, this tendril of flowering vegetation really caught my eye.
Stepping into the water, I was pleasantly surprised to note a brisk 61° temp, and see exceptional clarity. Also noticed a good number of small insects flittering about.
Again, great evening to be in the river and fly fishing. I had made the decision to try to exclusively fish the CDC-heavy flies I had been recently tying, so I started casting into a smaller run that has only been marginally productive, in the past. Not a lot of larger rocks on this section of riverbed, and it gets shallow quickly.
On that night, even there the CDC flies got action!
I did note that even some very crisp false casts were not enough to fully dry one, after about the third trout mouth, so I promised myself to do more research into streamside CDC drying.
Upstream from where I started, this small bend and beautiful debris line also proved nicely productive. Nothing big, but then even the trough under this rock face is not very deep.
Working my way along, I came to the old pool at just about the midpoint of dusk. I know that I had only about 30 minutes of light left, and really wanted to hit the long run above this area, before night closed in.
That stretch (the pic is actually facing downstream, from 2/3 of the way up the run) has a nicely deep section and at the top is a great riffle and tail area where some relatively large (for this river) fish like to feed.
With this in mind, I connected with a few fish in the pool, turned upstream and waded across above this riffle, to be able to walk up the left bank and cast freely to my right side.
Along the way, I had found a couple of good trout food indicators, too.
Good to note that the cased caddis were still there and active. I was, however more interested in the second discovery.
Yeah…love the takes on large Stimulators, when the Stones are out!
I worked up the longer/deeper run, until almost to the top section, with repeated successes. Nice waters and generous fish. By then, it was almost too dark to see the flies, so I found the brightest one I could for the last few casts.
It happened to be a fairly diminutive #16, tied mostly with CDC…
…that the two largest fish of the evening found to be “just right.”
See that slick surface on the left? That spot, on the inside of the bend the river takes coming into the top of this run (that heads off to the left) is the last area I cast into. Golden. Just be careful to drop the fly into the transition seam, at the base of the incoming riffle, with enough leader and tippet slack to freely make the corner and start downstream.
From there, I waded across, walked back to the car, and stowed gear for the drive home. That was also the point at which I became aware of how sore and scratchy my throat suddenly felt. “Yay.”
On the drive, I caught sight of a view I thought I’d try to capture with my newer phone.
That’s moonlight on the Naches River. Not bad for a phone, although I later discovered additional features for future attempts.
In all, great evening. New things to research, but also nicely successful, on its own. I did find a great tip for drying CDC flies, that involves a rubber band. More to come, I’m sure.