'scuse me while I fish the Sky
Brian convinced me to post a report for all the snowbound east coasters. Had been planning all week to float the Sky with a fishing buddy. Water was <b> real low </b> and <b> real clear</b> but we had hope. A good friend and a buddy of his were scheduled to fish up on the Skagit but Saturday night called me and asked if I would mind if they floated the Sky as well. I told them it was a big river and I certainly didn't own it so they were welcome to tag along.
Steve and I met at the appointed hour and the other two: Dave and John were nowhere to be found. We launched the Sprite and headed down the river. After fishing Two Bit, Eagles Nest, the backside of the big Island, Dave and John show up. They took the south bank of the run across from the bar above IRS while Steve and I fished down the long bar. As we neared the bottom, a gear chucker wades over and starts throwing bait in the tailout right below us so we headed for Jack Daniels. Up until this point noone had seen hide nor scale of a fish.
I started in at the head with Steve following me through. Dave and John had a bite to eat then Dave rowed over to hit IRS and John started in behind Steve. Five minutes later, John has FISH ON. It wasn't a very fair fight as his #10 GL3 made short work of a lethargic hatchery brat. We all shook his hand and headed back to the water with renewed confidence. I had made no more than a half dozen casts when, John again has FISH ON! This time the long rod has a good bend in it and you can tell it wasn't a brat. Just when it looked like it was going to come to hand, the hook pulled free. Steve and I just looked at each other in amazement. We had both fished through that water without so much as a bump and he nails two!!!
Steve and stopped to have lunch while Dave and John leap-frogged us and headed down river. As we floated (or should I say oared) through Ben Howard, Dave comes on the walkie talkie to tell us he had just hooked into a bright fish. He got it right up to the shallow water and the hooked pulled free. Steve and I went fishless for the day.
The moral of the story is next time someone asks if they can float along with you ..... Just kidding. I was jacked for both of them and was just happy to know there were fish around and they were hanging in the fly water. I fished the rest of the day with confidence that on the very next cast, it would happen. It didn't but I am working late this week a couple of nights so I think there might be a couple early morning river trips.
RE:'scuse me while I fish the Sky
Why I'll bet the crocuses have already pushed their way up and the buds are starting to impart their sweet spring scent into the valley air. The river's running crisp as you mention, and one never knows what manner of beast could be laying in the next pool. And beasts they are, trout manifest as fierce world travelers and tarpon-like leapers, so distant from their subtle creek brethren sipping midges yet so much the personification of all their potential wrapped up in a spring creek angler's wet dream. Each one a trophy the likes of which many lifelong anglers never experience, offered to those who follow the way of the steelhead - head-shaven dedication and countless hours with the mantras of the valleys, towering conifers and jagged peaks tumbling through the minds as muscle memory applies tension on a fly and dances it's hackles in the heart of a tailout, and the motions become like breathing, subconscious, stepping and sculting the current seams with the mends in the line and >THwOnk<! Zhreeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! sploOSH! Crash!
Too bad the hook pulled (twice). The narcotic part for me is when you get to soak in the visual magnificence of the beast just before release. Heck it's only still mid-March!
RE:'scuse me while I fish the Sky
Juro's lyrical remembrances of Rivers Past balance my own recent experiences of fishing favored runs that provide no swing and wonderful flats that are now merely foot-deep riffles.
Low crystal-clear water in spring is a B*%^% - it's tough for me to get excited in the same way I am when the water's that prime green and filling the runs.
Your report was just what I needed to get me re-motivated! Of course, just when I get jazzed to fish low-water the RAINS come!
Not that I'm complaining - It's ABOUT TIME!!
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