Journal / Page 2
6:00 AM, 6-7-03
Back at the truck, I grabed my stuff and walked to the water. The sound of the river filled the small canyon with it's symphony. The temperature was already starting to rise as I made my way into the moving mass. I entered upstream and mooved down crossing some large stumps, from here I could see the splash from tails on the surface. The river pushed against the small hillside and split, leaving most of the power to turn east, and a small amount making the eddy. A sandbar had built up here about 15" from the shore with a steep receding edge about 50" long. The eddies clockwise direction would collect bits of debris, and food, and deposit it, buffet style, at the confluence above the drop off.
There was a milky white midge hatch gathering steam, their "I don't know if I am comming or going" flight pattern and the slant of the early morning light gave the whole scene a sureal tone. ( no, no, put away the incense burners ).
I fastened a #20 white Trico spinner and cast it up on the bar, letting the flow carry it over to the edge to be mixed and grabed. At this point I noticed a curious thing, that I could only describe as a "bump and roll". The Trout, native bows of a dark fir green, bold "60's" kind of tie-dye pink with prominent black spots from stem to stern, all around 12", FAT, and aggro! Like a 15 year old kid with a mowhawk and a skateboard, pants on backward, the poor parents sitting in another pool, "where did we go wrong?"
Anyway, they would come up and madly grab the fly and drag it 6" to 2' and drop it. Or they would hit it with a full side "body slam", rolling it over in the wake. so it became a challenge just to set the hook, in fact it became 1 set for every 10 or more strikes.
Then came the fight's, which were more strugles, contests, pitting man against beast! When the fish would leave the water, they shook so violently that the sound was of a wing beat, as if they were trying to fly!
At around 11 am, the heat had soared to 85, the hatch disapeared, and just like someone had turned off a switch, no more fish.
I returned to the campsite and spent the afternoon with a case of the "slows", filling my hat with water and pouring it over my head while the temp climbed over 90. I was bideing my time for an evening hatch.
No defined hatch this evening, just a mix of bugs, and an occasional tera. I started with the same routine as the morning, hoping to get something going....no action. I had a pupa pattern my box, green,#14, with 2 little tufts of white at the head, kind of like eyes. I tied it on, fully expecting to go back to camp with my tail between my legs. First cast, I draged it through the soup, BOOM! This strike was so vehement, that the rod bent, the fish was airborne, and 80% of the line was still in the water! This tension spun the "flying fish" 180 degrees, and when he hit the surface, it was "see ya". The last thing I remember, was the feeling of monofilament being draged across a rock.
On the way back to camp, the smile could not be removed from my face, a sheepish "Ill be back" grin it was. I was asleep at 9, dreaming of crossing rivers, like moving sheets of molten glass.
Repeat of the day before, with a bit more wind.
You never want to come back from days of fishing like these. I could have spent another day, week, month working the subtle changes. And this is only 150' of one river in one section of one state in one country! Damn, the possibilites! The tribs to this place hold Redbands, I met guy's that were just fishing for them.
A rivers potential, gives it it's reputation. In the fading light Sunday, I stoped at yet another river, at a spot a friend had suggested. It sits at the bottom of a 400' cliff, a huge hole big enough to fit a small house in, I mean this baby swallows trees, WHOLE! "It takes a day to hike in" he says, "Monster Rainbows"!
For another day...For another fish...
I drive home in the dark, Winwood on, slow down, sundown...
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