I have had the dry-fly tingle since last fall; I am a life long devotee of sight fishing. Nate and I had been digging around trying to find any information on streams other than the standard crowded Utah waters that have been producing good Midge hatches. As usual, there was no information that we could find. So in order to tame the "what ifs" we had to go. I suffer from the "what ifs"… I am learning to treat this problem but sadly I have to work some. Lucky for me I have a friend that suffers from the same dilemma… we packed our gear and hit the road
The mountain was quiet at pre-dawn. Arriving at almost 10,000 feet the view was surreal. Endless snow covered mountains, 360 degrees of them. For the next hour I wished I had brought my snowboard. It still looked like mid-winter, untracked powder was everywhere, what a paradise I thought. Snowmobile and snowboard tracks were spotted, those bastards I thought, having all the fun away from the crazy world with nobody around. The soft light hit the tallest of the surrounding peaks first. The colors slowly creped down the East facing mountains, at first just one then a few more of the taller spines were lit, soon all of the peaks were glowing in a red hue, the colors were astounding…. first light is one of nature's greatest gifts to me. Once again I feel at home.
We geared up and headed to the river…. Somehow I forgot to bring the snowshoes, oops…. Crotch deep in snow we made our way down the trail, laughing, crawling and falling like a bunch of idiots trying to get a fix as we made our way to the water. The stream was gem clear, flows were low and midges were spotted. In the river it felt like time stood still. The snow banks were all overhead sometimes way overhead. It was like fishing in a tunnel, pretty cool feeling, everyone should do it. We searched for "heads", stalking trout with tiny flies, size 22-28. I stumbled on a hot pattern that I had gotten from Cheech. There was a deep run with rising fish. They had refused a few flies already so on went the dropper. After a few change ups I decided to through on a larger than normal bead head that I had never used, not sure why but I thought at this point it wouldn't hurt. I wish I did that sooner because it worked like a champ. Took a half dozen fish out of that hole. Nate was also killing it. He has this "special" fly that he has been working on, oh the prototype. Winter stones were seen along the bank and a few midges filled in the gaps.
After lunch we moved above the car. This stretch held a ton of fish, its slow moving water and the fish could be picky. Nate was getting into some fish with his fly… again. I was switching flies but couldn't really dial it in. The glare was killing me, the fly pattern was too big, I couldn't see the fly and had to rely on Nate for the hook set, and a few other excuses of why I was sucking ; ) Then I remembered the test box of midges I got from Cheech, I dug it out and on went a size 26 or 28 parachute midge that was in the "good" side…once again I wish I would have done that sooner. It did its job quiet well, its been pulled off the bench and placed into the first string box.
We had a killer day on the water. Nate and I got into some fish on top, the weather was cold but sunny and the scenery was worth the effort. Again, I dreaded the trip home. Seems to be in my thoughts lately, whether I am fishing or snowboarding. This whole concrete thing just isn't for me; it's been 2 straight long years of it. Perhaps a move is in order. At the end of the day all I thought was how gorgeous the part of the country is, can't wait till the return trips in the summer.