It was dawn when the alarm started its irritating beeping noise…well, not quite dawn yet but close enough. I have been sitting at my desk with one eye in a full deep sleep, when I heard Nate's truck coming down the street in the early silence of the morning. Yesterday was a long day, today is going to be the same…although I don't mind long days and to clarify a bit, it was actually a long epic day. The drive to the Salmon fly oasis once seemed like the longest redundant drive ever. Nowadays, the two and a half hour-ish drive goes by pretty quick and today it was flying. The thought of casting big foam flies didn't help with the uncontrollable anxious feeling that I am having. Top water action is one of my absolute favorite ways to catch fish... many hours have been spent day dreaming of this scenario, and I'm sure I'm not alone on this one. Today is one of those rare days where it actually might happen, again... yes I am a bit spoiled but many days go by that are not so kind. One out of many isn't too much to ask for.
The river was an empty playground; once again nobody else was around. We picked a spot, rigged up and headed to the water. I am not all that prepared today. I've neglected my fly supply and haven't had a chance to make it to the shop. Yesterday I ran out of all my mid-sized Salmon fly patterns. I had no choice but to stop at Cabelas, as they were the only shop open that late. To my surprise it was doom at first glance into the lonely fly bin containing a less than par Salmon fly selection, one pattern is all they had. It wasn't like they were out either, it appears that they just have a poor selection…I wish Fish Tech was open 24/7. I had no choice but to tie on the foam thingy in disgust. Nate on the other hand has a sick pattern he tied last night, a low profile foam body with all the right characteristics. I on the other hand have a box full of Montana and Idaho patterns that are way to big for these little guys and a half dozen overpriced excuses for a pattern.
The fishing was fantastic. It was one of those days where everything just worked out. My six flies that I bought at Cablelas were gone in less than an hour… Chewed to pieces, literally…. OK, I broke one off, maybe two. A fly would last a few fish before the body and bullet head were totally obsolete. So there I was starring at my box, full of flies that are way too big for these fish, when through dense dense hackle, buldgingfoam and poly posts I saw it. Cheech's science experiment was staring at me, it was the right size and the right colors. That fly took some names that day, not that I was surprised though. I have learned that when the man says, "try this" you take it. Sometimes they look a little out of the ordinary but they all have their place when the time is right. Today was one of those times and I was again grateful to my friend and his tying disease. The fly held up for the remainder of the day, there is something to be said for quality. Nate's pattern worked just like it was designed to, awesome. After catching off the top on the big deep holes, Nate tied on a little something-something. Low and behold a fish, then another. So at each hole we'd fish the top and toss the something-something. It was interesting to see the difference in taste of these little Browns. Each big hole produced a few on top and a few underneath. Rather than rigging a full nymph rig, we'd tie on a big heavy nymph and fish it like a streamer/nymph/Czech/whatever-you-can-think-of. It was entertaining to say the least, sure am glad I'm fishing with Ralph. He's a pretty smart guy with interesting tactics. I have much to learn.
Even though the fishing was off the hook, no pun intended, I was focused on snapping some pics. The light was good, big bugs were out and Nate was killing it, there was a ton of different stuff to choose from so I tried my best to take advantage of it. The practice is good form me and I really enjoying trying to "get the shot"…. But seldom do. What I do get is a ton of practice in learning, which I really enjoy. Today I learned a ton about taking pics and even more on how to fish by observing Ralphy through the lens.