The three-hour drive to the water went by faster than normal. My thoughts were filled with Salmonflies, fish and more Salmonflies. My buddy DK from work came along, he's just getting back into the fishing thing and with the big bugs popping I figured there is no better time to hit the water
Arriving at the river things looked well, flows were high but nothing to fret and everyone is concentrated in the upper stretches of the river system, perhaps they don't know. Just when we started to look for the big bugs one hit the windshield, alive and well it tucked itself between the windshield wiper blades and enjoyed the free ride down the canyon. Driving down we encountered a few more, drove down some more, and observed some more … but where to start? So many times this year I have miscalculated the hatch. I'm either too far behind it and the fish are already stuffed to the gills or I'm in it and the fish are not keying in or I'm too far ahead and I spend the rest of the day driving up and down the river searching. So this time I was a bit cautious on the entry point, we decided to take our time and inspect the entire river. After who knows how many stops, a few u-turns, a phone call or two and possibly too inspections,we narrowed it down to a few miles. Then we finally just picked a spot and hoped the stars are aligned; by this time we just wanted to hit the water, so if this isn’t it, then oh well.
Pretty much right out of the gate it was crystal clear that we were right where we should be, smack-dab in the middle of the hatch with the fish on them. So you known what that means, no dropper, no weight, no two-fly tangle rigs, just one beautiful size #6 dry fly, or should I say foam fly. For the rest of the day it was just good fun fishing. Golden Stone's, Salmonflies, and Drakes were all coming off and Cicadas were filling the backgrounds with powerful sounds of natures finest music… it was loud to say the least!
The water was a bit high and somewhat turbulent but the great fishing out weighted any insignificant complain. It was actually a fun challenge; sometimes the only way to make it up river is to use the nearby trees/brush as a "helping hand". Basically, you hold on to the vegetation and pull yourself along until your at a save spot, usually a lone rock somewhere in the mix of the white water or a small indentation on the bank…. And try not to think about "what if the branch breaks".... So far, so good.
By mid afternoon the fishing went from great to all time. Now the fish size here is not of "trophy" status but who the hell cares anyway. These 8 - 16" fish are fat and strong, so healthy and they put up a burly fight… they have the home court advantage and school you from time to time. Slapping the water in any pocket got a direct response and it kept the leapfrog game moving at a fast pace. Who knows how many fish were caught, nobody was keeping track but the fast fishing was very welcomed and the large flies were a sensation. A day to remember…funny though, I forgot to get pics of fish, I had bugs on my mind I suppose ; )