Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday Fishing Report: Searching for the Key

I took another opportunity to get to the river this afternoon, as I will do whenever I can as long as the conditions are as they are now.
The skies remain overcast. It's raining now, but the rain held off until after dark. Daytime temperatures continue to hover around 40 degrees, though the forecast calls for temps moving up into the mid-forties. Today there was a light wind from the south, just right for hawks to ride.
I spent all my time on and around the long glide. Wonder why?
It was another monochrome day, and I was looking for that little explosion of technicolor in the middle of it. I thought, based on my success on Saturday, that maybe I had found the key, and spent time at the vise last night tying up a few flies for today. The key, I thought, might be legs, lots of rubber legs. Hence, my version of the Girdle Bug for steelhead.
I tied it on a big hook and weighted it well with lead wraps. I worked the glide thoroughtly, but had nary a bump.
So I moved upriver just a piece and worked my way back down to the glide.
I changed flies. If they didn't want legs, maybe the key was going fancy. I often tie up flies like this one I tied last night and then never fish them just for that reason: they seem too fancy. But I went with it today. Same big hook, well weighted.
Still nothing. So when it was time to work the glide again I went small. We must have heard a hundred times on the Grande Ronde, on that frigid second weekend in October, that when it gets cold, go small.
And, still nothing. But I fished hard and covered the water as well as it could be covered, and that felt good. I was in the water almost a solid three hours. If I hadn't caught that steelhead the other day I might have thought I was cold. But hey, I think now that it's February the water is a lot warmer than it was in January.
The highlight of the day were these Cedar Waxwings. I was wading across the river on my way to the glide and looked up and there they were, taking their turns to bathe in the river. A wonderful thing to walk in on.
They're a winter bird, but I haven't seen any until now. Who knows? Maybe an early migration due to the mild weather.
So, another good day. No technicolor, but the subtle colors of the Cedar Waxwings were still good for my soul. And I'm fishing.
I'll continue to search for the key to the steelhead. The trouble is, as I was reminded today, the fish keep changing the lock.

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