Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Fishing Report: Into It

Click on photo for full size image.
Another free afternoon, so I hiked it to the river.
Spring is bustin' out everywhere. There's new green and tiny blossoms all over the field.
The river, too, is greening.
You can't see them in this photo, but there are a few caddis popping, forerunners of blizzard hatches soon to come. And the swallows are a welcome addition to the river. I started at the bridge run and was going to take another pass there when I saw swallows thick over the glide.
So I followed the birds to the glide's rocky beach.
I worked it over again today, wading deeper than usual (up to what Isaiah and his friends call "the crotchal area") to get closer to the bank.
Then, right there at the very tail of the glide where the gravel bar drops off into turbulent rapids, I saw a big fish jump. Twice. A big fish. Steelhead big.
I have on occasion swung a fly over the lip of that bar, but I usually ignore it and go back to the head of the glide. After that, I worked it very carefully, both the water ahead of the bar, and way down into the rapids.
I was really into it. Then, for no apparent reason except maybe the full force of the current concentrated in six inches of water blowing the gravel out from under my boots as I eagerly and heedlessly waded that bar, I found myself really into it.
It wasn't a bad dunking, just sitting back into chest-high water. And I didn't get soaked, though the front of my shirt and my shirt sleeves were excessively damp.
I took a break to assess the situation and found all essentials--billfold, cell phone--dry. My camera was wet, but it's waterproof.
I went back and worked that section again with a different fly. I was unlucky in that I didn't raise a fish, but I was lucky in that I stayed on my feet.
But it was chilling down, and the wind which had been blowing all afternoon, and was still blowing, managed to find every wet area on me.
So I called it a day, though I fished a good distance downstream on my way to the wadeout. It's fast and relatively shallow, but it seemed like a good time to give up former assumptions about where the fish are.
So, where are they? Why did that one jump? Was he holding in the fast water or moving up into the glide? Much to think about.
But I've already figured out that I won't ignore that current coming over the bar anymore.

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