Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Fishing Report: A Shot and a Miss

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Tomorrow is the last day for Steelhead fishing on the river. I'll be working most of the day, but I could probably get on the water for a couple of hours before dark if I wanted to.
I don't know. Seems I had a good shot today and missed.
The sky was beautiful, as a strong, cold wind blew rain showers around the area. It's March going out like a lion. We've had some good rains the past couple of days and the river was perceptibly higher.
I fished the bridge run, as I usually do first, but the highway department was working on the bridge and traffic was down to one lane. Seemed crowded. I could smell exhaust. So I moved down to the glide.
I worked hard, having decided to make it or break it as far as Steelhead went today. At first the wind was from the south--my left--so I could cast in spite of its power. Then it shifted from the north--my right--so casting became a whole different matter. The several times my weighted fly bounced off my hat today reminded me to be grateful that I have not hooked an ear or my neck or cast my hat or my glasses all this season. I have had to remove a fly from the back of my vest a couple of times.
While I fought the wind, the swallows became one with it.
I had nothing, no bumps, no nothing. I was tired and cold. The bridge work was finished, so I tied on a small beadhead and went back to the bridge run to see if I could catch a trout before heading home. Nothing.
I was ready to climb the bank when I got an impulse to take just a minute and go downstream a ways to check out a gravel bar that gives access to the middle of the river. It has been shallow there this year, but I have found fish there in other years. I thought maybe the slight rise in water level could have made a difference.
I tied on a black wooly bugger and had made two casts when I heard a big fish jump back upstream at the bridge. I looked and saw it jump again, not in the run I usually fish, but across the river just downstream from the far bridge pylon.
So I headed up there. I was still tired and cold, but you do that when you actually know there's a fish in there.
That far pylon is accessible, but it takes wading knee-high through big jumbled cobbles while a very strong current keeps pulling your feet out from under you all the way across the river. I fished that pylon every way I could think of from both sides, but got nothing. And it was getting dark, and I was really cold and tired now. I bailed.
So, as I said, I had a good shot and missed. Seems like one more trip would be anticlimactic in the extreme. Pure hubris. Pathetically desperate.
Unless I caught one, right at the wire. That would be so great....

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