Low with Snow

I’ve decided. I might not be cut out for sight fishing. Here’s why:
If I am fishing by feel (a pocket or run feels fishy) then it’s easy to move on after a dozen unproductive drifts. I can sell myself that the slot was empty and shuffle on.

On the rare occasion I do sight a fish, what ensues is a painful battle of determination and frustration between my youth and my age. I am old enough to know it often takes more than a few drifts, and young enough to not be truly satisfied until I’ve handled the skunk (which has nothing to do with my trapping history). The two voices bandy back and forth:

“I should quit. One more. Ok, now quit. Wait, I think I saw something.”
Last week after sighting eight bruisers stacked up, I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to hook something.  I tried dry droppers, nymphs of all sizes, and even broke out the streamers (which if you know me at all communicates my desperation). Who cares if the water is at record lows, and the fish are “east coast” spooky, and this slot is easily accessible so it gets pounded by neon marshmallows and fly fishing guides alike? I’ll beat them all.
After downsizing tippet and fly size I was able to find one willing. He had a huge chunk missing from his tail. Something was craving sushi but couldn’t close the deal. 

For the most part “wrong fly, right presentation” right now will get you into fish. Deeper, slow stretches hold all varieties of fish, and conversely they seem to be segregated by species in shallow holding water. A faint trace of cutthroat below…maybe a cutbow parent with a rainbow mate?


The low water has river sediment exposed on the banks, creating a perfect surface for collecting animal tracks. Name this critter.


A trip out this week started slow because I was using the same rig that worked the week before. Immediately after switching up flies I had grab after grab…turned out to be one of my favorite days on the river. Found around a dozen between 17-21″, including at least one rainbow, brown, cutbow, and whitefish.

Thankful for the weather about to push through. We may finally be into the part of the year when some days aren’t worth an attempt on the river. Unless you just need the outdoors like I do.


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