As the season passes, mornings on the river can be very similar. The sun rises over the trees, the fog lays on the water sometimes just lingering, while sometimes rolling in and rolling out with the slight breeze. On most mornings, I drive downstream to meet the shuttle. After arriving there is an opportunity to watch the water and check the clarity to make the plan for the day. Lately, I have seen an osprey as well as the usual birds checking things out as the sun begins to rise.
We drifted slowly away from the ramp and cut through the fog. It wasn't long before the guys were stinking up the net with small rainbows. The fresh stockers have the look of a usual hatchery brat, while some fish appear to have been in the system for a while and look healthier with nice color and full bellies. Brent and Matt began getting good drifts almost right away and we began working the structure along the bank. We tried deeper water and that produced fish as well. The deep water wasn't quite as productive as the bank structure and as we floated throughout the morning our best fish were coming around the shoals. Shoals with structure were just a bonus.
Brent and Matt didn't only enjoy good fishing. There was good discussion, a little work on technique and some relaxing moments on the slow moving river. In between the good discussion and relaxation the guys were nymphing up some good fish here and there. The browns are getting nice color, even the smaller browns are are "a bit buttery color". Buttery browns apparently like nymphs as we would soon confirm.
Just as we thought we had gotten the best of one stretch of river and I was thinking of our next move, Brent missed what might have been the last fish. But another cast and another mend, with another fly seeking out fish, the indicator took a dive. Brent raised the rod tip and the line came tight. The fish began making a solid run and added some headshakes to let us all know Brent had a nice one on the line. Brent was able to stay ahead of the fish and after a short while we caught sight of a nice brown trout with good color. Brent played the fish to the net and reminded us all to fish the shoal to the last possible moment.
Some fiberglass fills an afternoon- We found a pod of rising fish eating bugs off the slow moving surface. These fish were sheltered by overhanging trees above and sitting over a gravel bar that stretched only half way across the river. Every year we take some fish from this area, so it wasn't surprising to find them on this late summer day. I brought along the Superfine Glass stick and we knotted up a dry, then began working on clean presentations.
Brent is no stranger to the dry and promptly was coming tight to a fish with the little glass rod. It was a short and decisive fight and he soon brought a fish to the net. We passed the little glass rod to the front of the boat and it was time for Matt to take his turn. This was Matt's first time fishing dries. After quickly learning the particulars of a good dry fly presentation he stripped off some line. A few passes later the fly slipped into a good seam with no drag. The fish rose and quickly snatched the fly from the surface. Matt came tight and the fish was hooked on the dry. The glass rod immediately had a nice bend. There were smiles all-around as the fish made its way to the net. It appears Matt may be hooked on the dry at that very moment too.
We kept moving and enjoying the relaxed float. Nymphs took the nicer fish while dries and small terrestrials brought new excitement and a new experience for Matt. The drifter moved toward the takeout as a long day on the river came to a close. When we were close to the ramp the osprey came out of the trees and welcomed us to the end of the float. Brent and Matt thanks again for another fun day on the river.
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