Monday, July 20, 2015

Still not sure how.

When I first started fly fishing, admittedly, I knew nothing about my soon to be mistress. I would show up at the river and park in the usual, well worn pull offs and paths travelled by anglers, kayakers and tubers alike. I would spend some time looking for "fishy" water.

What actually constitutes "fishy"water? I had no idea at that time. I wasn't versed in reading currents, looking for holding water, foam lines and all the things that make some spots better than others.

Skinny water, low level water runs of the river were places I avoided on a regular basis. I figured fish needed, at worst, waist deep and I spent a lot of frustrating time trying to fish long, slow stretches of water than required a patience I had yet to develop.

A recent run to my home river reminded me, yet again, of a great lesson, taught to me by a guide from whom I learned much...don't pass up skinny water.

Every angler has them, the spots on the river that are yours and yours alone. Spots not to be shared with other fisherman, on blogs or, in some cases, even with good friends. One of my favorite spots is a stretch no more than 20 yards long in an area that takes some effort to fish. I was guided to this spot once and have returned a few times a year since. This is not a run that I hit often however, I am continually amazed by the size and quality of the fish that can be found in less than 2 feet of water.

returned, unharmed after a quick snap
The Brown trout above was the first taking while nymphing this run. After landing this beauty, I continued to cast, not thinking I would land another, equally beautiful fish, from the same area.

fought like a champ
This run produced the Rainbow above, and a couple more like it, before I departed as puzzled as always. How, in such low water, can fish of this size hang out? I'm sure there are logical, scientific answers but I just don't get it. This puzzles me the way powered flight does - I know it's mechanics and science but seeing a 737 in the air still blows me away.

As my boys get older, I value each and every chance I get to hit the water. Along with my wife, playing taxi driver, coach and fan keeps me busy. Oh yeah, my paying job does too! I hope I continue to experience days like this and that I am always full of the same wonder as today.