|This salmon set out to murder my poor Green Machine|
Saturday, October 24
I thought it would be a good day, but Saturday wasn't all that great. The river didn't rise all that much from the Nor'easter. The water level was actually good. It hovered around 250cfs rising and falling throughout the day. The day started with semi-murky water that seemed to get dirtier as the day went on. I think the heavily colored water put the fish down.
I did land one salmon within the first ten minutes of arriving, but it was the only fish I saw all day. He took a #7 Catch-A-Me Lodge. It was my first fish ever landed on that fly, so I was pretty excited. The take was a little unusual. I miscalculated and threw a bit too much line. The fly hung up on a small boulder. It freed itself after a couple of tugs. The salmon grabbed the fly moments after it fell in the water. Oh well, I'll take it!
Sunday, October 25
Today was much better overall. The water dropped to just over 200cfs. More importantly, it cleared overnight. It took a little hiking, but I found some willing fish. I hooked four and landed three. The first fish took a #6 Mickey Finn. I could it was a male by his head shakes. Eventually, he threw the hook.
I rested the pool and switched over to a #4 White Tail Green Machine. As I arrived at the middle part of the run, a salmon gave the fly a dramatic pull. We have a player! I rested him for about 30 seconds and casted again. He came back for the fly, but didn't take. I rested him for about a minute and went back at it. He didn't want the fly on a slow swing. I waited a few moments and casted again, this time stripping the fly as soon as it approached the lie. *CRUNCH* The salmon crushed the Green Machine. The fish was all over the pool. I had a few uncomfortable moments when the salmon abruptly changed directions and jumped against a belly formed in my line. That scenario always makes me uneasy. It happened three or four times in the course of this fight. After a few more leaps and a couple of strong runs, I landed and released the fish.
Again, I rested the pool for a moment before heading back to the top. The fly was intercepted on what must have been my sixth cast. Fish landed...rest...go back...repeat for fish #4.
It was a beautiful day and the fishing was great. Some new spey casting friends also had a very good day today. Nothing wrong with more long rods on the river!
Though recent rains have definitely improved conditions, the low water of early fall still has a negative impact on us. Since the baseline flow is still low, the river rises from rain and gets dirty while at what should be a normal flow. So, we show up to the river with great water levels, but bad water. Fishing only gets better when we head back towards a low level. It's a bit annoying, but I suppose that's the hand we were dealt this season.