|Frost in the river grass|
Except for a brief break throwing small flies to fish rising well beyond reach, I fished nymphs. I didn't catch a lot of fish but the ones I did find were on the larger side. I started late morning in an area that fishes well for me in late fall. After working a caddis pupa and an foam egg with a small spit shot in front of the egg without any fish, I switched to a frenchie and a zebra midge and started working back upstream to where I started. About midway up the run, the sighter stopped and I could feel the heavy but gentle throb of a nice fish holding tight to the bottom. I stayed patient and remained downstream as the standoff took place in about a foot and a half of water. It felt like the fish was attached to the bottom with suction cups and when I got my first decent look, I could see it was a large, dark brown. I managed to get it close but made the fatal error of trying to pull it upstream to slide the net under it. The 5x gave way at the fly and off went a beast of a brown. I don't honestly know how big it was but it looked like it would have been my best fish of the year. I continued working my way back and found a decent rainbow so at least I had one in the net. I changed the rig again and worked my way back down but didn't connect with any fish so I hiked back to the truck for some hot coffee and something to eat.
|the consolation prize|
I tried a few more spots in the afternoon without any success but I had one last section that I wanted to try before the end of the day. It was a cloudy day so by late afternoon the light was fading and the air was getting colder. I managed to cross the river without getting wet and fished an area I had explored for the first time this past summer. I had a hunch that there might be a fish or two holding in the slower, deeper runs. As I approached the section I could see clearly the run I had noticed this past summer and it wasn't long before I was tight to another hefty fish that took the anchor fly (frenchie). This one was a male rainbow that was quite dark and very heavy. I stayed patient and downstream trying to keep side pressure on the fish. As with the brown, I was fighting this fish in shallow water that was moving a little more quickly than the softer water were I had hooked it so I needed to be careful to not to let the fish get downstream of me. With some patience I managed to get the fish in the net. At that point, I called it a day and made my way back across the river thankful to have spent the day outside finding a couple of quality fish.