Over the last week there has been one fish that has tormented and haunted my dreams. I can’t stop thinking about it. I spend all night and day planning and thinking how to catch it. I got to the river later than normal today (10am) thinking that it would be somewhat empty. I was mistaken. There were 20 cars parked at the fly fishing only section, which is catch and release right now. There were a couple guys that I think were dunking worms and I think I overheard someone on the phone with the Environmental Police ratting them out.
I walked the path by the river hoping that the area I wanted to fish was empty. As I walked down some rocks and turned a corner there it was.
My empty fishing hole. I was overjoyed to not see anyone there and quickly started picking the water apart.
At first, I tied on a hare’s ear nymph and it didn’t work. I changed it out for a san juan worm, still nothing. i tied on a copper john, still nothing. I tied on a pheasant tail nymph, nothing. Confidence was starting to fly out the window and I was running low on flies. I had a “to hell with it” moment and tied on an elk hair caddis. I figure that I tossed out everything below the surface, might as well try the top. My first cast at the end of the drift I dragged the fly back a bit and had quite a few interested trout follow and swirl it. I even saw one nose at it a few times. Next cast a big rainbow destroyed the elk hair caddis. I could tell by the pull and somersaults that this was my fish. This was the fish that has beaten me on multiple occasions in the last week. On this day it did not win, and a chunky 18” trout ended up in my net. My net was dwarfed at the size of the fish.
I admired the fish for a few moments and let out a sigh of relief. I had finally landed that fish. I tied on another elk hair caddis and tried to land a few of his friends. A few casts later and another one was on the line. This one however jumped out of the water and spit the hook. I few casts later and I got another one hooked. This one couldn’t throw the hook and he landed in the net as well.
At that point I packed it in and chatted with a fellow angler for a bit, then left. I left knowing I can sleep the whole night without waking up on a cold sweat due to a rainbow trout breaking tippets.