Leaving the house, I heard the sirens nearby. An apartment building was on fire. Meeting a friend, we took dogs for a walk and they bit a passing biker. It was a painful bite to a young lady training for an upcoming triathalon. It was a dreadful note on an otherwise beautiful sunny morning. Later, I decided to drive over to the river for a late afternoon/evening session to try out some new flies and try a new piece of water that I know has big fish lying in wait. Not a place I would routinely fish, but it has this look about it that suggests very large steelhead. I was low on gas, but knew I could fill up in Willow Creek. Little did I know the power was out all day in Willow Creek and no gas was available. Fortunately, the station in Hoopa was running on a generator, so I was able to feed my thirsty truck. Finally I got there. The sun was still up but I was doing a nice slow pass down and everything seemed to be just perfect. The bottom is a tasty jumble of cobbles and small boulders and just deep enough to give big fish a sense of cover all day while they wait for evening and the arrival of swinging flies overhead. Just about then, two meathead gear fishermen came down the trail and low-holed me. I should have said something, but instead left them with a glare and wondered whether it would be worth writing to the Department of Fish and Game requesting a discussion on river fishing etiquette in their annual regulations. Two hundred miles of fish-filled river and these folks insist on scrambling down the same trail and fishing immediately downstream of me right in the heart of the sweet water that I was systematically fishing down into. Fisg and Game wouldn’t have to enact hardcore regulations – just prohibit other anglers from intruding on the rapturous visions of a solo spey caster in the act of steelheading for sanity.
I drove downstream to another spot that I’ve only fished once. It’s classic steelhead fly water and I hoped to skate a dry fly through it. About as close to nirvana as I may get in this lifetime is watching a big deer hair fly skate across the surface of a steelhead run on a warm fall evening. But I had forgotten my floating line, so I was stuck with swinging a sink tip through the prime hour. As the light was failing, I had a mighty grab but came up empty. I knew if I could get my fly right back out there, I had a good chance…SNAP…the fly snaped off at a wind knot and I didn’t bother to retie. The last of the sunset was spectacular, casting an orange glow across the horizon and onto the water. I pulled out my camera for a picture, but it wouldn’t work. At the truck I found that the battery wasn’t seated properly. Time to get home and hope I make it without another mishap. I’m done fishing for awhile and trips out of the house will only be made for absolute necessities such as work and food.