The cast unfurls on target: a submerged rock shelf across the river. Barely visible as a dark patch between downpours. Flies are changed and swung deep and slow or shallow and fast. Nothing seems to work. One missed grab at the top of the chimney run. The river is up a scant few inches. Everything is working as the flies swing perfectly through the runs, again and again. Everything except the fish. One half pounder to hand, one jumped and one grab. Other than the fantastic wet weather, a curiously slow afternoon and evening. Even the salmon were barely showing.
I knew full well that fishing the first rains with a barely rising river has never been a producer for me. Despite this, I have never been able to resist the temptation of standing knee deep in a mild October rain. Maybe others have found good fishing in these conditions, but when I see the river creeping up a tenth of a foot and rain in the air, I know I go for the sweet smell in the air and the soft hiss of rain on the river’s surface.
Now, having said all that, there is one formula that HAS worked for me. Two days after the rain has consistently provided a productive outing. This is a schedule to adhere to. Sunday afternoon might be worth looking into.