Finding the Soul of a Mid-winter river (or: caught naked in the sunshine)

Searching for ghosts
Searching for ghosts

At this flow, the tailout is infinitely large – and maybe a tad bit too deep to comfortably wade.  The water is running at six degrees this morning and a long pass through belly deep water would probably sap the life out of me – slowly and unknowingly.  So, I decide to drop the pram in the water and fish through it from the dry.  I didn’t know how the spey cast would work from the pram, thinking the edge of the boat might catch the forward cast as it left the water – not a problem and I managed easily with the circle, cack-handed circle and overhead casts.  I put the Blue Hope into the fly rotation – and, to jump to the punch line – the only grab of the day was on that fly – the slow pause on the deep swing.

I wade fished the run up top, below the bridge and did a pass through another piece of water and just could not get the fish to move.  I think there were fish in there, just too cold to excite them (though I don’t know who could resist pulsing yellow pheasant rump).  The water had a subtle green color, that gave just enough secrecy to the water to keep it interesting.  I ended up swinging a big piece of red meat (prawn) mid-afternoon thinking I could draw them from afar; shaking my head after each swing thinking it was nearly perfect.  Casting rhythm was good, lost track of time during each pass (lost in the swing), and generally fished everything well.  So maybe I did find the soul of this river today – passing along easily over the cobbles, happy in the doing, though craving just a bit more.

Amid bright sun and green water
Amid bright sun and green water

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