It’s on just as soon as the fly hits the water at the top of boulder house run. Unfortunately, it was a poor cast, so I took the chance to adjust a strap, clamping the rod down under my arm. As the line came tight on the swing, the rod came alive under my arm. I dropped the straps trying to get the rod back in hand as the fish cartwheeled to the inside – all air. I recovered line and came tight on the fish again and another burst of aerial mania. The fish looked all of five pounds easy. The fish kept angling toward the slack water on the inside just as the line pulled up empty – fish off – pure operator neglect – and a lesson learned for the hundreth time: the grabs always happen when fiddling with something or otherwise not paying attention. The rest of the run was quiet save for a spunky half pounder pulled up at the very bottom of the run.
Moving up river, I scored one half pounder in the super secret tailout water – no other grabs to be had. At the Hotel run, a jumbo half pounder came to hand after working down through most it. No other grabs to be had. Down to the garden, and one fish to hand, then nothing. Time to move down to slate creek for the later afternoon.
This place now doesn’t see the sun most of the day and the dew piles up on the stones, never drying. Come December and some cooler weather, the frost will accumulate day after day lending a snowy feeling to this place. The wade across is a wee bit trickier with a little more water. Not so much the depth (flow 2,070cfs) but the added velocity and snot slick cobbles – and there is some angst about getting back. One grab in the upper half and can’t get the fish to come back for more. On the lower half, a couple of deep pulls at the top of the far side fast water and I moan and curse that I can’t get a hook into them. These fish won’t come back for second helpings. It’s tough going – cast-swing-step-cast-swing-step – nothing. Those mystery pulls … dam… Counting down to my last cast I decide to practice my single spey cast a little towards the bottom of the run. On the first swing the line comes up tight and heavy. Backing rolls off the reel. The fish goes airborne across and upriver while my line bows around and downstream. Coming back tight on the fish, it decides to head down and down – towards the lip of the riffle. I do a clumsy gait downstream trying to catch the fish resting at the lip of the riffle. Then another burst of line and over the riffle it goes. The line stays tight on the fish as it eddies out down below. It swings back out into the fast water where I catch up on all my line and finally roll the fish into the shallows for a quick picture and release.
In summary: had to work much of the day for a few grabs – would have thought more activity at mid-day – but no. No fish showing. But with two adults hooked and a smattering of half pounders, a fruitful day at least. I ran into an acquaintance as I was leaving the Hotel run and they reported similar for upriver. The wade back across slate is uneventful – though I desperately need new soles on my boots. The first adult took the 3/0 purple swimming shrimp I tied up for tidewater – it seemed perfect, if not large, for probing the depths of the shadowy boulder run. The second adult took a black and orange rump fly – a more traditional offering. I dropped the purple shrimp in the water by accident – will have to experiment more with larger swimming shrimp….. full moon might have kept the bite at bay a bit…