When I need to get some fishing in, often the mornings are a great option for me. I can get up early hit the river for a couple hours, and be back to the office in time to start the day. The river fishes well in the mornings during the summer and the morning of 7/6/17 was no exception. I found a long flat, with fish rising to midges and while fishing these flats can be a bit of a challenge because the fish are cruising, not sipping in one feeding lane, there are plenty of fish to be found. I managed a few fish here intercepting cruising fish.
After a bit I grew tired of that game and moved up above a riffle where the water was moving a little more and where a few fish were settled into a specific feeding lane. I enjoy this a little more where I can target a specific fish and instead of waiting for them to come around to me, I can set up a plan of attack and then execute that plan and take the fly to the fish. As we know sometimes the plan works, and sometimes it doesn't. This morning it worked perfectly. The first fish I found was feeding in a fairly simple current, straight across stream from me, and about 10 feet off the bank. So with little complications to the presentation I flipped the fly into the seam, and watched as the big snout sucked down the fly on the first pass.
Netting that fish, I noticed another fish feeding across from my location, but this guy was feeding right up tight against the bank. This would be a more challenging presentation. I had a couple currents between me and the fish, that would require some timely mending to navigate, and the lie tight to the bank left a very small window. I had to get it close to the bank to be in the lane, but I couldn't over cast and risk spooking the fish if I had to pull the fly out from the willows. My first few casts were a feeling out process. Getting the fly a little closer to the bank each time. Finally I got one close enough, and although it was a bit outside of where the fish had been feeding, he did move a bit to go for the fly. Just as his snout rose, though the fly caught a current and dragged ever so slightly, and the fish either missed, or turned off it at the last possible second. I knew I hadn't spooked the fish, but I didn't want to just keep busting casts in there if he had any suspicions at all. I patiently waited, holding my desire to cast again, until the fish once again began rising confidently and in rhythm. I wasn't sure if the little drag on my previous presentation would cause the fish to be wise to the small CDC Wing Midge I was using, but once the fish was back to feeding I decided it was worth a try. Once again it took some feeling out to get my cast just the right distance, not too long, but just gliding inches from the bank down the current seam. Finally I landed the cast just where I wanted it and held my breath in anticipation as it floated through the zone. Perfect, then the large snout rose up and engulfed the #20 midge. Phewwww! Exhale, and then it was on! As has been my experience before, these fish that set up sipping inches from the far bank of the river are usually the larger fish, and this one was proving that to be true again. After a good tussle, I landed the nice Brown.
By this time the sun had hit the water in the run I was fishing and surface activity had slowed considerably. I packed up and headed to the office, feeling good about the way this day had started.