I had that feeling that today was going to be a nice day. My kids were both in good moods, I navigated the grocery store without the usual people causing traffic jams, and I saw four turtles on a log on my drive to the river. It all added up to a nice day.
I even expected some surface activity. I had taken my daughter (who just turned nine) fishing a few days ago. After my last story, she felt like she needed to experience what standing in a river fly fishing was all about. In the short time that we were on the river together, caddis had been rising and we took several with our little elk hair caddis imitations. My daughter was more interested in letting the fish go than casting, so while I hooked them, she danced and sang in the river. I was hoping for more caddis flies in the air today.
At the river I casually fished upstream with no activity in sight. The water was clearer than it had been all season. I managed to catch a few small ones in places that I normally don’t catch fish. I worked my way slowly trying to stall to get to the water that I really wanted to fish. In a deep bend, I took several more trout- including a 12” brown. After releasing the fish I could see a large pod of trout near the bottom of the bend. I cast a few more times and caught another one. In the distance, I could hear both turkeys and sand hill cranes.
I moved upstream a bit and snagged some plants along the shore. As I released my hook from the branches, another fisherman came upon me. He saw that I was fishing a Tenkara rod and asked me all sorts of questions about it. I let him try my 12” Iwana after showing him how it‘s telescopic and how it was set up. He had great interest, and we talked for a long time. The long conversation helped me stall some more time for a hatch to begin. We split up, and I continued working my way upstream. On my slow moving path, I missed some very nice fish.
That’s how my day went. I stalled and fished and stalled and fished- waiting for a hatch. None came, and I was well past where I was hoping to fish. Most of the fish I caught today were in deep pools, and I saw way more fish than I caught. It was still a good day.
When it was time to go home, I had caught 19 browns and one rainbow trout in about three hours. I was waiting for a hatch to bring better fishing, but looking back, I see that good fishing had been there the whole time.