As Woody Allen said, sometimes 80% of success is just showing up. Pete had gone downstream, and I went to the head of the run. It was a-quarter-to-noon, but the bank was already in the shade. First cast, BANG! The wet flies had barely settled into the water. I saw the splashy rise and felt the weight of the fish. A bantamweight wild brown had delivered a roundhouse right to the top dropper, a Squirrel and Ginger.
A feisty pug of a wild Farmington brown. This fish had an almost perch-like shape, with a tubby midsection that tapered dramatically before the tail.
I took two more wild browns on the way down to where Pete was fishing. He was also doing well with a combination of wet flies and nymphs. (I was dedicated to the wet fly cause all afternoon.)
What pair we made. I’m partially deaf in one ear. Pete had his vocal chords compromised by recent surgery and can only speak in a whisper. After my tenth, “What?!?” we decided on a policy of sign language and close-quarters conversation.
After our fast start, though, things slowed. Dramatically. We walked well over a half mile of prime water in the upper TMA with only one dropped fish to show for it. “What?!?” indeed. Very little hatch activity, and the water was running clear and cold.
Pete left around 2:30, so I took a flyer on a spot I hadn’t fished since May. I started off in some snotty water above it and was rewarded with a nice little brown and a few juvenile salmon. Then, in the run proper, I took a beautiful holdover brown on a mended swing. The water was clear enough to see the whole transaction, from the flash of gold as the trout darted out from behind a rock, to its striper-like thrashing on the surface at hook set. Another (dis)satisfied customer on the Squirrel and Ginger (this fly has become an automatic as my top dropper). I took two more smaller fish, then called it a day. A damn fine day. Thanks, July. Ya done good.
This could be a wild fish, but whether it’s stream-born or not, it had large pectoral fins that it used to repeatedly glide into deeper parts of the run.