Swing shift

As the Farmington rages (again) at a million cfs, we fondly recall Thursday, when the flows in the upper TMA were a very wadeable 460, the water temperature was 50, and the anglers swinging wets were two.

I had the pleasure of instructing two old friends, Gary and Joe, in Wet Flies 101. I don’t use the “p” word as a throw-away adjective; both were strong casters and anglers and they made my job about as easy as it gets. We began the day under a gloomy overcast and dense fog banks. Hatch activity was nil. The fishing was only slightly better; Gary had the hot hand early, and since Joe was fishing well I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t having more action other than being, as they say in soccer, unlucky.

Gary hooks up on the swing.



Hello, my little yellow friend.




After a steady late morning rain, we agreed we had beaten the water to pieces, and decided to head upriver. Run A proved unproductive. I hemmed and hawed about where to go next; every once in a while I get lucky, and off we went to Run B. Ding-ding-ding! That was the dinner bell ringing for a good 2:30pm showing of BWOs. Once the hatch started, so did the bite. Gary got into some active feeders, then suddenly Joe was on fire, hooking up multiple times.

We often wish each other well with, “tight lines.” Joe turns our fondest hopes into reality.



The fish, a beautiful Survivor Strain brown, bathed in reflected light and liquid elements.



After Gary and Joe’s session ended, I decided I deserved a little wet fly time. The run I wanted to fish was occupied, so I made a few unproductive casts at its head before venturing a few hundred yards upriver. WHACK! on the dangle below me, a substantial rainbow that strenuously objected to being brought to net. A few more customers, then one last brown on the mended swing, netted as the smoke from my El Rey del Mundo curled upward into the windless sky.

A good way to end the day. Some intriguing marking on this fish, from haloed orange dots to married black splotches.


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