Clouds, welcome visitors to our overheated rivers

Yesterday’s rain offered a bit of help to our rivers, the clouds even moreso, keeping the sun from beating down on skinny water and heating it up. I don’t usually fish weekends, but when I saw how much the waters had cooled I figured I would get out there this morning until the thunderstorms chased me home.

The river was pleasantly cool, and the clouds and mist hung low, close to the slopes around me. I had a great feeling that there would be some insect activity and trout feeding. I saw a few mayflies I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks, but the only risers were little guys. I caught three trout, and I didn’t need a net for any of them.

I was flustered that the cool recharge had so little effect upon the fishing, still wondering if I should have been there during yesterday’s rain. Even the midgets had finished rising, so I took a long walk in hopes of finding one good fish to stalk. There was nothing doing anywhere, and I nearly headed out, when I decided to tie on my new beetle and toss it to a couple of neglected river banks.

Another best laid plan that failed to bring success, but I kept going, determined to find one good trout to eat that beetle.

I was prospecting a bank that has been good to me this year, when I noticed a slight disturbance on the surface. I stopped my drift before the fly dragged through that spot, then shot a long, gentle cast toward the disturbance. It was a long drift, but I reacted on time when I saw a nose pop out in the vicinity of my beetle. Whoa Nellie!

I pulled up solid, putting a fearful bow in my four weight Cumberland Queen bamboo. The Bougle’ spun hard as that trout cut across and downstream with the beautiful scream echoing off the mountainside. The big fish paused when he got to my backing, and I got three cranks before he ripped into the Dacron. I had the rod in the sky to keep the angle of pull as high as I could, lest he rub my fly out on the rocks. I began to regain backing, then fly line, and then he accelerated toward me and the line went sickeningly slack.

The hook was perfect, and I sighed to acknowledge another case of “the fly was in the wrong part of his mouth”. There’s nothing to be done about that I know, but that doesn’t help my disappointment in the moment.

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