Today was a hard-work type of day. But, it’s the kind of work that I like to do.
I fished the Farmington 6 am to 6 pm. I did take a lunch break mid-day at the Riverton General Store to get a Wayne-O sandwich. It’s roughly in the center of the loop that I did as I drove to hit six spots.
The water was a combined 470 cfs, and the flow was quite treacherous in many spots. It also was slightly off-color. So, I decided to throw larger flies or bright flies as anchors.
The morning was its usual spring-slow type of session. It rained off and on and was cloudy all day. BWOs were popping periodically most of the day.
At the first spot, some spin fisherman were doing quite well. They were all smiles and very friendly. I was happy for them, but, then, quite jealous, too, as I kept flinging my nymphs and hoping for a take. You may know that feeling. It’s FOMO, or fear of missing out.
Eventually, I did land a rainbow that jumped three times and was probably still trying to figure out what was edible or not.
I moved on to Spot B. Last time, it yielded quite a few wild browns. But, today, with the water slightly lower than last time, they weren’t taking what I was throwing. Two stockies did show up, though.
Then, I drove to another stretch and was surprised to see no one for as far as the eye could see. Blanked.
Spot D was similarly vacant of anglers. The river was flowing quite strong, but I did see a little quiet seam in the middle. First cast. Bam!
There was no questioning the take as an invisible creature surged quickly into the fast current and downstream of me. That’s the “oh no” position that I hate, for fish often pop off when I’m above them.
The fast current meant that I couldn’t chase the fish, which was a bummer. I used the usual side pressure technique to contain the trout, pointing the fly rod downstream. Eventually, I carefully waded to where the fish was and then quickly pointed my rod upstream to maintain side pressure. I’ve found this to be a good fighting position, when I am just below the fish and can handle what it’s doing. This one was pretty crafty, zipping all around me, and often shook its head violently.
I slowly stepped towards the bank and pulled the fish along. I saw that it was of good size, and my pulse quickened. The fish would surge now and again, but I could sense that it was weakening as I kept it riding in the current. The 2-wt. Euro rod performed admirably.
It was a joy to net this fish.
It taped at 16.5″. I noticed that its adipose fin had been clipped, and, so, this was one of the famed Survivor Strain trout. Here’s a video.
I hit some other spots, landing holdovers and more stockies. In the end, it was a double-digit day. I went 10-for-15. Took 12 hours, but, the day just whipped by.
Various versions of Pat’s Legs were on my tippet most of the day, and those did some serious damage, including the version that I tie on a jig hook. Dropper flies were ignored except at one area with shallow and bubbly water. There, #18 soft hackles did well.
A good day.