I’m not sure what it is about blog team member, Ashu Rao. Every time I fish with him, I’ve had an extraordinary outing.
Maybe it is good karma, as Ashu is one of the kindest anglers out there, the person who shares flies with strangers and makes friends instantly with everyone with whom he meets. As am example, yesterday, he retrieved a lost oar when a family haphazardly ended their tube float.
I’ve fished with Ashu multiple times and have witnessed that the fly-fishing Powers That Be look kindly on him. Just be prepared, as he is an angler with stamina. He can fish all day.
Yesterday, it was a technical dry-fly outing for us. We met at the river at dawn and cast to lazy trout at flat water as the temperature began to soar. We then worked quick water and shaded water as the sun beamed its rays down.
By the afternoon, we were roasting and shed layers. We took no breaks and fished non-stop for 13 hours, except for a quick trip to the cars to get water and a late lunch, which we wolfed down at the bank.
There were periodic-but-light hatches in the afternoon that made it tough to key in on the trout. But, we gave it our best shot. There were some rises throughout the day, but nothing major. We had good luck blind casting at likely holding areas.
I hand-tie my own leaders and deployed a new 12′ 7x dry-fly leader intended for longer casts at delicate water (formulae here). I was pretty happy with it. Some rock stars are fishing these days with 20’+ leaders, and all I can say is that they’re better anglers than me! I cannot even imagine how the back cast would look, given all the trees and bushes where I like to fish.
Ashu’s good energy continued to help, as I fortunately landed an unusually high number of browns on dries (some of them are below). The Force is strong with him. The always-reliable Orvis H2 tip-flex #4 did a great job yet again.
The best fish was about 14″. And, I saw a large number of fish with very pretty red spots on them. There was no hot fly, but sizes 20 and 22 Midge and Mayfly patterns took the lion’s share of fish. Downstream presentations were critical.
Often, the fish were within a rod’s length of the bank. The water may look devoid of fish, but, trust me, they’re there. At times, I would creep up to fishy looking shallow water and present a fly. Usually, a fish would rise up out of nowhere to at least inspect the offering. And, often enough, it would lazily eat.
If you venture forth, know that the crowds are large, and people will edge into your casting lanes. There are many new anglers, as well as those who know better but no longer give a darn. Regarding the latter, it is a great opportunity to try and outfish them.
One guy pushed out Ashu. When he tried the same with me, I looked at him and politely said with my “Dad voice”: “If you want this run, just ask, and I’ll give it to you. You’ve already edged out my friend, and I can go, too.”
It is what it is. I try to look at the good side of things. When anglers wade right away into prime water without casting first, I am hoping that they’re pushing fish towards me, where I’m standing on the bank as much as possible and waiting for rises or flashes.
Stay cool, everyone. This is a long, hot summer in more ways than one….