Saturday, June 25, 2011

True Confessions

I fished the last two days with a couple of the nicest guys you could meet. I've had them as clients for 5 years now and I actually look forward to seeing them every year. They are very funny dudes and they try hard but their skills with the fly rod are a bit lacking. (But that's why they hire me.) With the river up to 21,000 cfs, leaders get longer and longer and one's deficits get exposed. I can usually get these guys to catch a bunch of fish but these last two days I sucked.

We floated down to Cascade the first day and only boated a handful fish. We were fishing deep and with all the weight and length, it gets pretty tough to manage the line. There were a lot of times we were pulled over along the bank untangling knots while other boats were floating by catching fish. With every tangle or every time their flies would come back into my face, they would get more and more timid, which just exacerbates the problem. You just gotta rip it out--be aggressive. I'll be honest; at about 4:30 a storm blew us off the river and I was kind of happy because I had no answers.

Day two we decided to fish the canyon. Our plan was to "short leash" it--fish the banks with short leaders right along the edge of the grass and try to pick off fish just hanging in there looking for caddis. In the first few minutes we actually hooked some fish and landed one and I thought, "Sweet, it's gonna be a good day." Well, the river came up another couple thousand cfs and the fishing got tougher and tougher. We hooked up on bottom and broke off at least 20 times. Buzz, who is usually pretty mild tempered threw a couple f'bombs and Ron got quiet. I started getting frustrated too because I want these guys to catch fish. They really try hard and I know that but after saying the same thing over and over and over again, there's not much I can do.

I was at a loss. I was frustrated and I probably showed it...I know I showed it. With every tangle and every time we broke off my delivery of "helpful" tips to keep the bugs in the water longer became sharper and sharper and that didn't help anyone. There's a guide out here, Neal Streaks, who says at about noon he just stops trying to correct bad habits and just rolls with it, taking what they get. I like my guys catching fish though--but I also realize getting frustrated doesn't contribute to the ultimate goal and that's to just have fun.

Keep 'em where they live...

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