Just recently, I’ve spent a little time on the river outside of guiding anglers. After all, it’s still summer for a few more weeks and one must take advantage of the time off. Yes it’s true, when not guiding anglers, tying flies or sorting through mail from the past six months, I enjoy fishing completely on my own. I don’t even really want to talk anyone else, except for that pretty blond at the West Gate of YNP checking passes or the nice lady at the gas station who has sold me beer and fuel for what seems like for ever.
It was chilly outside this morning as it had cleared up after last night’s deluge of a rainstorm. Sprinkles fell again late morning, then it cleared up with sunshine and fish spotting weather for a few hours only to pour cats and dogs this afternoon into the early evening. Around ten o’clock I found a familiar run to sit by and watch for awhile. Cars rolled by at forty-five miles per hour, hardly seeing what they were after, with only a few folks stopping to check out what Wonderland had to offer. While I keep telling myself that summer hasn’t left yet and that we have plenty of warm weather ahead, I realize that wearing waders and layering up felt darn good. With my boots laced up, both rods in hand and rigged with wet flies, I made way way across the river and into the lodge pole pine forest. The sun, supposedly behind me through a thick veil of clouds, was trying to poke out; it was hard to see them below the surface, lying on the bottom of the river, but they were there. A window appeared and a fish darted around another and then about a half dozen slid forward together and back again. One of em’ was big, much larger than the others and sitting a foot or so behind the rest. These trout weren’t rising, but they were eating nymphs in about waist deep water. Sunshine burned off the clouds, a few more rain drops hit the water, but it stayed clear enough to sight nymph. Sight nymphing is a tough game, and something I don’t get a chance to do all that often – I need more practice with this technique for certain. For the next hour or more I picked off a handful of nice fish with a #16 green price nymph, tungsten beaded. A few caddis began to pop and that helped my chances as fish were eating the green Prince on the lift.
That big fish, sitting behind the others was a large brown trout, that I didn’t land…..I saw it jump though.