- Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:05 am
I arrived at the parking area mid-morning. I let the dog free while I was dressing because I was alone and he wanted to wander. He had whined nearly the entire 100 mile drive up river. After I put on my waders and set my gear I closed him in the car because of ‘landowner rules’. Technical dry fly fishing with a young lab is impossible so I was glad for an external reason to leave him behind. I slowly walked downriver to the transition between the long riffle and the backwater. I spooked a couple muskrats. Air temperature was 17 degrees.
In my mind, I would cast to fish rising to midges and/or Baetis. As such, I walked downstream from my rig with my home-made fiberglass 5wt I’ve fished with for ca. 25 years, a small box of olive patterns, a small box of midges, a spool of 5X and 6X, tobacco, a pipe, two corned beef and onion sandwiches, and a soda. I had forgotten potable water.
Upon reaching the backwater, I noticed no risers. Air temperature was around 18 degrees. Underdressed and chilled , I found a spot in the sun and sat down. I watched the pool for while when a large fish slashed at a midge below me. I moved downstream to the fish, sat down, and ate a sandwich. I watched the river and the ducks for an hour before moving back to the head of the pool and sitting down in the sun. Most of the ducks had left — not because I spooked them, but because they had some fields to feed in. A coyote appeared on the other side of the river. He was large, healthy, and had a fluffy coat. We stared at each other for a while before he trotted off to better hunting grounds.
I tried different rigs of midge patterns on the dead drift and swing. There were many midge pupa per square foot of water moving by my legs and adult midges on the surface, but nothing was rising. I waded back to shore, sat down in the sun, and ate my other sandwich. Approximately 500 common goldeneye in three groups circled into the backwater. ‘Whistlers’ are always fun to watch. Air temperature was around 30 degrees.
I nursed my flat soda while I burned more tobacco on the bank. A man paddled a small canoe up the backwater to the opposite bank and checked his muskrat traps. Eventually, the soda was gone and I remained thirsty. I walked back to the rig, let the dog out, and drank some water. He ran around because he had been trapped for five hours and we were alone. Air temperature was 34 degrees and we drove home.