8 hours ago
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So there I was sitting in the truck driving East when all of a sudden we popped in the Snake River Valley. All of a sudden that shit poor mood that I had been in for months was gone. Friends, steelhead, a few beverages and some much needed time was ahead of me and I got to say it was good. Meeting up for the Mills Fay Clave was a great excuse to learn more about one of my favorite rivers on the other side of the hills.
All the cards seem to align on this strip and skaters and floating lines were the ticket until a front moved in. The first evening I found myself working the middle of a long run where fast water broadened out forming a small bucket before widening out some more. This spot was screaming skater so I put on Fergus Skater and proceeded to work down the run. Soon after I had a smolt hammer the fly on the retrieve. Oh well and continued to work down the run. Then all of a sudden a splash on the fly. WTF I thought, it had been a while since I raised a fish and casted again with another splash. Well hell I thought to myself, two more consecutive casts and the same thing happened. Thinking it could have been another big smolt I casted again and dead drifted it more trying to entice a static drift with no response. Not soon after to my amazement my phone rang and for some reason I answered it. Stupid yes, but after talking on the phone I realized I just rested whatever was harassing my fly.
After getting off the phone I immediately changed the fly to my second favorite skater, a Smith Muddler or Smuddler. The original version of the after dinner mint with a sparse marabou wing, small flat head and long streamer hook. A few casts later a fish rose again and there was no doubt with the visual that this was no smolt. On the very next cast I see the head and dorsal come out of the water and in no time my Hardy Salmon was screaming. I new this was a good fish when I saw royal blue Teeny backing flying through my guides, but when I saw the tail fin sticking out of the water almost three feet from where the end of my fly line was I new I had something on I would never forget. Minutes later I was able to beach her and the rest is history. My first but not last skated fish on this river but for sure my first B.
The rest of the trip was a blast with old and new friends and was able to fish several rivers on the East Side. Fay Mills got to celebrate with a steelhead on his 70th birthday on a comeback fly, yet another story. I had the opportunity to finally meet my future Mental Health Therapist. He seems to be ok with meeting me out on the river so I think it should work out. I also got to harass Poppy at the Red Shed for a while and got to eat some of Linda's famous cookies that she was making for this weeks Clearwater Clave. It is going to be a great spey clave. You should all go check it out if you are in the area.