|Wulffpack alpha male in his natural habitat|
So Thursday we lollygagged around Salida, hoping for BWO action. Getting settled into the river's rhythm and getting caught up with the folks meant Thursday was really the shakedown cruise, the act of fishing of primary importance, catching less so.
|young pup getting it done|
Friday was our first serious day on the water. My folks and I huddled together over breakfast, comparing notes on our understanding of best water combining ease of access and wading for the folks, above the main body of the hatch, offering a good chance of an emergence in its own right.
|ole guy's still got it!|
We settled on that public water either side of Texas Creek- the water and canyon walls spread out a bit, offering a good heat sink for the sun's rays. In my experience, TC has nearly always sprung an early emergence, even when the main hatch remained stalled downstream.
Friday this again proved to be the case- with both fly shops reporting the main emergence down around spike buck and 5 points, 2.30 showed a moderate emergence at TC, enough for all of us to trade out our subsurface rigs for dries. While the rising fish were far short of gangbusters, they were numerous enough to offer a consistent stalk for a solid two hours. With the risers on the wane at 4.30, we headed back to camp, sated on maybe 30 fish for our efforts, largest only around 14"
With the strengthening emergence at TC, Saturday we were primed for bear. We headed out late to allow the emergence to get on started, our arrival at the river was greeted with the first caddis skipping off, and fish rising in pursuit. I set both my folks upstream, set about tying the boy's rig up fresh, how he manages those birds nests in a blink of an eye I will never know.
|calm before the storm|
I look up just in time to see Mom floating down a channel, having slipped off her perch into fast water. You fish often enuf, you've prolly been there before yourself- lost your footing, now floating, shipping water like the Titanic, the speed of the current preventing you from regaining your feet, your eyes wide as saucers as you scrabble fruitlessly for purchase. No matter that water is only 30" deep, you're heading for the wrong side of nowhere fast.
Will deftly nets Gramma's flotsam, while I get dug in, get her float arrested, set her aright on a nearby boulder. Holy Moly! That was something huh Mom?
|she lands her own fish too|
She's a bit flustered for a while, but none the worse for wear, just soaked to the bone, the only thing dry was her hat! A good dry in the 80d sun, a quick run back to camp for dry clothes, she's back at it landing the two biggest fish for the day. Boom! That's how you do it right there. What a trooper!
Meanwhile the hatch kept strengthening, my Dad, Will and I circle around the area stalking pods or risers. Once caught or put down, we'd search for the next pod, then eventually work our way back around the circle to the initial pod to begin the cycle again. Wash, rinse, repeat, that was our afternoon on Saturday.
|arkansas river gold|
Aside from Mom's morning shenanigans, the rest of the afternoon was like that proverbial walk in the park. Only with a rising fish behind every riffle, in every pool. I could not have scripted a better day for we four, anglers all in their element.
Saturday evening's fishing proved off the hook for Will and I, fishing the egg layer evening rise. Looking over the word count above, I guess that's a story best left for another day.
|this fish never stood a chance|
Til next time- mike