Last week of the 2018 season and it was a great one!
Monday was my last float of the season with local anglers, Jim and Mike. We had gorgeous weather, almost too good with bright sunny skies and highs in the 50’s. We met late looking to take advantage of the best dry fly window and both Jim and Mike stuck fish in the first run on top. It was a little spotty after that in the next couple of runs so we stopped for a bite to eat and crossed our fingers for bugs. After lunch, the guys doubled up in the first really good run we came to. We floated that a couple more times and picked up nice fish on each pass. A little further downstream we came to a spot with a group of rising fish behind a tree that was tailor-made for a southpaw. Luckily we had a lefty in the front of the boat and Jim connected with 3 solid cutthroats in there that would have been close to impossible for a right-hander. By this time the bugs were coming off strong and the fish were looking up despite the bright sun. A foamy back eddy was our next target. It’s a tough drift with hard visibility but on the second cast, Jim came tight on a big fish. After a good fight on a size 18 dry, he had the very same 20″ cuttbow in the net that he had landed 4 days earlier on his birthday! It was a great fish and awesome moment in the boat. The stellar fishing continued from there. We doubled again just downstream and in the next run where Mike poked a stunning 19″ cutthroat we watched rise for a while. There were good targets for the bright conditions and the fish were more than willing to eat a well-presented fly. Not only was the fishing good, but the setting was absolutely spectacular. Bright colors in the trees, snow-capped peaks, and cobalt blue skies made for a stellar day on the river. We closed out the day with fish in all of the likely spots as Mike fooled two more as we pulled into his place. It was a great end to the season with Jim and Mike and I look forward to many more days on the water with this pair in the future.