august, slow

” The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip”.

Henny Youngman

It’s late summer. Not much happening. Things are dry. No real rain in months. The grass crunches under foot. It’s almost the same sound as brittle snow in January. Forest fires are burning west of here. They have been burning a good part of the summer. The air has been smoky for weeks. Fresh, clear Rocky Mountain air is a myth.


smoke-filled sky

Hatches on my local rivers are weak. Eventually we will run out of Weak and then enter the Strong realm again as things cool and BWO’s (may fly) make an appearance.



Surface eating fish are hard to find during the day. You have to fish real late, on the edge of darkness, or real early. When the sun is up it means prospecting with terrestrial bugs: grasshoppers and beetles or their creative derivations.



I missed a great fish the other day. Its rise was slow and it ate my impression even slower than slow. It lingered and I struck too fast pulling the grasshopper fly out of its mouth. I’ve been doing that a lot this year. Hmm…have to pause longer before I strike…got go slow.

Some photos from past couple of weekends.




snoozing on firm mattress




8 thoughts on “august, slow

  1. Hi Robert,

    I wouldn’t worry too much about striking too fast on a trout that has come up to one of your hopper patterns. The ability to wait long enough to set the hook on a trout will come naturally over time, as I’m beginning to discover. Studies have shown that as people age, their brain reaction time begins to slow down. For every 15 years after the age of 24, cognitive speed drops by around 15%. This means my reaction time is about 34% slower than it was 34 years ago. My brain is just beginning to become trained to react at the right time, when a fish takes my fly. Whereas in the past I’d set the hook even before a fish had come to the surface, these days I’m more patient. I still miss more than my share of fish, but within the next few years I’m expecting my brain and hook-set reaction time to be just right to hook most, if not all, of the trout that take my dry flies. The downside to all of this, though, is that at some point over the next 30 years it will probably take me 10 seconds to react when a trout rises to my hopper. That is, if I can even see the fly on the water. Hopefully, someone will be around to holler “set the hook!”

    I enjoyed the post. I hope our smoke-filled skies will soon be replaced with ones that are cloudy and overcast. A bit of rain would be nice, too.

    • Vic: Very funny comment…chuckled a lot, especially “set hook before trout even surfaced” and “someone yell, set the hook”.
      I was at same place today but had to go down stream as someone (look liked guide and client) beat me to location and were going to fish the pit pool and go upstream. I did little downstream…place seemed almost void of trout even though water was fairly cool. Picked up a few small ones then mid afternoon headed upstream. Anglers were long gone so fished up and picked up two nice fish in a big pool…reaction time very good as aged a lot since last week and with accompanying cognitive decline set hook perfectly. No real biggies unfortunately.
      Thanks for comment. I’d also welcome some cloudy weather and rain.

  2. Regarding Vic’s comment about striking ten seconds late…… he can always say that he struck a little too soon while anticipating the next take.

    Smokey here too. I’ve stayed off of the rivers. Backpacked the past two weekends. The little cutthroats are doing well.

  3. Les: Good idea to “go up high” and fish, and backpack! Thanks for dropping in…just looked at your recent post…nice!
    Les, Ever fish the Beaverhead? Dam to Dillon… I see Jim frequents it.

    • Bob, thanks likewise for the visit. Packing into the high country is a window that I fear is closing. I hope to keep at it as long as possible.

      I’ve never fished the Beaverhead. You might get a hold of our pal Jim for his insights on fishing there.

      • Les: Thanks for taking the time re:feedback on the beaverhead. Yes, will email Jim if I decide to check it out. I have fished poindexter slough which runs into it.
        Keep hiking..

      • Ah, Poindexter. I was there on the day of the eclipse. Never saw a fish rise. Sadly, that’s been the case more often than not the past couple of years. The insect hatches haven’t materialized since the slough has been “improved”.

  4. Les: Fished it several yrs ago nice water the. Hopefully it will recover. On that trip also fished the Ditch closer to your region. Checked Jim’s blog today. He had a few comments on the slough and the beav.

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