early outing

Went to my favorite river real early. Slightly cooler lately. Cool in the mornings. Felt there was opportunity. So I did the long drive. Fog was mixed in with smoke. A large coffee helped me get there. It kept me on watch for roadside deer in the low light. Water temperatures were good in the river flow; marginal in the shallows. Water levels were the lowest I’ve ever seen. A lot of standing water. A lot of mosquitos. The sun came out when I arrived. I figured I’d give it a few hours and then leave and fish another river on the way home. In SW Alberta you always have angling options. A fellow from B.C. arrived right after me. No other anglers were around. He parked his vehicle one pool upstream from me and started fishing it and then worked his way further up. Hmm….

I carefully walked the long pool I was on from the tail to the head. There were some smaller fish at the bottom end rising. I watched them and figured things were going to heat up fast (air and water temperature) so I decided to focus and search for a good one. The light was good for spotting. At the head of the pool, just on the edge of the flow, I saw a good trout. It was moving around (feeding); nosing into the shallows with a decent flow; working its way right to top of the pool with the best flow (oxygenated water and food) and then cycling back. Several times I lost sight of the trout due to its movements from the shallows to deeper water and when moving over darker bottom sections.


The fish ignored a small hopper. Maybe it didn’t see it. A few casts later it took a black beetle. A lot of splashing when I finally landed it. My camera lens got soaked so many blurry pictures but I think it made the fishing net photo even more intriguing. One pool, one fish, a couple of hours and then it was time to go. The fellow from B.C. had left before me.

small beetle fly
same rainbow

13 thoughts on “early outing

  1. “One pool, one fish.”

    It’s a magnificent fish and it’s on a dry. Sounds like a direct connection to the essence of our obsession. Well done.

  2. Bob,
    Ain’t those beetle eats sweet! You are a trout hunter of the finest caliber (DFO).
    I hope your angling buds have stopped asking, How many did you get? Ha!
    Who would ever ask a deer hunter that question?
    Wishing you lots of cool wet weather would love to send you some of our NYS rain. Every river is blown out and unreadable here in the Catskills. Cheers

  3. Rick: Thanks for comments. We would appreciate some NEast wet weather. Love the Catskill region…very pretty, historic region and a fine fly fishing location. When I lived in Montreal several times I drove to Hancock,NY and fished the west branch. Neat tailwater river and real challenging. I actually copy some fly patterns of an angler/ guide in region: Anthony Ritter. BTW, nice thing about a blog is you get to post your successes and leave out your failures. Many times I’ve gone to my regional rivers and been humbled and leave feeling like a beginner. My successes, when I have them, are due to putting a lot of time on my favorite rivers and watching the water…I guess observation and concentration. Hope you rivers drop to unfishable levels soon.

  4. I’d normally look forward to the summer sulfur hatch on the West Branch Delaware, but as Rick said it is blown for the foreseeable future, at least for wading anglers. It’s never easy fishing, but can reward fly design that separates a well drifted imitation from the patterns offered in the local fly shops.

    I don’t imagine the dorotheas will wait around for flows to improve.

    • Greg: High water is no fun. Hope it drops soon for you and Rick and that your carefully tied flies dupe many great fish. Hopefully the sulphur hatch will still be around once river levels normalize. Thanks for commenting.

  5. When I visited North America to fish for trout, it never ceased to amaze me the amount of times another angler would arrive and plonk himself in the pool above me (almost always mile after mile of free water in either direction). Just not cricket.

    Lovely capture, and retelling.

    • Justin: Thanks for the comment. Checked out your angling diary/blog: theriverbeat.blogspot Beautiful photos of chalkstreams and content. I’ll tune in from time to time to see what you are up to and comment.

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