“Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about”
Late July. Summer. It took forever to get here. The sun is blasting. It’s even warm in the early morning. That’s rare in the Rocky Mountains. The local ice cream shop is packing them in. My lawn is burning. Abby, my dog, is lazier than heck. The kitchen ceiling fan is spinning. Thunderheads build in the late afternoon heat. A lot of storm watch alerts. Blankets on the vehicles to protect them from hail.
Friends have been in town. Long days spent wet wading the rivers. Fishing until darkness. Little time spent indoors or for other things. That’s alright, it’s summer. And where I live it’s brief. It’s just a flicker. Catch it while you can…
Lots of fish pics. Few people pics. Some dog pics. Most trout featured caught sight-fishing with dries/emergers, size 16-18.; mainly Pale Morning Duns with thorax built with Golden Retriever hair. A few trout taken on beetles and crickets.
an old rainbow
ranch creek side cabin
Yikes, that was brutal! Don’t know if I want to do that again. Tough trip. Dry-flies blowing upstream! Tough low-light conditions for sight-fishing. A lot of walking. Many days it was just a long hard slog: 10 miles plus. And in spite of our effort few fish were spotted. There simply weren’t that many opportunities. I think I averaged less than one quality chance per day. I saw less fish than in past seasons. Terrestrial fishing was almost non-existent. Maybe the summer just wasn’t consistently hot enough in the regions that I fished? The angling was best when the sun was out. However, “blue sky” days were rare. Most of the time it felt more like winter than summer. In the end, I caught a few good brown trout on dry flies. Four of the best were spotted on a high plateau river that I’ve fished in the past. It is “known” water but receives less angling pressure than some of the other rivers I was on. Here are some photos…
most days water had a wind-shop
rare still morning
roman throwing line
roman in the wind
Most of our rivers have dropped significantly and can be fished and carefully waded. Things are ahead of schedule which is surprising as we’ve had a substantial snow pack year. Run-off has been consistent and gradual, so far. Hatches have been weak and therefore not a lot of dry-fly fishing. I managed a couple of fish on top over the weekend while angling large river back eddies/sloughs where rainbows were spotted cycling. They took an ant pattern…
large back eddy
Old limestone kilns.
What does this have to do with fly fishing? My region has a lot of limestone and cold running water. Ideal trout habitat. The Crowsnest river and its large rainbows are nearby.
On my favorite trout stream there is this tree. I never reach it on my first day hiking the river. I always get to it at the end of my second long day of fishing. On my third and final day on the river I start where it stands and work my way upstream.
It stands out as there is little around it. And I like the shape. It’s not an impressive Oak, or Magnolia, or towering Douglas Fir. It’s a small tree. Not much bigger than a bush. But there it always stands at the end of my second day on my favorite river. My favorite tree…