Chasing Rainbows on the Yak
As Told by a Friend
This is a second hand account of an awesome day on the river that I unfortunately missed out on. I think we've all had those days where we wanted to fish or where we were supposed to be fishing and then end up getting tormented by awesome fish stories from our friends.
Mountain Mornings and Lazy Trout
My buddies Zach and Jordan holed up at a ski cabin overnight closer to where they were fishing the next day. Waking up to a chilly breeze after leaving the door cracked open all night long, they weren't inspired to move quickly. They warmed up over a three egg scramble and got a move on after enjoying their slow morning in the mountains. Rolling up to the river later than expected, they found the fishing to be a little lazy. Maybe the fish had their fill and were enjoying a mid-morning siesta, or maybe they were just being picky late-season trout.
They pulled out a couple rainbows here and there but nothing you would tell your buddies about on Monday. Usually you can tell how your day is going to wind up based on the success you have fishing your go-to holes. When your go-to spots aren't working, it's easy to let your spirts sink low.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
Instead of accepting the fate of a slow day, Zach and Jordan forged onward. Rather than fishing the same old spots, they made a river crossing and shot upstream on the far side of the bank. Going further upstream than we typically ever fish, Zach and Jordan got to a magical little section where the fish were hungry and not too shy to ask for seconds.
The two anglers found great success in a calm and fairly shallow section of water that pours into a fast riffle. I have since scouted out the section that they fished that day and can tell you it is not the kind of fishy water that you would be inclined to search for fat rainbows. It was shin deep and pretty easy to see through the surface. It must have looked like a trout buffet to the hawks and eagles overhead. There also weren't too many structures for big ol' trout to hole up in. Regardless of what the water looked like, Zach and Jordan can tell you the fish were rising like crazy that day. They were throwing dry flies out there like parade candy and all the trout were biting. And not just the small fry, the chubby and selective feeders were slurping up the hand-tied candy all the same.
They each landed a few beautiful specimen and Zach snagged a couple that were pushing 17 inches. When you don't grow up in Montana, landing a 15+ inch hog on your 5 weight is enough to get you through a week's worth of office woes.
I'm Happy for You Guys, I Swear
My buddies texted me some pics of the awesome fish they caught that day. That is some kind of cruel torture for a fisherman to see all the fish that could've been in your net. I was elated to see the gorgeous rainbows they hauled in, it looked like the perfect day on the river. Part of me couldn't help but kick myself for not being out there with them. Well, I suppose there's always next time.
A big thank you to Zach and Jordan for the great and tormenting stories of all the fish you guys caught that day.