Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Day on the Water

Winter in Utah has been a mild one.  February slides into March more like spring than the second month of the New Year.  This fact has Skyler and I pondering why we chose to fish one of the months coldest and windiest afternoons to venture out for a quick fix.   Regardless we know one thing for sure, the storms that rolled into the Wasatch Front this day would be significant enough to keep most at bay. 

Cresting Parleys Summit, the squall that obscured the snow laden paeks gave way to a brilliant eclipse of blue sky, yet the hillsides dry grasses, Scrub Oak and Big Tooth Maples swayed violently. We barely noticed glad to be rid of the city and out of the shop just long enough to breath some fresh air and hopefully find a fish or two up on midges.  

Rumor had it winter's Buffalo Midges were gracing our streams.  After fishing 24's and 26's we were both looking forward to tying on a fly that one had a reasonable chance of locating once it hit the water.  At my advancing age that's getting to be a rather significant consideration.  

At the Bunny Farm, a local fly-fishing gathering place that is often overrun with vehicles and their accompanying bodies, only a couple of cars sat idle in the frozen snow.  Several of anglers could be seen in the first significant piece of water lobbing their florescent bobbers over the rippled pool. Their lines propelled by several split shot looked like slow wipers making there way across a dry windshield. 

By the time we reached the river the parking lot had emptied.  In a quiet seam just downstream of us the first nose of a rishing brown broke the cold metallic surface of the river.  After 5 minutes it never rose again so we moved on. 

Just downstream at the head of a small braid we took a seat and mechanically strung up our rods with a close eye on the small pool that spun quietly away from the main current. On the inside seam the head and tail rise of a decent brown took a midge from the swirling currents.  Unlike the first trout we encountered it rose again and yet one more time before Skyler slipped quietly in behind it to begin the game we so enjoy. The trout failed to resist, taking the tiny Morgan Midge eventually defiantly slipping into Skyler's net.  

As the day lingered the rises forms became more scarce.  To the west, dark clouds began to creep over the tower snow covered peaks of the Wasatch.  Occasionally a squall would break free from the approaching front racing across the valley only to quickly dissipate.   In the shadows it was cold, guides frozen, fingers growing numb we zipped up our coats as far as we could standing vigilant hoping for one more steady riser before heading home. 

We never did encounter any of the larger midges.  This hunchbacked midge is a big meal that a trout will move noticeably to intercept when they are on the water.  We weren't surprised they never showed given the weather, yet we weren't disappointed either.  It was just nice to cast a fly for the first time this year, feel the weight of a nice trout on the end of the line, and enjoy a quiet beautiful day next to running water. Sometimes that all one can ask of a river.  Sometimes its all one needs. 


Kigen said...

Great stuff, I haven't been able to get out much lately so it was awesome to read a story from our local waters. That picture of skylar is epic and made me feel like I was right there watching the take. Thanks!

Steve Schmidt said...

It was a beautiful day and one I'll sacrifice a few fish for some peace and quiet. Also got to fish a new rod for the first time. It's not very often I get a new rod, so that was fun.