These pics are from Friday night. I got up there early enough to make sure that I could fish the upper section just below the spillway and get the hell to the fence line an hourish after the sun set. It had been about a week since I had been up there and I was stoked. As I dropped into the valley, I thought I was going to have a super calm night but when I parked the wind was howling.
I never get cell reception up there but I always bring my phone with me because I listen to music and sometimes have to use the camera on it too. At 6:10 my text alert went off. That never happens. I checked it. It was a dear friend from work that wanted me to know that her father in-law had just passed away after they made the difficult decision to take him off life support. Immediately I was bummed for her family. I still think about my wife's father every day. I stopped fishing and sat on a rock on the shore and looked at the sky. I do not quite know what I believe in terms of higher powers or after life. For a few years I studied Buddhism but haven't in a while although it was something that I really connected with. I took this picture of the sky not long after while listening to the water run over the rocks. Maybe he had something to do with it? It was beautiful and he was certainly a ball of fire and a good man.
I fished for a bit longer after that picture and was couple bends above the safe zone. Eventually I was on the right side of the fence and I could see headlamps hiking in. I started hiking downstream and immediately started seeing big fish but they kept spooking. They might have taken a fly on a blind cast but that's just not my style. I kept covering ground. Eventually I came to boulder that I've seen a thousand times. With just a tiny bit of light, and using my peripheral, I could see about 3 big fish holding in front of the boulder. I swung a fat streamer in front of it. I wasn't able to get it to stall out where I needed it to without leaning way out and putting the rod in my non-casting hand. After about 5 minutes of teasing, I got him to take it. After I hooked him I moved down and looked by the boulder and saw 2 big Rainbows in there and felt good because I did not think he was getting freaky.
I like to think that I have pretty good eyes but even at night, it's hard for me. I'm not wearing polarized glasses, I'm not wearing my prescription glasses, I'm looking at a beam of concentrated light, and it's usually windy as shit. Again, I thought this fish was a maybe a husky 18 but it was pushing 24. It wasn't real fat but long and lit up. It took forever to revive this fish and the water was COLD but that's my favorite part because that's when they need you the most. I stayed with him for 10 minutes until he slid out and then I headed for the car.