Yes...the other night I had a dream. Sometimes you wake up and barely recall a dream you had and then bits and pieces start coming back to you during the day. This was not like that. It was all so vivid and real. I was fishing. Doin' my thang. It just so happened that the person I was fishing with in my dream was none other than Conway Bowman. For those that don't know, Conway is the host of Fly Fishing the World. While I'm sure he's a nice enough guy I secretly hate him because he gets to fish in all these kick ass locations. He probably gets all kinds of gear too and crazy amounts of ass. Boy band ass too. I mean...that's what chicks want. Dudes that smell like fish. I know Heather digs it.
Anyway...there I was. Bombing the bank with big ass streamers. I was killin it. I kept seeing one fat brown after another to the net. Conway, on the other hand, was not doing so well. In my dream, he let me use his rod. No...despite the jokes that my wife made, this is/was not a sexual innuendo. He seriously let me use his fly rod. I figured it had to be a ploy to be able to say, "Well...I couldn't catch fish because I had to let this hack use my fly rod." Touche Bowman. I landed just as many fish with his shit as I did with mine. Suck it.
I couldn't help but think of that dream when I got to the river today. Now...I loves me some streamer fishing. Also loves me some streamer fishing at night. This was not the situation today. The flows were shitty. In fact, I don't know that I've ever seen the water this low. The sun was out. I had a double nymph rig on when I left my car. I damn near cut my finger off at the car. Totally my fault for keeping such sharp knives. The gal at the General Store was nice enough to not make me buy a whole box of Band Aids and I was on my way across the street with a little spring in my step. Right away I started spotting big fish. I don't fish this area much because it sees so much pressure but the Dream Stream is iced out and the flows in the canyon aren't worth the hike in. And...I'm on vacation. I stood there watching these fish feed for a few minutes before carefully slipping down to the bank. After a few casts they spooked. They slid right downstream and under a bridge. I had an egg pattern leading (kind of an attention getter) and then a Top Secret midge. I have a real problem walking away from larger fish that are obviously smart.
It was like they were communicating with me. I said to myself, "Self...big fish are big for a reason. Why did they slide down and just to where I can't get a nymph to them?" I looked up at the sky in a bit of frustration. I looked back downstream and under the bridge. Then it hit me. "It's ALWAYS overcast under a bridge. Perfect streamer conditions." Without hesitation, I bit line and started putting flies away. Removed weight and balloon. Shortened a perfectly good leader and grabbed a Barr's Meat Whistle and tied it on. I worked the front portion of the bridge for a few minutes and then let things swing back into the dark shadows. The further back I wanted to get, the harder it was. Finally, I was side arm casting to get as much distance as possible. BOOM!! The surface broke and I could see the head. I couldn't believe it. Here I was on a non-streamer day below a bridge with a 18" fish on.
I muscled it right out the way I went in (when a nymph rig would have had me going spelunking through the shadows). The hook set was perfect. I revived her and she slid back into the shadows. Seemingly, no worse for the wear. I've had much bigger fish on during the fall run but this was cool today. I'm in a bit of a state of transition and questioning right now, career wise, so I was thrilled to see that my instincts were good.
I got back to my beat up car and found that I still had half a cup of coffee. It was cold now but still good. God I love fly fishing.