When It Should Be Great

We edged up to the lip of the canyon and saw the tea-tinted water below. When we got out of the car, we were greeted by pufts of mayflies.  Their question-mark bodies rose from the water and went off to wherever it is they go to harden up. The day was partly cloudy, which kept the temperature down. My hands shook as I tied on flies at the riverbank—everything seemed perfect.

But it wasn’t.

I tried a combination of nymphs through great pockets but didn’t even get a hit. I tried another combination, then another. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if my buddies were having any luck. One of them caught a fish the size and shape of my forearm—but that was the only one.

Eventually, one buddy went down the canyon, the other went up. I scrambled to higher ground and watched them both fish for a while. I used them like surveyors. If I saw one pulling out fish, I’d go over by them. But neither did.

So, we changed locations. We went to a place where we always have luck. It was better, but not great. By the end of the day, I’d nearly made it to double digits, but I had expected more.

I know I should be grateful for those fish I did catch, but I’m just not that kind of an angler yet. I wish I was, but I start feeling itchy when the fishing supposed to be great, and it’s only okay.

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8 thoughts on “When It Should Be Great

  1. It’s hard when you have the itch. I am in a several month long tourney (http://tournament.texasriverbum.com/), and now my fish have to meet minimum requirements. I went the other day and caught several- but it still felt like a skunk because many did not measure up. I don’t know if I’m ‘that kind of angler yet’ either, but you know what? It’s a good day when I can fish. I may not say that on the water- but when I get home it’s always a good day. Don’t let the itch skew your perspective. Sure, I fish to catch fish- but I like casting, wading, floating, tying, map reconning, writing and reading about trips, and all the other things that go into fishing too. That makes any trip ‘great’ for me. It’s all perspective brother. Sounds like a great trip to me.

  2. Thou art wise, o Airborne One.

  3. Luther says:

    I can relate – going out when conditions seem perfect but the trout are shut down. But then I can also relate to the inverse, going out when I don’t expect much and the fishing is incredible. Maybe that is the hook that catches the angler.
    Once again – outstanding photos, especially holding the brown over the net. A picture can be worth a thousand words. It took me right to the stream.

  4. Thats a good looking zone. A few fish is better then no fish or having to work.

  5. That river is spectacular when she’s in a good mood. But she has her good days… and bad days.

  6. John Berry says:

    hey, what day were you on BC? I was there on the 18th. nice conditions but less than epic. much less.

    • I think it was the 14th. I (Russ) have a buddy who used to patrol BC–and he gave me reports of anglers catching 50+ fish. I’ve never had a day like that there–but I’ve had plenty of good days.

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