Early in the morning before light illuminated the river, I was patiently awaiting stream side along a favorite seam on everyones favorite hole. I was sandwiched between two fallen trees and only one angler could truly fit in the space and get a good drift in the seam. Nonetheless, a group of four guys came and parked on either side of me in a ten yard space. They didn't ask, just came and set up shop. I left that spot and the river for the rest of the day, perturbed to say the least.
Our search for new water brought us to an unfamiliar/highly trafficked waterway in Western NY. Arriving around noon, every pull off was full of cars and anglers. We decided to check one last pull off farther upstream and found the place deserted. Over the next few hours, we had almost a mile entirely to ourselves. Hard to find on a tributary, anywhere in the Great Lakes.
The afternoon was overcast and drizzly. Topping it off, the temperature was in the 50s. It was a perfect day to be on the water. We took full advantage. For the first time in several days, Adam decided to bring out the indicator rig and preceded to catch several steelhead in the shallow runs and riffles underneath a canopy of trees. He did so, when all he wanted to catch was a brown trout. I preceded to catch the browns, when all I wanted to catch was a few steelhead. Nonetheless, it was fun.
Seclusion can be the hardest thing to find in the entire sport of fly fishing. My favorite times on water, are when I have a small stream and wild fish all to myself. I am free to focus and enjoy the seclusion one cast at a time. On the Great Lakes tributaries, you can catch a fish, turn around, and find someone standing in the spot you hooked up in with zero remorse. There is very little etiquette, unless you find yourself miraculously fishing with guys swinging flies with two handed switch/spey rods. Then it's simply understood. However, that is a rarity, and like seclusion, extremely hard to find.