After a month hiatus from fishing, and my longest break from blogging since this thing started, I started to yearn for some water again. To be honest, good reports and a picture message of a blinding slab of chrome from Adam, reinvigorated my soul, and I suddenly found myself excited and even at the vice. I think the first trip north of the fall finally hit me, when I stepped out of the car at my parents house, and took in a deep breath of fall air. It smelled so good. The drive went by in a blur and even though we got there a little late, the half hour walk through the woods down to the bottom of the DSR put a huge smile on my face. I was back.
If you would've told me that Adam and I would have meadow run on the lower DSR basically to ourselves on a Saturday and Sunday in mid-September, I never would have believed you. If you told me again, I still wouldn't believe. If you pleaded a third time, maybe I would have considered heading down that way to check it out. Seriously, I think the low flows scared away most people from fishing it, or they simply couldn't line fish the way they could at certain choke points throughout the river. We settled on the lower half of the run to the tailout, that was ideal for a nice slow swing, and fresh pods of fish moving through.
A friend once told me, after I lamented about how much I sucked at spey casting, "that I just needed to fish more". He was right. There is nothing like dialing in a two handed rod and getting in a rhythm. After that, I could focus on the all important swing, and my presentation to the fish. The fish were ultra spooky in the low flows so I settled on a intermediate tip with about six feet of tippet with a variety of small wet flies. On day one, white was the ticket. The best presentation was almost directly across stream, followed by a large mend and a raised rod. The raised rod kept me in contact with the flies as the set up sank. As the current caught the fly and leader, I could lower the tip of the rod and settle into a deep slow swing. After that, I kept the rod tip slightly in front of the swing to keep any tension off the fly and make it swim. After that, I had to have the patience to not set on every bump due to the amount of fish in the water. You had to wait for a bump, a pull, and finally a head shake. Setting low and hard at a downstream angle always resulted in the fly being in the corner of the fish's mouth. Of course, every now and then, there would just be an all out grab. I was able to land three fish on the day but fought over three times that many, losing most downstream or from simply shaking the hook free.
From the early morning until we left the water, fresh pods of fish were constantly moving through. It was so cool to watch them running in shallow water on the lower part of the river. Upstream, swinging through the runs, you could always tell when a fresh pod was moving through. They moved so much water. The final fish came in the fastest and deepest run fished all day. With an intermediate tip and weightless fly, it required so much set up. As my leader and fly settled into that deep swing, I felt connected, and I had a feeling this was going to be the cast. Boom, fish on! I was pumped to say the least and ready for another day on the river.