Thanksgiving morning certainly wasn't shaping up to be a Bluebird day - wet and damp, hazy to foggy, gray and ovecast with enough southerly wind to make the body uncomfortable. It was hard to tell if this was a perfect day for trout fishing or a perfect day to not sit around the bunkhouse and be bored to tears.
Indecision has never been a vice I own and it wasn't long until I was in the prairie schooner slapping leather across the ponies backsides setting sail for the river Blue.
These days I take a more eclectic approach to fly fishing. I enjoy planning the trip, trying to imagine exactly what fly will be fished and where, and then... there is the voyage itself.
Each trip starts out pretty much the same... taking a sea-lane of hardended concrete.
Always, at the first opportunity a sea-lane consisting of a dirt road is taken. Something about dirt roads that seem to call this fly angler.
On the voyage I stopped by the old west town known as Sipokni West to see what the townfolk there had going on. However, town was vacant - guess they all loaded in the wagons and went somewhere else for Thanksgiving.
Shortly thereafter, I cross Pennington Creek and stopped to see how this little beauty was doing. Little Sister, as I call her, lost a lot of herself this past summer - growing thin and looking drawn. Today though, she looked to be filling out once again.
One of the main reasons for coming to the river Blue today was because of the conflicting reports received about the river's conditions. Right after this week's rain it was reported the river was murky and may get worse. Then yesterday came a report that the river was just a little murky, but fish-able. Today when I got to see the river for myself it was, "Blow me down - shiver me timbers!" This river is clear as a bell! Clear and extremely fish-able.
The trout at the first run of water I fished wasn't interested or frisky at all. And... that was okay with me because I wan't feeling very frisky myself having to fight a chest and head cold. Spooling up, downstream water calls me and on the way there I find a recently abandoned campsite with a campfire still going. I don't know who left the campfire, but, it was very inviting and I appreciate finding it. Stopping at the campfire, I take a seat by the fire and enjoy a cold beer. Nothing like a cold beer on a brisk cold day.
After the drink is disposed of, I step into the stew headed for the boulder above Seventeen. Here, the trout are willing and are feeling frisky. Almost as soon as the water is split I sense a drop in temperature and that makes for the decision to give the trout the fly low and slow - deeper in the column and a slower action. This presentation seemed to be what the trout wanted.
The trout today had some surprising size to them . No, they weren't big by any means but they were a pound and half that fish. And, another surprise was how many of them showed the characteristics of male trout. The only thing that figures, to me, is these were some of the pound to two pound trout the derby organizers placed in the river.
The wind continued to pick up and I decided to call it a day.
Standing on the boulder reminded me of why I prefer the wilderness areas to the main campground area. It's the damn trash. On the boulder I find six or seven empty beer bottles and folk we do not take our alchohol-laden beverages with us on the water. The wildlife department forbids it and for good reason. Void of a trash bag today, a bookmark was made, and next time I hit the river the trash bag will be with me and the damn beer bottles will be removed.
Overall, it was a good day on the river. Not a Bluebird day, but a good day that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.