© 2012 Will K DSC01646

River Weekending

A few weekends ago, Ronnie and I headed a little south to the **** River to see what damage we could do.¬† The weather was shaping up–to my dismay–to make for an incredible two days of DFO fishing.¬† Many of you know my feelings for dries…I hate them.¬† I hate fishing them, and I resort them them only if absolutely necessary.¬† The reasons for that are a subject for a far different and far longer discussion.¬† What we found, though, was anything but the low-and-clear dry action we expected.¬† The streamer bite was ON!

I started off with a white #6 Bread and Butter, hoping to defy the conditions and get a little early streamering in early on day one.¬† It worked immediately.¬† From that point on, Ronnie and I threw larger and larger streamers–the biggest we had.¬† I found that a deep downstream drift with vicious strips through structure were the key, and caught more Browns than I ever have.¬† During the course of the catching, I missed two of the biggest fish I’ve ever seen there; one snapped my 3x like a strand of my wifes blonde hair and the other chomped my Envy and shot straight toward me…no hookset possible.¬† I’ll be back for those two fish; I know their mailing addresses now.¬† The day that began with a local fisherman passing us saying, “They weren’t taking lures, so I’m gonna give ’em bait” ended with a long list of streamered-Browns, exhaustion and two incredible headaches.¬† We collapsed into the tent begging for unconsciousness and relief…hoping the next day would be the same (minus the poacher…).

Day two began with an oatmeal and coffee breakfast at the campsite and quiet discussion about the excitement to go chuck more chickens at Browns.¬† Sure enough, though, that bait-chucker was there tossing worms; we let it lie and didn’t say a word to him or call the authorities.¬† He wasn’t catching anything anyway and eventually wandered off.¬† We worked a familiar stretch that had produced the day before, but had a total lack of commitment from fish on our streamers.¬† Something invisible had changed during the night; we didn’t know what.¬† Picking up and changing stretches, we arrived at an access with a deep, broad pool just off-bank.¬† A group (11 to be exact) showed up as we were leaving empty-handed and politely asked if we were fishing.¬† Beers in hand and fishless as ever, we shook our heads and “Nope!” Walking back to the truck we overheard the conversation:

“Why don’t you do a cliffdive here, man?”

“No way.¬† I don’t wanna be a number.”

Number, statistic or whatever he actually meant, I’m fairly sure no one died there that day.¬† Despite the bikinis, beer and general worrysome appearances of the scene…the water was theirs and we were happy to give it over.¬† Our mission for more Browns would take us back upstream and far away from them anyway.¬† Eventually I had a sense that a black and partridge soft hackle may bring up a fish.¬† I was right.¬† Big streamers 24 hours prior were pulling out Browns, now it was the extreme opposite–teeny softs were the order.¬† Shaking our heads in confusion and utter delight, we¬† continued to fish as long as we could, had time, and had energy.

It wasn’t the trip I had imagined it would be.¬† It was way, way better.¬† And no one ever became a number.



  1. Posted April 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | #

    Outstanding post Will. It made me want to jump in my truck with my rod, reel and scalpel and head your way. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

  2. Posted April 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm | #

    Nice report….but real nice photos. The lead photo is top notch.

  3. Posted April 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm | #

    changing to the unseen…just the way it goes. looks like a hell of a good time…glad to see you weren’t a statistic. ha!

  4. Posted May 3, 2012 at 11:12 am | #


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