I woke up early this morning and headed out the door. Out of habit, more than anything else, I decided that I was going to hit the West Carson at my usual spot. After getting some coffee at the local 7-11 and driving the short 12 minute drive to the river, I found myself stringing up the rod is some chilly morning temps and a medium velocity wind. Gonna’ have to dress in a long sleeve and wear waders and shed layers when it warms up.
As I stood over the bank at the gaging station hole, I saw tons of bugs on the water. I knew that this would be another great dry fly morning despite the wind. I quickly waded into position and checked out the bugs flying around. Seems that there were a good combination of midges, PMD’s and even some Yellow Stoneflies floating around. A few larger drakes were still fluttering around, and I had a nice Callibaetis land on my rod tip. Don’t know why I saw the lone Calliebaetis, but I just assumed that it was “gusted” to the river from one of the nearby lakes. There might even be a small hatch of Calliebaetis on this river.
Anyway, I decide to start off with a #18 Yellow Sallie that I tie based off a Cutter pattern. A few drifts later and I am into my first fish of the morning, a nice 10″ Rainbow. I saw another riser at the bottom of the same drift, so a quick readjustment in position to get a better drift and I am into my second fish of the morning. This one was a smaller 8″ Rainbow. This one was an almost LDR as when I was taking the fly out of his mouth with my hemos, the line unraveled from the fly. Yikes! Guess it is time to retie. Having taken two fish in the top-middle and the bottom-middle of the same drift, I wanted to see if the BIG fish was at the very top or the very bottom.
I was going to be tossing the fly into some faster water, so instead of tying on the same pattern that had been working, I wanted something bigger and bushier for more floatation. I tie on a #14 Royal Trude and proceed to cast ONLY to the top part of the riffle. A bunch of casts later and no fish. Time to move on to the next hole.
A quick move upstream and I am casting at the hole that has a cable overhead, so all casts are sidearm casts. A bunch of misplaced casts later, I hook into a real nice Rainbow. This one would have been the biggest of the morning, but he ran downstream into the fast water and I tried to horse him too hard for my poor 7X tippet….SNAP! That happens when you are fishing small rivers.
A quick re-tie with a longer strand of 7X and an #16 E/C Caddis, one of my all-time go-to favorite patterns in the Sierra’s. I move further upstream and start casting to the seams and faster water as temps are now warming and I assume that fish will be moving into the faster and better oxygenated water. Another small (shaker sized) Rainbow and another few missed fish. Cast…wade…cast…wade. Finally wade into the position that I really want to be in to fish this one drop-pool. First cast I put the fly right to the head of the pool and another nice 10″ Rainbow. This one decided to jump, fight, and generally do everything he could to spook the entire hole. After releasing the fish, I am throwing my fly into some really fast foamy water to get my line back out and I watch the little 8″ Rainbow come out of nowhere and grab my fly. Another nice fight and I land the fish.
That proves to be my last fish of the morning. As I started to reposition myself to fish a different slot, I took a dive into the water. Getting up, I look behind me and notice that there are 3 people on the water that witnessed my crash and burn. With all these new rods on the water, I decided to call it a morning.