West Carson River – 07/04/08 Early AM

Independence Day!  My favorite holiday of the year.  And of course, a tradition for me is to fish on the 4th.  Funny thing is…the rivers are never crowded on the 4th.  If I had to guess, I would assume that people would be more interested in beers, beaches, and partying with crowds versus fishing on empty rivers.

So the plan goes as follows – up at 5:30AM and out of the door by 5:45AM heading to the West Carson.  I decided that I was going to hit the gaging station, get setup there, take some pictures for this blog and then head to one of my secret spots.

I arrive at the gaging station and am disappointed as it is windy and too cold (relatively speaking) to wet wade at that early hour.  So I get suited up and head to the usual starting spots.  Before I string up, I take a bunch of photos, but as it the case with me, I get too impatient to do a good job.  Time to fish.

I wade into position in my first hole and see little to no bug activity…probably because it is blowing pretty hard.  Not wanting to fish a nymph, I tie on a #12 Elk Hair Caddis and a #18 Flashback PT as the dropper.  Third drift and I hook into a nice 7″ Rainbow.  A quck move into the next hole upstream and the same rig gets me another small fish.  But I did not plan to spend the day here, so I head back to the truck to head on to the next spot.

A short drive upstream to one of my favorite spots  – a spot that I have pulled some nice fish out of in the previous outings and I am ready to hit the water for some more action.  Funny thing.  On the way down to the water, I somehow slip and take a good tumble down and INTO the water.  Ouch!  Hope this is not a harbinger of what is to come.

This section is all pocket water…pools of slow water punctuated with fast water and/or rocky unfishable water.  The secret here is to *simply* drop your fly right at the top of the pool and pull it right at the bottom.  Of course, the fish are all stacked at the very bottom of each pool, but that is not something I figure out right away.  A little observation time and I notice that the wind has died down some (or at least I am in a more protected zone) and that there are some really small PMD’s coming back to drop eggs in the water.  No rising fish!  I decide to tie on a Lt. Cahill in my smallest size (a #16) and proceed to fish.

Almost from the first drift, I am getting hits on the fly at the bottom of each pool, but no solid takers.  After a few missed takes, the strikes stop.  Move up to the next pool…repeat.  Time to think….hmmmmm…guess i will tie on a differnt fly.  I tie on a #18 Parachute Adams next.  More of the same….rats!  I finally decide to tie on a big attractor dry, a #12 Royal Trude, and finally start to connect.  It was pretty much catch the fish from each pool, or assume that the pool is spooked and move on.  A pleasant hour of pool hopping, moving methodically upstream, and I wind up about a mile upstream from my strting point.  I decide to call it quits at this time and head back to the family.  Lost count of how many fish were caught.

I decide to take the highway back down to the car, and in the 15 or so minutes that it takes to reach the car, TWO cars slowed and asked how the fishing was….I lie and say it was slow and the fish were tiny.  Hope you understand.