West Carson River – 07/21/08 Early AM

I know that I said I was not going to fish the West Carson anymore, but I had no idea when I opened my mouth that I was going to jinx the works.  We had several small storms in quick succession and now my favorite river, the East Carson, is a muddy, off-color mess.  I hope it comes down before I leave on my work trip.

I arrived on the river at about 7:30am which is “just a hair” late in the morning for the current water and air temps.  As always, the gauging station hole was in the shadows.  I crept down to my usual rock and was observing bug activity and enjoying some peace and tranquility when a large cinnamon bear sow popped out of the trees not more than 30 feet from me.  I do not think that she saw me in the water as I was kneeling behind some rocks and being still, but when I yelped in surprise, she jumped as well and took off running.  Just watching her run reinforced the fact that there IS NO WAY to outrun a bear…man was she moving fast.

That excitement over, I go back to my observing.  I see very little bug activity, so I decide to tie on a #16 yellow humpy with a soft-hackled hare’s ear dropper.  I got some half-hearted strikes right off the bat, but nothing serious.  I quickly move up to the next hole and start casting.  Same responses.  Refusals.  I snip off that rig and I tie on a #16 Royal Trude.  Again, more refusal strikes.  This hole is now spooked from all the rejected casts.

A quick move upstream and I start casting to a long riffle.  Now I am getting some serious strikes on the Trude.  But, once again, I manage to somehow miscue all the strikes, or *maybe* the fish are still just barely refusing the fly.  At this point it is about 8:45am and there are few spots with any shade left.  I change strategies.  I tie on a #12 Orange Stimulator with a #18 black ant for a dropper.  A few more drifts and I have my first fish of the morning.

I am moving upstream at a faster clip than normal because not only am I pressed for time, but it is getting hotter by the minute and I want to get up to this one bend that is still in the shade.  So I keep on moving after every few casts.  I finally get to my intended spot and I maneuver into position behind a big boulder as quietly as I can.  First cast – into the fast water and just a wee bit too far from the soft water.  At least I now have my line stripped out for the proper distance.  Next cast – perfect.  In fact, this cast was one of those moments when you think ” gosh that fly is floating P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y down the seam.  WHAM!  I hook and land a nice 10″ Rainbow.  He was *spirited*, or as a good friend of mine would say, “he was an ornery pain in the ass”.

With that fish landed,  I decide to call it a morning and head to work.

I will probably get one more outing in before the weekend, but will be gone for the next two weeks.  I have a business trip to Las Vegas (no real good fishing close to town) followed by a business trip to Salt Lake City (lots of great fishing opportunities).  I have my Utah license in my bag and I am ready to go.  I will probably have sporadic access, so do not plan on receiving consistent updates.  I will take lots of pictures and give you the full updates on the rivers and the fishing when I return.