Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Early season fly fishing on the upper Willamette River

Alex H arrived late last night after multiple planes, trains and automobiles. Despite public transportation obstacles, he made it and we managed to work most of the day, and fish all afternoon. We left after 2pm for the upper Willamette River. We opted to fish below Hills Creek Dam on the Middle Fork.

From MattStansberry

It was a bluebird day, super warm -- at least when we were in Eugene. But out past Oakridge in the elevation, the temp can drop fast. And we were pretty cold. We did a little stunt wading, crossed over to the other side of the river and drifted nymphs on indicators over some likely water.

I wasn't seeing much in the way of insect life, so I started rolling over rocks after a while and found that the nymphs were really small. We'd been throwing bigger stuff -- big stoneflies. But in the end we weren't that far off.

At a certain point, we sat down for a break and Alex found that giant stonefly (aka salmonfly). So I opted to cover my bases -- fishing a giant black kaufmann's stone with a tiny size 20 brassie trailing off the butt w/ 7x tippet. I ended up paying for that shortly afterward.

On one of the last drifts of the day, I finally got a big, depth charge of a hit. I saw a football shaped flash, felt a tiny "tick" and then it was gone, along with my brassie.

Expletive. Expletive. Expletive.

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