...isn't as bad as it sounds. The weather was nice on Friday, with clearing skies, and the breeze tolerable for fly fishing. Got a late start, launching about 1 minute before high tide, so I didn't get much of a boost to the back of the estuary. That's what paddles and paddling technique were designed for, so I put those to work, and in little over an hour, I was three miles or so from my put-in point, approaching what might be fishy water. Dragged a new fly (sculpin/perch hybrid, on a size 6 streamer hook, intended to confuse cutthroat into striking) the entire way in, but only collected eel grass up until I got into the higher probability zone, and slowed down a little. I paddled past a spot that almost always holds a cutthroat that will follow and strike at my trolled fly. Bingo! It was good to know my universe was still intact. It was only about 11" but it flashed chrome sides, and I was going to get a pic, but it shook itself off as I reached for my net. I got more hits from then on, but was hooking only 5"ers. I released about a half dozen of those little guys, thinking that its looking good for next year's fishing. Still early yet, so I don't expect any returning bluebacks, but there is usually a stray "late" downstream post-spawner or two around or a good in-river cutthroat of at least 8". I paddled by another spot that's usually a good cutthroat holding zone, and another chrome 11"er grabbed on and splashed the surface before it got off. I ate my late lunch at the top end of the tidal reach I was fishing, then noted that it was time to start fishing my way back out. In many spots, I was able to use the current to pin my hybrid canoe against pilings and logs so that I could stand and cast without having to anchor, but I also anchored up at a few locations and cast various patterns with about the same success I was having. More 5"ers. (Next year looking good! Remember this now, since I might not say anything about it next year!) I trolled down thru the estuary where I have found cutthroat in the past, but only hit some more 5"ers. I had an 8 or 9"er on for a bit, nearly to my boat, but the next 5"er just made me sigh and reel in. The tide had already turned, and I still had nearly 3 miles of paddling into the onshore breeze and incoming tide to make it back to my put-in. Fortunately, the wind speed remained in the single digits, and I got into perfecting my forward paddling stroke, while maneuvering close to the shoreline in the shallows, so as to be out of the main current.