NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
at fishing moving water. Just wanted to get that off my chest.
I'm with you Dan and love to work out a problem like the one you described above, I will also stay with it until I catch the fish or put them down and have to move on.I seldom fish anything BUT moving water , and most of the time I'm sure I suck at it, too (I really suck at still-water fishing!). Fortunately, I frequently run into sympathetic and/or stupid trout that take my fly regardless of how unnatural the drift/drag.
Case in point. I had one nasty seam to work yesterday on the Yakima. Standing in FAST waist deep water, casting over a slow tongue and another fast riffle, into a slow-water rock garden at the head of a pool. Big fish feeding in that bouder-strewn pool, but I could only manage about a 3-second drift before line-drag ripped the fly(s) away. It took awhile (45+ minutes) but I was able to pull out one big cutthroat (15+ inches) on a dry (a #14 Crippled Purple Haze) and three rainbows (12 to 15 inches) out on a hopper-dropper rig (all hit the small #18 purple-sparkle bead head nymph). The key to fast water, for me, seems to be being patient enough for the stupidest fish to come out and see my dragging / unnaturally-drifting fly.
Fortunately, as many of us former (former?) geeks remember from high school, the biggest and burliest are sometimes the stupidest ones in the school....;^)