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I got up a first light this morning to get some fishing in before work this morning. I went to a spot that has been hit and miss for me this season. Some days I'll get a few fish and others I will get skunked, but it is nice because it is near my home and I can cover a lot of water in 1-2 hours. I got down to the water and started fishing only to realize that I left my sun glasses in the car.

As I worked my way down the river I kept missing fish. I would feel them fight for a second and then they'd spit the hook. In the first stretch of river I walked I had more bites than ever before, but I missed every single fish. Soon I came to a spot where I needed to cross the river. As I look across the river I see a flash. Was it a fish, or was it a leaf? Without my glasses that I left in the car I can't really see in the water. I think I see a dark shape in the water, but am not sure if it is a fish, a log, or a rock.

I proceed to make a few casts upstream of this spot. On the third cast my line goes tight and I set the hook. Crap, I'm stuck on the bottom. That must have been a branch or something in the water. As I adjust the angle of my rod tip upstream it looks like my line is starting to rise in the water and them boom, the fish takes off like it was shot from a cannon. The adrenaline starts pumping as I start to realize that this may be the biggest fish I've hooked on this river. The fish crosses the faster current and starts swimming against the bank upstream in the slower water. Then I see the fish flash, it is definitely the biggest fish I've hooked. For the moment I'm glad this fish is heading upstream because it has stayed out of the faster water downstream of me. But, then i look at where the fish is heading and I see a big log right in the fish's path. If it continues in that trajectory it will end up under the log. I start to apply a little extra pressure to turn the fish away from the log, and it is working. The fish is still swimming away from me, but it is turning to the good side of the log. And then pop, the line goes slack, the fish has come off. At first I think my line broke, but I then I see both of my flies are still attached to my line. From the looks of it the fish ate the small prince nymph that was trailing my stonefly because of the shape the tippet was in from the stonefly to the prince nymph.

At this point I needed to relax for a minute after getting the blood flowing from fighting that fish. I retied my flies on continued to work my way down the river with similar luck. I hooked a few more small ones and they all came off.

I did get to see some cool wildlife though. There was a juvenile bald eagle that was having just as much luck as me. I watched it swoop down to the water a few times coming up empty handed. I came across a family of deer and a big beaver moving a branch across the river with ease. Even without hooking a fish it would have been a really good morning for me. Catching fish is fun, but for me the experience of fishing is what I enjoy.
 

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"Ride'n Dirty."
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Hell ya. Great report.
I had a day similar to that recently where everything was coming unbuttoned.
It was almost like a whole day of it.
I ended up rolling with it because it's hard landing fish by yourself in a boat, so the fish is better off anyway.
Thanks for the report and sounds like an awesome day to be out!
B.
 
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Just an Old Man
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This made me think of a buddy of mine when we went Steelheading one winter. We were on the N/F Sky about a few miles above Index. He hooked up with a rock on the other side of the river. He swore it was a fish. The current was going down at a pretty good clip. And he played that rock until I told him the error of his ways. The current would pick up his line and he would reel it up and it would pull on it again. It was fun to watch.
 

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Great report, well done! I've been stuck at home working on a utility room remodel so a real fishing report, and one with such suspense, is a treat! I'm still seeing your fish swim towards the log!

and OMJ, that is some funny stuff, cracked me up.
 
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