We started off trying to fish the same area I'd spotted the big browns, but someone else had beaten us to it. No biggie....we made our way much further downstream and fished some great looking water. Only one decent take and I was just scratching my head, wondering what we were doing wrong. Chris was using flies, but ended up throwing spinners on his spinning rod and still no luck.
Alright, let's move way down then! We went down a ways until we saw some prime looking water, then began fishing again. An hour or so passed by, along with some great looking water I was convinced we'd get fish in, but no luck!
Shortly after, it was like someone flipped a switch, Chris began catching decent sized rainbows back to back on his spinner, then I started getting my own swinging flies. The further down we kept going, the better the fishing was getting. Then we hit a stretch of water that seemed devoid of fish, bah!
We were getting discouraged since we hadn't landed a decent fish yet. Just as we were contemplating calling it a day, feeling defeated, magic happened. We happened upon an "ok" looking run of water. It wasn't too deep, but deep enough to where we couldn't see bottom. Chris ran a spinner through the small stretch of decent water, and he said he'd had a follow. In the back of my mind I was thinking it was just a little guy checking it out. But after he switched to a bigger spinner, his first cast and retrieve into the run yeilded a beautiful wild rainbow. If I had to guess, it was 17" It was a dark maroon color, which made me feel like it was Spring. We snapped a few pics (which I can't find right now) and sent him on his way. We were both excited, and our gas tanks filled back up after that one! That one fish made my day, it was a great sized fish for a river that was barely over 90 cfs!
We worked out way downstream yet again, this time hooking up into a few more smaller rainbows each, and then we stopped at a nice bend that dumped into a big pool with some overhanging trees. I liked the way this looked. Chris threw his spinner in and said he'd gotten a follow but didn't see the size. I ran a streamer through and had a big rainbow follow it but not committ. It was exciting to see these big rainbows chase something for so long!
After changing flies, the stars aligned and I was hooked up into a beautiful wild 16" rainbow. Chris snapped a few pics for me with his camera (which I deleted on accident...I'll have to get them again) and we sent him on his way.
Chris departed from that spot shortly after I landed that one, but while I was fighting that 16" fish, an even bigger rainbow started chasing it!
After landing this guy, I just sat in the cool water for about 10 minutes, gathering myself. I had redeemed myself, and everything felt right in the world.
It was starting to get hot, and we both made the looooong walk back to the car with smiles on our faces..it was worth the heat exhaustion I had later that night, no doubt.