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deep1

deep2

At the beginning of the month water levels were low and wading was easy. Now, after more than 15 inches of rain it turns out these rivers are height dependent, and I find myself bobbing across the bottom on tiptoe trying to find purchase. It would be a short, quick trip out to the Pacific from here.

We fished from before dawn to after dark both days this weekend then yesterday afternoon and dawn again today. We saw throngs of people, 70 boats, rain drops, wind, and few fish. I stuffed five layers under burly waders and wore two hats.

At home I washed my hands and the hot water burned like hydrogen peroxide on a fresh cut. The tips of the first two fingers on my right hand have white stripes from thousands of small strips of heavy line. Calluses where prints should be. Tomorrow we’ll go out again. My gut says conditions are ripe, and it’s about to turn on for a short window before the next storm brings another 5-8 inches of rain.

“The most miserable fishing weather. Ever. Worse than snow.” – C. Scott

The NOAA forecast for the next 36 hours is a little gnarly. Note the winds.

  • This Afternoon Rain, with thunderstorms also possible after 4pm. High near 58. Windy, with a south wind around 60 mph, with gusts as high as 90 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Tonight Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds. Low around 54. Windy, with a south wind 44 to 49 mph decreasing to 31 to 36 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 75 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Rain. Temperature falling to around 52 by 5pm. Breezy, with a south wind 24 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Tuesday Night Showers. Low around 51. Breezy, with a south wind 24 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Meanwhile the days have all started to blend together.

It’s been slow. Little rain has meant few fish, and several days went by last week without even a tug. The dry weather is having an impact on the crowds, and yesterday for a few hours we stood alone in the current while the wind blew and the drizzle slowly soaked through our layers. This mid-size chrome buck was the pay-off.

This little guy was so confused after trying to eat the heck out of a comet. He really wanted to be a Chinook.

Remember Fraggle Rock? Jim Henson must have loved himself a Comet.

It seems unjust to be hoping for the rains to come and the rivers to rise while the east coast is still recovering from Sandy the Frankenstorm. Yet today that’s how we’re rolling with flies being tied, waders being patched, and the forecast on constant update. It’s a weird, weird world.

First day out. One native. One hatchery. Both covered in sea lice. Both caught on the fly.