I reached behind me to reconnect my net to the magnet, when I saw a rising fish out of the corner of my eye and a chill went up my spine. Before I got too excited, I stopped and watched for another rise, and saw one, two, three... The fish were porpoising like crazy, and they were huge. I started to panic. How am I going to get to those fish without spooking them? What are they eating?? There is no hatch, and I still have to rebuild a dry fly leader! I had my nymphs clipped off so fast, you would think I performed the task with a machete. I pulled out my 6X tippet to extend my leader, and when I glanced back downstream my heart dropped. Three river otters poked their heads up, chomping away at what they had found to eat, then went back to porpoising to get another mouth full of food.
“Damn it!” I said as I slipped my 6X tippet back into my vest. I looked at my leader that now had no flies attached and got even more upset. I wanted to dry fly fish so bad, that I had believed the backs of river otters were the world's biggest rising rainbow trout... How stupid!
I reluctantly tied my nymphs back onto my leader, and look at the time. I had thirty minutes left to fish, so I walked back upstream to the bridge to finish off the day, but there was someone already fishing there.
I sparked up a small conversation with the man before I asked if it was okay if I fished upstream of the bridge from him.
“Actually...” The man said, after I had asked, “no, it’s not okay. The river is closed upstream from the bridge. But, you are welcome to fish right there if you wish.”
The man was pointing to the water just opposite of him, which was a very nice gesture.
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Yeah, go ahead!” He said happily, so I shimmied my way into the water.
“There are a lot of white fish here, but every once in a while you will get into a red-side.” He told me, referring to a native type of rainbow trout that are found in this river.
“That would be nice.” I said, and flicked my flies into the river. My slinky stretched to signify a take, and I set the hook, bringing in a little white fish.
My alarm chimed on my phone, letting me know it was time to get going. Before I left, I let my fellow angler know about my French approach to nymphing and thanked him again for sharing his spot on the river. As I crossed the bridge to where I was parked I wished the man well, and left at the sight of him hooking into a fish.
“Fishing was fantastic, and my first fish of the year was a brown trout.” I said with a smile.
“Good.” She said, and smiled back.
I could tell by her smile that she, along with I, really enjoyed our last weekend vacation before becoming parents.