Did I mention is was frickin freezing? Yeah, like 7 layers might not be enough, freezing. Did I mention it was early? We dressed, some faster than others (Darren) and headed down to the river. Darren jumped in 2 water falls above the bridge and I (15 minutes later) at the bridge. After several attempts and cuss words, I managed to tie on a size 22 black midge with a white bead head and another nondescript black midge with a mylar body that was left over from the San Juan trip. At that light, at my age, with fingers that felt like cow utters left out in the Artic Circle over night, I should have won an Oscar for my performance, but hence.......no one was there to give me a round of applause. I did however catch a feisty little rainbow on my second cast. DAMN IT! So all was well. Except now I had to figure out how to keep my hands warm and A) net the fish with my aluminum handled net, B) get the fish off without getting my gloves or hands wet (spoiler alert: didn't happen) and C) use the new GoPro Hero3 camera without C1) letting the little bastard freeze to death C2) dropping the camera in the drink. Did I mention it was like 6am and I was barely awake?
I figured it out. Technically I messed up a few times, taking video first instead of a still picture, then taking 3 burst photos, but luckily with digital photography you can just delete your mistakes. That fish was way bigger than that photo - close to 16 inches and fun to fight.
I sat out for a couple minutes as my fingers would just not co-operate - while staring at my not moving hand, my mind was telling me that my fingers were playing the piano - I knew it was time to take a break and warm up. Eventually the throbbing went away and I walked up to see Darren. The sun was almost hitting Darren's spot on the river so I jumped in and fished with him. Fish were poking their heads up closer to the waterfall and Darren and I were soon into fish - some ass hooked, some bigger than others, all were welcome distractions from the cold and all were returned to the water promptly.
I managed some video of the fish that were caught and boot licked our feet as we fished. The video is much higher resolution than the above, but Blogger just won't allow you to put up a 100MB file on their dime. I was shocked how well the GoPro took video underwater since it was not yet sunny on the water - great video and the new extension arm I bought for the camera made this very easy - can't wait to use it at Spinney and other fishing areas with great views.
Honestly, I could tell you we caught tons of fish, but we didn't - maybe 5 or 6 each, some huge, some small, some clean looking newbs and some old beat up bastards that have been in the river for 10 years. We worked the rest of the river down to the tunnels, with minimal success - lots of fish seen, some HUGE, a couple caught - but they just didn't seem to be eating with consistency, or too smart to bite our shit.
The sun felt awesome and soon we were sweating our asses off, but had no place to actually put any of the hats, gloves and clothes we needed to strip off, so we hit the pisser for Darren's tiny bladder and then the truck for a beer and snacks. When looking around, there were no less than 20 other fishermen from the bridge to the dam, so we decided to go down to the library to fish back there. I had never been back there - it was a beautiful spot, but looked barren. Darren managed to walk down river and spook up a couple of 20" soon to be nesters - and then landed one (I wasn't around or else I would have taken a picture).
We were pretty much done at 12:30 and headed back. I was home by 2pm. Nice quick trip.