I was lucky enough yesterday to have one of those amazing days on the water. For the First couple of hours, I had the spot all to myself. Lots of small Trico’s being sipped by big hungry trout. I actually fished the same pool of water all morning. The run was approx.. 75’ long and 8’-0” wide. I first pulled fish from the upper section of the run and then made my way down with longer drifts and more fish. Once I got to the end of the run (that I could reach from this position) I simply started fishing the upper section again. I was able to hook, net and land fish after fish from this hole.
Then after a couple hours of fishing, I heard the tell-tale sound of wading boots on the rounded river rocks of the bank. I turn to see an older gentleman decked out in high end fishing apparel (we all know the type), wanting to fish my water. I let him know I would be there for the next couple of hours and he proceeded to move back into the brush to leave. Not 5 minutes later, I see the man entering the water no less than 50 feet away from me. Now, I have had my share of fish this morning so no fisher was going to taint this trip, but I was surprised to see this fisherman making his way into the water so close by me. I continued to hook and land fish after fish. I could see fish rising right in front of the fisherman, but he was having no luck at all. I felt bad, so I informed the man of the fly type and size I was using. 22-24 Trico spinners. He said thanks and made a fly change. He made a few more cast in his immediate vicinity, but the fish stopped rising… He put them down with bad cast, bad drifts and simply put poor presentation.
I was still fishing the same pool of fish with much success. I noticed that he was getting closer and closer to me. At this time, he was now making long casts, much too long for anyone to get a proper drift. Now he was putting my fish down. Happy for the day I had and not wanting to end the day on a bad note, I made my way upriver towards my rig. Normally I would be more outspoken, but this day had been great, and I had plans to leave early before I even got to the river. I started the short walk upriver to my rig. Like most fly fishers, I love throwing big dry flies when I can, so I tie on a hopper pattern and fished it tight to the grassy bank. Second cast gave me a decent brown. I fished for a few more minutes, but in reality I spent much time watching this other fisherman who pushed his way into my hole and put all the fish down. No fish were rising… I so wanted to go give this guy a lesson in both fly fishing etiquette as well as fly presentation. With only ten minutes of fishing, he shut the entire 75’ feet of water down.
I will fully admit I am not the best fly caster out there, but I fished the same pod of rising fish for four hours, then this guy made a few bad casts and the fish simply stopped feeding. I often get asked about our leaders spooking or scaring fish because the leader is not transparent… The answer is a definitive NO; Cutthroat furled leaders do not spook fish. Because our leaders land so soft and gentle on the water, you can make multiple casts to rising trout and never put them down. Now if you make a bad cast and the fly line plops on the water with a loud slap, no leader is going to help you.
As I climb out of the canyon, I see a vehicle parked literally 2 feet from mine. There is only one trail from the parking spot to the hole, that means this guy had plans of busting in on me from the beginning. I try not to get preachy about fishing, but guys like this really piss me off. They give many of the other decent respectful angers a bad name.
In the end, I have a truly successful day on the water. I will be back soon. I can only hope the fisherman I encountered continued to have a rough day out there… Simply put, he deserved it.
I was fishing with a 50" Dry Fly Furled Leader on a 7'-3" Bamboo Rod. 4'-0" of 5x tippet stepped down to 2'-0" of 5.5X trout hunter tippet.