I rigged up a black wooly bugger with a green copper john and stripped it through a run that spills into a deep hole. It didn't take long for a rainbow to grab the streamer and make a break for it. I felt comfortable putting a little pressure on him, I was rigged up with 4X- so I brought it to the net pretty easily. Well, I guess the poly leader works. I fished my way through a few more runs, trying different ways of fishing the streamer. I seemed to have the most luck with a dead drift- it was like nymphing without an indicator or split shot. I caught some nice little rainbows, and a brown that fought so wildly I actually wondered what the hell was on the end of my line until I saw it. Spirited little guy. As it got later and sun was getting higher the fish seemed less active . I made my way downstream and saw a couple guys fishing the two runs I had my sights on. Time to move on.
I still had some time to fish, so I drove down to a lower section that seems to get less traffic. One part in particular has some deep runs and pools that I wanted to check out. I'm glad I did. The very first cast connected with a sturdy fish that put the 4x to the test. At this moment I was not missing the intense anxiety that comes with 6x tippet and a big fish. I felt pretty confident I would land this one and it was so much fun to be able to firmly lead it upstream without fearing that dreadful pop and then nothingness that has plagued me this season. Nonetheless, I was still very relieved to get it in the net. It was a fat 16" rainbow with a gorgeous magenta slash and gill plate. Just a beautiful creature. It felt good to watch it swim away. This was the rare kind of day where things went as planned and the fish were in a cooperative mood. I felt uncharacteristically fulfilled with the morning I'd had. I packed up and went home.