Salmonflies aren't the only big bugs on the menu...
My dear friend, Marty Sheppard, slid his jet boat onto the shore of an island on the lower river and let me slip into the river to test my skill with a challenging situation. Across the channel Trout were feeding deep under overhanging branches that offered only a small window for success. The cast needed to be on target and close to the surface of the water. A presentation outside of the feeding lane would go unnoticed. An errant cast would end up in the trees, ending the entire exercise. Only a committed effort deep under the greenery and next to the bank would offer any chance of success. It was an intriguing challenge and one I entered into knowing my skills would be tested.
Casting into deep cover demands focus, much like any sport that requires accuracy. Your eyes need to lock onto the target as your computer-like brain makes the required inputs to the rod in your hand. If everything is in sync, the results are magic. If focus is lost, even for a second, failure is inevitable and your fly will reside in the trees until it fades into dust.
There are moments when everything lines up and we live up to our full potential. What I took away from this episode was not the fish fooled by our Fly of the Week, but the comment made by my friend and guide. He remarked that my accuracy and consistency was inspiring and a true pleasure to watch. Right up to the moment I stuck the fly in the trees where it eventually faded into dust.
With the big bugs the focus, it's important to remember those other hatches that add to your day on the river. Green Drakes can pop at any time over the next month and this pattern works well when they do. Just ask Marty.
Hook: Standard Dry Fly 10-12
Thread: Rusty Brown
Tail: Black Kip Tail
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Olive Dyed Grizzly Dun or Grizzly Dyed Dun
Wing: Gray Parapost