The Lucky Cast
Thought some of you might enjoy a little vicarious fishing, as well as a sneak peak into my innovative technique. A little something I call "The Lucky Cast":
The line came tight near the end of the swing, unfortunately as I lifted my rod and pulled back I realized that I had hooked one of the large boulders that studded the soft inside edge of the water I was working. Snagged again. No matter, as these very boulders were a key part of why I was working my way down this run yet again; first with a skated fly at dawns very first hint of light... ever hopeful, then my wife gave it a bit more thorough effort with a more subsurface presentation, and now this pass with an irresistible looking spey fly wiggling as slowly as I can swim it through this fishy looking water.
At first I thought the snag would come undone easily, a little slack and tug combination didn't work, so I rolled some line out into the current to pull the fly back the way it came into the rock. No dice. Usually at this point I would just break my line, as careful and quite as possible so as not to spook any potential fish in the run. This being the third pass through, and near the end of the good stuff I was a lot less cautious... besides I really wanted that spey fly back!!! I keep trying at various angles, and keep changing my position by slowly working my way through the large boulders closer and closer to my fly. In the end I have my rod tip practically right over the top of my fly and suddenly it comes loose as if it were never snagged at all.
My wife has by now long since finished her pass and broke her rod down for transport to the next run, and is watching me with a mixture of amusement and irritation. I could just reel my line back in, as I have at least half of the head already in. It would only take a moment, and we could be off to unmolested waters with a fresh chance at finding an eager fish. I could have, but for some reason it seems wrong to take a fly in the water out of the water... so instead I pull three long tugs of line back off the reel and do a bit of a floppy roll cast putting the fly just into the current. "Just one lucky cast" I call out to my wife. And for some reason this one does feel lucky to me. The water looks so good, and the sun is still well below the mountains, and the air is still and quiet; everything just feels right. This time when the line comes tight I know it's no boulder, it's FISH ON!
And so it goes sometimes; so many tight looped casts, so many delicate timely mends, so many utterly "perfect" swings go unnoticed. We both felt several times that everything was lined up perfect for a grab, but in the end the only grab I would get in 3 days of hard fishing came off a last chance flop of line after freeing it from a snag. Probably more of a "Hail Mary Cast" than a "Lucky Cast", but I'm coming around to believe more and more in one thing about steelheading: confidence in the fact that you will get lucky... sooner or later.