A trip to familiar water leads to an unfamiliar turn of events....
Jerad A. Bussell
After being trapped indoors by the demands of senior research and getting sick twice in a row, I NEEDED to catch a fish. It had been over a month, prior to Christmas break since I felt the rush of a hook-set.... my soul needed a healing. Sam, Dan and I planned to hit the San Juan early on Sunday morning. They said they would pick me up at 8.00am. Any earlier that that- we figured the fish would still be frozen.
I packed my crate and eagerly went to bed the night before. I woke up at 7:01, drank coffee, and started tying a beadhead Prince. They arrived with burritos in hand- and we were off. We arrived at the river around 9:30am and started getting ready. This isn't the famed Quality Waters, so we are always free to experiment with our fly selection. I tied on a San Juan Worm and a size 20 mayfly emerger- I didn't want to experiment, I wanted to catch a fish with what I knew worked.
It didn't work out. Sam had told us that the river was drastically different than it was previously. I believed him, but didn't know the extent of his words. A hole that would produce a 20 fish day, 7-8 feel deep, was now buried under silty sand. The river was 2 feet deep. The channels we would fish for hours held nothing. We fished the circuit (the three main holes of the stretch of river) and caught nothing. We, well, at least I was feeling a little demoralized. I remembered that winter fishing was always harder and a bit more technical. "It is still early" I would tell myself, but around 11:30am, I couldn't use that excuse.
Finally, SAM CAME THROUGH. In the swift motion of a few casts, he caught a nice Brown Trout and a Common Sucker. Dan caught a nice Sucker and I was suddenly left in the dust. I continued fishing and finally caught a small Rainbow. FINALLY! I ate some lunch and joined the boys where they were fishing. The river had changed significantly and where it used to be 2 feet deep was now an abyss. Daniel had spooked a "school" of Sucker fish in the morning but now it was several hours later. We presumed there were many fishing lurking in the depths of this hole. I tied on a size 10 rubber legged golden stone and got to work. We got to work. Sam, Dan and I pulled so many dang Suckers out of this hole it was like they were on sale. I caught a nice brown and a PB rainbow for that stretch of water. I had always seen people take photos of double fish and I wanted to do that too. I was lucky and got to do it twice! Woohoo!
Moral of the story.... is there a moral to the story? I'm not sure. We stuck with it until we found a hole that produced fish. I was fairly demoralized after a month and a half of not feeling the sweet-sweet tug of a fish. Get after it and don't give up. It seems like its always worth it.