Updated: Jun 28, 2020
I have noticed that my willingness to travel more to areas to fish has been growing lately. I do not know if it is due to the change to more favorable weather or the time I have spent reading up on different techniques for euronymphing. I would like to think that it is the later because I want to see if what I have studied has some merit to it. The weather is just an added bonus.
I did not notice how good the weather was until I arrived at my destination in Felt, Idaho. Felt is a small town in between Ashton, to the North, and Tetonia to the South. I have been to this area once before a couple of years ago. I fished it with a spinning rod and did not have much success. I had a different mindset and mood this day. I am eager to hike down the steep switch backs carved into the canyon walls and see what the river has to offer me.
Due to the relative strenuous hike into and out of the canyon for any beginner hiker or angler, and the hidden nature of this area to most anglers, it can be a secluded area to fish for a good few hours. At leas that has been the case for me every time I have gone. When I pulled up to the make shift parking area I noticed there was a car already there. It surprised me but I admittedly expected it to be the case.
As I was putting my things together and ready to go. One of them said, "hello" to me and I returned the greeting. Nothing different or strange. As they drove off they made an effort to wish me luck and to have a good day. The waving to me eagerly as they passed. It was very genuine and actually made me stop and think how much I appreciated their effort to just be nice and wish a stranger, fellow human being, a good day. I guess it took me off guard because I did not expect that I needed something like that as much as I realized I did. I logged this back into my mind.
I made the thirty minute hike down into the canyon. I reached the river and started to scope out pockets of water that looked like they would hold fish. I did not have a thermometer on me but I assumed that the water was just starting to warm up a little. Making the fish a little more eager to come out of the deep or rocks they were hiding under. I threw on a caddis nymph pattern on both the point and dropper positions on my leader and started to sling them in the pools. After a few casts and adjustments to the drift I started to hook up some fish. One of the cooler feelings is getting the first indication of a hit and setting that hook to feel the fight on the end of the line, and on your own fly that you tied, just tops it off. The excitement just drives me more to keep slinging the flies.
I started to challenge myself to practice sneaking up to areas and using natural structures to hide myself. I would like to think that this helped with the amount of fish I caught, but honestly it is anecdotal to try and correlate things things like that. I like to think that it does. I was hooking up fish in deeper as well as faster moving water. The fly I was using started to get all chewed up but this did not seem to matter to the fish. They kept on taking it wherever I threw it.
When I finally realized what time of day it was, I reluctantly secured my fly on the rod and started to make a steep climb out of the canyon. The longer hike, gave me a chance to reflect on the day and experiences I had. I started to think of things that I did well at, and where I could have improved. I am always looking for opportunity to improve and to reflect on a fun time. When I finally returned to my truck I started to break down my rod. In a final thought my mind recalled the experience I had with the couple earlier that day as our paths crossed. It was this experience that topped it off for me and made me smile the most. Out of all the fish I was able to pull out and practice I was able to get under my belt, a kind "hello" and a genuine wave was what I enjoyed the most.
It seems odd even to me and others might disagree but genuine kindness and human interaction is nice to encounter and to give. Especially right now with the pandemic going on. Their example of going out of their way to greet me inspired me to be nicer and more out going when running into other anglers or outdoor enthusiasts. A kind hello and a genuine smile can go a long way for someone. I am no challenging myself and you, to do the same thing. Be more open to people in the outdoors. Be willing to say hello or even wave if social distancing is still a thing. You never know who you might help or inspire.