July 16, 2010
Exhaustion is catching up with Vladi and me. We crashed out at about 9 pm last night with intentions of fishing by 2 am but neither of us woke up until 5 am. After seeing two good fish caught yesterday the last thing I wanted to do was oversleep, so without coffee or a snack I bolted for the salmon shed. There were only three guys fishing and the reason being that not a fish was touched since our one, two three fish in a row yesterday. Everyone’s getting a bit run down with this intense and difficult fishing.
Today was scorching hot and there was barely a cloud in the sky. Once I got on the water I fished hard. With only three of us rotating there was little time for rest. At 6 am both the other guys cashed in as they had fished twelve hours straight and no action. From 6 till about 9 am I pulverized beat 2b by myself without any action either. There were no free jumping salmon and my confidence level was at it’s lowest of the trip. It was apparent that the hot sun was keeping the salmon run at a standstill.
Even Vladi got a little discouraged. He never loses interest in fishing. But at 9 am when my permit expired he suggested we go make breakfast. I thought for sure this meant we would head to another river but during breakfast he suggested we get one more permit and fish a section well below 2b that was included in our permit. “No way”, I thought to myself.
Back when I used to fish competitively in Europe Vladi was kind of a personal trainer to me. I was always a good dry fly guy but my nymphing skills were just average. In order to succeed in fly fishing competition in Europe you have to be able to nymph superbly. Although it wasn’t always fun, Vladi taught me well and I always referred to fishing with him as “Vladi Boot Camp”. Now I was in “Vladi Boot Camp” for Atlantic salmon. Sure enough, after breakfast we got a new permit and drove to the lower part of the beat.
The different section of our beat was refreshing. I didn’t know every rock and seam or what type of water lay around the next corner. I covered the water well for five straight hours. But there were no free jumping salmon and it was far too hot. I fished until 5 pm then told Vladi if I was going to fish I’d rather be on 2b where at least I knew there were fish. Back we went and there were about six of the regular crew taking turns. Still, not one fish had been hooked. It was the first time that there was some serious beer drinking going on and even though the fishing was lousy, everyone was having fun. Naturally I joined in and in no time we had quite the international fishing party.
By miracle, on my first pass through 2b I hooked up. It was a salmon, slightly larger than yesterdays but certainly not my dream fish. And sadly, the salmon inhaled my fly so bad that he died. I have hardly any fish fatalities in a year and unfortunately today it happened to my salmon. You are only allowed one salmon a day. I was done until midnight.
In a way it was good to be finished for the day. I was tired and that salmon was one of the most scrumptious tasting fish of my life. It’s about 10 pm and we just returned from a visit to the salmon shed. There have been no fish caught since mine. We are going to sleep until about 4 and then I’m fishing straight through till 11 am when my permit ends. Then we are switching rivers.