I call it a misadventure, because I really didn’t do much snowshoeing. I had gotten a text early in the morning from a friend who wanted to snowshoe into some lakes inaccessible by car. I thought sure, why not? Just no way I was doing it at seven in the morning. Seriously I’m kind of a fair-weather fisherman, aka, wuss. It was cold and rainy out so bed seemed like a more appealing option. Not one to miss out altogether, I had my gear in the car and was soon on my way up the mountain. The lowlands and hills all showed the beginnings of spring. Lush greenery covered the landscape. For the moment, the weather was holding, but over the mountain where I was going… not so much.
When I found my buddy’s truck, the snow that had been falling all morning had long since erased his tracks. I walked around looking for telltale signs, but since he said he would be at one, out of three potential lakes, I was clueless as to where he could be. I donned the snowshoes and followed what I thought was his footsteps, about a half a mile into the clearing before I lost them. Checking the time, it was almost noon. Without much hope of finding him I called it a day. I did take a picture of my feet in the snowshoes as proof that I at least had made it that far. So, snowshoeing didn’t work out; not the first time good plans didn’t go according to plan. I passed a stream on my way up the mountain though and made the decision I would stop and give it a go and salvage what I had left of the afternoon.
The stream was small and starting to color up from the rain and snow. The banks on either side were both overgrown with vegetation, leaving a gauntlet of deadfall in the water. I started off throwing a size 20, red Zebra Midge with a gold bead. Well, it was more like snaking the rod through the trees and gently dropping the fly into the small pocket water below. Similar to the technique of dapping, one of the first forms of fly fishing, the fly dangled two feet below the rod tip, and more or less letting it swirl around the eddies and slack water. I was soon rewarded with a strike. Knee jerk reaction however left my fly tangled in a tree hanging three feet above the water after I pulled it away from the fish. No waders, so there goes fly number one. Fly number two, lost on a submerged root or rock. Fly number three, same fate as fly number one. After losing three flies on a twenty-foot stretch of water I decided it was time to change my game plan. Bigger fly, forget trying to land the fish.
Size 16, bead head Prince Nymph. The results, no more lost flies. Instead of my typical Bill Dance hook set, I settled instead for a got tug on the fly line. Most of them I at least got to catch a glimpse of their thrashing head before spitting the hook. I did manage to bring a few to the shore and get some pictures. I earned my money. I had to earn each strike and fish I got that day. Totally worth a few flies and a little frustration. The snowshoeing was a bust, but the wild Rainbow fishing was a blast.
Below are some added pics from the day.