Over the weekend I managed to find some time, but more importantly some warm weather and headed down to the Canyon to find some quiet time on the water. The temps over the weekend were warm but the canyon walls are tall leaving quite a bit of snow on the edges of the river, making the upper canyon feel a bit like the ice box.
Fished for a bit in the shade before quickly realizing that even though there were fish within eye sight, they were lacking any hint of enthusiasm to take a fly and my hands turned into mittens after landing two that actually decided to eat.
So, I walked for a while, 15 min up and down the hills along the Gill Trail and found a stretch of 200+ yards of water that was bathed in sun, looking very warm compared to the blue frozen hue that I had left. Upon getting down to the waters edge I found rainbows that had slid back to the end of the pool that were looking up, and occasionally rising to an adult midge.
I dropped my pack, had a snack, watched, checked my rig, and prepared to fish this near perfect section of stream. After fishing through the first pool, very slowly I might add, the fish had a case of the spook, I got a call on my walkie talkie. The group that I had arrived with and left in the shade, my ride; was cold, discouraged, and ready to head out. I finished fishing up to the top of the run and grabbed my pack and trudged up the hill over a bend or two, back into the shade and out of the canyon.
All in all the fishing was good, tough but good. Fish were eating, as long as you could get a perfect dead drift to them with long leaders, 12ft+ and small flies seemed to be the ticket, no surprise for this time of year. Chasing tailwaters is the name of the game and look for conditions to continue to improve as overnight lows keep rising.