I can make my first cast in Elevenmile Canyon about 52 minutes after pulling out of my driveway in central Colorado Springs. That was the case yesterday when I decided in mid-afternoon that the work on my desk and the emails in the inbox would still be there on Monday, but this beautiful fall afternoon would not.
I tied on a dry and trailed a tiny emerger behind it, the top one mainly so I would know approximately where the smaller emerger was on the water. I positioned myself to fish the ripples just off the bank. The small brown took the first fly, to my surprise, and put up a nice little fight. When he got close, I noticed a second fish following him in. At first, I thought the second fish was just the shadow of the fish I had on the line. He was darting a little erractically, though, and I realized he was following the second fly on the line. He darted back downstream and I netted the first catch of the day.
I decided to give that side of the river a rest after I released the fish. On my second cast out to the far-side of the pool in the middle of the river, I felt the hit on the tiny, second fly. The top fly dunked into the seam. The big brown took the small emerger and dove down into the deep pool between us. I loved the bend in the rod and the steady pull of the big fish. He turned downstream; I turned him back. He turned back to the deep pool. I turned him out of it. His heftiness filled the net and I felt his weight and strength in my hand as I took out the fly and released him back into the current. Two catches on two different flies on one rig.
A little while later, as the sun was disappearing, the dusk sky was streaked with clouds which were now turning orange. The wind had died down. That autumn chill of the evening air was settling into the canyon. I was grateful for a 52 minute drive that always connects me to something bigger in my life and fills me with a sense of awe and wonder.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside