The last day of our excursion north to the Salmon River came fast, leaving us contemplating a return home to friends, family, and that “W” word fly fishermen don’t like.
The plan was to fish a scenic portion of the river and enjoy what mother nature had in store. We knew that walking this stretch of weather meant blazing trail through over a foot of a fresh powder, but it kept us warm on a pretty cold day. We also fully understood that large portions of the river were void of fish and that we might experience some difficulty zeroing in on them. Nonetheless we persevered and carried on.
On our way upriver, we fished likely holding water and Adam was able to mine up a small feisty fish in a boulder garden. Other spots were full of anglers, chairs included, so we hop scotched them looking for some seclusion.
I was able to find it on one of my favorite runs. Flanked by towering pines and covered in fresh snow, I had a hundred yards of awesomeness to myself. That was until a drift boat floated by close enough to high five. I parked it and waited for my brother, Adam, and Parry to arrive. Once they did, they nymphed the top of the pool while I slowly worked the middle and tail out swinging a mini-intruder. My only action of the day came at the end of a swing as my fly arrived in the slow stuff. I had a precious few seconds of head thrashing and cart wheeling before the fly flew back at my face. I was pumped.
Up on a popular bend, we finally finished our mini-migration. It was now the afternoon and it began to snow. Soon, no one was on the river besides us and we nymphed and swung our way back. On one particular stretch we stood silently listening to the river. The only sound came from the water slowly moving between our legs as we gazed off into the the winter wonderland. It was as if time stood still for a minute or two. I rudely interrupted the silence as I set a sustained anchor and arched up into a d-loop. I couldn’t resist.
As the light faded and the snow continued to pour out of the sky, Parry hooked up one last time. His first fly fishing trip ever came to an abrupt halt as the fish broke free. We hiked out of the ravine and walked the rest of the way back to the car on the road. We reminisced, laughed, and took our grand ole time in the parking lot. No need to rush when your leaving an empty snow laden river.