We all have that 'home' stream that you can drive to blindfolded if needed. Even the trail along the river becomes familiar, so familiar that you know which boulders in the stream to hop over, and which boulders are loose and would cause you to go swimming if stepped on. (Like last time.) You know which hole holds that one
particular nice fish, but have never been able to cast to because of the cover, which is probably why
it holds that nice fish.
I had grabbed the 3 weight, the 1/2 day pack, a few tippet spools, 2 fly boxes and my retractor and my last pair of forceps this morning. I had two pairs of forceps but the last pair suffered a terrible drowning accident on the Yellowstone River weeks earlier, taking along my retractor with it.
During the drive to the trail head, I always try to motivate myself to hike upstream, past the furthest area I've hiked into before. I've always wanted to check out a nice canyon section that I scouted out on a topo map, but would require a good hour and half hike upstream. Since there is no real 'trail,' it's an exhausting hike, and quite frankly, hiking alone makes me a lot more conservative, and I manage subconsciously to stay near the trail head.
But, as usual, those pipe dreams are usually short lived, because at the first productive run moments from bush wacking downhill from the trail, I always decide to make "just one cast" and end up usually hooking a fish before the 10th cast. And it happened again, so after releasing the 9 inch brown that fell to my size 18 Stimmy, I decided to just work upstream from there, wet wading up the creek and getting quite a few browns and a pair of rainbows for the effort . The water is a bit lower, but with the drought situation, I was glad to see decent water conditions. The shrubbery has grown in even more, which makes a difficult situation even worse when it comes to trying to present a fly.
(Yes, I assure you that there's a creek behind the green stuff.)
Also ran into a few snakes, but none of the "OH $H|†!" variety.
There were quite a few butterflies around as well, one of which was actually attacked by a 10" brown who jumped clear out of the water to eat the butterfly that had landed a few inches near the water's edge on a smooth rock. It escaped unscathed, and the brown flopped helplessly on top of the rock for a few seconds before sliding back into the drink. Unfortunately, I had left all my butterfly patterns at home.
I also lost my forceps, again, and I actually liked these ones. I got attacked by a swarm of ants and as I was shaking my pack off, the forceps flew off my bag and landed in the bushes somewhere. I need to get them surgically attached to me. Maybe that's why God invented nipple rings.
I fished up to the beginning of the canyon area, and decided to call it a day. I debated making a quick trip up into the canyong, but I know that the hike would've been a steeper grade, and the short trip I had planned this morning would have become an official 'trek' and I'd be getting home after dark, since I suffer from "what's around the next bend" syndrome.