Erp, nope. Not at all. This is what happened.
I arrived at the Emerald Marina during the grey twilight the dawn of Christmas Eve, and only saw one other truck. Good, I have this river to myself! I thought to myself. I set myself at the head of one of my favorite runs, which is the area downstream of the bridge. It is a nice spot because on one side there is a sunk piece of pavement at the base of a pool on one side, and a deep pool on the other side. So there are two tailouts feeding into two runs, thus feeding into one large tailout. There are large boulders all along the riverbed, some nice transition water throughout, and before the river reaches an eyot, there’s a nice run leading to a pool. A lot of other folk seem to have caught onto reading this unique section of the river, as I have seen many fishermen come to this spot often times over other spots around the marina downstream. There’s a lot of room for opportunity, and a lot of room to fish from both sides of the run.
I tied on a purple and pink maribou fly today, as the flows were a little slower (around 400 cfs), and I was mainly after pocket water here. With moderate flow and a sink tip, I thought this would be a better approach than using an intruder that would just sink to the bottom. By the time I threw my second or third cast, I noticed some others filing in around me, two of which started to hook into some large steelhead. Not daunted by the luck that was not mine, I pressed on downstream. More folk started to file in, and by this time in this same section of water, there were maybe ten of us. The combat fishing had begun, and I turned around and left, as in my experience in Ohio, when people start to file in they usually hog a spot and stay there all day instead of moving on to a different part of the stream.
I made my way downstream to the head of the run where I had some success yesterday, and found myself casting foul and losing flies to some bad knots. With the foul casting signalling fatigue in my casting arm, the cold, and the pressure from all the other fishermen crowding the marina, I decided to call it a day and let the steelies have their little victory for now. Until next time, Merry Christmas, and tight lines to all.