Tuesday, December 19, 2023

New Gear Testing

December 17, 2023

Took to the locals once again in order to test some new equipment.  An Orvis Superfine Glass 6'6" 2wt.  New lightweight Orvis wading boots. OM Systems (formerly known as Olympus) TG7 camera.  I had planned on fishing with a buddy but due to a miscommunication he never arrived.  By 8:50am I was on the trail making my way, at around 10am I was 2 miles in and I started to fish the hole I saw the foot long the last outing.  While I managed several fish the 12 incher never showed.
I took my time here trying desperately to get that local hog but after a while I gave up and moved to make distance.  Since days are now short I wanted to make sure I had enough time to complete the course unlike last time when I was about a half mile short.
Fished a few more locations before I reached the area I had to turn back last outing.  By now it was closing in on 1pm.  I knew if I didn't want to be hiking out in the dark I needed to be heading back before 3pm.  I had a plan though I would fish the canyon and go through it to where it pops back out to the trail and hightail it out of there. 
When I entered the canyon I started to fish more aggressively than I did before.  I haven't seen this area since the hard winter and was curious how it looked and if the fish were still there.  The rest of the river the fish are scarcer than in the past few years.  Fishing here was decent, there is much better holding water and bigger pools.
I'd estimate 60 rises for the day.  Half were landed.  The half the fish popped off or were missed.   Don't know why but fish seemed to come off very easily on this rod.  It seemed to happen mostly when I had the rod angle horizontal to the water.   I was forced to hold this angle many times since I was canopied with trees branches above.  I was reaching the end of the canyon by 3pm and I could see the trail a few thousand yards away.  Unfortunately I could reach it as I reached a spot in the canyon I couldn't confidently or safely go forward.  This meant I had to go back from where I came.  An area without a trail.  Backtracking cost me an hour of light so now I knew I was going to be making a few river crossings in the dark.
I got on the trail past 4pm and with more than 3 miles I needed to start booking it.I took out my head lamp from my pack and wore it around my neck in preparation for the sunset.  Upon reaching one of the river crossings I saw a pair of hikers putting in their boots.  I asked them if they had headlamps and they did not.  I told them they're going to be making a few stream crossings in the dark.  So they followed me out and with each water crossing I made sure to light up the water so they could see their footing.  Got out of there in the darkness by around 5:30pm. 

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