The last day of a trip is always bittersweet. Part of you is anxious to get home; you have work to catch up on, and perhaps a family to see. But there is another part of you that wants to soak up every last bit of the experience. Like listening to a beating grouse while you lay half awake in your sleeping bag. Enjoying one more camp breakfast cooked over your seasoned, cast iron skillet. Or lacing up your boots that have seen more terrain than most people would dream to in a lifetime.
No matter what, our last day was something to cherish. We had already caught our share of fish, and seen more untouched water than we had bargained for
Part of our passion for fly fishing routes from the intense discipline of manipulating our fly lines strategically to appeal to fish. So when we fished on our last day we were still very focused. However, we took more breaks in-between these fishing sessions, and immersed ourselves in our surroundings and truly enjoyed where we were, as well as each others company.
Our angling success the last day came from stripping streamers in very specific lies, which we had learned from previous outings during our trip. In fact, we were gifted with some reasonably good action despite the high sun.
As the sun lowered, we had high anticipation for more dry fly action like we encounter the night before. However, the wind was strong and the temperature was dropping fast.
We began to see a few fish feed off the surface, but very sporadically and not in any sort of rhythm. When the light was almost gone, we finally found a large fish feeding in somewhat of a predictable pattern. After a few casts with the wind knocking down our flies, it finally let up and allowed for a single good presentation of our surface pattern. The fly traveled right down the fish's lane and right where we expected. We saw a giant boil followed by its large tail fin.
The fly never disappeared and remained floating down river undisturbed. Denial at its best..
The large fish never rose again and we were humbled leaving the river in the near dark with a long drive a head of us.
Regardless, we still thought an encounter with a fish like that was special. In fact, it was probably a way of the river inviting us back for another adventure down the road.