While other Rockies’ rivers rounded into shape, Charlie ventured up from Texas last week to sample the West Koots’ fishing. The Columbia River must have heard him coming, ’cause the mighty tailwater dished up the finest dry-fly fishing I’ve ever seen.
The final day was huge even by Texan standards, and Charlie left for Calgary with a smile wider than the Stetson atop his head.
All on dries – PMDs and caddis, primarily. All rising in skinny water less than a boat-width deep. At one point in the evening Charlie turned to me and said, “I don’t think we’ve gone 10 minutes without a hookup all day.” He’s not one for counting fish, and neither am I, but I’m pretty sure Charlie nailed it. Granted, the Columbia ‘bows are notorious for kicking butt, so that’s not to say that a hefty dose of wild redbands didn’t streak for deeper water and quickly end the show.
Charlie has a personality befitting the Lone Star State. He knows that slow days are rewarded by epic ones. A very good first foray on the Columbia was followed by a slow burn under hot sunny skies (the hoppers weren’t quite hoppin’ yet), but perseverance prevailed and he proclaimed the final day the finest dry-fly fishing he’s ever experienced. Between takes we talked about our mutual love of good books – especially the grand Western tomes by writers like McCarthy, Hemmingway, and McMurtry. And don’t even get us started on wild turkeys, crafty whitetails, and fine guns …
Yup, the Columbia’s been a blast, the Slocan River’s been stellar at times and slower others, but now I’m off to Fernie and the Seven Rivers Lodge to toss a bedroll, round-up the five-weights, and reunite with the D.B.O. posse of misfits and mayhem.
So thanks to Charlie and the others who kept me busy during the floods farther East. We’ve still got prime dates available on the Mighty C. when I return in the fall; the October Caddis fishing is the Best in the West – all on top with #6 foam. Toss in hoppers, ‘conventional’ caddis, and Olives, and the autumn topwater action is tough to beat.
See you ‘Out East’ … Chris