McCloud River 14-17
Alienated from the Clique Society
A lonely boy finds peace in fishing
His mother says "John, this is the way life's supposed to be"
Don't you see the life that you're missing?
When I grow up I want to be
One of the harvesters of the sea
I think before my days are done,
I want to be a fisherman.
In every anglers life, theres one or two moments of stupid brilliance, where the stars line up, the wife is happy and you find yourself going fishing for a few days wondering how you were able to pull it off. I dragged my brother in law for an impromptu trip to the McCloud river and it paid huge dividends.
We had visions of going camping at ah-di-nah or fishing by the conservancy, but a quick call to a friend had us heading upstream and away from the crowds. In fact, we saw 1 angler fishing the whole time we were there.
For those that don't know, the McCloud is beautiful. There are some spots that invoke a primeval feeling as if something extra large and reptilian would be camping out on the side of the river looking for an easy meal. PMDS, Golden Stones, even jumbo salmon flies were everywhere...The hatches left blankets of insects and schucks on the river and in the evening, turned into some really fun times.
The shear number of grabs was outstanding, The number of repeated strikes by large hungry fish to huge dry flies was baffling and in retrospect, anybody watching two adult men chuckling like idiots would have been a sight to behold.
On the McCloud, everyone always feels like they have a secret spot... a place where you know there is a huge Brown waiting to take your fly... we met up with a guide buddy and he may has well have turned us into mountain goats. his secret spots involved us eating dirt, catching our fly lines in the brush, and walking on a trail that well, must have been scratched out with invisible ink. Can't really blame him tho, thats what we asked for.
We were rewarded with some excellent surface action on large stimi's, stonefly dry's and other large floating flies skating the surface for some pretty violent takes.
Although there was a decent number of large fish caught, lost or otherwise refusing to bite, the hot action on sub 13" fish was outstanding and uncountable.
Moral of the story. Get away from everyone fishing the same holes... forget about the secret holes you always go to, drop down to a 3 or 4wt, tap the rocks a little bit louder so the snakes hear you as you scale the sides of the rocks and if you're going to spring a leak, make sure nobody sees you fall in the water and soak yourself while being filmed. Oh yah, if you're up for some adventure, great guiding and some good laughs, call up Chuck or John at Wildwaters Fly Fishing... They'll set you straight.
Awesome post! The McCloud is a pretty special place. Did you guys get into any decent sized browns? My buddy was there a week before you and had the most epic day he has ever had on the McCloud. His new nickname is Mr. Brown.