The McKenzie River reshuffled the deck. Rocks the size of cue balls form new bars and riffles. Old bars, tree stumps have migrated. Newly formed spots haven’t started collecting fish, but the old spots are full of them, and they’re hungry. These trout haven’t seen a mega-prince in months.
Ethan and I hook and land a half dozen, one per cast, in a single spot. A few of them jump clear out of the water. It’s nearly 60 degrees out, and they’re excited. These are thick-backed wild trout with black spots and pink cheeks. These months between now and the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch are amazing.
Missing most of the winter steelhead season is paying off on my first trout run of 2012. I never got the chance to develop all of the bad habits and a five weight feels right in my hand. Two buggy nymphs and a small split shot set five feet off a thingamabobber should be deadly until the water spikes again.