The first trout I saw I spotted from a stone bridge just off the Blue Ridge Parkway early Tuesday. The water was clear as whiskey out of a jar and the sun was achingly bright. It was going to be tough getting this little wild trout to hit my fly.
Turned out, though, he loved hitting it...or rather at it. I had seven splashy rises to my fly, and seven splashy refusals.
The fish rose gently to the surface, looked at my fly floating gently on the current and then gave a not so gentle splash as he turned up his nose.
I tried later in the afternoon, for the same fish, in the same spot. He was there. The fly floating nicely over him and he just kept refusing to gulp it in.
I had planned to hit five or six bridges in two different counties on three different rivers. I made it to four.
I scared the other bridge fish on the other side of the parkway, then moved down to the bridge closer to home.
I couldn't even get them to look at the fly.
I had two bridges left. The fire station bridge and the church road bridge. I had hooked and lost a couple of heavy trout at the church road bridge Sunday night and I thought I might try again when it began to get dark.
But the trout were rising at the fire station. No need to move.
I never leave fish to find fish.
In the hour before dark I caught more than a dozen bright browns and jumping rainbows, even with the water about a foot lower than the previous week.
With the only rain being gentle afternoon storms, I can pretty much count on the river getting lower and the fishing tougher.
Pray for rain.