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Casting for future success
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­ Though I didn’t have a plan, there was little doubt I would end up spending Saturday fly-casting.

My two fishing buddies were on their way back from Oregon, so duration and any other time considerations were dependent only on my own minute to minute whims.

With my trip to Alaska within relative sight, I decided to work the river as I would my home rivers to practice, because dropping nymphs behind rocks for 10-inch stocked trout is different than fighting off black bear for sections of water where the smallest fish is a foot, and the biggest break your rod just because they think it’s funny. It seems logical to prepare for an upcoming trip and potential circumstances, but I am usually too caught up in catching fish on that day than working on skills for different circumstances.

Being able to fish only a certain way at a certain river really creates limitations, something I don’t want to have when working tributaries of the legendary Skeena near Smithers, British Columbia in Canada or on the rivers back home I know by heart. It happens though, when the bulk of time and attention is spent on specific methods that don’t necessarily work everywhere.

First was a fairly narrow pinch where the water rumbled excitedly. Back home there is  similar spot where I had some success with a spinning rod, but only when I swam the spinner in the kill zone deep and slow. If I casted too far, or got it caught in the current, I’d get hung up in the rocks.

So I cautiously presented nymphs and even a couple dries along a strict line, being as cautious as someone like me can be. It is a very small section of water, so though the Stanislaus provided more room, I worked it as if I were on the Thorne, keeping the casts tight, line mended and drift short.

I took the same attitude at the big pool where Brad caught a nice 8-incher the previous trip. Back home, cutthroat and Dolly Varden suspend in a deep pool caused by the current splitting. Half takes a sharp right turn and spills over rock too rhythmically and shallow to be considered rapids. The other is deflected by the residue of a creek that has dumped rock into the way of the main river. The flow circles back creating a clockwise current around a deep, calm center. There was no way I could replicate those circumstances Saturday, but I tried to keep my flies and nymphs on the flanks of the current where the trout wait, rather than get it caught in that ridiculous circular flow that can have you drifting one mine, and pulling up huge chunks of river carpet.

Later I concentrated on Klawock River tactics, and long casts to specific areas. The sockeye salmon, cutthroats and rainbows lie amid downed trees just below where water escapes the lake and becomes a river. The pool is deep and through the 200 yard area, the current is lazy. Wading out works for about 10 feet, which doesn’t provide for much more room for a back cast.

Though there are plenty of open chutes in the hemlock forest, the blue and huckleberry bushes love eating flies as a way of getting back, I suppose, at everyone that takes their fruit without asking or payment.

I picked specific spots next to rocks and imaged those two fish-protecting spruce trees a considerable distance up or down river, concentrating less on catching fish in the present, and more on the prospecting of catching more fish in the future.

A lot of times its better to think, though not stress, about the future, than live in the moment.

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