I fished March 14, 15, 18, 21 and 22. Each day, except the 22nd, provided an opportunity to fish right.
The 18th was on the Chagrin with Matt. The other trips were on the Rocky. Hemingway wrote, almost obsessively, about doing things the right way. Fishing, for me, is an opportunity to do things right.
On the Chagrin the flow was 225 cfs and falling. Clear in the riffles and green in the run. I hooked two fish. One in a deep run after properly using a strike indicator to help slow the drift and get the fly to the bottom. Later, I spotted a pod of fish in a deep holding spot of slow water. I used a downstream swing with a white minnow fly. Matt commented on my fifth cast, saying that was the one. Sure enough as the fly came to the end of its swing a nice male crushed the fly. I lost the male after a tough fight, but I didn't mind. I'd hooked it right.
The water had dropped on the West Branch of the Rocky and the only fish to be found were sitting in very shallow, fast water up past the horse farm hole. There was no way to get a good drift to the fish. I could have tried to generate a strike, but it wouldn't have been right. So I hiked back downstream. Two steelhead were entertaining themselves in the horse farm hole. A week earlier, I drifted nymphs through the hole with some luck, but these fish were too interested in each other to bother with my fare. I was almost all the way back to the car when I spotted two fish holding in a deep pocket. A giant piece of shale was missing from the bottom of the river, and the fish were holding in the deeper water. I was using a minnow fly and decided to add a small bead-headed nymph as a dropper. I figured the extra weight would help get the fly down to the bottom and might give me a second chance at the fish. Three drifts later I watched as the minnow fly paused in mid-drift. The pause was a signal that the male had taken the nymph trailing behind it. The dark male came roaring out of the pocket and headed upstream. He promptly changed his mind and headed downstream. Thirty yards downstream I landed him, weighed him (9 pounds) and returned him to the river. He rested near a large boulder and allowed me to take several underwater pictures. I left the fish resting by the rock. One fish caught the right way.