Low, clear water and big fish require small flies and fine tippets. That's a recipe for 50 fly day. Juris and I spent nearly as much time tying knots as we did fighting fish; and we smiled all morning long. The fish were plentiful and surprisingly the anglers were not on Elk Creek.
The day started off with a bald eagle lifting from a sycamore tree and heading upstream. We followed. I assume the eagle had as much luck as we did as the low water narrowed the places where the trout could hang out.
The fish were easy to find and as long as they were holding in the faster water, a good drift with a small nymph or egg fly would result in a strike. That's when the explosion would occur. The rainbows would burst from the water -- the third fish of the day jumped at least six times before coming to shore. More often than not, the fish would snap the line. Oftentimes the line would break after accumulating a bunch of leaves as it cut through the water -- pulled by the steelhead.
Broken lines and blue skies made for a great morning. But throughout the day I thought of the site we had seen during the drive east -- safety crews working on an overturned SUV in the westbound lane. Tragically, one person died and another was in serious condition. Saying prayers for them both.