I used the streamer to fish pocket water because this time of year the trout are fewer and farther between than spring and early summer. Streamers are the best way to cover water effectively and quickly. But I wanted to finish off the day in The Big Bend Pool, and there the fish are mostly holdovers with stockers and even some wild fish mixed in (this is one of the only pools I consistently catch wild rainbow and brown trout in).
The Big Bend Pool fish don't much like streamers. There are two pools on the river where you can consistantly catch trout on dry flies most of the year... this one and the Handicap Access Pool in the fly only section. I like this one because it is big, deep water and has some monsters in it that one can spot cruising and feeding on the surface if they are careful and attentive.
My downstream dry fly fishing needs some work, more specifically my hooking of fish from a long distance with a heavy rod. This pool provided the perfect set up for some practice. There were a bunch of dimple rises and jumps at the end of the feeding lane entering the pool. Also some splashy rises at the head of the pool. After deciding that the caddis I had on was too big and tying on a small Sedgehammer I began to get takes. The first few found me doing the unsuccessful pull that always messes me up, but I focused and eventually got it right. I let the fish rise then turn away to set the hook on its own. I just lightly lifted the rod tip. 30 feet away a little rainbow started flying all over the place. It even did a powerful run. When I got it to hand I could see why it had behaved so stubbornly. It took my a good while to calm this nice wild rainbow down enough to take his picture.Wild fish hate to be touched. My assumption was solidified a few minutes later when a stocker of similar size just splashed a bit and didn't even pull. It's gill plates were short and it's colors were dull. It often takes seeing a wild fish right next too a stocker to see what a sad and disappointing difference there is between the two. I caught another mid sized stocker before a really big holdover brown took my fly on the retrieve and pulled it right off the tippet. I held the line tight a little too long. It seemed like most of the fish took my fly when it was subsurface and I was doing a figure eight retrieve, so I tied on a brassy to see how it would do with that presentation. It was good for one fish but the sun was off the pool and the surface activity subsided. What a magical moment. I felt like I was right back where I was last year in mid October, swinging a Sedghammer through the end of the feeding lane where a gigantic Atlantic salmon would sip it just like these rainbows and browns where. Magic.