Several years ago, I purchased a pontoon fishing boat, with the intention of floating the Salt River. I fish the Salt each year but can’t afford to hire a guide, (475 a day). Now there are some public access spots, where you can cast a fly but they are often busy places with swimmers, floaters, and fisherman who hit the fish hard.
So, I floated the Salt that day, but I was trying to keep up with my non-fishing friends and it really wasn’t a day of fishing verses a day of staying with the group. Talking with my friend Dave we decided to get the pontoons out of storage and float a small section of the Salt, from the Narrows to the first bridge.
Launching the boats went well but I soon found myself spinning like a top. Narrowly avoiding some steel girders under the bridge, I finally figured out how to steer, (kind of). Dave meanwhile was an old pro at this and quickly maneuvered his boat to a nice-looking spot.
I finally stopped at a likely looking cut bank and cast into the willows. It was my first stop and just as quick I broke off my flies. Tying on two more, I was using a fly called a parachute with a nymph on a dropper, I made several casts and felt a small cut throat take the nymph.
Fighting the fish in I felt pretty good and when he passed, I told Dave I had caught a fish. He mentioned that he had lost one and it seemed an auspicious beginning to the day. We passed an anchored drift boat, and were passed by two women in a drift boat who looked like professional fly fisherwomen.
I watched as one cast a large streamer/grasshopper/whatever as the other expertly rowed the boat with perfection. I continued to fish the two-fly combination and continued to get hits but they were small fish. Meanwhile Dave was starting to catch fish as we leap frogged each other from hole to hole.
I decided to put on a large stimulator and I missed several large fish that rose, slapped the water, but didn’t take my fly. Dave had also switched to a larger dry and had a huge cut on which pulled the hook.
Before we knew it four hours had passed and Renita was waiting for us at the take-out point. It had been a fun four hours and I had gotten somewhat used to the pontoon. I hope to float again but next time I will try another stretch that isn’t as pressured. Notice how I can always come up with an excuse? Clear skies