Even a guide gets a day off and this past Friday was that day. It was a chance to workout a new bamboo rod and spend three hours working out Swift River rainbows, hopefully.
I got to the Pipe parking lot at 8am and was surprised to see that I was the only one there. When I left at 11 I was the only one there! Usually Fridays require a tee time reservation but this was different. Did I make a beeline to the Pipe to stake a claim to that real estate? Nope, I started at the gauge where I found rainbows working the riffles above the Gauge Pool. I took one in 5 inches of water with the old partridge/orange which christened the rod.
I worked the Gauge Pool and took two more bows in the second set of riffles and then played with the bows that were patrolling the brookie redds further downstream. Almost all of the brook trout have finished up with this annual dance and will find winter quarters below Cady Lane. It was a good year for them!!
While fishing this section I noticed that I didn't see one angler heading downstream and when I rounded the turn I saw an empty Pipe. Nature abhors a vacuum so it was my duty to fill that spot and I did. 15 minutes and 5 bows later I worked the top of the Tree Pool with another two in the net. Then back to the Pipe for one more and then I called it a day.
NOW FORWARD CAST TO SUNDAY MORNING - It was only 8 degrees at 8:30 so I didn't expect anyone for a while but the fleet sailed in and that the parking lot was about full by noon.
There were no bows working the riffles above the gauge and the fish in the Gauge Pool were not interested. Ditto for the riffles downstream and when we worked our way down to the Pipe we saw lots of people but very few trout being caught. What hits we got were halfhearted passes at the fly with no urgency displayed. The water temperature was 45 degrees which is fine for this year so who knows.
Now, there's a reason why I placed that quote at the top of the post. On Sunday morning we all had the misfortune to be exposed to the worst behavior that I've seen in 25 years of fishing this stretch. Angler 1 was working the Pipe from the shore when this "fly fisherman" (angler 2) walks right up in front of him and starts fishing. Angler 1 politely says something and angler 2 verbally explodes with not just your usual gutter obscenities but actual verbal threats of physical harm. It was a borderline criminal act.
I've never seen this creep before and it would be hard to describe him but I could hear him a 100 yards away. Keep your eye out for anyone who seems erratic.