After a week of blistering weather I welcomed the change. The weather forecast called for an afternoon high of only 88°F. Best of all the day was to begin in the 50°s. If I got out early with luck I could be home before the noontime 77°F temperature.
By the time I walked to the river the sun was up. At the first run shade still darkened most of the water. To start at the top I stood in the sun. It felt different today. A few days before even in the early morning I could sense the coming oppressive heat. Today I stood comfortably.
Now would the fish be receptive in this cooler world? I figured the heat had put the bite off those few days before. Still I plied the sunlit water at the head of the run first. To fish the run thoroughly I would start there no matter how inviting the dark water below looked. Pluck, pluck, pluck…there she was a first player. Never overlook the tumbling water at the top of a run. A big arch in the Spey rod and my several bows to the leaping fish followed. Then of all things a long run upriver! The wrong move and I soon corralled the silver hatchery hen in the shallow water.
After attending to the landed fish, I sat and rested the water for a while. Then I worked my way to the shaded section. I made a cast or two, maybe three, and then felt a tug. A second steelhead went airborne flashing a silver side. This fight remained confined to the riffle with strong runs that I snubbed with different angles of the Spey rod. Eventually I banked the fish and again plucked out a small fly with grateful hands.
My first double of the summer. On my way out I appreciated the yet mild temperature of the morning feeling only a slight perspiration. Hot days will return again, but a cool mid-summer break is most charming.