When shadows come into focus:
I had heard of the term "chasing shadows" in reference to fishing for Atlantic salmon on some of the Great Lakes tributaries before. I think there is no mystery that some Atlantic salmon due exists in some of these streams and rivers, and finding them is possible. The belief is that they run during the summer andmspawn in the very early fall. I have no first hand knowledge of this and am going by what I have heard. In my quest to fish with a switch or spey rod as much as possible, I have been allocating more time to fishing the bodies of water I would normally only fish from fall through spring. When the hankering gives, I tend to put a little effort into chasing shadows. Recently I spent a few hours in pursuit of these said shadows......half heartedly to say the least. A couple of brief small trout tugs and nothing very impressive had resulted. When I reached a well oxygenated pool in the early morning hours, I drifted a few flies through to no avail, but then there was a splash from a fish, a large fish chasing after an emerging caddis. There are very few possibilities to what it could have been. Then a few minutes later it happened again. I tried in vain to entice this monster from beneath, but there would be no such luck. I soon headed down river to chase some warmer water species and explore new areas. I eased into the water and made my way upstream to explore some new-to-me water. I found a nice riffle area that was partly shaded on the opposite bank. I made my way out into the the mid-shin deep water when I noticed directly in front of lie a fish of six to eight pounds barely caring that I was there. There was little doubt that it was an Atlantic. It then swam half annoyed at my presence upstream. Still in shock I backed out of the water and moved further upstream. I had lost sight of this unicorn and was cautiously working my fly through the water, when once again a shadow came into focus. I had spotted the same fish again and was comfortable that I hadn't spooked it. For the next fifteen minutes I carefully presented a handful of flies to this mystical fish, but to no avail. I drank in the moment of solitude on the river and an encounter that this time favored the fish. I left the fish to be at peace and respected our brief encounter. I fished cautiously the rest of the morning, taking a few fallfish and a smallmouth bass. I danced with a couple of watersnakes, much to my displeasure. A morning that I truly enjoyed and relished. The photo is blurry, but the shadows do come into focus....only my memory is crystal clear.