Spent a couple days fishing a desert stream on the eastside of the Cascades. This stream seems to have my number when it comes to catching. I can blame all kinds of things for my lack of success, but deep down I know that it is just one of those things that happen.
The first time I fished this beautiful river was sometime back in 1997-1998. I camped along the river and there was this little current break along in the camp water that resulted in six straight fish swinging small muddlers in the surface film. Of course, I came back the next summer to get skunked. I didn't return until recently due to my interests moving more towards the saltwater fly fishing opportunities and moving out of the Pacific Northwest but I always had fond memories of the big water, slick wading, and beautiful basalt canyons.
Last fall I had the opportunity to get reacquainted with this river and steelheading. I fished hard over a "record" return of summer-runs to come up with the goose-egg over multiple trips.
A funny thing happens during a skunking stretch on a particular stream. The doubts start nagging you harder and harder the longer your fly fishes with no action. You second guess your abilities in all aspects of fly fishing. Are you casting far enough? Are you piss poor at reading water? Everything becomes suspect as you fish hard with no results. You have to accept that fishing a piece of water well is a accomplishment that will somehow result in better fishing in the future. Every swing is an education in the cast, mend (or lack thereof), and rod position.
Saw a ton of water, walked some serious miles, and look forward to returning to the river to learn some more.