It’s 4AM Saturday morning and I get a call from T….he is out front waiting. I’ve already been up for half an hour creeping around the house packing up a few last minute items. I’m running through the list in my mind, mentally checking off things. I will forget something though…I always do. I just hope it isn’t something I really needed. Getting an early start is always crucial when fishing Nunya River. We both know this.
White on the right | Photo by D. Yi
As were making our way down the highway every car we pass I cheer inside because I know “they” won’t hit the water before we will. It’s dark outside and the distant red glow of tail-lights act as a beacon. As we get closer to the Nunya the anticipation grows and I’m hoping we are the first. Two cars in front of us pass by the entrance and I am relieved. Not much further now.
We round the corner and no other cars in sight! 3:30AM was worth it. T. and I hop out of the truck and take to task gathering our gear for the day. The sense of relief is short lived as we both stop and watch someone a little more clever than us make his way past the trail head on a mountain bike…next time we tell each other. We aren’t too concerned though. By the time it takes him to put on all of his gear, we will be on the upper casting dries. That was the last we saw of him.
Half an hour later the sound of rushing water helps quicken the pace. Not much further to go. We dive off of the main path and head deep into the woods. Bears are known to frequent these waters so a trip off the beaten path has us drawing our cans of bear spray. Locked and loaded. Through the brush we go making enough noise to let any slumbering beasts know we are coming through whether Mr. Bear likes it or not.
The upper stretches of Nunya are picturesque. It’s glassy pools, deep runs and classic riffles filled with rainbows makes going the extra mile so worth it. Much to the dismay of our better halves, the bear spray is packed away…can’t fish with one hand.
T. working the dry | Photo by D. Yi
Throughout the day, T. and I each take turns being the first through a run. I’d fished the upper stretches of Nunya two weeks earlier and had good luck fishing buggers and leeches. They proved once again to be the hot ticket of the day. Thinking back now, staying up until 12AM the night before tying them up wasn’t a mistake after all. Up until the first rainbow slamming the bugger, I seriously regretted going to bed so late.
Buggers | Photo by D. Yi
All the usual runs produced rainbows and a few dollies. Unexpectedly, the water thought a little too fast and a little too shallow produced numbers of healthy rainbows hiding in seams and under overhanging trees.
Fell for the bugger | Photo by D. Yi
Typical Nunya ‘Bow | Photo by T. Satake
By mid-afternoon the sun decided to shine a little light on us. Great for working on your tan…bad for fishing. The bite slowed a bit. Perfect timing however to take a break and have lunch. T. picked up at 3:45AM…six, fresh, salted salmon rolls…three of which rolled in sesame seeds courtesy of dad! Thanks T.’s dad!
Living the “High Life” | Photo by D. Yi
Tired, hungry and having been eaten alive by white socks we traded fly rods for cans of bear spray and made the hike back to the truck. It’s always tough leaving the river behind but responsibilities dictate we pull ourselves away from the water until the next time. The extra mile or two…so worth it.