The biggest fish of the day came as we hugged one of these rock walls. I was working the electric motor to keep the boat from tumbling out of position. We were occupying a sliver of relatively quiet water against the rock as the bulk of the river roared by a few feet away. The upwelling eddy currents along the seam were doing their best to push the boat ever outward and into the main stream. We'd moved along this wall slowly, had lost position a few times and returned. I felt like we'd made good casts, but I wasn't convinced I'd achieved the drift needed to reach depth along the rock. I lined myself up for a cast once more - trolling motor tiller in one hand and rod in the other. The drift traveled just right, staying against the rock. When I felt like it was in the zone I began to work the jig, being careful not to lose any of the depth I'd just gained. When the fish took it was immediately apparent that it was the one I was looking for. At one point it peeled enough drag to move up along the wall and turn a corner, forcing me to swing the boat out into the current to avoid raking the line on the rock. It was a relief when the net slipped under his 25 golden inches.
As the day went on, we targeted deep runs. We pulled over at heads of plunging holes and jigged the first few feet of deep water beneath the shelf where the current is still rocketing over the surface like a force field - a spot that holds lots of fish but requires ample weight to reach.
We picked up rainbows in the open stretches and browns against the structure. The day was certainly a success. It wasn't the sort of day where you can do everything wrong and still catch fish - we had to work for the ones we got. But the fish were obviously happy it was spring.
And it's not long now till it's hoppers by day and mice by night..... with a jig rod handy in the rack of course.