I seem to have picked the wrong section to start on: the Miracle Mile is not that forgiving. Nestled between Seminoe/Kortes Dam and Pathfinder Reservoir, flows are varying – wildly varying. To a novice like me this information means nothing, but to those who know about fishing, it alerts them this stretch of river is all about nymphs and not dry flies. My little bit of experience is with dry flies, but I switch to nymphs, which dangle and dance under the water rather than float on top. And, I start to listen to my guide.
Walking along the riverbank, occasionally stopping to enjoy the shade of a giant cottonwood and looking for a new channel or slot to wade into (walking and wading being preferable to floating here), I’m trying to pay attention. Really. But that eagle is still circling overhead and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to see so far in so many directions. My mind manages to register “scud population,” “stonefly nymphs” and “common naturals” before drifting off again.
Mr. Guide is losing patience. This is one of his favorite stretches of river and he wants me to see why: specifically, gargantuan fish. Many fish are in the 14- to 18-inch and five- to ten-pound range. He says he has a friend who took an 18-pound rainbow here.
After I snare a sage, there is no longer any doubt he’ll have to show me the goods himself. Twenty minutes later I’m petting what might be the largest rainbow I’ve ever seen. And he says it is on the “smallish” side.