Yesterday my wife and I drove over to the Yakima River canyon and Red’s Fly Shop for their seventh annual Rendezvous. As has been common for previous years, the day was filled with classroom presentations, beginner casting instruction, casting competition, vendor booths, and great food.
As in past years, we left the clouds and rain of Puget Sound and found ourselves in sunshine two hours later.
The only difference this year was the limited amount of streamside casting and instruction. The Yakima was blown out and was running high at full bank. Stepping into that would have meant a quick ride down to the Roza dam.
That was unfortunate as a full day of spey casting had been planned for both novices and experienced casters. Also unfortunate was that yesterday was the first stop on Sage’s On the Water Tour and the only casting available for all the rods they brought was standing on the bank near the boat ramp.
As it was, we still had a great time.
I got a chance to cast the Sage MOD in a 5 weight. I was impressed by its light weight and how easily it cast – while still throwing tight loops. If I lived in a place where I’d get to use it more than a few times each year, it would be a nice rod to own.
I also talked to the Sage rep who only smiled (and pointed out that he was smiling) when I suggested the Sage ONE was getting long it tooth and a replacement must be coming soon.
My wife had a chance to work with one of the Federation of Fly Fishing Instructors who was on site, helping her with her back cast. He watched me cast and pointed out an area where I need work too. It was something I had thought I had corrected, but clearly he saw something I had not. One of the great things about fly casting is that there’s always room for improvement.
We also had a chance to both do some casting in the wind. We are going to Montana in a couple of months and the canyon is a great place to get exposure to how the Montana winds blow on the big open rivers.
On the high rocks on the other side of the river we did see a wild turkey. That was really cool as I hadn’t seen one before in the area. While not native to Washington they have been introduced as game species in many areas of the state.
One thing my wife and I both really like in the canyon is the relative absence of electromagnetic radiation. There are not neighborhoods full of wireless routers blasting in all directions. It’s a joy to get away from that.
We’ll return again next year.