As I've alluded to, I've been spending more time entertaining family than fishing for myself. It's gratifying to enjoy my time with the family, but eventually I get a gnawing feeling that I'm missing out on catching a fish for myself.
For whatever reason, Yellowstone just didn't deliver. I caught two fish in the 4 inch range and an 8-10 inch whale in a long day of fishing. The water looked great, but the fish just weren't active on the day I fished. That worked out to about $200 a fish. I know I shouldn't look at it like that. But, when your down and out it feels natural to beat up on yourself.
There are no guarantees with fishing but there are close seconds. Take solace in the "old reliable" streams that yield fish regularly if you give them their due.
Big Cottonwood doesn't have fish that are much bigger than Yellowstone, but they are more likely to hit a dry and reside in all the good looking pocket water where fish are supposed to be. Dammit! Fishing here amounts to taking a deep relaxing yoga breath and putting the old casting arm on autopilot.
Cast a fly. Catch a fish.
The hard truth in fly fishing is that everything can come together perfectly - the weather, the water, your schedule, the cast, the hatch, the fly, the drift and you still may not catch a fish. You didn't do anything wrong, there just wasn't a fish to catch or they were taking a coffee break.
Old Reliable rewards you even when you don't deserve it - a sloppy cast, a goofy fly, and just barely enough time to get back to the office. Amen!