Not really a lake;
it's the sluggish current and location smack dab in the middle of town that gives rise to the name. And speaking of rises, when I eyeballed this section from the Spokane Falls Boulevard Bridge (in the background), I was treated to a multitude of rings stretching from where I stood (about halfway across said bridge) to back upstream as far as I could see. Midges seemed to be tops on the menu. The surface was thick with #18-20s. The sighting prompted me to make this spot my destination the next day, which was forecast to be another one of those so-called 'chamber of commerce days. And, it was. But,
I first had to get ahold of my friend Richard the Fish Carver, carver of beautiful, lifelike trout. He wanted to be there to see me fish it, and I was more than happy to report to him what I'd seen and that he'd better get down there ASAP because I was rigging up and eager to get to it.
This section of TDR is not what I, or anyone without a little rock-climbing experience, would call 'wader friendly'. The banks are high-angle concrete fields running from high above the water line out into the river for distances up to and sometimes exceeding 20 feet, and topped with a dense layer of igneous scrabble, obviously poured in great slabs to fortify the hillsides back in the days of few, if any, diversion-type activity (dams, there are now 3). During run-off, it must have been an incredible sight to witness the volume of water running through Spokane in those late springs, basically unchecked. I've seen pictures and read accounts of huge salmon and steelhead being netted by the natives downstream from where I stand. It is also recounted that for several days in late spring the air was thick with salmon flies(stoneflies to most of us), causing a bit of mayhem through many areas as they migrated. Now, if you see more than one or two, it is a day to remember.
On this day, however, despite the numerous rising fish, I was unable to trick more than a couple of trout into sampling my offerings. Upon later reflection, it struck me that although I had a pretty good idea that these fish have not seen many artificial flies, what they do see day after day has really caused in them a type of tunnel vision, as far as variations on any given food source are concerned. It will take some earnest investigation on my part to more fully understand just what I need to tie for the future when I go back. It can't be just close, it's got be right on. Richard did get some excellent photos, though, and I am grateful for his presence, and company. He is a good friend.