Five feet out the bottom drops to twenty, at least. Out in the gut where the jet boats and gulls roam it’s one hundred. River-left at thirty-plus miles an hour, we stand and bomb two-handed casts into the current, watch the gale fill with flurries, exchange obscenities with guides drifting their sports in our laps.
Until 5,500 years ago this river lived a small existence. Long before glacial melt had its way and rammed the sonofabitch clear through to Lake Ontario. Long before the name Niagara was derived from Onguiaahra, the leaders of the Iroquois Nation. Long before Champlain inked its path on his maps.
The jet boats finally pack themselves into a knot downriver, following lake-run biomass on their fish-finders. The gulls are endless in their circling hunt for shallow bait. We swing sink tips and weighted flies in ice age current, begging for a fight, knowing full-well the river is hungrier than anything swimming.
Photo credit: Lucas Carroll