Upon arriving, we found the river all but choked with fish. We’d heard this was one of the tougher seasons in years, with fewer salmon returning to the system and subsequently fewer big rainbows following them upstream. My first day was frustrating, with just a few swipes at my fly. Nothing came tight until late in the day, when I finally got my mouse-swinging technique down. Once my buddies and I started to understand the nuances, throwing rodents proved insanely addictive. We tried big dries, streamers, and even a few nymphs, but why bother when fish gobbled mice on the surface with reckless abandon, sometimes striking two, three, or four times before burying the hook?