3.29.2010

Video Share Time

Found this out there on the world wide this evening. A little spring fishing, some of it on the South Fork of the Snake with streamers. A river I enjoy floating a lot but have never done this time of year. Pretty good camera work anyway by this guy. Enjoy.

3.28.2010

Fishing Journal-Week 7

March 22


The day had been windy and a minor cloud burst had just blown through. But when the storm passed the river became eerily calm. The wind all but stopped and where once it's gusts had made it hard to hear myself think, now everything was completely still. I clipped off the big articulated streamer I had been hucking across the tailout while the wind and rain was pelting down making fishing a dryfly an excercise in futility and tied on a tiny BWO Sparkle Dun in anticipation for the hatch I knew had go be coming. The conditions seemed right. As I was tying on my longer, thinner tippet a muted *glub* from just down stream of me caused me to look up from the task. Sure enough there was the tell tale ring of a rising fish.

I finally got the size 20 fly tied on as small naturals flitted off the surface of the river all around me. It was happening but the fish weren't playing along very consistently yet. I only had about 15 minutes to get in a few casts before it would be time to head back to the office. I impatietly watched the calm river surface hoping a big Brown would reveal itself soon within my casting range.

Downstream about 30 yards I spotted one of the only fish on the stretch that was feeding consistently. I slowly moved into position, careful not to move to quick and push a wake of water that would surely spook the fish. Gradually I made my way to within 45 feet of the feeding fish. It was still a little farther than I wanted to cast at this point but with the calm and relatively clear water and approaching the fish from straight upstream I knew I didn't want to push it much further.

I calmly waited again for the fish to rise. I waited, and I waited. Time was running out. I may be heading back to work without even making a cast. Suddenly a big nose poked up above the surface about 5 feet downstream from where it had been feeding before. That made the cast even a little longer but I figured I was close enough to take a shot.

I unfurled a good cast but realized quickly that where this fish was feeding there was virtually no current. The fly just sat there on the surface 3 feet above the spot the fish had just fed. I waited for the nose to break the surface again and acted quickly. Taking advantage of the fish being focused on the feed I took up the fly and placed it perfectly in the center of the previous rise ring. The fly sat motionless on the surface for less than 5 seconds. It disappeared in a swirl, but when I took up the slack the fly flung back over my shoulder. I didn't even touch the fish. I wondered if I had lost my chance but again put my fly in the feeding zone. Sure enough I had chance number 2. But again I missed. This time I was resigned to the fact that you don't often get three strikes when it comes to wary slow water Browns, and I was probably going to have to drag myself out of the river and back to work. I watched the area for a couple more minutes and just as I was about ready to concede this one to the fish it swirled again rippling the glassy surface.

One more cast I thought and I softly hurled the Sparkle Dun directly where the fish had fed. This time the reaction wasn't immediate. I waited, staring intently at the small fly sitting motionless in the stagnant current. Then just like I pictured it happening a big snout carelessly rose behind the fly and slurped it down. The fight was on.

It was a strong fish but I wasn't sure of it's size yet. It fought like a bulldog, pulling down and heading for the nearest weedbed rather than putting on any sort of an ariel display. As I pulled it in close I could see this was one of the rivers many 20 inch fish and this one had girth to go along with length. As I netted the fish a blast of wind and a few raindrops hit me square in the face as another cloud burst came through. It would put the fish down again but I knew I better leave now because after it blew over and the river calmed again, the bugs would resume their hatch and the fish would be feasting.

This will never get old.



March 24

Let's just say the fish won today and leave it at that. I fought hard winds over the hour I spent on the water but that was no excuse. The fish were there and they were feeding like crazy. I managed to mess up every stalk I put on a feeding fish and put down large pods of hungry trout with inopportune bad casts. Of course I will blame the wind but in the long run this was a learning day, and I learned that you can never take it for granted that the fishing will be easy.

3.25.2010

BWO Emerger

I got worked over today by some finicky fish chasing emergers in slow water. I came home and worked up a pattern that I will be giving a try next time something like this happens.


Hook: #18 TMC 206BL
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: Malard flank
Body: Gray/Olive Turkey Biot
Thorax: Olive Ice Dub
Wing and Wing Case: Single Natural Brown CDC feather

3.21.2010

Fishing Journal-Week 6

March 15

I guess you get skunked sometimes. We arrived on the river a little early. On the water at 1:20 and the only bugs on the water were midges. Fish were not rising. About 2:20 I noticed a few BWO's flying around and soon after fish were up rising to them but it was time to head out. I guess we learned that sometimes the hatch happens a little later in the day. We will get to the river a little later next time.


March 17
It was a beautiful day on the river. There were not a lot of fish rising but there were a few. I spotted a few BWO flitting across the water when I arrived so I figured that was what the fish were risingto. As I began fishing with my #20 BWO Sparkle Dun I noticed a few of the rises were extremely aggressive. Every once in a while you would hear a fish absolutely flush the toilet on a bug. Those fish weren't sipping BWO's or midges. I then saw a small dimple just upstream from me and I flipped my BWO imitation up in the vicinity. It took a couple seconds for the fish to slam the bug, but it turned out to be an 8" monster. As more and more splashy rises went on around me I decided it must be time to switch to a Skwala pattern and see if that could be what was making the fish so aggressive.


Soon after I tied on the fly I noticed a good rise directly across the stream from me. I flipped the fly just upstream of the rise rings and watched it enter the zone. Sure enough, the fish took it hard. Then went on a series of good runs up and down the slow pool probably spooking nearly every other fish there out of the country. It was a nice 18" fish. After releasing this fish the surface activity in the run shut down. I really think that the struggling fish managed to rid the area of his fellow feeders. I fished the Skwala up into the riffles for another 15 minutes before deciding it was time to head out. Another good lunch hour.


Adios Amigo!

3.14.2010

Fishing Journal - Week 5

March 10
Tough day. They raised the water levels on Monday and they have been slowly dropping but were still about three times the normal flows. The river was dead with hardly any fish rising. I tried everything, from big dries to tiny nymphs to a big streamer. Finally I connected with a Tan Zonker right before we left. I had forgotten just how fun it is having a fish smash a big streamer. As I pulled the Zonker through a deep tailout and it crossed into the slack water on the inside of a big bend I was just about to take up the fly and recast it when a nice brown came up off the bottom and killed the fly. The take was so violent I nearly had the rod ripped from my grip. Upon being hooked the fish did a little of everything from pulling hard and deep to taking to the air for some nice leaps. Finally I netted my first streamer caught fish of 2010. A very healthy 17 inch female.


March 11
Arrived on the river to see the flows had subsided and the water had cleared quite a bit from yesterday. I observed a productive looking run from high above the stream from an elevated bank for about 5 minutes without seeing any action when suddenly I noticed a fish feed straight below me. As I picked my way down to the water I noticed more noses up and by the time I stepped into the slow moving current there were at least two fish feeding just below me. I unfurled a cast that landed just up from where they were feeding and sure enough the fly had no more drifted into their area and I was hooked up.

I worked this area for a while and it was a challenge as the fish would cruise around a bit in the slow stretch of river so you had to anticipate which direction they were headed when you noticed a rise. I was frustrated by several fish over the next 15 minutes.. Finally I was able to intercept a fish rising across the river. It doesn't get much better than watching your tiny fly moving slowly along in the current when slowly a big nose pokes up and gulps down the offering. This fish was the biggest of the day stretching 20 inches. After he was released the fish just quit feeding on this stretch so we moved up stream about a quarter mile.

Fish were rising all over in a pretty long stretch of river here. I took the lower slow water and Kelly fished below a riffle where the fish were going ballistic. On one of my first casts I landed a little 8 inch brown. The smallest fish I have seen up here in a while. I moved up above and in the riffle above a large rock garden and fooled a couple more fish. The first was about a 15 incher but was very fat. The final fish came right out of the middle of the riffle. A very nice 18 inch fish that was very bright and colorful. Very good day on the river.

3.07.2010

Fishing Journal Week 4

March 2
I fished a tough slow stretch of river today. Fish are all over in there but the river moves so slow it is a struggle to get a good cast without spooking them. To top it off the wind was blowing pretty good straight down the river making casting upstream almost impossible. Especially with my three weight. I think I will have to break out the 5wt again as the wind is pretty much a given in the spring. Punching a #10 pattern through the wind with my 3wt is not easy. I made several good presentations downstream to feeding fish and had a couple takes on the midge but could not connect. Also had one big nose take down the Skwala but I missed on the hook set.

Finally I moved upstream to a big eddy where fish often lie and sip midge pupa to their hearts content. They where in there and on my first good cast I had another big fish gulp up the Skwala, but again I missed it. I was beginning to wonder if it just wasn't my day and I tried one more cast up into the top of the eddy and sure enough another nice snout poked up and took down the Skwala. I set the hook and had it. Finally. I was quite surprised though when I brought the fish in close to see that it had the Zebra Midge in it's mouth, not the Skwala. My only explanation is that the big fish ate the midge on the way up to the Skwala. When I set the hook, I missed with the Skwala but the hook on the Zebra Midge found pay dirt. Fish are definitely starting to key in on the adult Skwalas though. It was frustrating to miss on those other two. Very nice outing though.



March 3


The lunch hour started innocently. I caught this spunky 16 inch fish on one of my first casts. The sun was shinning the wind was minimal, and the temps were in the range where t-shirts are comfortable. After I released the fish I noticed one small black cloud in the sky but thought it couldn't be very menacing for how small it was. Then it started to sprinkle as I made my way upstream to fish to some risers below a riffle I had never fished before. When I got there I was excited as the fish were going crazy, but before I could even make my first cast the rain picked up from a light drizzle to a steady pour. Again I looked at the cloud and thought "this will be quick, that cloud is still not very big." I fished the run but once the rain picked up all surface feeding stopped. I picked up one very active 15" fish there and noticed as I released it that the rain had made a steady progression at this point to torrential down pour status. It was virtually impossible to pick my fly out on the water with all the rain pelting down on the rivers surface so I headed back to the truck. Halfway there a few of the raindrops began feeling a little solid as they pelted my face. I got in the truck just as a pretty good hail storm hit full force. As I drove out of the canyon the hail had already built up and was covering the road. When I broke out of the canyon walls the storm disappeared and the sun was back out. Interesting turn of events but I will take a drenching any day if I can pick up a couple fish in the process.