7.28.2010

Choreographed Soccer Goal Celebration (and yes, it's fishing related)

Soccer players must have too much down time. 

7.22.2010

Stonefly Madness on the South Fork of the Snake

Well I think I may be mostly recovered from a combination of a two and a half day fishing trip on the other side of the state followed up with a nice little flu bug.  Talk about wiping a guy out.  The trip was a great one though.  One of the better years for us hitting the Stonefly hatch.

Night number one was spent at one of the upper canyon campgrounds.  We pulled in at dusk and set up our tent in the dark.  The two hour float down to the campground yielded nothing in terms of fish.  I was wondering just how the next day was going to end up.  After sleeping lightly due to high anticipation and lumpy ground we were back on the river at 7:00 the next morning.  As I climbed into the boat that morning I noticed both the boat and the grass along the rivers bank were covered with many smaller Yellow Sally Stonefly's.  There were also quite a few larger Golden Stones crawling around and it didn't take long on our float to notice a couple bugs the size of a small bird fluttering on the water.  The Giant Salmonflies were out as well.  We went straight to the Stonefly patterns starting out with a moderately sized #8 Stimulator.  Sure enough the fish were eating it up.

After lunch I switched over to a small PMD pattern for a while as there was a tremendous hatch of the mayflies as well and I picked up several nice fish on the smaller bugs.  Finally we pulled out of the river at 7:00 that night, loaded up the boat and headed back up river to put in to float the couple hours back down to the camp we had left set up from the night before.  Again that upper stretch yielded nothing.  Very odd.

The next day I was hoping to get another early start so we wouldn't get off the river too late for the 5 1/2 hour drive home.  I slept much better though being worn out from the previous day and I woke up with a start at 8:30.  We finally were back on the river at 9, a full 2 hours behind our day one schedule which put us at the take out at 7pm.  I was hoping this late start didn't mean we would be arriving at the take out that day at 9pm.  It turns out we were able to make better time on this day and still manage a few fish in the process.

The fishing wasn't quite as hot as we landed a couple fewer fish on the day but things were still happening on the river.  We made it to the take out again at 7pm and cleaned up the boat for the drive home.  We were on the road by 8 and made excellent time on the drive.  All in all it was another tremendous trip down the South Fork of the Snake.  I hope we are able to get back up there this fall for some streamer fishing for the big browns.

7.18.2010

Fishing Journal - Week 22

I am feeling lazy so it's going to be an all picture version this week.

July 12


July 14

7.11.2010

Fishing Journal - Week 21

July 7

Finally got out again after taking some time off for the July 4th Holiday.  The bugs were still hatching and the fish were still eating.  The only difference today was that there was a BWO hatch in the wee hours of the morning and the fish were up on the mayflies rather than the midges.  Midges were also hatching but it took 5 minutes of casting my midge patterns over actively feeding fish to realize something else was going on.  I still hadn't seen any BWO's but when I am getting refusals and fish are munching on something I don't see I often go with a CDC Spinner fly.  It does a good job of imitating a dead mayfly floating flush on the surface and these early morning fish will take the easy meal everytime.  It was one of my first casts after the switch that I hooked into a nice 19" fish. 



Then as I released that fish I noticed for the first time a BWO floating down the river and I wondered if that was in fact what most of these fish were feeding on.  I quickly switched flies again and from there on things really picked up.  I ended up landing 6 fish on the day and all were very nice fish. 



July 9

Things can change fast here on the river.  Two days ago the fish were up on BWO's.  Today I was having no luck with my BWO pattern.  I decided to try midges again and on the first cast with my Harrop's Transitional Midge I hooked a nice fish.  A couple casts later I pulled the hook out of the mouth of another taker.  At the end of the day 4 more fish came to the net with the little #20 midge pattern.

7.08.2010

More 4th of July, On the Lake

Waiting for the fireworks on the lake to start I had some time to kill.

7.07.2010

Slowly I am Gaining a Wardrobe

A couple months ago this picture won me a cool hat in a photo contest from the guys at www.flyfishingfrenzy.com.  Now I am moving on to shirts.  I just found out another picture I took won a T-shirt over at www.sightfisher.com.  Go over and have a look at this new fishing website.  If anyone knows of any contests where I can win some pants now let me know. 

Here is the picture:
From Getting Out

7.06.2010

7.04.2010

Fishing Journal - Week 20

June 28

Another great morning on the river.  It started off a bit slow when we arrived on the water about 6:15am, and I was wondering if the warm weather was going to start affecting the morning midge hatch here.  It turns out that was not the case.  Things got rolling about a half hour later.  The water was alive with fish feeding through out the slow moving flat.  There are a lot of smaller fish in this area so you have to keep your eyes out for the bigger fish in order to single them out.  I have been getting better at this as the mornings have been going on.  

As the feeding frenzy picked up I noticed a fish feeding tight to the opposite bank in a rhythmic fashion.  The rise forms were not large but I have defineatly learned that the size of the rise does not match the size of the fish.  These big guys can sip a midge off the calm surface and barely make a ripple.  Fishing to the bank across the current gets tricky in that the water is usually not moving near as fast next to the bank as it is just a few feet out from it.  These big fish feed amazingly close to the bank.  I had tried for a fish in this same lie a few days ago and had not been able to succesfully land the fly close enough to the bank and maintain a good drift with the differing currents.  It may have even been this same fish, but whatever the case, I eventually spooked it and had to move on.  Today I was able to land the fly in the zone on one of my first casts and true to form the fish rose and took the CDC midge pattern.  I set the hook and immediatly knew I had been right in assuming this was a nice fish, even though all I had seen of it were the subtle rise rings it was making.  

The fish bolted downstream on me and slugged it out in a deeper hole.  There were times when I wondered if this fish wasn't foul hooked the way it pulled like a freight train but a few minutes later I netted a very nice 19 inch thick shouldered brown, hooked in the mouth not once, but twice.  I was using an adult midge with a zebra midge dropper, and evidently on the way up to take my dry fly, the big brown had taken the opportunity to munch on the pupa pattern as well.  It is the second time this year I have had a fish do that.  

I continued hunting the bigger heads in the run and ended up catching 3 more nice fish before having to head back to the office.  Not much can beat that kind of wake up call. 




June 30
The final day of June was a good one for sure.  I did not bring my camera today but maybe that allowed me to catch more fish.   Less time setting up that perfect shot means more time fishing.  

I arrived at the river around 6:15am and not much was happening.  It took about a half hour for things to turn on but when they did they really popped.  

Today I switched my flies around a little bit.  I used the same CDC wing midge dry fly I have always used here but changed my dropper from a Floating Zebra Midge with a white foam head, to a regular silver bead head Zebra Midge.  It seems the fish prefer the regular Zebra Midge.  

Where usually I catch about 50 percent of the fish on the dry, and 50 percent on the dropper today was a different story.  I ended up landing 10 nice fish in a couple short hours, and 9 of them took the dropper, and only one took the dry.  I had one other fish take the dry on the day but I missed it.  Other than that it was all about the Zebra Midge today.  It has long been one of the better patterns on this river for me but I have been trying some new things out.  Apparently I was getting to fancy, because the fish still dig the regular old standby. 


July 1
I had so much fun on the last day of June I decided to get the month of July off to a good start.  Only problem was someone got up earlier than me, and for the first time this year on my morning outing someone was fishing my favorite run.  I don't know if they had much luck but I was forced to find another spot.  I didn't look to far as I headed just one run up about a half mile above my usual spot.  

The day started innocently enough with a couple fish on my zebra midge dropper, then a spunky little brown took my adult CDC Wing Midge pattern.  I was striking out on the big fish sipping tight to the bank though.  I had one take on the dropper and rolled what felt to be a very nice fish, but the hook popped out soon after the hookset.  

Finally I found myself near the base of the riffle that emptied into the flat I had been fishing.  There was one fish I had seen nose the surface from way down stream so I was keeping my eye out on that area hoping he would still be feeding.  Sure enough as I waded into position the snout broke the surface.  Then a couple seconds later the fish lifted it's whole head out of the water on another rise.  Not an overly quick aggressive rise.  The head just came up in a slow easy going manner and quietly slipped back under the current.  The size of that head though was what had me excited.  This was not your average fish.  This was a big one.  It's hard to estimate a fish's length in inches based on just seeing it's head, but I have caught a lot of 20 inch fish here and I know how big their heads were on average.  This head was much, much larger.  

I laid a perfect cast into the feeding lane and watched the tiny fly intently.  Then the fly passed from the dark reflection of the surrounding hills to the bright reflection of the morning sky and I lost it.  Still watching the area closely there was a barely perceptible swirl.  My foggy brain was not engaged at this point.  I don't know if I was expecting the take to be more along the lines of the full head out of the water rise I had seen earlier or what.  That and not being able to pick my fly up on the water caused for a moment of hesitation in bringing my rod tip up.  When the whole process finally clicked and my body did react I felt the momentary tug of a large body on the other end followed by the quick release of tension as my line flew back over my head.  I didn't even have time to be extremely let down.  The whole thing happened so quick it took me a few moments even then to realize I had just missed an opportunity at a great fish.  

I wondered if the fish would show himself again so I took off the fly I had and started the process of switching to a mayfly spinner pattern to give me something to do while I waited to see if he would return to feeding.  About halfway through the fish made one rise, so I knew I hadn't spooked him out of the country.  But that was the last I saw of it.  After my new fly was tied on I stayed as long as I could before I knew I would have to get back to the truck and off to the office and did not see another feed.  

Head hung I waded back down river to the truck.  About halfway down I spotted a fish feeding across the river along the far bank.  I waded into the middle as far as I could and threw a perfect cast just above the last rise ring.  Again the light was playing tricks on me and I quickly lost the fly.  But when I saw the swirl in the vicinity I was ready this time.  I didn't hesitate a bit and brought the rod tip up on a nice consolation prize.  

Miss Congeniality

I guess it wouldn't be a fishing story if I had landed the big one.