Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is What I Do

Since it is still January and I am still thinking about the fish of this past year, because this is what I do.  I thought I might share one of my favorite fish this year and most likely, top ten of all time.
July 12, 2012
Temp: High 91* Low 61*
Rained lightly, off and on all night.  Morning brought a sunny day mingled with light clouds.  Later in the afternoon some dark thunder clouds moved in on us.
By this time in the year the river bed vegetation has grown up to the surface and litters the water with darling small white flowers.
We had arrived at the river the night before and put a tarp out on the ground to keep our sleeping bags out of the dirt.   I was the lucky on with the excess tarp on my side, so while Brock and Wayne were receiving light showers the wind had blown the excess tarp over me and I was sound asleep dry and cozy.
The next morning we hit the water.  Wayne had found two Rainbows the night before on a black bugger with  some sparkle.  This morning was slow.  I started out nymphing.  Goose-eggs on both the chamois and flashback scud that had found fish on previous trips.
There is a drop off were the water slacks after rushing out of a braid.  I had been pestering some nice trout feeding off the drop with no success.  Clearly these fish did not have the same regard for the chamois as I did.
I tied on a peach soft hackle.  I believe it was my first drift, over the same trout,  the soft hackle found flesh.  The fish flashed a number of times off the drop then turned downstream to remind me about the backing packed darkly away against the center of my spool.  From this same stretch, years previous, a similar fish showed me my backing for the first time.
At first I played him lightly, then I became concerned that I may not have an adequate amount of flesh purchased with my hook.  I took the rod to him.  Brock stood ready with the net and as I swung the fish in he came unpinned.  My anxious tension vanished immediately as well as the tension on my rod.
Come to find out the purchase was good.  The hook no longer had the nice "J" curve the manufacturer put in it.  It was now a "J" that looked as if it had been dipped in to the inferno.  Some how, I feel slightly better about straightening a hook on a fish than I do about breaking my line.

I was unable to induce any more takes in this area, so I headed the most western braid.  I found an extremely zealous 4 inch  Bow under a small cut bank.  My indicator sounded to 4 inches and moved laterally about 12 before I reacted.  He must of been hungry or competing or both.  I must of been hungry or competing or both, because the small 'bow landed on the bank 10 ft behind me.
20 yds upstream I had an 18" 'bow flash on my all wire Juan in 6" of water.  I lifted the rod and found a connection.  This fish took to the current and I followed him down the the next pool.  When I pulled him from the water I found him all leprous.  His tail was worn half away and he was covered in sores and redness.
We then decided to load up and try a new stretch.  Access proved to be much more difficult than our initial accessment.  We ended up bushwacking our way through multiple bogs with thick brush between them.  As we peeked out from the brush, we could see that our march was rewarded.  A good number of nice fish were holding right in front of us.  We would see great fish holding all up and down this entire stretch as well.
Nymphs, Goose-egg.  Hoppers, Goose-egg.
Brock tied on a black bugger with sparkle and immediately had a beautiful male 'bow move 7 ft to devour his fly.

True to form, I immediately tied on a similar patter and found the same results.  Two fish were in a holding pattern in the center of the river.  I cast upstream of them and swung the fly down in front of them. As the fly approached the zone, I gave the line a few strips and watched the smaller of the two rush my fly twice in quick succession. He stopped just short each time.
What a tease!
Immediately and with abandon, the larger fish, flipped on the after burners, cruised over and inhaled!  Beautiful fish!

This action on these three fish all occurred with in a five minute period.  We were stoked!  We thought we'd figured it out.  To our dismay, after this we were unable to get the visible fish all up and down this stretch to move.
This post ended up being longer than expected.  I'll have to continue in the next post



  1. Nice blog and some great photo's. Well done will follow. Richard.

    Kind Regards

  2. Richard, Thanks for the kind words. Nice Pike in that avatar!