Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pines, Peaks, & Peixe

In case you are wondering what "peixe" is, it is Portuguese for "fish". I couldn't think of any fishing lingo that started with "p" at the moment. Anyhow, David and I headed up to a small picturesque reservoir for an afternoon of fishing. Things started off slow but I found a spot where I kept getting consistent hits after I caught one small planter bow.

We were using crystal buggers in a size 6 which was probably a little big for many of the small mouths that were trying to eat them. I think I had some smaller buggers in my box but I was content because I was getting consistent hits. After a bit the hits died down and we kicked across the length of the reservoir looking for productive spots.

Until this point David had the skunk and I only had one fish with a few more on and a bunch of hits. We eventually made our way back to the spot where I caught my first fish. It was a good move because I started getting hits again. Then it dawned on me that we should trail a midge off of the buggers so our hook up rate would increase. This was the ticket although the next fish I hooked up with took the bugger. It was a nice looking little rainbow and I wanted a pic but he started flipping around on the apron of my float tube and threw the hook and flopped into the water. David was trying to help me and during the fiasco I managed to hook my trailing fly into the strap around my float tube and David got his leader wrapped up in his fins. A ton of effort that yielded no picture of the nice little specimen. Once we added the midge I started catching quite a few but for some reason David was not getting hits still. I had the hotter rod for some reason although he started getting hits and landed a nice little stillwater brown and a planter bow. Overall the day was great and the scenery could not be beat!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ice Off

Supposedly a local high elevation reservoir had a ton of ice left just a few weeks ago. However, a small spurt of warmer temperatures combined with a wind storm ripped the remaining ice to shreds and open water supposedly prevailed. As I heard some rumblings about this ice off I knew I needed to try and get up there soon. Ice off on reservoirs can be some of the best fishing of the year although I had not had too much success with the phenomenon in the past. I wanted this to change this trip. Anyhow, my brother-in-law David and I met up at a popular gas station just after the crack of dawn and headed up to cutthroat heaven. The wind was very calm and the area we fished had some evidence of the deep freeze left over. A small ice shelf was clinging to a point that jutted out toward the center of the reservoir. Other than this we could see open water everywhere. Some argue the best "ice off" fishing occurs right as the edges of the ice start to pull away from the bank. Others say it is best after a few weeks once the water clears slightly and warms up a bit. We were too late and too early for either respective situation but we knew the fishing still had great potential. Things started off slow which would be a theme to the day as far as catching goes. However after a short time David hooked up with a nice cutthroat. We saw a few fish rising but not enough to warrant the dry fly. We fished wooley buggers the whole day in a few different colors. Things went quiet after this first fish. I thought it was going to warm up quick so I did not wear a jacket at first. The air did warm up but I did not account for the freezing water temperature that quickly had me shivering as the cold seeped right through my breathable waders. We both got out and bundled up and headed back out on our float tubes. While the fishing was not fast, the scenery and tranquility of being out on the glassy water could not be beat. It was so calm and quiet you could hear the occasional chatter hundreds of yards away from other anglers. It was a truly therapeutic morning and the quality of the fishing experience definitely made the slow catch rate insignificant. We eventually kicked ourselves down the shore aways and as David was kicking toward shore to fix the zipper on his float tube he hooked into another beautiful cutthroat.

We fished the area for awhile and I finally hooked up with a beautiful fish that went over 20 inches. That just added to an already great day of fishing. I can't wait to get back up there and have another great fishing experience.