Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The One That Got Away

Most often I am not too disappointed when I don't land a fish but every so often you have that fish on that you really would like to admire up close. I went up to that same hole that I landed the rainbow (on the bugger) from and on my first cast my indicator went zooming under. It was funny but for some reason I had a good feeling about the first cast. I just felt it was in the perfect spot and apparently it was. As soon as I hooked up with this fish I saw him up near the surface for a second and I could tell it was a rainbow! I get excited about rainbows on this river because it is mostly a brown trout haven. I quickly started thinking that this might be the same fish I hooked into last time up. The only difference was that this fish was going ballistic. Multiple times he ran me out into the current. When he would near the surface he would dive back down to the depths. He ran upstream and downstream too. It was a game of back and forth and up and down. The rainbow I landed on a previous trip was a great fighter but this fish had tremendous spirit that I had not seen for a very long time. If it was the same fish he may have put on a few ounces in the higher flows, or maybe it was that he was hooked in the lower jaw instead of the upper. Anyhow, after about five minutes or more I finally had him next to me. I thought he was worn out so I grabbed the leader above him. He suddenly pulled some last minute antics by giving violent head shakes and he threw the hook. I had a feeling that he would get off for some reason. I think it was fitting because this fish really had the will to survive and he used every last bit of instinct to elude me. Maybe that is why fishing is so appealing, having the chance to be connected through rod and line to something so untamed and beautiful. I just wish I could capture the beauty this time on my camera!

After that experience I did not have any more luck with my nymph rig. There was a decent PMD hatch which had some fish looking up so I put on a dry fly. My first or second cast I had a fish on that leaped and got off. Then a cast downstream produced the same result, on and off. Then a cast even further downstream resulted in a fish to my hand.

On the way back to the parking lot I wanted to get a look at a gravel bar and as I stepped into a slight depression near the bank I saw a lot of little fish spook out of the area. This little depression seemed to be a river by itself, only everything was shrunken down several sizes. There were little fish rising occasionally so I started making short casts up the depression and had a beautiful tiny brown on after a few casts. It was a great way to spend a few hours on a hot summer's afternoon.

Journal Notes:
Flow- 510 cfs
Hatches- PMDs
Successful flies- black zebra midge, parachute PMD

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wet Wading

The time has come to leave the waders at home. David and I headed out and did just that and the water felt nice and cool on the legs. Ok, it was actually pretty freezing but our legs went numb pretty quick and it never bothered us. By any means it was better than having to pull on your waders and the air temperature balanced out the cool legs since it was probably near 90 degrees. The water was high but clear and since it was a Saturday the parking lot was a mad house. On any given summer's day there are about a million people floating down the river in their tubes or rafts. Most people seemed to be pulling out of the river upstream from us which was nice so we only had the occasional floater passing through our hole along with the occasional sandal.

There were either some golden stoneflies or yellow sallies making their presence known but the fish were not keyed in on them too much, at least where we were. Occasionally there would be a violent rise but we stuck with nymphing for most of the afternoon. There were also some Pale Morning Duns (PMDs) around but again not too much surface action. Due to the high churning water the fish were probably feasting on the above mentioned bugs in their nymphal stage along with a variety of other tasty morsels that the river offers up. It was by no means a lights out catching day but we had somewhat consistent action during our time on the water. David was having luck early on with a green zebra midge and all of mine were coming on a gold ribbed hares ear. After the action tapered off a bit I threw on a crystal bugger and started dead drifting it with a tight line. After a few casts something slammed it and I brought to hand a beautiful little rainbow.

This fat little football made me more inclined to experiment more with streamers while fishing rivers. I was raving about how fun the hit was so David tried sight fishing to some browns holding along the bank with a bugger and managed to get one to suck it down, however the fish was stubborn and did not get hooked. Overall it was a great summer's afternoon of fishing.

Journal Notes:
-Flow: 818 cfs
-Air Temp: approx. 90 F
-Water Temp: 52 F
-Successful Flies: Gold Ribbed Hares ear, green Zebra midge, rainbow black Crystal Bugger, Pheasant Tail
-Hatches: Golden Stones/Yellow Sallies, PMDs