You often read about great fishing trips, you hear the old saying , you should have been hear last week or yesterday. But when your guide says , you the next couple days could be epic, as the wind will lay down and there will be no clouds, and he is giddy! Well it made it hard to sleep each night,
as we would be in for good fishing.
Little did we know good would under estimate our fly "inhaling" Louisiana friends. From the get go
we would see the "bull" reds everyone in the magazines speak of , little did we know , we would catch them, well, quite often. We had a few smaller ones like the 18# one I'm holding, along with a
few normal 4-8 pound units, but the vast majority of the bulls ended up being 22-28 #'s.
Mary and I would be in heaven. The Hatch #7 soon seized up and would have to be set aside , brought out the 10 weight and the #9 hatch to latch down and be able to turn these fish.
Always kind of neat to float and fish out of a handmade wooden drift boat, especially on one of the large western rivers such as the Yellowstone , Southfork of the Snake or other beautiful river of the west. They seem to glide like a large old Cadillac down the freeway. The sun glistens off the many coats of lacquer meant to keep the beautiful wood sealed and tight.
One thing is for sure, you will probably be the only one on the water when floating in one of these wooden dreams. Get out and experience.
A bit of a tough sled on the flats for two days, as the rain is socked in pretty solidly . In between the showers it is a race to find the fish. None the less, both playa's on the board with fish, one of female persuasion seems to have a perfect trout set going, which doesn't work so well for the salt water game.
I love her anyway and she is so close to her "slam" which I am not.
Looks like another trip to add to list of "bucket list" trips. I have received emails from Black Earth Angling, but never realized the waters they have at their disposal. Smallmouth certainly look like a kick in shorts.
Fall is one special time to be on the river, although it was off color, and the sun was straight up beautiful. It made for a stunning day of highlighting the beautiful golden and red hues of the aspens and cottonwoods on the lower Colorado River. the shadows of the trees and colors cast on river were
short of stunning, noting we did not see another boat or fisherman on or float.
Sunny conditions made it tough for the streamer pull, but did manage to land the cycle of brown, rainbow and cut bow, and all fish attached the Skiddish Smolt pattern. Also lobbed a pat's rubber and a frenchie through some solid runs with real nice results.
Just returning from a company sponsored trip to entertain vendors and customers for a week of
fishing and shenanigan's in Soldotna, on the Kenai River in Alaska. One time of year the fly rod is set aside for a little fun in the ocean chasing halibut, silvers and host of other fish or ripping up and down the Kenai River to catch a few silvers just entering the river, the sockeye's that have been around awhile, and some kings that may hit from time to time. Of course some stunning huge rainbows and dollies were caught.but getting out the camera meant setting down the beer or mixed cocktail. Yea , it was that kind of trip.
Chosen One Even on a rare day off, guide Larry Friedrich's fly selection does not get any easier. Selecting the right fly for his wife Darlene takes great care, as "happy wife, Happy life". Fish have been looking up, foam will be on the meal ticket, maybe his patented nymph pattern to follow? You just never know what the chosen one will be. One thing we do know, fish will be caught.
Sometimes anglers like to run stretches of river that offer new and exciting challenges, while other times, weather, high or low water , or even muddy condition down river can create condition that force you into areas you routinely do not fish. I came across this photo last week, that illustrates situations that Mary and I often put ourselves in and don't think anything of it.
As always we are prepared with all the necessary safety items, throw ropes, PFD's , first aid kits, etc.
but you can see, jut how fast this happens, you rarely have time for any of that, except to make sure your PFD is on secure and tight , as this young lady is going for a swim.
Often times because we never think we never think this will "happen to us"
times in the boat are haphazardly strapped in or sitting loosely in the drop bag, In that case,
river booty will be had for some luck sole down stream. Not sure if the boat flip completely over,
as the guide and rear angler are trying to "high side and save the situation. but in any case, you can see the angler tackle is probably lost, or at least broken in this case.
The key part and most important in to get to safety , the boat and fishing gear can be replaced.
your life can't. Treat the water and rivers with respect.
(in this case you have a high skilled water water and fishing boatsman , who hit the wrong path
causing an abrupt end to the day. Thankfully every one was OK, other than a little pride and bumps and bangs in the swim.
It is just the best time to be out fishing your favorite lake, river or stream. It seems all the fish are up, active and eating. With all the great winter water, we have lots of rivers and streams teaming with
cool, clean and clear water. The fish seem to be chowing do too. It is so nice to fish big hair or foam flies, having the fish come up and pound them. Early mornings or late evenings, the fish are willing.
It seems we have been blessed to hit certain rivers and hatches spot on in the last couple of years. This year no different, with the water on the dropping and clearing daily, the bugs were insane.
Quite virtually having our choice of bugs to throw, you just had to choose, still quite a few salmon flies fluttering, golden stones as thick as can be and coving the sides of the boat, grey drake clouds up and down the river and numerous species of caddis fluttering amongst all.
We decided to stick with a single golden stone dry as this would provide us plenty of rises and fish.
Working the opposite side of the river from most of the right handed casters would yield water that had not seen very may flies since high water .
All the browns and a few bow's were healthy and eager eaters. Will be back for more punishment
We found a river that is on the downside of runoff and fishing good. Of course we missed the annual march of the salmon flies, but will still hit the grey drakes, green drakes, golden stones, caddis and other bugs that get in the cross-hairs during the weekend. I am sure ready too ben the rod over and and see some fish to the net.
Lady Floatfisher and I had the great forture of spending the day on Spinney Reservoir with our great friend and guide Larry Freidrich's. If you have or have not had the opportunity to fish with this master, either rowing the rapids of the Arkansas River throwing caddis and golden stones, or damsels and callibaetis on Spinney on the nice Lund you are miss something special. The man is dialed.
My typical night before includes the normal restless, tossing and turning, knowing fishing is on the horizon. Since it has only been two weeks, I wasn't jonesing to bad. Normal one can "bet" the wind will blow in South Park, but not today, Sunshine and warm weather would be our best friends .
Ms. Floatfisher and Master Larry speaking "rainbow" in hopes of the next giant take, well lots of stories and laughs were had, always a gauge to a good day fishing.
In typical fashion, Mary would be the star all day with her rod bent over and catching the fish, while I could only document the event and take a few photo's. Warm up for Mary included a few browns , in a typical rainbow fishery.
My view most of the day of Mary's rod bent over, and Larry netting fish. Thanks for a great day on the water, learning a new technique, and spending time catching up with my best bud Larry.
Memorial Day weekend is usually the time we spend honoring the men and women who have served our great country, won and kept our freedoms. Many great men and women have lost their lives fighting for this freedom and we salute them. Many you you like me, have fathers and relatives who
are Veteran's who fought and we salute them and love them.
Usually by now the rivers and stream are getting their yearly flush and cleaning at high flows, after having been in Montand for a few months one becomes spoiled, fishing on a tailwater day after day, and not having to worry about dirty or rising water conditions to thwart the fishing. Anyways, I expected to have the river running high and muddy, and now opportunity to fish. 5 days of relatively steady flows had the river looking in get shape on the edges with great visibility.
Although sunny, I could not resist rigging a streamer rod to throw something larger to see what what would chase. Most of the chases were on the white skittish smelt, along the rockier areas.
Figuring the warm weather might have something looking up, I tried a variety of larger attractors,
but no takers. Guess they too a a picnic on the mind.
Filtering through hundreds of photos, I came across why the Middle Fork of the Salmon is such a stunning river. The unbelievably clear water that flows the length of the river is mind-blowing. What seem inches deep is 4ft deep, the river is packed with 6-9" beautifully marked cutthroat trout will to eat any well presented dry fly. The camping, with or without a hot springs is other worldly.
Prime-rib cooked riverside s one of the specialties, followed by scotch by the fire and watching the stars is just the great topping to the day.
Kicking it around with fellow fisherman and photographers, it is always great to see amazing work by a good friend. Gerry, who has an amazing eye for capturing amazing wildlife and rapture shots, delivers again. Capturing this osprey during the hunt for a Lamar River cutthroat before heading back to the nest to feed the little ones.