Persistence Pays Off

Today was the first official day of my summer vacation and what better way to celebrate than to go fishing.   I started the day off by throwing streamers.  The first little little while was pretty slow going.  I did a lot of wading and casting and not a lot of catching.  I had a really nice fish charge my fly with his mouth open but somehow missed the hook.  I had a couple more little buggers hit the fly but didn’t connect with them either.  Finally after an hour and a half of little success, I caught my first cutt of the day.  He came out of a classic looking piece of streamer water and hammered the fly.  It was a great looking cutt and a lot of fun to catch.  Most of all, I was happy to get the skunk off.

Streamer Fishing

I continued to fish for a little while but didn’t get another bite so I decided it was time to head elsewhere.  I got to the next river about a half hour later and it was once again pretty slow going.  The banks were covered with hoppers so I decided I’d try throwing one for a while.  I had a few strikes and hooked up with one fish for a very short amount of time but wasn’t able to land anything.  At this point in time I just wanted to catch a fish so I decided to start nymphing in hopes of catching a few whities.  A few casts later I hooked into my first bow of the day.  Nothing huge, but it felt nice to catch another fish.  Three hours of fishing and only two fish brought to hand is pretty slow going.  I was starting to think the dog days of summer were rolling in.  I continued fishing the same run and pulled out another bow, this one a little bit better.  The hole kept producing and I hooked into what immediately felt like a really nice trout.  My suspicions were confirmed when it rocketed three feet out of the water.  A fun battle ensued and I eventually brought the fish to hand.  For the longest time I never fished with a net but today I was happy to have it.  The only problem is when your flying solo it’s not real easy to take pictures of yourself holding the fish.  For my first attempt.  I tried to hold out the camera as far away as I could with one hand, while holding the fish with my other hand.  Well the fish didn’t fit into the frame so that didn’t work to well.

First Attempt at Using the Self Timer

Next I decided I would try to balance my camera on a rock and set the self timer.  This was a good idea in theory but the camera unfortunately wanted to point straight up.  I made due with what I had and ended up with a  half decent picture.  I continued fishing the hole for a little while longer but didn’t catch anything else so I headed upstream.  The next couple of hours provided a lot of beautiful bows that were full of spunk and acrobatic moves.

Beautiful Wild Rainbow

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Rubber Legs Were on the Menu Today

More Wild Bows

Another Decent Bow

I was starting to get pretty tired but there was one more spot that I wanted to hit before calling it a day.  I’d burned through what little amount of energy my nutritious breakfast had given me(gas stations donuts) and my water supply was lacking.  The thought of more crazy bows kept me going and I’m glad I chose to keep pressing on.  I landed a couple more average fish and then hooked into a heavy fish.  As soon as I set the hook it dove and just sat there.  There was no way I was going to turn it until it tired out a little.  A few minutes later I brought her in and was once again grateful that I had my net.  I managed to get a half decent picture with the self timer and turned the fish back to the river.  I caught a couple more fish after this one but it was definitely the best fish I have ever seen come out of this river.

Best Bow of the Day

Another Shot of the Same Fish

What started off as one of the slowest days I have had in a long time ended up as a what I’d consider to be a banner day.  Patience comes in handy when the day is not going as planned and in the end, persistence pays off.

 

Spending Finals Week On The Water

For most college students, finals week is one of the most stressful times of the semester.  I lucked out this semester and only one of my classes had a final test in it.  I took advantage of this by spending as much time on the water as I could before most of my friends were taking off for the break.  The first day we decided to do another float.  The water was up a little higher due to several thunderstorms but the fishing was unbelievable.  On my second cast of the day I hooked into one of the best browns I have ever caught in my life.  He hit the big streamer as it dead drifted through the middle of a seam and took off like mad.  A few minutes later I was able to land him and my buddy Gabe snapped a few great pictures.

Hog Brown Trout

Nice Little Kype

We fished the hole a few minutes longer but weren’t able to hook into anything else.  We decided it was time to keep heading down river. We made another stop and a few casts in the skinny water right above a ledge and hooked into what looked like another lunker.  A bit later I brought this great hybrid to the net.  Gabe snapped a few more pics and we quickly released it.  I was in awe at how great this day was going thus far.  I know that the cloud cover certainly helped the fishing.  The big trout aren’t nearly as wary when there is a good amount of cloud cover in the sky.

First Hybrid of the Day

Sharp Teeth

We kept fishing the hole for a little while and Gabe had a nice brown chase his fly straight out of the water but it missed it.  We decided it was time to move on and headed down river again.  We landed a decent cutt (17″ or so) but that was it for the next hour or so.  We decided to stop at another spot where we have had good success before and it definitely paid off.  I waded out in the middle of the run and as my fly reached the end of its swing I hooked into the best fish of the day.  The big hybrid used the current to its advantage and took a good while to get in.  Definitely the best cutbow I have landed in my life.  This is why I like fishing streamers so much.  You may not catch as many fish the the quality is usually amazing.  We continued our float and picked up a few more fish but nothing over 16″.  I’m already looking forward to my next float!

Fatty Hybrid

A couple days later we decided to do a little creek fishing.  We headed off to a creek that I had heard holds some pretty nice fish.  We didn’t catch any real monsters, but as far as creek fishing goes we stuck a few nice fish.  The fishing started off very slow.  We didn’t even get a single hit for the first half hour.  Eventually we stumbled upon a large deep hole and I caught this bow within the first couple of casts. For a creek, it was not a very pretty fish.  It almost looked like a planter rainbow.  Not sure if it was or not but who knows.  Either way it was fun to catch.  We worked our way upstream a few miles and hooked into a few more fish but it was slow going.  We did see young bull moose which was neat.  I definitely won’t be going back up that way until the water cools down a lot.

A Long and Skinny Bow From An Idaho Creek

A couple days later I headed off to do a little more creek fishing.  This time I went with a new friend of mine named Jon.  We headed off to a creek that I had never fished before and it was a total bust.  I caught one little wild bow and that was it.  With several hours of daylight gone already, we decided to head in the complete opposite direction to a river I know holds plenty of fish.  We arrived around 4:00 PM and started to get into fish right away.  We landed a few whities but didn’t catch any trout over 4″.  With that said, we were more than happy to stick a few whities.  The day had been pretty slow thus far and we were happy with anything.  We decided to head off to another creek that Jon had pretty good luck at a few days earlier and it did not disappoint.  We started getting into wild cutts almost immediately.  It took us a little while to get into anything that had size to it but I eventually pulled this one out of some pocket water behind a big boulder.  As far as cutthroat trout go, these ones fight surprisingly hard.

My Best Cuttie of the Day

When we first started fishing, we were throwing nymphs.  As the sun started to go down I was starting to have fish come up and hit my bobber.  This usually means it is time to switch to dries.  I made the switch and continued to pick up fish the entire night until I could see no longer.  Jon stuck with the nymph rig and ended up landing the best fish of the day.  It ran him across the creek and put up a great fight.  We snapped a few pics and quickly released it back to the stream.  Out of all the places that I have fished, the fish in this stream are the hardest to take pictures of.  It is next to impossible to get them to hold still.  It gets frustrating after a while so I didn’t take a ton of pics here.

Jon With The Best Fish of The Day

Another Little Wild Cuttie

We decided to go back the next day (yesterday) since we had so much success the day previous.  It didn’t take long for us to start getting into more wild cutts.  I started off throwing a hopper dropper but only my dropper was producing any fish.  The sun was out and the fish were still a little too wary to rise to the surface.  I ended up switching to a double nymph rig and did great.  I caught quite a few whities with a cutt or two in the mix.  Once the sun started going down I switched back to dries and started doing well on them.

Hopper Eater

As I was working my way back upstream I stumbled upon this little guys.  Ever since I have been fishing with my buddy Chris, I have made it a goal to take better photos.  The other day I was asking him for some advice and thought I would put it to the test on this little frog.  He held still much longer than the wild trout do.

Little Frog Chillin’ By The Creek

As it continued to get darker, the fishing continued to get even better.  Jon had told me about a hole he spotted some pretty nice cutts sitting in earlier in the day but they spooked out when he tried to get a closer look.  He wanted to get back up there and see if we could catch one of them.  He guided me right where they were and told me right where to cast.  First cast in and the fish sipped the hopper right down.  Thanks Jon for letting me take the cast!  We continued fishing and just light the night before, we continued to pick up fish until it was too dark to see our flies.

I’d have to say that this finals week is one for the books.  I passed my tests and also managed to maintain a good GPA.  Summer vacation has officially started and I don’t start school again until September.  The next several weeks will be filled with many days ripping streamers and throwing hoppers to hungry trout.

Strip Strip Strip…BOOM!

That is the best description that I can think of when it comes to fishing streamers.  It has been a little while since I last put a post up but it has been nothing but streamer fishing for me.  It’s pretty tough to beat a take from a feisty trout that nearly rips your fly rod from your grasp.  I have mostly been catching cutts, with a few browns, hybrids, and bows thrown in the mix.  The fly of choice…a black and red articulated streamer.  Something about the color mixture drives those fish nuts!  I usually trail another fly and it greatly increases the amount of hookups I have.

Chowing Down

In my last post I talked a lot about the techniques I like to use when streamer fishing.  This post is a bit more of a trip report and a few photos.  I’ve fished a few different streams and rivers in the past few weeks and every one of them has been productive using streamers.

This Little Brownie Fell Victim to a Sculpin Pattern

Sometimes Crystal Olive Colors Do the Trick!

Football Hybrid

I haven’t taken a lot of pictures lately so that’s why I’ve only got a few.   A few days ago I had the chance to float one of the rivers I like to fish, in a canoe.  This was a first for me.  I’ve rowed a decent amount down the river but it is much different than running a canoe.  It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to fly fish from a canoe (with three guys) but we made it happen and were able to bring a few fish to the boat.  On the float I experienced of the coolest things that I have ever had happen to me while fly fishing.  I was hitting the banks hard but not having much luck yet.  I threw another cast, just like the last 100 but this one ended a little differently.  I threw a cast right on the bank and stripped back with no results.  Right as I lifted my fly out of the water to make another cast, a beast of a trout sky rocketed at it.  The fish was well over 20″ and thick!  Unfortunately for me he missed the fly.  It was one of those times I said to myself, “should have had the GoPro running”.  I threw a couple more casts back in the direction of the fish but he was not interested anymore.  I’m headed back out tomorrow to float again and I know right where to find him.

Also throwing out another reminder to go and vote for my picture on the Tailwaters Carp Photo Contest.  Here is a picture of the photo I entered.  The competition goes through the end of the month!  Thanks guys!

The Photo I Have Entered

The Link:  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=352246958178688&set=a.348896558513728.71235.101549669915086&type=1