Head Hunting

Despite the warmer weather, fishing has been pretty decent for me.  As of late, I’ve become obsessed with catching big fish.  In fly fishing jargon, some would refer to this as “Head Hunting”.  I’m not out in search of every fish in the river, I’m looking for the biggest fish in the river.  I think I caught the bug in March when my friend Chris and I hooked into multiple monster bows on what could only be described as an epic day.  In my opinion, the best way to catch big fish is to throw fly patterns that imitate what made them so big…baitfish.  Big and heavy articulated streamers seem to do the trick just fine.  Since it has been so hot lately, I’ve been sticking to fishing before noon and then fishing the last couple hours of daylight.  So far it has produced great results.

First Hybrid of the Morning…Not a Bad Sized One Either

First Decent Hybrid of the Evening

Another Chunky Hybrid

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go fishing with Brent from Uprising Flyfishing and my friend Chris who I fish with all the time. Our target, fatty mirrors from a reservoir chock full of them.  It didn’t take much time to starting seeing where the fish were.  It took a little bit longer to figure out how to get them to take.  I tried a few different things but settled on a little creation that I had tied up the night before.  I stood still for a while and eventually was surrounded by fat and happy feeding carp.  The only problem is that as soon as I hooked on, the rest were gone.  The fish are very wary right now and even the slightest misstep in your wading will spook them all away.  A hooked carp is a surefire way to spook the school away.  The fishing was “hot” by any means but having to work for fish made it well worth the effort.  Some times it is nice to be challenged harder than you’ve been in a long time.  This trip was definitely the hardest that I have ever had to work for a carp.  It wasn’t that they weren’t biting, it was that the takes were so subtle.  I couldn’t see any of the takes because the water was so dirty but it felt like the fish were just barely lipping the flies as they went by.  It was a huge contrast to just a couple months ago.  The fish would chase down your fly and hammer it hard.  Although they are harder to entice this time of year, it is well worth the effort.  The fish are very healthy and even the smaller fish will give you a run for your money.  We weren’t able to land any monsters on this outing but it was still a great time.  Thanks again Brent for driving and showing us a phenomenal flat.

Chunky Mirror

Quite the Belly on This Guy

My First Carp of the Day

Brent With One of the Many he Caught

An Eery Sunset

Friday was a pretty busy day for me but I was able to get out for a couple hours in the evening.  The weather wasn’t the most ideal.  Smoke was constantly blowing in and out and it looked a little eery outside.  The wind was blowing pretty good and a cold front was moving in.  Throwing big flies in the wind is when the “Chuck and Duck” technique becomes necessary.  A whack in the back of head helps you learn this one real fast.  I planned on starting off swinging and stripping streamers and as the sun went down switching over to a mouse.  The first hour or so was pretty slow going.  I hit my usual spots with no success at all.  Not even a bump from smaller fish.  I worked my way up to a spot that I lost one heck of a trout earlier in the week.  While working my way up I hooked a couple of little guys but not the big guy I was in search of.  My first couple of casts produced nothing but I knew a fish was there so I continued working the hole.  Right as the fly landed I felt a hard smack and the fish rocketed right out of the water.  I immediately knew it was a nice fish and was surprised at the jump.  In my experience, most large trout will dive down as hard as they can.  Next thing I know the fish has ripped out a bunch of line and is shooting right for the shallow water.  This would generally be a good thing but when you’re trailing another big streamer behind your lead fly, it can quickly turn into a nightmare.  The trailer fly can hook up on rocks and next thing you know the fish is gone.  Knowing this, I really started horsing the fish back into the deeper water until I could tire it out enough to net it.  It made a couple more runs for the shallow water but I eventually brought it to the net and came out victorious.  I  balanced my camera on my backpack and set the self timer.  Snapped a few pics and the fish was back in the river to be caught another day.

Patience Paid Off Again

At this point in time my happy bucket was pretty full.  I had accomplished the goal that I had went out to do and was ready to call it a day.  I decided to throw a mouse on and fish it for a few minutes just for fun.  I had a little foot long cutt explode on it but in its excitement, the little guy completely missed the fly.  By this point in time I was getting pretty cold and decided to call it a day.  Although things started a little slow, that is often how it goes when throwing streamers.  When it comes down to it, I now fish for quality rather than quantity.  Sometimes that means long periods of time without a single hit or fish.  In the end, the reward of a trophy fish makes the waiting 100% worth it.

August Photo Mashup

I’ve gotten a bit behind on updating my blog in the past couple of weeks.  I don’t really have any real reason other than I have spent a lot of my summer vacation fishing and not thinking much about it.  Although the weather has been unseasonably hot, the fishing has remained very good.  I’ve finally been able to make back out to the South Fork of the Snake River and fish are taking hoppers very readily.  The cooler weather in the mornings and evenings has been providing great streamer fishing for large trout.

Hopper Time

Great Colors On SF Browns

A Decent SF Bow

Another Close Up

Cuttie

A Chunky Brown

Decent Cuttie on the Hopper

More of the Same Brown

# 1 Reason I Throw Streamers

Smiling for the Camera

Cutties Love Meat!

One Heck of a Crazy Hatch and I Only Saw One Fish Feeding

Chris With a Nice Sized Cutt

In Case You Were Wondering…This Is How You Straight Arm a Fish

A Fat and Healthy Wild Bow

The Fish Were Loving the new Streamer Pattern Chris Tied Up

Chris With a Cutt that Fell for a Little Foam Hopper

Chunky Hybrid…Couldn’t Resist a Swinging fly

One Beat Up Fish…Notice Half Its tail is missing

A Beautiful Hybrid and my Last Fish of the Float

I must say that these cooler nights and shorter days are beginning to get me excited for fall fishing.  Fall provides some of the best fishing of the year.  The fish are doing all they can to fatten up for winter and will readily hit a well placed streamer.  Cooler weather helps the trout become much more active again and fishing can remain good all day long.  Chris did a much more thorough write up on our latest trip.  Check it out on his blog at http://www.manyafish.blogspot.com/

Nymphin’ It Up and a Little Creek Fishing

This strangely hot summer is really starting to take a toll on how successful I am in my trout fishing.  Small streams that would usually be a great escape from the valley heat are beginning to run rather low.  There are still a few that are good fishing but nothing like usual.  I’m still managing to find a decent amount of fish but I am having to work a lot harder than usual.  I’d normally be fishing the South Fork of the Snake this time of year but the water is still running so high due to irrigation demand that it’s not even worth my time (I don’t have a boat).  Once it drops down to 8,500 CFS, its game on!  In the mean time I’ll keep nymphing it up and catching some beautiful wild bows.

Another Chunky B0w

One of the Better Fish of the Day

Crazy Looking Caterpillar

Chunky Whitey

Wild Idaho Cuttie

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of great creeks to fish for some of the wildest trout you’ll ever find.  Most fish will readily rise to a well placed attractor pattern.  One of my favorite things about creek fishing is the beautiful colors on the trout.  Another thing I really enjoy is exploring all of the rarely touched water.  You never know what you might find around the next corner!