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
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!
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.
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.