Finding Time For The River

Monday of last week marked the beginning of another semester of school.  The past four months off have provided some incredible fishing opportunities for me, but it feels nice to be back in class again.  The first week of the semester is always one of the most stressful times.  I’m always rearranging my schedule.  Doing homework takes a little bit of time to get used to when you haven’t had any for four months.  With that said, I think I’ve got it all figured out and look forward to another fun semester.  I’ve opted to take more online classes this semester than I usually do for a couple of reasons.  Reason number one: I have A.D.D. and I have a hard time sitting in a class room for more than an hour or two.  I get antsy and my mind starts wandering elsewhere.  Online classes let me do the work from the comfort of my apartment.  Reason number two:  Less time in a classroom = more time on the river.  Who wouldn’t want more time on the river?

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Rewarded For Being a Good Student All Week

I’ll be the first to admit that Saturday is my least favorite day of the week to fish.  There are usually a lot of people out, and I prefer a little bit of solitude.  Brent and I had planned on fishing Friday, but we each had things come up that prevented us from doing so.  I also ended up having way more homework than I was expecting to, so it worked out for the better.  Fortunately I love to hike, and hiking is one of the best ways to get away from the crowds.  Brent and I met up Saturday morning around 10:00 AM and headed out in search of some hungry trout.  It didn’t take long to connect with my first fish of the day, a solid cutt that would have went over 20″ but somehow managed to shake the hook.  Brent and I worked our way downriver, picking up the occasional hybrid, but overall the fishing was pretty slow.  In hopes of quicker fishing, we decided to pack up and head elsewhere.

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Snakey Hybrid

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Underwater Shot: Photo Credit- Brent Wilson

As we pulled into our next stop, I felt good about our choice to move elsewhere.  There was much more water to cover, and water clarity was much better than where we began our day.  Brent worked a nice ledge on the far bank of the river, while I stuck to the bank closest to where we parked.  After a few casts, I watched a dark shadow come out of the depths and chase down my fly.  In its attempt to hit the sculpin pattern, it missed and made its way back to the deep pocket.  I continued working the run for a few more minutes and eventually pulled out a decent hybrid in the 18″ range.  Rainbow-Cutthroat Hybrids fight strong and they are one of my favorite trout to catch.  We snapped a few photos and sent the fish on her way.

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Chrome Hybrid

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Terrible Photo But a Decent Cutthroat

Over the next few hours, Brent and I continued to work every run that looked like it would hold a fish, and in turn continued to catch or hook into fish on a regular basis.  Most fish were in the 12″ to 16″ range, but we’d occasionally hook one in the 18″ to 20″ range, and even were lucky enough to catch a couple in the 22″-23″ range.  I’m terrible at keeping track of how many fish I catch, but my best guess would be that between Brent and I, over two dozen were brought to hand by days end, not to mention all the fish that shook the fly loose.  Not a bad day at all in my book, especially for a Saturday.

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Vibrant Colors

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Shoulders

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Big Headed Cutty

Today, another week of school, homework, studying, and everything else that goes along with being a full-time college student begins.  A great weekend of fishing always makes it easier to get through the long days of school.  In the mean time, I can day dream about the tailing carp and streamer pounding smallies that I’m going to chase this coming weekend.

The Fork Called Henry’s: A Photo Summary

There is a reason people from all over the world make the journey to Idaho to fish the Henry’s Fork.  Whether you want to fish a tailwater, a canyon section full of pocket water, or a spring creek, the Henry’s Fork has it all.  The lower river is predominantly brown trout, but as you work your way upriver, rainbows become the main quarry.  One of the main reasons I love the Henry’s Fork is because it consistently puts out solid fish.  It doesn’t matter what section of the river you choose the fish, you always have the chance of hooking into the fish of a lifetime.  The past few weeks of winter fishing have been phenomenal on the Lower Henry’s Fork, and things will only pick up as warmer weather begins to set in.  Spring is just around the corner.  Get out and catch some fish!

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“The Straight Arm”

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Pre-Spawn ‘Bow

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Chris With Another Quality Brown

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Seeing Double

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Buttery ‘Bow

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One Hander

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Nature’s Canvas

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Brownie

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Healthy ‘Bow

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Catch and Release

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Spotty

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Golden

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Chris With a Hog

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Chunk of Brown

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Gus With a Pretty ‘Bow

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Quick Release

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Beautiful Hybrid

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Long ‘Bow

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Daily Double

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Rosy Cheeks

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Chris With a Giant Brown

Gear Review: RIO Indicator Line (WF5F)

When it comes to winter fly fishing, slowly bouncing the river bottom with nymphs is most often my go to method.  Over the past couple of months I have had the opportunity to use the RIO Indicator Line.  Nymping has always been one of my favorite methods of fishing, but I’ll be the first to admit, I never knew that a specialty line could make such a positive difference in the way I fish nymphs.

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The RIO Indicator Line

Line Specs and Features:

One of the unique features of the RIO Indicator Line is that the head section of the line is significantly longer and heavier than your typical WF5F line.  The longer head enables you to control your line with ease and makes mending and maintaining a drag free drift a much simpler task.  The heavier head is able to turn over a two-fly indicator rig with very little effort in comparison to your standard fly line.

RIO Products pride themselves for always offering their customers the newest advances in fly line technology.  The Indicator Line features RIO’s Agent X Technology, as well as their XS Technology.  Agent X Technology combines castability with durability, and the end result is a superior fly line.  XS Technology stands for Extreme Slickness, and who doesn’t want a slicker fly line?  Along with increased slickness, RIO’s XS Technology helps repel dirt and in turn keeps your line in great shape even longer.  RIO’s DualTone color system is another very useful feature.  Not only does the noticable change in line color help you know how much line you have out, it also helps you know the ideal loading zone of the fly line, and in turn helps your casts land where you want them to.  Last but not least, Welded Loops on both ends of the line make rigging up and changing your leaders a breeze.   All of these features put the RIO Indicator Line a step above the status quo.

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Field Testing:

One of the first things I noticed about the RIO Indicator Line is how easily it slid through the guides of my fly rod. The castability of your line is key to a successful day on the river.  Although most nymphing situations don’t call for extremely far casts, it is good to know that I can hit that stellar looking run on the far side of the river when the situation arises.  Floatability is also key to a good day on the water and once again RIO delivers.  The fluorescent orange tip is always easy to locate as it rides high, allowing you to keep your presentation at just the right level in the water column.

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Henry’s Fork Brown Trout

When it comes to winter nymphing, maintaining a drag free drift is very important.  Fish do not want to move very far to get a meal, and the longer your fly is in the zone, the better your chances are of hooking up.  Being able to mend line with ease, even with a lot of line out, enables you to maintain a drag free drift with very little effort.  I have never used a line that mends so easily.  Fishing the run on the far side of a boulder is no longer out of the question when you can mend over it and keep a perfect drift.  The heavier diameter of the head, combined with the longer than normal head section of the line makes this possible.

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Catch and Release

One of the most important attributes of a fly line is it’s durability.  I fish at least three times a week, and whatever gear I am using is going to take a beating over time.  I want a line that I know three months down the road, will cast as good as it did the first day I fished it.  Once again, the RIO Indicator Line has left me very impressed.  On top of the normal wear and tear that any line goes through, winter fishing presents other obstacles and is a perfect testing ground for a fly line.  Ice build up in the guides can scrape up line and easily damage it.  With the exception of a couple small nicks near the welded loop, the line is still in nearly perfect condition.  With that said, I believe ice in the top guide of my fly rod is to blame for that and it wouldn’t have happened under normal conditions.

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A Streamer Eating Henry’s Fork Rainbow

If versatility is an important part the way you fish, don’t be fooled into thinking that the RIO Indicator Line can only be used for nymphing.  If nymphs aren’t working, I will often throw on a streamer to switch things up and see if that will entice a strike.  Changing spools is time consuming, so knowing that the only change I have to make to my setup is tying on a heavier leader is a great feeling.

Conclusion:

Overall, I have been very happy with the RIO Indicator Line and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys nymph fishing.  By testing the line in some of the most extreme conditions, I can say with confidence it is the ideal line choice for most nymphing scenarios.  The one and only issue that I found with the line was that in extremely cold conditions, let’s say low teens or colder, the line would freeze up a little quicker than your typical fly line.  But let’s be honest, how many people really go fly fishing in the single digits?  This is not an issue that very many anglers will ever run into.  Once again, RIO has delivered a superior product and I look forward to using more of their specialty fly lines in the future.

The RIO Indicator line has an MSRP value of $74.95.  Want to get your hands on some of your own or any of their other great products? Head on over to their website at rioproducts.com.  There you can find the closest line retailer in your neck of the woods.