Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label Idaho

Completing The Picture...

There's a scene that I admire whenever I drive the road that winds along the Lochsa River.
A wooden bridge spans the river and connects to trails that lead to the Idaho backcountry.
There should be a string of packhorses lined out along the bridge.

Unforked, At Last

Let it be known. The curse has been lifted.
I finally got a "real" fish out of the Henry's Fork.
One fish is no big deal for the fly fishing luminaries out there who stack twenty inch rainbows like cord wood.  My light doesn't glow so bright.
With clouds forecast for the day I made a run for Last Chance.  Overcast summer days are a rarity out here.  I hoped the fish and the bugs that they dine on would like the forecast as well.
A cloudy day invariably feels a hell of a lot more comfortable than a sunny one with similar temperatures.  The only issue is that the glare on cloudy days gives me fits. Sunglasses don't help.  There's no best angle to look at the surface of the water either. There's a uniform funky brightness caused by light reflecting from clouds to water surface that makes it virtually impossible to see and track a fly.  So, I squint a lot, guess where my fly is based on water speed and basically fish by braille.  I make a point of lifting ge…

Annual Report 2016

I'll start this post with a scene to warm the holiday season.  A summer pond reflection from near Cooke City, Montana.  Only the mosquitos are missing.
The year started and ended frosty.   Sub zero temperatures in January and December bookended the year.  Other than minor inconvenience, the cold weather was short lived and offered a brief respite from fishing.
I've grown to prefer fishing midges.  Often, they're a most reliable hatch.  And, mid-winter, the only game if one desires casting to rising trout.  Thankfully, February and March were both nice and offered several pleasant days and opportunities for squinting at the waters surface. Midges continued to fish well into May.
In spite of declining visual acuity, fishing with twenty-two's became routine.  I comfortably ventured into the use of 7X and now view 6X as a luxury.  Five X is nearly suitable for dredging up halibut.





Lucy, the matriarch of the sofa claiming dog clan made it beyond sixteen.  She left behind …

Clearwater

October means steelhead season, time to make the annual drive to Idaho.  I've been doing this for ten years.  I left a fog shrouded Gallatin Valley, full of hope and anticipation, as usual. After a summer of fishing with a three weight fly rod and minuscule trout flies, it was time for a change. Big rod, bigger flies.  Tippet?  No more screwing around with 6X or 7X.  It's ten pound test Maxima.
It's a simple routine.  Up early, out late, usually.  I perk coffee in the predawn dark.  The little single burner propane stove and lantern soon warm the tent and add cheer.  Caffeinated, I drive to the selected morning spot and wait for the light.  






It usually takes me a week of wading, casting, and occasionally falling in just to catch nothing.  So, first morning, I fish a new run.  It's showery, so I don't sling my camera.  Half way through I get a pull.  Line peels from the reel.  The fish jumps, a big one.  He's going downriver, cartwheeling, taking line, backing.…

Silver Creek Interlude

Spring creeks are singularly beautiful, and Silver Creek in Idaho is no exception. The Silver Creek Preserve is managed by the Nature Conservancy.  It's open to the public for a nominal five dollar daily donation.  While fishing is the main draw, many folks come to bird watch, canoe, walk the trails and take in the scenery.  It's also a photographers dream.












Silver Creek should be on the life list of any spring creek fisher.  And, as a devotee of spring creeks, it's one that I'd wanted to visit.  With a few days off, that fortuitously coincided with a favorable weather window,  I made the drive and was rewarded with a couple of delightful nights of camping.










Daytime temperatures still touched into the eighties and warranted an afternoon break from fishing.  The September nights were most comfortable and capped off with a moonlight serenade of distant bugling elk. A bull moose also included the Hayspur campground in his after dark wanderings.








I only spent two days on Sil…

Along the Salmon

I took a drive a few days back.  Actually, during the past several weeks I've taken several drives. This time to the Salmon River country in Idaho.  I try to spend a day or two there each fall. Rather than do the usual killer day by getting up real early, driving a couple hundred miles, fishing all day and then driving a couple hundred miles home in the same day, I did the sane thing and spent the night in Salmon.  A wise move.
As they say, the fishing was good, the getting not so hot.  No real surprise.  Steelhead start to trickle into the area by the third week in October.  Bigger numbers tend to arrive later.  No excuse for my lack of catching though.  I had a couple porpoise within rod length on the second morning.  So, there were a few around.
I got to play with my "new" Meiser spey rod thats been neglected for the past few years.  Made some good casts, lots of poor ones too.  The casting was largely a success, I didn't hit myself with the tungsten conehead.  I…

Forked

Yesterday was a perfectly wonderful day.  I hit the road early to make the hundred plus mile drive to the Henry's Fork.  We'd had a few cool wet days this week with snow in the high country. This would be the first "improving" day with some sunshine and warming temperatures.  I got to Last Chance a little after eight.  Low clouds and fog hung over the river.  There was no hurry to get going, the bugs would take their time today.  I piddled around, poured a cup of coffee, got my gear together, eventually pulled on waders and prepared for a long exploratory walk.  Across the river, coyotes howled, then a bull elk bugled.  Meanwhile, various waterfowl did their thing, honking, quacking, flying up and down the river.



The clouds would be slow to depart but added immensely to the now autumn sky. The distant Tetons gradually appeared as the clouds lifted. Mostly, I reveled in the sounds and scenery. There was no wind either!  This was the first day that I'd wear my sil…

Last Chance at Winter

Just a few images from a winter trip to the Henry's Fork in Idaho.   The Henry's Fork is not a winter fly fishing destination.  The area is normally buried under many feet of snow which makes it a haven for folks on snowmobiles.   This was a near perfect winter day.  Overcast, comfortable, calm.  The midges were out.  The blue-winged olives didn't come out to play.  And the trout?  They came out too, and played, a little.



















I fished until late afternoon.
The tally for the day was twice my last outing.
Two fish.
Wow.
Where did the time go?

I've used this quote before, but am compelled to use it again as it sums up the day perfectly.

"I wondered for quite a while about the fascination of fly fishing.  Why is it that I can wade into a stream at 10 in the morning, look at my watch in a "couple" of hours, and find out that it's late in the afternoon"........by Gene Hill from A Listening Walk and other stories.