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Showing posts with the label floating

A February Float

Floating, fishing, February and Montana usually don't end up in the same sentence.  Other than wishful thinking, riverbanks clad in aufweis and or totally frozen rivers usually guarantee that river craft stay in their rightful place in the garage.
So given our mild winter and recent spate of fifty and sixty degree days, I gave it a go.  I was on the water by 10:30 a.m.  It was still a bit chilly, overcast too.  The promise was for fifty plus, not much wind.  A perfectly comfortable day I hoped. And, I dearly hoped for a midge hatch.  But what the heck, at least I'd be on the water, floating to boot.  Did I say February?
Fish activity wise, not much was happening as I bobbed downstream.  I stopped at a promising spot and rigged up with a single Possie bugger.  It's a pattern that struck my fancy a few years ago while perusing The Caddis Fly:  Oregon Fly Fishing Blog (their tying video can be found here.) For some reason, I never got around to using it.  This day it was a g…

Something Missing?

Whats wrong with this picture?  Well, dumb ass  here forgot one important piece, no, make that two important necessary pieces of equipment for safe navigation on a river float.  Sure, I've got a check list, but unlike Santa Claus who checks his list twice, I failed to check mine, once.  Duh.
We dropped off my car at the takeout, drove back to the put-in, and just as we were inflating the raft I found the minor oversight.  My wife, bless her soul, was kind enough to drive home and all the way back to the river with the oars and footrest.
The only saving grace?  Well, the temperature was above freezing when she got back with the oars.  

Pinks

I'm going through a phase of Alaska withdrawal. It's been a few years since I've cast a fly in one of her waters.  I need to go back.

The above fish photo is of a pink salmon caught while on a float trip down the Talachulitna River (remember this one Larry?).  No, it's not an ad for Simms or Loop, although they do make good stuff.



Pink salmon are another underrated fish.  Where else but in Alaska could you catch a bunch of four to six pound fish and be disappointed.  Heck, guides floating the Madison would wet their pants if they could get their clients into a boatload of four to six pounders.
Pinks have the shortest life cycle of Pacific salmon, completing it in two years.  Interestingly, unlike other anadromous salmonids which may spend up to a year or two in fresh water before smolting, pink salmon fry make a run for the ocean soon after hatching.  Also, even numbered years tend to see huge runs of returning fish, while odd numbered years will show few returnees.  …

Speywater Reprise

Can anything be too good to be true?  How about this?
Autumn Sunshine Daytime temps in the sixties  Nighttime temps upper thirties to forties New friends Old friends Smiles Sexy steelhead flies A big pull Steelhead Adipose fins A morning cup of camp coffee Incredible scenery Bright starry nights Full moon Sumac Bighorn sheep Bugling elk Canyon wrens Dippers October Caddis Campfires Dining by moonlight The last campout of the year A zillion things that I've forgot

My wife Jo and I floated and fished the Grande Ronde River with the crew from Speywater Guide Service last year.  Jo had such a good time that we decided to go back.  Hell, we had to, she bought herself a spey rod. She really had to twist my arm to go back.  Only kidding, I bought a new rod too! So, we re-booked the trip last December.  Flywater Travel arranges most of the trips.
The post from last years trip is here……so, I won't rehash the daily routine.
The why of the trip.  Of course, fishing is the primary reason…

A Summer Day on the Missouri River

After a few days of backpacking, we decided that a vacation day of fishing would be nice.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  When I contacted the folks at Crosscurrents in Craig, we knew that hooking up with a guide on such short notice would be pretty tough.  But, they soon called back. Done deal.  Just show up.  Tomorrow morning.

We arrived in Craig at 6:30, met our guide, Mike Geary, and were promptly on our way to the put in.
We lucked out.  Jo and I are both pretty low key anglers.  Mike, pleasant, easy going and affable, also happens to be an outfitter and owner of Lewis and Clark Expeditions.  He runs trips on Montana's Smith River and is most active in Project Healing Waters.  Quite a guy.  Once we got on the water, it didn't take long to realize that sitting in a boat is a hell of a lot easier than lugging a pack up a trail.

It was a bright, blue sky, August day. With temperatures forecast in the eighties, it would be a wet wading day. Other than a few stray puf…