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Showing posts with the label rainbow trout

The Magic Hour

A nice day recently.  In contrast to a windy previous day, this day was calm.  A quiet morning, with light snow gave way to a pleasant day with peeks of sunshine.

I nymphed half heartedly in the morning, then quit by eleven, hoping to find a few rising fish.

I broke for tea.  Settled in, and waited.

And waited some more.

After an hour, a fish rose.

Eventually, another.

After a half hour three fish were working.  Something had their attention.  It was time to slip into the water for a closer look.
A few midges buzzed but the fish weren't interested in my offerings.  
Midge cluster.  Nope.
Hatching midge.  Nope.
Pupa.  Nope.
A blue winged olive drifted by.  Well now.  I better take a look in my fly box.





The fish were rising more steadily now.  Their rises more enthusiastic.  Not the soft dimple of midging fish.
A fish ate on the first cast with the cdc olive.  It was a beautiful cutthroat.
I dried the fly, waited.  The next target rose, close.  Another cast.  Another eat.  This ti…

Five Days in October

It's midge season, again. Time to get back to spring creek fishing. The mornings are extraordinary.  Most days, I spend the better part of the first few hours just gawking, watching the light change, snapping photos.





The game starts once the the fish start rising.  Nothing visible in the current, little on top.  Midge adults skitter sporadically on surface.  Is that what they're really eating?  The fishing is challenging and frustrating.  In a perverse way, I prefer it to all other fly fishing.  Heaven forbid that I get a sore arm from catching too many.  
I while away the hours.  Get a fish or two.  It's the usual routine.  Hook a few.  Break a few off. Some are really good ones.  It's shallow water fishing.  The fish know that they're vulnerable. Once hooked, they vacate the area in a hurry and put extreme strain on the delicate rigging. Often, the departure is sudden and leaves me questioning the tippet, my knots, both.  At home I tie up a new leader, test the …

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…

MO

I took a quick day trip to the Missouri earlier this week.  It was a glorious day.  Calm, bright, a toasty forty-seven when I got to Wolf Creek around eight in the morning.  A light sun hoody was all I would need.  Ok, pants too.
Blue winged olive nymphs and midge pupa were drifting in the current.  So, I started out sight nymphing.  A few nice fish were working the shallows.  The water was clear, the fish spooky.  No surprise.  I watched and waited, casting occasionally.  The fish took the pheasant tail, Rojo midge, a little red midge.  Its neat when you can see them eat.
I broke for a sandwich around two.  By then it was getting warm and was pretty bright.  My eyes needed a break from staring at the water.
After lunch it was time to do a little head hunting, so I went for a drive.
I found a few bank feeders.  It turned out that there were enough to keep me entertained for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening.  Hatchwise, there were a few blue winged olive duns, but …

March Winds Down

March, as I mentioned in an earlier post is a month of waiting.  Dry fly fishers wait for bugs.  We (ok, I) wait(ed) for nice weather.  Well, the first half of the month was pretty nice. The past couple of weeks, rather unsettled.   I had the opportunity to fish, or rather, endure, a variety of conditions.
I'd always wanted to fish during a snowstorm.  I did, and, let's just say that's an itch that I don't need to scratch again.  I don't care if the blue-winged olive hatch rivals the plague of the locusts. For the record, it didn't.  Even the olives had enough sense to stay in out of the snow.





Fishing in the rain?  Did that too.  Don't need to do that again either (unless I'm steelhead fishing in Alaska).   Lets just say that the novelty of being miserable wore off long ago.
So, on to fairer days.....






Today was a beauty.  It was dead calm when I arrived.  The sun had yet to hit the valley floor.  When it did, the wind kicked in.  Immediately.  Absolute…

Watching, Waiting, Hoping......

Watching, waiting, hoping.  That's what I've been doing for the last month or so.  A few bugs, drifting aimlessly on the surface of the water would make my day.  Patience is a necessity.  At the mercy of bugs with no schedule, I'm on Baetis standard time, whatever that is.  So, I wait.
The days start earlier now, last longer too.  It makes no difference to the bugs, or the fish.  I leave home earlier, thinking maybe, just maybe this will be the day.  A fish feeding frenzy, right from the get go.  Heaven forbid I should miss it.  No worries, I don't.  Nothing doing.  All quiet on the stream front.
But there is activity.  Rainbows are in the creek now.  They chase each other, jockeying for position on the gravels.  Across the creek, a fisherman ambles through the grass, working upstream, alternately in and out of the water.  It's a mink.  Stealthy.  Doesn't seem to bother the spawning rainbows.  They continue their business, the mink continues hiking and swimmin…

Fifty-Sixty

I fished twice this week. The first day it was fifty degrees.  Yesterday, the temperature reached into the lower sixties. There was little wind. The holdover robins and resident chickadees carried on as if it were spring.
Not bad for February, in Montana.
And, unlike Punxsatawny Phil, I saw my shadow.
The midges never showed, either day.  So, it was a nymphing game.
With no rising fish, there was no need to go ultra fine as far as tippet.  So, I fished with impunity and used 5X.  What a luxury.  It's amazing how strong tippet material has become.
Yesterday, I lost a bunch of fish before finally sliding the net under one.  Some days are like that. Get a pull or two out of a fish, then its gone.  Maybe just a roll...gone.  A flash...gone.  Or, a quick tail flop on the surface, and then....gone.  Brief meetings all.  Mere casual acquaintances.  Long distance releases.  A whole bunch of Sayonara amigos.





After lunch I got the folding lawn chair out of the car.  Some folks pack cell p…

Rainbow

I fished yesterday, the day before too.  Hoping to get in on a straggler PMD hatch, I got Tricos instead.  I ended up swinging a soft hackle.  The fish liked it. 
Yesterday, I was up at dawn, feeling my way to the river through the smoke.  The water looked good.  No bugs though.  Well of course not, it was too early.  No matter.  A few inviting runs begged for a streamer.  All I had was my three weight.  Oh, what the hell.  I found a streamer leader tapered with ten pound Maxima.  A single, lowly conehead muddler was keeping the Humpy's company in a dry fly box.  I tied it on.  This is what I got.....










Then the fishing got good.........

Four Days, Forty Miles

An old cliche...the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  My feet don't know that one.  Nor do Forest Service trails through the western mountains.  Trails go wherever lumpy terrain dictates.  And, if you're a hiker like me, it's easy to get sidetracked and go cross country in order to investigate some out of the way body of water.  It's only a "few" extra miles.
So I bumped my way up the Boulder River road with the intention of hitting the trail and covering a few miles before dark.   But, I was played out from work. And, it was still warm.  Common sense prevailed.  I camped at Hicks Park instead.  Besides, I prefer to hike in the cool of morning.
Morning, true to form, I was much more chipper.  I broke camp, packed my pack and drove to the Box Canyon trailhead.  I was on the trail by 6:45 a.m.  My itinerary over the next few days would take me through some scenic high country.  Here then are some photos.  Enjoy!





























I made it to Pentad Lake…