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Showing posts with the label summer

Up and Down

Up and down.  So go the river levels.  It's absolutely confounding.  Between the rain, runoff from snowmelt and dam releases, fishing conditions change, every day.  
It was eighty-eight degrees early one evening last week.  I usually dread the heat.  But, since a guy doesn't know how many trips around the sun he has left, I went anyway.   The river had dropped to around 2400 c.f.s.  Wading is possible at that level, one can nibble around the edges.  If lucky, I thought that I might find a few rising fish.  Maybe a few caddis too.  They like warm weather.
Shuffling my way through the grass, I stirred up some caddis.  Like hoppers, they were up and right back down into the safety of the grass.  Like me, they were waiting for the wind to die down.
I found a bit of soft water and settled in to watch.  At 7:30 the caddis dance began.

And, soon after, a few fish began to show their noses.  I tied on a nine foot leader, which, after fishing a fourteen or sixteen footer was quite a c…

In Days Of Yore.....

Indulge me, I'm reminiscing.
We're looking at an old film photo from the late 1970's.  Kodachrome, just like the Paul Simon song.
This is Montana, before the river (and everyone else) ran through it.
The camera was set on self timer and rested on streamside rocks.

A selfie if you will.  I was way ahead of todays kids and their cell phones.
More nimble and quicker then, I had ten seconds to run for the water while making the resulting shot look like I was fishing.  I think that I was shooting around twelve feet of line.  Backwards.
Back then my dry fly arsenal consisted of a few crudely tied Humpy's.  Some folks called them Goofus Bugs.  For me, matching the hatch was pretty simple.  Open fly box.  Ponder.  Which one?  Hmm...   I think I'll pick a Humpy.  
Graphite rods were in their infancy.  I couldn't afford one made of bamboo by Orvis. So, the fly rod was fiberglass.  I built it.  Now really, who "builds" a fly rod?  I just bought the blank from D…

Exquisite

It's hard to beat the perfect day.  Is it late summer?  Early autumn?  Maybe the day is somewhere in between.  A September day that by afternoon noses into the eighties.   I spend it by hiking into the high country.
The miles go by, I hike quickly in the comfort of the cool morning.  Aspens are yellowing, so is the thimbleberry that carpets the stream bottom trail.  Huckleberry bushes that failed to produce fruit this year put on a show of crimson.  Its as if to say "sorry for the lack of berries, here's some crimson leaves instead."




I reach the lake.  Its calm, mostly.  I drop my pack, pull out a ground tarp to set on the soggy ground, and settle in the watch for a while.  Such splendor.  A clear blue sky.  An alpine lake. Mountains.  Bear poop. 




A fish rises, then another.  I watch.  No need to hurry.  My dates not going anywhere.  She'll continue to leave little rings on the lake surface.  She can't afford to miss a meal you know.  
And so I fish.  It'…

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…

Beating the Heat

A couple of weeks ago everyone was lamenting the cool rainy weather.  Would it ever end?  Hell, yes.  It always does.  And, it did.  The heat got turned on.  Temperatures promptly achieved their rightful place in the nineties.
Those same few weeks ago the mountains were still locked in snow.  It doesn't take much sun and warmth to drive it off. Once a few rocks get exposed, away it goes.
The fourth of July is a pretty traditional date to shoot for as regards getting into some alpine trout fishing.  Some years its still too early.
Yesterday was a good day for a walk.  I always try to start the day early and take advantage of hiking on a shady trail. Above 9000 feet, the snow was retreating rapidly.  There were still a few snowbanks. The lakes had thawed but I don't think that the ice had been off for long.
Best of all, the fish were in good shape.  Nice and fat, a surprise for so early in the season.