Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Fly Fishing

Well the fall weather here has been unbelieveable. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get out on the rivers to enjoy it as my weekends have been busy. Well this weekend, I finally decided to go out. However my plans were almost scuttled as my wife has come down with a cold and called in sick to her work today.

After having several conversations with her, i made sure it was ok for me to head out and go fishing. To make it more agreeable, we agreed that I needed to fish somewhere that I still had cell phone coverage. So I hit up the North Popo Agie river again. The brown trout spawn is on, and the fish were not nearly as popular as the last time I hit this stream. I was treated with a beautiful brown working his way up a run through, with a full body out of water jump. Was a site to see the big guy.

It was significantly cooler today (about 10 degrees) and mostly cloudy. I worked my way upstream again this time around. Around noon or so, a BWO hatch started coming off. And by 12:15 fish were rising. I had my fly from the August swap, an Elk Hair Caddis with antron underwing and micro tube ribbing in chartreuse on with a BWO trailing it. Oddly enough, this brown below hit the Elk Hair Caddis and not the BWO. Go figure!! After I hooked him, I quickly got him to the reel, and brought him into net. Before netting him, he managed to make 3 runs on me, which was quite fun. He had good shoulders on him.

After a couple of pictures to admire him, he was released back into the river to fight another day. This was the only fish to find my flies today. There were more in a few spots, but I just had trouble getting the right presentation to them. Not sure how many more opportunities I'll have to get outside this year, but hopefully at least one more!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hunting for a Brown Trout

Today I decided it was time to catch a brown trout, since I have never caught one before, so I hit up the North Popo Agie River which has a healthy population of Browns.

I got on the water around 11am or so, and started working my way on the stream. I saw quite a few fish, they were very spooky in the crystal clear water. as soon as I could see the water they seemed to be spooked. I found that it was best to be about 30 feet or so downstream from where I intended to fish and cast upstream. This way they didn't seem to get as spooky. Unlike some other areas the fish would give you only one shot at the fly. If they didn't like it, or missed the strike they normally wouldn't come back for seconds. I believe this is the case, because the only public access area for this stream is close to Lander and thus the area receives a lot of fishing presure.

Fished a nice foam hopper that seemed to attract the most attention. After a couple of mis strikes and one LDR, I managed to land my first brown trout.

I contined moving upstream and found a nice deep hole with a wonderful seam in it. On my second cast, I hooked into a large Cutt that was at least 20 inches from what I saw. Unfortunately the fight was brief and he got away. The spot is marked, and I'll return for this guy soon though!! Shortly there after, I managed to catch this brown as well.

I contiued moving along the stream until I reached the end of the access area. I hooked into a couple more fish including one while I was snacking on a protein bar and my fly laying in what I thought was unproductive water! Heh. However the browns were good at their acrobatics and each time they would get away when they got a good high jump on me.

It was fun and nice to hit yet another new area for me. This stream does have some big fish in it, and hopefully some day I can can get on the stream on a cloudy day or in th evening.

Until next time, tight lines all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Camping Trip, 2010

For the second year in a row I went camping into the mountains over the Labor Day weekend. This year I took my trusty companion...

For Saturday, we took the boat out and had some luck with standard tackle, but I was unable to entice any fish with my fly rod. Then my boat motor decided to start acting up, and I couldn't get it started the rest of the weekend. So unfortunately, we were out of the boat by noon that morning as the wind was picking up above and beyond what the trolling motor can safely handle.

Later that evening, we did some shore fishing and managed to catch another 3 fish using standard tackle. The fish in the lake just love the wind!!

On Sunday, with the boat out of the commission, I decided to hike into the back country and fish around the Roaring Fork Creek area.

Here is a picture of the lake...

Additionally, since my wife hasn't been able to make this hike yet, I took a picture of the Cirque towers off in the distance.

From there, the dog and I made progress along the creek to find some fishing. Earlier this year there were reports of excellent grayling fishing at the lake. I didn't try the lake, as it just was so windy out in the open.

Eventually during our hike and fishing a few riffles, we came across this massive log jam.

From the pool in front of this jam, I pulled out a couple of brookies.

Eventually we continued on downstream until we made our way to my honey hole from last year. The creek treated it well... Several fish can be seen in this photo of the hole.

This hole has a unique situation that requires you to be sitting down to effectively cast in it. You can use roll casts or side arm casts, but that's it. Trees are all around. Any time the sun was covered the fish would readily move into the feeding lanes. When it came out, some of them would go into the rocks.

This first guy I caught, was actually caught while I was still pulling line out of the fly rod. I dipped it into a slack area over a deeper area thinking that no fish would approach it. Welll, I was wrong! Next thing I know I pulled out this little guy.

I continued to fish the hole, pulling out one fish after another, just working my way through them. Eventually I hooked this little guy who decided that my fly looked like a caddis moth surfacing and jumped clean out of the water to snag my fly.

Certainly not the biggest guy out there, but certainly one of my most memorable takes.

Overall for the day, roughly 10 fish brought to hand during my hike. Over the entire weekend about 20 fish brought to hand, and a half dozen LDR's.

Best of all, I found that our dog, Clouie handles the boat well, and loves to hike with me into the countryside. I'm sure she spooked a few fish as she snagged a drink in the water or approached the shoreline. (She gets very curious about rise forms from the fish).

The trip was a great weekend.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rinse and Repeat, same river next day

Got back out yesterday to the same river, but decided to head north this time from the bridge. Above the bridge is a nice deep pool where several fish were feeding. As if on queue for Saturday's sure hookups, I had 3 LDR's for the day. One of them put up a good fight, and I probably horsed him to much trying to keep him out of some rocks. Overall it was a great day.

Now here's the weird part of the fishing weekend. For flies, they would only take "drowned" small flies. I tried every sort of nymph I could think of without any luck. No action, or action, it didn't matter.They weren't interested. I went back to surface flies, and they would get a little bit of action. But every time I got a hit, except for one, it was a sub-surface hit of the fly making its way down the current. Adding any weight on the line to get it deeper made it so that they ignored the fly. Additionally, in most cases, I had to "get their attention" by giving the fly a couple of subtle strips. Generally once I had their attention they'd either investigate or hit the fly outright.

Have any of you ever experienced this? What fly would you recommend using in this situation. They were never interested in terrestials either. I tried ants and beetles. This part of the river is to high country for hoppers at 9100' elevation.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Fish on a fly I tied

This morning I headed up into the mountains to do some serious fly fishing on some areas that I am familiar with. While I haven't fished the Little Popo before, I've fished its cousin the Middle, and several other streams in the area.

Today, I decided was the day that I am going to fish only my flies until I catch something with a fly I have tied myself. Well it paid off. Fishing for about 5 minutes, I caught my first fish of the day on an Elk Hair Caddis.

I clipped off the fly to save as a memory, and tied on another fly of my own, a Light Cahil. A short time later, I caught a small brookie no bigger than my hand. As the day went on, all brookies were very small.

After a while some weather moved in, bringing thunder and lightning with it. So I went back to the truck for about 45 minutes.

Finally I came across a fly that I believe bdesavage created in one of the monthly swaps. It has antron for a face forward wing, and a furled off hook tail with some hackle as well. The fish loved it for a while on the surface. I let the slime stay on it, and it soon became a sinking fly. That seemed to work just as well. I would cast it into the lane, and let it slowly sink. If the fish ignored it, I'd give it a quick strip to get the fish to notice it. If they noticed it, I'd give it a couple of small strips to keep them enticed, then all I had to do was hang on when they'd take the fly.

Overall, a total of 6 rainbows, and 2 brook trout were brought to hand. I saw several larger fish resting on the bottom. I plan on going back with some streamers in the near future.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Exploring New Waters

Well my Dad and I went exploring up to the Northern Shoshoni Forest area. I wanted to scout the Brooks Lake area, and if the weather cooperated stalk some trout in the outlet stream. Plenty of trout to be found, not shy of humans, but very wary of flies. I did manage to bring my first trout to the net for the summer season. Good to get that skunk off. I definitely plan on making another trip back to that area. The stream was filled with rainbows, a couple of brookies, and even a whitefish.

Best time of the year... fishing season in the mountains. 

Tight Lines all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making my Grandfather's Day

My family is visiting, along with my 84 year old grandfather. One of his requests knowing that we go out fishing was to catch and bring home some fish. He hasn't had fresh caught fish in probably 15 to 20 years that I can recall. So with that in mind my Dad and I headed up to Worthen Meadows with Brook Trout in mind.

A busy day was had. My Mom joined along and sat by the bank reading a book, while my Dad and I hit the lake fishing. It was an active day as the fish were biting and hungry.

Not much fly fishing here as my Dad doesn't do that. (and with one eye is can be difficult for him to judge distances.) However, while trolling away, I had my first two fish on at the same time, one on each rod. While we paused the boat so I could reel them in my Dad cast out and caught his first fish of the day as well. First 3 fish were 2 brook trout, and a cutthroat. As is my standard custom, the cutthroat was immediately released. The brookies added to the stringer. As the day continued on the fish kept hammering at the lures. In most cases if they missed the first hit, they would come back and hit it a second and third time. It was a bit windy, but as long as we stayed towards the north shore we were shielded from the wind and able to do well. The fish are starting to rise, but again the wind wasn't calm enough to let them rise on a regular basis. By days end, a total of 12 fish were landed, about a half dozen more LDR's. Some small duns and midges were hatching in the calmer sections, and I saw at least one female dropping eggs. Most fish appeared to be rising to the larger terrestrials that were being blown off the northern shore.

Overall it was a successful day. 7 brookies and 1 rainbow trout were brought home to feed the family. My grandfather was happy, and though his weight is down because he hasn't been eating enough, he went back for seconds on the fish. Definitely something that made us all a bit happy. It was nice to see my grandfather so happy about a meal. And also my Dad catching his first real trout and figuring out just how strong they can be. Dad was very surprised when near the end of the day, as I was turning the boat back into the shallower water while in 30' water he had a strike and the fish quickly made its way to the bottom (Our lures were swimming at 4') and got him hung up in some rocks. Unfortunately that fish got away, but it showed him the true power of trout.

Below is a picture of the lake with the cirque towers in the background.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Windy Day in Mountains Fishing

Well the Southern winds are almost fully accessible now. Went up to Frye Lake and Worthen Meadows. It was a windy day, so not much luck, and the rivers are still very swollen around here. It was a nice time, great to get back into the cool mountain air.
Frye Lake

Frye Lake white capping with the steady 20-30mph winds.

I did see one fish rise where Roaring Fork dumps into Worthen Meadows, but I could not entice him to several offerings.

Monday, May 31, 2010

First Day of Fishing 2010...

Well I finally wetted a fly line today. No luck on the fly line, but with the wind up, I was also fishing some standard tackle as well.

Started off the fishing in Bass Lake using my newly acquired 9' 9wt rod with some poppers on it. (Earlier in the day, I caught a nice LM bass on standard tackle with a popper). Must say that casting a 9wt is significantly different than casting a 5wt. It's going to take some getting used to fishing that heavy of a rod. Had the wind stayed down, I probably would have stuck with my 5 wt.

For those interested, my 9wt rod is an Orivis PM-10 9' 9wt, paired with a Pfleuger reel.

Nice to get the 2010 version underway. My next fishing trip will be for trout.