Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

As my wife and I celebrate Thanksgiving this year with family and friends, I wanted to write out to everyone and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Over this past year, I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful to have a beautiful new daughter. I am thankful for the opportunity to fish much of my summers and falls away.

As always, I am thankful for those who are protecting us, by serving in our military. They help protect what I appreciate every day.

This year, I am enjoying Thanksgiving with my sister, something that I haven't done in several years. It is wonderful to have my grandfather, my parents, sister, and her family all join us on this wonderful holiday. It really makes for a wonderful, yet tiring holiday weekend.

So everyone out there, I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you have, and who is in your life.

Tight Lines,
Paul

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tying Flies and Getting Flies

It all started innocently enough. The time was winter. The rivers were frozen, the snow was falling, and I couldn't fish. My other hobby R/C Racing was happening far and few between this winter. So we're out one day, and we stop into an outdoor store. I decide to pick up a few flies. During this time, my wife notices me looking at fly tying materials. Later on she asks, if tying flies would be fun for me. I say it'd be nice. It'd be a winter hobby I could do while watching hockey games on TV.

So Christmas morning arrives, and we are opening packages. Eventually, I happen upon a package that has a little bit of weight to it. I open it, and to my surprise my first fly tying kit.
Trophy shot Holding my new fly tying kit
So of course, over the rest of my winter break, I start tying flies. As I get more and more comfortable with the process, I find that there is an opening on the monthly swap on my favorite Fly Fishing forum. I ask to join in, and from then on, I start getting challenged, also forced (at least that's what i tell the other half!) to buy new materials for the next month's swap.

The swap forces me to tie a dozen or more flies each month. For the swap itself, it has 12 members, so I have to do at minimum 12 flies, plus a few for the host that month. One of my first themes, is creating flies based on Catskill Dries. I chose the Light Cahill. It was not a pretty fly. But it has signficance because I caught my first trout on my own fly, with this one! It was a tiny brookie on a clear water stream, I just dipped it in, and he jumped at it. That fly still sits in my truck, never to be used again as a treasure.

Each month the themes varied. Sometimes it was a nymph, sometimes a dry, once it was tie a fly one size smaller than you ever have before. (that meant a size 20 for me).

Since then I have collected quite a few more materials, hooks, and tools. However, I still use the vise that came in this kit. it works beautifully, and I've never had an issue with it. It's a big difficult to use on size 20 flies, but for now, it's great for my budget.

The best part about the swap, wasn't that I was just building my skills up, but I was also filling up my fly box. Each month, I'd get a dozen flies of various varieties. Sure, I couldn't use all of them. Periodically I'd get a warm water fly, a carp fly, or something just as strange. Those flies go in a separate box for when I decide to go warm water fishing. I also may have a few salmon and steelhead flies in there too.

I will warn, it takes commitment. When my daughter arrived, I had to bow out of the swap, as being a new parent was making it very difficult for me to get on my vise on a regular basis. But it was fun, and now, I just join in the periodic fly swap that involves something that will help me when I'm on the river.

I also tie flies about once or twice a week now. I generally do about 2-4 flies per session before the dog, cat, or my daughter need my attention.

If you are new, I also suggest you take a look at the great tutorials provided by Fly Anglers Online. They will have you tying like an expert in just a few short weeks.

This post isn't a review on my starter kit. The materials that came with that kit have all been used and replaced. But more, I want my readers who have thought about taking the plunge to consider it more. There really isn't anything more relaxing on a cold winter's night than watching hockey, drinking a beer or a manhattan, while tying a few flies for the coming fishing season.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gear Review... Simms Rivershed Boots

When I visit Fly Anglers Online, one of the most common questions is regarding boots, specifically rubber soled boots. In light of Missouri's recent law to ban felt boots, I felt it was time to give my boots an updated review after wearing them into their 4th season now.



First off, I think the important thing to note... I have been wearing these boots for four years now. The same pair!! The main piece of notable wear? The SIMMS reflective letters on the back of the boot, on the pull strap have come off. These boots have seen everything over the past 4 years. Admittedly, I got into wade fishing 4 years, ago, so I cannot compare them in terms of grip to felt. If I could, the main thing I'd like to have on them, is BOA laces. Sometimes, it seems I can never get a boot tight enough!

I wear a size 13 shoe, so finding waders that can fit my large feet can be difficult. I got the Rivershed boots in a size 13, and they comfortably fit me. They might be a half size to small if I'm wearing liner socks, wool socks, and my waders. Most of the time, I'm just wearing a liner sock in my waders though. I only throw the wool socks on for those cold days.

The one thing I can say for certain. These boots definitely have better traction on snow and mud when compared to a felt boot. But they aren't perfect. I have fallen once, stepping onto what turned out to be very slippery mud, and the next thing I know I was on my back. I don't use the studs in my boots. I have never felt the need to. On the rocks, they handle just perfect. I have fished in some tailwaters, and waters in the park fed by hotsprings that get plenty of goop growing on them. Each and every step has always been comfortable. The boots have a solid sole which make them great for traversing over rocks and such. In fact, I have sometimes spent 8 to 10 hours wade fishing, and at the end of the day, my feet feel great. My shoulder on the other hand... well it can be worn out with that much casting!

The boots have always cleaned up nicely. Usually when I return home from a trip, I take the hose to them and clean off the mud and dirt that stuck to them.

For the price, a $170 pair of boots that have lasted four seasons... these have been worth every penny. I give them 5 out of 5 fish!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Outdoor Blogger Network. All week long they have been celebrating. If you aren't a member, you should join with your outdoor blog and get in on the fun.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall fishing the N. Popo River

Well mid last week I decided to take off today from work to get out and get some more fishing done. Looking at the forecast I was a bit worried. Then last night it started to rain and we had high winds most of the early morning hours. Our daughter slept in til 7:40, and once she woke up, I got up, packed her up, and ran her over to daycare. The winds, had calmed to about 10-15 mph during that time period. After dropping her off, I ran back home, made some oatmeal to get me through my morning, and hit the road towards Lander. I didn't really have a planned location. I was going to play it by what the weather was doing. Upon getting to Hudson, I had noticed that the winds had calmed to the 5-10 mph range. When I arrived at Lander, I noticed the same. Deciding that this wind would work, I headed over to the North Fork of the Popo Agie River.

Upon arriving, I noticed that the wind was coming out of the south, which meant if I threw my fly upstream, I'd have the wind at my back. I had also decided, I wanted to fish new water. So as a result, I went off down stream to hike to the bottom of the access point. After making my way down, I arrived at an area that suddenly was full of surface activity. The cloudy morning had me wondering if I'd see a BWO hatch. Well it turns out that it was starting. I tied on an Elk Hair Caddis stimulator that I came up with last summer, and tied a small 18 BWO on behind it.

Sparkle Elk Hair Caddis
Working the seams, I quickly had my first fish on for the day. A nice 13" brown trout. The water was very cold, and as a result I think the larger fish just weren't up for putting up a fight. He fought me at first, but once I had him turned, he quickly came to net without much more of a fight.

In the net

Quick release in the icy water

Hanging out on the bottom of the river
Oddly enough, during the day's dry fly action, 2 of my fish took the Caddis, and only 1 took the BWO. I had a few misses of both, but overall, my goto attractor pattern just works on this river regardless of the hatch if I'm fishing dries.

As the day went along, I would regularly switch rods and nymph with a beadhead princy nymph. I would alternate pretty regularly as long as I saw fish taking off the surface.

A little blurry, but another quality brown
As the day wore on, I took a break for some lunch, the wind would come up at times, and normally was at my back. In fact, my last fish of the day wouldn't have been caught where I did, on a windless day. I was fishing where two runs joined back together. After fishing the near run, I found that with the wind, I could cast to the far run from my current location, well over 60 feet. On my 2nd cast into that run, My indicator quickly dived down, and when I set the hook, I had another solid fish on the line. This fish would be the best of the day. I believe he's around 15", but I have never compared a fish to this rod before, so I'ill need to take some measuring tape to it to be sure.

Last brown of the day. Season?
All in all it was a quality day of fishing, even with the scary weather in the morning. I brought a total of 7 fish to hand, and lost gave a long distance release to several others. Plus a couple of times, I missed hits.

Most likely this will be my last trip for browns this year, and possibly my last trip for the season, unless I get a real hankering this winter to get out and throw a fly rod. Worry not folks! I plan on keeping the blog fresh all winter long, with fly tying demos of my favorite flies, and gear reviews.

Cya,
Paul

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gear Review: Cabela's Three Forks Fly Reel


This reel came as part of my Temple Forks Fly Rod outfit from Cabela's. Now that I've used the rod combo on several trips I feel comfortable reviewing this product. First off, I cast with my left hand and retrieve with my right hand. As such, the first thing I had to do was flip the reel for right hand retrieve. This reel proves very easy to do, probably the simplest of any of my reels so far. All I do, it take it apart, undo the e-clip, flip the one-way bearing, and put it back together. Done!

Performance of the drag
Early on in this combo's life, I took the reel out to a local brown trout waterway that sometimes has trout of size. I managed to hook into a very nice Brown trout on this trip. I shouldn't fish this water with a 3 weight, but I wanted to see how it did casting wise, and wanted to get more comfortable with it. This fish took a fly, and I realized immediately it was a quality fish. I was able to get the line on the reel quickly and started playing the fish. This clear water freestone stream let the fish see me quickly, and once he did he took back off into depths pulling line with him. The large adjustment knob made it easy to adjust the drag to a comfortable level so that I was able to play him comfortably.

Quality of materials
This reel is built from graphite construction. As such, if you are looking for something with aluminum, you should continue looking elsewhere. The reel comes with a drawstring nylon pouch that seems to do fairly well at keeping enough dirt out, when I throw it in my travel bin with my wading boots.

Fit & Finish
This is where the reel starts to falter a bit. Overall the large arbor design is nice, and works well. However, the spool leave a small gap, wide enough for my fly line to sometimes come out of the spool and around the rod. In fact, I had this very problem while landing the fish above. The result. The fish wasn't able to take any line past this point, as it caused the fly line to loop around the cross brace. Luckily the fish was mostly done running when this occurred. But if it had been earlier in the battle, it would have surely cost me that trophy. According to the reviews on Cabela's at least one other person has experienced this same issue.

Conclusion
For $30, it's always hard to complain, especially for a reel at that price with a large arbor design. However, I feel that there are better solutions out there for the price.  Additionally the reel falters, because you cannot purchase spare spools. But that slot that allows fly line to potentially be hung out and then snagged on the brace is scary to me. I'd hate to lose a fish in that scenario. So I must give this one a rating of 2 trouts. Keep looking elsewhere, you'll find a better reel at this price, made with better materials.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Looking back my first trout on a fly...

So I'm working on some new looks for this blog. In the process, I wanted a picture of me catching a trout on my fly rod. There is only one time that was recorded, when I caught my first trout on a fly. You see my parents were visiting us. This was my wife's first year fishing. While we were fishing, my wife got hung up on a rock. So I put on my waders to retrieve her lure. Afterwards, I noticed that the fish were feeding on the surface... my fly rod was in the back of the truck... So I said what the heck. I tied on a grasshopper, and tossed it out onto the lake. Pretty soon, I had my first fish hooked. He took to the air twice, each time jumping higher than me it seemed.

Fish On
Get the net ready!

Netting the fish; my nephew coming over to check it out.

My First Fish/Trout on a fly
Looking back that day, it was quite interesting. My Mom was sitting by the lake reading. My nephew was casting a marshmallow but didn't have the patience to let it sit for the trout to find it. My wife rushed down to the lake the quickest. Caught a fish before any of us were even rigged up. My grandfather was also there, enjoying the scenery that day mostly he stayed in the shade of my parent's van though.

That was the only fish I'd catch that day. That also happened to be the last time my wife has caught a fish. The following summer we didn't go fishing much as she was pregnant with our daughter. And this past summer, it was hard to get away with our beautiful daughter around to go fishing. Hence, my fishing trips are mostly on week days now.

Overall, everytime I view these pictures it brings back great memories from that day, and that fish is one I'll never forget. He was a stocker, but he had some fight and led to a very fun day on the lake.

Tight Lines,
Paul

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Blog Address

As you might have noticed, I now have a domain for my blog, mottledflyfisher.com. No worries if you reached this via the old address. It'll still work just fine.

As a heavily freckled person, I feel that this domain will fit my style perfectly. I hope you enjoy reading, and that this blog may continue to grow in features and other things down the road!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fishing the North Platte

So today, I decided to take the day off work, and take a 2 hour drive over to the North Platte river, since the flows have come down to their normal levels finally. It was worth the trip, I can tell you that much.

I hung around the house, until my wife was nearly ready for work (in case the baby woke up) then stopped off at McDonalds for coffee and breakfast. I headed out on the road with what was a quiet relaxing drive. Not much traffic out there today. I pulled up to the access area, and realized I wasn't alone. That was a bit of a bummer, but there was plenty of river. I watched the other angler for about 5 minutes, during that time he hooked up with at least 2 fish. I also noticed he was working downstream. So I decided to start 5 runs above him, that should give each run an hour rest minimum before I get to it.

Looking at the water, there was a light caddis hatch going on. I had prerigged up with a hopper dropper combination. I tried it for 10 minutes without much luck, so I cut them off, and switched over to a elk and cdc caddis that looked about right in size. I fished it to rising fish for quite a while, and had several attempts, but wasn't able to stick any trout. I eventually worked my way down without any hookups, so I decided I'd work my way back upstream with a hare's ear gold ribbed nymph under a thingamobber.

At the hole that I saw the guy ahead of me when I arrived, I put my line into the current and after a few seconds, the indicator dove under the surface. I set the hook and immediately felt the tug of a solid fish. I quickly got my line on the reel and started to play him. He made several long runs and during a few times I'd see the flash of gold and silver under the water. Once I saw his tail, and knew immediately that this was the biggest fish ever for me on the fly rod. He would handle my 6 weight rod with ease, and after several back and forths, I finally had him tired enough that he would stay in the slack water and was able to get my net under him. For the first time ever, my net was almost a bit to small. Afterwards, I admired my catch for a couple seconds in the water. The fish was solid large, and I realized that I wouldn't be able to get just one hand around him. I quickly set him out with my wading boot as a reference. (I wear size 13 boots... to give u an idea on the size of the fish.).


Wow look at that football!! Easily the largest fish I have taken on a fly rod ever. Even larger than my brown trout earlier this summer! After the picture, I held him in the water, while he regained his strength. Eventually, he swam off under his own power, into the current and slowly back into the bottom of the deep run.

After taking a small break (my arm was tired!!) I start throwing into the seams of the run again. A few short minutes later, I had a feisty brown trout on. He was a bit younger, and took to the air twice, before coming to net fairly easily.


He was an easy release quickly heading back into the deep.

Just a couple casts later, I had another solid hookup. This fish, was easily bigger than my first one. He made my reel sing as he took off halfway down the pool. When he came to a stop I started reeling him in. However, I was tired, or not thinking, and when he got close he started to take off, but I didn't let him have the reel. He gave 2 strong head shakes and the hook came flying back over my shoulder. What a bummer. But The fight was exciting. I've never had a fish take line like that before!

After a bit, I realized I forgot to put on suncreen. So I headed back to the truck. I decided at that point I'd head to another area. Unfortunately that area was closed. From there, I packed up my gear and headed to the N. Platte Fly shop to restock some tying materials and pick up a few more beadhead prince nymphs.

Until next time!

Cya,
Paul

Friday, September 23, 2011

1 Wrong step... 1 Loud Ripping Noise

Yesterday afternoon, I took my wife out fly fishing for the first time (and I don't think it'll be the last). While we didn't catch anything is was nice, relaxing for us both, and fun. I wasn't paying close enough attention, and stepped off the bank into the river at one point into waist deep water. As I was catching myself, I heard this loud fabric ripping noise. I thought I had just blown out my waders. I did manage to catch myself and didn't get wet, though I was standing in the river when I did catch myself. My wife was laughing at me pretty good. I checked out my waders, and no holes, phew I didn't rip em out!

Anyways, the really interesting part, is that I redid my SA Wally World special reel to be retrieved for a righty (I'm lefty). It even had the SA line that came with the rod still on it. Though to help her out, I put it on my BPS Wind River 6wt rod. I also brought along my 3 wt rod, incase she found that easier to cast. About midway up through the first run she wanted to try out the 3 wt. So I switched up. For kicks, I wanted to see how this rod cast out. Wow! It was casting effortlessly a LONG ways for me. Better than with the Bass Pro fly line that came with that rod combo. I was truly amazed. I was casting a dry fly much farther than ever before and the water drops were as soft as could be. I truly found that to be amazing.

We didn't catch anything on the trip, but her casting improved quite a bit as we worked our ways upstream. Of course, towards the end, her arm was getting tired, her mechanics fell apart, and I spent the last 20 minutes undoing the worlds worst wind knots. heh Overall I think she'll go fly fishing again with me.

After we returned to the truck, I took off my waders, and found the source of the rip... my jeans had blown open and I had nice airconditioning down below. So long for that pair of jeans. We saw plenty of brown trout, but couldn't get them to go after anything nymph or dry fly wise.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gear Review: TFO Lefty Kreh Signature Series 3wt 7'6" Rod

Earlier this summer, I purchased a TFO Lefty Kreh Signature Series 3 weight rod, and paired it with a Cabelas Three Forks Reel. I'll review the reel later on.

TFO Rod with a wild small stream brookie


My first trip out with the rod was during my camping trip this past july. I fished a nearby feeder creek to first try it out and get used to the casting rhythm. I quickly found that the rod does well. As any 3 weight will do, if their is wind, you are going to struggle. But without the wind, the rod would lay out quite a bit of line, and drop it with the softest presentation. When paired up with the SA GPX fly line it performed great. It casts dries and nymphs with ease. However, if you are nymphing with an indicator, it doesn't do as well if the indicator is 7 or 8 feet above the fly. So keep that in mind. However, my first time out with the rod, I didn't have a tangle the entire time. A great sign that it casts fairly well.

In addition, I took it with me on a day hike where I had to cover almost 4 miles with a total elevation change of 800 feet each way. The rod was packed away for the trip, but it being so light felt good when I got to the stream. The stream I fished it on was loaded with brookies ranging from 6 to 10 inches. It did quite well each time, and was able to cast the line to the areas that I needed it to go. The only downside on this trip, is that the rod is a 2 piece rod, instead of 4 making it a bit more cumbersome to carry into the back country than a 4 piece rod, that would attach to my pack.

Most recently I took the rod to my favorite brown trout hunting ground. Here I found that the rod struggles some with large dries. It really does best with the more traditional small 12-16 size flies, compared to a large hopper. On this trip, I hooked into a very large 18" brown trout. Even on a 6 weight this trout would have been a trip to land. On the 3 weight though, I couldn't get any leverage on him. If he chose to head out, I basically let him take the line with pulling against the drag to wear him out. One thing I should note. Multiple times I had my fly line through the leader into my guides, and the guides allowed the line to go back out snag free each time it occurred. eventually the trout was worn out enough that he didn't dive for the depths when my net approached. Though it was difficult to net the fish, as the rod just doesn't have the lifting power to bring his head out of the water much to allow for an easy net job. Though again, that is to be expected with a 3 weight rod.

Overall, my impressions with the rod were excellent. TFO puts out a quality product, and their $25 no fault replacement policy makes this rod an excellent choice for somebody looking to get into fly fishing, or adding an additional rod to their collection.

Based on my impressions, I'm going to the give the rod a 4 out of 5 trouts.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brown Trout Hunting

Well this morning I managed to get out of the house for a morning of fly fishing a local river loaded with Brownies. I started off the morning with a Humpy fly. Not much happened with that, so I switched up to a hopper. There was sporadic surface action, and after a couple of missed hits on the hopper, I decided to put on a nymph and see what I could find in the next hole.

So I quietly got myself into position, made a few shorter casts on the near side seam. After working that area, I put my cast into the current. The current moved the fly quickly, and pushed it into a nearby seam. Then my indicator just stopped and slowly sank. I set the hook, and felt the tank of a fish on the other end. You see, I decided to take out my 3wt again, even though I know this river can produce some very nice trout. It seemed like it took forever, before I got my first glimpse. Then I got excited. This was easily the largest trout I've fought while fly fishing. Everytime, he started to get close, and I made a move with my net, he'd take off and take off a bunch of line with him.  Eventually, I was able to wear him out enough that I was able to make a swing motion with the rod, and bring him into the net. I took a couple pictures of him in the net, hook still in his mouth. I then wet my hand and prepared to remove the hook, when the barbless hook had already fallen out. So I picked him up and posed for a quick picture. I put him back into the stream, and within a couple of seconds, he was ready to go and took off.

18" Brown Trout

I decided to take a small break since he thrashed the hole pretty good, and ate my breakfast. After that, I started fishing again. Soon enough, I caught a little small brown that was no more than 5" in length near the end of the run. There was this nice fishy spot though, where I could make a cast between two overhanging tree branches and beneath it the main current channel in the stream. I cast my fly into the spot, one of those rare times I made a perfect cast. As I watched my indicator drift perfectly down the seam, I heard a large splash just to my left. I turned my head quickly, and when I looked back, my indicator was gone. I quickly panicked, jerked the rod, and felt the tug of a nice fish on the other end. I quickly got him onto the reel. He didn't have the muscle to pull the drag much, but he eventually succumbed and ended up in my net. Just as before, the hook fell out of his upper lip as soon as their was slack on the line. I took a picture of him in the net, but he would not cooperate with a hand held picture.

14" Brown Trout
Afterwards, I had a few more bites, in one case, I had another decent brown hooked up, but he ran straight at me full speed, working the hook loose. Towards the end of my morning of fishing, I hooked into one more ok size brown trout. He took to the air (abnormal I'd say!)  and was able to shake the hook. By the end of my day the Prince Nymph that has been serving me so well on recent trips was officially retired. It's just been shredded by trout teeth!

Cya!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camping 2011 - Day 3... Boating, Family, Fishing

Day 3 arrived, and I was up and at it early that morning. I made myself some pancakes for breakfast, then launched the boat into the lake for the first time finally all week. My goal was to catch enough trout to feed my wife and me. So this means, trolling. I was fishing for about 15 minutes when the winds started blowing. While heading downwind on the lake was relatively easy, heading up wind was very difficult. I had started trolling with two polls, but with the wind, I switched up and decided to only troll with one. I caught a brookie early on. Eventually I stopped having luck with a gold Jake's that I switched over to silver. I then caught my 2nd brookie of the day. It was getting close to 11am, when my wife was planning to arrive at the campsite. I was making my last pass when I hooked into a nice rainbow. He put up a nice fight, partly because the anti-reverse on my reel decided to malfunction and stayed in the off position no matter what. I finally got him landed in the boat. Put him on the stringer then, headed to shore.

As I was cleaning the fish, Katy and my darling daughter arrived. We spent the afternoon enjoying a campfire, some smores and hot dogs for lunch.

Darling Daughter playing

Mom and Darling Daughter

Dad and Darling Daughter
Around 5pm or so my wife packed up and headed back down the mountain. Meanwhile I geared up with my waders and my 6 wt rod and proceeded over to one of my favorite holes. However, there was a grandfather and kid on the other side. Not terrible, but the kid did not understand fishing quietly. Three times while I was there, the top half of his pole went flying into the water. I let them have the water, and fished some other areas nearby waiting for them to move on. After a while, they moved up stream so that Grandpa could drop a fly in the pockets of the stream.

About five minutes after they left, I started catching fish...


I continued fishing catching a fish here and there...


By this time the fish were surfacing pretty regularly to small midges. I put a griffith's Gnat on my line and tossed it out, eventually hooking my last fish of the night. As it was getting dark, and I was getting hungry, I decided to call it a day...

Last Fish of the trip.
I spent the evening enjoying my dinner, my beagle who had come with Mom and daughter stayed with me also got to spend the evening with me.

The next morning I packed up camp and headed down the mountain. For dinner my wife and I had great trout, and wow that Rainbow tasted really well compared to the brookies. I may have to start keeping a few more rainbows next time I catch fish for dinner.

Tight Lines!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Camping 2011 - The Hike

For Father's Day, Katy got me a nice backpack that is perfect for hauling my wading gear on a hike. I decided that I would put it to use in grand style. Most of my previous trips have been a maximum of 1 mile into the back country. This time, I'd be hiking 3 miles into the Middle fork of the Popo Agie River.

The hike into the river requires me going up and over this hill side...


10 minutes into my hike, I was able to look over my shoulder and see where I started...

I was also given the opportunity to view Roaring Fork Mountain.

The hike in is rather short uphill, but very long downhill. I start at 8,800 feet roughly, ascend to just over 9,000 in the first mile, then make my way down to 8,200 feet. The last 600 feet is a straight downhill, with no level areas... important to know for the trip back!

After hiking for an hour and a half, I was greeted with a nice deep pool of clear water, loaded with brook trout.


The trout were not shy at all...

After setting this brookie free, my fly was laying on the water, dragging, about 3 feet in front me while I was getting more fly line out... This little guy happily took the fly... not caring about how it was being presented.


As a treat, here is an underwater shot. Can you see the Brookie? (Click the image to make it larger)

After a while, I took a break on a rock ledge, with this little eddy in front of me.


While drinking water, eating lunch, and taking in the sites, a trout kept feeding on the left edge in the dark spot. A trout can't keep teasing me like that, so when I was finished, I dropped my fly in the hole and out popped...


After this point, I'm getting tired, and realizing that I have a long difficult hike back. It is a lot of uphill climbing, often times, feeling like I'm going up an endless stair case. The hike back takes me a total of 2 and a half hours. But I happily made it back.

From there, I went out to civilization to let my wife know that I made it back to camp safely. While talking to my wife, I saw the remains of one of the 2 plane crashes in our mountains from this past winter being trucked out. Additionally, my wife told me of a mountain rescue that took place earlier that morning via helicopter from a women who fell and broke both ankles. (I could hear the helicopters during my hike ferrying out the plane and the women).

After we were done chatting, I drove over to the Little Popo Agie River fork, and managed to full a small brookie into taking the dry fly I had used earlier. I hadn't planned on making this trip to fish, so I didn't have any flies on me but the one I used earlier. The fish here are much more educated, thus they require different flies to full.

At 6pm, I left, and headed back to camp for dinner. Upon finishing my dinner, I decided I wasn't finished. I went back to my favorite hole, rigged up for nymphing and caught another 6 fish.

I fished until 9, went back to camp, built a small fire relaxed for the evening then headed off to bed, reminiscing how I managed to catch so many fish from 3 different waters.

Tight Lines.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Camping 2011 - Day 1

I arrived to the campsite early afternoon. After choosing a spot near the lake, I unpacked the truck and set up camp.


I had fully planned on launching the boat next, but a brief thunderstorm nearby changed my mind. Instead, I hung out at the campsite, and after it went away, rigged up my new 3wt with a dry fly and went fishing in a nearby fishing hole.

The result!
After fishing, I headed back to camp, started a fire, and fired up some charcoal in the grill to make dinner.


The rest of the evening, I spent relaxing next to the fire, and getting my pack ready for the big hike the next day.