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

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