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.



  1. Nice trip. I love the Popo. Is the El Toro still open in Hudson? If so, hope they still have the killer steaks and raviolis.

  2. Yep it is still there. I haven't ever stopped in there for food though. Probably should huh?