Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bonus Fish.

Day two and rain is in the forecast. We are two very happy campers and expect big things on this particular day on the water. However, with our high expectations we set ourselves up for an inevitable let down. The skies were overcast, the air was chilly, and rain came down. The steelhead for some reason, shut it down. Most likely due to a shift in water temperature that they must not have liked. Throughout the day, covering a ton of water, we witnessed three landed steelhead for a hundred or so anglers. Not very good odds, especially when most of the day was spent swinging flies through great looking water. Adam managed one tug to satiate his addiction and landed a very pretty brown trout while I settled for a six inch creek chub (good times). The rest of the day was spent probing, hiking, swinging, and wading. Adam with a malfunctioning pair of Orvis waders and myself with a slow leaking neoprene booty that left my left leg soaked and frozen much of the day. This post consists mostly of bonus fish from the previous day and random catches and sights from the weekend. 

First Cast, First Light Coho.

My, What Big Teeth You Have.

Intermittent Brown Trout.


It is approaching the time of year when the river starts to exude a wonderfully pleasant odor. That of rotting salmon. Sea gulls, ospreys, the occasional eagle, raccoons, and maggots all feast on the rotting corpses in the stream bed and along the banks. Large dead salmon often get caught up on logs and boulders in the river some of which approach thirty even forty pounds. Others are left on the banks from previous high water periods where they go through several stages of decay. Stages that remind me of a scene from Young Frankenstein where Marty Feldman assumes the position of "presently dead," and breaks into song once discovered. Anyway, the salmon are extremely beneficial to the river ecosystem and also to the fly angler. Aquatic insects will feast on the decomposing carcasses and steelhead and brown trout will begin keying in on these insects allowing one to diversify their arsenal on the river. 

Not Presently Dead, But Probably A Few Days Dead.

A Maggot Feast.

All That is Left is Skin, & Dispersing Maggots. 

Small Browns That Will Grow Up To Become Quite Large.

We spent much of our slow day of fishing swinging flies, slowly getting into a zone, and hoping that a fish would be willing to grab. I tried everything I had in my box. Egg sucking leaches, woolly buggers, tube flies, intruders, and some stinger missiles. I tried all sorts of colors as well, black, olive, brown, purple, red, blue, and chartreuse and then mixed and matched them to no avail. It just wasn't my day. Sometimes, especially on this river, you often latch onto something other than a fish. Mono-filament litters the landscape and is an unfortunate problem associated with fishing. It does not decay and with so many lines entering the water on a daily basis, your are bound to get caught on, trip on, catch, and lose your own line on someone else's lost fishing line. The day before, Adam and I were nymphing a deep run and we each caught someone else's rig. Judging by the size of the split shot and the large hook wrapped with estaz, this person lost more than one rig and we both caught them. The rig was a little excessive. 

Swing, Swing, Swing.
Practicing on a Beautiful Stretch.

More Bonus Fish.

Someone Else's Rig.

A Sparse Chartreuse and Purple Tube Fly Intruder.

Some Previously Caught Steel.

Small Male.


Adam's brown essentially saved our day. His persistence paid off after he spent some extended time on an outlet of a nice stretch. I, long before, had given up and was searching another piece of water when I heard the hoot and holler of Adam. Netting his fish in the fast flowing water, we brought the brown to some slack water along the bank, where the tube fly was removed from her lower jaw and the fish was released. On slow days, it pays to have patience and the resolve to offer a variety of presentations. Varying the speed of the swing and maintaining constant contact with the fly paid off for Adam. Not everyday is produces steelhead, but fortunately the browns are there as well. 

The Grab.

The Satisfaction.

The Shot.

The Release.


Bigerrfish said...

Anothe great post by you guys, that was a crazy amount of chrome shot on someones rig, gee, I wonder why they lost it?
good job!

Blake said...

Very nice fish, those maggots are nasty!

Ryan said...

I hate creek chubs! Another good report, and some gross pics. I don't think you will find those on anyone else's blog.

The Average Joe Fisherman