Saturday, October 31, 2009

Post Storm Thaw

Well not quite everything has thawed out. The lake I went out to in the afternoon was still completely solid.

I sort of expected the ice but had to get some eyes on it anyway to be sure of what was happening. This is the last night before turning back the clock and darkness will start early in the evening. Moving water was the only chance I would have at some trout so I ventured on to some open water. Unfortunately it was soupy and off color from all the quick melting snow. I had one solid tug on a leech and scared a few fish at my feet off the bank when I would get right on top of them. There was no way to sight fish to the trout and they couldn't see me either in the muddy water. At least the storm is over and I can again head for the outdoors and open waters.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ice On The Lake

After the blanketing icy weather we had on Sunday with no point in the day getting above the freezing mark, I was wondering what I would find at the lake this afternoon after work. Luckily, most of the water was open but a large swath of the south end was locked up in ice. The season is growing short and I am just not ready to be relegated to only moving water below man made structures. Perhaps we can get one more month yet out of a few of the larger stillwater locations. The fishing was decent enough tonight before darkness overtook everything. The wind and chilly air actually had me wearing gloves between landing fish. The rainbows seemed to want the BHPT this evening and were dialed in on it, ignoring my midge.

Ice on the lake, the time is short

A couple of the feisty rainbows

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Keeping The Wind At Your Back

Eric and I made it out for a few hours of casting in the heavy wind storm that had moved into the valley. We had the lake all to ourselves due to the gale that was swirling around us. Luckily, the wind was mostly at our backs and we were able to take advantage and make offerings to the various rainbow trout inhabiting the lake. Apparently brook trout are in this lake too but neither of us have ever seen one taken here yet.

Rainbow on the PT

Eric staying out of the wind

Rainbow at the instant of release

Friday, October 23, 2009

Long Day After Browns

Shoe, Zackdog, and I met up to try for some fall browns on a beautiful Friday morning full of promise and hopefully trout.

Zackdog started the day on a beautiful brown that seemed to indicate we might find hot fishing.

We got into a few but not quite the action we thought might occur given the good fishing Zackdog had found a day earlier. I was finding a few smaller males on a PT and the other guys seemed to have the best luck with egg patterns.

Shoe also pulled a rainbow on a stripped leech.

In the afternoon, we stopped and chatted with Brandon and his group before Shoe and I headed for another nearby lake to try to salvage the evening.

We were immediately into fish here with the browns striking hard on brown and purple colored buggers and leeches. A successful ending to an otherwise slower day.

Shoe landing one at the end of the day

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hunting The Tiger

George and I took an overnight trip for two days of fishing a reservoir known to hold the elusive tiger trout. Ever since reading BG's article on fishing to the mutant tiger trout I have been looking for an opportunity to head out and fish for them. I have caught small ones in Utah where they are stocked quite liberally, but never any larger fish. Tigers are a cross between Brook Trout and Brown Trout and as it turns out they are voracious acrobatic fighting fish that rival any trout comparable in size. We fished from pontoons and using a six weight sinking line deep over the weed cover drew vicious strikes on buggers.

The ferocity of the takes was electric, the rod would practically leap from your hand with a hammering force.

The quality of the fish was impressive right from the start. Fish were consistently in the 18-20 inch range and there were some larger fish in the mix, with a few 21's and my best at 22 inches. I pondered whether the fish was a new state record or not (currently at 21 inches, 3.74 pounds). I did not have a scale and with Wyoming basing records only on weight, I opted to release this bruiser.

The fight this big hook jawed male gave me was the best battle of the weekend. Perhaps I can find him again in the future with a few more inches and pounds on him. The tiger trout kept coming to hand throughout Saturday.

Finally we called it for the evening and went back to the camper. George cooked up a delicious dinner of venison harvested just this fall, potatoes, and green beans. We drank some good beer and marveled at the night sky. With no moon to speak of the milky way was brilliantly bright.

On Sunday morning we awakened before the light of day and George fortified us with bacon, eggs, and country potatoes. I am not used to eating this well while camping. It was a real treat. After that it was back to the lake for some fishing in the early morning calm. The lake was still and fish were rising and active. I decided to stick with the sinking line and the tiger trout fishing continued to be hot.

My largest of the day was a very portly 21 incher that flipped away from me after biting me and also causing my fly rod to go for a swim. I luckily grabbed the line and pulled it up into the boat. That fish definitely got the best of me all around. The tigers were still active but a nice surprise crept into the mix with my first Colorado River Cutthroat Trout of the year taking the bugger. He fought so well I had no idea it was a cutt until I netted him.

By this time the wind was whitecapping the main lake very heavily. I sneaked into one last cove that was sheltered from the wind and found a few more tigers before we finally wrapped up and broke down the camper to head for home. What a tremendously fun weekend, I cannot wait to return and chase these abominations of nature again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weedline Action

I had the day off work and finished up my morning responsibilities around town. With that done, I headed to one of the plains lakes to try a little wade fishing from shore. The water is COLD now, and breathables were not the best choice. It will be toasty neoprenes for any wading from here on out. I took out both a sinking line rod and an indicator set up with a PT and midge. Tried with the sinking line at first and wasnt getting any action on buggers or leeches so over to the indicator I went. It was a little easier with the wind as well, not having to cast as often. The key was pitching it on the outside of the main weedline which got a nice drift right down the edge of the green mass. This was producing good strikes and some nice fish if you could manage to get them through the weeds to land them. I probably landed only half of the fish I hooked. A float tube or pontoon on this lake really is an advantage for landing trout. I did save one rainbow trout for the grill in the evening and it was delicious. When I cleaned the fish it was absolutely stuffed with snails. I need to find a good snail pattern soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calm Waters

I found a little time after work again this evening to get out and enjoy the nice weather. That first storm of the season really makes you start appreciating the nice fall weather and start taking advantage of the short time left. I am still rooting for an indian summer. A couple rainbows to hand but a little slower than the last few trips out to the high plains. The wind really laid down and the lake was fairly glassy for most of the night. Maybe a little chop would have helped the bite.

Beautiful chromed rainbow

The clouds and skyscapes this evening were gorgeous

Another rainbow to end the evening

Monday, October 12, 2009

Post Storm Trip

The big snow storm that hit us over the weekend has finally subsided. Roads are open again and temperatures reached the 50's today making for a tempting evening worth a few casts after work. I started with the standard setup (PT/Midge combo) and managed to land some nice rainbows with a couple that were surprisingly plump piglets. Some of the fish have really put on some size out on the plains lakes this season. I am looking forward to a bit of warming this week in the forecast as the shallows on the far side of the lake in two of the bays were iced over. I am not ready to have the hard water season start just yet. Just an evening trip like this however, and I feel recharged after the long weekend indoors.

Some of the rainbows

Nice bend in the rod

Best rainbow of the night

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eve Of The Storm

A very potent winter storm is moving into the valley tomorrow and I didn't want to sacrifice what may be the last opportunity to fish before five or more days of miserable weather. After work I made my way to the lake to throw the PT/Midge combo again and see if any trout were interested. The fish were hanging further off shore tonight, and I managed four fish to the net before the darkness took hold and I called it an evening. A nice trip after work is such a relaxing way to unwind after a long day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Evening Fun With Rainbows

There is still a bit of daylight between the end of work and the end of the day right now so I rigged up the rod with a beadhead PT and midge combo and went to one of the nearby plains lakes to get in a little water time before the arrival of twilight. The trip paid off with three spunky rainbows falling for my flies. The wind was heavy but there was a nice calm section right up on the dam where the fish were cruising the inside wall of a weed bed. I couldn't see them but they were definitely there. It did not require much distance casting which helped cut down on the wind knots I had to deal with as well.

Dam at the lake

First rainbow of the night

The nearby red buttes

The BHPT looked good to this guy

Final cast results

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Browns Gearing Up

Dad, Stu, and I made it out to meet up with Shoe and Willi to see if the brown trout were in and getting aggressive yet. It seems that they were with some nice fish being found on stripped buggers. It was overcast and colder with the feel of early winter on the way. We had a nice talk with the DWM for the area and ended the day a little early since Dad managed to get wet by flooding his hip waders.

First fish of the day is a nice male

Dad and Stu working to brown trout

Lake in the overcast

Beautiful butter yellow smaller male

Best brown of the day

Stu with an aggressive fall brown

Saturday, October 3, 2009

River Currents

Dad and Stu wanted to head to the river to get a feel for it and see the valley beauty in the fall. We hit an access where it is fairly level walking and pitched buggers to the trout. Later in the day we hit a nice lake on the way home and scored a few nice trout. A very nice way to spend the day - full of wildlife, fall colors, crisp air and the sounds of the river.

Good start to the day on the river

Dad on the trail

Dad taking a break

River view

Stu wading across

Swallow nests

Stu working the water

Beautiful cloud formation with raptor

River view

Dad with a wild brown trout

Overlooking the river

Hook up on the BHPT


Rainbow on the line

Nice rainbow to end the day