Friday, April 1, 2011

Higher Lakes Starting To Perform

Ice out is slowly headed to the higher elevations and the fish are ready to take advantage of the open water. I hit a lake that is right about at 8000 feet and it was just starting to reveal its treasured open water. The edges were all open with ice shelf conditions on some sides. I watched an immature bald eagle fishing the edges of the open water. The eagle was onto something. The ice edges proved to be the hottest fishing with trout using it like an undercut bank. Fishing a stripped bugger along the shelf often provided a crushing strike or swirling follow. I was able to entice fish to strike right at my feet with the figure eight swing of the bugger before recasting. A couple fish were taken on the nymphing setup but bugger fishing proved to be the most fruitful on the day. It was one of those stellar early season days that you look forward to at the start of spring. Wildlife everywhere and active hungry fish destroying streamers.

I started the day checking on the river... not quite ready for prime time yet but very close. Perhaps this coming weekend it will be open entirely.

I did spot my first moose of the year and watched her retreat to the willows

Lake is very low but fished well while losing ice all day

Second cast and I was into a brown, a good omen for the day

My first Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat of the year

A pretty brown trout that hammered the bugger

The best fish of the day - a 20+ inch Snake River that pounded the fly right at my feet. It was a startling take and a bit of a fight to keep him from cutting me off on the ice edge.

At the end of the day, I waded out on a large sand flat and got into some browns that must have been in hunting crayfish on the flats

Video of Snake River Cutt Release
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