Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday With Willi And Shoe

I was lucky enough to sneak out in the afternoon and meet up with Willi and Shoe at a local lake. They had come up a little earlier in the day and Willi had managed a few nice cutthroats before I arrived. I got set up and joined in with them. It was nice to visit and catch up a bit as I hadn't seen either of them for a while. My first fish of the day was a nice rainbow but he popped the hook right at my feet. I was glad to have a take though and got back to it. The next fish I didn't miss and after a decent battle I wrangled in a big female rainbow that was definitely ripe with eggs and in spawn mode. Willi and Shoe stopped on their way out and got a couple pictures for me. Thanks guys. One more take later in the day but that fish popped off after about two seconds. I never got to see it at all but I'd like to think that maybe it was BizzaroPig. :)

My best open water fish of the year so far

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I had some chores to finish up on Saturday but it left the afternoon open for some time on the water. I headed out in the mid-30 degree weather and bundled up. Hitting the water in breathables quickly let me know that things are still warming up around here as it was brisk, even with long underwear as an added layer. I started working the water and on the second cast, BAM, indicator gone, I am into what seems to be a decent fish. I could get glimpses of the fish during the fight and something seemed odd, a bit off with it, but finally he was in the net. Sure enough, this rainbow was a freak. I would guess a whirling disease survivor. The front half of it was beautiful, hefty and rotund. This fish was eating well and looked gorgeous, then you get down to the tail. A deformed mess that didn't match the quality of the head at all. Very strange indeed. I snapped a couple pictures of this beast, dubbed the BizzaroPig, and sent back out to continue making a living dining on whatever it could catch. It was the only fish of the afternoon as I didn't last long in the wind and cold temperatures.

A couple shots of the BizzaroPig. The tail has that broken, bent looking section you often see associated with whirling disease victims. But I haven't ever seen it on a fish this size and seemingly so healthy.

Video of the release

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Return Trip

I couldn't stop thinking about that beautiful rainbow from the last trip out on Sunday. So with a couple hours after work I headed out to the plains lakes again and gave it another shot to see what might be happening this evening. It was a funky sort of weather pattern with gray, rainy clouds in parts of the valley, and open sunny patches in other areas. I only landed one fish but it was decent enough. The nice part was I got to see the take on the midge as I bumped it along at the end of the retrieve close to shore. The fish had a lighter back then the surrounding vegetation and I could clearly see the turn and the take as the midge caught the trout's attention. After a valiant fighting effort I was able to land her, snap a fast picture, and send her back to the weed line.

Only fish of the night

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sprint To The Lake

I had a brief couple hours to head out to the lake and see if I could find some action before I had to be at a graduation party in the evening. The water had definitely warmed up the last couple of days and with a slight chop nymphing with midges paid off handsomely. The fish were cruising on an outer weed line and lazily picking off midges emerging in the shallow water. I did manage a better fish on a prince as well... a rainbow in full spawning colors. It was a real beauty of a fish to end the trip for the night.

First fish of the night, a good fighter for his size

Lake conditions were perfect for the nymph rig

The final fish of the evening was this beautifully colored up rainbow

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Back In The Saddle

A Saturday trip to one of my favorite slump busting lakes finally got me off the skunk streak and back into trout. That first hookup of the day was a welcomed feeling. Fish were hammering the wooly bugger stripped about as fast as it could be retrieved. I fought the wind for a time in my float tube but finally gave up as the white caps and wind were just too much to handle. As it turned out, the fishing was better from shore anyway. Eric and I were able to work to quite a few browns and later in the day for me, a streak of cutthroat trout to end the evening. The evening bite was all on midges as the wind had settled down and the fish turned up on the nymphing rigs. It was a fun day to be out, the first full sun in a while, and we got to watch a bald eagle working some ducks in the wind. It was neat to see the eagle's strategy for driving and herding them.

A shot from the tube as I was being blown around the lake

My slump busting first brown of the day

Another pretty brown trout on the bugger

Cutthroats started up on the midges as the wind laid down

Eric working the calm water

A very fat, egg filled cutthroat that fought quite well

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Evening With George

George and I went out to see if we could find a trout or two at the lake. We saw a couple rainbows up on the dam that were interesting in spawning but we couldn't get any fish interested in our offerings in the main body of the lake. We did have a good time watching the muskrats, trout, and tons of birds on the lake this evening. The wind was a bit cold at times but at least it was at our backs making casting easier. Some day soon I am going to have to break this skunk streak. I may have to resort to a river fishing trip to crack the code.