Monday, November 30, 2009

Slow Day On The Water

I found some time to noodle around for brown trout today and had a nice strike and a few follows but nothing was really going on fishing wise. I was definitely glad to get out and walk the water's edge. We are above freezing today for a change and the warmth of the sun felt good on my back. Water conditions were crystal clear and I could watch some of the fish in a few deeper pools that typically are obscured.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nature's Palette

The spectacular colors on this brown trout are entirely from the natural light falling on its beautiful flank. I haven't enhanced or changed this photo at all other than cropping it. This was a most rewarding fish on a day that was pleasant out, but never got above freezing. Iced guides are a minor annoyance when given the privilege to tangle with this gem colored beauty.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Trout

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there chasing trout on such a beautiful day. I managed a couple hours of time on the water and had a few interested brown trout. A truly glorious day to be out and enjoying nature.

I did get high holed by another angler but he had more pressing needs so I left and headed downsteam. This is the only other angler I saw all day.

Downstream proved to be better action as I don't think the other fisher had put any pressure on this section. This brown was particularly aggressive. He took twice but didn't get hooked either time. I rested the hole for about five minutes and on the first cast following the rest, he hammered it again, this time hooking up to become my memorable thanksgiving trout.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clear Water Hookups

The cold snap the last two days really dropped the water levels and cleared up visibility to crystal clear conditions. I stalked the browns as carefully as I could be they could see me coming more times than not. I hooked up with three small browns and scared out about 5 or 6 more fish from lies. I would work to them when I could but they were skittish. A large heron left as I walked down to the water's edge so they may have been getting other fishing pressure that was a bit more lethal than my small bugger. I was able to spot two muskrats and a couple snipe today as well. Snipe sure can startle you when you walk up on them and they flush!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Walking The River Ice

The river is quickly beginning to close up on the edges. Large sheets of edge ice were everywhere. I waded in and worked a bugger swinging it to likely lies and trying to find a few trout but none were willing. I didn't see another person on the river and having it all to myself was a nice solitary time to think and reflect on how lucky I was to be out on such a beautiful day.

I ended the day scouting the plains lakes to see if any were still open after all the freezing weather. Only the big player was still open. Everything else was solid. It will be ice fishing season soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Met A Nice Girl At Lunch

When we first met, she lashed out in a surprisingly vicious attack and we fought a twisted battle over a gold jeweled bauble. Luckily, I was able to win the fight and we parted ways. I was quite satisfied with the outcome, but I think she went away with her pride hurt and a little mad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Muddy Lunch

The moving water around here is high and chocolate mud with the runoff from the melting snow. I threw a bugger to the browns for a while at lunch today and had one hook up that I got to see before he shook me and another two tugs. The conditions were tough for clarity. Hopefully the flows will clear up soon and make the fishing a little easier. The sun was downright warming and comfortable today and it really made for a nice day on the water. Feeling the pulse of a trout on the line is a good way to spend lunch any day of the week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leonid Meteors Overnight

I interrupted my slumber at 1:00AM to make an attempt at spotting the Leonid meteor shower as the peak was supposed to be occurring early Tuesday morning and I wanted to see if I could get one on camera. The skies were clear and I had a decent viewing location from the kitchen with a good angle on the constellation Leo, which was supposed to be the radiant for the meteors. I was shooting 15 second exposures off a tripod at ISO200. Unfortunately, my little point and shoot cannot handle any longer exposure than that so I was limited, but just kept firing away hoping to catch one on film. I spotted some nice meteors with a very spectacular one about halfway through the time I was watching. It was out of my camera FOV though. I retired at 2:15AM as I had only seen one in the last 15 minutes of my watching. This morning while reviewing the pictures, I did have one faint capture of a Leonid on the camera. It wasn't much but I was happy to have some evidence of their presence in the Wyoming skies.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Open And Moving

Temperatures were around 15 to 20 degrees and I couldn't stand the thought of not getting out to fish another day. The storm had cooped me up with a little cabin fever setting in. After shoveling the drive and walkways, and realizing there was no wind to speak of, I decided to go hunt out some open water and throw the bugger a while in an attempt to tangle with some brown trout. I took minimal equipment, just a rod and four flies with a clipper and forceps set. There were no tracks in the snow at all with no one else crazy enough to bother fishing in this weather. Surprisingly, the fish were active and I managed one to hand and some other takes and swirls. The little brown I landed was a jewel of bright reds and golds. A nice gift from the stream on a freezing day. I did have to constantly stop and fight the iced up guides but it was worth it. Another wonderful day to spend in the high plains of the west.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tubing With Willi And The Shoe

Shoe and Willi headed up to the high plains to partake of some of the fall action on the local lakes around town. We had a quality day with consistent action and some decent weather. A little wind did come up in the afternoon but nothing terrible and certainly not at the forecasted levels. I fished the indicator rig all day with good action at the first lake and nothing to show for it after moving. Shoe and Willi had action on leeches and seemed to pick up the pace later in the day. Another quality fall day to be afield before the caps go on and ice fishing begins.

Calm tubing weather in the morning

My best rainbow of the day took a midge

Shoe out in the choppy afternoon waters

Horses grazing at our second stop

Willi and Shoe satisfied at the end of the day

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another Ice Out Evening

The afternoon started on a plains lake I had not put any time in on since the spring and I had been hearing good reports of nice cutthroats. It is a pretty lake and I went out to try my hand for the football shaped trout that were making people talk about it.

I tried the bugger and drifted nymphs to no avail. A few fish splashed the surface, but not nearly enough to get me to switch it up for dries. I decided to move and take another shot at my destination from the day before, in the hopes that the ice may have receded enough to provide some open water. Sure enough the lake had opened about halfway and I managed a few casts before dark.

Nearing the end of the evening, I had cast out and let the nymph rig settle. Putting two twitches on the line to lift and twitch the nymphs was all it took to ignite a response from a trout. He hammered the rig and started running. This didn't seem to be the normal rainbow typical to this lake, but something much stronger and aggressive. Sure enough, when I managed to land the fish, it was a stout brook trout. I hadn't ever caught one in here before although a few years ago they had stocked it with brookies. This one much have been a holdover and was quite a nice way to find them still thriving in the lake.

Sunset finally fell behind the mountains and it was time to call it an evening. I drove home thinking about that brook trout the entire time and how I had been lucky enough to tangle with him.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Typical Wyoming Weather

Having taken Friday off work to fish, I was planning on a nice leisurely day of floating the plains lakes and catching some nice fall rainbows, on the feed to fatten up before winter. I neglected to check the wind ratings for Friday and was informed of them from my friend Shoe, as he sent me an email on Thursday night citing the wind as the reason I wouldn't be seeing him on Friday. It was probably a good decision on his part. I, however, persevered and headed out into the 50 mph gusts that typified the majority of my day off. Floating was entirely out of the question so I opted to check a lake I could fish off the dam with the wind at my back. This proved fruitless as it was still ICED from the storm last week.

I sincerely thought it would be open water fishing. It was a surprising development and it sent me home to collect my waders and boots and head to another lake I had reports on being actually open. It was whitecapping and blowing like crazy but I got around the back side of it and with the wind at my back I worked the shallow weed beds looking for rainbows. One nice rainbow fell for the PT but that was about it on the indicator rig.

After this, I watched some muskrats briefly while checking out their dens. They had 6 or 7 of these built in the inlet shallows.

Switching over to a brown bugger provided a vicious take on the first cast, right on splash down, but the trout was able to throw the fly and leave me wondering. After that I casted in vain for a while longer finally deciding to pick up some trash to leave the lake a little better than I found it, and departed satisfied that I had made a go of it in the rough and unfortunately typical Wyoming wind.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Big Lakes For Open Water

With every smaller lake up here on the plains iced up from the storm, I headed down to meet up with Mark and Jake to work some big water that was still wide open after the cold front.

Mark had picked up a couple of nice browns before I arrived, but after that it was a long and fruitless day on the big water. I had one brown on a streamer briefly and Mark was having equal trouble finding any fish with the indicator rig. Mark sent along this great picture of me relaxing and enjoying an Old Chub Scottish Ale with my friend Jake.

We opted for a lake move which immediately paid dividends in the form of 14 to 16 inch rainbows and cuttbows.

The last part of the day was action filled with an enjoyable amount of takes and fish to hand.

I got to meet Tangler and his crew briefly in the morning and that was nice to finally catch him out on the water and chat. They had put in an early morning before sunrise and were handsomely rewarded. He should have a blog up about it soon as I got to see some of the great photos they had from the start of the day.