Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day Trout

I made it out for a short trip after our Christmas get together was over on Sunday. With the guests departed and headed for home, I slipped out with the fly rod in hand and walked the banks trying to coax some trout with the hot head leech. It paid off for a couple of brown trout and I missed another few strikes as well. As long as this weather holds up I will try to take advantage of the open water as available.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Ice Of Winter

I got the auger and ice gear out and loaded up for a trip to the plains lakes today in the hopes of finding some rainbows through the hard stuff. The ice condition reports were sounding safe at last and I managed to find a good location to set up and start jigging. Actively working marabou jigs seemed to be what the fish were interested in today. I managed to land two rainbows and had a few other fish go through the holes with some pecking strikes. It felt great to have the crunch of the ice under my boots again. A fairly heavy storm was headed our way so after a couple hours I packed up and made it back to town just as the snow started flying. The winter season is once again here and the fishing prospects are promising.

The approaching storm

My best rainbow on the day

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cold Thanksgiving

We had a wicked cold snap the last two days and now the sun is finally out to warm us back up. The temperature was hitting all of 17 degrees when I decided to take a stroll along the water and see if any trout were out on thanksgiving. I managed to find one little brown trout in the short time I could stand battling the wind and cold. Happy thanksgiving everyone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Last Stillwater Of The Year

This trip was very likely the last one on any open stillwater for me unless things warm up considerably. The cap is on and its time to break out the ice fishing gear and get tuned up while we wait for it to thicken up to safe ice levels. There were quite a few people out taking advantage of the weather to get in one last trip, and Eric and I took a leisurely lunch at midday to wait out the evening bite. Mornings and evenings seem to be the best and we timed it right again this trip by sitting out in the sun and enjoying the daily lull. I will miss this place until spring unless I can get motivated to try ice fishing it this winter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Walk At Lunch

I took a nice walk at lunch and the rod went along since it was strung up and ready to fish a leech. A few bumps from willing fish and one little gem to hand made me pay attention to the water. There is no way to know how long this weather will last so I am going to have to keep taking advantage and gett out while I can.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brown Trout Fest

I headed out early this morning to a nearby lake that has a surprisingly good population of brown trout. This time of year they are usually geared up and in full craziness due to the spawn. The fish slam streamers and buggers with abandon. After arrival and gear up I started the day with 8 strikes/hookups on my first 10 casts resulting in two fish landed. The insanity continued from there for the first 2 hours of the morning with buggers really appealing to the fish. As the morning progressed Eric arrived, and then Willi and Steve showed up as well. The egg bite seemed to take off in the late morning hours and I picked up a few on eggs, mostly males, but the egg bite is not nearly as fun as the destruction the fish level upon stripped flies. There tends to be a midday lull and today was no exception. I had a nice lunch and used the Jetboil to make some hot coffee. Eric and I basked in the sun and ate casually knowing the evening held more promise if the past was any indication of when to be on the water. The lull got to Willi and Steve and they decided to move to some other lakes and see what else was going on in the valley. Eric and I stuck it out and right on cue in the afternoon the brown trout masses moved in and were all around us. We were working a good mud line and you could pick fish up in any direction casting from our waist deep wade in location. The heavy strikes on the bugger continued on almost every cast. Eric and I finally called it a day about an hour before dark. It was perhaps the fastest bugger/streamer fishing I have ever had at this particular lake. Definitely a day to remember. I did manage one lone cutthroat in the mix as well. I was glad to find him in there mixing it up with the browns.

First fish of the day

Some nice browns mixed in throughout the day

A neat orange spawning spot on the underside of the jaw on this female

A male that liked the egg pattern

Willi fights a brown that dipped the indicator

My lone cutthroat on the day

Eric doing battle

Eric with a landed trout

One of the expansive vistas on the way home

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lunch Hour Double

I got out for a walk and decided to strip the leech to see who was active in some old haunts. Less than an hour to cast, but I got lucky and pulled a two species afternoon. The wind was brutal but enough at my back not to cast into the grass and blow out every hole. The rainbow was quite a surprise, this is typically predominant brown trout water. It felt good to walk the edges again.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Water Boatman Barrage

I took another crack at the plains lakes today and found some nice, big rainbows willing to go after the nymphs. Nothing up top again this time, even though I tried quite a bit. Water boatman were smashing the surface all over the stillness of the lake. I had no idea how many of them could materialize in the fall nor what their flight capabilities were. I had them continually bouncing off of me and the boat during the height of their activity. Fish were taking them just under the surface causing large boils across the still expanse of water. I boated about a third of the fish I hooked today but all were 20-24 inchers which makes for one heck of a nice day on the water.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Slower Day In The Wind

The wind was capping the lake today and although Eric, Floyd, and I headed out to take some shots on fish, it was tough fishing. We did manage some fish though and the ones we landed were stout rainbow trout that made you work down to the last second of netting them. Nymphing with PTs and midges was the key to the few fish we were able to take. Eric did get some on shore with the trusty hopper as well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good News Travels Fast

After a call with Shoe on Saturday night, he was packed and on his way Sunday with Willi in tow. They met up with Eric and I at the lake and we proceeded to have a great day for rainbows. I couldn't get the hoppers working on Sunday but the nymphing rig was producing and there seemed no reason to deviate from the hot subsurface action. As afternoon arrived, Eric decided to leave and Shoe and Willi curiously headed to another lake after a banner day, but I decided to hang around and see what would happen that evening. The nymphing continued to pay off but the sheer number of caddis landing on the surface of the lake later in the evening had fish sporadically rising. I switched over to a dry for a while but there were so many naturals on the water my caddis patterns were ignored. The massive volume of bug life descending on the water was incredible. It was really something to see. I called it a day as the sun waned and was thankful to have such a beautiful day of fishing with friends.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Big Bows On Hoppers

Eric and I made it out for a few hours to tempt rainbows with hopper patterns out on the plains. The fish are looking up for them with some consistency and these are the biggest trout either of us have ever had regularly rising to a dry. The good grasshopper populations this season are paying off in opportunistic trout paying attention to the surface.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fast Float On Labor Day

Adam and I headed to the river for a float on a different section. We talked about it as an all day trip, however neither of us took into account the 2600 cfs flows at the time and our section got a little faster than we planned. Typically at 500 cfs it could be a nice float length. At least this lower section had some high desert beauty around and made for interesting scenery. We were finding fish but I boffo'ed every hookset or lost the fish when I was casting. I even broke one off in an over exuberant Jimmy Houston like display of way too much rod backbone. Adam did manage to boat one lone rainbow but it was a slow day overall. We were hoping for the hopper bite but it did not materialize. At the take out the hoppers were all over the place but apparently the wind wasn't strong enough to be salting the water with them. We talked about trying some other water on the way home but were both tired and called it a day.

River Scenery

Adam casting to a large eddy

An uncooperative rainbow

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stillwater Drift Boating

Adam was intrigued with my earlier success this month hitting lower lakes before you would traditionally think they would cool off temperature wise and warm up for fishing action. We launched the drifty and had a grand day of nymph fishing under indicators. We seemed to be constantly hooked up. Midges were taking the majority of fish with some PT takes mixed in. Quite a number of cutthroats on this trip too in comparison to earlier in the year.

My first fish of the day had hooking damage and a large piece of the gill plate missing. Poor guy was still a pretty looking brown though.

Some of the nicer fish we were finding

Adam fighting a brown

Releasing the brown

We kept getting "Colorado'ed" by other boats

More browns kept cooperating

Here is a pair of late day doubles, Adam unfortunately won large fish in each matchup.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adventures With Floyd

Floyd and I headed into the mountains with thoughts of trying a lake known to have golden trout residing in its clear, cold waters. We hit a little snag though along the road (or lack there of) to the lake as it got a little muddier and rutted than we wanted to try to pass through.

We put plan B into action and got the float tubes on a different lake that neither of us had ever tubed on before.

The fishing was a bit slow and I had a couple hits but landed nothing. I explored an old mining site for a little while located on the edge of the lake while Floyd found one nice brookie.

It was decided a move was in order to get into more trout. Our plan C hit pay dirt and we had a fast paced evening of catching trout on various dries thrown on 3 weights. The top water bite got particularly good later in the evening. We found it hard to depart but we had both had more than enough good fish on the evening and with the cold evening shadows of the mountains dropping the high country temperature, the trip back down to the plains seemed in order.

A couple of the trout we were able to find. We both had some rather nice splake in the 15 inch range taking dries. That was a nice surprise at this lake and they definitely were the best fighters in the bunch.