Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cold Front

A brutally cold wind rode into the valley this evening. Upon leaving town for the lake, I didn't think things were that bad but after arriving out on the open plains it was a much different weather situation. The storm was coming in and the wind had the lake whipped into a froth of mud and occasional periods of whitecapping waves. I gave it a valiant effort out there flailing in the wind and cold but ended up fighting the ever building ice in the guides instead of any trout. I cut my losses and headed back to town for a warm drink.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hot Bite At The Lake

The fish were really keyed in this evening on midges along the dam. I was happily engaged in hooking, fighting and landing rainbows at a predictable and fast pace. With the food source they were targeting swarming all over the dam it was obvious upon arrival that action would be good if I could just get a midge in front of them. It was nice to have a good workout on the casting arm. I had a few takes on the BHPT as well but the midge was highly desired and kept getting popped by the cruising trout.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fast Hour Fishing

I managed an hour to visit a close stillwater in the evening after work. The lake was very muddy with a visible mud line far out of casting distance. I worked in the off color water and managed a rainbow landed with some other takes, but overall the visibility had things slow for nymphing. The moon was out this early evening but I couldn't manage a decent photo. I have posted my best one but its only viewable at low resolution.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beating The Storm... Impossible

I went out intent on getting in some good water time this evening and ended up fishing the majority of the time in a constant downpour. The bit of lightning generated by the thunderstorm was out over the mountains but I paid close attention while waving the fly rod around as I was by far the highest point on the dam of the lake. The fish were very cooperative this evening and were feeding voraciously on midges just off the dam. I was able to connect with quite a few fish making the soaking rain tolerable. Before I left for the evening, the setting sun undercut the storm and produced several nice rainbows. A gorgeous ending to another beautiful, spring Wyoming day.

The storm after the major downpour had passed

Rainbow trout that fought well

The darkness of the storm made my camera kick in the autoflash

Monday, April 19, 2010

Evening Nymphing For Rainbows

Tonight I managed a quick trip to visit some rainbow trout that are working the emerging midge hatches. In the calm evening air, thick clouds of large midges were holding over the dam when I arrived. There were a few fish interested in nymphs in the calm water, but when the wind came up and put a rough chop on the water, I was getting more action from the waves dancing my nymph setup underwater. These fish are getting hotter on the five weight as spring warms up with acrobat leaping displays as well as bulldogging hard for the weeds.

A standard rainbow trout on this lake

The water is turbulent from the winds arriving

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Pontoon Trip

I spent most of Sunday morning and the mid day puttering around the house, having a big brunch, and paying attention to early season baseball. Realizing it was getting late in the day I went out to have dinner and pontoon on the stillwater from the day before. Eric was there when I arrived and he had found it to be fishing well in the morning. I stayed until dark, enjoying my first spring trip in the pontoon and having a nice roasted chicken sandwich for dinner with an accompanying microbrew. Unfortunately, the fish were uncooperative and I couldn't draw so much as a strike. As I did the day before, I spent most of my time watching the loon that was temporarily hanging around the lake. As dusk fell, the loon began its haunting, beautiful calls. A bald eagle was also active throughout the day and on the way out I saw an owl beginning the evening hunt while perched atop an old wooden telephone pole. A great night for birding, but nothing to speak of for fish.

Eric out in the pontoon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

TU River Cleanup And Some Rainy Float Tubing

As part of the city wide clean up day, our recently reformed local TU chapter worked on cleaning up the river this morning. We were but a small cog in a large effort consisting of volunteers from many different organizations and private citizens just wanting to be involved. Our small group did quite a number on some sections of river pulling out any trash we saw as well as removing old tires from the river. The rather reassuring thing was that most of the trash seemed quite old or dated and the tires we pulled were obviously quite old too. Perhaps people are showing the greenbelt a bit more respect the last few years. The other thing is that maybe much of the new trash gets blown out every year in runoff. I don't know what the case is but it was quite a morning and we felt as if we accomplished a little something in the grand scheme of recovering and restoring the river over the next few years.

Dumpster with one of the truck tires we yanked from the river

After the cleanup I went to the lunch for volunteers and had a nice time chatting with others over a burger and coke. We had such pleasant weather for the morning it made the cleanup easier on everyone participating.

Wanting to take advantage of the weather, I went home and outfitted the float tube for a stillwater trip. Upon arrival at the lake, the storm clouds had rolled in and by the time I launched the tube, it started to rain.

I spent two hours in the cold rain before it finally let up and after the storm I managed to get into a few rainbows.

Most of my time on the water I was watching a loon that had decided to stop over in the valley.

With the action not red hot I began to make my way to the end of the lake with plans to load up and leave. I managed one last rainbow which ended up being the best fish of the day and departed with plans to return on Sunday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Incredible Winds Strike

I headed to the lake tonight for a chance at a few rainbows and was struck with full force gale winds when I arrived. There were 5 or 6 different mud lines streaming across the lake. I could not keep a drift in the water for more than a few seconds. The winds would force the flies directly into the dam before any time allowed for a fish to spot them. I wanted to take some pictures of the mud lines as the lake looked like a zebra but I had left my memory card at home safely in the computer. Needless to say I didn't last out in that wind very long and retreated to the vehicle when it became obvious the wind wasn't going to lay down anytime soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Night Trout And Astronomy

I took a quick evening trip to fish ahead of the sunset and have an opportunity to view the Mercury/Venus/Moon event in the early evening hours. The fly fishing was red hot in the hour before dusk. A cold wind out of the southeast had the fish once again stacked on the dam and eating in the choppy water. I changed over to heavier clothing as the temperature dropped and awaited the appearance of the planets. At first, I thought the cloud cover over the mountains might obscure my viewing but suddenly at just the right level of twilight the crescent moon and Venus appeared in the clear part of the sky. Using 12x binoculars, Mercury eventually blinked into view as well and I watched for a while and tried to shoot some HD video of the event. I think I managed some good shots encompassing the two planets and that tiny sliver of moon hanging above the mountains to the west. Once I process the film I will get any good shots added to the blog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Muddy And Still

Tuesday was filled with high winds. Strong enough to stir up the entire lake and on Wednesday it was clouded up and full of mud. It didn't help that tonight was windless and still. Without the chop on the water there wasn't as much action happening but I did find a few willing holdover rainbows in the soupy water. I am still throwing the nymph setup in the evenings and hoping for improved conditions the rest of the week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hot Bite In The Wind

The ice is completely off and the trout were taking on every cast. It was amazing fishing and it drove me to put up with the wind until the evening twilight. I had a constant stream of 14-18 inch rainbows as the wind was pushing towards the dam and fish were stacked along it actively feeding. Drifting nymphs seemed to be what they were keyed on and my 5 weight had a nice workout.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stillwater Float

The inaugural trip to float some stillwater has finally arrived. The ice off was a bit slow compared to 2009 and everyone was anxious to dip their fins and take to the water for big trout. Shoe and Willi made the trip and we met up with a successful day to start the stillwater season off right. Shoe was on fire as usual with his boatman pattern and Willi opted to work from shore and did well there too. I picked up a few decent fish on the day and it felt wonderful just taking in all the spring time action at the lake. We were able to watch some of the larger rainbows attempting to spawn in on the shoreline rocks. Seeing the size of a few of the brutes in shallow holds some great promise for quality fishing later this year.

The standard thick stillwater slab rainbow

Shoe floating the day away

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exploring The River Valley

Adam and I were able to finally make it out on our river trip originally slated for April 1st. A snow storm had destroyed the original plans but today was the kind of weather that beckons one to the waters edge. Our initial plan had been to float in the drift boat, but that quickly dissolved due to a flat tire on the trailer and the murky remains of Irish whiskey on Adam's brain from the night before. It quickly became a wading trip and we started in the canyon only to find the low land runoff to be causing poor visibility with the influx of mud. We saw a couple fish skitter from the ice shelf edges but no takers on a variety of offerings.

A quick rally to some back up water was in order and we took off to try another river valley knowing that it would be more crowded but the conditions might be better. Crystal clear water and a few willing trout made the drive time worth the effort and we enjoyed the slow fishing day. Adam speculated we saw more types of birds today than on any other trip we have ever taken and I think I have to agree. The river bottoms were alive with the activity of spring.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One Hour Trip

I managed an hour on the water this evening and found a rainbow with a couple other takes in the high wind.

The warm wind is taking it toll on the ice now and completely open water on this lake is only days away. One big sheet is clinging to the dam side for now but it will give away any moment.

The setting sun undercut the storm clouds above us for a contrasting palette of competing colors on the horizon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ice Is Still Eroding

The wind is out in full force and doing its job to work the ice caps off our area lakes. I visited the same stillwater I went to last weekend and found it to be quite a bit more open than earlier. The winds were brutal again today and I stayed out long enough to pick up a pair of rainbows, thankfully casting with the wind at my back. This lake has fared well through the long winter and I am hopeful for some quality fish throughout the season.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trapped In Town

The snow storms and heavy winds closed most of the roads around town this weekend and were responsible for ground blizzard whiteouts that were not worth trying to drive through to get to water I wanted to fish on Saturday. I decided to give the river close to home a little attention and was rewarded with a few hours of brown trout fishing that was just sheltered enough in the river valley to avoid the brunt of the high winds. I threw buggers the entire time as it seemed the most fun and a couple willing browns grabbed the bugger and kept things interesting.