Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back To The High Country

Eric and I spent the afternoon and early evening working to the high country trout with dry flies. The three weight with a stimulator and elk hair caddis or trailing bwo was again working its magic, looking tasty to all the various surface fixated fish. It was a four species day once again. I started with a cutthroat that when landed, I unhooked the fly and threw it back on the water. Before I could release the cutt, my rod immediately started to dance around, and I found a splake on the other end. So, I netted him up too and snapped a quick picture of the pair. We had waves of action where the bite would burn hot for a while and then go through a bit of a lull. Once the lake was shaded by the mountain range it was a consistent bit of action.

Eric and I had a great evening kicking around in the tubes and taking in the sights and sounds of the lake. At the end of the evening the temps had dropped to the 40's and we both were a bit cold, making me think that fall is almost here. You could feel that sharpness in the air. I am not sure I am ready for that quite yet.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

High Country Lakes

The valley heated up into the 80's today presenting me with a perfect day to to escape to the high country. I packed the vehicle with the float tube gear and set out for the cool peaks. I rigged up the three weight with a #12 stimulator and a trailing #16 bwo and had a hoot with the high country trout. The majority were cutthroats and some were definitely recent stockers. The better fish were holding deeper in the open water and I worked to them exclusively once I figured this out. I did manage a single rainbow and a few brook trout mixed in with the cutts and eventually I found a lone splake as well. From the numbers of cutthroats I was either in the thick of them based on my lake location or they have been the stocked majority in the past two years. They were definitely the predominant fish species of the day. After I had enough of the tubing, I took a short hike to another close lake and was able to meet up with Floyd for some tiny brook trout fishing. These fish seem even smaller than past years and getting one or two decent ones mixed in seemed like a real accomplishment. You can't fault them too much though, for what they lack in size they make up for in beautiful coloring. The columbines were in full bloom in the high tundra around the lake and you couldn't ask for a more peaceful end to the evening walking out through a field splashed with the various vibrant colors of summer. On the way back to town a group of four bull moose were eating willows in the coming dusk. In a month or so they won't be so cordial with each other.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Action From The Tube

I headed out to one of the plains lakes after a Saturday spent indulging at the brewfest. The weather was nice and it seemed like a good way to wake up with a little fin kicking to get my circulation going. Unfortunately, the fish were not as cooperative. I threw all the typical nymphs at them and tried some damsel nymph retrieves as well to no avail. There were adult damselflies everywhere also with a soup of midges and caddis mixed in as well, but I maybe saw three rises the entire time I was on the water and ended the day with a pair of phantom hits. I decided to hang it up midafternoon and headed back to town a little perplexed at the lack of action but glad that I got some time on the water.

A pair of unknown float tubers working the lake for finicky rainbows

Monday, July 5, 2010

The High Country Season Is Here!

Eric, Floyd, and I headed into the high country for the inaugural trip of the short season in the mountains. It would prove to be cold and windy even with the warming rays of the sun present all day. Winter coats and hats were required and gloves didn't hurt at certain times either. There is still plenty of snowpack on the trails and everything is constantly wet from the melting snow. We started on a classic cutthroat lake and spotted a few staging up for the spawn in the inlet. Hoping this was a good omen we took to the main lake and fished away to no avail. The cutts just were not interested in what we were throwing. Wind whipped whitecaps didn't help much either and it took all you had to get a decent cast and drift in the wind. We decided to head into the backcountry a bit further and pursue some brook trout. The wind was even worse here upon our arrival. Fishing to the brookies we all managed a fish or two. I was last to finally score and find my first brook trout of the year. I can't believe it is July already and I am just now into a brookie. Eric headed out early as he wasn't feeling well, so Floyd and I stopped one last time at the cutthroat lake on the way out but only saw one rise while there and no other action. A slow day overall for fishing but a real treat to have the high country finally open and accessible. Things should only improve from here on out. I can't wait to get back up here.
Eric and Floyd searching for cutthroats

Lots of snow and ice are still around

My first brook trout of 2010

A glacial stream we worked for a couple of strikes from brookies

Floyd and Dakota before we started the long hike out