Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall In The High Country

Here is a short video meant to capture a glimpse of a solo high country day trip on a Sunday afternoon.  The fish were cooperative and I had a spectacular fall day in the mountains.  I posted this in HD so hit the full screen button to get the best viewing.  All trout actually fell for the hopper today.  Top water action in the mountains has been outstanding this season.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunset In The Valley

I managed a brief trip into the high plains that found a solo rainbow trout willing to take my grasshopper pattern as the daylight faded.  However, the dancing leaps of the trout were not the pinnacle of my evening.  I was lucky enough to witness a spectacular valley sunset.

The solitude of calm waters, trout concealed beneath the reflections of a fleeting sky, never to be seen again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kokanee Salmon Staging For Spawn

Eric and I went out to scout kokanee and see if we could find any willing to hit flies.  I managed to have 3 follows but none of the salmon were aggressive enough yet to actually take the bugger.

The video below gives you an idea of how active they are currently and that they are ready to get their spawn started.  This all seemed to be pre-spawn activity as they did not seem to be on any beds yet.  We could see massive balls of red salmon moving about under the water with many breaching, sometimes in unison.

We then headed to some trout waters to scout them as well and see if we couldn't pick up some fish.  Nothing was happening on either of the other two lakes we checked out.  It made for some slow fishing but seeing the kokanee saved the day and will hopefully provide some good action when they get more aggressive throughout the fall season.
Eric waiting patiently for a strike

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gold Strike

My friend Larry and his son John were looking to get into the high country and I suggested they head up with me on a Sunday trip.  I was going to fish anyway and have been wanting to get out with them this summer but we just hadn't clicked on dates.  We had a great day hiking to different lakes and generally playing in the back country.  John warned us all of "The Woodsman" and how we should be on the look out for him.  He found signs of The Woodsman at every lake but luckily we did not run into this diabolical creature.  The fishing turned out to be pretty decent and we had some good brook trout action.  The highlight of my day was a beautiful golden trout that took my hopper on a lake at 11,000 feet.  It has been two seasons since I had last managed to find one willing to eat, and this was definitely the best golden trout I have ever landed.  A nice cutthroat rounded out the species list for the day, surprisingly large for a high altitude trout in these lakes.  Hiking a small stream between lakes we managed to find pockets of brookies willing to hit just about anything floating by on the water.  We got some little guys on hoppers and spinners that I have no idea how we were able to hook them.  They were beautifully colored though as stream resident fish usually are and made the hike that much more enjoyable.  At the end of the day, a wicked storm moved in and we headed for the car in the hail and rain.  It was a bit soggy but we managed the slick trail and bouldering necessary to reach the trailhead.  Now feeling safe from any possible encounter with The Woodsman, John promptly fell asleep in the back seat on the way home.
Snow field hiking

John's important rock

Larry on the top

Base camp for the day

The first fish of the day

Colorful brook trout everywhere

Golden Trout

Bear River Cutthroat

On the trail to a new lake

Stream fishing

John jumps the stream

Larry in a good spot

The storm about to hit

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Water In The Mountains

Eric suggested a trip to the high country and it didn't take long for me to agree.  He had been having some success throughout the range and suggested a lake I had not been to in a few years.  It sounded like a good plan and a bit of a variation to other places we had been fishing.  Off we went, hitting the trail to this little treasure that sits just below 11,000 feet.  The water was crystal clear and visibility into the lake depths was great.  You could see trout moving around down to 10 feet of depth and possibly deeper in some areas.  The fishing ended up being phenomenal and we were able to pick out and cast to individual fish with a dry and watch them rise to it from the depths.  Occasionally, you would pick out a cruiser and present your fly, watching them rise to take it only to have a different brook trout rush in from an unseen angle to smash the fly before his rival.  It was hard to leave in the afternoon, but we certainly had a quality day of secluded fishing in the high country and it was time to take to the trail and head back to town.  Eric has some video posted on his blog as well at this link.
Into the mountains 
Reflecting pool lakes

September snow fields

Good water

First brookie of the day

Eric on the rocks

Lots of takers for the hopper

Royal Wulff victim

View to the valley floor

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day With Mark And Jake

I headed south of the border to spend the day with Mark and to see how fall fishing is shaping up in the North Park region.  His faithful companion Jake was there to greet me as I pulled up.  Mark was already on the water working to the fish and his friend Connell was out in his pontoon as well.  Setting up the tube as quickly as I could, I got launched and started nymphing in the hunt for trout at depth.  I had some hits and hookups but nothing actually landed with the nymphing setup.  As the bite tapered off we had lunch and heard that top water had been working at the other end of the lake in the shallows.  I switched over the the grasshopper and kicked out just off shore casting back to the shallows right where the vehicles were sitting and got into nice cuttbows and rainbows that were cruising the shore in search of easy pickings.  The hopper saved the day fishing wise, and although it was generally slow, I had a great time getting out to see Mark and spend some time visiting at his seasonal "home away from home" on his favorite lakes.

Connell landing a rainbow

Mark nymphing and relaxing

The surrounding terrain


A better cuttbow that fell for the hopper