Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FISH XXII: Fishing Day #3

We awoke to an absolutely gorgeous day. I downed a few quarts of coffee before enjoying a delicious breakfast of French toast and scrambled eggs. But we didn't linger over breakfast... on a day like this, we were all eager to get going!

After breakfast, everyone assembled outside the guide shack and pulled on their waders. The guides got their assignments and rigged rods before we ambled down to where Guide Jin Tilmant put on a short, but great clinic on casting, presentation, nymphing (including mending and getting a drag free drift) and fishing the hopper/dropper. Jim covered all the pertinent points. I'm sure this translated into more hookups for many of those who attended. The other guides offered a few hints of their own and it's wasn't long before we adjourned to go try out the points covered in the clinic.

Jim teaches, we listen!
After the clinic, Terry Heath (the fearless leader of FISH) and I fished together with guide Scott Thompson. We literally strolled out the back door of the lodge, walked 100 yards and started to fish. In long shadowed runs, the fishing was slow in the morning, but soon it warmed up with the temps. Terry left Scott's side to make a phone call and I took his place fishing within a few yards on where we held the clinic this morning.

I was fishing a hopper/ dropper thru a long slot next to a dense copse of willows when we saw a big head breech in a shallow eddie behind a rock. It was a very big head! Scott and I checked my rig, then I made a few casts trying to get a good drift through the seam running along the eddie line. The current kept pulling the fly off-course so I had to exaggerate the casting angle to get the fly to drift past the appropriate point. Finally, I got the drift right and it wasn't long before the hopper disappeared.

"He ate the hopper!" Scott yelled, then added, "that is a big, big fish!"

Notice the net is floating... it is headed downstream.

27" and probably 10 lbs.!

I was fishing a 4 weight Sage and this fish seemed like the king salmon I once caught on a 6 weight in Alaska. It took a long time to wear this beast out but luckily, the runs he made were upstream so after what seemed like an eternity, Scott was able to net the fish.

"That's a 10 lb. rainbow." Scott said.

"I've got a tape, let's measure him." I told Scott.

"27 inches... and very fat." I told Scott, then excitedly added, "That is a BIG rainbow anywhere in the world!" 

After this fish, I caught a 20" rainbow while Scott was looking for his net (he lost it while we were understandably distracted measuring the 27" "big  boy". He found it downstream wedged in a logjam). After that fish, I landed a 24" 'bow without moving more than 20 feet. We took photos of each fish, then I handed the rod to Scott.

"You fish... I'm done for awhile... how can you improve on this." I told Scott.

Scott fished until we broke for lunch in the lodge.

24"... a dink!

20"... and very strong and deep!

I'm done, Scott you're up!
Another great lunch!
After lunch, I fished alone in the afternoon, while Terry and Scott fished a very productive riffle/pool downstream. My afternoon was tepid compared to my morning, but amazing when you count all the 19-21" 'bows I caught. 
What a great day! Terry also reported a wonderful afternoon.

My afternoon was filled with these.

Dinner was great, but I retired early that night! I was a tired buckeroo and fell asleep soon after the moon cleared the ridge behind my cabin.


  1. Rule #14(b): Never fish in places where there are working telephones.

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