As the day grew long, we made the call to leave the place and head down river, to a private section that some really nice people own. I knew there was a shot for Andy to get decent brown. A goal for the both of us.The water a bit colder and the air warmer, the fish are probably going to be deep. Trading off and working up, I managed to hook a fish that was big enough that I couldn't keep it off the far bank as it drove me in there like a truck and unbuttoned the fly. Lot's of snaggers in here were making it hard to stay stealthy but on our last hole as the sun was setting... Andy was rewarded by this healthy, wild, class A brown trout. It was just great to spend the day, in the happiest place on earth, with someone who just wanted to do what we do.
Nov 27, 2010
Nov 18, 2010
I begged and pleaded to the fish to be on my experimental pattern but it was not, hooked just barely in the bottom lip. The fish did not give up easily and actually I missed it with the net the first time, it took off and I had to do it all over again. Got some photo's and on we went.
Check out the dorsal fin on this trout!
A perfect mark, for a challenge to catch it again.
Nov 16, 2010
I'll leave you with a worm that came out of my vise. I most likely won't fish this fly
but could give a 100% guarantee that you might catch a fish with it.
This worm will out perform a traditional night crawler, or salmon egg's
Hook- Its a worm so just about any hook will be fine. One with some curve is better.
The Rest- Ultra Chenille and three glass beads, a dab of ice dub to cover the joint.
Grab up your glass beads in sizes to fit 18 and larger hooks from your Wal-mart craft section, were talking like 2 bucks for a lifetime supply.
Why your there, grab up a pack of foam sheets, be careful not to get sticky back ones. Before you leave look over the bead storage boxes and find a cool container to keep your hooks in, most of the bead boxes are designed, not to spill.
Nov 15, 2010
The last two days I was on the water, bumpin and grindin to freaky fish in skinny water with freaky company.
It's true, for the first time ever, I lowered my standards to temporary letting myself get pulled into the egocentric little world of fly fishing. For the first time I fished with rules, none of my own. Letting my head travel to a land where it has never fallen before. If felt as if I was playing a game of pool for a 1 dollar bet.
Two guys splashing about, One with head and one with heart. A whole bunch of fish to fall victim to a game. A sad soul at the end of a day.
Repeat that process for one more day, and Its sure to make you think.
I realize this post is hard to understand. Just and example of what comes from fishing in the wrong frame of mind.
I learned a lesson from this. I'm yet to know what that lesson was, A lesson none the less.
Nov 13, 2010
What is the best day of the year to fish some of the most heavily fished water in Colorado? The water with some of the biggest trout in the country. The fish are smarter than people and the people are always plenty.
Something screams holiday to me. Let's think this out thoroughly, and get a good plan. If we head up Christmas morning, we should be good. Right? No wife is going to let the man skip out on Christmas dinner and go fishing. Next, we better take into consideration the area. Located high in the mountains of Colorado, the town known as Gunny is made up of a large number of retired folks, who moved there just to fish that water, with not many other reasons. Their wives may understand. The rest of the fishing population is made up of kids attending the local college. I wonder if they leave for home, or stay and fish on Christmas? They probably stay and fish.
What about Christmas Eve? Hmmm... Last minute shoppers, in a panic to get their items together before the big day. Possibly, husbands who knows they may be gifted a rod or reel on Christmas Day, need to get to the Prada store to even up the score. That might get you in the clear for missing dinner.
The choice is made! Christmas Eve. We’re heading to the coldest place in the state and we’re leaving at 5 a.m. The snow's a commin, so dress warm. Leave the camera behind, because they still don't make one that is freeze proof. You better bring two sets of waders and boots too, case you fall in. Bring two rods because ice cycles break real easy.
1 hour and 30 minutes in four wheel drive, in the snow, to reach the parking lot at 645 a.m. To find the company of one other die hard, go getting angler, already stomping down the trail.
Rigging up in the dark while it’s 7 degrees. Are we crazy? It was way too cold to get out of the truck in street clothes, so we wadered up in the truck. If it had of been a van, well then that van be a rockin. We tied our flies right on to the leader while still on the reel. The rods waited in the back. We then, hopped out all dressed and beanies on, screwed the reel on, fed the flies through the eyes, and hit the trail.
Our heads both foolishly turn towards the sky, as if the sun was going to show its self for a minute. It would be nice to get a blast of sun to warm the neck and maybe spot a fish. With the snowy backdrop and the overcast lighting, visibility is next to nothing. The whole point of fishing here, (especially when it’s cold like this) is to spot a 35 inch fish and see if you can at least get a cast to drift by before it slaps its self in the face with its tail and coasts all the way to the dam. Maybe even get it to breath you fly in to its mouth and stick. However, we are forced to throw a fly blindly and mend in hope.
As we walk, the water in my eyes is trying to freeze and I want more coffee. I just want to hurry and get a fish on, so the adrenaline can warm my system. It's hard for me when it’s that cold, because a heart valve that requires me to thin my blood. So basically my blood gets cold fast which drops the body temperature.
Vowing to take turns casting at first, it is my turn to wait. My friend hooks a really nice brown with a hole in its head on one side. "Turn that thing around and let’s get a picture. Oh yea, no camera.
I'm up to fish and I'm freezing. I'm fishing with 6x fluorocarbon and not feeling too confident in it. After a couple 2-3 drifts, I watch my leader and tippet get three times thicker than normal while still underwater. Gee, ya think there are some signs that we could die out here? I Don't know why, but the water wouldn't make the ice go away, so now and then we need to slide our hand down the leader, breaking off all the little ice chunks. That's good on lines.
So, I land a smaller fish during my turn and then we agree that it’s too freakin cold to stand here and watch each other catch tiny ones, so we both began to fish. This is where things got hot, obviously not the weather. Both of us receiving a fair number of takes. We were doing good and getting just the right amount of action to keep ya going. There for a bit the fish were really flowing to the net.
Still unable to sight for fish, we continue to fish blind for a monster Rainbow Trout. We move on to a new spot and after a dozen drifts to figure out the current, we were able to land a few more decent fish. The anticipation builds for a jaw dropping take. A take by a fish that will break you off. With these steroid induced, hybrid, Super Trout. It's a question of how long you can keep it on, with cold 6x. It’s not a question of landing it or not.
My fishing buddy gets the first one of these giant takes and I'm pretty sure he forgot about the cold for a moment. His fish takes off upstream, just like they all do in there. He was able to turn it around and get it to swim back down stream. With Rocks everywhere, he begins to panic, as the fish goes around one rock and through two more, around one of those, bob weave, bob weave... A big ol sigh, as the line gives way. What a disappointment! Yet rewarding, fulfilling, and satisfying, and just flat out intense!
I saw that fish and can vouch that it wasn't quite 30 but all of 28 inches.
This is when I crossed the river to get one of those freakin bugs from him. He tells me, "We only have four more of these, so tie a good knot”. Then he hands me one. Good knot tied, I worked my way up to the next little spot. A deep hole with mad current that has the power to throw the flies and the split shot back up and over the leader. When I finally get the right series of a half dozen mends, I get the flies to sink deep and watch as the drift seems never ending. Slowly stripping line towards me… I can feel the ice scratching through the guides. I was quickly reminded of tying a string between two tin cans as a kid, and talking to my sister down the hallway. Wondering if the fish could hear that sound in my tippet, the scratching made a sound that sounded like "here fishy fishy"... The end of my fly line makes a cute little J and I crisply set the hook in a downstream manor. Ice breaks free from the rod and the line, as things become tight. Sprinkles of broken ice crystals shower the water in slow motion. It's time to clock in and do work!
I have a mule on my line here that I cannot stop. My rod held as high as I can, it curls over to the breaking point. My eyes go back and forth from the fish to my reel, a little bit in shock as the wraps are disappearing before my eyes. My drag is set as tight as I can get her and my rod is at its max. I'm at a fast walk up stream, in two feet of snow, trying to gain ground, snow, water and line. I reach the boundary cable where no man or woman-ess shall pass. I stand there and wait for the fish to turn around, or break my line. As my backing knot ticks through my eyelets, I must consider giving this fight to the fish. I come to a decision on how much longer I'm going to let this go on. I let the fish strip about another 12 feet of line, then saw the 80 dollar price tag on a new roll of my favorite Rio Gold. This is where I point my rod at the fish, as if it were a gun and say "You! Yea, you". I then squeezed down with the trigger finger against the cork and shot the fish with broken line.
I'm cold now and I want to go! We came, we saw, we went. Fishing on the Taylor River on Christmas Eve.
I'll go not catch big fish like that again anytime.
“This Blog entry is my submission to the Sportsman Channel and Outdoor Blogger Network writing contest.”
Nov 10, 2010
Here is my situation.
Skinny skinny water, spooky fish, and birds of prey.
The flows are down as low as they ever get. Spring run off- 2500 cfs. Summer fishing- 400 to 800 cfs. Right now 45 cfs.
Bald eagle's will fly up the river and grab a fish with just about every pass. Bald eagles are very abundant around here this time of year, for the Kokanee salmon waters are rich with spawners. Low flows make the trout easy targets until the salmon start to die off.
The blue herons patrol the eddies and pick off next years fun fish. Just like a trout keys in to a hatch these birds key into the feeding patterns of fish and are eating them up.
I was standing there, watching a fish work a run, letting him eat three naturals, then offering my pair once. While waiting my turn, I suddenly see this fish bolt up stream. It acted like the little midge it ate had a hook in it.. I look up and there it is... A probably, 10 year old bald eagle all beat up from the years of duking it out with it rivals.
He was just making his run, at the same time gave my fish a case of the runs too! I actually followed that running fish up to its next holding area. I seen, as it took off it bettered 20 and was worth hunting for the rest of the day. Parked neatly up against the far bank, and as deep as it could go. I watched and waited for it resume its feeding. I then began to fish to it 50 yards up river from where it was. On my third attempt I hooked it, but not very well. Im almost certain that the loss of confidence in the set, stayed in my head and probably the cause of the fish freeing it's self. I had him on for a good bit and had my crap pretty well together, a good bend in the rod and the perfect angle on the fish in relation to the river. Suddenly I see the fish pull a trick that I have seen quite a few time's usually they'll pull this crap in the catch and release tail water fisheries... He stops the fight, lays motionless, with hook in lip, the fish awaits my mistake. I think whatcha doin fish? I try to turn it, only to be denied by three very hard head shakes, and a leader around my face. The mistake being I should have done nothing right along with it. 20/20? The fish well practiced at this wait for you to move your rod straight upstream and then to this, right at the surface.
Funny part is, once he shook the hook, it didn't take off. Kind of just sat there. It just got through running from an eagle and I guess decided to stay put. I watched for a minute as it resumes its feeding pattern. I gave three more cast to it. Something didn't feel right about this one, and the one on one conversation between a fish and I so came to an end right there, figured I would walk on, and maybe give it a shot on the way back. Try to at least see it, if nothing else. I'm sure the thing was all stressed out and need double the time to clear his head.
In a super stealthy way I sneak up the river. Fishing to water that I think holds a fish rather than risking the fish seeing me first, and possibly taking me for a bird. This environment makes for long casts and crazy mends in tiny water but, worth the effort, especially if you see a 20 inch fish hightailing it up river and your the reason it split. Hanis on your fly line though. Rubbing on the ground at the waters edge often causing extra motions to get it of a dry rock, mid drift.
As a slowly approach the next little run, I begin to fish directly upstream, cutting the water completely apart like a pie. Leaving my fly line and most of the leader out of view of any holding fish. I first, pick the bottom of the run apart, make two steps upstream and make another cast. A big brown slammed my bead head like a dry, on the fall, right after it hit the water. It took off upstream in a crazy way, a tiny turn of the drag knob as I watch it head for the snagger branches to my right. I had to slow it down more somehow, so I made the decision to bend the rod a bit more and put some breaks on with my trigger finger. That brown made it to the snagger, wrapped me up and popped my line. Hey this is a way to keep the tippet fresh! At this point I have hooked four fish brought two tiny ones to hand and lost both the big ones.
Still on a mission, I walk on up on a hole that is the reason for this post called The Situation...
I stand there looking at a big deep hole and needed to spend the better part of 5 minutes figuring out just how to fish it. The rivers next corner is going to dictate witch side of the river I must stand. Its the only way I'll be able to land anything big and It's still going to be a ride if it goes downstream. That puts me on the wrong side. On top of an unsafe pile of fallen trees. Once I get my feet in place on this mess. I must use all nine feet of my rod to reach over the branches. Hooking a little fish I was able to lift it all the way up to me and flick it back in. Second a 12 inch brown grabs my bug and leaps over a branch and breaks my line. I shouldn't even be doing this. Then I feel the big tug! and Its time to clock in and go to work! The fish runs toward me and under the mess. I use my rod as a push tool to get the thing the heck away from me. I feel like a dog catcher. As soon It comes out of there I make a flying leap off the pile of pick-up sticks, directly down stream from the fish that is still hanging deep and not willing to submit inside of my time frame. I grabbed a cup of coffee and opened a book for a minute while it wore its own butt out.
Finally, the fish comes to hand, and to my surprise it's a cutbow. I never, and I mean never see cutbows in this spot in the river. I have to guess that it came through two diversion gates and swam up 15 miles from town, or 2- it made the 15 mile journey down from the dam, or last, a Cutthroat and a rainbow did the nasty right here on the farm. Note that It's been 7 years and 67 days since I seen a pure cuttroat in here and back then I was fishing a streamer and landed a 6.5 lb one, yea back then we didn't do inces and called it "tawsed em back" All of that doesn't matter too much I guess, but boy, was I in a situation, one I wasn't sure I could win.. Rewarded with a cutbow that had a ton of heart!
Hot flies: S&M's, Rs2's, Pork Chops and Hot dogs.
Nov 7, 2010
I fished the Gunnison, at the forks yesterday. A choice made purely by challenge. Not going for numbers, but to spot the spawning browns, which usually becomes cheep entertainment. Those things are just acting flat dumb right now. Pretending that there getting spooked and fearing for their lives.
This part of the river is absolutely infested with brown trout, I'm talking 50 browns to 1 rainbow if you ask a guide that spends some time on that stretch you'll hear the Rainbow fishing is getting so much better, and a ratio that states 5 to 1. This is just to get some change in the pot for the next years stock truck.
As I walk the river staring down at the dumb browns. Ultimately I'm searching for feeding rainbows but occasionally find a young screechy voice brown feeding near a rock, I'll pick this fish off if I can.
I chose this location this time of year, as an experiment. The browns will hardly eat, If one is seen of any size it's so busted up, its bear bait. They might just die my the hands of an eagle, or perhaps a member of the raccoon gang that apparently has been patrolling the banks all night every night.
I come to witness the rainbows that are there to steel the show. They know whats going on, they know that there counterparts don't have their heads in the game. They know that their tail fin is safe. If they want to move up and take the hot spot in front of a rock, the coast is clear and the belly will fill.
I actually think that November makes the Rainbow trout relax a bit. Let me explain. Like I said the browns aren't running them off. And the belly begins to fill effortlessly. A day or two of this and the rainbow is thinking, "Right on, I got the place to my self, I got all this energy and the coast is still clear, I think I'll move up to the faster riffles and eat out of 8 inches of water and really grow this year".
Then when you hook one of the things they just don't get it, "I thought the coast was clear, and now there is a sticky sharp thing in my mouth. They spaz out and a 16 incher can really make you work in river that big.
That was my mission for the day. To laugh and make fun of the strung out browns and to hunt down the rainbows that think, The Coast Is Clear. I landed 5 fish all day and lost none. No lunkers.
Hot flies: They didn't want the usual so I gave them a glass bead pt with gm wings. When the coast was clear they ate it.
Side note on Fishing for spawning browns:
Some would say leave browns alone during spawn time... How?.. Stay home?
Well here is my serious take on that. Knowing that I live in a place where the browns are, like I said, infested.
Pre-spawn, Its really cool to watch them move with such a mission. It really is OK to fish for them in the month of September, there just moving around and trying to eat for winter as well a Pre-pair for spawn, the next month, November, the full grown adults are going all out at it and are probably so far upstream, or took a turn up a ditch. With that, you don't have a chance at messing up their business. Now if your fishing a Redd to a Brown that is lying motionless, then this is what your learning how to do and this is useless information. Do yourself a favor and Walk away. Try catch a fish that is eating.
December rolls around and An angler is beating the cold, a fish of any kind is a reward when your hand are freezing.
So, is it OK to fish for browns during the spawning months?
If any fish is feeding and you can get it to take your fly, then by all means do it!
Dragging a bait through water in hopes of something biting it... well now that's what separates us from you. The famous brown trout is one hardy fish and I'm pretty sure that a little fly fishin isn't going to destroy a hot spot. Is the Coast clear?
I fish for Rainbows, Cutt's Browns, Brookies, and Bass. Fish seriously for them all year, If I were to get all stuck on spawning subjects I would be walking in circles trying to figure out which species was in season. So I opt for fishing to feeding fish, which is and will always be fair.