Epic! If I had to describe the run to this point in one word it would be epic.
There are fish throughout the system and when you find those pods here and there on the less pressured gravels you can usually find a few true players. The holes have been good to me as well with new fish staging up in them and most pocket waters near gravel are holding fish also.
Spring has sprung in a big way and you can fully understand where all these people were coming from this past weekend with the weather the way it has been. So far this spring every single person I’ve come across is having a good time and everyone is friendly, hopefully that trend continues!
Spring peepers are out, flowers are blooming, the robins have come home, trees are budding, trout are rising to stone flies, mosquitoes are biting… Hey, wait a minute, is it March or May? I don’t know about you but I’m about to start wet wading! (OK, maybe not quite yet, but man has it been hot a few days!)
Anyway, the fill in! After the show in Warren I took the day on Monday to help put the shop back together and square away some stuff of my own before the big streak. Below is a very brief paragraph or two of each day and just a few photos of the many since on “most days” right now it makes no sense to try and shoot them all…
On Tuesday it was out for the day with anglers Shawn and TR. Water was still pretty high and colored, but we managed to find some willing fish here and there. The biggest problem wasn’t really finding fish at all or getting them to bite, but keeping them buttoned was difficult as it has been quite often since… Great having you guys and I’ll look forward to the next time! (Still can’t believe you caught that sucker/steelhead hybrid TR! ;^)
On Tuesday night I had pool league for the last time this season and a last “day off” afterward. Festive would be the word, but even while having such a great time we (John, Steve from Barski’s and I) also hatched a plan to fish & scout the next day.
In short, we had a blast just putzing down the river, drinking a few beers, cooking some great food and blind fishing various spots in the still high and dark water to see if fish were there for our upcoming trips. For the most part they were there and if we hooked even one fish we simply moved on to scout out some more spots. I can’t tell you how many fish we hooked and/or landed, but it was an awesome last day off for a while with good friends! Here’s a couple of shots…
On Thursday and Friday it was a group trip where in I had Paul and Jeff in my boat. I’ve been guiding Paul for 18 years straight now this spring and every fall in between. We’ve seen it all, the stories are endless and it’s always a great time! Thanks Paul, and contrary to your belief, the loft was not nearly as lofty as you imagined! They are simply hard to hang on to in those conditions and in some of those more challenging locations.
Mining for silver in the deeper holes paid off for us with some quality fish and I appreciate your willingness to do so for large portions of our days… Jeff, you the man and I can’t wait to have you guys up again this spring for some streamer fishing and motorcycle rodeo riding instruction. (Jeff is an instructor for motorcycle cops and if you’ve ever seen them run the tight cones on a big Harley Cruiser like mine it’s amazing!)
On Saturday it was out with the father and son team of Bill and Andrew. Andrew is 13 and got his first steelhead ever with me last fall. On Saturday he got his second & third along with many many more that got away after some epic battles. We hit lots of spots along the way enjoying the length of the river and found players at just about every stop. I didn’t get photos of all the fish we caught, but I did manage to get one of his second ever. Great job Andrew and I can’t wait to do it again! Bill, as with every trip we’ve taken, thank you and it is always a pleasure…
Sunday was another trip with a 13 year old. Abe and his Father Paul joined me this time and Abe also got his first Steelhead with me last year. (On his own fly no less!) On Sunday he did battle with many many more putting a few of those in hand along with some nice trout. Again, I wasn’t all that diligent with the camera considering location at times and the good of the fish, but I got a couple of good shots. (Not a bad shot on that one considering it was back in the water so quickly! He, he, he…) See you next year guys if not before and not to sound redundant, but thanks Paul, it was a pleasure as always!
Monday was ridiculous… Stuart and I hit the water for our 12th year together now and instead of freezing as usual I think we were down to t-shirts by 9:30 or 10am and had already lost count on our fish! Seriously HOT fish and weather for most of the day, but I did stop in one of those popular flats that get beaten on pretty hard all day on most days on the way out where, for some strange reason, the fish were easy! ;^) It is pretty bad when you tell your client/buddy to “Go ahead and bring a few more down for me to net.” And he says, “Nope I’ve had enough, lets go…”
The quality of the fish you hit and the way they bite is night and day from picking your way down the river and hitting a few true players here and there verses the bigger gravel flats that get camped on. With the less pressured fish they almost take the rod out of your hands at times and those others just seem to be breathing so hard they accidentally suck the fly in…
As the water continues to clear and the level continues to drop pressure will play a bigger role and fishing tight to cover will become a key on many days. With the past weeks stain we’ve been getting away with heavier tippets, but it is getting low and clear again quickly and lighter line will be needed. Eggs, stones, fry and hex nymphs have all been good amongst others.
Don’t forget to stop in the shop for your 10 percent off card for Barski’s! Got to go now…