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By woolly bugger
#698089

03-09-2020 #5

I went back this afternoon to see if I could hook the fish that I had close encounters with yesterday.

I rigged up with a sink tip and a Barly Legal but didn't find the love I was looking for. One short strike on the swing.

This is enough to drive one to drink.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698143

3-11-2020 #6

Slimer Hooker had caddis on his mind so he texted to let me know he was coming up to fish the river and wanted some details about where I had seen the hatch. I was planning on meeting him but he managed to get there first.

I hiked on down to find him and found him fishing his was back up from the bottom where he reported no luck and he stated,

“I don’t know why we keep coming back?”

Now the gauge was reporting ~450 cfs @ 53 degrees so there was a pretty good flow and some of the usual spots were just pushing too much water, I quizzed the Slimy Hooker to learn exactly where he had fished and decided that I would hit the water he had covered with a streamer. A barely legal in olive and white to be exact. Something big enough to get the fish to chase it down.

I worked the runs from top to bottom anticipating a grab on every cast. I was just about to move on when a fish hit right at the end of a strip, I felt its weight but before I could get a proper hook set it jumped and threw the hook. Encouraged and defeated at the same time I moved on to track down Slumy Hooker in the upper section, but not before stopping to sample a barley pop.

By the time I caught up with him had hade fished my usual spots and reported catching a 14” rainbow which must have taken a ride during the flood. Speaking of the flood, sand is deposited on the trails about 4 – 6 feet above the usual high watermark
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I worked my runs with a streamer and encouraged Slimy Hooker to go over to Fred’s pool to see I he could catch the brown that I saw the other day. It's a bit of a hike to go after one fish and he didn’t want to go at first but I continued to badger him and he faunally made the trek.

After a while, he appeared across the river from me exclaiming he had hooked the fish but it had broken him off. Encouraged and defeated at the same time.

Photo dump:

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698821
jumping ahead many days and some decent fish on the home waters which have recently been inundated with covidiots

I hit the road, gps wasn't connecting took a few wrong turns, arrived later than I had anticipated. It was about 60 degrees and damp. There had been some rain earlier but the skies were clearing as I walked up the trail to the point where I intended to start. Ran into two guys waling out. Saw this money tree. Didn't claim it. Maybe TP really is getting scarce.

Tied on a double caddis. Caught a bunch of punes brookies. Thought that was all I was going to catch, but then some pune rainbows took the fly, and one brown came to hand. Missed a bunch, caught a bunch. Biggest brookie was about 8" I fished for about four hours and was done. I wasn't sure where of if the trail would come back to the river. I'll be back.

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as you can see I spent some time taking photos; wildflowers, slow shutter scenery, and I did a little videography as well. Here you can see the first cast in this pool and the bite, I suggest full screen... it repeats at the end at half speed and zoomed in...




WARNING; pee before watching!

User avatar
By Obie
#698822
Looks alright to me!
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698848

May 27, 2020 # 20?

Ok, so with a new phone with GPS that works, I headed out on the most direct route to the creek. 1:30, not too bad and if I had bothered to check earlier I would have gone up here years ago, my bad, as they say. Got off to a slow start as I left my coffee at the house, turned back, 10 minutes lost. Then I was trying to connect the new phone to the car via blue tooth, it wasn’t happening, so I pulled over in frustration and searched the internet for solutions, No go on that, burned about 10 more minutes efff around with that. It was close to 10 when I arrived at the trailhead, seven cars, crap, where to park, oh it’ll fit right in here…. Geared up, realized I forgot my pune net, and after hitting the trail, I realized I forgot the neutral density filter, almost turned back as that was one thing I wanted to do, take more slow-shutter speed photos…

I was planning on fishing up higher but as I hiked in the wind was blowing straight down the gorge and my dry fly plans were going to prove to be frustrating. It was a cool morning, still in the 50s but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so the day warmed up quickly.

Listened to Tom on the way up, he was talking to Tim Linehan of Linehan Outfitters in Libby, Montana where he has a lodge and guide business on the Kootenai River. Interesting that the only native rainbows to Montana are up in that drainage.


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Didn’t see a soul on the walk-in, but the Silene virginica was dotting the forest floor with a splash of color.

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The fish were eager to take the fly and many, all brookies came to hand when I could place the fly properly without the wind interfering with the trajectory or blowing the line and fly off the water.

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Between fish I looked at the wild flowers and flying trout food.

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Inspired by instagramerer Vatroutjunkie I worked on my uw photo game.

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But the colors are brighter above water.

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More photos and fishing

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698897
Backing a month or two...

3-13-2020 #7

Encouraged by the rainy weather I went back to see if the streamer bite would be better with overcast skies. I had to run some errands in the morning and by the time I got to the river the sun was back out. The water was up just a bit to around 480 cfs and 54 degrees and had a bit a stain to it.

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I hit a doggy spot with a deep wade and strong current to no avail, and then since it was lunchtime I had a beer.

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Then I went down to the run where I lost a fish the other day. I switched up the pattern to a rusty trombone and the fish liked it. I caught a nice 18 incher that fought hard using the swift current to its advantage. Hook removed while the fish was still in the net and under water I reached for the phone but before I could get a shot the fish jumped out of the net.
I went back and was delighted to have another strike and another good but smaller fish to hand.

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And then it was time for a snack and a beer.

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I went to the upper reach and fished the near side where I had had a couple of blowups but nothing was working up there.

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Then I got on top of the big rock to cast into the huge pool. The current looked impossibly fast but I was hoping to get one on the swing. While maneuvering for a better positon I stepped on a slick spot of the granite and whoosh my left foot slipped out and down about three feet causing my right leg to fold and my right knee to smash into the rock as I crumpled down on the rock in agony. I took a few moments to get my leg straightened out from under me and I was thankful that nothing was broken as I had feared upon impact. It might be time for a new pair a boot as the felt on these has worn thin.
The codura on the 4 day old Orvis Pros looked bad at the impact site and I hoped that the waterproofing wasn’t damaged.

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Using my wading staff I now worked to the far side to Fred’s pool. I worked my way across and up still throwing a streamer I hooked this guy. The leader was wrapped around the maxillary and after removing the hook I went to untangle the line when the fish thrashed and caught my finger.

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I assume that the slimy hooker decorated this tree on the previous trip.

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Nobody showed up at Fred’s place so I was done for the day with three good fish on the streamer.
When I got to the parking lot a fly fisherman was geared up and headed in, he asked me, “What part did you fish?”

“All of it,” I replied with a grin. “I had a good day.”

As I put my gear away I couldn’t help notice the yellow slips in that guy’s car.

Oh snap!

Can’t make out what the charges are but they are not traffic.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698928
May 4, 2020 #21

Dougfish text me, Sunday evening, asking if I wanted to fish the gorge with him Monday. He wanted to start at 8, we negotiated 9, and I thought, “how bad can it be”.

It’s an hour and a half drive and I got there at 8:45, was geared up and ready to go by 9 and no sign of Dougie, I began to wonder if he was serious when he said, “let’s go in from the top”, I waited and thought well, if he’s not here by 9:30 I’m going in anyway. Minutes later he pulled in an after he geared up we hit the trail.

Just a few steps past the gate I noticed this little butterfly, one I don’t think I’ve seen before. It’s an Eggfly Butterfly, strange name…

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We hiked up the trail a mile or two to the start of the gorge section. It wasn’t long before Dougie caught the first fish of the day, a brown.

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I was on the board a little later with a pune brookie.

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Wildflowers dotted the landscape, the trillium are almost gone but there was plenty of fire pink and mayapples along with the occasional jack in the pulpit.

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Shortly after passing the mayapple grove which not has waist high nettles obscuring them, the gradient instreamed.
I stopped to take some photos as Doug continued to slay the brookies.

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Now things began to get interesting and we climbed the first of several waterfalls before stopping for a lunch.

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Then it was back to more brookies and more climbing the creek bed. I accused Doug of trying to kill me as I struggled to gain footing from a precarious perch straddling a bolder with one foot planted in the forceful flow of the constricted creek and having to swing the other leg up and over the rock to another foothold as the water churned in the pool below.

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We climbed out and headed down the trail and I said, “Well, I’ve checked that one off the list” Don’t know if I’ll do that again, but I’m thinking about it….
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698938
stepping back again to mid March

3-14-2020 #8

More Social Distancing, but this time with the damn dam flows cut up to the mirror plant. It was low at 42 cfs and very clear. There were no fish rising but plenty of midges and a few bows, little black caddis or stones flying about. I fished with a girdle bug and caught a nice specimen early on. It was pretty slow with only the occasional fish to hand. I switched up the game and enticed a few punes to take a dry.


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It’s always a good spot to have a beer!

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And retie leaders

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And have a snack

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And look at bugs

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And take in the beauty

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Well enough of that, I’ll leave this part alone until the sulfurs come along.

I headed on downstream with the flow now at 200 cfs at 55 degrees. I threw a streamer and watched this fish rise up from the bottom of a deep pool and attack the fly with vigor.

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I hooked this brookie on the swing and it fought hard, he’s a survivor with a nubby pectoral fin on the other side, looks pretty good in this shot though.

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I was planning on moving downstream a bit further and was back at the car having a beer and a snack, when a Wildlife Officer pulled up. He started chatting me up and I was trying to remember when exactly my VA license expiration date. I finally asked him,

“I guess you’d like to see my license?”

I had left my phone on the car seat and turned my back to him as I reached in and retrieved it. I keep a photocopy on my phone and showed it to him and he noticed that I was still valid until March 22. So I was good to go. Just as I got in to drive away another fishing vehicle passed by heading to my next spot.

My friend and brfffer, Streamereater low holed me. We talked for a bit and I let him have the run and I called it a day!
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698951

3-15-2020 #9

I started off going low and hit the first run which didn’t produce in the high water. First cast I flipped the streamer into the eddy and instantly a trout shot up and over he fly completely missing it. I paused and then put the fly back in at the edge of the current, again the fish rose up out of the water and again it missed the fly. “Damn, surely that fish is gone now”, I thought. Once more I made the cast and again the fish struck out at the fly and this time it hit and I felt the weight of the fish as it turned out into the current. It jumped and spit the hook. “No,” I cried out! “Damn it!”

I fished the rest that reach without seeing another fish. I moved on up and there I caught a couple of decent fish.

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Next, I hit the dead baby pool and moved a fish but didn’t connect. Spork named the pool because the approach is so sketchy, with a trash filled approach with bottles and shopping carts in the water and other discarded items.

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I finished up the day at Fred’s pool searching for the fish that has been seen by driver and I several times but it didn’t show today either.

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When I got back to the car there was a trio of youths getting ready for a hike. They were in a beater of an Avalanche and one guy was standing on the back and a girl was in the truck revving the engine. Then the guy asks if I wanted a beer, he was offering a corona. I told him I was good and proceeded to pop the top on a Sierra Nevada. He asked, “How about this Corona Virus thing?” “Stay away from everybody,” I replied. “I know, man, it’s just the three of us,” he replied, “we’re staying alone together.”

User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698970

3-17-2020 #10

I went back for more punishment and pulled into a popular spot and broke out all the important food groups before gearing up.

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There were several fishermen out and one came by as I was eating and showed me a rainbow and a largemouth bass that he had caught earlier.

AS I was getting ready a dude with a kayak shows up and unloads, we talk, he’s looking for smallmouth and fishes regularly, not targeting trout. He had four or five spinning rods rigged with various crankbait.

I waded in and cast my streamer and found nothing. I hit the usual spots and then moved on.

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Nobody up here was interested in my streamers either, so I moved on again, back down low.

I probably should have switched to crayfish or stoneflies and fished on the bottom, but I like the streamer bite so I stayed with it as I fished all the spots, from top to bottom. At the last deep run I was casting the sink tip and pushing the rod tip as far
down as I could go, cast strip strip strip, bam.

Fish on! Finally!

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That made the day, only one fish, but what does anyone really expect from this river anyway?

Went for a walk to check out another run.

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Cheers!

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