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By woolly bugger
#702173

best part of the day was that there was no thunder or rain.

I needed a fix, drove up late in the afternoon, thought about
hiking down the tracks but there were vehicles parked in the
lot, so I drove on up top to his the last of the sulfur hatch.

There were a few fish working the surface. Plenty of bugs
on the water, they were mostly ignored. Caught a handful of fish
before it shut down completely at 5.

I stayed for another fatuous hour.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702177

Gas $2.89 86 degrees...

Fred forced me off the water for two days and I was feeling the itch to get out. Roadtrip audio for the day; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I only had a couple of hours to fish so I went up top with the intent to nymph. There was only a smattering of caddis coming off and I only saw one trout rise.

I thought this would be easy catching but I didn’t find fish where I thought they should be. Caught a couple of handfuls, mostly rainbows. Where were all the browns hiding out?

Despite low humidity there was plenty of fog on the water, sometimes limiting visibility to 20 feet.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702195

Gas $2.79 - temperature - fireball hot

With scheduled damn dam construction looming I checked the gauges and decided I would try and sneak in a day of fishing before the flow is reduced to a trickle.

The hike down the tracks was brutal in the heat of the afternoon. There is a bit more shade in the early afternoon as the sun is lower in the sky these days.  As usual I waded out into a belly deep hole and drank a cool off beverage. There was a smattering of bugs, mostly midges, small bwos and a few sulfurs. I had tied up some loop wing  #20 blue wings anticipating that the sulfur were done down this low on the river.

The fishing was slow, I tried the sulfur that was still strung on the rod. I had four of five refusals, they were definitely interested and I watched them drift back under the fly and then nose up but stop short of taking the fly. I was just fun to watch them. I switched to the bwo and the catching began.

The fog rolled in as the sun was setting. I was surprised when an otter popped up and stared at me for a moment before joining the romp in the undulating water. Ten seconds later I saw that two of them had caught their dinner. I tried to video them, but the camera wouldn’t focus in the fog. I left the pool to them and hiked out along the tracks.

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Cardinal flower -  Lobelia cardinalis

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Orange jewelweed - Impatiens capensis

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Appalachian Ironweed - Vernonia glauca

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this is all the otters that I got on video...



what is chirping?
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702212

Gas $2.89 92 degrees, partly cloudy #74

Who knows what the damn dan maintenance schedule will be? They said that they would be keeping an eye on the river temperatures and maybe they realized that August wasn't the best month to shut the water off, I saw that the lower river reached 73 degrees with the low flow. The water is back on at 280 and the upper river is a comfortable 50 degrees. Not wanting to waste the opportunity I drove on up with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas playing on the radio.

Nobody was in the lot, so I hiked on down the tracks. Very sparce bug activity with only the occasional sulfur, bwo and midge floating by. The birds were perched streamside and would swoop in now and then for a snack. A pair of kingfishers patrolled the river alerting others with there noisy chattering.

I worked my way upstream and found some productive water that I hadn’t been to in years. A lone kayaker worked his way downstream tossing his lure to the bank. 

More bugs started popping around 4 and I caught a few on the surface, some risers were targeted but most were caught just searching likely spots.

I was wading in a deep run and tried to catch a small mayfly and as I reached out to grab it, I stumbled on a submerged rock and face planted in the cold deep water. As I recovered water rushed down into my waders. I was soaked and decided to call it a day.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702218

#75


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you would think I would learn. I'm a creature of habit. The other week I was fishing with dougfish and it was a brutaly hot hike in, I went directly to the cool off pool and stood in the deep water to cool off. I let go of my wading staff and only later realized that it wasn't attached to my belt loop. Dougfish spied it snagged in an eddy and retrieved it for me. Well today I did the same damn stupid thing and while enjoying a cool off beer my staff floated away only this time I was further out in the current and it went on down the river. Time to make another one.

Thunder was booming over to the north and I tried to pull up the radar to see what was headed my way.

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I didn't like the looks of the clouds, so I called weather station Dougfish for a radar read out. He assured me that I was good and the storm was headed to the north and east.

I didn't find a lot of fish in the closest run, so I worked my way up to the next set of pools. Not having a staff made the going a bit slower and I really missed it to help find my footing in several spots. The catching was much better and I caught enough to make the trip worth while.

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Later in the day I went back down and waited for a hatch. It never materialized, I didn't see any sulfurs today only tiny bow and midge flies.






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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702228

# 76 Gas $2.89, it’ll probable go up with Ida knocking on the Louisiana coast. Temps in the 90s and humid.

The hay filed has been mowed making that walk much easier, I’ve been avoiding that area for a while, but it’s mowed now. It is still hot walking across, might be hotter than the railroad tracks.

Standing in the shade I watched the water for sighs of life, only tiny bwos and miniscule black caddis among the midges. Birds were occasionally swooping in to pick off the random sulfur. I didn’t see a rise.

I headed up to a waist deep run and picked off a couple as a group of kayakers floated behind me. They were a bit surprised to see a fisherman standing in the middle of the river in an isolated section.

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I heard an Osprey approaching and whipped out the camera and pointing to the sky and snapped away.

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I worked this section from top to bottom, catching the usual suspects in the usual spots. A few more rainbows than browns.

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Season is changing and Oktoberfest beers are arriving in the stores. This offering from Texas has a hazy amber color with an off-white head and bready aroma. Slightly sweet with a hint of spice and moderate carbonation.

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It was around 5 and it was cooling off a bit, still no surface activity. But they were eager to take the nymph.

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Another floaty bote casting its way down the river.

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I saw a fish rise three times and another one tight to the bank, that was enough for me to switch over and try and catch one on the surface. I couldn’t decern what they were taking but I had a #18 comparadun tied on and went with that. Waded into position, cast and got a fish to rise and was denied. No other fish were showing themselves and my idea of casting dry flies at this point was downright risible.

Back at the car I had a snad before the drive home.

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Following up after the 1972 ending of Fear and Loathing, I jumped into 1973 with All the President’s Men






User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702256

# 77 Gas #2.89 damn hot

I think it keeps getting hotter. I couldn’t face the track in waders, so I packed them in. It was still a hot hike. Wadered up and drank an ice cold beverage before starting to fish. I missed the first four or five fish that struck the nymphs. Argggg.
A bald eagle flew overhead and I saw a humming bird feeding on the jewel weed. A muskrat swam past me as I moved up to another spot where the catching commenced.

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A group of kayakers approached and I warned them of a sweeper in the rapid below and to stay left. One of them got hung up on a rock. I watched him struggle to scoot off the rock, I thought he might make it, but he dipped the upstream side of the yak and pinned it. The rest of his group was 40 yards downstream and I was about the same distance upstream. I waded on down and helped him get out. He was having some issues standing on the streambed and complained about his bad legs. I got him over to the bank and then pulled the yak into the eddy to dump. The dude has issues moving and ended up taking a spill and had a bit of difficulty standing back up. I couldn’t very well let go of the yak as it would have run right over him. Fortunately he had is life jacket on, and managed to get his footing back after a few moments. One of the men from the group had made his way up as I was emptying out the yak. He got back in and the other guy guided him down to a gravel bar where they emptied out the remaining water in the yak. 328 cfs on that river is more that enough to get you in trouble in a heartbeat. Be careful out there and know your limits. The river is no place for hubris.

Back to fishing and catching. I had planned on going up higher, but the yak excursion made me thirsty and I headed back to my stash. On the way I noticed several fish slashing unseen emergers. So after drinking my Oktoberfest, I tied on a bwo and wacked a few on the surface for the hour or so before things slowed down and the evening fog rolled in.


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Last edited by woolly bugger on Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702283

one last trip for the month. #78

Only caught one on a dry, there just wasn't much going on at all on the surface.

Snagged a ripe PawPaw, #foragefood, bad photo.

Looks like they/re going to get some hay up soon...
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caught some nice fish...

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fog rolled in, threatening clouds were building and thunder boomed in the distance.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702292

#79, gas $2.74 temps in the 80s

First September trip, I’m below average, but y’all already knew that.

With the low flows the river is a different animal, and I didn’t especially want to fish it, but needed some stream time. Two cars in the lot, and a fisherman sitting on the ground next to one, He came over while I was gearing up. Don from Floyd had brought five friends to fish and he was waiting for their return. He had been skunked on the day, and thought the river had fished better on the new normal higher flow. I offered him a beer and he thanked me for the Oktoberfest.

I decided to wet wade, figuring that I wouldn’t get much deeper than knee depth. Many bwos coming off, virtually no fish rising, a smattering of sulfurs, and an occasional yellow drake and even fewer grey drakes. I caught no fish.

A beer break was in order and I noticed one fish rise while enjoying a G’Knight. I also noticed an angler up above me slowly working his was down the river. He cast with authority and was hitting all the right spots, but still not connecting.
I spied a couple of risers in a run below and went after them, finally connecting with fish. Skunk off!

It was #####, ###### on the insta, we lamented the low flows and discussed the damn dam situation. He told me that he had been fishing this river all his life and how his dad would drop him off in the morning and come and pick him up in the evening. One time he was squirrel hunting on the far side of the river when the water came up. When his father came to get him he located him of the other side and told him to build a fired and he’d be back in the morning. ##### roasted squirrel on a stick and spent the night on the river at the age of 13.

We went on to talk about how we thought the long continuous flows had benefited the bug life and the fish and how the new normal was much better than the historic wide swings in flow from the dam generating.

After all our gasconade, Chuck moved on downstream and I worked the closer water. The best I could do was get a few fish to rise to the fly, I caught nothing.


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If you think this hay looks dismal, you should have seen the corn they tried to grow.

Also saw a Green Heron for the first time in this location and the piliated woodpeckers were calling back and forth in the evening.

User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702305

#80

Mostly cloudy, 80s, gas $2.99
I was afraid that there would be crowds on the river and that the usual spots would be occupied . On the drive I found a new podcast, Good Assassins – Hunting the Butcher, based on the book The Good Assassin: How a Mossad Agent and a Band of Survivors Hunted Down the Butcher of Latvia. It’s a riveting spy story and horrifically true, and it brings the horrors of WWII back from the past into the present in a way that will haunt you. I was glad I was headed to the river.

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I was surprised to find an empty lot when I arrived at 2:30. The day was a bit cooler and there was plenty of cloud cover too.
I watched the water for 15 minutes while enjoying a Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, a well balanced amber with a sweet bread flavor with a hint of spice and bitterness of hops. 

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The only bugs that I saw were miniscule bwos, and no trout rose.

I moved up into some of the more productive runs and the catching was good. Fish steadily came to hand.

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A pair of kayakers passed behind me shouting out hellos, I was a bit surprised that there weren’t dozens of them on this holiday weekend.

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It was time for a beer break and I headed back down to my stash taking some pics along the way.

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Some species of aster...
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After my refreshment I tried my luck with a dry fly as I had seen one fish rise once. I had a #18 comparadun on the rod and I had seen a few sulfurs on the water. On the second cast I got a fish to rise and was refused. A bit later I broke the 7x on a hook set. I was retying a fly when another group of yakers came down hollering out, “Having any luck?”  “Sure thing,” I replied. “hey, mind if I ask you how you got in hear, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to,” he inquired. “A long walk, a long walk...” was my reply.

I broke off another fish before landing one.

This brown took a #18 dry on the 7x and came out of the water three feet like a Polaris missile, I was stunned, and
It jumped twice more before being netted. 

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This rainbow was sipping under the trees and I could barely see the take through the thickening evening fog that had started to roll in.

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The evening was gorgeous and it felt good to be out alone on the water. The chill in the air and the shorter day is a reminder that summer is almost over.

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A women floated by and called out, “Do you know where we are?”
“Yes,” was my reply. Then after a pause, she inquired, “How far is it to Papa’s Pizza?” I told her, “Another mile or two!” Then I added, “Are you alone?” “No, there are three others behind me” I think she was anxious to get off the river. They came paddling down about five minutes later.

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More sulfurs were popping off but I was done, satisfied with the day and left the adamantine flow of the river and began the long walk out into the setting sun.

Fin

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702326

#81

"You shoulda been here yesterday! " Wait, I was here yesterday  <-;:

I got fooled into thinking that the few fish that I saw rising would be easy prey on a bwo! I was wrong. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince them to take the damn fly. I shadow casted my ass off, no results. All I can say is that I did get two of them to rise to the fly but I was denied each time.

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I switched rods and moved on up a ways, catching a number of trout that didn't want photos taken. I did get some in the net that were more cooperative. After catching a handful or two, it was time for a beer break.

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The real action started after five. I worked hard for the fish I caught, broke one off with a peppery hookset.

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Frip and frap came on down, the only yakers of the day. "Any luck", they inquired. "All the time," I replied, "All the time."

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It shut down at seven, although more sulfurs appeared to be hatching, I didn't see many, if any risers.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702364

#82

I was afraid they were going to shut the water off and I've got some upcoming events this week that will keep me off the water for a while so I checked the gauge and headed on up. Empty lot, took the short walk, wish I had gone on down and the fishing was slow. Picked of one here and there but it wasn't easy.

lost a few flies and tied a lot of knots.

Got a few fish to hit the dry. Worked one fish for about 20 minutes. I only saw it rise once but I was convinced that I could catch it. It finally took a #14 comparadun, but i peppered the hookset and snapped the 7x tippet. I cussed. I caught other fish. I missed some others too. It shut down completely by 7.

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rough count 40 rounds of hay!

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