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User avatar
By stillsteamin
#702058


From my perspective, this trip ought not to have happened. It seems impossible that despite so much "progress of man," we may still have friends, places, fish like these. The state of the world can erode the soul. But then,

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I had never been here before, but have had dreams for years. There is something about high desert rivers.
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We wanted to see the whole deal and did a 2 dayer down from the dam to see the “famous water.”
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The canyon water was beautiful, and of course loaded with trout, but we took one look at the sports and their ounces of lead and balloon-sized bobbers and said “nah.” So as Michigan bred trout fisherman are apt to do, we just kept on downstream. And it just so happens that big brown trout hate clusterfucks as much as I do.
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We got surprised by a few days with plenty of rain. The clouds were a terrific relief from the sun, and even though the succession of storms put the fish in a bit of a sour mood, we welcomed them. The dry ground, grass, and sage fairly exploded with scent, and on our morning drives we ran full speed with the windows down, taking it all in.
I did not take many pictures during these few days, anyway not nearly as many as I should have. Sometimes you are just having too much fun to stop and bother with it.
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The two degenerates I was fishing with maintain a tradition called “draining the net.” Nolan discovered his new net handle was water tight, so now each morning it gets filled with cheap tequila, and left out in the sun all day to warm to coffee temp and take on a nice, metallic taste, and then the first person to put a “day changer” in the boat gets berated into “draining the net.” On this trip the otherwise day changing type fish were coming in such quick succession that the net was getting refilled and drained again and again. My stomach would still be twisted in knots from the last round, when another moss-backed denny’s-grand-slam-eating slob would emerge from behind a boulder, or from beneath a seam, or from absolutely nowhere to drift cross-eyed beneath an ant, or a small hopper, and then stick its fat alcoholic’s nose up out of the greasy water and sip it like it was exactly what he thought it was. The fisherman would be laughing with joy, the oarman would be giggling with disbelief, and the netman would be cackling evilly, with the net in one hand, and a bottle of cheap tequila in the other.
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And so it went.
By the time we arrived to the actual luau, I was feeling things had peaked. How could it possibly get any better?
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Well. To start,

Joe’s cooking.
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[Pizza night not pictured because I ate my whole pizza in seconds like a fucking animal, taking a pic never crossed my mind. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had anywhere.]

And, Lando’s “town water”
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Red dog.
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Fishing with Randall.
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Huck pie.
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This stuff.
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It was like what I imagine staying at a fishing lodge is like, scenic accommodations, your breakfast made, lunch packed, and dinner and cocktails ready, and your water and flies picked out for you. The only thing it lacked was the type of people who stay at fishing lodges, which made it even better.

The time passed, as it does. 9 days of fishing gone by in a blur. Fortunately we saved the best for last. “Go up the south fork,” Lando said.

It was *the best* single day of trout fishing I have ever experienced. The trout were numerous and hard-fighting, desperate to eat foam bugs, and the river valley was absolutely beautiful. We’d intended to find cutthroat, but coming from Michigan, I will never, ever complain about browns eating dry bugs so hard they flip end over end out of the water.
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Found one!
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The next morning it was trout and eggs, and then the usual, depressing, long, end-of-trip drive to the airport.
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As a first time Luau-er all I can say to others is “go.” There won’t always be a “next year.” Happenings such as these are a confluence of things, an emergence. Friends, places, fish, they can’t and won’t come together in the same ways forever. If you’re feeling like the optimist in you needs reassuring, if you are doubting trout still look up, or hell, even (or especially) if you’re just hungry, go. Life is short, the luau is fun. And we all ought to have more fun.
Thanks to all who made this one possible.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702059
fantastical
User avatar
By The Po Thead
#702061
Fuck. Yes.


You had me at warm, metallic tequila.
User avatar
By fatman
#702063
yup :smile
User avatar
By -G-
#702065
Well I definitely need to figure out a way to put a long flask into the wood nets… warm tequila sounds a little better than warm Black Velvet too.
User avatar
By fishskibum
#702070
stillsteamin wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:59 am


From my perspective, this trip ought not to have happened. It seems impossible that despite so much "progress of man," we may still have friends, places, fish like these. The state of the world can erode the soul. But then,

Image
Image
I had never been here before, but have had dreams for years. There is something about high desert rivers.
Image
We wanted to see the whole deal and did a 2 dayer down from the dam to see the “famous water.”
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
The canyon water was beautiful, and of course loaded with trout, but we took one look at the sports and their ounces of lead and balloon-sized bobbers and said “nah.” So as Michigan bred trout fisherman are apt to do, we just kept on downstream. And it just so happens that big brown trout hate clusterfucks as much as I do.
Image
We got surprised by a few days with plenty of rain. The clouds were a terrific relief from the sun, and even though the succession of storms put the fish in a bit of a sour mood, we welcomed them. The dry ground, grass, and sage fairly exploded with scent, and on our morning drives we ran full speed with the windows down, taking it all in.
I did not take many pictures during these few days, anyway not nearly as many as I should have. Sometimes you are just having too much fun to stop and bother with it.
Image
Image
Image
The two degenerates I was fishing with maintain a tradition called “draining the net.” Nolan discovered his new net handle was water tight, so now each morning it gets filled with cheap tequila, and left out in the sun all day to warm to coffee temp and take on a nice, metallic taste, and then the first person to put a “day changer” in the boat gets berated into “draining the net.” On this trip the otherwise day changing type fish were coming in such quick succession that the net was getting refilled and drained again and again. My stomach would still be twisted in knots from the last round, when another moss-backed denny’s-grand-slam-eating slob would emerge from behind a boulder, or from beneath a seam, or from absolutely nowhere to drift cross-eyed beneath an ant, or a small hopper, and then stick its fat alcoholic’s nose up out of the greasy water and sip it like it was exactly what he thought it was. The fisherman would be laughing with joy, the oarman would be giggling with disbelief, and the netman would be cackling evilly, with the net in one hand, and a bottle of cheap tequila in the other.
Image
And so it went.
By the time we arrived to the actual luau, I was feeling things had peaked. How could it possibly get any better?
Image
Image
Well. To start,

Joe’s cooking.
Image
Image
Image
[Pizza night not pictured because I ate my whole pizza in seconds like a fucking animal, taking a pic never crossed my mind. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had anywhere.]

And, Lando’s “town water”
Image
Image
Image
Image

Red dog.
Image

Fishing with Randall.
Image
Image

Huck pie.
Image

This stuff.
Image

It was like what I imagine staying at a fishing lodge is like, scenic accommodations, your breakfast made, lunch packed, and dinner and cocktails ready, and your water and flies picked out for you. The only thing it lacked was the type of people who stay at fishing lodges, which made it even better.

The time passed, as it does. 9 days of fishing gone by in a blur. Fortunately we saved the best for last. “Go up the south fork,” Lando said.

It was *the best* single day of trout fishing I have ever experienced. The trout were numerous and hard-fighting, desperate to eat foam bugs, and the river valley was absolutely beautiful. We’d intended to find cutthroat, but coming from Michigan, I will never, ever complain about browns eating dry bugs so hard they flip end over end out of the water.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Found one!
Image
The next morning it was trout and eggs, and then the usual, depressing, long, end-of-trip drive to the airport.
Image
Image
As a first time Luau-er all I can say to others is “go.” There won’t always be a “next year.” Happenings such as these are a confluence of things, an emergence. Friends, places, fish, they can’t and won’t come together in the same ways forever. If you’re feeling like the optimist in you needs reassuring, if you are doubting trout still look up, or hell, even (or especially) if you’re just hungry, go. Life is short, the luau is fun. And we all ought to have more fun.
Thanks to all who made this one possible.
i try not to take things fer granted and as someone whose attended a few and feels the pain of not being able to this year
well spoken
and thanks ya all for bringin the stoke and puttin a smile on my this has been a fucked up week of inner ear imbalance
to the point of ralphin to dry heaves face
User avatar
By fishskibum
#702071
oh yeah and fuck yea red god
that shits soy
User avatar
By cornholio
#702074
Looks like a damn good time per usual!! Some good stuff right there.
One of these years....
User avatar
By Average Joe
#702075


I love a good party, and I love to entertain. Good food, good drink, and good company are often hard to come by, and when an opportunity presents itself that offers all three, I make showing up a priority. Such is the luau.

My original plan was to head straight to Cody, but I’ve learned that plans are best made in pencil. Neil had an airline ticket he needed to use and suggested we meet at our friend's place in Idaho, so a week before the luau I loaded up the chuck wagon and headed east.
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Concrete and steel eventually gave way to strip malls, followed by the flooded farmlands of the Central Valley and questions as to how much longer such methods of agriculture will survive. Over the Sacramento River and past the state capitol, the valley yields to the foothills, where nineteenth century mining camps with names like Placerville and Hangtown are now sprawling suburban sanctuaries for the white upper middle class. From there the truck ascended into the forests of the Sierra Nevada Range, past the thousand foot elevation markers and the slow moving semis, until bare granitic rock revealed itself at the crest. This is the end of the line for any precipitation that may sweep eastward from the Pacific. Less than an hour later I crossed the state line and entered the Great Basin, a seemingly endless desert devoid of comfort, and admired the stamina and perseverance of those who once made this journey on foot.
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Once outside of Reno the speed limit bumps up to eighty, though it’s merely a suggestion.
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The geography of northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon, and southwestern Idaho is all pretty much the same.
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It was a long, uneventful drive, punctuated only by gas stops and shitty fast food. I spent most of the time daydreaming, occasionally snapping back into focus and briefly wondering, “Where the fuck am I?” Highway 95 crosses over two hundred miles of high desert, and I couldn’t help but think, “If someone broke down out here and called for a tow, it would take hours for the truck to find them.”
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It was late afternoon when I arrived at my friend J’s house outside of Boise. Temps were in the low triple digits, and the beer he handed me was most welcome. That night he cooked up a great meal, and after dinner we stayed up late, sipping on brown water and burning a pair of nice cigars on the patio.
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The next day we picked up Neil at the airport and spent the rest of the week in search of someplace to fish. Many western states have implemented “hoot owl” restrictions in response to this year’s extraordinary hot weather. Idaho is not one of them, and the state motto when it comes to trout seems to be, “Catch all you want. We’ll plant more.” That being said, low water and warm temps ensured that catching meant killing, so we passed on fishing a lot of water even though it was perfectly legal to do so.
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Neil hired a couple of kids to take us out on one of the few rivers that still had some decent water in it.
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One of them had a bit more experience than the other.
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We drank a lot of beer and caught a bunch of dinks on drys. It was a fun day.
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On Neil’s last day we drove out to a tailwater and picked up some nice browns on hoppers and terrestrials.
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The next day we dropped Neil off at the airport. The morning after that I thanked J for his hospitality and then jumped in the chuck wagon and headed for Montana.
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