Saturday, October 6, 2007 - Cheesman Canyon
Flows about 420, water was tinted green, but the day was a gorgeous blue sky and about 70 degrees in the canyon.
Decided to fish with Chad early in the morning and do a half day. Took Cabo along to keep me company and get her out of the house and away from the constant tormenting by Avelyn. I think she enjoyed it, but she whined the whole time.
Got to the Gill Trail lot at 5:45 - I was the second car there, Chad's was the first! The hike in was very dary as the trees are close together and leaves still out. I used a headlamp to see my way, which was good because then I could track Cabo's glowing eyes as she always stayed up ahead. Dropped down the first path to the family hole and found Chad - we moved below the waterfall and I started fishing. I used a big olive bugger and a size 18 czech nymph in green. I hooked a fish in the shallow stuff, but never got to land him - I did see him though - he was a silvery rainbow about 14 inches. He went after the czech - so we stuck with them for a while. The light started breaking and it became easier to see. I moved up - hopping above the family pool completely to big rock. Chad was in this spot, so I kept moving. I moved into the long long rifle with the big rock on the left. I hooked and landed a nice thick rainbow about 17 or 18 inches. He didn't fight overly hard, but he wouldn't come directly to the net. He took a size 20 red PT. While I was fighting him, another fish about the same size came and swam between me and the fish - about 18 inches away from my foot. He just hung out as I landed the fish. Cabo enjoyed seeing the piggy and gave it a "kiss" before it's release.
Chad and I kept leapfrogging each other - I moved up to the next flat area and as I was walking on the bank I spooked a fish, but noticed two others that hadn't spooked - one was a 17 inch rainbow that was litterally 2 feet away from my leg right up close to the bank, but with grass over hanging and a slow slow drift I had no clue how to get a fly to him. This fish acted very weird however - he was attacking clumbs of weeds that were floating by, he would bite it and shake his head and do it three or four times to the same clump. It looked like he was eating the weeds. He did it a few times too. I fished to him for about 20 mins, and finally hooked him (on a size 20 red and silver wire striped zebra) - but when I tried to back down river to not spook a few other fish, he popped off - although went right back to his spot. Every fish this morning seemed to be inches from the bank. When you walked the bank you would spook fish after fish - some were pretty large too.
The water seemed to get more and more off color as the day went by. Not much more to tell you about the day - I caught a small 13 inch brown (on a soft hackle size 20 black zebra with a gold bead) that was the most fiesty fish if the day - other than that nothing. We only fished until noon and then headed out of the canyon. I was home by about 1:30. It was a beautiful day and I was glad to get fishing again.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that as I was hiking back towards the canyon opening after the day, I stopped at the same spot that I saw the first next to shore - there wasn't a fish to be seen. I did see tons of huge - 4 inches long in some cases - grasshoppers, but they would only jump once and then lose their energy. They were either on their last legs or they were still chilled from the chilly night. I grabbed a few and tossed them in - I watched to see if they faught or if they just floated away. They seemed to be floating away with no fight. I didn't think anything of it and continued my walk down the bank. I immediately saw a fish down river about 20 feet away - about 12 inches off the bank and feeding. I walked back upstream to see if I could find another grasshopper - I tossed it in about 18 inches off the bank and it slowly drifted down river. The fish came up and slurped in the huge bug - the fish was probably only about 13 inches - so that must have been a HUGE mean! So I grabbed another and tossed it in again - this time I tossed it about two feet out to see if the fish would give chase - and he did - slurped that sucker up as fast as possible. 8 inches of grashoppers has to be enough protein to feed a fish for a day that is twice that size. But he stuck in his spot, waiting for more. I wanted to tie on a hopper, but didn't want to cut off my nymphs when I'd be leaving soon. I tried to wade out to the middle and cast back, but when I got out there, Cabo decided to come down the bank and spook the fish. Oh, well.