Werm, Kratt and I made plans to fish on Sunday - it ended up being a Werm Birthday/Secret Santa trip. Kratt and Werm showed up just before 5am and we were on the road. The ride up was pretty uneventful - made it up there (spot is omitted to protect the innocent fish) around 6:45 with no one in the parking lot.
Although the Secret Santa was a total bust this year, Kratt made the below fish for Werms - complete with Werm's 5 favorite beers and Old Chub. Somehow it was conveyed by me to Kratt the Werm loved Chub, so that is why it got prime real estate on the fish. Pretty fun now. But, that fish is frickin amazing - Kratt did a really good job and no lost finger (or close to it) this year!
Werm and Kratt cracked beers in the car, while I got out and walked around a bit - damn it was cold - like -6* cold. Finally the boys got out of the car and started dressing - the sun was just popping over the mtns and through the trees. We spotted a bald eagle right off - a good start to the morning.
We struggled to get dressed, struggled to tie on flies and struggled to actually get down and into the water - but we made it. I caught a small brown on my first cast, Werm had a fish on soon after and Kratt followed it up - all of us were off the skunk. It seemed like another hour or so before we caught any more fish. We had a couple hook ups and slow sets along the way, but eventually we started landing fish - it went in the same order, small browns, but at least we were catching. The water looked cool, with steam coming off and a strong sun coming over the mountains - the sun felt good, but the water was a long way from warming up.
We seriously were pounding beers (and Maker's for Kratt) - I think all day we drank beer instead of water - must have been about 18 or so. 7am and we were drinking. The morning seemed to go by quick, although expensively - Kratt snapped a tip on his rod no more than 10 casts in while chipping ice off and I lost numerous fly rigs on the bottom. Another funny thing happened - while Kratt was getting a new rod, a hunter crossed below us, with a young black lap in tow. He passed across the river from us and nodded, then no more than 2 minutes later we heard a loud pop gunshot and saw a few ducks flying down river - scared the PISS out of me! But it was pretty funny.
About 9am I hooked into a good sized fish, the rainbow below. The hardest part was I couldn't land these pigs myself because I had about 12 feel of line from my fly line to my bottom fly (bad planning on my part). The rainbow was nice and thick and took the midge - he was by estimate 18.5 to 19 inches and fat as anything - what a great fish. Soon after I hooked and landed a 17 or 18 inch cuttbow - not quite as thick. I think those were the only two bow/cuttbows of the day. The second bow took the an egg.
After about 10am the water started warming and the air seemed almost bearable. The fish started cooperating as well - Werms started going to town landing fish after fish as Kratt and I struggled to keep a fish on the end of the line. We eventually started hooking up and we all landed some nice browns - but then it died out again at 11am and we decided to hit up another spot to try our luck.
After a 25 minute ride - which felt awesome because we were finally warming up and getting feeling back in our feet - we landed.. At the parking lot there was a 10 foot shelf of ice out into the middle of the river to where the fast water was - there were tons of iceberg sized floaters going down river and we decided that this was not a good idea. We headed back to our original spot.
Around 12:45 or so we were back,, another beer, a quick dump for Kratt and we were on the water. However, there were two guys in our hole - so we fished down low and I made my way back to the hole to see if I could squeeze in between the two guys. The older guy left, and the other guy was just standing in our hole, on the bank, rod strung up, just looking at the water. When I got up to him I asked how the fishing was and he replied "caught one up there, just getting started" - I was thinking its gonna be a long wait - so I hit the split at the top of the pool, made 4 casts, looked back downriver and the guy was walking back to the car - my next cast flung into a birdsnest, so I started back to our spot. I was waving Kratt upriver the whole way back to the hole!
As I was re-tying my shit, Kratt proceeded to hammer the hole - catching 3 fish before I had even tied on a fly. He even got the token whitefish of our trip! Werm was soon up river again and we fished across river from each other for the rest of the day.
There was about an hour period there where we hammered them - with several doubles and a couple near triples. We didn't take much time to take pics because we didn't want to miss the window of opportunity. The weather was beautiful now - almost not glove weather, but not quite.
I managed 3 browns on 3 casts in the same spot - all fought so hard and didn't want to be netted. The fish below was my favorite - although not as colorful as most of the browns we caugt - he was the longest - I taped him out at 20 inches next to my rod. What a nice surprise in this hole! The good fishing continue - lots of browns with their golden bellies, blue and red spots and red tipped tail fins - amazingly colorful and a lot of fun. The damn browns also spin themselves to death when you get them in on a rig - they flip around in the net 25 times before you can grab them - throwing your rig into a rats nest and tangles. I released a couple fish only to find they weren't released because in their spinning hurry they hooked their asses on the fly below.
What a great day. At 3pm or so we decided to head out and get in line with the ski traffic, which didn't end up being too bad. It was a quick ride home. The flies that worked were basically eggs and small grey or black midges. Those seemed to pick up fish, but mostly as the water warmed up.
Thanks for the great trip boys - I wouldn't have done this on my own, but you guys talked me into it.