Monday, March 23, 2009

One last fishing trip

With about a week left before I head North, my good friend Russ and I headed out last Friday afternoon for one final day on the water. Like when Josh and I headed out a couple weeks ago, there were tons of big rainbows and cuttbows in the riffles.

I started by drifting egg patterns through a broad riffle, hooking into this nice fish:
I'm not sure if it was the pressure of me catching the first fish or not, but Russ got a bit adventurous with his wading and tried to cross through the quick, deep current. While I was hoping to get a picture of Russ filling his waders as he bobbed down the river, he wisely turned back and fished his way toward the near bank. He quickly hooked into his first fish of the day.

Back on shore, here he is with fish in hand:
Here I am catching one more before moving downstream (check out how roughed up the fish is from digging in the gravel):After moving downstream a bit and noticing a group of nice fish rising to midges, Russ and I both gave up the wet flies in hopes of hooking something on the surface. After a little work, I managed to land a nice rainbow on a size 18 parachute adams. Despite my luck, Russ was happy to fish a rusty size 14 humpy he found in the bushes. It didn't matter as the fish were happy to comply:With our appetite for fish satisfied, we packed up and headed back into town.

Also, thanks for the new camera Jan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big Fishin'

With Josh's time in Wyoming winding down and no new snow within easy reach, we again turned our attention to the rivers. We got out for a few hours after work last Friday and found some great fish. There were huge rainbows and cuttbows on redds, with various fish eager to take a well-placed egg pattern. Since our camera was still MIA, we were left with Josh's camera-phone for the heavy lifting.

Here I am trying out my new hat. It's a thing of beauty (the hat, that is). The Wife scored it from some of the locals. Not only does it sport the old TU logo, but it's mesh, has a rope across the bill and has cruise-ship-captain style gold holly leaves on the bill. Amazing. I've been told I look like my dad must have in the 1970's...

Later on I grabbed a hold of this toad:While I caught nice fish, Josh got the big one of the day:The fishing was so good we came back the next day, and the day after that. We caught several great rainbow/cutthroat hybrids fishing riffles with small egg patterns. I'm not sure I have ever caught as many large fish outside of Alaska.

After our last day of fishing the weather turned and Lander received about 5 inches of snow. Josh's flight out of Riverton was canceled, forcing him to spend an extra night here before heading out today. Between the epic skiing conditions a couple weeks ago and the huge fish this past weekend, I suppose we got after it pretty good while Josh was here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Waiting for the hatch to start

The Wife, Josh and I found ourselves fishing up near Cody this past weekend. We got a couple hours in Saturday afternoon and, after breakfast at Irma's, hit the river pretty hard on Sunday. It was warm and sunny out, with good flows and reasonable clarity. Since we were fishing in town, the crowds were to be expected.

After a short hike up the trail, Josh discovered a handful of cutthroat rising to midges. With a mild case of dry-fly fever, it was on. We quickly caught a handful of fish between us with various dry flies that defied visible detection. It was one of those instances where we were hooking quite a few fish (although only landing a few) while another angler just within sight and earshot upstream was getting skunked--and increasingly agitated with our success.

After hooking or scaring off all the fish in our immediate vicinity, we continued on upstream and came across two fly fishermen fully geared but sitting on the bank. With fish visibly feeding in the top few inches of the water column, these two blokes informed us they were "waiting for the hatch to start." What the?!? There were midges all over the place with decent fish coming up to the surface, or near-surface, and these guys were content waiting for the hatch to start. I moved on and landed a nice rainbow on a stonefly nymph.

Later in the afternoon, it warmed up even more and a sporadic mayfly hatch materialized. We caught fish off and on with midges, blue-winged olives and various nymphs/streamers throughout the day.

All-in-all it was a great day on the water. The Wife got to break in her new 5-weight fly rod and, like last season's first real trip, she got the big fish of the day--this time a nice cutthroat about 16 or 17 inches. Unfortunately, there appears to have been one casualty. Our camera seems to have kicked the bucket.

EDIT: By popular demand, here's a camera-phone shot of The Wife's fish that Josh managed to catch.