Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fall Steelhead Trip #2 (Oct 17-18)

The following weekend we tried to focus on getting Jen a steelhead.  The biggest challenge was a pretty bad cold I was fighting that totally zapped my energy level, making it hard to stay upbeat, focused, or happy.

We got out to a couple of our favorite spots with ease.  Fished most of the day, but with no luck.  

It was a zoo.  There must have been a billion and one fisherman on the river today.  We fished most of the day, but again we had no luck. We went back to the hotel to dry out, and have a strong beverage (maybe more than one was had).

We decided to go home early.  We were frustrated with our lack of any fishing action, and thought it would just be best to put me to bed and work on recovering from my head cold.

So our 2013 Steelhead season was not one our greatest, but hopefully next year will be better.

Three-day Fall Trip #1 (Oct. 10-12)

I headed up to Peters cabin after class finished up, arriving a little after midnight.

The fall colors were beautiful and we were in mostly sunny with 60's and 70's for temperature.  There were a lot of people out fishing every day.  Some were grouse and woodcock hunters who said it was too warm to hunt their dogs, so they decided to go fishing instead.  Looking at the falling temp's in the forecast this week, that shouldn't be a repeat occurrence.

Fished for muskies with Peter and Wendy on the Flambeau
I hooked two but didn't get to fight them very long before losing them.
Headed up to the Brule motel, fished for steelhead.

1st day Jen caught a brookie on an egg fly and I caught a brown on  a nymph.  We ran into Peter who had some luck catching a couple steelhead.  He had to bug out back to his cabin as he was going to guide a couple of people over the next two days.
Met up with several of my St. Paul Fly Tier's at the Kro-bar who were up for our annual Steelhead outing.

2nd day, I caught two steelhead.  
Ed caught his 1st steelhead about midday.

Overall, it seemed that the fishing was not on fire, but it didn't totally suck either.
We headed for home Saturday evening so that I could spend Sunday doing schoolwork and incubating a crappy head cold that I have the pleasure of  dealing with now.  :)

September 2013 - Tenkara in the Smokey Mountains

Went down to visit my brother in Georgetown, Kentucky for a few days.  He took us around to see several sites such as the Buffalo Trace and Wooodford distilleries, a Japanese garden, a horse retirement ranch called "Old Friends," and checked out a couple of local restaurants.  

After that we went camping in the rainy, foggy Smokey Mountain National park at the Elkmont campground which had the very loud Little River that flowed through it.  We played tourist for a couple of days checking out some of the main attractions of old churches, water falls, old mills, and cemeteries. Then I had the treat of fishing some of the rivers on the Tennessee side of the park.

The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River
Open during the day, but the Chimney Tops campground is closed at night due to the high amount of bear activity there.  I caught a few rainbow and brook trout on the Tenkara rod.  They were not big, but they were fun to catch in the scenery was great, the water cold, and very few spots taken up by other fisherman.  This river was totally designed for Tenkara fishing!

Middle Prong of the Little River
Had a little luck on this river too, it had a little less gradient to it, less big boulders, and would have been better if I had used a normal fly rod as it it was much wider than the first river. 

I didn't take any photos of the trout caught, apparently I was having too much fun catching them and forgot to snap any photo's of the little guys.

August 2013 Recap

Greetings my friends!  I know I have been a horrible blogger this year, but my lame excuse is that I really have been a little more busy than normal since going back to school for an MBA.  With that, I plan to do a couple of posts to highlight a couple of fishing outings taken in 2013.

This spring I managed to get out and fish the Rush River a couple of times.  Nothing epic, but it was all I could squeeze in before my August vacation.

Roughing it in Montana...
In August, I had the good fortune of spending a week with Peter and Doug fishing all over Montana.  Typical of August in Montana, it was hot, dry, and lots of natural bugs everywhere.  Fires in Utah and over nearby mountains caused for awesome red sunsets and red moonrise's.  At times it looked overcast and caused mountains to be foggy due to all the smoke in the atmosphere.

Do you see the black bear?
There it is!
He visited us in the back yard and then ran up to this nearby hill.

Evening Moonrise over the Cameron Mountains

Lets get to the fishing, shall we...

Critter with a Rainbow on the Madison
Madison River
We drove straight out to the ranch house we were to stay at for a couple of days in Cameron, Montana.  At the end of our driveway was the famous Madison River.  We prepped Peters new drift boat (the "Annie B") and floated the Madison River two days in a row and caught some rainbows on Trude's and pink nymph droppers.  The fish didn't come very easily, but Doug managed to catch a whitefish.

Doug on the Beaverhead R.
Beaverhead River
We then floated the Beaverhead River, which was a very pretty little thing.  It was barely wide enough for a boat at times.  But we managed, and that included us all getting on the floor of the boat as we went under one bridge.  We caught a few rainbows and browns, and things got better when I cracked the code with the "right" hopper pattern that they would go for.  Doug was able to hook and land a whitefish.  I could spend years fishing that river and be content as it had so much character.  

Stillwater River
Stillwater River
We fished a couple of sections of this river.  One was at a landing, the other was along the property of a lodge.  The owner-operator invited us to fish his property as he didn't have any guests staying there for a few days.  Which was really nice of him, but the fishing was pretty much dead.  Peter did land a couple of trout; Doug was able to land several whitefish!

Doug's first 20" brown!
Bighorn River
We moved on to fish the Bighorn river for our remaining four days.  We stayed at the Cottonwood and hooked up with our buddies from the Fly Angler fishing crew.  Peter, Doug and I caught lots of browns and rainbows. Doug managed to find and hook more whitefish....he sure has a way with finding those things.  On the last day I believe I lost the 2nd largest fish I have ever hooked on that river.  But all was great.  At one point, on the last spot we fished on the last day, all three of us had a fish on at one time.  We had a lot fun at that spot!    

Critter's 20" Brown on the Big Horn

Peter with a beautiful brown on the Big Horn

Close-up of another gorgeous brown!

from Left to Right: Doug, Peter, and Critter

This was a great trip and I very much enjoyed our fishing team as well as the Big Horn gang that we had the privilege of hanging out with at the Cottonwood Camp for a few days.