Got out twice this week – long days both times, about 8 hours of covering water each day. Found some new (to me) water, caught some fish on bamboo, caught some fish on graphite, saw bugs, snakes, frog, deer, birds and a crawdad. Pretty good time, yeah?
Fished the Critchfield bamboo 3wt on Thursday and picked up quite a few nice fish. Getting used to the slow rhythm of this rod and was laying out a lot of line for a slow bamboo 3wt, fun stuff. While working upstream, Hog Johnson decided to show himself to me just to make me crazy. I was working upstream through some pretty pocket water in fishing cruise control letting my mind wander, I flipped my CDC & Elk into a likely eddy and a big cutthroat back porpoised then turned away at the last second. Heart pounding, I snagged myself with the next cast… I got my shit together and put the third one right on the money and he rose and refused again! That was that, he’d had enough and didn’t come back for more. Oh well, put a mental “X” on that spot.
I ate my sandwich and made the turn back downstream at a pretty spot with a chute and a nice little waterfall. It was a fishy looking spot but I got nothing coming up through with a dry fly. After eating and snapping a couple shots of the scene with the rod for the Classic Fly Rod Forum guys, I put on my ‘hot butt’ wet fly leader and immediately picked my own pocket with a softhackle!
Around midday, I was replacing my tippet and a big dragonfly landed on my arm and wouldn’t move… I finished tying the tippet, tied on a fly, got my camera out of the chest pocket of my waders and took a few close-up shots and it still didn’t move. It finally flew away when I stood up. I was hoping it’d just stay there, like some sort of living jewelry.
A couple days later, I was back on a different section of the same river, this time with the Tom Morgan graphite and the video camera. Another fun day with even better weather, sunny and warm in the afternoon. Again, I saw Hog Johnson or maybe his brother and again came up empty. Same as before, it was getting close to lunch and I was just cruising through a section, hitting the pockets & seams with a dry fly while letting my mind wander and a big cutthroat comes flying a foot out of the water to take my fly, when I set the hook , she jumped 2′ out of the water and threw the hook. I’ll remember the sound of that splash for a long time…
I still managed to catch a couple more nice sized (for a small stream in Washington = slightly less small than normal) cutthroats. One in particular smashed a softhackle on the swing, turned into the current and charged downstream like he thought he was a steelhead making my little St George Jr scream. It was very, very cool and I thanked him for the privilege of the fight before he fined off to his hole.
Another little solo video below. Shooting solo is still a pain but the kid was feeling a bit under the weather and wasn’t up to the trip. Next time, better angles, a different fisherman and I’m even thinking about reading the manual for the software…
To watch the video in native HD (bigger, very clear), click on the FreestoneJune link and choose the fullscreen option in the lower right, then choose the “scaling off” option in the upper right. That should put you into native 1280×720 HD.