Monday, July 3, 2017

Hog Hunting

It's been awhile since I last fished with Lane. It's funny how schedules work out sometimes, or in this case, how schedules don't work out so you stop trying. Lane invited me last week out of the blue but I couldn't make it. I had a hunch of what he was planning, so I made sure to give him a heads up when I could make it out this week. Turns out I missed an epic day where Lane caught his personal best cutthroat. 

It's always good to get together with Lane. He's a good guy that just happens to also be a music teacher and a really good fly fisherman. His style is different enough from my own that I always learn a ton whenever we fish together. 

When we arrived at the stream it was pretty obvious that the water level had dropped considerably, and we wondered if it would hold any good fish. Luckily, we spotted a couple of decent fish as we sized up the situation before getting out the rods. 

With the low, clear water the fish were a little spookier than we had hoped. Our best tactic was to take turns on visible fish while the off guy played spotter. I really enjoy sight fishing like this, especially because I get to see how someone else approaches different situations. I'm sure with the wrong people it could feel like a high pressure situation, but with a good friend it just makes it fun to laugh at each others mistakes, and cheer at our successes. The first of those successes came when Lane managed to hook and land a nice cutthroat.

My turn ended with a bigger fish breaking me off in some midstream sticks. After Lane did the same, I managed to land a smaller cutt, so at least the skunk was off. 

As we worked our way upstream we spotted fish here and there that we would cast our dry/dropper rigs to catching more than our fair share, and missing others. Lane was fun to watch as he worked some tricky tight quarter casts and managed to start finding some good rainbows. 

When we moved up near where we both knew that we'd be turning back for the truck, Lane hooked and landed a slob of a rainbow. It seemed that he had caught the fish of the day, and I couldn't have been happier. 

Some risers took our attention away for a little while, but we couldn't get them to touch anything. After changing rigs a few times looking for the magic dry I said screw it and put on a streamer. Didn't take long till I was into a fish. 

During Lane's turn a nice fish was feeding aggressively on dries, unfortunately for him his cast went a little long and got stuck on the opposite bank. He held his line up and out of the way while I lobbed my streamer under. To our surprise the fish ate! It happened to be a nicer fish than either of us thought and once it was hooked lane broke off and got ready to help me land him. The big bow tried to get to the under bank and when he couldn't manage that he ran down into the next pool. I hate when fish get below me because I always feel like I'm going to pull the fly out of their mouth. A quick move downstream by Lane made the fish stop and I was able to catch up and put some rod to him. Thanks to lane and some 4x I had the big rainbow in hand- best bow of the year so far.

We both had caught nice bows and the mosquitoes had taken their fair share of blood so we started back downstream towards the truck. Still looking for fish we spotted a decent one against the far bank in another hard to reach spot. Lane was up and the fish waited for him to basically throw the streamer into its mouth. Really fun to watch, but I wish the connection would've held. 

My turn, but we didn't spot another fish for a while. We stopped to try a spot that had a few fish in it earlier and as I was swinging  my bugger a couple fish false charged. I kept at it mixing up the retrieve, and when I swam it just right the big boy of the pool ate. Lane positioned himself at the bottom of the pool to cut off his escape through a spot I would've had trouble keeping up with him. So he turned and ran me up and down the pool a few times before I managed to get his head up and Lane got him in his small net. A great fish on my last cast of the day, a best of the year cutthroat.

Lane's turn was spent swinging a bugger through likely looking spots to no avail. He let his line drift under a bridge and was swimming his bugger back and forth when he got hit so hard it startled him. How a fish can hit like that and not get hooked is one of the great mysteries of fishing. Unfortunately, no amount of coaxing would get the fish to hit again and we called the day a success. 

Hope your as lucky,