Friday, October 17, 2014

It's Personal

After working the weekend away I decided to do something unusual (for me) and take a personal day. The initial plan was to spend the day elk hunting but my list of places to fish before Winter starts closing down options was just too long, so I went fishing instead. Before I could set out I had a few things that needed doin', including tying up a couple of flies.

Fish Buffet
I got distracted for a few minutes on a stream that I'm yet to explore (part of that list mentioned above) but when no fish wanted to play it made it easy to keep moving on to the intended destination. Made sure I had on a bit of orange before starting the hike, but I didn't run into any hunters (or Elk for that matter). It's always great to be back at this lake.

These road blocks weren't here last time

What's not to love?
I started out spending a few minutes watching and trying to spot some fish before casting, something that isn't always easy for me to do, but this trip the fish weren't going to make it easy on me. After a few fruitless casts I made my way around by the inlet to try and spy some fish. I did see some but only after they saw me so I kept moving around to a point that's a bit easier to cast from. 

Looks like the background of this blog....
It may have been a beautiful day, but I was really itching to find some feeding fish! I kept on working my way back into a small bay where I worked a drop off with a Wooly Bugger to no avail. Since nothing had worked yet I decided to go back to a fly that has produced on this lake before, the Wired Stonefly Nymph for weight and a black Zebra Midge that I put under an indicator. As I was tying it on I spotted my first cruising fish of the day. Why do they always come around when you're right in the middle of a knot? I tried to remain calm while finishing the knot and making sure it was a good one. Casting to cruisers is tons of fun, though it can be a little intense and really frustrating at times. My first couple of casts were good ones, in that they didn't spook the fish, but they sucked in that the fish ignored them completely. Then I spotted what looked like a good fish on my right, a quick flip and I put the flies about ten feet in front of him. Could hardly wait to set the hook as he came right over and inhaled one of my flies. For once, I didn't set the hook too hard and managed to get him on the reel without any hiccups. Then I watched as he borrowed tons of line. This was a nice fish! I played him as quick and hard as I dared but he still made three runs into the deeper water before I brought him to the net. 

Personal best Cutthroat
Too big to hold with one hand for the pic (without risking dropping him) I decided on a quick pic on shore before reviving him for the release (during which I took a couple more pics). I know someone out there in cyberville's going to have kittens over that, but he revived well and I hope to meet him again soon. After that it didn't really matter if I caught another fish, but it was nice to see a couple more healthy Cutts.

This would normally be the fish of the day
Made it home in time for dinner and the Niner game with enough to dream about for the next few days and a serious itch to get back fishing as soon as possible. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

- Kidder

Goin' Up?

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