Sunday, April 5, 2015

While it lasted

I'm always a bit skeptical about stories of fantastic fishing. Especially when the fish are reported to be big, easy and plentiful. But when you hear it from several sources, including family members, then you start to believe and try to figure out how you can get there. For me, this time of year is about as crazy as it gets with work. So when I saw the possibility of taking a personal day to get some fishing in and still making it back for Easter Sunday I jumped at the chance. To make it even better, my two boys wanted to come with me!

First we packed up our stuff and made the drive up to my Dad's where we were to spend the night, load up, and head out in the morning with Dad and two of my brothers. The brothers didn't seem too hep on the idea of a crowded truck, so they ended up both backing out at the last minute. Oh well, at least my boys would be able to spend some time with their Grandpa.

The morning came quick and cold as we set out on drive. We were surprised to have the roads iced over and somewhat treacherous. When we made a stop to change drivers I was making my way around the truck and almost slipped and fell on my butt. Made it to camp a little later than we had planned, but we made it safely. While getting camp squared away we were shocked to find that a 5 gallon jug of water we'd brought had frozen solid. What happened to Spring? 

Finally, we were fishing! The fish didn't seem to notice though. Early on it was slim pickin's for us as we struggled to find a few willing fish. Picked up a couple of good rainbows on a Wooley Bugger fished deep and slow.

It was too cold for him to hold the fish, but he knows how to catch 'em!

Altey knows how to work it
Just as I was starting to wonder if they had been pulling my leg (maybe that's why my brothers backed out...) we changed locations and found some fish. Lots of fish. With some really nice ones mixed in. Glad to say that the reports weren't wrong and the boys were able to haul in some great fish. We were still using bugger patterns with some success, but a white Slumpbuster pattern seemed to work even better. 

Notice my Dad reaching down to land a fish too

Safety net
Even though the fishing was good, we decided it was time to head back to camp for some food. After eating, Dad and I started on an unplanned nap. After only a few minutes I snapped awake after having a dream that the boys were playing in the cold water. I did find them down on the shoreline, but they weren't playing in the water, Atley had started fishing again! He hadn't had much luck but it was the effort that I loved to see. 

Dad was up after a good nap and we set out to try and find a new spot just to mix things up. When we were getting close to where Dad had in mind I received a text from one of my brothers, "Where are you?" Turns out that both of my brothers that had backed out, and one of their boys, had decided to join us after all. We kept with the plan to try a couple of new spots before heading back to the hot spot where we'd meet them. One of the new spots produced some decent fish (with Atley landing a couple of good ones) but the close company of strangers kept us from fishing here long.

Hold on Cado!

That kid caught a lot of nice fish!
Soon we were back in the hot spot to fish with uncles and cousin. A few months ago Jeff had to have back surgery which has put him out of commision for a while. To help pass the time he took up tying his own flies, so it was pretty cool to watch him catching fish on a red Zebra Midge that he had tied. As evening came on the fish began eating near the surface on midges and were moret than willing to eat a Parachute Zebra or a red Snowcone that I put on a short dropper. Nothing is more fun than casting to rising fish, in my opinion. But other flies still produced until the lights when out. All the fish were rainbows, but I did bring one to hand that had a crimson jaw (cutbow!?!) that for some reason I didn't take a picture of (idiot!). The boys all had fun splitting time between fishing and playing. 

Good one

Uncle Weston with a beauty
Jeff and his boy with a good one
The next morning we had some time to fish before heading home. We seemed to pick up right where we'd left off with streamers early on. Made the switch to nymphs once it started to warm up a bit without skipping a beat. Jeff was having lots of success on a Brassie while I tried out as many patterns as I could and found that most were pretty successful. I caughts fish on Zebra Midges (red and black), Olive Softhackles, Copper and Hen Softhackles, Mod. Hares Ear, and red Snow Cones among others. We had lots of doubles, triples and even managed a couple of quadruple hook-ups. 

Pretty fish
With no end in sight, we decided it was probably as good of a time as any to pack up and head for home. With the promise of an Easter Bunny visit the next day, the boys were ready to go, but we sure had a good time while it lasted. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder

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