May 27, 2012

Before the crowds

I hit the river today before the Memorial Day weekend onslaught.  Most of my favorite rivers in my part of Idaho are still closed until this weekend so I went back the the Blacksmith Fork in northern Utah. The water was still quite good, being only slightly off colored and modestly high and quick. There was some threat of showers at first but then the sky cleared into a gloriously sunny day.
The Iwana-12' ready for the game

Because I had good success with the larger Utah Killer Bug (UKB) and a #14 beadhead UV Prince Nymph the last time I was on the water I elected to start out with this combo this time. I used a Tenkara USA Iwana 12 foot and a Tenkara USA 3.5 HiVis line with 2 feet of 15lb red Amnesia at the end. To this I added 2.5 feet of 4x Fluorocarbon tippet and a 3 inch 4X fluoro dropper. The UKB was the dropper while the Prince was the end fly. This line (and slight variations thereof) has worked really well for me. It is easy to cast, keep off the water, and to see the take.

Some amazing pocket water

I waded out into the brisk current, targeting some pocket water tight against the opposite shore. I placed the flies upstream of the pocket and guided them down through the adjacent seam. On the third presentation I was into a fish -- 10 inch brown.

Work tight against the opposite bank and....

.... you get a nice 10" Brown!

Most of the rest of the day was similar to this. I'd target an obvious prime lie, cast upstream, and tight line the flies through. Generally I'd take a fish, but if not then two or three more casts and then move on. I caught over a dozen browns today and one cutthroat. I hooked three large Mountain White fish but each on of these got off before I could net them. The larger fish were more difficult to handle due to the fast current. I need to get better at not trying to horse them too much and guiding them into the slower water near the bank.

A greedy cutthroat; took the UKB
The browns seemed to like the Prince Nymph
It was another great day. I should be able to start fishing more near home now that Memorial Day weekend is here, and that means the Idaho opening. But, as I sit here typing it is snowing just half a mile up the mountain from me. That might swell the streams over the next few days.

Ah, spring in the Rockies!

Here is a short video of some of the fish that I took and some that I lost. The video gives you a better idea of how fast the water was moving.

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