May 17, 2016

Higher water, bigger fish and no video camera

I drove to an area stream today with my wife. I wanted to see how the water was shaping up, although I suspected it to still be quite high. As we drove into the mountains I watched the stream, and sure enough, it was high.

We parked on the side of the road and I went down to the water. It was relatively clear, flowing with force and speed...but fishable. I went back up to the car and put waders on.

This stream has always had the promise of a nice sized fish. It's relatively small, being about 10-12 feet across in many places. It has brookies, rainbows and cutthroats. But it's the rainbows that can surprise you. I've taken some rainbows in the mid to upper teens on this stream. It's hard to fight them due to the fast current and the limited room in which they can run.

Still snow.

Lots of beaver activity

My first cast yielded a nice rainbow... no picture taken because I had decided not to photo-document this outing.  A few more casts, a little upstream, and I took a really nice brook trout; it was about 12 inches. Again, no photo.

As I worked my way up stream I took another rainbow, from a current seam. It was bigger than the first, coming in at just under 14 inches. He was a fighter and made a number of dashes towards the under water snags that are plentiful in this stream. I got him to net, but again, I decided no photo. I'm trying to simplify my fishing.

Through the next section, I had to collapse the rod numerous times, due to the heavy brush. But as I walked upstream I came upon an open area. A large log jam broke the current and the water, after coursing over and under the log jam, swept downstream around a bend.

I worked the red worm pattern upstream of the log jam when my line stopped. I set the hook and up rose a large trout, which had taken my fly. It was larger than any fish I had ever taken or even seen in this stream.

It shot around the log jam and into the current. I was able to steer it out of the current into an area of slower water, then quickly get it into my net. The fish barely fit in my 30 cm net. It's head was in but the body and tail were hanging out. The Suntech Suikei 39 with 5X tippet had worked perfectly helping me control this fish despite the heavy water flow.

It was a beautiful cutthroat, 22 inches long, full bodied and very healthy. I left it in the water, took a few pictures, then watched it swim vigorously away.  What a beautiful fish.

After that, I drove upstream a ways and checked out the water. I caught one more rainbow and that was enough to me.

I'm not a big fish fisherman. I get most of my thrill in being outside and in the water. I relish the art of the presentation and getting it just right. I love the thrill of the take after a perfect presentation. If it's a 6 inch rainbow or a 22 inch cutthroat it makes no difference to me. But I must admit, that large cutthroat (and the other one that I hooked and lost) was pretty special.

It was a wonderful 1.5 hours on the stream.


  1. Always great to read your posts! Look forward to catching up on your next trip :-)

  2. That's one nice looking fish. Good job. And the cutthroat isn't too bad either! :-D

  3. A very readable, enjoyable report. Lovely trout. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks. No, different state.

    2. Ah. I tried fishing the stream to the north of that one today and it was incredibly blown out and the road was hairy. I can't wait for the runoff to end.

  5. Congrats, that was one pig of a cutthroat.
    Very impressive outing. I haven't done the worm fly yet, but your post has the wheels turning...

  6. It is so sad that you didn't have your camara. I would have loved to see you land that giant. WOW.


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