Friday, March 28, 2008

End of Season on the Big Wood River

The fishing's been phenomenal in the Wood River Valley--as always--but the end of season on the Big Wood is especially spectacular. There are tons of midges, and the fish are strong, hungry, and pretty dumb. Yesterday, I went out for a few hours and it was so good I've rearranged my work schedule so that I can fish on Monday--the last day of the season. The fish look healthy and are getting ready to spawn and run-off is starting to look better every day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Early Spring on the Lower Lost

Skiing was great this year and I feel like I made some major progress. There was too much snow to ski for a while (I know, sounds fishy), though, and my thoughts drifted to fishing. I've been really excited for well over a month now and it is starting to pay off.

Last Thursday was my first day on the Lower Lost since October. It was very sunny, but cold. Nymphing produced lots of fish, but when midges started appearing around one, things got really exciting.

Paddy and I giggled like schoolchildren. We caught a LOT of fish. On dries, on zebs, hell, they probably would have eaten anything. I was most excited when during a frenzied exhange of rods and mittens I hooked and landed a pretty big cutthroat. Cutthroat don't exist on the Lower Lost. I was beyond excited. The included photos are of one of my dry fly fish and my cutty.

I can't wait to go back!

Spey Casting

I've been fundamentally opposed to spey casting because of my dislike of steelheading. Steelheading means cold, wet, wind with not much action. On a recent trip to the South Fork of the Boise, it was perfect steelheading conditions and I spey casted for the first time on water.

And I liked it...

It is very difficult, but I enjoyed the motions and even hooked a couple of fish. Post spey casting, there were some huge fish, including a Whitefish that took Paddy into the backing. Whitefish are is spey casting...and several people are trying to convince me that steelheading is too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fishing and Literature...

Spring has been good. The fish are eager to eat my fly, but I'll wait for further reports on the fishing until I have the photos to accompany them. Spey casting, the Lower Lost, and the excitement of steelheading with one of the best female guides have filled my dreams and kept butterflies in my stomach.

I've been reading a lot about fishing, though. After I tie a few flies, it's a way to wind down before I go to sleep and I've been trying to catch up on some classics.

Roderick Haig-Brown's A River Never Sleeps occupied my time for the last week or so. I was expecting the worst; not only is Haig-Brown British, but the book is a classic. Added together, it usually means boring, pretentious, and wordy. I was surprised, however.

The author's chapters were by the month of the year, which is most logical, and something I don't think I've ever seen in a fishing memoir. He shares stories from his childhood in England, his adult life in British Columbia, and shares a few hunting stories in between. His love of fish, fishing, and the rivers is evident throughout the work.

Something that I found particularly interesting was his fishing literature review at the end of the book. We all love a good fishing book and all know about The Compleat Angler and Dame Juliana, but it's nice to know that someone like Haig-Brown cared about fishing literature like I do.

Now I venture into one of the most important novels in fly-fishing history. I can't disclose the title because I'm too embarrassed that I have never read it. With time change, I'll be spending more time at the creek and more time on the Lost. No fishing haunts my dreams like Brown Drakes, though. They're coming.