Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Quick Report, 7/11/05

Sven, Elmore and myself enjoyed some great fishing on the flats today, each of us landing at least 8 capr. That is all.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Steelhead Haiku

Crimson purple stripe
borne of stream, great river, sea
Neptune's silver seed

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Delta

Looking down from the bank I could see good numbers of fish feeding in the shallow brown water. I thought for a time about fishing somewhere else, some place with clear water. Then I looked down again and saw multiple dark shapes in the water. Good enough, I walked back to my rig and strung up my rod. I didn't come all the way out here just to turn around. Nosur! I came out here to catch some capr and put to rest the rumors I've been hearing about The Delta.
Once down on the water I walked along the edge looking for feeding carp. They were visible only in a foot or less of water. Often times I could only see there tails, the rest of their bodies disappeared into the muddy murk. It soon became apparent that it wasn't hard to find fish but it was next to impossible to see if the fish found my fly.
Stalking capr on the flats is more about hunting than it is fishing. The fish are big and they do fight like hell but the big thrill is the visual aspect of finding capr and seeing them take your fly.
Normally when a capr takes the fly you see it happen. You migh see the tail tip up, the body twist, gills puff, lips pook or some anomalous action on the fish's part that might indicate that it is trying to eat your fly. Sometimes if the capr is hovering in the vicinity of my fly for too long I set the hook assuming that I somehow didn't see him take the fly. The blind set is questionable if not effective method as it does result in some foul hooking.
Alas the blind set method is all I had to rely on given the water conditions I had no hope of seeing a tip, twist, puff, et al. Out of all the fish I cast to I landed only two, an 8 lb mirror capr and a 10 lb common carp. Both fish took a rusty hackle-back.
So if you too have heard rumors about the Crab Creek Delta and its multitude of giant capr let me tell you, they aint rumors. There are lots of capr there and some of them are really big. They like to feed close to shore and you can get real close to 'em. The water might get a bit muddy though and you might not be able to see everything you need to. But remember this, if anyone ask you where a good place to go caprin' is send 'em out to The Delta.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Little Paw


Kelly Creek

I cast the little Wonder Buggger above the head of the second pool. It dead drifted a little ways before it swung across the ledge and through the the deep green water below. I imagined my little baitfish pattern trying to escape the strong current to hide amongst the rocks in the slower water. Strip, mend, strip, pause, strip, strip, mend, actions that imparted the chaotic movements of a fleeing morsel. Cast, retrieve and imagine.
And so it went until my line when tight, pulling out the tiny loop of slack I had in my left hand. I felt, at the far end of my fly line, the dull throbbing of a big fish. Tug...tug...tug, the pulses that your fingers feel as every shake of the fish's head is transmitted up the line. If cuttthroat trout represent the native beauty of the Mountain West then bull trout represent native stubborness. He fought the battle from the bottom of the deepest slots and behind the fastest currents neither giving or taking line.
The fish hovered in the current invisibly. His coloration, spots of varying brightness on the pale gray backgound of his flanks, allowed his form to fade into the cobbled river bottom. Though I could see where the fish should be I saw only water and stone.
Ultimately the ancient fish did yield. At the end of the battle he slid reluctantly into the net only to immediately slide out again. The large bull trout was as long as my landing net, handle and all. With wet hands I gently handled the fish taking care not to squeeze too hard. He had inhaled the fly, the hook was impaled in the back of his kyped maw. With little trouble and great urgency I removed the hook. I held his body headfirst into the current, realesed him, then watched the fish disappear into the green depths of the river.