Friday, May 27, 2011

Spinney/Elevenmile Canyon

Had the day off today so Dave and I got up early to hit Spinney this morning. We rolled in about 5:45am to the lowest water level I've ever seen at the Reservoir. It was a little shocking. More shocking was we were just the 2nd car in. Our intention was to hike/float tube over to Buffalo Bay. However, as we drove over the dam, the water was boiling with risers...everywhere. We made the decision to at least try it out by the dam before moving over to the Bay. We geared up and on Dave's first cast he landed the hen above. She was spewing orange eggs everywhere and was super fat.
The morning was full of fish like this. Typical Spinney. :)
The morning quickly materialized into the best I've had on the reservoir. The fish were keyed in on Chironomids and were hammering them all over the place. 6 casts = 6 fish. 7th cast no fish? WTF? 6 more casts = 6 more fish! That's more like it. This was the pattern all morning, it was actually rather ridiculous. The sizes of the fish ranged from several younger age class 14" bows to several over 20". These new Hofer strains are aerial artists, too! Very entertaining watching pigs fly through the air and smack the surface like a dinner platter.
Not only is the paint chipping off the bead, the wire is toast, and the TMC 2488H (heavy hook) is bent to hell. The fish were hitting the flies so hard the flies lasted only a few fish before having to be replaced - time to tie some more Chiros!
We figured out that Dave wasn't fishing the depth as I was and as such wasn't into as many fish. We fished the same flies and weight but the difference of a foot made all the difference. As soon as we figured it out Dave was into more fish. We must have had like 4 doubles in the matter of 30 minutes.
Got Chironomids?

At 9am I hooked another fish and then then like a light switch the unusually calm morning we enjoyed for 3 hours immediately disappeared and transformed to Gale Force winds without warning. It didn't build up, it just changed in an instant. It was ridiculous and Dave and I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation. The swells with the wind transformed the peaceful shore to the pacific shore. We decided to try and abandon the lake and hit the river. 3 hours, 30 fish. I am pretty sure Spinney is heaven.
The canyon isn't bad either :)
Dave dominated the river, I don't have any idea how many fish he hooked. This was one of the nicer fish, pretty Cutt!
Cutthroats like protein.
I was into some fish as well like this monster! Turned out to be the only brown all day, for me at least. The little dude was actually quite a fighter and had quite a belly.
Dave's Brown was a little bigger ;)At about 2 the wind was unbearable even in the protected canyon. We decided to head to the barn. All in all it was a fantastic day. Lots of fish with a great fishing buddy in an extremely serene, yet windy, setting. I wish I could do this more often.
Don't mind if I do.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Colorado Grayling

Pretty cool video I found over on Trouts Fly Fishing.

Arctic Grayling from Colorado Division of Wildlife on Vimeo.

Arctic Grayling from Colorado Division of Wildlife on Vimeo.

While not the most riveting of all fishing videos, I found it a great reminder of the diverse fishing opportunities to be had in Colorado.

The Grayling I've caught in Colorado, right near this video, aren't big but are pretty entertaining to catch. Beautiful fish.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So I finally was able to finish the craft project that almost severed my thumb last week! Anyhow, I am in the market for some cut resistant gloves now. I totally ripped off after I saw the article in American Angler, my wife says it was karma. Sorry.

Bighorn River - Wyoming

So Doug, Greg, Bill and myself joined up with John and Don of Four Seasons Anglers ( Friday and fished the Bighorn River around Thermopolis, Wyoming Saturday and Sunday. It was great to get back out on the water with a rod in hand - just doesn't happen all that often any more!! The weather was great, for the most part, and the fishing was excellent. It was a great trip that I am sure to repeat, just a matter of time.

We floated a couple stretches of water above and below town. Didn't do much wading as the flows were high and a lot of water moving through. The only fish I landed out of the boat was a nice 18" bow that took a hot headed leach on the swing. Sorry no photo :(I had a tough time controlling the rod at first due to slicing an inch and a half of my thumb off 2 days prior on some metal. Here you can see John holding what was an average Bow with my goofy face and ridiculously large thumb in the background. After a while it became easier to cast and mend but it was still tough, especially in the wind gusts. Luckily the wind wasn't too bad at all. The fish sure had some shoulders! Pound for pound some of the strongest, feistiest fish I've been into.
Doug and Bill both landed browns in excess of 24"! This fish had beautiful red markings on the back. He hammered a thin mint. Apparently Doug couldn't hear me telling him to hold the fish on the other side so we could see it! It was a really nice fish hook jaw Brown, this photo really doesn't do it justice.
The crew after Day 2 about to head home: me, Bill, Greg, and Doug.
There was an unreal BWO hatch both days, they were all over the place! We only saw maybe 2 trout rise in 2 days though. There would be beautiful drifts with what appeared to be fantastic dry fly holes with bugs everywhere and perfect spots for the trout to hold but no luck with dries at all. Bummer. We did well with emergers and nymphs though.
Bill with a nice Bow.

Bill with another nice Bow. And a rod.
Doug again holding the fish poorly but this time it's a Bow.
Greg was clearly enjoying himself with a beer and cigar over lunch. Looks rough doesn't it?Evidently this is how you transport young children in Thermopolis. Duly noted. Next time I will bring my ATV and ensure the kids can join in the fun by bolting a car seat to the back!

Overall it was a great trip with great guides and good people. I had never ventured that far into the interior of Wyoming before. A whole lot of nothing for the majority of the trip but some great fishing to be had on the Wyoming side of the Bighorn. The river really didn't remind me much of the Montana side at all but we were a considerable distance out. There was a lot of moss and big fish though so that was the same. Great trip.