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Happy Fish(Long and Pic heavy)

Posted by Mark Friday, July 9, 2010

 Just got back from a few days of dues payin on the NU.An awesome place as usual..... and the fish were willing to cooperate, some more willing than others. A couple notable encounters I will share. I showed up in the heat of the day Wednesday and it was 96 or so. I went and fished a few pools just to get wet more than anything. Yeah, put your waders away, it's summer boys and girls.( I wet waded every session morning and evening no problemo). Went by the guide shack and dropped off my gear and kicked it in the shade on the porch with a frosty malted adult beverage for awhile until the evening session. Went out and did my normal routine. Drive up or down the river and wait till the bell goes off(that's the 'Fish Here" bell in my head) Sometimes runs just jump up and slap ya telling you to fish them, other times you just drive right on by them looking for another. Every day is different. I have favorite runs for sure but I never fall into any kind of pattern on that river. You have a purpose but it's kind of a very haphazard approach.As you are driving around, one needs to be reading water,shade and sunlight,fishing pressure etc to help you decide where to go.Are fish moving or not? When fish are moving I don't mind seeing wet footprints in a run from someone that was just in there. I can't tell you how many times I have walked into a run that had just been pounded and got a fish...or two. If you know where those moving lies are, you fish them 2 or 3 times in a day... and it works.

So anyway,I get out for my evening session and start fishing some great water. A few people around but not to bad. I weave my way among them and find myself in one of my all time favorite spots at prime time. It appears not to have been fished for some time. It looks good, it feels good, water still just up a little but almost perfect. I start way high, even higher than normal and start to cover the upper structure. I am fishing a dry fly and it arcs and darts sweetly across the run catching the puffy swirls and currents from the submerged bedrock. I'm in the zone. I've made about 15 casts so far. I make one more before stepping to the next casting station. The fly lands, I hop a little mend in and send him on through. All of the sudden as I am watching the fly swing, almost to the hang down, a sweet fish explodes out of the water about 3ft(obviously a stunt fish),totally broadside to me......with my fly stuck in her grill. She comes down like a bag of rocks and proceeds to leave the park. Being at the very top of this particular run, she had a ways to go, and she went. Lets see, the rest of belly and running line from a Rio Steelhead taper....gone. Now the kite string comes out and gets taken for a ride, better follow this girl.I scramble down and get my line back pretty quick and land her in a little side bay. I always try to keep all my fish in the water and this year any pics( if I even take one) will look like this:

Sharpes of Aberdeen 11'3" 7wt single hand rod and 3 3/4 Bougle and the stunt fish
 



 There was some time to kick it and enjoy the scenery





Get Cooled off



 Back to the fishing. Thursday it was about 15 degrees cooler and we got some serious cloud formation. You could feel the pressure drop like a bomb yesterday as the thunder boomers built. About 3:30 I looked at Tony( neither of us had to work) and he looked at me and he said "Let's go fishing" We hopped in the car and bombed down the road. Tony's bell went off and he yarded the truck over and said,"Fish are moving, this is a moving run, I'm fishing it" OK man. We hop out and he starts in. He makes a dozen or so casts and starts to get into the zone of the upper fish............ KAPOW!SPLOOOSH! the fish missed it but it keeps swinging ZING!ZAP!ZOWIE! he comes full head and tail out and misses it again. Two sweet full body rises in the same swing. So awesome to watch it happen, it never gets old. Tony puts one more drift through with the dry and nothing. We both know this fish will eat for sure so he puts on a little closer number and shortens up and sends it through. He keeps fishing well past the original rises by 15 or so feet. We both know it's gonna happen, as these fish often back down this particular pool. Every careful cast I watch, probably more of a mess than he is. The anticipation just kills when you know something good is about to happen.......SLAM!YANK!RRRRRRRIP! the deal is finally closed and Tony watches his line go West in a hurry, like this:


Now where is my car keys?( Tony calmly fiddling around in his vest pocket for I don't know what in mid fight)


We both rose fish after that but no hook up. Love the pressure drops!


Went to Lee's pool on the way out today and saw maybe 50 fish, hard to tell kind of a glare but the passage is open and there were definitely dozens of fish in there. Like this big guy I estimated in the 36' range:


After fishing with Tony the last few days I once again realize that he is just one of the most amazing fisherman I have ever met. The whole package, casting, fish knowledge, river knowledge, people knowledge. A very soft spoken guy who stays out of the limelight. I greatly admire him and how after 25 years he still surprises the heck out me with the stuff he knows. His ability to know these fish and what they do and why they do it boarders on the mystical.

Parting cool down shot of the master doing what he does best




2 comments

  1. Brett Says:
  2. Nice report man!

     
  3. Congratulations on getting that surface steelhead, there's nothing else like it! You got me even more jazzed for a steelhead on top.

     

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