Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Browns and Buggers

Andy and I decided to start pursuing streams and rivers that we have yet to visit this year and are making it a challenge to explore a few streams that neither of us has ever seen. Today's adventure began with a dawn patrol drive to find somewhere that sells fishing licences. Mine has been expired for three days, oops. We put on the battle gear, then headed down the trail for a morning walk at 7 am.

This place fits the criteria.

I must say the experience on the walk alone, six miles, was worth every step. There lay out of the land is spectacular, wildlife is abundant and there were so many different types of birds.

One species in particular stood out among the rest, Hawks... Giant ones... We had been hiking along the trail for about an hour or so, ( no watch or phone) , when we both heard a loud sound cutting through the wind. It was coming from directly behind us. It took only a few seconds to recognize the sound...birds flying. Now, I have heard the sound many times before, spooking ducks and such, but this was nothing like that i had heard before. Now the sound was louder, getting closer, at that moment a small bird flew right by my head going a thousand miles an hour. It was almost eye level, so close I could have almost reached out and touched it, but the loud sound was right behind it... a huge Hawk. The little bird was either trying to "buzz the tower" to shake the Hawk or trying to scare the bee-gee-bees out of us. I jumped to the right and stumbled into Andy like an idiot... I know, wuss...
We watched in amazement as the Hawk chased the bird. The small bird headed for the river, staying low it began to follow it tight to the tree line. Down the river a bend was approaching, a hard right hand turn. The little-one was flying fast and furious straight for the turn... "Hey, look at that" shouted Andy who was pointing up in the sky. Another giant Hawk was way off to the right, up high above the tree line holding its position. Just as the little guy was a 100 feet from the turn, Hawk was still right behind it, the high hovering Hawk started flying with a lightning burst of speed (0 - 60 in 1.2 seconds) towards the bend. At the bend the Hawk went inverted, tucking its wigs close to its body and dove straight down like an arrow. It went out of sight behind the trees.... Holy Sh#@!!! Did you see that, no did you see that... we both kept asking each other. Never in my life have I witnesses an combined effort of two birds hunting another bird. Maybe they are smarter than we give them credit for. That was priceless!!

We arrived at our destination without seeing another soul. We rigged up and began fishing.... then we began changing flies, changing flies again, and again, how about one more time and another. After I had almost tried every fly in my box I remembered an old friend, the bugger that produced down south. I tied it on and casted into a place that I had been pounding for almost an hour, not really but it seemed like it. El-wham-o right off the bat, what? It barley had touched the water, a nice fat, healthy Brown... I was confused but did not dispute the result. I pumped its stomach to find a bucket load of crustaceans. I quickly gave one to Andy and then almost immediately he was tight. For the next 6 hours we proceeded to nail fish. Andy was new to swinging streamers and fishing buggers. Its a bit of a learning curve, he was getting consistent strikes and trying to learn the hook set. He got a few beautiful fish. A few of them were so strong that when we were posing for pictures they would thrash so hard that we were both loosing them. Oh well, still got some really nice fish shots. Every fish was a respectable size especially the weight of them. I thought that I had on a Bass or a very large brown a few times. To our surprise nothing was over 19", an obese 19" I might add. Andy picked up a Rainbow along the way but the rest were "Dirty Germans" - Brown Trout.

At the end of the day we were within a mile of the car when we saw the first of the evening hatch. Trout were feeding on the surface. I stayed with the bugger action got a big fat zero. Andy however switched to his go to rig, Hopper - Dropper... First cast shoots out nicely... quiet landing.... good mend... great drift...tight to the "bubble line"... wham... fish on. "Took the hopper" he shouted in excitement!! Ah summer hopper fishing is about to begin.

Now in sight of the car we came upon "fire water". Small little brown's were taking BWO creating an inviting time for a bit of Dry fly fishing. For the next few hours we picked them off the top, I tied on a large hopper and had some ferocious hits from 6" fish. Switched back to some "secret weapons" that I purchased from a local fly-tier. They worked great! Nothing like finishing up a day caching a dozen fish off the top, even if they were little fish the action was hard to beat.

Great day!!!


Nothing like sight fishing!