Today's journey started early, packed the car, called Andy and off to the river. I was warming up Mark for this trip. I didn't say much other than we are going to be hiking for a few miles. The drive went rather quickly, the anticipation was flowing, I was anxious. So that left me no choice but to put the "petal to the metal". In no time at all we arrived.
A quick pack and down the trail we went. The hike went quickly. I kept the pace rather fast, the brisk early morning air felt good on my face and the delicate scent of wildflowers really added to the pinnacle of the moment. I was feeling up, really up. This is my favorite part of the day, always has been. Pre dawn has a great feeling and is exceptionally complex to express, but perhaps it the anticipation of what lays ahead carries the true emotion. I don't know, all I know is that this morning was bad ass, the feeling was thick and the early morning hours added a sense of cheesiness to it all, and it was awesome! Over the hill and around the bend led us to the entrance of our dreams. This majestic place is another slice of heaven. The towering mountains steers you towards the canyon then down to a small stream. "Not quite they're yet, actually only half way," I said. Then we proceeded to hike the trail until finally arriving at our destination. Even though that air was cool when we started, hiking in waders gets rather hot. A quick cool down while rigging up usually does the trick. Rest now and eat something because when it starts you won't want to rest.
The first thing you need to do when arriving at this stream is to quickly figure it out. If not you'll pass up too many good fish. So as usual Andy beat me to the Grumpy Frumpy. Mark was going underwater so that let me with a bit of a dilemma. I decide to toss on a PMX, always a good first string. Mark was on right away; Polish nymphing does have it benefits, especially in the hand of a skilled angler. Andy was next and hooked right up on the Grumpy Frumpy. As the day went on it became a bit of a challenge. Fish were certainly shopping but wouldn't quite take the fly. After a while I was almost thinking about getting discouraged. On went the Grumpy Frumpy. This particular one has been tested extensively and produced beautifully the last time I had visited this area. I forget who hooked up but someone did and we were quick to do a stomach sample. As I was removing the sample I saw that the tube was full. I really never see that so I couldn't wait to see what it was. WOW, look how many flying ants! There were over a dozen. So that's what they were eating. The scramble through boxes and packs began. Trying to find all ant patterns. Well, I remembered an old pattern that Nate was kind enough to share with me. A perfect match! Every hole produced a few with this great pattern. My rig was unstoppable, a Grumpy Frumpy that trailed a flying ant. The fish were taking both. Andy was hooking up and was on fire…until he lost his Grumpy. A quick huddle and we realized that everyone was out. I had parted off on a bruiser Andy as well; we both had a flying tree-fish break us off as well. We were down to one Grumpy and to flying ants. I gave away my last ant. Other patterns were producing squat! Mark went back to high sticking with nymphs. Andy switched over to a Caddis and I still held the golden rig. Well only for a moment until we came to a stretch here fish were feeding on Caddis. We watched as the entire stretch was feeding. Andy was up and it didn't take long for him to hook up. I quickly switched over to a Palomino Caddis and it was slammed right away. Mark stepped to the plate and cast in the same area that two fish had been stuck. He had on a fish in no time. Huh, this is interesting. So, I moved to the top of the run, Andy in the Middle and Mark was at the tail end. We all caught fish one after another at the same time. Any rising fish was cast to and stuck with in seconds, what a great few hours. After playing leapfrog we ended the day on fire. Everyone was hooking fish, there were some big fat fish taken and the scenery was amazing. We reeled up and decided to head home. As we were hiking out we looked down to see feeding fish taking Caddis recklessly. The decision was made to rig back up and get one more. Well, that was a great idea. I stuck the fish of the trip on a caddis pattern and it was a Cutthroat of all fish! Mark and Andy both got their fish and we hiked back to the car. It had rained, as it always does and the sky was painting away at sunset. It added to the great day feeling. We were all tired from the ten hour fishing day, exhausted from the miles of hiking and yet somehow full of energy. Only smiles could be seen… Another day getting home after 11pm and tomorrow Mark and I are headed to the Green River…bright and early.
Too many good pics...had to post all of them, well not all but the ones I couldn't delete...