We were out the door in a timely fashion today, feeling pretty great about things. It had rained overnight and the wind was still a blowing…it looks like another rainstorm is headed in our direction. The decision was made to check out a few areas and avoid the weather if possible; targeting the lake for some Cutthroats before we float. We scoped out a really cool bang on the way, perhaps we'll hit it.
Arriving on at the lake I was quite surprised to see the entire state of Idaho standing at the boat dock and all are casting into the same area. Holy shit! You serious? So, we rigged up and headed over to join in the junk show.
The scenario on my side of the dock was this…. the battlefield.
Two thirty foot docks with twenty feet between them. On the left is a cove; on the right are willows and a long shoreline. I really didn't know what to do, so I just walked down to the end of the line and started there. Grizz went right in the mix on the opposite side (left). The dock goes out for 30 feet, from the dock down the immediate right side of the shoreline is a "wall" of willows for about twenty feet, with a small opening three-quarter's down. Using the willows and the dock as the imaginary border ("L" shape) now draw a line from the end of the willows and connect with the dock, you have a triangle of water. In that small area there was a boat with 2 guys casting at the bank fifteen feet away. In the corner of the willows and the dock there is a dude who wiggled his way in and is now standing directly on the fish and more important, where everyone is casting. Between the dude and the end of the willows are three kids spin fishing, and then there is me. By the time I had assessed the situation there was another guy that set up on my right, then three guys next to him and two toon'ers have started to patrol the outskirts. So this is combat fishing…. Wow. It felt like the opening battle scene to Saving Private Ryan, everything was going in slow motion. People were snagging the dock, dead fish were on the shoreline, fish were being caught and people are still arriving. As the kids started to kind of loose interest and leave, I swooped in. By this time Grizz came over, I looked over to where he came from…. Insane!
Well, we figured it out… and just tossed stuff at them. Nick Jones had tied up a bunch of prototypes and I gave it a go. They worked quiet nicely. We could see the "wolf pack's
" of fish - as we called it - move through, it was really cool to see. We used the small opening in the willow to our advantage. Someone would cast between the willows then move down the shoreline to land the fish at the end of the willows, where the other guy was holding the position. In the process we'd switch spots. By the time you the fish the other guy would be on and you'd rotate… you get the idea. This continued for quite awhile. A few times we were both on. Now the guys to the right haven't even gotten a bite, it might be because the fish are tight to the shore, not 50 feet out. Who know how many fish we landed or missed but it was surprisingly high, especially with all the people. I bet over a few hundred fish were caught by all that day… at least.
The fishing was nuts. Between the two small docks was boiling with fish, both sides of the docks were boiling with fish. The guy standing in the corner (on top of the fish) didn't even have to cast. He would toss out the fly on the water after unhooking the fish and his over-sized egg pattern would be snatched less than a foot away. Personally I would have rather hand-lined them but he would rather stand on the fish and cast out to the end of the dock.
We sure witnessed some colorful individuals. I found it funny that only the fly fishermen were the ones that were walking right by the "no fishing on or between the docks" signs and then proceeding to fish on or between them. Guess it never dawned on them why the other hundred people right there aren’t fishing there, pretty observant. The line of the day was a kid yelling to his father, "it was 9 or 5, pounds". Then there was the guy carrying a fly rod and a 1940 scale ripping net. He walked up and said something like "everyone just snagging them?" and "are they biting anything but roe patterns?" It always a fly guys that seems to be the idiots and perceive to be better than everyone, this was a prime example of a dork with a fly rod.
You know, it's hard to leave fish to search for fish. By the time we stopped fishing it was already mid-afternoon. Grizz took a fish for dinner and we headed back towards camp, weather was coming in. We filleted the fish and went on the road exploring. Hope the wind dies down tomorrow…