About Me

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Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
I am an attorney in my early thirties with a serious fly fishing problem. I work at a large corporate law firm where things move pretty fast. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of corporate America, I try as often as possible to get away and enjoy a quiet stream. My blog attempts to detail the adventures I have both on and off the water in "My World on the Fly."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Current River 3/7/10

This past Sunday was a perfect day for fishing.  It was a beautiful day, the water conditions were excellent for dries and droppers, and I had good company to fish with - Mr. Joe Scott.  Check out this tight loop:
Being that it was the first weekend of trout season, Joe and I decided we'd float to get away from the crowds.  It was the right call.  We did not see a single fisherman the entire day.  I really couldn't believe it.  It was also nice fishing out of the boat because we were able to haul our cooler, lunch, lots of tackle, and about 6 fly rods.  I love not having to re-rig every time you want to change techniques.  We fished with dries, nymphs, streamers - we even through some sinking lines. 

The morning started out pretty slow.  We caught fish on varrious patterns but couldn't seem to find the magic bug.  The caddis were coming off pretty good and I managed to stick one small wild rainbow on a dry, but the fish did not seem to be into the caddis, or at least not the adult caddis.  We tried caddis worms, soft hackles, pupa, emergers, dries - nothing was consistent. 

I spent a significant amount of time checking to see what was going on under water.  Turning over various rocks revealed caddis worms, several different colors and sizes of mayfly nymphs, stone fly nymphs, sculpin, scuds, etc.  I love the fact that Current is such a clean, healthy stream.  I also saw a lot of crawdads.  This guy was right next to the boat so I decided to snap some underwater shots:
The coolest bug I found, and this is only the second time I've seen one of these on the Current, was an acquatic worm (i.e. the San Juan Worm).  Check this sucker out:
I don't know why, but I've always felt like I'm cheating when I'm fishing San Juans.  Something about throwing a fluorescent worm just screams trout park.  Now I won't feel as bad when I tie one of these on.  If this is actually part of the fish's diet, and not just some powerbait-esque attractor, I'll be down to fish it more often.  I wonder if I could throw it as a dropper.  That would be cool.

Anyway, the further down river we floated, the better the fishing got.  Perhaps it was just a time of day thing beause I know the holes in the upper section can fish well, but the fish started nailing caddis and steamers down river.  I couldn't believe they were hitting streamers on a bright sunny day with clear water!  I was not complaining.  

We stopped and spent the majority of the aftenroon in what I think is my new favorite stretch of river.  No chance I'm sharing the location.  We ended up netting probably 25-30 fish in the afternoon.  Mostly browns but, unfortunately, none were real big.  Our largest was probably around 14 or 15. 

It was a really cool afternoon because it was pretty much all sight casting with dries and droppers.  The fish were going ape-shit over the fly too.  It would hit the water and they would almost fight each other over who got to eat it.  They were very active.  I was really digging it. 

Great day on the water.  It was my first time back to the Current in quite a while.  I didn't realize how much I'd missed it. 


Friday, March 5, 2010

White River Feb. 2010 Part II

Friday evening, Stuart and Billy arrived charged and ready to party. Unfortunately, after a long day chucking and ducking, John, Stone, and I needed a little recharge. When the boys arrived, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, had a cocktail or two, and the three of us hit the rack. Actually, I think Stone stayed up for while as he requires no sleep when he's on a fishing trip.  Wouldn't you love to be 25 again?  Immune from hangovers, full of energy, and always ready to put your waders on.  Stone has a way of wearing you down over a long weekend.  He will fish 24 hours a day and force you to have cocktails when there's not a fly rod in your hand.  It's always a marathon with him.  Trust me.  We had a long weekend on the Madison in Montana a few years ago and Stone let me sleep about 9 hours in 5 days.  It was a double threat weekend.  We were duck hunting every morning and evening and fishing in the afternoons.  I had to come home and sleep for week before I felt normal again.  Gotta love it!

With the full crew at the Lodge, things got a little more crowded.  There was a bit of posturing and a few shenanegans surrounding who got the good beds, but we all managed to get some sleep and were ready for day three.  That morning we decided to count on a shad kill. The guides had heard that shad were coming through the dam the previous afternoon so we went for it. Worst case, we would get a quick bend in the rod on nymphs and re-locate for the afternoon if the big browns were not active up by the dam. 

Again, I drew the short straw and fished with Han (Solo) in the morning.  My capatin was Mr. Chris Butts.  We got along famously.  We started on streamers and managed to put a few decent fish in the boat but nothing big or brown was moving.  Too much traffic!!  Finally, after watching the other boys dominate trout on shad, eggs, and worms, Chris and I caved and rigged up with a bobber.  I won't say fish in a barrel, but we caught a bunch once we made the switch.  Check out this nice bow:
 Davis had the big fish of the morning:
Stone, Billy and Stuart stuck some nice fish that morning as well.
At noon, we met on the banks of the river just below the dam for lunch. It's somewhat surreal sitting there looking at the huge wall of concrete holding back millions of gallons of water.  You can't help but wonder what the fuck you would do if it started to crack.  Seriously.  There's no way you could out run it or climb fast enough up the hill to get away from it.  I think you'd have to get in a boat, point your bow down stream, and hang on for dear life.  Can you imagine?  Riding giants at BSD. 
With visions of cataclysms dancing in our heads, we wolfed down our sandwiches, made Rouse-style with wasabi mustard, pickled red bell peppers, and banna peppers, we trailored the boats, and headed downstream to get the streamer rods back out.  Teams for the afternoon session were Stuart and I, Davis and Stone, and Billy and Han.  I was happy to get away from the shad-circus.

This was a somewhat difficult decision for the group because Billy and Stuart were new to the streamer game.  It's tough getting into streamer fishing because you don't always have success.  I remember when I first tried it on my own, I thought I was doing something wrong because I wasn't catching as many fish as I would on nymphs or dry flies.  I casted and casted and casted and couldn't produce fish.  Looking back, ripping wooley buggers on low water on a bright sunny day was probably not the best equation for catching fish, but I stuck with it.  Days, weeks, or perhaps even months later, I finally got the hang of it (or just figured out what the best conditions were for streamer fishing).  After that, I fell in love with it and now jump at the opportunity for a good day of ripping streamers.  I was hoping Stuart could break the threashold early so he wouldn't get frustrated and want to change tactics.

Good ol' Stuey stuck with it and sure enough stuck a bunch of fish.  Actually, as the sun fell, Stuart laid into a big brown 22+ that we lost at the boat while trying to net.  With all the excitement of watching a big fish chase and attack his fly, Stu forgot that he had to show a little respect to a larger fish.  It took less than ten seconds for Stuart to have the fish at the boat, but when that big girl decided to run and Stu kept pulling, she popped his 0X leader like it was nothing.  Close enough just to realize what he lost.  Stu took his medicine and kept chucking.  I think he got a good taste of the streamer buzz.  Here's Stu measuring up the fish he lost:
As day three came to a close, Jamie took Stu and I down for one more drift along one of his favorite banks.  As we pulled into position, Jamie said this bank was the primary reason we motored upstream at the end of the day.  I was throwing my 8 weight with a 300 grain sinking line.  My fly mimicked a 6 inch rainbow trout.  After a few casts, I had a good strike but missed.  Two casts later, I caught the fish of the weekend.  A beautiful 24 inch beast. 
While I wish I had been using the 6 weight to prolong the battle, I was pumped to have landed this beauty.    

That evening, feeling lucky, we decided to whip out the poker set.  I must have used up all my luck on the water because I was quickly outed.  Davis held strong for a while and managed to put together a very rare straight flush (almost as rare as a 24 inch brown....):
I think Billy ended up taking the pot.  I did not stay awake for the close of the poker game. 

The last two days on the water, the weather took a turn for the worse.  It was in the low thirties and windchills were in the teens.  Waders and guides were freezing immediately (even with de-icer on the guides), finger tips were burning, and you had to keep moving your feet or your toes would lock up. 
Due to the fairly miserable conditions, we decided to stick around Copper John's in case we needed a quick break from the cold.  We nymphed hard and managed to put some more nice fish in the boat but, surprisingly, nothing huge ever came out of the water near the dam. 
Stuart and Billy hit the road Monday morning as Stone, Davis, and I suited up for the coldest day on the water yet.  We survived with facemasks, hand warmers, and by making a fire on the bank at lunch.  Fishing was decent.  Honestly, it was almost too cold to throw streamers because there's no way to keep your hands dry when your constantly stripping line.  Wet hands, twenty degree weather, and strong wind are not a good combination.  We did, however, catch lots of fish.  We had the best shad kill of the weekend on Monday.  The birds were going crazy and the fish were locked in on the easy meal.  Stone won the day with a 20 inch bow that was fat with shad.  
After the close of another freezing cold afternoon on Monday, we settled into the seats of the Navajo Cheiftain with a warm whiskey and witnessed a beautiful sunset as we cruized back toward St. Louis. 
The trip to the White this year was as good as it's ever been. As a group, we put upwards of 20 fish in the boat that were in the 20+ inch range. We learned a lot from our guides and managed to avoid any major injuries.  Thanks to Jamie, Matt, and Chris.  We couldn't have asked for a better group of guides. We'll see you again soon. 

For now, it's back to the Current for me.  Streamers???