Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Up... Down... and then Up?

With all the rains last week I had planned a couple outings for the weekend.  Saturday would be a half day jaunt, perhaps to locate some fish and solidify Sundays location for a full day.  My friend Neil and I agreed on a location late Friday night, and were very excited as  we would be fishing a smaller system that had been rising for several days.  The level was one I was familiar with but, only on the drop. I was thinking we would have somewhat dirty conditions.  Neil confirmed the colour as just about perfect, the only thing lacking was perhaps a bit more flow. A personal preference of his and mine.  Alarm clocks set and off to bed, the "am" couldn't come soon enough!

As I drove I passed several access points that were just loaded up with Vehicles.  I hoped our access point was not as busy.  I managed to avoid the slew of potholes on the wet dirt road and was pleased to see the access empty.  With flashlight in hand I walked to the bridge to get a look at the river, a set of truck lights made there way down the road and slowed as they approached the bridge. I  was pleased to hear the voice of a good friend. Gil, with  Brent also a great guy were the only other people at this stretch and we enjoyed a nice chat and a couple snips of Baileys.   Gil and Brent made the hike in. As I watched their headlamps bounce in the darkness Neil arrived.

We fished first light with no takes. Neil was confident the section we started at held some fish. He stayed put as I went  a little further up. I set up on a nice little dig. I decided to fish it from the opposite side as I couldn't seem to get a nice even drift.  Navigating the overhung branches above me proved to be tricky, not only in performing a roll cast but also in fighting the first fish of the day.  

Neil arrived shortly after and we continued up river.  We were confident we would hit a pod of fish and having this whole stretch to ourselves kept us heading up.  Little did we know we would unfortunately not connect with a pod.  Neil took the next fish. A beautiful Coho still very fresh for this time of year, and so far up River.

With each piece of great looking water fished, we blanked.  You guessed it...further up we headed.

Finally I hit my second fish. Unfortunately it would be my last of the morning.

  I only had a half day, so it was decided to fish our way back.  It was a beautiful day and the flow and colour made it all the better.  Reaching our starting point I called it quits and headed home. My plans for the following day would see me fish a lower section of this beautiful River solo.

Fast forward 16 hrs and I was hiking into the lower section well before first light.  So much for gaining an extra hour of sleep, as I used it to put myself on a decent stretch for another shot at some fresh fish. First light arrived and I quickly took my first Steelhead of the day.   A shaker, but at least I knew I had made a good decision in my choice of a location . The next hour was nice and I loaded up the rod several times with some willing players. They lost interest in the San Juan so I turned to yarn.

Seemed the Yarn bite was on big time so I stuck with it and continued to hit fish.

This fish was my favourite of the day.  Very Hot. It took me up and down a few times.  I was very happy to finally bring it to hand.

Late morning saw the bite slow. I managed another shaker  and it shut down.
Then I made the worst move ever, instead of waiting it out, I made the Long hike out and returned to the stretch that Neil and I fished the day before.  When I arrived it was very clear I had made a bad move.  The flow was gone and so was the colour. I fished for a bit and then packed it in. All in all a great weekend of angling. So in closing I fished up, down and up again and covered a lot of River.  Migratory Steelhead can keep you guessing when they have water to travel, and this is one of my favourite things about fishing for them.


  1. Sounds like an awesome weekend. That country and flow certaily is beautiful. Congrats.

    1. Thanks Brian. Yes it is one of my favs! It was nice to see it hit a nice level so early this season. Unfortunately it's back to low and clear. Looking forward to the next spike, but until then I am going to focus on some other water.

  2. Tony,

    I think you did quite well going the direction you guys did. ( Strong work brother). Nice to see that "ho" so fresh. The one I hooked was not as nice. Beautiful fish! Waiting it out does not always work out.

    1. Thanks Gil. Glad your outing was enjoyable. It was a treat to see that river shape up for a day!

  3. It was a pleasure to finally meet you Tony, what a great write up!! Unfortunately, we took off before Neil got there. I'm glad you had such a terrific weekend. I look forward to running into you again, hopefully in the near future.

    1. And you also Brent! Thanks for the kind words. Cheers!