fly fishing in the rain, sleet and snow
I havent done a report this year and my flyfishing club, Deep Creek flyfishers had their annual opener this past week up in Mammoth. Thankfully its after the official opener but I wish we would have been one week later. The weather for this next week is beautiful, not a single rain drop in site. One of the younger members who is 15, his Mom take time off from work this year, so I volunteered to take him. We load up and head out of Riverside around 3 pm on Thursday with the promise of great weather on Friday and 30 % chance of showers the rest of the week. Its a long read but its also a weeks worth.
Friday morning comes and we head out to HC. I still think that these fish are the most snooty fish. They are very camera shy and just didnt like my fly . Jacob, the 15 year old kid must have had the touch, he landed 4 fish before I had my first one...I walk over and muttered that its time to give up the fly or you can walk back to the cabin. I was joking but he did offer some advice, I switched out to a size 20 midge and was soon on some fish. After a quick drink we met up with another club membe. So now its Kurt, Jacob and I and we head to one of the drainages into the mud puddle. We hike down to the second ladder and fish up. The spawners were in there and we all managed to catch a few fish. We head in early to the cabin with the expectation of great fishing weather ahead.
Saturday morning we head over to ETC to find it a swift and white water stream, so we head over to another creek on the drive up the hill and catch a few. Jacob again catches three fish in this stream. We left with an average of one fish for everyone, yep Kurt and I didnt land a single fish in there. I suggest the upper reedy and that we drive past some of the people. We were in Kurts Honda Element and just relaxing until we hit a water crossing or mud hole. Went through the first two with ease and the third puddle looked deep. I tell Kurt to take the trail to the right and not go through the deep puddle. He goes to the right, but too far and we are soon buried down to the frame with two wheels off the ground :( Well after several attempts to find some rocks out there we start asking people if they can drag us out, hoping that they have some recovery gear. Well we did manage to find four gents that were just finished up fishing and could give one of us a ride back to the cabin, a huge thanks to those gentleman. I would grab my jeep liberty and if I can't pull them out I could a at least rescue them from being stuck. I buy some recovery gear, actually two tow straps just to make sure its long enough. I drive back and splash through all the mud puddles and back up to the stranded element.I put the jeep in 4 wheel drive low and just idle until the strap was tight then it was just a slight tap on the accelerator his element was free!!!.... Now that we are out of trouble, we start fishing. We all manage a few fish but the weather was moving in.. I go to grab my zebra midge that was on my rod and get zapped several times. I mention this to Kurt and we both look at each other and yell at Jacob to run to the jeep and keep the rod tip down... I hate thunderstorms!!! Again we head back to the cabin.
Sunday its just Kurt and I since Jacob wanted to go float tubing. We head up to the headwaters and fish the creek. I think I caught 9 fish that day and just enjoyed being out on a small creek where we were somewhat protected from being zapped. We took a break and decided to go downstream to the next public area to fish and walked through the marsh to the upper upper reedy. I managed to catch a few more fish all the while it was either snowing or sleeting.. I was hoping for better weather... Seems that the weather report had changed the chance of rain from 30% to 50 % with the weather following us wherever we went.
Monday its time to go to big fish waters on the EW. All three of us are going and since we are not going off road, we take the element. No problems with mud puddles this time :) It starts off slow for me, I wind up with three on and one landed. Jacob and Kurt manage to loose one large fish each with Jacob loosing one that was probably pushing 24 inches. Then it starts raining, sleeting and snowing on us. After a very loud thunderclap, we decide its time to take a break and head into Bridgeport to fill up on some fuel and grab some beer (ouch, 15 bucks for a 6 pack!!!) and head back. By wasting an hour of fishing time we expect that the weather will do two things clear up and hopefully clear the masses from the upper section. We were pretty correct in that, it was almost like being at Disneyland, that when it rains, everyone goes home :) The fishing for me gets really good, I had probably 10 hooked and landed half that with the largest at about 17 inches... Yeah I know its just average for that water but I was excited as hell. We left around dark and was just tired and sore from flinging flies all day.
Tuesday comes along and there is a lot of that white fluffy **** out on the jeep. Kurt headed home and it was just Jacob and I for the rest of the stay. We did some searching on the local creek but instead headed up to the lakes and took in a few sights and played in the snow. After a half hour of goofing off, we head back to the condo and started to tie some flies. When we had enough flies, we headed off to where we were yesterday to catch the evening hatch. We did manage to catch some nice fish, I caught three or four with the largest at about 16 inches and just when I was landing that and pulling out the camera to take a picture, Jacob starts screaming that he has a nice sized fish and I did a quick release and tossed my rod to the side of the river. I scramble over the rocks and try to help him land the fish but the fish had other ideas, He was going up the river, then reversing directions and brushing every rock it could to break off from the line that was attached to its mouth. He went and hid under a rock and Jacob was trying to pull it out, I tell him to just give the fish some slack and he would come out on his own. He was too hyped up for that so I reach down and followed the leader and tickled the fish on its nose and he quickly came out of the rock and headed back downstream. After a few minutes I was getting winded from all of the slipperey rock scrambling and thought that the fish was also. I told Jacob to just stop and lets try to land this fish. I manage to net the beauty and quickly transfer the fish to Jacobs net so he could measure it. It wound up just shy of 19 inches according to the net. We manage to get a quick picture and let the fish go back to its home after a thank you and a few minutes of cradling the fish while it caught its breath while we did the same. After it swam away we were high fiving each other and just enjoying the moment. We were pretty much finished after that since we both caught our best fish of the day.
Wednesday is here and we try to go to places where Jacob hadnt been to but we wound up at the upper upper stretch of the big reedy. This was the only time that we were both skunked. So after a few hours of watching an indicator go around the oxbows we decided to drive down the dirt road and try to get back to HC and this time we stop at the interperitve center. In years past this was some pretty productive water but we did manage to find one hole that had a dozen fish that had fingers on the fins. Yep we tossed out everything except for the ACME fly. Still we did manage to get a few each out of here, again Jacob out fished me... Next year I am hiding his fly rod!!! We did manage to meet up with another member and he stuck around until he found out what it was that the fish were eating... sized 24 trico!!! I have never tied anything that small!!.
Thursday was the drive home with a stop off at the drainage into the mud puddle. Jacob caught one fairly early and I caught one not much later. We both caught a spawner each and I mention to Jacob that there was not much of a fight in these fish and that they are tired and probably need to be left alone. So we pile back into the jeep and head to the bottom of the hill to check into the put and take area. Yep its a flood coming from the gorge so we just head home very tired, sore and just sick of the bad weather that we had to endure. Most of the time it was either raining, snowing, sleeting or just very windy. But alas I know that the mountains so dearly need the water, so wei didnt mind that much. Hopefully next year will have more snow pack and that the fish and weather gods will be with us.
Ohh one more thing, the Department of Fish and Wildlife are out there, but just not sure on the tactics but they got the job done. I had heard from another person that some wardens came down the upper O on paddle boards???? talk about killing the bite, I did thank them for when we saw them on one of the other waters though. Just make sure the barbs are pinched and that you have your license on hand.
onto some pics
Here is Jacob with one of his fish on HC
Here is one of mine
Here is Jacob with one of his fish on the EW
Yep when its snowing ya gotta make a
one of my EW fish
what happened to its chin?
weather coming in
Yep its snowing!!
obligitory beer shot
Re: fly fishing in the rain, sleet and snow
When you report you don't mess around! it's been a long time since I heard from you. I'm glad to read of your trip and happy that you took the time to share it here. The boy, Jacob seems to be handy at catching eh? Your weather looked good to me, I would have traded for the days in question,
Re: fly fishing in the rain, sleet and snow
Wish I could have been there, Sean!
Re: fly fishing in the rain, sleet and snow
Great trip report and photos, thanks for sharing! It's also great to see you taking Jacob fishing even though he seems to have the midas touch! :D
I actually prefer fishing on a rainy/drizzly day, especially when throwing streamers.
The other day when we were on the Bighorn it was like that, rain or drizzle all day, I couldn't buy a fish on the bwo hatch, pretty frustrating, but when I brought out the streamer rod, then it was game on!
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