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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    723

    Default Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Summer of 2018
    My summer of trout bum exploration started on about the 23rd of June and ended the 5th of October, at least for the main block of time. I am sure that I will get out a bit more this year, but that was basically the most continuous block of extended camping. This year I was in Idaho and Wyoming. I know that I won’t get even a tenth of where I explored documented, but I will give it a shot as I get time. That is my good intention at least.


    I mostly fish very small streams, so unfortunately I won’t be naming any of them. Sorry about that, but if you take a map of eastern half of Idaho and western half of Wyoming and look at the smaller waters you’ll be in the ballpark and will have plenty to explore. I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter. Most of the blue lines on the map are good if you get away from the more popular areas, and even the popular areas are good. That comes at a bit of a cost in convenience. The places or stretches of stream I like best are usually harder to get to or are unnoticed for one reason or another. There are many more that I would like to explore, but age is curtailing my enjoyment of too long of a hike!

    Here is a picture of my home away from home on one of the many creeks:






    One problem with June in the mountains is the mosquitoes. They are real party poopers. Be sure to take your favorite bug solution or repeller with you. After the mosquito season is done there are the biting flies, annoying flies, and the wasps. Fun can be had all summer long!

    But a good reason to be in the mountains in June is that the streams have plenty of water, if not too much. Plus they frequently have post spawn cutts and rainbows that are just hanging out looking for some good snacks.

    The water on this little creek was bank full and a bit colored but not too much of either. I considered it just right!








    The fish liked it too.





    The cutthroats are just beautiful this time of year. Their colors vary from pinks to oranges. I wish the camera would capture more of it.











    One problem with trying to take a picture one handed with a little snap and shoot is that you don’t get much of the fish in. It is also very limiting on variety of shots. Oh well, it does serve to record for me the fish and usually the fly that I used. Then I take a picture of the pool and some of the sky. That way I have a bit of a record of what the weather was like, what the flow of the creek was, and what general type of fly I was using.


    Another perk of spring in the mountain is all of the wildflowers and baby wildlife.



    If you can zoom in on this picture if shows a group of elk calves reluctant to cross to their mommas.



    And finally they are all back together on the next hill.




    I enjoyed watching the calves play and chase as well as them all calling back and forth to each other.
    Last edited by cpiercem; 10-10-2018 at 10:57 PM.
    Cindy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    West of Houston, Texas
    Posts
    753

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Off to a great start. Ill be checking back for future installments. Good stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Its all in the reflexes.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    I revisited this area a couple of times at the end of September. It was interesting to me to see the changes the dry summer had brought. Fall is still beautiful in this area, but it has one major drawback: not much water this year. This is as low as I have ever seen this stream.






    The stream was very very low and clear. The fish were spooky and experts at hiding. I tried all kinds of ninja skills, and I still spooked more than I caught. The fish probably had a good laugh though watching an old lady crawling through the brush!

    I did catch some, more of the small ones, but several of the larger. I was glad to see how many age classes were in the stream. It looks like there are good reinforcements in there waiting to take over the prime pools.






    I wasn’t in this area very long, which was a good thing for my knees. Even with foam knee pads I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to walk back to my truck at the end of the day!
    Cindy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    16,581
    Blog Entries
    130

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Nice stuff Cindy, I liked the patch of Paintbrush flowers, haven't seen any of that for years.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Central Texas-Austin/Fredericksburg
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Cindy:

    Enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Imperial Beach, South San Diego
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Please post more! I really like your descriptions, writing and the photos.

    I spent about four weeks bumming around SW Montana before I had to head back to San Diego. I'm now totally messed up.

    I'm coming back next summer for four weeks and my plan is to chase down the small waters of the type you were fishing.

    Two of my best memories from this summer came from catching fish on smaller streams/rivers. I still have no idea how a rainbow trout can magically appear from nothing but gin clear water.

    Please keep posting! And drop more hints about where I should point my truck next summer... I want some of what you got there!

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by conkso View Post
    And drop more hints about where I should point my truck next summer... I want some of what you got there!
    I know that it is frustrating to not know where a fishing post is from. Sometimes my curiosity drives me nuts if I don't at least know the general area.

    I will say a couple of things though on where not to fish.

    Don't fish South Piney Creek in the Wyoming Range of mountains. It truly has no fish in this part of Wyoming! I fished it for a couple of days. Then I talked to a ranch manager in the area. He confirmed that there aren't any fish or so few that they aren't seen. He also said that the game and fish department was going to do some surveys to find out what was going on. It has been bad since the Fontanel Fire some years ago.

    Also upper LaBarge Creek has some issues, but does have fish. Some years ago they poisoned it to clear it out for reestablishing Colorado Cutts. Since then they have had some trouble with the cutts getting established. But they do stock it several times a year. I have fished it off and on for several years. Sometimes it has lots of small fish, sometimes a few larger, sometimes it is hard to find any fish. It just isn't very consistent. What is really bad is the road into there from La Barge. The road is good where the county maintains it, but from there up to the national forest line it can be terrible, or even washed out. Unless that has changed it is best to come in from some other direction if you want to fish it.
    Cindy

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Imperial Beach, South San Diego
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Thanks for the, "where not to go information".... but now I think you're just throwing me all kinds of misinformation to throw me off track. You're living in my head rent-free moving around the furniture!

    Honestly, thanks for that info. - I really like the idea of fishing smaller waters. I pulled a pretty fat cutty out from under a bank on a creek outside of Missoula (that's vague enough right?), I'd been hiking up the river, saw a grassy bank and thought, "what the heck, I'll throw a grasshopper at that." and sure enough a lurker came up and grabbed it.

    I'm fairly new to fly fishing so it was just the coolest thing to happen my whole summer trip. Needless to say, I'm hooked. In fact, I'm already dreaming about NEXT summer when I'll be back in the region for about a month - and I just got back from Yellowstone two weeks ago!

    That may not seem like much, but remember, I drive there all the way from San Diego!

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  15. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by conkso View Post
    Thanks for the, "where not to go information".... but now I think you're just throwing me all kinds of misinformation to throw me off track. You're living in my head rent-free moving around the furniture!

    Honestly, thanks for that info. - I really like the idea of fishing smaller waters. I pulled a pretty fat cutty out from under a bank on a creek outside of Missoula (that's vague enough right?), I'd been hiking up the river, saw a grassy bank and thought, "what the heck, I'll throw a grasshopper at that." and sure enough a lurker came up and grabbed it.

    I'm fairly new to fly fishing so it was just the coolest thing to happen my whole summer trip. Needless to say, I'm hooked. In fact, I'm already dreaming about NEXT summer when I'll be back in the region for about a month - and I just got back from Yellowstone two weeks ago!

    That may not seem like much, but remember, I drive there all the way from San Diego!
    No, I'm not throwing you misinformation. :-)

    The best advice I can give you is that Google Earth is your friend. I search for stream sections that are a bit off the beaten path, that maybe harder to get to because of a hike in or willows or a canyon. Some of the ones I have explored have been fairly small.

    I like to find meadow areas where the stream winds back and forth and may have some beaver ponds. Like this one that is a small tributary of the first stream in this thread. I hiked in a half of a mile to this first meadow section. I probably only fished a half mile of the meadow. There was plenty more that I didn’t get to.



    It is really step across small small stream. It looks even smaller where it joins the main stream. Without Google Earth I wouldn't have suspected that there were good pools a half mile in.

    There is frequently more and deeper water in a meadow section where beavers and erosion have made deep pools.
    You can see how small this one is here where there isn’t a deep pool on this little stretch but a nice undercut bank.



    Which held fish. Not huge fish, but very nice fish for such a small stream.




    The beaver ponds can also be productive. Although I generally prefer to fish the water just above and below a beaver pond rather than the pond itself.




    The fish on this tributary were smaller than the ones in the main stem of the creek, but they were a whole lot of fun!



    Cindy

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  17. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Crowded Colorado
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    1,994

    Default Re: Bits of the Summer of 2018

    Cindy, those are all nice areas, and the fish you caught are just amazing for the size of water they are in. Thank you very much for sharing your trip, it was a wonderful read and photo's.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

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