Monday, April 30, 2012

Beaver Creek and an Idiot

I was on a pretty good run there for a while. Then I took a guy up on the Truckee who only hooked one fish and a few days later decided to fish Beaver Creek on opening day here in California and got BLANKED! Oh well fuck it man...let's go bowling.

My fiance and I drove up to Beaver Creek on one of the nicest days of the year so far. We didn't have a lot of time to fish since we had to be back in San Francisco for dinner with friends by 8. It was a great day  but I ran into one dumb shit which is pretty standard.
We bought some food at a local grocery store and were having a picnic by the river. Birds were chirping, butterflies were fluttering all around us, and the creek was babbling a little louder than usual due to the runoff, it was about 75 degrees with little to no wind, almost perfect....Then he appeared. He wore a fishing vest and waders 2x too big for him. He lumbered up the creek walking through good holding water with his beady eyes focused on a spot that seemed a little too close to where we were sitting. He was strapped with a 6 foot spinning rod.
I watched him as I tied on my copper john, PT or whatever else I was about to lose since I had resorted to using two SSG's in an attempt to bang the trout in the head. I looked down to finish my knot and when I looked up he was gone. I searched down stream and along the bank, nothing. He was nowhere to be seen. I couldn't believe my luck. I thought for sure he was gonna walk right through the hole I was fishing.
I sat back and finished a few strawberries. One great thing about living in CA is that you can almost always get cheap strawberries and I can easily eat a large box of them in a few minutes.
Just as I was about to find my moment of Zen and begin fishing I heard a ruckus that was about 30 feet behind us in the bushes.
5 years ago when I moved to CA my first thought would have been, "oh shit a bear smelled our food and wants some turkey" but after many days on the local waters, I've become jaded I guess. My mind immediately went from a true moment of clarity to that dumb asshole who had so suddenly disappeared just minutes ago.
He was suddenly back in my life and he was on a mission. I watched him as he used his rod like a machete to slice through the heavy cover of the Stanislaus National Forest. This was interesting since we just walked down on the path.
He inched closer and closer, all the while with his eyes glued to the nice deep pool just 10 feet to my left. I began to feel my heart beat faster. There's no way he sees us, if he did he would just walk up river and find a new spot...right? Then he looked directly at me and continued until he was literally 10 feet from us. It was at that moment that I decided I had had enough. I was pissed off. It felt like all the blood ran out of my face and into my fists and muscles. If you've ever been in a fight you know the feeling.

Because of the fact that I had just about found Zen, I was able to stay calm. I said, "hey man, are you gonna fish that hole right there?" He looked at me kind of like a dog looks at an owner he doesn't respect and goes, "yeah". I said, "Do you mind going up river a little way, there's a lot of good spots up there." He said, "I'll go up there if you want me too" before I answered I thought to myself, I could probably leave this guys body out here, drive home and no one would know. Then I looked at my fiance and of course that was no longer an option. I just said, "Yeah, that would be a good idea"

After he left Jordan just kind of laughed and asked me if that guy seriously thought he was gonna fish next to us. I told her of course he did. Then I told her I didn't drive 2 hours to hang out with him.

The blood flowed back into my head, my heart quickly slowed to its normal slow thump and I continued fishing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Battenkill River

United Airlines is the worst airline ever. Thats' all I'm gonna say about them.
Last week I had the opportunity to go to Manchester Vermont for work and for a half day we were given time to fish the storied Battenkill river.
The famous Hendrickson mayfly was hatching and I was pretty excited to fish with big size 12 nymphs, dries and emergers but to make a long story short, the fishing was pretty slow.
I managed to hook 3 fish in about 4 hours and only landed one. The first two were small and the last one was a nice 14" brown taken on an olive and black wooly bugger.

Nathan tight to a ...snag.
The river is a nice small to medium sized river that winds through the steep hills of Vermont. I wet waded which was awesome. The day we fished we had a short heat wave and it got up to 85 degrees. It made me miss my ancestral waters of Wisconsin. Now I'm counting the days left in San Francisco even though there is currently no end in sight.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Blue and Colorado

After literally months of anticipation I finally made it to Colorado. My friends and I fished two rivers that are renowned for big fish.
On our first day we drove straight from the airport to the Blue River below Dillon Dam. The river goes right through a bunch of strip malls so the setting isn't perfect but if you ever get the chance, definitely fish this stretch of river. With the low flows you have to use small flies and tippet but there are really big fish here. We landed a bunch of really nice fish, a couple over 20 inches. Most were getting ready to spawn so they had a really nice red color. They weren't on their beds yet.

On day two we fished the Colorado River near Kremmling. The report was that it was fishing really good. I guess everyone took the day off on Wednesday because even though it was the middle of the week it was pretty crowded with drift boats, rafts etc. Luckily we were able to walk up river and get some nice big stretches to ourselves. 
I had heard that whirling disease had killed off most of the rainbows and that there were a lot of browns here. I also heard that streamers were picking up a bunch of fish so that's what I used all day. I caught some really nice fish on a big sculpin pattern. No pics of the biggest fish which was probably over 20 inches. My friends caught some nice fish also but overall it was a little slow. It had snowed the day before up river and I think that added some pretty heavy color to the river which you can see in these pics.