Day 2 began with great excitement as the sun exploded from it's slumber revealing to us the might of Salmon river! We were in some amazing country and quite frankly, I couldn't wait to see more of it. Today was going to be the start of our multi-species pursuit and the excitement of catching some of these species of beautiful trout put my heart on a racing pace.
With every mile we drove, the excitement grew. I just couldn't believe how much water was around to fish. It seemed that everywhere we drove, there was trout water....it was paradise! After a short drive, relatively speaking, we came to the road that would take us back into the middle of nowhere...that place I love to be!
HEADING UP THE VALLEY INTO THE MOUNTAIN
(if you look on the road ahead there is a mule deer fawn looking at us)
Shortly after our turn out, I jumped out of the cab and into the bed of the truck for some moving film shots that will hopefully add to "The Adventures of Flybum, Volume 2" that we were trying to shoot while on our big adventure in Idaho and beyond.
Driving up the valley was breathtakingly beautiful and the wildlife just kept getting more plentiful and the scenery more spectacular!
PATRICK ROBINSON RIDES IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK
LOOKING FOR THAT NEXT FILM SHOT TO ADD TO
THE PLANNED PRODUCTION
Eventually we arrived at the location we wanted to fish. It was a great little place to camp, but unfortunately this was our first time out, so we didn't plan on camping while out there. Next time, we will have the tents with us to make sure we can hang out in some of these remote areas for longer periods of time.
At any rate, we were now looking over the first piece of water we had planned to fish and we were stoked. We couldn't get wadered up and ready with the film equipment fast enough!!!
BEN BARGER STANDS AT THE BACK OF THE TRUCK PREPARING
TO HIT THIS AWESOME PIECE OF WATER THAT WE WILL
LEAVE NAMELESS TO PROTECT THE BIOLOGICALLY
SENSITIVE SPECIES IN HER WATERS
Not long after arriving, we were curious to see what kind of bug life was in the water, so we grabbed one of the nets that had a fine mesh bag and flipped a few rocks. It was quickly understood why this stream had such a good population of Westslope Cutthroats and Bull Trout. Along with this handful of tasty bugs, we also put a nice sculpin in the net as well. So, I think it is safe to say that this stream is alive and kickin!
BEN BARGER HOLDS A HAND FULL OF
Although we did catch fish, we didn't catch as many as we would have liked and it was largely due to huge volumes of water this little creek was pumping. A friend of mine, Chris, had turned me onto this stream as he had been there a few years back. He actually caught a huge Bull Trout in this stream that took a smaller Bull he was reeling in. So, we knew the fish were here, but the turbulent water had pushed all the fish into very limited locations of availability. Nevertheless, Westslopes and a single Bull Trout were caught because of our tenacity to not give up so easily! If you like fishing for native species or just want to learn more, I encourage you to check out my friends blog about "native salmonids" (http://shocchris.blogspot.com/)
BEN BARGER FISHES TO A CUTTIE THAT ELUDED US ALL
DUE TO HIS POSITION THAT MADE A GOOD HOOKSET
NEAR IMPOSSIBLE! WE ALL HAD A SHOT AT THIS NICE
FISH TUCKED WAY UNDER THE OVERHANGING WILLOWS,
BUT COULDN'T BUTTON HIM UP.
After a good mornings fish, it was time to move on up the stream a little ways, and we found an amazing meadow with an old homesteaders cabin that had been abandoned years ago. It was a telling story of how people used to try to squeak out an existence here in years past. Living in this location would be great in the warmer months, but foot upon foot of snow in the winter would make this a very challenging place to live!
DON AND BEN OVERLOOK THE STREAM WHILE IN THE
PRESENCE OF ONE BEAUTIFUL HIGH ELEVATION VALLEY.
It didn't take long for me to get back down to the water! In fact I may have run down to the water for all I know. The child in me tends to come out in moments like this if you know what I mean?
Upon arriving at the stream again, I found a very nice little pocket of calm water under an overhanging willow with a log providing some protection from the raging water. This was sure to hold a fish or two. The only problem was getting a cast just right to make the presentation. Fortunately for me I was fishing a 7' rod with a very slow action, therefore these kind of presentations were right down my alley!
PATRICK ROBINSON SCOPES OUT THE NEXT
POCKET IN HOPES OF A NICE TROUT
I got into position from the downstream side of a huge log crossing the stream and cutting the raging current. After checking my backcast lane, I got the fly in the air and crossed the mental fingers. With the layout of the line I gave a waggle to the rod to build in some slack for the drift that was about to ensue. The line hit the water and it was absolute perfection. My fly had fallen just shy of the willows and caught the back eddy current that would pull my fly deep into the overhanging willow and hopefully deep into the mouth of a hungry trout.
I waited and the fly pulled upstream into the eddy. The time seemed to slow and it reached into the depths of the cover within. Then all at once, time was freed to race again as a fish slammed through the surface and annihilated my fly. Immediately I set the hook on this fine specimen and in doing so turned him downstream to a virtual torrent of whitewater. In short order my 10 inch fish felt like 30 as I fought to get him out of current back under the log I was standing behind and into my hands. Would it happen, could it happen, did it happen.....this time around, I came out on the winning end and with a great big smile to boot.
PATRICK ROBINSON HOLDS HIS FIRST WESTLOPE CUTTHROAT
A CLOSE UP SHOT OF A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL SPECIES
Westslope Cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi)
aka...the black spotted cutthroat
You could hold these things in your hand all day and just stare at their beauty. They are definitely one of the prettier species of trout I have ever caught. Although, it is hard to say that any are prettier than another. Simply put, I love trout and the beauty of each one I get the pleasure of catching and releasing for another day!
A FINE CLOSE UP OF A WESTSLOPE CUTTHROAT IN HAND
Our time on this fine stream took longer than we had planned making our dedicated time for the next stream excursion a bit cramped for time. That will be the next blog topic.....Stream number two and Bull Trout and Columbia River Redbands....
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters