Well, it's been a few days now and I'm in between projects, so there's no better time than now to hit the next blog. It had been a great trip up to this point and quite honestly, we found leaving the Teton a tough proposition! Nevertheless, the thought of some Fine-Spotted Cutties (Snake River Fine-Spotted Cutthroats) was enough to entice us over the beautiful Teton divide and into the Snake River valley.
This was to be our last day before starting the trip back toward home, and we were already starting to feel the pain deep in our guts. You know the pain? It's that feeling of, the last cast is coming and I don't want to go home feeling.....yeah, it was starting to creep up on us.
Regardless, we were stoked to be fishing a new piece of water for the sixth day in a row! I love high adventure, especially when it's mixed with fishing the fly!
So, after a short drive over some beautiful mountains, we finally arrived in the well known city of Jackson, Wyoming. A tourist trap of sorts, it was cool to be there even if it was only for a little while. After a short stop at one of the local fly shops, we were on our way to a tributary of the monstrous Snake River to get our last of five species on our bucket list...this time those Fine-Spots...
Upon arrival, we exploded from the vehicle like little boys headed into a candy store. The race was on to see who could get the rod out and boots in the water first. Within seconds of arrival, the first Fine-Spots were in the net. The only problem was that they were small....really small! Like 6-7" small! Things would improve....right? Tell me they will improve Ben.....Don....Don.....Bueller......Bueller.....don't just stand there guys, say something. Tell me we didn't drive all this way for 6" fish in water we know has to hold much larger. What would become of our day? That is what we didn't know.
SAO GUIDE PATRICK ROBINSON UNHOOKS A
SMALL SNAKE RIVER FINE-SPOTTED CUTTHROAT
After fishing up stream for some time in search of some larger fish, we finally hit a point of frustration. We were seeing fish, but all of them were small. About the only thing we were seeing that was rewarding was wildlife. While fishing that upper section, we had a whole herd of mountain goats come down off the mountain to water right across the river from us. That was a real treat. I had the video camera out and filmed them at length, thus no photos to show at this time. If I get around to another video, perhaps I will throw some footage in so that you can see them up close.
There was only one problem at this point, as I saw it....and that was the thrill of mountain goats wore off way to fast and we were quickly back to the realization that small trout was our reality. We had to move and fast. The day was slipping away and with it our chance at some nicer fish. So, after a streamside meeting, we mulled it over and quickly decided to pull stakes and head closer to the confluence of the river with the Snake. Luckily for us, it didn't take but a few minutes of travel and walking and our luck would change. In the lower section we were treated much better by our swimming friends and we knew at that time that we had made the right choice.
DON HOLDS A NICE FINE-SPOT AS PATRICK
ROLLS FILM FOR FUTURE FLICS.
All week, Don had a way of getting us started on the big fish in each location that we fished and this day was no different. So, thank you Don for shaking off the small fish syndrome once again. After this, it was all good!
A GORGEOUS FINE-SPOT IN THE NET
Not long after Don got us started, it was time for me to get in the game. It was now or never and never was not an option. So, I stalked up on a nice deep seam (that you can see in the background) and worked what magic I could and ended up with one of the nicest specimens of a Yellowstone Cutthroat that we had seen in the last two days.
SAO GUIDE PATRICK ROBINSON HOLDS
A NICE YELLOWSTONE CUTTHROAT
A BEAUTIFUL CUTTIE IN THE HAND IS A GREAT EXPERIENCE!
We continued to fish that location and others and continued to pull fish. Some were small but others were quality fish. Although no toads were landed, we did stick plenty of fish for the last couple of hours we were there....and for that we were thankful!
Many nice pools were stacked one on top of the other in this stretch of river. Each hole held fish and they would take a look at most flies presented in a decent manner. However, some of the fast and turbulent water created some very challenging drifts....I love a good challenge though!
I kept stepping it up....I fished every tough lie I could find hoping for that one trophy to explode all over my offering. Unfortunately, it never happened. However, I was out west...I was fishing some amazing water with a stunning view....I was living the dream. So, I really couldn't be all that disappointed! I mean, what was there to complain about? Wading great water, casting a Helios for Fine-spotted Cutthroats....Don't worry, be happy comes to mind : )
ANOTHER NICE FINE-SPOTTED CUTTHROAT
IS BROUGHT TO HAND BEFORE THE DAYS END
SNAKE RIVER FINE-SPOTTED CUTTHROATS ARE
GORGEOUS FISH IN THEIR OWN RIGHT!
The day ended as fast as it started and soon we were headed back to eastern Idaho to prep for our last day of fishing....this time in an undisclosed location.
Next time, we will go to some high desert water loaded with TONS of HUGE Brown Trout. We hadn't had an opportunity at slob butter bellies up to this point, so we couldn't wait....but you will have to.
Until next time...
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters