Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What the hell is that thing?

I was fishing the North fork of the Willamette today and found a bunch of these things crawling around in some slow moving water.  I was curious, took some photos and video:
Anybody?  It looks like a caddis nymph on steroids with a shell of glued-together tiny rocks.  It was about an inch long and there were a whole bunch of them crawling around in that area.  I'm constantly amazed at the size of some of the bugs out here in OR.

Would you rather...

So I've been watching the flow reports for the Eugene area all week and the flows have been coming down finally.  The rivers in town have been flowing up in the trees the last couple weeks but now are looking more reasonable.  After attempting to find some good bass fishing spots (unsuccessfully) over the past two weeks I was excited to get back out on the cold waters and catch some fish.

After a short 45min drive to the north fork of the Willamette just past Westfir, I stopped at a more or less random spot on the river, pulled my gear out of the car and hiked down to the river.  I had stopped at the same spot about 3 weeks ago on my last trip to this river...and my last trip out trout fishing.  Upon reaching the river a bit of anger and frustration hit me because it was just as high as my last trip out, which was when all the rivers started getting up into the trees!  I was thinking this river was going to be much lower and much more fishable.

But since I was there to fish I got all my gear ready to go and sat and watched the river for a few minutes.  Some bugs were coming off, mostly looked like some medium sized stoneflies and/or baetis.  I couldn't spot any fish.  Even though nothing was rising I decided to put on a stimulator/pmd combo in hopes of luring something to the surface.  It didn't take long before I started getting some splashy and messy hits on both flies.  I caught a few fingerlings and watched quite a few more miss my flies.

Fun but I was hoping to find something a little bigger.

I tried a number of other spots along the river but couldn't get into another/bigger fish.  With some spitting rain and dusk approaching, large baetis started hatching, and before long quite a few were on the water and flying around.  Still no fishing rising to the feast so I figured they must be snacking on the emerging bug.  I tied on an emerger and started swinging it....but still no hits.  Frustration.

After that hatch ended and I sat on the bank for a couple minutes to take a break and see if anything else would happen.  I saw one little splashy rise and that was enough to convince me to put on some dries and try my luck.  I tied on a parachute adams with a pmd emerger dropped off the back.  With this deadly duo and some inexperienced and frankly stupid fish I caught another 5 or so and had quite a few more miss it again.
Just so you know, my rod is really big.

And while I was catching these devious lunkers I started wondering if I would rather catch these sardines all day or catch a couple big fish.  I know that if we're talking 15 or 20 of these sardines on dries vs 2 big fish on nypmhs I'd choose the little ones.  Equalize it to everything on dries and I'm not sure.  Make it 15 vs 5 and I'll pick the big guys.  Or if we're talking REALLY big fish it's a no brainer.  What would you rather?