Thursday, July 28, 2011

Signing off

No, don't worry, I'll be back!  I know all 16 of you who read me were worried there.  It has been a week or so since I posted, and it will be another week or so before I post again.  I'm headed to Colorado this afternoon for a week of fishing.  There will be some tailwaters involved, high mountain headwater streams, high mountain lakes, and some of my old favorites as well.  It should provide me with plenty of material, so ready yourselves for a bunch of posts a week from now.  I have my camera, two batteries and two extra memory cards so there will be zillions of pictures to sort through and put up here.

In the meantime you will have to survive without me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monsters of the deep

No, this isn't one of the monsters.
I hit up the Blue river, just up from the reservoir this past weekend for some fishes.  It's a river that I actually went out to early last year and I thought it looked like a decent spot to fish, but I didn't see any fish so I passed at the time.  But I put a post-it note in my mind to come back and check it out in the future.  This weekend was that time.  I parked just up from the reservoir inlet and made my way down the steep bank, through the dense Oregon forest to the river.

After rigging up my go-to small stream set up--dry-dropper--I started tossing my bait out into the spots where fish might exist.  I concentrated on the spots behind or in front of the bigger rocks where I knew fish would be hanging out watching the river drift food by.  A few smallish fish impaled themselves on my hooks, one pictured above, but nothing big. 

There was what looked like slower and deeper water up ahead, so I slowly moved my way upstream.  Like much of Oregon, the wading was a little difficult when I made it up to the deeper waters.  The left bank was a sheer cliff.  On the right was some dense forest and some big rock walls overlooking the water below.  Obviously I made my way to the rocks on the right.  The unfortunate bit is that the sun was blaring down through the canyon walls and brightly illuminating the rock wall where I was standing.  I knew this was going to make my presence apparent to any fish below.  Oh well, what can you do?

Looking down into the water I could see a number of what appeared to be either big fish-shaped rocks, or big fish.  I watched for a few seconds and nothing was moving to I started to think I was looking down on some odd shadows that just look like fish.  But after a while the shadows appeared to be slowly moving around.  In all, there were at least 15 18+" fish in the hole that I could see, but there were a lot of places under shelves and otherwise invisible spots where fish were surely hiding.

The problem with this place is the water was drifting along at an inch or two per second, so getting and feeling bites would be hard.  Add that to the 15-20 foot depth of a lot of the hole made it nearly unfishable.  But any hole that holds that many nice fish is fishable.  So I changed up my flies to something big with a ton of weight to get down fast, and  I put a smaller dropper below that and gave it a go.

I managed a single bite from a decent fish, but not one of the monsters.  He was probably around 14", but he shook the hook off as I was trying to figure out how to get him up the 10' wall, or how to get myself down to the water without swimming.  Try as I might, I wasn't able to nab any of the monsters.  And I did try.  I may even have to go back again and give it another go.

There was also a little mud puddle full of red-bellied newts nearby.  I tossed this one into the water to see if the fish would eat him.  They didn't.