Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Getting Down To Serious Business...

Yesterday started out GREAT! Our daughter Sara stayed with us over the weekend and had Monday off too. We drove to Blankenship which is the area where the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead river meet. The confluence forms the Southwest corner of Glacier National Park. It's one of my favorite places to fish near Whitefish because I can wade the area easily and there is also great parking. This is a prime area for float trips and fishing trips to take out. Upstream and down are away from the crowds and hold good numbers of cutthroat trout. They're not too big, but very cooperative.

    About a half dozen rafts and boats floated by during the time we fished. You get to see all sorts of people coming down the river. Some serious, some not so much. Most are just having a wonderful time full of fun. Three of the boats were loaded with fisherman who had just floated the North Fork. They looked serious! One kid did a great job of slapping the water with every cast. It looked like the guide was glad to take out just downstream from us. In another boat the guy in the back actually had a fish on, but I don't think he actually landed it. Too bad for them!

    Sara and I fished and Sharon knitted. Very enjoyable! The water is still VERY cold but I stepped in anyway. About an hour was enough to make my toes numb so I got out and let them warm up. I did this a couple times. But, this was enough time to get a bit of action from those sneaky little cutthroat trout. It takes some time to get my timing right so I missed a few rises to my flies. I started with a Prince Nymph and only got one hit. It was probably the tiniest trout I have seen there. It was so tiny that when I struck on the take, I pulled it totally out of the water. It must have been all of 3" long! That little guy got off immediately because of the slack that was left in my line. Too bad for me! Then I switched to an Elkhair Caddis. I made a couple casts and one took my ball of fuzz. This trout I actually landed and it turned out to be about 9". After a few more casts I switched flies again and tied on a Yellow Sally. I fished this one for quite a while getting many rises and a few half hearted takes. Finally a 10-11 incher finally took it with conviction and I landed this on as well. Both of those small fish were very good fighters and I had a lot of fun on my first outing on the river. In my drawing you can see an Elkhair Caddis fly in the lower right and a Yellow Sally (Parachute style) above, between the 2 rods.
     Tomorrow Sharon and I are going to Libby. I'll have an eye exam by my friend Terry who had to put me off for a week because of some lame excuse. He was going to Alaska to fish! I guess for a fisherman that is a pretty good excuse for not working! I hope my new glasses allow me to see my flies easier. I hope they work because the fish are bigger on the Kootenai river.
     More to come...

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