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Jackson river excursion !!!!

Started by troutphisher, September 03, 2007, 20:08:02 PM

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troutphisher

September 03, 2007, 20:08:02 PM Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 22:55:34 PM by troutphisher

Keith and I have been planing this trip for months, and the day Finlay arrived.
We were going to fish a little stretch of paradise.

I left my house at 9:30am in anticipation of meeting wool at the designated exit. I arrived about an hour early, so I decided to get a cup of coffee at the Cracker barrel. The waitress had no sooner finished poring my cup, when I heard hey you ready!  I left the money on the table and we transfered wools gear to my truck and headed up the road.

I have been bragging about this river to wool and hoped he would have a good trip.

We arrived at Al's house and AL had the cane ready for test casting. I cast several more rods and they were all superb, one in particular was most excellent to cast. I tried several lines and it cast them all well.

Just as were were getting the rods put up and getting ready to hit the water, Whistle pig showed up for some supper. Wool got to see Whistle take an ear of corn from Will and enjoy it. Whistle has put on a few pounds since I last saw him.

We got to the river, and I saw the excitement in Wool, this was the water I was talking about during the drive. The riffles and pockets, the beauty of the location and the mountains all around us. We had this place for three days of pure fishing. Nothing to distract us.

We starting fishing late Friday evening, and wool soon found out why this place was special. The fish are quick. They strike the fly quick, but they spit the fly even faster! We both ended up with a couple of fish on the first fishing of the weekend.

The next morning, I was on the river about 5:30am casting to some promising seams and runs. Wool got up around 6:00 and was soon rigged ready for the days fishing.

That morning after some grumbling about missing some takes, wool dialed in the hook set and soon was hooking fish every other cast. Wool absolutely had a blast catching around 30 fish that morning to my 8. I was whipped!

we took a lunch break and sat under a canopy we brought for AL. It was perfect to get out of the sun and enjoy coffee and crackers.

We fished after lunch for a while catching more fish and fishing different water.
Wool headed up stream and I headed down stream. That afternoon we caught more rainbows. This are by far the hardest fighting rainbows I have had the pleasure to fish. They shake their heads like bulldogs playing tug of war, and they launch themselves into the air like missiles.

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, with fish to be had in every section of the river if you could hook them and bring them to had. I missed several right as I was bring my hand to them, they fight to the absolute end. I had one fish about 12" leave the water four times before spitting the hook. I heard several groans from wool and knew he was having the same experience. These fish fight like steel-heads I remember from lake Michigan.

Later that after noon, I heard an eagle screeching, and saw large shadows on the water. I looked up and saw an adult Bald eagle, full white head and tail, chasing and pestering an osprey with a larger trout in it's tallinns. The bald eagle was chasing this hawk and was matching it turn for turn, until the osprey dropped the fish between wool and I. I could hear the loud splash on the water when the fish hit. Later wool and I talked about it , he had seen the whole show too. I tied to get a picture of them while they were circling and managed a far away shot.

At the end of Sunday I had managed to get my numbers up on the fish count, but wool was putting me to the task and he continued to post good numbers.

We sat that evening and watched some dragon flies pick of the Sulphur's that were hatching. During the weekend the hatches were sporadic but the fish were sipping them as they came off. Early Sunday I noticed a pale yellow fly on the canopy with the early morning dew, it was a perfect shot with the camera. It had speckled wings, dark eyes, yellow pale body and two tails.

It was about a size 16. A pale morning dun pattern would have been the fly to use for dry's, but the PTN were working for me. Wool had this special fly he tied up, and caddis emerger, and it was the fly of choice, the fish were hitting it readily.

We had an absolute blast catching fish, and my numbers were good this morning, I managed 28 fish and three of them were rainbows in the 14" range.
one of them was full of speckles and the colors were awesome. Not only can these fish fight, they are beautiful, every one we caught had colors and hues on rose sides and cheeks that were perfect.

Al even managed to cast a line from the bank and fish with us. Life just doesn't get better then where we found ourselves. It was the best fishing I had done all year.

Thanks again Al, for sharing you part of paradise with us.
I could never grow tired of fishing that water, and can't wait to get back.

Here are a few picks of the trip.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Woolly Bugger

Ditto what Phis said.... I'm working on the photo gallery of the trip and will post some additional comments about the desert!

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Woolly Bugger

Okay, I've got "The Desert Fly Fishing Fiasco" pictures posted....

http://www.kbrcomm.com/ssp/smithriver.html

I'm still working on the captions...

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

troutphisher

This is the only picture I could get of the eagle and osprey.

I also found the fish, the osprey dropped. It was a 14" rainbow, and you can see the Tallinn cuts at the peck fins.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Woolly Bugger

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

supaflyGSR

Looks and sounds like one hell of a time!


brownhunter

This sounded like a most excellent weekend and glad you were able to get some fish. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me

Woolly Bugger

September 04, 2007, 18:04:42 PM #7 Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 19:02:58 PM by Woolly Bugger


Friday;

Phish and I have been talking to Al about coming up to Shit Ridge for a visit, check out some boo rods, (I'm afraid to cast them because I know I'll want to purchase them!) and do a little fishing on the Jackson.  We started planning this in the early part of the summer and I said I would come on up after my Montana trip! We'll the stars got into alignment and we were able to go on Labor Day weekend! I still had to get the kids off to school and wasn't able to get on the road till eleven. Even though I keep a backpack ready to go, I still had some last minute packing and shopping to do for the  three night camping trip. Somehow I managed to get off a little early and met Phish at the Cracker Barrel almost a full hour early.

The road was busy with the holiday traffic but the ride was filled with anticipation of hitting the water in the evening. Once we got off the interstate the traffic disappeared and the drive up to shitridge was quiet. Soon we were knocking on the door and Al's wife invited us in. We talked about the water, fishing and bamboo for a couple of hours. Al showed us some beautiful rods, some mint some restored, but all really really nice. Phish cast a few on the lawn, I declined because of the temptation of wanting another bamboo rod.

The whistle pig came out and was sitting on his rock, the mud pup ran offer and they muzzled each other as Will offered an ear of corn and carrots to the ground hog. He's really getting big, putting on the pounds for winter. Once he got the corn he ran back into the woods, being a little shy with all the people around.
Soon we were headed to the river and it was a peaceful drive through the foothills on through Covington, the massive paper mill on the Jackson dominated the town.  Twenty minutes later we were driving down the dirt road to Al's stretch of the Jackson.  When I first saw the water I knew the it would be great for nymphing . Although the Jackson is a good sized river and I did bring 4 and 5 weight nine foot Sage rods, I went with the Battenkill bamboo.  We hit the river, Phish started right off the "porch" and I went downstream to a stretch that Al pointed out to me. As this was my first time on the water I worked it slowly, I rigged up PTN with a dropper, put on a shot and began slowly working the my way upstream.

Al was yelling at Phish, telling him where to fish and wanting to know where the hell I was. I was still down below where Al could see. Soon he beat his way through the brush and began telling me where the fish were and to move on up and out into the middle of the stream! I managed to miss a few because of the quickness of the fish. Hit and Spit! I did catch two decent fish and was struck by how they fought, dogging more like a brown and still jumping like a rainbow. The light was failing and we got off the water to have a beer or two with Al and his son Will. Al had a lot of great stories to tell and it was a most enjoyable evening. Al and Will left and I set up my tent and Phish slept in his Jeep. The peaceful sound of the river and the stars in the dark night brought a peaceful end of a great day!
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Saturday:
The next morning was overcast and I slept past sunrise, was awoken by Phish's car door closing. By the time I got up he was already in the stream. It didn't take me long to get rigged up and I stared fishing straight off our camp site.  Shortly I began letting go with the "expletives deleted" as I was missing fishafter fish due to not being quick enough to set the hook. After working with my rig and changing flies I started to get into fish!  I quickly got into double digits and the fish were averaging 10". At times I almost thought about switching to the graphite rods for the extra length and line control, but I found that the boo was great at mending the line and I could easily get to most of the water by casting or wading extra deep or navigating to the other side of the stream.

We stopped fishing around 10 for a cup of coffee before getting back on the water. I continued to miss a lot of fish but still had a good hookup rate. When we stopped for lunch I had over two dozen fish to hand.
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We took a break and went to Al's and shoot the shit during the heat of the afternoon, we all drove back down to the river for the evening. Phis and I got on the water, I headed up to the top deep fast pool and was fascinated by the water and worked for a while trying to get a hookup. The strike indicator was twitching but I couldn't  get the hook set. However adding a little weight got the fly down deep and the hook-ups started to happen! I landed some of my best fish in the hours before dark.
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Al was casting from the bank and will got in the river and threw a woolly bugger up against the bank, he moved a big brown but didn't catch a fish in the short time he had on the water.

We got off the water and Al and Will headed home and Phish and I went out for dinner in Covington. The steak house was closed so we went to the Mexican joint across the street!

Sunday
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The next morning Phish had the stove on and we had a cup of coffee before hitting the stream at 7, this time I moved up to the deep fast pool to work on it some more. I started off with several fish unbuttoning, they would run, or dog head shake, or leap out of the river, and throw the hook. After a couple of hours the score was 6 to hand and 10 off the hook! All of the fish landed had the nymph in on the edge of the mouth, either upper lip, lower jaw or on the side, but all were lightly hooked. Several ran the slack out of the line and put themselves on the reel and continued to pull some drag, they continued to fight all the way to the net often making a second or third run. I fished 6x with a 6x dropper the whole time.
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We took a coffee break and then back to the  water but the sun was heating bright and the fishing began to slow down in the afternoon, I felt as if I was entering the desert as I wades on down to the lower end of the stretch. I caught a few smaller fish and wasn't having the hits that I had on the other sections, I was changing flies about ever twenty or thirty cast, switching thing up and trying to get the bite on! There were only a couple of kayaks coming down the river this day, a couple fewer groups than on Saturday.

I switched banks and fished back up the run. This proved to be more effective and I got into some more nice fish. About half were on the dropper. When I got back to where I had started earlier I had brought six or seven to hand. And I was thinking about how this water resembled the upper Gallatin in Montana, it was about the same width but carried more water, the fishing wasn't quite as easy but I think there are about the same number of fish per mile. The insect on and Jackson are smaller for the most part.

We got out and talked about going up to Al's and just then there he comes driving down to the river. We sat and talked for a while, then we went to the Bait Place and met Wormie,the cook and owner of the shop, and Al ordered up three burgers and fries and we picked up a case of beer and headed back to camp. After eating a delicious burger Phish hit the water for the last hour of light as Al and I kicked back and drank a few beers. Phish flailed away in the desert until he finally landed a small brown and the day was done.

Monday
We were up early and coffee brewing and hit the stream about 7, I went back up to the top deep run as I wanted to see what kind of fish were in the big riffle at the head of the deep pool. We planned to be off the water around 10 and head up to Al's place to get the nickel tour of shitridge. Here the river narrowed and dropped several feed so there was a very quick current, I shorted up the tippet and added a couple of extra shot.  I had to really work hard to get to the fish and I ended up with about 6 or 7 decent sized rainbows. My alarm went off and I began working my  way back down to the camp, there was some slack water up against the bank and I threw a hopper there in hopes of catching one last trout.
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We broke camp and headed up to Al's to say goodbye.  We talked Al into taking us on a tour of the ridge and we all piled into the jeep. Will drove us up the road and we say the lay of the land, the blinds and the whole time Al and Will were telling storied about bucks shot or missed, turkeys and of how the bears have been tearing up the apple trees that they planted. The tour lasted about two hours, but it ended all too soon and we were headed back home with just the memories. Al, you need to write a book, I think you can out Gierach Gierach!
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ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

outdoorguy3

Nice report.....not enough fish head shots!

Ralph   0--0

Life's about havin' FUN!!!

troutphisher

September 04, 2007, 20:14:47 PM #9 Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 20:44:25 PM by troutphisher

This time it was me taking pictures of the flowers and bee's.....LOL

See what you missed Dishy!!!! ;D

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Gofisher

Yankee by birth, Rebel by choice.

brownhunter

Phish,

Where's the pic of the brown? I've always heard the Jackson browns are gorgeous, but haven't seen any.

"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me

croaker

Grand post & pictures!!!

Billres and I had a similar Osprey, Bald Eagle encounter on the coast a couple a years back.  Was somethin to see... 

-you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.  Robert A. Heinlein.

Discomidge

Nice report and pics  ;D

TP...sometimes ya just gotta look around and smell the wildflowers ;D

Kim 8)


natureboy



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