I'm sure that some of you are wondering why and how I would fly fish in a Wind Tunnel... Well, when you plan a trip, you can't plan the weather. All elements were thrown at me on this one. Cold, snow, sleet, rain and WIND!!!! Ok, you get the idea. Perfect fishing weather... hardly. Weather for active fish... YES!
Take 30 degrees with a 20-30 mph gust and you get... a challenging trip. Those Montana winds can cause chapped hands and faces, but also bring big fish to the net. Yes, Montana again. I couldn't get enough of it last month. And I had to take advantage of the wading flows as they will quickly be raised by next month.
So, I set sail on a Thursday and spent four days on water in Montana. And then, headed over to Idaho for a day of fishing on my way home. It was an adventure of strange occurrences. Oh, that doesn't sound like the River Damsel, does it?
Highlights of the Wind Tunnel Adventure
Day 1... The one that got away was pretty exciting anyway. I don't believe that I have had a fish take me for a rocket ride like this one did! It was WHOOSH! upstream and WOOSH! downstream. Wow. I will always remember watching that lightening bolt under the water take my line with it as fast as you could say "Jiminy Cricket"! I picked up a few browns after being on the road to get to our destination. A good way to start!
Day 2... A strange day, but not one that I would ever trade... It was an EPIC day of my friend losing a big fish along with her whole line and me a half hour later casting out to the indicator and bringing the 20 in brown with the line and her indicator!! Haha. Then, on the next stretch of water, I get a double hook-up! I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw two brown trout coming in at the same time! Wow... The only sad part was that when I was trying to fit both in the net, the last one flipped out and off my hook. But, it will definitely be counted as the most fun I've had in awhile... And since I caught Jeri's lost fish, I told her that we would share it for picture taking. = )
Day 3... We only survived the snow, sleet, rain and frozen fingers because we started the day with a good breakfast every day. There is the best place right across the street from the motel and I definitely had my share of "booberries" on this trip! And plenty of brown trout to fill the net time after time made it a little easier to tolerate the 25-30 mph WINDS that came up to haunt the best of my lousy casting abilities.
Day 4 was a RAINBOW day. All the other days were full of brown trout. But, on a different river in Montana, I hooked up with some very special pre-spawn rainbows and the largest ones that I have ever caught. It was amazing! Then, on the way back to the car, I had to trip and fall in the middle of the riffled water coming down with the water at my chin and on both knees. I would have to say that got my heart racing faster than the biggest rainbow. Ha. And when I got back up on my feet against the current and back over to the bank, I saw that my rod tip hadn't survived the fall. Oh well... all in all, it was a pretty terrific day as we started it with visiting the streamer guru, Kelly Galloup. Now, that was fun! The king of feathers and fur. Sure was nice of him to take some time and chat with us.
The rest of the adventure can only be shown to you by pictures and there are just too many incredible ones to pick between... so, for you enjoyment, I have put together a little slideshow for you to see the River Damsel at work...err...at play! Haha.