Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Surprise In Every Riffle

There are times that I get surprised on my adventures.  Oh sure, I sometimes expect to land a big fish in certain water.  Or I know that there are going to be certain species caught that day, if I have been there before.  When scouting new water, you are on your own in hopes that you don't end up in a dry ditch.   What might be found there is a mystery.   I have maps, books of each state that I frequent most, and Google Earth on my phone to get me to those fish that I yearn for.  Every adventure that I set out on is just that.  An adventure.  Sometimes there is a nice surprise in store.  And sometimes, we go home shaking our head with more questions. Why did I not find what I was looking for?  Where were they?  Did I have the right bugs?  Was the water too high, too low, too murky?  Was I patient enough and did I give it enough time?   Did I mend well enough?  

Oh, the life of a fly fisherman. 

I set out last month to visit my good friends, Kerry, Julie, and Lonnie in Island Park, ID.  They are always so hospitable.  I love seeing the beautiful pine trees and the canyon walls of the Box Canyon of the Henry's Fork.  Yellowstone is usually included on my trek up there, but not this time.  I had only a couple days there, before moving over to Montana to fish a few rivers there.  You know me, got to keep moving! 

 But, after the baklava.

Beautiful scenery in the Box Canyon...

And gorgeous sunsets at Henry's Lake, ID... 

I met up with a friend of mine, Ron, and a new friend, Molly.   Ron was so gracious in rowing his drift boat so we could fish the Box one day.  We had so much fun.  

1st of June and wearing extra layers...  Only in Island Park!  Haha.

Waterfalls coming out of the Box Canyon.

It was time to head out and hit some Montana rivers!
Yes, I am an early bird. The Madison on a foggy morning. =)

They call it "Big Sky" country.  You can see why.  I usually hit this little creek once a year.  So, I backtracked a bit on my final day to meet up with my friend, Chaz,  and give my reel one more chance to scream.  

Off we went, to find the river off color and running high and swift.  We walked it for about two and a half hours and Chaz said that he was going to call it a day as he needed to get back home.  I watched a couple of other anglers attempt to catch in it.  Nothing.  Something just told me to stay.  I looked down at my phone and the time was getting close to head home to Utah.  I had a long journey ahead of me.  It was noon.  After talking to a local at my car, I decided to go back in for one more hour.  I believed that I had the right bugs and enough weight.  It was just a matter of time and time was running out!!  Haha.  
Don't call me stubborn!  =)

A fish! A fish! 
You don't know how happy this little guy made me.  So, I could go home now.  But, as luck would have it, a guy passed me on the trail and told me that was just the beginning.  Haha.  I was happy.  Just a couple more casts and I would go home...

What is the title of this post?
"A Surprise In Every Riffle"...

Well, I was literally on my last cast and I connected on my double nymph setup.  With what, I didn't know.  But, it felt heavy and strong.  I started screaming, "Help!"  I was a little nervous.   I didn't want to lose this baby.  No one came.  I could see a rod casting downstream out of a bush.  But, they were too far to hear me.  So, I would have to net this guy on my own in the rushing water.  My forte is not netting big fish.  Weak arms.  It got closer and got brighter.  It was beautiful!  Oh, you are mine for just a few minutes!  

And yes, I had a smile from ear to ear.

Now, as I admired this hen in my big net, I looked up and there was my new friend, Jack!  The one I had talked to earlier.  He had heard my cries of excitement.  And I was so glad that he would help me with a couple quick photos.  (No way could I do a selfie shot with this brownie!)

I was sooo surprised.  I've never seen these in there before!

Thank you, JACK!!!  
I don't know who was more excited...  Haha.  He was stoked to see this catch and was so happy for me.  I was done for the trip.  I needed to get home.  With a HUGE smile on my face...

It's never over until the fat lady sings... =)