Hustle and Bustle of September

As I sit here gazing out the window, the snow continues to fall and I contemplate that 
our first snow here in the Valley is today, only the 5th day of November.  To many this may seem late, but here in the Valley, we may go all year without snowfall (well at least in those years we are lucky!) With the obvious signs of winter setting in, I think back to the past few months—
Summer fishing was so-so…with rather high water temperatures and relatively low water levels, we were able to seal the deal on a good number of native cutthroats, but far less than what we came to expect from our exploits last fall. 
As September set in, we hit the ground running as mentors for the annual KCF Women’s Clinic.   As always, this was a great time and a great experience!  With just over a year fishing under my belt, I made the leap and decided to be a mentor this year rather than a participant.  It was during this trip, that I realized actual amount of knowledge I had gained over the past year.
We returned that Monday from the Women’s Clinic outing, in a rush to get my gear repacked for the very first Trout Chicks trip.  A group of 10 of us women, that have met through various blogs, emails and FB pages decided to meet up for a weekend of fishing and fun on the legendary Henry’s Fork!
(Photo by JB McCollum
 This weekend provided me some amazing opportunities to fish with some new friends, experience fishing from an Adipose drift boat, and even some new culinary adventures for us sheltered type folk.  It was truly a once in a lifetime trip for me, and I thank those individuals that made it possible, both Michelle and Shelley.  These two ladies busted their a$$es to make this a simply epic (yes, epic! Because that is the cool fly fishing lingo) trip!  Again, I returned home that Monday and Brian had already started getting our gear together for our annual trip to the North Fork of the Clearwater.  As much as I enjoyed the first two trips in September, I was dearly looking forward to this trip.  Brian and I have made it a sort of annual outing towards the end of September, to fish the North Forkand camp.  This year, our annual trip was expected to be more enjoyable as we had our camper to retire to for those chilly September nights.  The forecast was not looking good, the days prior to the trip—a forecast full of rain and cold weather was not what I was hoping for, but that is exactly what was delivered!  The fishing was more what we expected for the area this time.  The hoppers were still out in force, and the typical caddis and BWO activity made for some nice dry fly fishing.  Brian was even able to hook up and bring to hand a fish we had been targeting since early in the month at the Women’s Clinic. 

The day of my birthday, I chose to head up river to Kelly Creek.  We have fished Kelly Creeka number of times; never seeming to have much luck…and this day was no different.  It was pouring out, so we decided to call it a day and head back to camp.  Being as determined as we are, and having an extremely leaky camper to return to, we decided to hit the water right in front of Flat Camp.  It is usually good for at least a few fish.  By now, it was literally pouring out.  I expected the thunder and lightning to start any time, which would officially put an end to the day…but it never did come, just rain and more rain.  I waded out fairly far, casting some larger bugs but having no luck.  I then noticed some fish rising to the surface not 15 feet away.  Try as I might I could not see what they were hitting on.  I tried various flies…cast after cast, it seemed as though they were pushing mine out of the way for this unseen treat!  It was about 7 different flies in, that a tiny BWO flitted by amongst the rain drops.  I never would have imagined that they would be hitting BWOs in such a downpour, but alas…that is exactly what they were doing!  I tied on a tiny BWO with my frozen hands.  First cast…nothing… second cast…FISH ON!  It was a nice size cutty that at least took the skunking out of my birthday!  Fish continued to rise all around me-in front of the large submerged boulders.  I hollered to Brian to tie on a BWO—and shortly he was catching fish left and right.  At one point, we both had a fish on.  Usually, when we have a double hook up, it always results in one of us losing the fish…we had up until this point, never had two in hand at the same time!  Today was the day though!  We were both able to net our quarry and get them together for a rough photo shot.

This was the best birthday present I could have asked for!  Being in the pouring rain, with my fishing partner, a double hook up to net and more fish on the way!  Eventually the fishing died down and we headed back to our leaky accommodations.

My fishing buddies! Love them!
All three of them! For “city” dogs-they sure adapted to fly dogs fairly well! Even Muzzy was trying to wade the river this trip!
One of the beauties from the trip! It jumped clear out of the water when it took my stimulator!  Not even a second after the fly landed in the water!  It was the most amazing “take” so far!
Oh….and I have come to LOVE bugs!  Never never ever thought I would say that!  Just love them! They are so damn cool!
Oh, and one last cool Pic I snapped of the Clearwater at Pink House—-just like the pic 🙂
And one of my fly doggies…Beman Jethro Bodean…so brave for a dog that wouldn’t jump 6″ of water 2 ft wide in the spring! We have come a long ways in just a few trips!
This one just makes me giggle… old age and treachery will outdo youth and enthusiasm every time!  I can just see that is what Muzzy is thinking at this point!

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