Quote Originally Posted by JohnScott View Post
... today to the salmonfly verson - tied with orange thread on a size 6 3X long curved shank hook with orange accents on a medium brown antron extended body, and medium brown foam for the forward body, with dark brown striped legging and a light blond elk rump patch hair wing.

Seemed to suit the fishies ( westslope cutthroat ) just fine. Had 10-12 in hand, four or five graciously took their long distance bye-bye, a couple had the nerve to hit the fly but not eat it, and several came to take a look and then back to the deep.

Not a bad afternoon, but the fishing should pick up shortly. May have to start cutting off the hook and playing tag.

... Mountain freestone rivers are a real challenge in the transition from winter flows through the runoff. My home water in northern Idaho is no exception. Although it has deteriorated as a fishery since some very large fires on its banks and in its headwater streams several years ago, it can still provide some good times, just not like the old days.

Good enough that playing tag enhances the experience. Yesterday, as is usual this time of year, was a guessing game, based on streamflow data and observations, about where to fish. I guessed right, for sure, several times, and not so great a few other times.

In the first place fished, somewhere around 15-18 fishies decided to play tag in something under thirty minutes. That was fast break fishing for sure. Tough to get that kind of action in such a short time when you have to go through the process of landing and releasing the takers, and when a lot of that kind of action can put down some of the fishies that remain willing players through very mild disturbance, if any, of their habitat.

In two other places, only a few fish played where several years ago 5-8-10 in each would have been routine. And in one place that would normally be prime in yesterday's conditions, there were no players at all, which speaks loudly to how severely the fires affected this big river as a fishery and the native fishies.


P.S. As a side note on the fires' affects on this river system - up until a few years ago there were lots of river otters playing their version of tag, and there were lots of osprey doing their not so tag type of playing. Haven't seen an otter in over two years, and osprey are a rare delight these days rather than a regular part of the fishing experience.