Meanderings

Stalking trout with dry flies. Floating, wading, and camping along the rivers. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Winter trips to Mexico.



Feb 25, 2017

From sun and 90 to snow and 30 (1900 cfs afternoon low)

Yikes.  This was a quick transition.  But, a guy's gotta fish wherever he is.  When you just got back from Campeche the night before, you go.  When your friend says he's driving 400 miles to fish, you go.  When the fishing should be good, you go.  When it's cloudy during "baetis season," you go.  When it turns out the water is too high, fluctuating too much, wind howling, its snowing, and there's hardly enough bugs to even see one, you still go.  It sucked, but we did catch some fish, on dries, in howling wind the first day, and some some snow on day two.  I saw a few fish eat a baetis, and a few ate mine.  Midges were scarce.  I'm a fair-weather fisherman, but somehow I keep finding myself in not so fair conditions.  When its time, you go.





Guess I carelessly re-tied a couple times.  Black wing worked in the glare too.







Feb 24, 2017

Tarpon Town-Sunny and 90!

We hit the right week this time.  7 days of fishing, only one "lost" morning to winds, and the afternoon was a good one that day.  We had two mornings of "Fantasy Fishing" with rolling tarpon surrounding the boat and crusing every mangrove island.  There were a couple of slower days where we only found a few fish in some creeks or lone groups crusing by themselves.  Three of the days were what I've become acustomed to calling "average," with plenty of shots and lots of hook-ups.  We were just in the right places at the right tides several times a day, with favorable conditions and happy fish. This was the most consistent fishing I've had of the 7 winter trips I've made to Campeche.  We did not go offshore to fish for the larger fish on deeper grass flats, but I didn't miss that at all.  We didn't have to spend endless hours poling up long creeks either.  The fish were near the creek mouths and along the mangrove fronts for the most part.  I've already re-booked for the end of October, and I'm sure there will be another February trip in 2018.  I love this place, the guides, the folks, the shrimp, and the best sport fish on the planet--the Silver Prince.


On the hunt at sunrise






Our host Raul's new fly worked very well



A daily sampling

Great sight fishing in Campeche's clear water


Once in a while we see a decent snook


The best coconut shrimp in Campeche at La Pigua Resturante

Feb 1, 2017

February!

A little warm window before the next front.  Weather was beautiful today, but the fish?  Not quite as hot as before.  I arrived an hour earlier at 10 am thinking I'd get the jump on 'em.  Wrong.  Still had the high water! Didn't see a fish until 11. Flow started dropping about 11:15.  That's precisely when the fish started rising too.  Just not quite the numbers rising as two days ago.  Bugs about the same, just enough.

These now "regular" double-peak flows for electricity make me crazy.  Dam releases peak at 8am at 2440, then are stepped down to 1180 by 10:30 am, and are ramped back up to 3300 by 7pm!  Where I'm fishing 7 miles below, there's about a two-hour delay from dam releases.  I see the water drop begin around 11am.

It ended up being a no-CDC day, and a no-Harrop day.  That limited my fly choices!  By choice.  The softies worked well though.  Cheap-O's, I didn't even tie.  Kinda cool to use shitty flies sometimes. Confidence builder for later.  I could see 'em too.  The best one was an 18.
2400cfs at 10am

No risers yet

Rod lived here until 11




Winner of the day!  Dry and dead-drifted.



I put the little rock on the big rock and both were under water at 10.

At least a foot-deep drop in water depth.



Just enough of these to raise a few

Then down river

To some bank/scum feeders

Hackled soft-hackle


On the drive out at 4pm

Theres the window of low water

Jan 30, 2017

End of January

Its been a long, cold, cloudy January.  I've been looking forward to today since last spring. That first above-freezing, sunny, calm weekday of the year.  There's nothing like it for the rest of the season.  Nobody on the river and eager fish rising to any bug floating by them.  Midges and BWO's, constant, all day.  The fish feel it.  They're hungry.

Yea, its still cold, and there was ice in the rod guides for a while.  But the sun has been shining for three days now, and two of them got above freezing. Not a breath of wind in the air, so today was the day to get it started.  It's not spring yet, but this is a hint, a glimmer of hope, a break-out of sorts.  I lasted about 4 hours, feet frozen in the icy water, and hands going from frozen to useable because I was intent on "keepin'  'em wet."  Never-ending heads to target.  Maybe 5 degrees warmer in a couple days, before the next round of shit.
I could see heads as I approached from 200 feet away!

It was full of 'em






Of course . . . 



For the Baetis eaters

The only 'Bow