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sinktip 10-17-2000 10:49 AM

Snake River Trip Report
Well I stand before you as a humbled man. I left last Wednesday after work from Seattle and after driving most of the night, arrived at the river around 3:00 AM. After a couple of hours of sleep, I was soon swinging a purple spey fly through a favorite run. A friend from Spokane met me about 8:00 and we fished the entire day with only one brief grab without hookup to show for it. This included a mid-day run up to the mouth of the Ronde where I was quickly reminded how rude some flyfishers can be. After being low holed already by one person, I reeled in and left once his buddy low holed me so close that my swing came dangerously close to his legs. To top it off, both these kind gentlemen were casting and stepping UPRIVER.

Friday brought a nice drizzle and met another friend at daylight and we went off to fish a great looking run closer to Asotin. I was rewarded here with a nice rise to the fly but no take and I couldn't convince the fish to return. After neither of us could bring a fish up, I left to drive the 60 miles to my mom's place to help get her house ready for the coming winter.

I was back on the river Saturday afternoon fishing with my good friend Bunnyleech's father Clark. Saturday afternoon and evening once again yielded no fish. At camp that night we met up with my friend Steve (October Caddis here on the board) and were treated to his tales of fish conquest from the last couple of days. Just in case we doubted his success, he treated us to a dinner of fire grilled steelhead steaks. Coupled with the venison that Clark cooked up, we were in heaven.

Sunday morning dawned with Clark and I fishing a nice riffle above camp while Steve headed upriver to one of his favorites. Two hours later Steve was back with a reports of four more fish to hand and a couple in the cooler. I had a brief hookup that I failed to sustain after the fish ran right at me and my high speed stripping proved unsatisfactory. Once the wind came up, we decided it was done for the morning and we broke camp and headed home.

I of course drove over with high hopes and drove home with some disapointment. My feelings were due more to my hubris for expecting multi-fish days than to any lack of success. The fish gods can be fickle and sometimes the smell of skunk can be rewarding in its own way. After all, I had spent parts of four days on a great river, chasing its many fish, learning some new water and getting to spend time and cast lines with many a good friend. Only 360 days until next year.

Eric 10-17-2000 02:20 PM

RE:Snake River Trip Report
Great read even if few fish. Thanks for the post!

juro 10-17-2000 02:39 PM

RE:Snake River Trip Report
Duggan -

Spoken to the true essence of steelheading! If it weren't so hard I don't think we'd love it so much. We'd just fish for chum (actually, I even like chum!)

Eric -

If I have my way I'll be on the Cow tomorrow PM and Thursday dawn. Has the U got you captive?

October Caddis 10-27-2000 09:43 AM

RE:Snake River Trip Report
Could not understand at first why someone of Duggans flyfishing ability did not hook up on his first days over on the Snake. Now I think I know. The 1st couple days Duggan fished the weather had turned bad and seems to change the whole fishing game over on the Snake. After he left to go do some work for his mom in Idaho the weather turned nice. When I got there the conditions were perfect and 1st light the fish were very eager to come to the surface. A lot of the runs were loaded with fish and easy to hook for the first trip or two down through the run. After 3 or 4 fish jumping and running the rest of fish get real careful or move to new holding water. Also when jet boats show up and back drift then roar up river to do it again really puts fish down. After 3 good days of weather and 9 fished caught and lots more to the fly things changed. A low pressure system moved in and nothing, even noticed that the jet boats went fishless early. Talked with Bob Black who was one of the first to flyfish the the Snake some 45 or 50 years ago and he feels that the lows trigger the fish to move quikly up river and they never hold up in the runs. I think he is right on. Durring good weather maybe fish move at night then hold durring the day. Once a Steelhead is in a holding area he becomes very territorial and will move to a fly on the surface. Last day on the river the weather turning ugly I went down through a run twice on top and not even a bump I resorted to the evil sink tip and not even a bump then.
So Duggan I think you just picked bad fishing days to be on the Snake. After many years on that river I've realized fishing can be real hot or real cold and when it's cold it's time to hang out in camp and enjoy the view and have a beer or two with bacon and eggs cooked on an open fire.

sinktip 10-27-2000 05:14 PM

RE:Snake River Trip Report
Thanks Steve for the words of encouragement. I have recovered though and besides, if I got down everytime you outfished me, I would be blue a lot of hte time. Besides Dave and I just got back form a trip down to Hoodsport and it is amazing what 20-30 chums can do for your psyche.


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