I'm right here enjoyin a cinnamon roll and a cup of java, and tales from the trail....
Have you ever had to work out of town? Lately, I am begining to think that I have been branded the "Travler". Like, I walk around with a big crimson "T" on my shirt. Seems like every time a job comes up out of town, I hear those same words "ah...hey Hawk"
But travel does have it's advantages, and I always bring my flyrod!
My most recent job has me based at Government Camp Or. at the base of Mt Hood, Just north of the Salmon-Huckelberry Wilderness. I stay on-site during the week, living out of the back of the Blue Frog, eating fruit and Bologna/Creamcheese sandwiches.....and plenty of water, the local stuff, not that bottled desinger crap! I work the 7-3:30 gig, yelling at subordinates, and throwing wood and steel into holes in the ground, then pouring concrete on them. It's a bitchen job, I love it!
When the whistle blows, I hit the road to the backcountry and fish till dark....I know, I know, it's a tough life...but.......
Here's a page from the Journal
Its been Hot, in the 90's, and the smoke from the B+B complex fills the air, no escape. On my way up the hill, I have noticed these shimmers of light tucked back in stands of trees and meadows. A friend and long time resident flyfisherman, Andy, said that troops traveling in this area in the 1800's were caught off guard by a freak fall snowstorm. With no chance of getting through the pass with artillary and ammo, they decided to dig large trenches to burry the cache, and come back in the spring when the snow melted to retrive them. These trenches, now fed by springs, hold some large populations of Native Cutthroat Trout, as well as planted Brook and Brown Trout.
Hiking in this area requires wearing your waders. Many of the smaller trenches have since overgrown, but stepping in the wrong spot can have serious results. I found one on the East side of a stand of Firs, almost undetectable untill you were right on top of it. It was about 15 to 20 feet across, about half a football feild long. I knew shadows were going to be a problem, so I decided to approach from the North and work my way down the West bank. Short target and roll casts were the order. I started with a Stimulator pattern, 18, with great success! The Trout had an "Attack and Kill" aggressiveness, jumping out of the water at times to catch the fly in mid air! Even nipping at the leader when it hit the water.
By 6pm, the hatch was in full gear, Bugs everywhere! I switched to an Elk hair Caddis pattern, just trying to match....something! But it made no difference to the Trout, and they continued there assault. Hooked fish were escourted in there fight by up to 3 or 4 others untill they were landed, the bugs, thick now as sap on a tree, were flying, crawling, and biting there way into every part of exposed skin. I mean, there were Horseflys the size of F-18's that were recieving my FULL attention! It was 90+ degrees, and 90+ mins. of frenzy! I was sweatin and swattin, castin and blastin!
In the end, I had landed 12 to 15 fish, sorry, lost count, most in the 10 to 12 inch range, with 40 plus strikes besides. And all this out of 3000 sq. ft. of surface water! I was blown away! This is just 1 spot, and the rumour is the place is littered with them. Beavers have played a key role in maintaining these ponds.
The fish are Oncorynchus Clarki Clarki (Native Costal Cutthroat) with a finer spot pattern than most pictures I have seen. ( I refer you to Trout and Salmon of North America by Robert Behnke, page 149, the ilistration by Joseph Tomelleri) This finer spot pattern is because the fish is a lake resident form, for all intents.
In the fading light, I sat behind my truck and watched the moon rise, blood red, behind the smoke plume. Very eerie, other worldly!
Just a few more notes form 3500'. The B+B complex fire has now grown to 90,000+ acres, and a looming danger to the whole Metolius Basin. Please be carefull if your travels take you to the backcountry! Thanks to all the Firefighters who put there lives on the line everyday all over this great country of ours as well as our neighbors to the North. The Flyfishing the Northwest show will be in Seaside Or. Sept. 26-28 at the Convention Center. Hope to see some folks there.
I go back to the mountain tommorow at 4 am for another week. I hope the fishing has been good in your neck of the woods. Here's some pics to drool over.
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