Well, I ventured forth into the state of Idaho over the past week. I needed a change of scenery after the holiday and the crummy winter we have been having here in the mountains. Heading to the south central desert of Idaho isn’t the ideal location but getting out of town for a while was refreshing enough itself.
Fishing in Idaho. I have fished in Idaho a few times, Silver Creek, Little and Big Wood, Snake, a handful of others. Idaho is not my cup of fly fishing tea really at least the south central area. I find that the desert areas and those around the Ketchum and Sun Valley area are one of two things. Either overcrowded or hard to access. It seems like 85 percent of the water in the state is within Private Property and I don’t really care for wading around the river bend and seeing a big red and white “No Trespassing Sign”. Its just kind of a downer. I don’t particularly enjoy wading in front of a slew of vacation rental homes while people sneer and get angery with me for fishing in their view. Oh well. I caught a few smaller trout on the nymph on the Big Wood while hopscotching around all the other anglers. I also hit a few large brown and rainbow trout on the head with a number of nymphs, but either the fish was frozen in the iced edge Silver Creek, or it just wasn’t eating with the super cold water. Double Bummer for Idaho fishing. I spent the rest of the time hanging out with family, playing with my dog, and reading…about fishing.
Driving! Holy Golden Trout do I hate driving. Of course when its a 10 hour drive with added in time for diaper changes, hungry kids, and my freaking 7 year old daughter having to pee every 50 miles, driving becomes a loathsome activity. On our return trip our rig had its transfer box blow for a second time in the past 9 months and now that has to get fixed. Meaning I am now on the hunt for a new 4×4 rig for this season (Anyone who has a cheap 4×4 that runs and doesn’t need a mechanic to buy it let me know!) Halfway up Manastash from Yakima around 10 pm the damn thing blew and we had to get a tow back to the apartment. Didn’t get to sleep till 4 am-ish and was up and to work at 8:13 am! UGH! But that’s part of being a grown up. As my wife and I talked last night, shit happens and you deal with it. A broken down car is a pretty normal problem to come up against considering our history. Props and much love to my in-laws for letting us kick it at their place and relax, and for helping us get the bloody car fixed…again. This guide season needs to get going already!
I missed the Yakima and was happy once we crossed familiar bridges with her winter flows cascading underneath. With reports of a few good days while I was gone I felt like she was punishing me for leaving to chase other trouts. I will take a fish-less day on my river over any other water period. Something about this place is truly special. The more I fish other water and in other states the true reality of how special the Yakima River is, makes itself more apparent. A gem of a fishery and water system that needs to have the attention of anglers and guides like myself focused on it whenever possible.
I write a lot. I keep two personal journals. One that is for the river, with fishing reports, hatch cycles, locations, thoughts, fish, flies, all the good stuff a laid back fishing journal would have. The majority of the entries consist of short stories of my time and my thoughts while on the river. I use them as a reference for when fishing, I also keep them for my children. One day, I hope that they will help explain why a father spent so much time on the river, and for them to use as a guide and tool for when they go out on discovery for life and angling. The second journal I keep is of a personal, non-fishing, related nature. This bearded dude has had a lot of crap happen over the years and one way to explain it to oneself and others, as well as process things, is to write it down. I also remember things much better when they are written down. Which is why I can recall the river, for the most part, from memory because I have written down its turns, bends, and riffles. Ask my Lady, she thinks its crazy that I can remember when the hatch is coming, what is around the river bend, and how to set up the river three steps ahead of the current spot we may be fishing. It all comes back to writing. Writing can be a great asset to the angler and help refine and fine tune skills through reflection, thought, and the written word. Plus how the hell am I supposed to remember all this shit if I don’t write some of it down…fly fishing has a lot of parts dude.
I tend to write drafts for blog entries and then whittle them down or cut them up for internet use. Some of them come from my journals others are made on the fly, and a few that I am working on are quite involved, with several parts, that are patiently waiting for the right time of year. Writing helps keep my brain in the game when fishing days are in short supply. It also gives me a chance to get a lot of entries finished for the year so they are a quick post in between trips. I spent a good chunk of my “vacation” writing and reading while listening to good tunes and enjoying a good smoke. I am getting very excited for the coming spring and the hatches to follow. Like the majority of anglers, I am getting quite tired of chucking nymphs to winter trout. While January has been mild and even a few fish have been caught on the dry fly this season, the winter is not over, and February could still bring us some snow. What we hope for now is snow that doesn’t stick around until late March, but we roll with what we get and there are always eager trout somewhere.
Tis good to be back home, and be busy, guided trips are starting to trickle in, flies are being tied, and we are another week closer to the spring! There is a Trout Unlimited River Clean Up on February 7th from 11-5 as well. Meeting at Fireman’s Park near the South Cle Elum Boat Launch. Come help us pick trash up along the river and fish a little, swing by facebook to check it out and RSVP! Yakima River Headwaters TU River Clean Up!
I am going to get some much needed sleep and get back at the vise in between work hours tomorrow!