I could use a couple of paid fishing trips about now, just sayin. Instead of prepping sticks, I'm finding time to post a little more, I guess it's that time of year.
How does your favorite fly shop do posting fishing reports? Do you find the reports are not updated very often during the busiest times of year? I get it. Some shops are small, lets call them mom and pop shops where even the owner is on the river for long hours each day. Things can get tough, no excuse though. The big "department store" shops, not to be mistaken for "big box" shops, have no excuse. If a shop has 3 shop dogs, a part timer and a general manager and they don't post up to date fishing reports you should make a note. Same fishing report just a different date? Take a note. RS2's on every report? Well that could work but I would still take a note.
Things get slow here in the Eagle valley this time of year and the web sites come alive with reports. That's just a hatch of bored shop dogs with owners screaming for action. Makes sense, but that should go on all year. I look at all the shops fishing reports, not just the one I work for. A few of them are doing an awesome job. I always think we can do better (sorry, just the way I was brought up). Bottom line is we are well beyond the days of having to drive over to the shop to look at the board to see whats up. It's just way to easy to sit down with a cup of Joe and get 4 opinions on the fishing and if you read the same crap every day it quickly becomes 2.
With that I figured I would post a fishing report, believe me if you want. This one always sounds about the same this time of year. No peeps in town and the fishing is great. Most shops call it an 8 out of 10. Water condition perfect, water temp perfect, hungry fish chowing on eggs and midges.....perfect. Don't even bother looking over your shoulder when you pull your boat from an eddy, no one's behind you. Fish are still eating streamers, and the endless Blue Wing hatch is still on. Believe me if you want, if not check all the other reports, they say the same thing.
The most truthful guide report I could give sounds more like this. I dragged an Elk off some mountain for a buddy this week. I'm participating in the hunt without a weapon this year, that's another story. My dog is pissed and fat, again related to that other story. My 68 year old hard of hearing father has been sleeping on my couch for 45 days now and if I watch him watch one more baseball game I'm going to loose it. I havent seen my remote in months. Sam met "Mr Whitey", "Ms Whitey" is still giving me a hard time, my Midge box has filled up on the cheap and I start a construction job on Monday. JMac taught me how to wash windows and I've learned I'm not that good.
It's that time of year. The fishing is great though.
It's not a hole that I fish all that often, usually just this time of year due to water levels. Like most of the Eagle, this is a tough place to sight fish. Clients are trusting me when I say there are fish there but that all changed about 2 weeks ago.
For 2 peeps it makes the most sense to put someone on the other side of the river. After getting one person set on the close side I walked another to the other side, considerably down stream of the best water. As I approached where I wanted my boy to stand my eye caught something very bright. At first I swore it was a belly up Brown, probably hooked to someones 50 lb mono. When I got closer I saw it move. It was a real sunny day (as they all have been this fall) and this fish almost glowed. Have the Browns begun to swim upside down? Is this some new spawning trick to stand out? I was obviously VERY interested in touching this fish. It never descended more than 2 feet or so from the surface even though the depth of this particular pool is 4 times that. My white whale was clearly feeding, dancing confidently between my 2 fishermen for the next 3 hours. We hooked other fish, good fish, but not my little neon trout. This went on for 3 client trips. I was now offically offering sight fishing trips. We could never hook her, but she was always there.
After yesterdays guide trip to the mythical fishes lair I made a promise to one of my fishermen, I would come back myself and figure it out. I don't fish by myself very often, the camaraderie is a huge part of it for me but this morning I was on a mission. It was not hard to spot her in the massive pool and I'm sorry for everyone who tried with me but it wasnt hard to hook her either. It's all about the drift after all. It ends up she is a Golden Trout, how she got there I couldn't tell you. Bottom line is she shouldn't be taking up space in this water. Odds are she was put there and the way she glows it's only a matter of time before she is Raptor chow. I've heard many a story of Pike being in the Eagle. That makes sense as there is a pond near Dotsero just teeming with them, they get out or thrown over the bank to plenty of fine food in the Eagle. I've caught Brookies where i should not have, Mackinaws and Cuttys too. A golden trout is another story. It's life won't be long where she is, especially when she likes to hover in the film the way she does so i put her back. Maybe a few more peeps can have a bit of fun with her yet this year.
Sure, there is a slim chance this fish made some epic journey from her fluorescent home but I doubt it. Stocking exotic species in a trout stream the caliber of the Eagle pisses me off. I'm sure she is 10 miles from where some ass thought she would stay and become his own back yard legend. Sure it provided me with a few days of fun, but species that don't belong bring disease and problems that can affect a watershed in very negative ways. Should I have killed her like i would have if she was a pike? Probably, but for now she is free. Cutthroat have reputations for being very good eaters, stockers for being dumb. It took 3 casts to catch this little wonder so I guess I could always go back tomorrow and take care of business if my peers are bummed with my actions. It wont be hard to spot her.
Ever wonder how a spot or a hole on a river gets named? Popularity or use have always been the most common way. Having a way to tell someone where you were when you landed Bubba forced fishermen to start naming spots on the map eons ago. "The Honey hole" probably came first.
Legend has alot to do with the naming of a hole also. Bergman, Gordon and Betters have several, Joe Brooks and Lee Wulff too. Deservedly so, these are some of the most historic names in American flyfishing lore. As large as these personalities were I'm positive they did not name these magical places after themselves. They were just prime lies that they knew and loved. Prime lies that other fishermen would leave for these legends out of respect like a small trout does for bubba. In some cases it was not named for them until long after they had moved upstream and most certainly by someone else.
The modern age of fly fishing particularly here in the west seems to be driven by ego's as large as the Rockies themselves. Fishermen and guides alike have been naming new holes here for only a few years compared to the fabled waters of the East. In some cases, like "Killer's", naming them after himself. Killer has a couple of holes, a riffle and an Island which is a joke to all the rest of us. Naming a hole after your self is just wrong. Someone else naming the hole after you is acceptable but usually not a forever thing. "Hate" has a few holes still but he does not guide much anymore so the legend is fading. "Kevin" has a hole on about every stretch we float but they are named after him because of his seniority on the water and the fact that his presence there is respected. "Perry" has a riffle, "Ol Joe" has a hole, "Yount" has a rock and "Zim" has a run. They just did not name them after themselves.
For the most part holes get a name after some time for an environmental reason. Theres a "Slant Rock", "Cemetery", "frustration" and "The Junction" on almost every river. "Stinky Beaver" came about because of the dead beaver that sat there for 3 months on the Eagle. It's since moved to the upper Colorado for a similar reason. Certain holes are called one thing by a certain set of guides and something else by others. I learned last year that what I called "The Coryall Ranch Hole" is actually the "Circle Jerk", I like that better. The "Piggy Pool" is really the "Turkey Hole", I like the piggy pool better. "The Pink Horse " pool is called "Nealons" or "Where the grass meets the water". "Killers Island" is actually called "The Whitey Hole" which explains alot. On the Eagle theres the "Barn Hole", "Steffi's Hole", "I-70", "Paddys", "Brush Creek", "The Dumpster", "Poachers", "LDS" and "Maydays Rock" just to name a few.
I dont have a spot on the river named after me at least that i know of, but i do have a hole named after me. Trust me when i tell you though, no big trout are ever going to come out of it. It's 1800 miles from here, 150 yards from the Canisteo river in the bottom of an old stolen port o john. One drunkin day shooting trap at our old hunting camp, a bet was made. Since the pooper was stolen (another story), the sludge pumper was not making regular trips to clean it out. The loosing team of a buddy shoot would blow a hole in our already used shitter with a 12 gauge shot gun. My team lost. To the amusement of my "friends", I wore a small piece of poop on my hat for hours without knowing where the stink was coming from. My partner Jimmy was smart enough to cover himself head to toe in plastic bags and a rain jacket, I wasnt that smart. So just like a spot or hole on a river my name comes up once in a while when they say "remember when Bub......"