Friday, April 25, 2014

Idaho 2 Fly Pond

The opportunity to fish a private pond doesn’t happen often, so when it does, any plans set forth for that day are canceled, because you know it’s going to be good!  John invited me to tag along early in the day and, while at work, I had practically made myself sick with anxiety to go fishing.  The large pond off North Linder Road is usually gated off, but today it was open to fishing for volunteers helping out with the Idaho 2 fly event.  By the time I arrived, there was a line of vehicles with volunteers hoping to meet with Ron Sali about the upcoming event. 

Ron Sali is the owner of the Three Rivers Ranch in Eagle, ID, and was kind enough to allow the Idaho 2 Fly Organization to utilize his trophy bass and trout ponds to help raise money for their cause. All proceeds are used towards hosting fly fishing-related activities for men with cancer and life impacting illnesses.  We all gathered around as Ron went over how to best run the 2 Fly Derby, before we finally hit the water. 

Bass-y is a term used in fishing to describe an angler seeking out a spot on the water that looks as if a bass may be holding.  Before we had even set foot on the water, Wess Atkinson pointed out a large bass roaming the bank.  Though it is a bit early, I flicked out my popper to the bass, which looked interested, but did not take.  

With a floating line, I switched flies to a Gourley Special and flung it out to some bass-y looking water.  The fly slapped the water, and I pointed my rod at the fly and started to strip.  WHAM!  A bass took, and it was pissed!  With all the commotion it was making I never had to yell fish on, because anyone in ear shot could hear the fish splashing.  Idaho 2 Fly's camera guy, Mark Walters, came running with his camera and was nice enough to take this shot of me with my fish.

The Gourley Special struck again, with another quick retrieve. Mark wasn’t even able to take a few steps away before I had hooked into another fish.  I held up my fish for another picture, and Mark happily obliged. 

With a kick that sent water in my face, my bass swam off.  Mark stood by waiting for another fish, and I didn’t let him down.  The small fish wasn’t much of a prize after the first two, so I quickly unhooked it and let it go.  
“There are some big ones over by those rocks that are only chasing the flies thrown at them, Erik!” Mark yelled to me from the bank, and pointing to the rock structures just before he started his walk back.  
“Ok!” I yelled back, as I fished my way over.  It had been cold the last couple of days, which can really turn bass fishing off.  Not feeling I was capitalizing on my current rig, I quickly switched my fly line to a #3 sinking line, while keeping on the Gourley Special.  Fred Herbert was fishing from the bank, and had brought in a fish just as I showed up. Mark was there with his camera to capture the moment, as I pulled line from my reel. 

I launched a cast near the rocks and my fly hit the target. 
“They are looking at it!” Mark said, as he stood looking down into the water.  I stripped my fly back to me and pitched out another cast.  This time I counted to ten, allowing time to let my line and fly sink deeper than before. At the count of ten, I stripped in as quick as I could, springing my fly to life.  Two strips was all I got before I felt the incredible tug of a bass. 

The bass was fighting hard, but I wasn’t easing up.  I kept the pressure on the bass as it did everything it could to get away. Finally I brought it up close enough to the surface and got a glimpse. 
“It's a monster!” I said under my breath, as I reached for my net.  Just as I had one hand on the rod, the bass bolted deep, forcing my fly rod under water. 
“Whoa!” I heard a spectator say, but I couldn’t see who it was because, at that moment, the only portion of my rod that was out of the water was the handle. My rod was at the breaking point as I pulled it out of the water, regaining control. The bass was now close enough to the surface, and started leaping out of the water.  With haste, I grabbed my net while leaning back, adding torque to my fly rod and bringing the fish in close enough to net it. The mouth alone was so big  on this fish that I could easily stick my fist into it.

I had one more good look at the fish, before I dropped my net into the water and watched as it swam slowly out of sight.  A few more fish were caught with the same technique before I figured I should push on.  I looked around, trying to find a spot to head to. The problem was, there was so much to fish and so little time.  

I made my way to the opposite end of the pond and, on the way, let my line troll along as I kicked.  A sudden jolt caused me to set the hook, and as the fish came into sight I saw the red stripe of a rainbow trout.  The fish was easily over twenty inches, and I was excited to get it to the net.  The fish was only inches from my net when it turned and spit my hook.  I forcefully whipped my fly rod in a circle so that my fly would hit the water with force!
“Damn!” I yelled, as my fly smacked the water. 

Though I had lost my only rainbow of the day, the #3 sinking line was certainly the right way to go with the bass fishing. 

Bass after bass made for a fun evening!  The sixteen-inch bass I was bringing in were babies compared to the big ones. I was indeed spoiled to be fishing here. 

The day was ending far too fast, and I could only see one other angler near the take out.  Stubborn, I remained as far away as I could from the take out, and the bass fishing was only getting better!  

I knew I wouldn't get off the water until someone kicked me off.  I didn’t see any other anglers on the water anymore, and I wondered if I should start heading back, but then another fish hit my line like a ton of bricks, reconfirming my decision to stay out a little longer. 

I continued fishing and was completely unaware that Jerry Troy had driven John over to my side of the pond to pick me up. 
“It’s time to go.” John said politely, knowing that was not what I wanted to hear. 
“First one on the water, last one off.” He said to me, as my casting became faster and faster while I kicked into shore. 
“How did you guys do?” I asked, as John pulled my float tube out of the water.  John just smiled, and with a half dazed look said, “Really, really good.”  
“Any rainbows?” I asked.
Jerry pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of a 23 inch rainbow that dwarfed his net, making it look like it was made for a fish tank.  
"That’s a nice fish, Jerry!” I said, as we drove back to gear down. 
I ran into Wess and he also had a fantastic evening. 
“It seemed like the further away we got from the bank, the bigger the fish got.” He said with a smile.  
“Can you imagine what this is going to fish like in a few weeks, after it gets a little warmer?” I said to John, who was all packed up. 
“You mean during the event?” John asked rhetorically, shutting his tailgate. “It’s going to be goooood, Erik.  God bless it, it’s going to be good!”    

IDAHO 2 FLY DERBY <-- Click for more information, or call the shop at 208.323.6768

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Canadian Connection

When fly fishing gangster, Phil Rowley, let me know his friend, Silvia, was going to be in Boise, I knew I had no choice but to take her fly fishing...or Phil would have my legs broken.  Despite being associated with Phil, Silvia is a great person. Not only is she a fish biologist for Trout Unlimited Canada, but she has been a fly fishing guide for over ten years, meaning Silvia started fly fishing before being a woman in fly fishing was cool.  

"Why don’t we take my car.” Silvia said after a quick introduction in the fly shop’s parking lot. 
“Are you okay with driving around in our wet waders?” I asked, knowing we would be moving from spot to spot after fishing, and things can get messy. Silvia opened her arms, presenting the car, and said “It’s a rental!”  
“Well then, let me grab my stuff!”  

On the way up, Silvia twisted my arm into eating a bag of chips while we stood back to check out the behavior of the fish as they were feeding on the surface, digging into the ground, eating subsurface, or just milling around.
“The fish are all acting differently; I wonder what that’s all a-boot?”  Silvia said, letting her Canadian accent slip as we ate chips. I did my best to explain my theory on why the fish behave so differently during low water years.  The bag of chips was quickly going dry, and with the fish starting to rise more often, Silvia said, “What do you say we get out there and catch some fish, Aye?!” 

Silvia hooked her second fish in only a few casts.  
“It took this little scruffy fly I had again, subsurface!” Silvia told me, as she fought the fish.  The fish was putting up a great fight. I had forgot my net back home, so I was little help at this point.  Silvia took care of the situation just fine by dropping closer to the water to grab her fish.  

The fish was not cooperating, flipping this way and that. 
“Hold still, fish!” Silvia said, as the fish continued to kick and splash.  Finally the fish calmed down enough for her to get the hook out of the its mouth, and she held it up for a picture. 

After her fish swam off, I went back to focusing on the rising trout  I had been working just upstream.  So far the fish had not taken the first few flies I had to offer, so I tied on a split-winged PMD nymph, and coated the fly and my tippet with Orvis hy-flote paste. Splash, splash! I looked over to see that Silvia was into another fish.  
“It took a little black nymph!” She said, as she brought it in quickly, then released it.  
“There are so many fish here in this one spot, Aye!” Silvia said, before she went back to fishing.  
With my fly caked with floatant, I presented it to the rising fish.  My fly was just a dark speck on the surface of the water; one blink and it would be lost.  The fly floated right over the fish and passed it.  Splash!  In a sudden burst of energy, the fish sprang into life, and took my floating nymph. I set the hook and my fish shook its head, trying to escape. 
“Nice!” Silvia yelled, as I brought in my fish and took this picture of it underwater. 

I released my fish, and stood up.  With a sigh I looked over at Silvia and said, “First real fish of the day! Unless you want to count those four you caught subsurface...?” I said, smugly. 
“You’re a snob!” Silvia yelled. “Phil didn’t tell me I was going to be fishing with a snob today.” 
Silvia was good at throwing crap back at me, so I took it a bit further...
“Well, it’s just... These fish are too easy to catch subsurface.” I told Silvia, laying on the purist-fly-fisher-mentality in my best snob accent. Silvia didn’t waste a moment to reply. 
“Then what was all that European Nymphing talk on the drive up here, Aye?”  
“You got me!”  I said with a laugh, while I headed upstream in search for another rising fish, and I found one.  I pitched out a suspended midge, and the fish took!  I set the hook and the fish bolted for deeper water.  I quickly regained control of the fish, and held it at bay for a picture before it threw my hook. 

“It’s not like me to grow roots and stay in one spot.” Silvia said as I met back up with her. 
“It’s a good spot!” I said back. 
“I see you got into a fish.” Silvia said, as we started to head back to the car. 
“Yeah, I got it on a suspended midge.” I said. 
“Next your going to tell me that your suspended fly is a dry fly...” 
“IT IS!” I protested.  
“But, it’s suspended... meaning it’s not really dry.” She told me, smiling no less. We arrived at the car, and Sylvia was about to break her rod down to put it in the trunk. 
“Hand it over.” I said, reaching for her fly rod.  I took it and secured them both in the windshield wipers. 
“Your kidding?” She said. “They will stay there?” Silvia added, sounding skeptical. 
“Have you never seen this?” I asked. 
“No!” She said, getting in the car. “My husband would freak if he saw this.”    

Our new location look promising, as we noticed fish rising.  We did a little scouting around before Silvia found some fish rising to everything but her flies.  Together we threw fly after fly, and the fish would simply come up and look only to refuse them.  I moved out of the way and looked down to tie on another fly when Silvia yelled, “Got it!”  Sure enough, her fly rod was doubled over with the fish.
“Not bad, for a Canadian!” I said.
“I used my Canadian fly.” She said, as she brought in her fish. 

Silvia held out her “Canadian” crane fly pattern for me to look at, and I must say I had never seen anything like it. 
“That’s an awesome fly!” I said, and indeed it was. She gave me a few, and I headed upstream to give it a try.  Back downstream I could hear that Silvia had hooked another fish, but right in front of me was a feeding frenzy.  Caddis had started to swarm and the fish were going crazy.  Aggressive splashing indicated the fish were definitely keyed on the caddis.  I pitched out Silvia’s fly, and as soon as it hit the water a fish took!

I kept the rod close to the water to keep the fish from thrashing around and from spooking the other rising fish.  After a few more fish, I called to Silvia, “How are you doing down there?” 
“They seemed to have stopped rising.” She said back to me through a large bush that was blocking our view from each other.  
“You have to come up here, the fish are going crazy!” I said, as I hooked another fish and brought it in just as Silvia joined me.  

“I’m using your fly.” I told Silvia, as I got out of her way so she could cast.  She still had on her crane fly and presented it to a specific fish feeding in the middle of the run.  So far this fish had refused everything I had presented to it, and it was doing the same to Silvia.  She did catch a fish, but it wasn’t the snob fish. 

I switched my fly to a CDC caddis and caught another fish, then I moved out of the way for Silvia to catch a fish.  This seemed to go on for quite some time, living up every second in dry fly heaven, but there was still that snob fish that wasn’t taking a thing we were presenting to it.  After catching another fish with a CDC caddis, I asked, “Would you like a CDC caddis?” 
“I think I have a CDC fly...” She said, opening her box.  Silvia pull out this monstrosity of a CDC caddis; it had to be a size 10. 
“That’s a little big, don’t you think?” I said skeptically, because the caddis that were buzzing around were two sizes smaller. 
“I guess we’ll see.” She said, and got into position to cast.  Her second cast hit a nice pocket, and wouldn’t you know it, of all the stupid fish it was the one unicorn of a fish that had evaded every fly.  Yes, the snob fish ate her fly!
“It’s the snob fish!” I yelled, laughing in disbelief as Silvia brought the fish in, and held it up for a picture. 

She took some video of her fish swimming away, and looked up at me. 
“You’re right...” She said, holding up the fly she just took out of the fish’s mouth, “This fly is too big.” 
“You’re cutting me deep, Silvia!” I said with a laugh. 
“Well, you’re the expert.” She said, before she went back down stream in search for more rising fish. 
“Ouch!” Was the only thing I could muster up to say.  After the feeding frenzy, the spot was dead.  But before moving on, I did catch one of the smallest browns I had ever caught on the Owyhee

Silvia pilled off the road onto another dirt road that had sagebrush protruding all around.  The branches screeched as they brushed up against the car. 
“Don’t worry about the car; it’s a rental.” Silvia said to reassured me.  We got out and headed through the thicket towards the water.

I led the way through the brush when a small movement caught my eye. 
“FROGS!” I yelled, as I knelled down to look at them. The little frogs were hopping about carelessly as I observed.  And apparently I was enjoying the frogs for a little too long, because Silvia chimed in, “Yeah, they're frogs.  Let’s get oot of the brush, and into the water!” 

The spot ended up being filled with spawning white sucker fish, and we quickly moved on to our final spot of the day.  Just like the other day fishing with my brother, the last part of the day had significantly slowed down.  We both hooked fish, but neither fish was brought in close enough for a picture.  We walked upstream, noticing the fish were not keyed into the march brown hatch that was taking place.  

With the lack of activity on the surface, I switched to a pico spider while Silvia searched with her crane fly pattern.  Once more she hooked a fish, but it came unbuttoned almost immediately.  I went back to searching with the pico and in the middle of a riffle, a fish came up and inhaled it! 
“Gotcha!” I said, setting the hook. Sure enough, it was a solid hook up.  The fish was only in a foot of water, and it came in quickly. 
“Let me get a picture of you.” Silvia said.  I handed her the camera and she got a shot of me holding my fish. 

With a quick flick of the tail, my fish was gone.  The day was winding down quickly, and Silvia’s arms were about as red as the leaf on the canadian flag.  
“Ahhhh.  That feels good.” She said, splashing water on her arms. 
“I wasn’t expecting the weather to be so nice.” She said, “The only other long sleeve shirt I have is fleece.” 
“And you didn’t want to where it in 70 degree weather?” I said, questionably.  Silvia laughed as we headed back to the car. 
“Now that was a fantastic day!” Silvia said, as we geared down. She had easily hit the double digit mark of fish caught today, ending a fantastic day on the water.  
I’m was especially happy to meet and fish with Silvia.  It seems that the more involved I become in the fly fishing world, the more people I meet in many different places, making the world seem that much smaller.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

March 31

Soft pillows of thick snow floated down at the South Fork of the Boise river on the last day open.  Most would be sick of the snow this late in the season; but as an angler, the opportunity to fly fish in the snow offers a serenity that you can only understand if you are there to experience it. 

Steve Kip, a good friend and fellow fly fisherman, was already on his way to the South Fork before I had notified him I was interested in joining.  Needless to say, despite being half way to Mountain Home, he turned around to pick me up. 

While Steve rigged up to do some traditional nymphing, I set up the Shadow 2, Euro style.  Though effective, Euro nymphing comes with its draw-backs, as not everything that hooks up is a fish.  Rocks, sticks, and this bundle of flies, shrubbery, and caddis casings are all things you can dredge up on a hook set. 

Whatever the risk of catching a few sticks are, it’s nothing compared to the success this style of nymphing offers; I had already lost count of the number of fish I had brought to the net in a very short amount of time.  Steve had hooked into some white fish, and his next fish was also fighting like a white fish.  
“Not another white fish!” Steve said bitterly.

“Get off!” Steve said to his fish, adding slack to his line, but the fish was going nowhere. 
“I guess I’ll have to bring it in...” He said, rather unhappily. But as Steve lifted his rod, bring the fish’s head out of the water, I noticed the color of the fish. 
“Steve, that looked like a bull trout!”   

“It IS a bull trout!” Steve said happily, “I have never caught one of these before!” 
Steve did a good job keeping it in the water.  While the fish was in his net, I pointed out the white stripes that mark the face of the fins and the orange spots on the flanks, indicating a bull trout.  Steve took it out for a quick picture before releasing it back into the water.  The bull trout darted away aggressively, and Steve looked up at me with a big smile, saying, “That was cool!” 

Steve remained upstream while I walked downstream, but before we separated, Steve was sure to point out the rarities of catching a bull trout, saying, “I bet you wish you could get a bull trout.” 

White fish after white fish was being caught with no bull trout in sight.  Though my rig was performing well, I wasn't getting the accuracy I wanted. Rumor has it that while nymphing, accuracy is not terribly important.  Perhaps it comes with years of dry fly fishing, but I wanted my nymphs to hit a very specific spot on the run.  Switching up my leader a little bit did the trick, and it paid off because the next fish I caught leaped out of the water, indicating a rainbow trout

When a white fish fights, it tends to stay low in the water and it is extremely rare for one to jump. Perhaps its equilibrium is better than a rainbow trout, but a fish jumping is a sure indication you have a rainbow trout on this river.  

Once more I was picking off white fish when I heard a strange trumpet noise coming from the woods.  Turkey, was the only thing I thought it could be, and curious to see one, I set my rod down and bolted into the woods.  The squawking was so loud as I walked further away from the water, and at a crouch, I saw something that wasn’t a turkey.  The tan body stepped lightly through the shrubs in the distance and disappeared before I could get a better look.  Later, after I played a recording of the trumpet noise to a friend, I discovered that what I saw and heard was a sandhill crane.  

The crane’s call was echoing throughout the river as we continued to fish.  It was white fish central, as I hooked one after another.  I was getting much better at determining my strikes with my slinky, and set the hook on another fish!  The fish bolted, ripping line out of my reel.  It’s putting up a great fight, I thought as I regained control, bringing in this little white fish.  I had already caught white fish that would easily double the size of this guy, but the fight this white fish put up was picture worthy.  

The little white fish darted off, and Steve was hooked into a fish upstream. By his lack of enthusiasm, I knew he had caught another white fish.  My attention had quickly gone back to my fishing, especially after I had hooked into something big.  The fish took off downstream, and in order to stop line from screaming out my reel, I had to follow it.  Waste deep, I let the current help me as I took big strides downstream.  The weight of this fish had my Shadow 2 doubled over, and with a few more steps the fish had eased up.  A quick flash revealed that the fish I had hooked was a sucker fish!   

Getting it into the net was a challenge on its own: the fish was not wanting anything to do with me and would pull away every time I had it an inch from the net.  And when I did get it in my net, the fish had a look, as if it didn’t have a clue what was going on. 

“I didn’t even know these fish were here.” Steve said, joining me on the river's edge.  
“They are definitely here.” I told Steve, “I just have never caught them because I normally don’t nymph the South Fork.”  

The dark figure of the sucker fish swam off lazily.  Both Steve and I looked out onto the water, watching a small baetis hatch take place.  
“Any rainbows?” I asked Steve, who was dying to catch one; and I knew full well he hadn’t caught one yet. 
“Nope...” He said, “Any bull trout?” He asked me, very snobby-like.  I looked over at him, and smiled...
“Well played, Steve... Well played.” 

The baetis had started hatching, and a few fish starting rising to them.  I took off my nymphing leader, and switched my Shadow 2 into a dry fly rod.  I got into position to cast out my RS2 BWO fly to a non-suspecting fish.  The fly floated gingerly over the feeding fish, and it came up and ate my fly.  The fish thrashed as I brought it in, and Steve was there to snap a picture. 

Another rising fish was only a few feet away from the previous one.  I dusted my fly, to get it floating again, and presented it to the new fish.  The water was moving slowly carrying my fly towards the fish.  The fish appeared, right under my fly, taking a careful look before opening its mouth to take in my fly.  I set the hook, and the fish was airborne.  Splash, splash, splash!  This fish was pissed, but despite its jumping abilities, it came in easy.  

“I want to get a rainbow.” Steve said, as I let the fish go. 
“Go for a rising one, then you know it will be a bow.” I suggested, and handed the rod to Steve.  We could see fish rising all over the place, so it was now a matter of choosing a fish to catch.  I suggested to Steve that we get closer to the fish we were going for; that way there was no need to make some fancy, long distance cast when just a simple one would do.  Steve’s fly was a little out of the feeding lane, but the fish came up for it anyway and Steve set the hook! SNAP!

“Whoa, Steve. You are only fishing with 6X tippet.” I said, before I tied on a new fly for him.  More fish were rising, as Steve regained his confidence, and presented his fly to another fish.  The fish willing took his fly, and Steve set the hook!  Splash, splash, gone... 
“What am I doing wrong?” Steve asked, frustrated.  I explained that it would just be a matter of time and experience that would eventually work itself out.  By now most of the fish had stopped rising and we headed back to the truck.  Just as we approached where we would walk out, a fish rose. 
“I want to watch you catch it.” Steve said.  I presented my fly, and the fish came up to take it.  I set the hook, and brought in this nice rainbow. 

“See how easy it is?” I said to Steve with a smile, as I released my fish and looked up just in time to see a second fish rising right behind the spot where I had caught my fish. 
“That’s your fish!” I said to him, handing over my rod. Steve wanted a rainbow so bad he could taste it.  So to ease his anxiety, I said, “You better get this one, because you know I can...”  
“Yeah, thanks...” Steve said as he focused on his cast, and laid out his fly.  With the smallest dimple of a rise, Steve’s fish took his fly, and he set the hook!  The fish felt the pressure of Steve’s line, and immediately started thrashing.  In that split second we both recognized the size of this fish was easily double the size of the fish I had just caught, and in that split second, the fish threw Steve’s hook and it was gone.  
Steve stood there in shock, saying, “Did you see that fish?” 
“That was a big fish!” I confirmed.  There were no more rising fish, so we headed up to the truck.  After the excitement, we geared down and settled in for the ride home. I looked over at Steve and said, “Hey, Steve.  Do you remember that time when you lost that big fish?" Steve didn't miss s beat, "Was that the same time when I caught that bull trout?  Something you have yet to do at the South Fork?"  He glanced over at me, smiling. 
"Well, until next time!" I said.
"Yes Sir!" Steve replied, and we drove home.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Curse of the Camera

There are those days when you are on the river and you feel you can do no wrong.  The fish rise all around you and they take the fly presented to them without hesitation.  Days like this can make you feel like you are God’s gift to fly fishing... but today was not that kind of day. 

Nick Watson chose me to be in his short fly fishing documentary for his Intro To Video class project, and today was the day we were to film.  I chose the Owyhee River, as I figured it would be the likely place to capture footage of a fish being caught.  As I wandered up, both Nick and my buddy, Shadow, gathered the video equipment.  

The fish were rising all over, and I stood looking down at the fish pointing out the ones I would catch first.  With all the confidence in the world, I strolled down to the water and got into position to cast.  Both Shadow and Nick had the cameras rolling as I casted to the fish and was refused time and time again. 

Time was flying by, and I could hear Nick at the top of the hill, worrying about his battery life.  Shadow, on the other hand, was paying very close attention to me... 
“There are fish rising all around you!”  He called down to me, as if I hadn’t noticed; but he didn’t stop there. 
“I was hoping you would have caught a fish by now.” He said, as I had yet another refusal.
“Do you think the hatch changed?” He suggested, after a fish didn’t even bother to look at my fly as it passed over top.  I saw another fish feeding and I moved, ever so stealthy, upstream.  I even crouched down to sneak up a little closer to the fish.  I presented my fly, and could see the fish as it moved over to check out the fly.  Its mouth opened and took in my fly.  I gingerly set the hook, and the fly slipped right out of the fish’s mouth. 
Shadow didn’t miss a beat, saying, “Erik... Erik, I don’t think you’re my hero anymore.”  

We found a new spot, and with it came new found confidence.  The guys, once again, stood up on the roadside ready for action.  This time we found a fish feeding like crazy, and I quickly moved into position.  BWO-RS2, suspended midge, conparadun, cripple BWO, Skwalla, and more; nothing was working, and the fish kept feeding.
“THAT’S IT!” I yelled, and clipped off my up-wing BWO.  I pulled out my terrestrial box and opened it.  There, glistening in the sun like an emerald stone, sat the Pico Spider, waiting ever so patiently.   I quickly tied it on, and as I synched the knot I whispered to it, “C-mon baby!”  The Pico hit the water, playing it’s part as a helpless terrestrial perfectly.  Without any hesitation or second thought, the fish darted up, and ate it! 
“The Pico Spider strikes again!” I yelled, as the thrashing of a nice brown trout erupted on the water.  Nick slid down the embankment, faster than a Ninja Turtle, to capture the excitement!

A weight was lifted from me after I caught a fish for the camera.  Shadow geared up and started to fish while Nick kept his place: behind the camera.  Nick found a fish leisurely swimming around, and snuck up on it with a GoPro. 

Just as I climbed up the road to head to a new spot, both Nick and I heard a huge splash.  It was Shadow; while looking for fish and wading through the water, he tripped over a rock that took him down, proving once again that he should not do two things at once.   Once we arrived to our new spot, Shadow hung up his waders to dry. Soaked, he went back to holding the camera.  Nick followed me to the river, and with the Pico Spider I had a fish on in no time. 

Boom! Boom! Boom!  Fish, fish, fish was how it was working out, and we couldn’t have been happier with the results.  After a few more fish, Shadow came marching down to the river. 
“It takes a real man to get back into his waders after they have been soaked!” Shadow said boldly, as he stepped back into the water, fully geared up again.   

After that last run of fish, things started to slow down, and Shadow was not getting any love from the fish.  The once beautiful day was turning cold quickly, so Nick and I headed back up to gear down.  Nick had used all of his battery life in his video cameras and was happy with the results.  From where we stood, we could see that a few fish were still rising, taunting Shadow to stay out for as long as he could see his fly before heading in.  

We all got into the vehicle, and the smell of a wet farm animal fill the inside of my Rav so much that it could gag a mule. 
“Is it me, or does it smell like a wet Shadow in the car?” I said, looking over to Nick who was laughing at the comment.  

“Don’t worry boys!” Shadow said, “I’m sure it’s just my wet feet you smell.” He readjusted himself and rolled down the window to stick his feet out. 
“They just need to dry off a bit.” He said, hanging his feet out to air-dry as I drove.   

The open window was making things cold, and I didn’t dare turn on the heat with the musky smell.  Further out of the canyon, Shadow pulled in his feet, and the smell had subdued.  Even thought it was cold, I did leave one of the back windows cracked to waft out some of the smell.  No one needed to die tonight.