Thursday, July 12, 2018

High Water, a Litte Wind, and Hungry Trout

Yesterday afternoon I decided to head out to the Swan River to fish below the dam in the Pacific Park area.  There is some whitewater kayaking that goes on in the stretch of the river so the water levels are often running to high to fish effectively until later in the fall, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. When I got to where I could see the river I could tell that it was still quite high, but I held out hope as I walked down to the water, then downstream to a very large "hole" where the water is usually flowing slower than the rest of the river.

When I got downstream I could clearly see that the river wasn't raging too bad in this section, so I tied on an 1/8 oz jig head to do a little drift fishing.  I tipped the jig head with a Berkley Power Nymph and began to drift fish. The first couple of casts felt normal, although I was thinking that I might need a bit more weight to get down to the target area or "bite zone" in these high water levels? 

Within two more casts I felt a small tap and set the hook.  The fish almost immediately began talking drag and I wondered what species of fish I may have hooked.  During this time of year I sometimes catch quite large squaw fish, which can be fun to catch, but are nothing other than very large minnows.  It was fighting quite hard and after about 3 minutes I saw the familiar flash of a rainbow trout. 

Yep, I had hooked a nice Swan River Rainbow, my first of the season, and just hoped I could get her in to take a closer look.  After making a few more nice runs, I was able to cradle the nice 18 or so inch trout in my left hand as I removed the jig from her mouth with my right and softly let her swim off unharmed.  I then made another cast and with 4 drifts hooked another fish.  This one just as heavy as the first, but not fighting nearly as hard.  I quickly realized that it was an 18 inch lake trout and I performed the same maneuver to release this fish as well.  After walking upstream a few feet I hooked another fish, although this one was much smaller than the previous two.  A 10 inch cutthroat was released and my catching of fish was over for the day. 

Although I did get a bite or two more, I didn't hook another fish for the rest of the day, which was strange, but what the hey, that's why they call it fishing, right?  3 different species of trout in a couple of hours fishing.  Not too bad.  Even though all of the fish were caught in the first half an hour of fishing for some strange reason?  I've certainly had better days and without question worse, but all in all a good afternoon on the water, I'd say. 

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