Big Lost River Weekend

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by mike doughty, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    Well i had been trying to decide whether to fish the big lost or the big wood rivers in idaho and after a week of trying to get some sort of reports from fly shops in the area and couldn't i decided to drive to mackay idaho and fish the big lost, hoping that it wasn't frozen over. I got on the road as soon as the seahawks game was over and drove the 240 miles to mackay. I got into town at around 10pm and got the last room left in town, had there not been any rooms left then i would have had to back track in the storm about 25 miles to the nearest town. anyways i stayed at the wagon wheel motel, i had tried to get someone to take the trip with me but as it turns out it's a good thing nobody could go because the room only had one bed and i wasn't going to share. if anybody ever decides to go there this is your best lodging option in town, the rooms had a full kitchen including microwave and had i known that i would have stocked up on tv dinners to save some money. sunday morning i got up to blowing snow, freezing temps. and high winds, fricking perfect. there is a campground about 3 miles down the road from the motel and that is where i decided to fish first, spent the first few hours of the morning nymphing without touching or seeing a fish, thinking that this is pretty standard for my last 1/2 dozen outings or so. around 11am i decided i would drive up to below mackay dam and see if i could maybe get some protection from the wind, nope not a chance. still nymphing and trying a variety of small midges and baetis patterns decided i would throw on a soft hackle since nothing else was working, nymphed it through a drift and at the end of it slowly stripped it back. the stripping was what was working, first couple of strips and fish on and then lost. i then decided that nymphing was out and stripping soft hackles was in. i got into a handful of fish while landed a couple of them and then after i was cold enough i decided i would head back to town, warm up and get something to eat before heading out again. after lunch i went back to my room and geared up my other rod with a sinking line and a small olive egg sucking leech to hopefully maybe pull something bigger from the bottom of the pools. unfortunately the size of the fish stayed basically the same rnaging from 11 - 15"'s, all rainbows. stripping the soft hackles up top was good but the leech toward the bottom was even more productive. all in all i would guess around 40-50 hooked with maybe 20 of those landed, all after lunch except the 3 that i caugfth this morning. got up this morning and the wind had died down some but it was about 20 degrees colder. when i left the motel the thermometer read 3 degrees and my car had a little trouble starting. i fished for about an hour this morning until i couldn't feel my fingers anymore and decided that the weekend was good enough and it was time to go. had the weather been a little warmer i would have stayed a little longer but, the hell with it. also yesterday at the end of my day i saw some people using spinning gear in the hole above me where i had already fished and decided that on the way out i would see if i could be a jerk and outfish the spin guys. they were fishing the top of the hole so i fished the bottom of it, it is plenty big for all of us, i made 3 casts and landed 3 fish then left. made me feel good. i didn't take much fish pictures because i can only take so many pictures of 13" fish that all look roughly the same. i plan on taking the same trip in march before they close the river, i was told by the owner of the fly shop that march has a great baetis hatch the flows are a lot better, they are 70cfs right now, and they routinely pull out 3 to 4 pounders from the river, also the dry fly fishing is supposed to be outstanding.
     
  2. Bill Reed

    Bill Reed Member

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    Nice report Mike! Glad to see that you had some success in spite of the conditions. I still get cold thinking about my last trip like that.:eek:
     
  3. Pat M

    Pat M Chasing Tiger Trout

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    Well Mike, I have to say...thats Winter fishing at it's best. Your a brave man to face those elements. Oh yea Nice fish too!!!!:thumb:
     
  4. Sinktip

    Sinktip Monty

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    Sounds like good times to me.:thumb: I can almost see myself standing in the snow. I would have called dibs on the floor in front of the heater so you would have been alright on the single. With the flows as high as they are around here I might just head up to the snow and find some place to fish.
    Thanks for the report Mike.

    Monty