St. Joe, 2014

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by cabezon, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,790
    Media:
    224
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    A few weeks ago, I hit the St. Joe with some friends in a yearly gathering of friends, family, flyrods, campfires, banjos and guitars. The flows were good. But the days were blazing hot (until the hail-bearing thunderstorm hit) and the water warmed up by late afternoon before cooling in the evening. Not much was hatching during the day, just tiny midges in the late afternoon. The normal magic hour, when the evening transitions from merely dark to “too dark to see” and even the biggest fish lose their caution toward dry flies, seemed to be shortened to the magic half-hour. Morning, noon, and night. I had most success with a size 14 elk-hair caddis. A cast to likely spots brought up occasional nice fish during the day – gotta love the cutts love of dries. Of course, if the better fish missed/refused, it was game over and time to move onto another fish. There wasn’t much of a mayfly hatch (I often see PMDs this time of year or yellow sallies) but mayfly emergers were effective in the evening. As always, I love the colors of the westslope cutthroats, from the orange bellies of the “pool bosses”, to the bright markings of the fish in the smaller creeks. Also, the streamside wild flowers – Pedicularis, paintbrush, shooting starts, etc. are just icing on the cake. I look forward to this trip every year, both for the fishing but especially for the company.
    MondayCutt3c.jpg MondayCutt2c.jpg MondayCutt2e.jpg MondayPaintbrush1b.jpg MondayPedicularis1b.jpg TuesdayCutt1b.jpg TuesdayCutt1f.jpg TuesdayCutt2e.jpg Wednesday2c.jpg TuesdayCutt2b.jpg WednesdayCutt4b.jpg WednesdayCutt5d.jpg WednesdayCutt5e.jpg TuesdayCutt1b.jpg ThursdayCutt2b.jpg ThursdayCutt2h.jpg Friday1f.jpg FridayCutt2c.jpg
     
    wadin' boot, Mike Ediger, GAT and 6 others like this.
  2. Skysoldier

    Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    Lost in the woods.....
    Looks like an awesome time.........its hard to beat great fishing and camping with friends and family. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.
     
  3. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I love picture no. 2. Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for posting.
     
  4. Ron McNeal

    Ron McNeal Life's good!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    362
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    Poulsbo, WA
    Wow! Life's good!
     
  5. plarsen111

    plarsen111 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    Wow, you caught some nice fish!

    I was up there myself. Love that river. We will be going back next year.

    What flies were you using. I had much of my luck on caddis, bwo comparadun, and ants.
     
  6. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    345
    Media:
    41
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    Nice trip and pictures. Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,790
    Media:
    224
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    My primary flies were size 14 and size 16 elkhair caddis. I also fished a royal wulff in one of the smaller streams for a while. When the afternoon midge hatch was on, I fished a size 20 BWO (closest match that I had) and had several nice fish rise and hooked and landed a few. At the start of the magic hour, I fished a PMD CDC emerger behind the caddis. When it was really becoming dark, I took the emerger off (or had a massive tangle and cut it free....). During the middle of the day, I tried a stimulator to see if that would induce any of the bigger fish to come up.

    The folks that I fish with have been fishing the St. Joe for even longer than I have (and I've fished there for a week in July for over a decade now). Some spots always produce nice fish. A few spots that had been productive have changed and are less so. Some of this is a function of water flow and some of it with some holes filling in and other becoming scoured out. I don't mind wading some gnarly places to fish for cutts that probably don't see a fly that often. It also helps that I am left-handed and usually cross the river (flows permitting), giving me a different angle.

    Steve
     
  8. plarsen111

    plarsen111 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    Thank you for the tips and update. Every year we pick a new spot to fish, but next year we have already decided to head back to the Joe. We floated in 8-9 foot pontoon boats. This really opened up the river to new fishing spots while allowing us to quickly get from spot to spot.
     

Share This Page