Keeping me humble

I headed out to the jobsite this morning. Business as usual. I didn't have too much I could do, but had to let the subcontractors in. I got what I needed done, and waited around until 12:00. The heavy snow must have kept them away.
I was pondering heading up and over the pass and trying to catch some cutthroat for the remainder of the day. I was literally sitting in my truck in Nespelem, staring up at it, when the weather came on the radio. The snow was supposed to switch to freezing rain. After three inches of snow already stuck! That was going to be a mess! I chose to stay on this side of the mountains and fish for rainbows.
Around 1:00 a big hatch of tiny midges popped off. I tried to get video of all the heads/snouts poking up, but couldn't get my camera to focus through the driving snow and sleet. Tons of fish rising! I don't think I've ever seen so many heads on that stretch except during a blanket caddis hatch late in the summer!
I started out with a red micro leech. I've had super days in winter with that fly, but not today. I didn't get a take until I went to a #18 chironomid. Broke it off! Retied, shifted position slightly, and.... My very next cast went into the top of a tree. No getting that back. Indicator, fly, and all my tippet! No biggie, usually. But there are only three trees in this entire stretch of water that's a mile long. Poor situational awareness. Retied, waded out, and got a cast into the zone. First drift a fish comes up and inhales my 3/4 thingamabobber! I instinctively set and broke my whole set up off. I watched the orange bobber slowly drift out of sight. Before it did, it got grabbed three more times. Apparently, I should have been using a bright orange hopper or something. Broke two fish off in two hours, and missed two other takes... Final score Skunk.
Apparently there is a chink in fish-borg’s armor. Thanks for the report. Happens to everyone. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Great story. I was thinking of your adventures as we passed by your river in the predawn headed to the LR gym for the Power House Wrestling Tournament.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Nice, honest report, Trip. I commend you on your decision-making prudence. An occasional smack-down builds character & makes us more appreciative of what we do receive.
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Active Member
I was out the other day throwing a two hander in the cold. Started out nicely had a good grab after about ten minutes and thought this is going to be great. Then my casting just went to shit. Hooked myself then the bank then myself. I am out in pretty heavy current stumbling around could not feel my fingers I am thinking am I getting hypothermia? Tried slowing down really concentrating on my stroke still pitiful results. Finally figured out not only we’re guides iced up but running line had formed a layer of ice on it, apparently not so good for shooting. Once that was cleaned off casting improved but misery remained finally trudged back up the hill to my truck. Yes I am a quitter, and skunked to boot.

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