St. Joe report.

Went over to Idaho to visit the folks this weekend. The old man (not the Old Man here!) and I went to the upper St. Joe, so I thought I'd post a little report here in case anyone's headed over. I want to preface this by apologizing for my vagueness, I'm not an expert angler and have just taken up fly fishing again since June after a 15 year hiatus.
The water was fairly low, although possibly a little higher than it was last year at this time. It was warm enough to wade in shorts, but just barely. The furthest downstream we fished was Malin (?) creek. Plenty of other folks up there, my dad was annoyed but of course compared to Western WA it wasn't bad. The majority of turnouts were occupied, especially as we went upstream, but we found spots without any real difficulty.
On to the fishing: As I said I'm a beginner, so the old man severly outfished me. However, I probably pulled in 10-15 fish over the course of the day. Average size was about 10" and we caught two or three 13"-14" (all wild cutts, of course)... Nice :THUMBSUP They were a little picky, dad got a couple on a larger Adams (14 maybe), I had no luck on smaller Adams or caddis (or a variety of other flies!) initially. The only surface insect activity seemed to be tiny little brown gnat like things.
Sadly I don't know the name of the most successful fly of the day, it was small (18 or 20), cream/tan colored with a short brown forked tail, and a small hackle. That's the best I can do. I tried a small white cahill and did quite well with that.
As the sun started to set, the first caddis slowly appeared, and finally the fish started taking them, so after 6:30 or so the good old elk hair caddis was doing quite well. We didn't stay too late, but as it was starting to get dark I hooked my last fish on a green stimulator, size 16 fly, I think.
What did I learn? The fish are definitely in certain parts of the runs, and one does MUCH better if one casts where surfacing can be seen. Drag was hard to control as most of the surface activity was across the river, there were plenty of fish that looked, then turned away or bumped the fly without taking it. They did not seem to like bright artifical flies, although as evening fell the stimulator did work.

All in all really good trip and the best fishing I've had since I've started again... Time to explore the Yakima, something a little closer to home with some good sized fish (or so I hear).


PS The rumor that rainbows fight harder than cutts seems certainly to be true. I've had more action from 10"-11" rainbows than the 12"-14" cutts provided... But it was still plenty of fun :BIGSMILE