900: Leave house, gas up, get snacks, hit the road south to the park.
930: Realize I forgot bear spray at home for the second weekend in a row. U turn and lots of cursing, and an extra hour of driving. I already own two bear sprays or I would have just bought one in Gardiner.....it's still unnerving to head into country where there are things that actually will eat you. A couple people have already been snacks this year alone.
1100 At Tower Junction. Head to Lamar.
1200 on the Lamar River. I brought too much stuff with me. Backpack, big camera, fishing pack, rod, 2 bearsprays....I looked like Fishing Tourist Number One. Crap.
No one on the river where I am at though. No sign of fish either. I started throwing a nymph rig out, and got no love at all. I was wet wading in my sandals and the water was cold as hell. I decided to hike downriver a bit...mostly to wait for the water to warm up a little.
The air temperature was ridiculously warm. I bet high 80's. I was sweating just walking around. Further downstream the river was really cool. It was the kind of river I really like to fish. Big enough, slowish, but with big boulders strewn around. Not too many though that it was hard to navigate, but enough to make good runs and pockets in between big pools. I fished the lower Gardner River the previous weekend and it was really jumbled up and difficult to work through. This part of the Lamar has enough space to be really easy to deal with.
I caught a number of rainbows and cutthroats on a hopper/dropper rig. I went with the hopper setup after walking downstream in the meadow and kicking up hordes of little 1" brown grasshopppers. It is amazing that fish go for some of these hopper patterns that look absolutly nothing like a real grasshopper. Two of the fish I caught were actually snags on the dropper which was pretty weird. They came up, decided the hopper really didn't look like a real hopper, and turned right into the dropper nymph and got snagged. That was the first time that's happened to me.
Chubby little Rainbow snag. Oops.
Crap picture of a cutthroat. This one actually tried to eat the fly. Good job buddy! All the fish I got were in the 10-12" range and were quite spirited once they got hooked!
It was a great day of fishing. At one point I caught two fish on two consecutive casts, which is always a surprise. The last fish I got had a strange thing happen. It was fighting the line near the surface, and I saw a big trout cruise underneath it near the bottom. He went by twice and I think he was hoping for a free meal! The fish on my hook was 10", and the cruiser must have been 20" or so. That was a new one to me. I know the big ones eat the little ones, but eating a meal 50% your own size? Wow.
Noticed the Shop Vac dropper I had on only lasted about 4 fish before it was toast. I think it worked better when it was half unravelled and shaggy, but then worked less well as a bare hook after all the dressing fell off...! Need to start tying my own flies soon. Signed up for a class in November so hopefully that will be a start.
Also, there was no one around in the section I chose to fish! Pretty incredible. I cruised further up the road when I was done and there were a bunch of folks fishing where the river got really close to the road. World renowned trout fishing river....no people near me. Fantastic.
Last weekend on the Gardner was fun, but I liked today better. A little easier to get around on the river, and easier currents to deal with.