Thursday, July 14, 2011

"And The Beat Goes On"

The fishing remains amazing.  I know I have said this before but it demands repeating.  The Grey Reef and Miracle Mile sections of the North Platte are the best trophy trout waters in the US.  20 inch rainbows are now routine.  The North Platte Lodge has a 25" Club.  We award anglers a hat recognizing their accomplishment.  The Lodge has had to re-order hats already this year.

A friend of mine recently spent the day at the Mile.  He had over 100 hookups and landed over 70 fish. He lost count of the fish over 20".   He fished a Golden Stone dry with a dropper. The vast majority of takes were on the dry.  He had 6 fish break him off!  And he was wade fishing! That can't be done on any other river in the country that I know of.

Recently I had the honor of having dear friends Jack and Jan Massimino from Park City in my boat on the Reef. Jack and Jan are both excellent fly fishers.  I don't want to denegrate any of my less accomplished guests, but it is a joy to fish with folks who can actually land the fly where they want to and know the nuances of mending. I had been seeing a few pods of rising fish over the past couple of days below Government Bridge. The Reef is having an epic Yellow Sallie hatch this year.  Clouds of Sallies and PMD's fill the air.  Today was one of those days. We put on the river at Lusby and the nymphing was on fire from the start. Several double hook ups and a few break-offs.  About a half mile below the bridge I detected a pod of risers.  They were in a quiet pool on the inside of a seam.  The Massiminos grabbed their dry fly rods as I slid the boat downstream of the fish and sneaked up the bank on the unsuspecting rainbows.  It appeared to be at least ten fish and judging by the size of the noses sticking out of the water they were all big.  The boat now in position, Jack, of course, gave the first shot to Jan.  She didn't waste the opportunity. She dropped the fly just in front of the last fish. It drifted into an open mouth. Fish on!

Ten was indeed the magic number.  We hooked them all.  We did not land them all.  Not only are Reef fish strong they are evidently from the "Dorado" strain of rainbows.  They spend as much time out of the water as they do in it.  Jump after jump. Drag screaming run after run. Four of the six fish that came to the net were over 20". Jan's first fish was 23".  The other four either broke us off or came un-bit during their "Wallendas" impersonation. Big strong fish and lots of them.  Hopper time is going to be unbelievable.

We had a magical day on the Reef. Back at the lodge Jack commented "I may never fish the Green again!"  Not the first person I have heard that from.

A quick update on puppy Molly.  She continues to make amazing improvement. She is now doing triple marked retrieves with the dummy launcher. I have started her on hand signals. She is doing great on her overs.  Will start her backs soon.  Did several retrieves from the dummy launcher 200 yards into an alfalfa field the other day.  She has to mark the dummy and then use her nose to find the dummy in the tall grass. She winded several from 10 to 20 yards away.  Fun to watch her learn to use her nose.  Looks like she may get to dress for the varsity squad this fall.

"The beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain"
Sonny and Cher


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