The Elwha may finally be a free flowing river again... I mean sure they've been saying that since I was wee lad, just learning to fly-fish with pops on the Greenwater. But they actually gave the contract to a Montana Firm to remove the two dams that have wrecked the salmon runs on the Elwha. They say maybe in 30 years the run could recover....
Fantastic. Here's the link to the article in the Seattle Times.
So I know I promised you a Juan report in my last blog post but unfortunately I did not make it down to the Juan before I left Durango two days ago for Jackson Hole.
Why didn't I fish the Juan? The weekend we were going to head down there we caught wind that the entire state of Texas had just descended upon the river and began their convulsive rowing of circles through Texas Hole because some guy told them of a 10lb Brown he had seen brush past his fly two years previous. We decided to skip the show of 10-gallon black hats, never before used Cabelas waders, and hearing "Golly!" and "Y'all see that one?!" once every 25 seconds, to fish the Animas. And slay fish we did. Hopper + caddis nymph dropper = mega fish. Keep that in mind if you decide to sneak out of Washington and fish Colorado during steelhead season.
I, once again, digress. My first day back I went right for the throat of fishing in Jackson. That's right I went right after Flat Creek. Good 'Ole Flat Creek. Dirty, rotten no good son of a....ahem. Sorry about that.
The fishing was slow (as it usually is. If you don't have patience or like to work for your fish. Go fish the Buffalo Fork.) but I got into 6 fish. Unfortunately none of them were monstrous. The biggest was 20 and it took a size 22 grey RS2 that was trailing along behind a Red Turk's Tarantula. Most of the other fish were taken on an assortment of smaller, green bodied hoppers as well as one on a black marabou leech with red and green flashabou tied back from the head the length of the body.
From what I could gather talking to some other fly-fisherpeople (I say people because a few were women...no need to discriminate by saying fisherman.) Hoppers, Quigley Cripples, red and green bodied Turk's Tarantulas, leeches and midge patterns were catching fish sporadically throughout the day.
With Flat Creek you know it always depends on what the fish is feeling like at the moment your fly goes by. Flat Creek trout are definite drama queens. You got to cater to their needs. And no...you cannot use explosives.
Yes, this Saturday, August 14th on the Snoqualmie River at the bridge in Fall City. Festivities kick off at 9am and go most of the day. Mostly we will be just hanging out casting rods and lines but there will be a few choice presentations through the day you'll want to check out. Loosely it looks like this
Charles St. Pierre-Spey Casting Fundamentals and the new cast the "T-Poke" 10am
George Cook-Switch Rods and Northwest Style Casting 1130am
Aaron Reimer-Myths of Spey Casting 1pm
We will have coffee and donuts in the morning until it's gone. Lots of gear to check out from Sage, Echo, Redington, Winston, Scientific Anglers, Airflo, Rio and even Simms, the stuff that keeps you dry and comfy while your fishing your spey rod.
So you know that issue you Washingtonians were having earlier this summer with rivers being blown out and the fishing being near impossible? Yeah...welcome to monsoon season in Durango. Wicked violent thunderstorms in the morning, afternoon, night...yeah they come out of nowhere, drop like 3 inches of rain in 25 minutes and turn the Animas into the color of a red Crayola Crayon. So yeah...but at least we have the Juan. Oh? Was that a low blow? So sorry.
Anyway, Brett informs me that I should continue to write on this here fancy internet, blog doohickey because he is too lazy...err...I mean busy, right busy, to do so. So you will get a steady stream of me from now on. This is your fair warning to go read something else. No? Well you can't say I didn't warn you.
Since I won't be fishing the Juan until this weekend (oh ho! The hits just keep coming!) I will just pleasure you with some more places to fish this summer.
1. Elk Creek, Colorado: This is on my "to do" list, in the numero uno position (for those of you that don't speak Spanish, that means the number uno). This was featured in Fly-Fisherman a couple months back. You know, it's Rocky Ford on steroids. The creek is literally 15 feet wide in places and holds browns up to 8lbs in it. You hike into the meadow sections and fish terrestrials, midges and I was told...*gasp*...that a San Juan worm in purple would work. Once I get the time off I will definitely be heading to this place and so should you...I mean it only took me 22 hours to get here from Cle Elum and that was with a sidetrip to Jackson Hole on the way down...
2. Flat Creek, Jackson Hole: Hey guess what?! Flat Creek opened up on the first of August! Want to fish for jumbo cutty's with giant elk breathing down your neck just north of scenic Jackson Hole? Yes...yes you do. I would wait...oh about 7.65 more days though. Why wait you ask? Because that is when the 512 people that slept in their cars on July 30th to get out on the creek at midnight will actually decide it is time to take a shower, shave and stop slapping the water with every fly on God's green earth. My tips...use a red wire San Juan worm, midges, spinner cripples and yes...even a black wooley bugger or leech pattern has had success in tricking these giant fish of legend.
3. Green River, Flaming Gorge, Utah: I mentioned in the earlier post right down there that I stopped here on the way up to Jackson and just hammered fish, well...apparently you can tie on some big new fangled foam fly the size of a chicken (ok maybe a small rodent, sue me for exaggerating) and catch fish. I have only that one experience to go on, but I may go back. Alright, alright! I will go back...sheesh...you people are so touchy. Hey! Put that down! I said I was going back. Terrestrials, chernobyls, stones, assorted nymphs, including a SJ worm...should do the trick. Fish near the dam or if you have a boat do the float...there are assorted access points all downriver from the dam as well for you poor folks like me who have to rely on wading to fish.
And on that note. I am going to end this now with the promise of a Juan update after this weekend. I don't know when...I don't know how...but it will happen. This is more assured than steelhead actually not being mythical. Until that happens.