Not one to give up too easy, I tried my hand a fishing the South Fork of the Payette River Wednesday morning near Grandjean. This was after the 20 mile hike – so I was pretty tired, but since I was having a hard time sleeping, I decided to try my luck.
It may sound crazy – but I carried my fly pole with me on the hike across the Sawtooth Mountains. Some folks had told me that there were fish in there hills – and I aimed to find a few.
The first lake I tried was Alpine Lake (see pervious post for picture) – but the wind was too strong to really cast a fly line. So we packed up after lunch and headed up and over the pass to the Barren Lakes.
That evening I caught a small brook trout at the main Barren Lake (there are three of them). The picture to the right was taken from our camp site the next morning – but it shows the place where I was fishing – near the log dam on the main lake (at about middle point in the below picture)
I spend all morning working around the north side of the lake trying to find some fish. At one spot I found a lot of fish – but none of them would bite. Shoot, I stood there for a few hours watching them play with my fly hook, but not takers…
After I made it half way across the lake, I turned back towards the campsite. As I past the spot where the fish had been taunting me early that morning, I decided to cast my hook one more time…. That was it. I caught one!!!
Granted, it wasn’t that big. But boy did it taste good!!
Let the record be set – I am not an avid fisherman. Growing up my father tried to teach me the skills of casting and catching fish – however, the odds where stacked against me as I usually found myself in the water instead on the bank holding a rod. (This would be why I took up SCUBA diving!)
Even with this history, there was something that kept drawing me to fly fishing. It seemed so graceful and active all at the same time. No longer are you sitting on bank with a beer in hand waiting for a fish to bite. Nor are you zipping around on your boat casting and reeling and casting and reeling…..
With fly fishing it is a smooth graceful cast – dodging vegetation and the line eating trees – up stream with the peaceful, relaxing pause as the fly floats downstream in the current. Theeeeeennnnn repeat. Over and over as you stand among the clear mountain streams and rivers praying to the Lord Most High.
Well…at least that’s what happened yesterday morning about ten miles north of Crouch on the Middle Fork of the Payette River. [@more@]
It was wonderful! We drove up into the mountains late Sunday night hunting for a place to camp. Finally about 10 or 10:30 pm, we arrived at a narrow 4×4 trail that led up to a beautiful campsite next to a rushing stream coming off the mountain sloops. We had put an air mattress in the bed of the truck before we left the house to use at the camp. To be honest I was a little worried that it would rain on the drive over and make the air mattress damp. Luckily that didn’t happen, but I’ve been thinking of getting a truck cover (like those on https://www.peragon.com/truck-tonneau-covers/ just in case I decide to take a mattress in the back again In the end it was all worth it, we were able to go right to sleep with the help of our air mattress.
Early the next morning (Monday), I awake to the rising sun and the chirping of the birds. It was wonderful!
I grabbed my fishing gear and headed down to the river to see what I could catch. At first it was very disappointing as there wasn’t a fish in slight. Wondering up and down the river, I began to ask the Creator if He would at least let me see a fish – I don’t have to catch it. Just seeing that there was something living the water would be enough!!! (Bear tracks on the bank suggested that there was living beings on the shore!)
Casting once again into the waters, I let the fly float down stream before flicking it upwards….only this time, something was wrong. Sigh. I had caught a rock….only if it was a rock, why was it moving?!
Glory be to the Lord Most High! He had allowed me to catch a beautiful rainbow trout!! (never mind the fact it was only 6 inches long). In fact, this fish was the very first fish I had caught using a fly rod. Much happiness!
I released the trout as it wasn’t big enough to eat, then went on to catch two more small trouts….granted it could have been the same one as it was in or near the same location.