Monday, February 8, 2010

Phenomenal Phishing on the North Phork

I was watching it snow on the river today and after feeding the livestock without freezing to death I decided an afternoon float and fish was in order. I aired up the pontoon and took off with a rod and a cell phone so I could call my wife to pick me up at a location to be determined later. I immediately hooked up with a small rainbow right in front of the house and would hook and lose a big brown just above fantasy island. The water is cranking at about 1500 cfs so all the fishing was done from the boat. Those first two fish took a yellow/brown pat's rubberlegs #6, and the big brown took it in some swift deep water filled with big boulders and snags. I had him on for a minute or so and he rewarded me with a big jump before I finally was forced to pull too hard trying to avoid a downed tree. The hook simply pulled loose and I was bested by yet another big fish. I reached Patrick Bridge without any more action and decided to continue on down to James Bridge about 4 miles downstream. By now I had lost all my yellow Pat's, remember you must get it on the bottom on the NFoW! I now had on a coffee and black Pat's (tied with a little bling)and quickly caught 2 browns in the water leading up to Riverside. Most of the riffles I was flying through out of control so I actually caught more fish in the slower water today. I continued to pick up brown after brown all between 10-15 inches until another big boy ate. As I approached the last riffle above James Bridge I snagged what I thought was the bottom, I set the hook and it flew out of the water and landed in my lap, it just so happened to be a sculpin. Being in red ribbon water I decided to leave the sculpin hooked up and drag it through the riffle (not exactly purist, but all the old timers say sculpin are the best bait). I flipped my rig over a shelf as I floated through and immediately saw a submarine come up and grab my "nymph". I set the hook and after a big tug my line snapped as I palmed the reel a little too hard. That's what I get for bait fishing!! What a wonderful 2 1/2 hours on the water. Nothing big brought to hand but lots of little guys, big clear water, only me the eagles and the deer on the river. If you've never fished in the snow it is an experience like no other, catching fish is just icing on the cake!

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