Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Miserable day on the Clark Fork

Cody, Garret and I met in the parking lot of the dorms this morning at 8:30. We began to discuss where we wanted to fish as we loaded our boats into the trucks, wondering if crawling out of bed this morning was actually worth it. It was actually quite warm and the snow dustings on Mount Sentinel had almost disappeared.

It wasn't until we stopped at a gas station that we actually decided on what section of the Clark Fork we were going to float; the exact same section as yesterday. It was a risky section. We had only landed a couple fish and overall there wasn't too much action. It was mostly sunny yesterday but today the weather was a lot different. As we headed west on I-90 we could see snow clouds developing above the hills. It was still above freezing and a very cloudy overcast day. Baetis is what drove us to do the same section and we were positive we would see more fish rising than yesterday. We arrived at the access and began putting our pontoon boats together.

The ice on the slough that we got stuck on yesterday had completely melted which saved us the extra walk transporting the boats to the main channel.

When we hit the main channel I fished the same riffle/run where I caught my cuttbow yesterday with no results. I stuck with the same colored streamer and I was very surprised that I had no takes. The water looked perfect. After fishing the run I played catch up and finally reached Cody and Garret who had not had any strikes either. About 45 minutes into fishing the snow began to fall and the cold began to come. It wasn't bad at first and we continued working the water hard with our streamers. There were still no signs of rising fish.

Cody working a nice riffle

                                                             Garret working below

We continued down the river for about another mile. Still no strikes. These fish were not being aggressive and the cold was getting progressively worse as to say, "you should of stayed home." We stopped for a short shore lunch and discussed how much the fishing sucked so far. Our negative attitudes and dampened spirits probably didn't help anything but I guess you've got to have a negative attitude sometimes or else fly fishing wouldn't be like life.

After lunch I decided that due to the fact that I couldn't feel my fingers (even with my warmest gloves on), I would probably not fish unless I saw some very good looking water. For now I would just sit back, relax and enjoy the float. After another couple of minutes I came to the realization that I just wanted to get the hell off the river. I was starting to lose feeling in my toes also. However a set of small rapids took my mind off the pain for a while. It was definitely my favorite part of the day!

The rest of the float was speedy quick and we basically rowed the whole time. I did fish a small riffle run for about 5 minutes. Garret and Cody spotted a small pod of rising fish but couldn't entice them to take a BWO pattern. When we reached our takeout at an incoming creek we spotted a few fish from the bridge and casted to them. I had a decent sized brown chase my streamer and then turn away. We also saw 2 small pike, the first ones I've seen in Montana.

Overall it was a pretty Miserable day. None of us even had a take and we easily spent more time rowing to get off the river than actually fishing. Even though the fishing sucked, something about freezing your ass off for a few hours without even a hit makes you realize that even the worst days, are good days.

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