My cousin Willie came up from Colorado to join me for thanksgiving break. On Wednesday Chris and I showed him our basic day to day lives. We headed up to Rock Creek for a few hours to try and hook into some fish. It was unusually warm on Wednesday (almost 50 degrees), and I was excited to see if I could hook into anything. We drove about 15 miles upstream until we hit a section of the road that was pure ice. We were sliding a bunch and once we found a forest service guy sanding the road and he explained to us that a car basically slid off the road and flipped over the other day, we decided to turn back. We found a nice section downstream and gave it a go. I decided to nymph for the day. A lightning bud and san juan worm were my flies of choice. It was the first time I've used a san juan worm out west and it really worked well. I had a couple of strikes in the first run we went to. Although it was warm, the edges of the creek were pretty iced up. It was easy fishing right off the ice and I didn't have to get in the water at all.
After fishing the section for a while we headed back to the car and went downstream further. Garret showed up to join us. We found an access out of the way from the main road and began fishing it. I hooked into 2 fish in a small eddy and lost them. There was a nice pool downstream so I told Willie to come cross the river. I had given him some really crappy wading boots (the only ones available) and he was slipping pretty often. I tried to cross with him. The problem was that it was some fast moving water. I made the mistake of trying to keep Will upstream of me. It wasn't the best idea I've ever had. It only took a few steps before he slipped and took me out. We were in the water and soaked to the bone. The water was pretty damn cold and we scrambled to the bank to get out. What followed after was about 2 minutes of us cracking up laughing. I've never felt like that much of a moron and I'm sure Willie hadn't either. We ran to the car only to find that it was locked. We walked downstream to get the keys from Chris. I was very glad that it was really warm out and I wasn't cold at all. We found Chris and Garret downstream and we talked with them for a while. Chris had a big brown follow his streamer in a few times but couldn't entice the fish to take. We witnessed Garret land a decent rainbow nymphing and then ran back to the car. Willie hadn't gotten too much water in his waders, but I was soaked. I had about a foot of water in each leg of my waders and I was getting pretty cold just standing there. We waited in the car for Chris and then headed back to campus. Even though we had fallen in the river, I still had a great day with my cousin. Me falling into a Montana river in winter had to happen some day and I'm glad I got to share the wonderful experience with my cousin.
Thanksgiving day turned out to be a warm one also. Not as warm as Wednesday, but still in the 40's. Chris and I agreed to go fish a run where I had a few strikes on streamers last month. The run was a perfect streamer and nymphing run. I stuck with the nymphs. We got there and began fishing a few small riffle runs with no strikes. I waded right down to the run and began nymphing it. About half way down the run I set the hook on a nice fish. I saw a big colored up brown come up to the surface. The fishes head broke the surface and then the worst happened.....the fish broke off. My indicator was floating downstream. The leader had snapped at the indicator. I was pissed. I chased my indicator down and re-rigged.
After Chris missed a take on a streamer I fished the run again with no strikes. I headed back upstream and fished the deep hole near the bridge. Surprisingly I hooked up with a nice little cutthroat who took the san juan worm. It felt really good to land a fish for the first time in almost 2 weeks.
I nymphed the pool for a while longer and then hooked up with something I never would of expected. A dead fish......
This was about a 24 inch river sucker. One of the weirdest catches I've had out west so far. Easily the most disgusting also.
After that we called it a day and headed for home. We ate our thanksgiving dinner at the Montana Club, which was very good. Overall it was a great thanksgiving. Sunday and Monday look to be pretty good with temps in the 40's. Chris and I should get into some fish. As far as streamer fishing goes, I'd say its almost over. From here on out I'm nymphing until I go home for Christmas break.