Thursday, February 18, 2010

jackson Wyoming 2009: Part 4 of 7

A sweet shot of releasing one of the big browns at Lewis River.

October 6, 2009
Part 4

Day 3 began much better than the previous two. Kevin luckily had a back up plan and we were able to stay indoors, with a dry floor, hot showers in the morning, and a small kitchen that allowed us to cook breakfast. After we were up and ready to hit the road at about 7:30 AM we walked out the front door to be hit with some classic Wyoming beauty. Fresh snow, clearing skies and sunrise makes for some amazing photography, so Greg capitalized on the moment and riffled off a few shots that will surely make him some money in the future.

The plan for day 3 was to head up Yellowstone way to the outlet of Lewis Lake. In Jay's time guiding in the area he had discovered something amazing up there. Where most guys head up to the Lewis River for the Brown Trout spawning run, Jay discovered large quantities of fish, holding in certain pockets, moved into the river just before the spawn to bulk up on food. Interestingly enough, these fish are extremely difficult to spot, and only hold in select pools so Jay's knowledge of which pools held fish and which didn't came in very handy.

Life is sweet when your just fishing a single fly, below a micro indicator and picking up fish like this!

The nymph rig was simple, just a single tungsten pheasant tail (size 16), below an indicator set a the proper depth and you could be in 19" brown trout heaven. Unfortunately, as the seasons would have it, the fish had not moved into the river in the numbers we were hoping for yet. We seemed to be about a week early. That doesn't mean there were no fish, but just not as many as the same week in October in years past.

In one of the deeper pools we found that there were many more fish than we first thought. Jay and I spent some time peering into it with no avail, but as I moved below the pool and across the stream for a better look Jay saw the motherlode shift from me spooking it. We had brought a paint pole with us to attach the smaller waterproof camera so we could go down to some depths and we decided this would be a good opportunity to test it out. It wasn't until we got the footage home, and blew it up on a laptop that we realized we were indeed fishing to a larger pod of fish than first expected. By the end of the day we had pulled out 3 large fish, and a couple of smaller ones, but had no idea how many fish we were drifting through. Jay did note that sometimes in Lewis River he had encountered hooking a fish or two and then the rest of the pod getting lock-jawed, so we had to assume this was the case.

It's not always easy to see, but if you keep your eye on the video and watch it a few times you'll realize just how many fish were in that hole!!! Crazy!

At around 2PM we decided to cut our losses and move up valley to the Firehole River ... this was a mistake.

We showed up to the river to find the temps had dropped considerably for only driving 20 miles north. We were faced with stiff winds and about a 15 degree temp ... not normal for an October day. After an hour or so of attempting to film some nymphing techniques we decided the 8" rainbows weren't worth it. Our thought of warm weather had us hoping for a baetis hatch and some rising fish that would be a little bigger. That was not the case.

Yep, it was cold.

The day ended with me getting mocked profusely by my cohorts because I was the only one who ordered a double cheeseburger that cost me about $11. The bitterness wasn't from eating a burger that taste like cardboard, we were all doing that, but the fact that I ordered one that was twice as much cardboard as my comrades and I had paid much more for the unsatisfactory meal. I tried to hold onto my dignity by claiming the chicken noodle soup (that only I ordered) was really good, but I don't think they believed me.

A good day.
Check out below for addition photos and some cool footage that we got.

We called this shot "The Terminators". Kinda funny.
Below is a couple of other videos that turned out pretty sweet!


  1. Those are some great pictures...and you're right, there were a lot of fish in the underwater shot.

    Nice vids, Jeff...and while cold, it does look
    like it was a great time. How could it not be?

    That entire area if beautiful beyond words, and
    unless you've been there and have experienced it
    for yourself, it's hard to appreciate it.

    Yeah, those are some good memories right there!

  2. I couldn't agree more. In fact, there's very few places I've fished for trout that wasn't beautiful beyond words.

    My dad always says, "God didn't make ugly trout and he didn't make ugly trout streams". It's a win-win situation.

    Though, I will admit, the Jackson to Yellowstone area is particularly epic in beauty and fish.