Tuesday, November 9, 2010

dreams and goals of 2010 - November update

The year is coming to an end and I have knocked off many of the dreams and goals that I set forth in the beginning/middle of the fishing year. While I have accomplished many of these goals, I am prouder of some more than others. Below is the list, I will highlight the three which I am proudest of.

  1. catch a fish on a nymph
  2. catch a fish in each month of the year (janfebmaraprmayjune, july, aug, sept, oct, nov, dec)
  3. catch a bull trout (not target, which is important distinction)
  4. catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat 
  5. catch 30 or more fish in a day from a river
  6. catch 40 or more fish in a day from a river
  7. catch 50 or more fish in a day from a river or lake
  8. catch 3 or more fish more than 20'' in length in a day
  9. catch a 20'' cutthroat, 24'' rainbow, 25'' brown
  10. catch fish out of the Clark ForkBlackfoot, and Bitterroot Rivers
  11. fish and catch fish out of the following bodies of water - Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River,Blackfoot River, Rock CreekFish Creek Georgetown Lake, Elk River (in BC/Alberta), Trout Creek, Lolo Creek, Lochsa River, Bighole River, Beaverhead River, Madison RiverGallatin RiverHebgen LakeMedicine Lake (near Skalkaho Pass)Skalkaho Creekupper Blackfoot RiverMonture CreekFlathead River, Blodgett Creek, Flint Creek, East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River, Lamar River, Firehole River, and Slough Creek
  12. catch all the trout of the this is fly shirt. 
  13. read "The River Why", "Trout Bum", "Nymphing"  

2. To date, I have successfully caught a fish in each month of the year. The most recent fish, a 17-18" brown I caught in a pond of little acclaim (seen below), was fooled during a 15 minute fishing session on my way back from visiting a friend in Bozeman. I have one more month to go. Could be difficult, but I see a visit to Poindexter Slough in my future.

17-18'' November brown

3. and 12. I have caught a whopping three bull trout this year. Two of them of the 12" variety (seen below). One of them of the 20" plus variety (to be seen in an upcoming video). All three of them were caught on Rock Creek. Each of them have there own accompanying story. The first bull trout was caught in the beginning of August. It took a small natural color sculpzilla streamer that it followed into the shallows. As it showed its small, but mighty body, I was at first amused. However, once I saw its coloration and distinctively large head, the excitement I felt could not be matched (until a couple of weeks ago). I had accomplished goal 9 and caught all the trout of the this is fly shirt. I had caught one of the majestic aggressive beasts of western Montana waters. A beast of epic 12" proportions. Afterwards I bragged to my girlfriend and friends about my catch. But, the thrill started to wear off. In reality, I had caught a small trout/char that happened to be of the bull trout variety. While it's aggression was impressive for such a small package, it was not the bull trout I had imagined. When I think bull trout, I think 20 to 35" of grumpy piscivorous muscle. While I may have caught a future beast, I felt like my bull trout experience was not complete.

The second bull trout of the year was caught in the middle of September. After slaying some browns and cutties on the upper portion of Rock Creek. I started heading downstream on Rock Creek Road. As I drove down the forest service road, I had a brief lapse of concentration and I hit a large rock with the sidewall of the right front tire of my mighty blue '01 Accord. An instant flat. I dejectedly exited the car and changed my tire. The sidewall had a 6 inch gash. I should have taken a picture. It was impressive. I started to head slowly downstream again. Sliding into a mini-depression about the state of my tire, I figured it couldn't get any worse. I stopped at one of my favorite holes, waded in and began slapping the water with a larger white sculpzilla. I got a couple follows and one hit from a larger Rock Creek brown, but I was unable to bring anything in. Feeling defeated, I looked down towards my feet. I realized that I was standing in the middle of Rock Creek (a place where many people would have loved to have been at that moment in time), I decided I must enjoy my surroundings. I looked downstream and saw the sunlight striking a hillslope. It was beautiful. The entire time my streamer was still in the water. At this point, it had swung downstream of me and was in the shallows. As I was admiring the view, I felt a tug at the end of my line. I was rewarded with another 12" bull trout. I nice end to my "terrible" day.

I caught the third bull trout of the year on a larger black sculpzilla streamer on Rock Creek. I had fished this water earlier in the day in search of larger pre-spawn Clark Fork brown trout. I caught a 14" inch brown out of this water earlier in the day. But, the reason for my return to this water was the fish that I had stung earlier on a piece of water just upstream. It felt like a large fish. I was unsuccessful in finding that earlier large fish. It was 4 o'clock and the fishing had seemed to slow down. But, I have a problem with giving up. So, I waded downstream and cast my black streamer into a short 3 foot deep run. A large shadow came from bed of the river and took the streamer. I set the hook and realized what was on the end of my line. The bull moved downstream into a shallow riffle and then into some pocket water bending my six-weight with ease. Wanting to avoid a break off and exhausting the fish (although I was using 1x tippet), I followed the fish with my net in hand. I scooped it and started to yell joyful expletives. Admittedly, I was too excited to get any quality video of the bull. I pointed the camera towards the sun and the colors of the bull trout were completely washed out as you will see in an upcoming video. While my video capturing skills were suffering then, I can still recall several mental snapshots from the fight and the release. However, my fish, which I estimated at about 20", is nothing compared to the humble fishermans.

rock creek bull trout (a whopping 12 incher)
1st Bull Trout


DarkoV said...

Just a Newbie from out East commentin'
What if you brought that smallish bullhead back home, put him in your bathtub, changed the water religiously, fed him hormones, steroids, and fried chicken, and, in 2-3 years, took him back to the stream and "caught" him again?

Would that count as catching the monster or is that way too much East Coast thinking going on?

That other guy's fish was a monster; I thought I saw the dog scurry away when he pulled it out.

Ivan said...

too much thinking there darko. then you are halfway to hatchery fish.

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