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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Strange Things

The last couple weeks of fishing have included some odd events. I'll denote the strange events with a *

In early July, we still had very good flows across all watersheds here. I tried a larger stream one very warm, humid, muggy morning. It was 82 degrees and drizzling at 6:30am. Upon entering the water, I noticed a few mosquitos buzzing around. No biggie. I landed a couple little wild browns in the first 10 minutes. There were a couple more mosquitos now. Within another 5 minutes, I had pulled out a rain jacket that I had folded up in my fanny pack. I put the hood up, synched down the string and had my sunglasses so that only my mouth and nose were showing. *There were now THOUSANDS of mosquitos swarming me.* I have spent a lot of time outdoors, heck I even lived outside under a tarp for 4 months at 5500ft elevation, and I've never encountered mosquitos like this. I was walking and fishing really fast just to keep moving. I was getting annoyed every time I'd catch a fish because I'd have to slow down to deal with it. I couldn't even think of stopping to take pictures. I would have to use one my my hands at least once every 5 seconds to swat bugs from my face so my retrievals were intermittent at best. Half an hour in, I called it. I ran away from the stream, trying to lose the cloud of mosquitos. 100 yards away from the water and I still had a dozen or so bugs left. I put on one final sprint and lost them.

It was only 7:15am by the time I reached my car. I drove to the headwaters of the same stream. I made a decent morning out of it, and there were no more mosquitos way up there, but I couldn't get into taking pictures. Just one picture of a decent wild brown from the tiny water.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr



The next trip included the most bizarre thing I've ever seen while trouting. At 5:50am, I began casting into some fast water. No strikes, no follows. I always do well in this pool so I stuck around. As my gaze widened beyond where my spinner was landing and moving, I noticed something... Look at this first picture and see if you notice anything.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr




*I reeled my spinner up and concentrated on watching the "orb" that I was seeing in the whitewater.*

And then, it surfaced...

7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

THe thoughts that Immediately ran through my head were...
1. Otter?
2. Beaver?
3. No, it has a flashlight...

I don't think this guy saw me as I stood on the bank watching him. I guess he was treasure hunting. He got really close to me without seeing me.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Yes, I had casted into that water 10 times or more while he was swimming, before I noticed him.

I moved to another stream nearby as this water was moving a bit too quick anyway.








I finally made it up north for the first time this year.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
This was more of a family trip, but I was able to get out fishing a few times. The water was more meager than at home, but still fishable.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Up here, large numbers of wild fish can be caught under relatively normal circumstances. But, no large fish came to play. *My biggest fish for the whole trip was 10"* , which consisted of almost 200 trout over a few days. Statistically, that's an anomaly. I was quite happy with the change of scenery though. Its amazing how different the woods look just 80 miles north.



When I returned home, I went with my brother to a prodigious stream that keeps getting better every year. As we descended down the mountain, fog overflowed from the valleys.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

You can see my brother up ahead of me in the picture above, working some good looking water. *He showed up to fish wearing Crocs*. Not the best choice. Miles of walking on uneven rocks and boulders, bruising and rolling ankles. And then hiking back through the woods. IT was kind of like "A River Runs through it" moment, when that guy shows up to fly fish with a coffee can full of worms. My brother knows the drill though, he's been trout fishing with me hundreds of times, and thousands of times in his life. But for comparison, he did fish barefoot with me this past May.

He had only one incident, crossing a swift current, and he lost a Croc, which we caught up to downstream in slow water. We did really well that morning, landing mostly wild fish, rainbows and brookies. Often we caught them from the same holes.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

We had such a great day there that I planned a return trip a few days later. I left my house dark and early. While cresting a hill on a 2 lane highway in the mountains, still only partially light, a *rooster ran out in from of me*, in my wifes vehicle going 55-60mph. I felt the thump, and didn't really pay it much mind. I actually never looked at the front of the vehicle til I was done fishing. I have a one track mind when in enjoying my outdoor pursuits. The rooster apparently jumped before being hit and imbedded itself in a gap near the radiator.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Not a terrible amount of damage to the bird, and if I was living alone, not married, I would have cleaned him and eaten him.

Anyways, the fishing at a different section of that same stream was HOT. Literally, the water was 68 degrees when I waded in to start. IT felt like bath water compared to some other streams I've been fishing recently in the high 50s and low 60s.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
I decided to give it a trial run to see how the fish were behaving. They were off the wall. 3 fish from the first hole and 12 fish in the first 10 minutes. They were all lively as could be and in perfect health so I rode out the morning on that stream.
A lot of natives came to and in this section, but no wild rainbows.

7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

There were more stocked fish here too.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Nothing big though. That has been the theme of the year for me. I still have yet to catch a 20" trout this year. Its killing me. I've seen one that missed my spinner, but that's it. I know that 20+ trout are just a bonus for me, and I never target them specifically, but I'd usually be up to 5 or more by now.

I did, on this day, catch one of the worst things there is to catch in a stream. Anyone who fishes often enough knows that blankets, shirts, towels, and sand bags don't let go. They always need to be cut out with a knife.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
Oh and, its also no fun catching these…
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr



*Just before leaving, I nearly walked into a great blue heron, sleeping on the bank.*
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I gave him a tap with my rod, fully expecting an F5 tornado to erupt in front of my face. But, it barely picked its head up. Then it stumbled into the water, falling repeatedly as it then turned and came back to shore. On shore, it collapsed and spread its wings out. I hope its not some type of new avian disease. That's the last thing we need.








There was one more day where I felt like the odds were stacked against me.
I started down low on a stream where the water looked a bit too turbid. I caught 1 fish in 15 minutes.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

I headed way up to one of the tribs of this stream. Again, slooow action, which is very unusual on this little native stream. I fished 100 yards without anything, and then had this muskrat swim downstream past me.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr

Not sure how long his journey was, I hoofed it up over a ridge and down the other side to fish another tributary. SAME THING. No fish after 10 minutes of fishing. And I finally caught up with the perpetrators.
7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
There were 5 mergansers in the same hole, all rooting around. They all flew upstream except this one that allowed me to photograph it. That was enough for me, I headed for home. 1 fish on the day.





I have been trying the big river maybe once a week too. Most of the summer, its been very high, and in the down times, I've been getting stonewalled. I have caught a few, but not many, and nothing big. 7.20.18 by eric reger, on Flickr
When the water levels dropped last week, it got too warm, so I didn't fish. Since then, its been stained brown. So, I'll just keep plugging until the conditions line up!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 12:44 AM
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Strange things ? after seeing the guy in scuba gear, nothing should seem strange. I read the story twice and can't remember anything except that. Probably scrolled back to see them pics a dozen times. That blows my mind seeing that. The other stuff is strange or uncommon , Bizarre might not even do that justice.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by settler View Post
Strange things ? after seeing the guy in scuba gear, nothing should seem strange.

How deep was that hole he was in?

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 05:53 PM
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Wow that post was absurd! That is a weird set of events. It really goes to show the stuff you can come across when you're not parked on your couch.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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The diver was in about 3-4 feet of water.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:48 PM
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BTW that Valley photo is exceptional. It really captures the 'feeling' you get on an early AM trip to the trout stream.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, nothing better than arriving just at daybreak on a trout stream. Except in the fall when you watch the woods come alive in the morning from a treestand. Or in spring gobbler season when its still dark and gobblers are blowing up on the roost. Or in the winter when its pitch dark but you hear and you open your truck door and hear a chain rattling from a coyote pulling in it... Its all good I guess.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 10:32 PM
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I have to say, those are some very strange occurrences! That diver takes the cake though! Your pics and storytelling talent is amazing however, keep it up!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 11:52 PM
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What is that weird, pink bellied fish?

Enjoy Mother Nature's Glory, everyday!

Once one opens the mind to the plausible, the unbelievable becomes possible!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I would call it a "chub", but not sure if thats the official name
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