Monday, September 1, 2008

Grumpy Frumpies, Storm Clouds and Kokanee

Kokanee swimming in Big Elk Creek
If you don't see any red..... keep moving

The disappointment I felt when my custom order of Grumpy Frumpies so ugly that "Cheech" (world renown fly tier and inventor of said fly) mentioned in his blog that they reminded him of something that a cat had puked up, was greatly tempered by the thunder storms and and rain showers that dumped from yesterday (Sunday) mid afternoon through the evening. The storms caused me to look at the weather forecast for Labor day, cold and rainy. The revised high for tonight (Labor Day) 30 balmy degrees, fahrenheit. It didn't break 60 today, happy Labor Day!

Cat Puke Grumpy Frumpy my Custom Colors tied by Cheech

Knowing that it was going to rain and be cold diminishes ones enthusiasm for tossing hoppers to cutthroats, but the period of better weather in the morning was perfect for chasing a few kokanee at Big Elk Creek. So Chad, Mike and I climbed into the Rodeo and headed for the semi-high country.

We were the only ones on the creek in the morning which was nice considering that it was a holiday. And we quickly tied into some nice fish. I pulled one out of the shallow within the first few minutes and Mike quickly followed with a big male.

Mike's Kokanee
Now that is RED

As we fished up the creek we quickly realized that we had forgotten to bring any heavy sinkers. Heavy sinkers are key when bumping big flies on the noses of single minded kokanee when one is making 8 foot drifts. If you can't get the fly down fast enough, you can't get the fish in the deep holes. We still did pretty good targeting the fish holding in riffles and shallows. At one point I ran back to the rig and found a couple of bolts and nuts and pushed the nuts onto the head of an adult salmon fly pattern, my custom hex bead salmon fly. This fly got down quickly, too quickly and was promptly snagged up and lost.

I found one deep hole under a nasty bunch of fly eating willows that must of had a couple of hundred fish holding in it. You would have thought that we were in Alaska. But good luck on picking up a fish from this hole. It was deep and fast and completely covered on both sides by willows. There was no way to get any kind of drift.

As it was fairly cold I wore a bright red wool sweater. I figured the kokanee would just think I was a big fish. Interesting to note, that almost all the fish caught today were males where last Wednesday they were almost all females.

Me with a little kokanee
Notice the sweater and waders. Quite a bit different from the wet wading of last week

Chad caught the big fish of the day. He was claiming it was 16 inches till we taped it out at 20 inches. He is the only fisherman I know who subtracts inches and pounds instead of adding them.

Chad with the big kokanee of the day. And thems good eatin

As I will probably only be able to get out one more time before my wife goes into labor (and being out on the river when she goes into labor would probably not be a good thing), I need to decide if I am going to chase kokanee again or hope the weather improves for some hoppers and cutthroats.


globaljunkie said...

where is this creek and why you never take me before?

jabberwock said...

Big Elk Creek flows into Palisades reservoir on the east side. I never took you there before, because before this week I never fished there myself. We stayed up there a couple times when we were kids and camped out and water skied if I remember correctly.

cheech said...

Nice post. The bottle full of cat puke will be there today or tomorrow. Just wait til you see the sunken hopper that made it's way into the bottle;)

chris said...

How do you tell a boy fish from a girl....kiss it?

Cutthroat Stalker said...


We have a kokanee run here on the East Fork of the Little Bear, but for some reason I've never fished it.

I've enjoyed your posts and pix.

ps added you to my blog links

jabberwock said...

The males get a big hump back and a hook jaw. The females don't.

Cutthroat Stalker,
I have been enjoying your blog and am sore tempted to get down on the Portneuf, but it will have to wait till after our new baby shows up (sometime in the next week). You should come up this way some day. Word is Big Elk, if you hike in about a mile past the parking lot is fishing famously for big cutts on hoppers.

Cutthroat Stalker said...

I have ridden my motorcycle and taken the car past it plenty of times going to/coming from Victor (my father-in-law is from Victor), but have never stopped to fish. I'm enamored with the Greys River, so when I'm in that vicinity I usually end up fishing there. I'll definitely get up there. I'm thinking about a year non-resident Idaho license again next year.

Congratulations (and wishing you all is well) with the soon-to-be-here-baby.

BG said...

awesome stuff! I need to get over there.