Wet-Wild & Cold (no shadow-warmth for groundhogs)

Tell a Friend

Earl Miyamoto & Large Steel
Click to view more pictures.
Just when everyone was enjoying fun in the sun, the comforts of three weeks above average warm temperatures and wondering is spring really upon us, a major series of bitterly cold winter storms returned bringing rains and heavy snow to our neck of the woods.  Snowfall levels dropped down to 500 ft. Valley floor —strange to see blooming trees/annuals protruding blankets of snow. The wet and wild snowfall added much needed fresh juice to the watershed and is just what the doc ordered to stimulate fish movements throughout the system. Fresh run natives that had settled in the canyons and Lower River for weeks are now in transition—Oh—Yeah!

When weather/river conditions permit Junction City to the North Fork has been the avenue for fresh arrivals up to 9 lbs… Spurts of fresh steelies are also starting to appear throughout the upper river.  Water temperatures have dropped (40-42 degrees) and wet fly anglers need to slow up presentations and take advantage of any mid-day warming temperatures. No need to hurry to get on the water.  Mid-day heat ups have also triggered some fairly predictable hatches (Baetis-Callibaetis) that have also inspired both steelhead and some brown trout to selectively feed on the surface. A unique opportunity not generally associated with most north coast salmon/steelhead rivers and this time of year.

Earl Miyamoto & Trinity Fly Shop
Earl and brownie smile of success.

Bruce West, Charlie Bunker, Dave-John Reardon, Dick-Diane Peavler, Ed Fallan, Mac-Mike Beasley, Mike Callan, Bob Pauli, Raider Russ Guntini, Don-Scott Frogner, Clint-Albert Kelley and Skinny Otis have recently accepted the winter conditions and dry fly challenge and scored. However one of the most impressive accomplishments happened just recently when our island friend & bonefish guru Earl (and Wendy) Miyamoto traveled from Hawaii to visit family (Shane-Lesley-Mica-Mathew-Mason and newborn Mitchel Miyamoto— owners of Lewiston 76/Mini-Mk.) and stretch a line with us. Earl stepped in on a mid-day hatch to hook, land and release a beautifully bright 7lb. hen  while fishing a 71/2 ft. (3wt.) Powell fly rod, yes-again (3wt, rod),  matched with a Hardy Featherweight reel, a step back into the past.  Its gets better! The chrome slab accepted a dead drifted #14 Callibaetis compara dun dry fly, a remarkable accomplishment that pushed the limits and also set the stage for those willing to accept the ultimate steelhead challenge, although a tough act to follow.  Earl finished out the session rising 2-steelhead to dries and a bonus 21/2 lb. colorful Loch Leven brown, Island style at its best.

As I walk outside for a brief break my work load and fishing thoughts are quickly interrupted by the chatter and sounds of early arriving songbirds, Redwing blackbirds, Blue jays and a mixed bag of other singing participants. Vivid green annual grasses, blooming yellow daffodils and purple crocus offer me a sneak preview of an early false spring, a comforting high and great catch.   Absorbing the mixed bag of Trinity wildlife and beauty, the surrounding snowcapped mountains remind me winter still maintains a solid grasp on the time of year.  Although I can’t help but laugh to myself as distant sounds from crooking frogs add to my appreciation of the seasonal transitions, that even after residing in the Trinities for the past 29 years,  one never grows tied of. Rings of Rises & Solid Grabs!

Tell a Friend