Baldies, Beaves and More Good Fish

November 27, 2009

This is insane! A week ago winter set in but yet again disappeared. We floated the South Fork in Swan Valley Idaho once more and didn’t get even a flake of ice in the fly rod guides. Float fishing and ice-less stripping guides should have been a thing of the past three weeks ago, but our season keeps going and going and going . . .

The weather was mostly cloudy with temps reaching about 42 degrees. There wasn’t a breath of wind and when the sun occasionally broke through it felt like 50. You wouldn’t expect a better day in early October.

I fished with Tom Montgomery, whom I introduced in my November 24th report. We expected a third to join us, Andy Asadorian, but not only did Andy not show up but we didn’t even hear from him. A little weird but it’s a fact. And when a fishing partner drops out at the last minute, fishing is always good. Today was no exception.

Despite a late start of noon, Tom and I agreed upon a goal of twenty fish to the boat. That was a bit eager, and although that didn’t quite happen, we managed fifteen. We floated from Husky, also known as Palisades Creek launch to the highway bridge. This is about a nine mile float and with dark setting in by 5pm these days there’s no time for stopping. This meant a constant drift with the most effective method of fishing, stripping streamers. I used my usual rig of several streamers on straight 0X Rio Flouro-Flex Plus tippet. Normally my best streamer color on the South Fork is olive, but today the black and silver screamer streamer knocked them dead. It was an even mix of rainbows, browns and cutthroat. Although we caught at least one quality fish of each specie, our nicest fish was a cutthroat. What was amazing about this cutthroat (in photo), while I was fighting him he spit up an 8” white fish! Impressive!

Fishing was so good today I forgot to mention the wildlife. November on the South Fork never disappoints. I’ll guess we saw hundreds of ducks and swans, at least five bald eagles, a family of beavers and a whitetail.

That’s about enough for now. Supposedly it’s going to snow and get nasty tonight, but with all this talk I’m going back to the SF tomorrow!

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