Our boat seemed abandoned and until these past two days my new silver 1991 Explorer had yet to take us fishing. I don’t like being away so much in the months of June and July but that’s the way it panned out. Monday night Granny and I headed off on our favorite excursion of the year, a float down the Lower Nunya (see Nunya 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014).
We got our two days of groceries then drove to the Pub. After a filling burger and a few tasty micro brews we slipped to the boat ramp and slept in the back of the Explorer. Since we pushed off Tuesday morning we relished in nothing but 40 miles of peace. There’s a few stretches where we hear distant traffic and the trains echo loud at night. But for the most part it was Granny, I, the birds and lots of moose, mule deer and pronghorn antelope and less mosies than normal.
Our fishing was fair. We had an early spring and water levels on some western rivers are below normal. In addition, the last two weeks have given us tremendous heat and numerous thunderstorms. The heat raises water temps to where trout are uncomfortable and heavy rains mess with water levels and clarity. Not a big deal for us as this particular week there was more to it than just the fishing.
Indeed the Nunya was warm, tea colored and mossy. Our normally dazzling dry fly fishing wasn’t happening. Streamers however produced. It was a task keeping the hook clear of moss but when you got a clean run the fish were there. This 17” brown trout is why we enjoy this place so much.
The weather of the last few weeks continued through our days. Tuesday was broiling hot. We forgot sunscreen and picked up some $13 gas station crap that I swear attracted more sun rays than reflected them. No doubt I added a few more pig hunting scars (wrinkles). But one thing about a scorcher on the river – our beer is always dripping ice so they taste better than anything on earth!
Wednesday we awoke to temps in the upper 40°s and sunrise was quickly taken over by dramatic clouds. We were chilly as I made the coffee but it must have been invigorating for the wildlife because we watched a herd of mule deer cross the river along with a family of moose.
When the animals are on the move you can assume the fish are active also so without breakfast we broke down camp and pushed the boat off. Within minutes Granny was casting two streamers in the rain. And yes, the fish were doing cartwheels over her flies.
We caught a steady dose of brown trout with one rainbow mixed in. Our weather fluctuated from rain and wind to that penetrating sun during the morning hours. While Granny hates fishing in the rain we don’t get much here so enjoy it. It’s especially nice when rain follows with sun so you can dry back out fast.
The big fish of the weekend came this afternoon. We were eating the last bite of our hotdogs when in the distance the skies darkened and there were mass flashes and bolts of lightning. We were in an open area that I wasn’t at all comfortable in for this storm. Downstream was a grove of cottonwoods I felt we needed to reach and fast. Of course as I rowed full speed for the tall river trees Granny was casting. Sure enough she hooked up during the race to beat the storm.
Granny knows how to handle the big ones and she beached her beauty fast. I clicked off a few then we hunkered down for the next hour with wind, rain, hail, thunder and flashes of lightening I could do without. When the storm passed we fished our way out and pulled the boat at 5 and got home a few hours ago.
It’s trout fishing season and next on my agenda is some lake fishing on Friday. Longtime pal Phil Rowley is coming in for a day and we aim to hit Island Park Reservoir in Idaho. This is a lake that often kicks my butt so I’m hoping Phil can solve some mysteries for me.