Heart Lake Day 3 – Chillin with Joe Burke

by | Aug 30, 2011 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

August 26, 2011

If you wondered why in the world I said I’d sleep under the stars last night you had good reason. This is big time grizzly bear country and I could literally wake to one sniffing my face or chewing a leg off! But as one that sees incredible starry nights on a regular basis, at bed time last night the stars were as good as it gets. I had to sleep out. And it was more than worth it, I awoke to a spectacular session of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). They weren’t the common glimmering of streaky white light but rather bright shades of red. I guess I just had a feeling sleeping out was a good idea.

Today we switched camps. This didn’t really affect us as the camp crew made the move for us. We just had to pack up our stuff so they could shuttle it to the next camp. So once we did that and finished breakfast, just like yesterday we grabbed our bear spray and made our scary trip through the willows to the lake where our pontoon boats were waiting.

Skies were mostly clear today but the wind was already heating up. Joe was curious about my solo yesterday because it was to a part of the lake he’d never been so he and I announced we would be rowing full bore for at least an hour to the area. I caught more cuts than normal yesterday so Joe was anxious to see some of the water I got them from and because these cuttys are so spectacular, naturally he wanted to catch a few.

It took well over an hour to get out of the wind. However, once we did conditions couldn’t be better. It was so nice Joe and I both spun around our boats and rowed forward and enjoyed the views in every direction. Eventually we were at a spot that I caught two cuttys yesterday so we both started stripping leeches. And wouldn’t you know this was a classic example of “you should have been here yesterday”. Joe and I pumbled the water here and a few of my other producing spots of yesterday and for three hours we got no more than a tap from what felt like a small fish. There was absolutely nothing going on.

I took Joe to the beach where I weathered out yesterday’s storm. We figured on a beer and a cigar. I also envisioned another swim but we beached our boats and started casting from shore. In minutes we nailed a pair of lake trout and then Joe got a beautiful cutthroat. Likely what awoke the fish was the change in weather of another oncoming storm. Once again things were clouding up and the wind started to blow. Then it was time for the cigars and beers!

Just like the previous days, this storm was in and out in a flash. Then a great hatch of various mayflies started hatching. We rowed back to the main lake and I nailed a gulper with ease. I simply got lucky. Then we ran into Jim who was doing great on the lake trout in 50 feet of water. Jim was having an absolute ball so we too started after the lakers. Out came the big sticks with the fast sinking lines and down went the heavy streamers.

For me, the best colors for lakers have always been white, chartreuse or yellow. I also like a lot of flash as it helps these flies to be visible deep down to the lakers. Today all our favorite patterns worked well and our entire group probably landed 60 lake trout. Fishing was so good we didn’t stop until dark. Although we didn’t get the brute we are all dreaming of, we caught many respectable lakers like this one I’m holding.

Our new camp is at the mouth of Sheridan Creek. It’s right on the water so we can watch for risers while eating. I really like it. And we are close to the beach that we walked in on the first day that had all the risers. My morning plan will be to climb half way up Sheridan Mountain behind camp to get some neat photos of the lake then row to that beach to hunt cutthroats on dries.

1 Comment

  1. David McKenzie

    Awesome Report. I haven’t pulled the trigger on targeting Lakers but hope to this Fall.

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!