Jackson Hole One Fly Contest Practice on the South Fork

September 5, 2012

After a long day of traveling from New Hampshire I rolled home into Victor, Idaho late last night.  I had a short sleep and in spite of being completely exhausted when I woke up today, Gary Eckman picked my up at 6:30 and we took off for the South Fork.  This weekend the famous Jackson Hole One Fly Contest takes place and I along with several others fish on Gary’s team. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing on “The Good Times” both in 2010 and 2011.

Today’s jaunt was a guided trip with Ed Emory.  Gary generously brings me on a few trips each summer.  We will go with Boots Allen on the Snake Friday.  I’ve fished with Ed many times and even though I know the South Fork very well, Ed knows the gorgeous river best.  The days with Ed are always a treat.

Fishing on the South Fork has been difficult to say the least.  August is always the slower month on the South Fork but usually the fish snap out of their funk by first of September.  My immediate assessment after being away almost three weeks is that the land and nature in Eastern Idaho is just plain dog-tired.  It’s been way too hot and dry this summer.  The leaves are turning two weeks early and evidently the fish still aren’t in a hurry to eat.

We did two floats today.  First thing Ed put us in at one of his sneaky put-ins to keep us ahead of most boats and we took out at the Spring Creek Bridge around 4.  Then we floated the mile long Dam to Huskey.  Ed is famous for his nymphing and he often goes by the nickname, “Bead Head Ed”.  I’m not much of a nympher but when he rigged Gary up to give nymphing a try I monitored the situation closely.  Who knows, if the South Fork is brutal with streamers and dries, perhaps nymphs will be the ticket for this years One Fly.  The good news for a lousy nympher like me however, after an hour of nymphing to start off, Gary landed just one respectable rainbow and two mountain whitefish.  I didn’t land a darn thing on my streamer; however it was my own fault.  I screwed up at least two nice trout.

Indeed fishing was difficult overall.  While mixing streamers and small dry flies I caught five good trout – a mix of cutthroats, rainbows and browns.  Along with these I caught about ten small trout.  If today were the One Fly I’d of had an adequate score but not enough to help our team win.  In order to win you need to measure at least six trout over 14 inches.  This sounds easy, but it’s not when the tape measure is out.  So, bottom line is, the South Fork will either break us or make us.  Gary, I and our other teammate that will fish the South Fork one day better have our game faces on.  It’s going to be tough.  We absolutely need to seal the deal on all big fish that come to our fly.  As for what fly I will choose – not sure yet.  Even though that decision was to be made based on today’s results, it isn’t.  I’ll wait till tomorrow night when I draw my guide, river section and boat opponent from another team. 

It’s great to be home.  I’m obviously concerned about Dad but he’s in good hands.  He’s now at a rehab center in Ossipee, New Hampshire, about ten miles from Mom in Wolfeboro.  From Moms perspective after day one there it’s a nice place with lots of great employees who already want to get Dad back to normal.  They know there’s a long way to go.

One Response to “Jackson Hole One Fly Contest Practice on the South Fork”

  1. Erik Moncada September 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I liked how you called yourself a bad nympher… what a crock 🙂 Always so modiste arn’t you Jeff. On the other hand you are comparing yourself with some of the best in the world.

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