Sorry for the lack of photos but in the tourney it’s extremely hard to put down the fly rod to take pics!
The Good Times Team had a lot of work to do to jump from 18th place to contention in the 2014 Jackson Hole One Fly after Day 1. Individually, I was in the top ten, where I was last year after Day 1. The difference however, last year I had a stretch up in Teton Park where there are a lot of big trout. This year I was on the heavily fished South Park to Pritchard where there are few.
I had two choices. Go with a small dry fly and try to rack up a couple hundred points by catching numerous small fish. Or continue with the streamer, and though big fish are rare on my stretch, cross my fingers for the unusual monster. I went with the streamer. The guide/judge was Ben Wilkerson who went with the flow.
My opponent, Jim Fisher whom I fished with on Heart Lake in 2011, was fishing a small dry fly. Jim is an excellent angler and capable of catching 50 fish in a day. Not wanting to destroy his dry fly water, I stayed in the back of the boat again all day.
The day started out with clear skies and cold temps. At the 8:30 start time I was shivering in the shade. Wouldn’t you know, we pushed off and I immediately rolled a large cutthroat. Jim, knowing his dry fly wasn’t going to get much action till it warmed up, agreed to let us pull over and allow me attempt some more casts at this fish. Despite shivering, I wet-waded up to my belly and worked for the fish for ten minutes. I tweaked my strip, jigged my fly, dead drifted it but could get him to eat my fly.
During the next four hours the opposite of what we expected to happen, happened. Jim could hardly budge a fish on his dry fly. My streamer on the other hand, caught small fish after small fish. Normally little guys chase but don’t eat a streamer. And when the do try to eat it the fly is too big for their mouths. Not today – I landed 37. The problem however, my biggest was only 14”. The lack of large trout was so bad that I measured three 12” fish simply to get 10 points instead of 2 points. Jim landed sixteen and not one was measurable!
A big storm rolled in at 3 PM. Strong wind, heavy rain and hail blasted us during the last hour. Many boats reeled it in fearing lightening. Like fools, we took our chances (even though I’ve had my close calls) and fished through it. Each of us racked up a couple more small cutties.
I ended up with a sad 219 points for the day. Poor Jim was worse with only 65 points. The rest of my team went like this: Gary fished a Chernobyl on the South Fork with legendary guide Mike Bean but fishing was even tougher than yesterday and he got 183 points. Scott Sanchez, despite having the Moose to Wilson, a top stretch in the contest, had the wrong fly and racked up a mere 157. Now Cooper however, fished a Chernobyl Deadmans to Moose and got 317 points – well done in his first One Fly. The team stayed put after Day 2 and our finish was 18th place.
That’s all she wrote. I’m exhausted again. Exhausted all year in fact from fishing like a mad man. I hope I’m tired for the rest of my life!
Next on the agenda, some relaxing camping and fishing with Granny – can’t wait!