July 11-13, 2014
If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile you know about Sammy Vigneri. Sammy is one of my best friends going all the way back to when we were working together in a fly shop in 1987. Sammy went to school for about twelve years after that and became a Gynecologist. He works like a nut but he does well and treats me to Baja fishing trips on a regular basis.
If I had the dough I’d take Sammy on a trip but the fly fishing business doesn’t leave you with much extra change. However, there are some trips right here in Idaho that when done right are equivalent to a world destination. I took Sammy to the Nunya on a three day overnight and forced him to forget about his stressful job.
Our fishing was great overall. The breakdown was like this. Friday Sammy needed a few hours to get warmed up. Despite trout fishing his whole life he hasn’t been recently because he works too much. Twitching hoppers just right to entice brown trout from the deep took a few hours to master.
About the time Sammy had the perfect “twitch” down, thick clouds with rumbles of thunder and constant drizzle turned on the fish like I’ve never seen before in my life. Brown trout were rising everywhere you looked and Sammy landed an astonishing thirty plus, all on dries, and most ranged from 16” to 19”. That doesn’t include the misses on strikes and browns that shook the barbless fly on their fourth jump. Seriously, I’ve never seen browns feed on top like they did Friday.
It rained all Friday night. By Saturday morning the Nunya rose more than a foot and became murky. River conditions went from excellent to severely difficult. On top of our challenging conditions, the trout were full from yesterday and likely off the feed. We enticed only a few fish up to dries. Fortunately we were able to muscle out about fifteen nice browns and cutthroats on streamers.
Sammy and I suffered through some miserable storms Saturday night. Sammy bought some of the thickest rib eye steaks you ever saw. We ended up grilling them in the rain under nerve racking flickers of lightening. Our plates literally had standing water on them as we cut into the delicious meat. What was most incredible was that even though we were amidst a storm overhead, the sun found a break in the clouds hundreds of miles away to the west as it set and cast stunning beams of light on our riverside camp.
My rain fly sagged on my tent during the night and the feet end of my sleeping bag got soaked. I’ve had a lot of this in 2014 so the discomfort didn’t faze me and I slept through it like a king. This morning we awoke to clear skies and a haze of fog over the river. Miraculously the river level looked about the same as did the color.
Although the river remained high and colored, the fact that it remained stable since yesterday was the key. Trout adjust to the conditions given and must eat to survive. I knew that today they’d be back on. Sammy landed another fourteen hefty Nunya brown trout before we hit my custom take-out at noon.
What a trip with Sammy. What a week it’s been with five days on the Nunya (Tue and Wed with Granny, then Fri, Sat and Sun with Sammy). I’m afraid that’s my fishing for a week as I’m cleaning gear tomorrow then Tuesday off to Orlando to the Fly Tackle Dealer Show. My next definite day on the water will be a week from now for another one of my favorites, “ladies day” on the river.