2019 is the Year of the Pig but its turning out to be more like the Year of the Skunk for me. This trip was no different. With an invite from the boys at the shop we headed up to meet them Friday night. They had already been there fishing on Thursday. After running a few errands we were on the road just before noon.
There was a chance we might be in time for the difficult-to-time salmonfly hatch but we'd never know until we got up there as there is no fly shop that really reports on this water. We arrived at camp to meet half of our group. The other half was still on the water. They all arrived the day earlier so we asked how was the fishing. The report it was tough fishing but we were glad to hear that there had been an consistent 45 minute dry fly hatch around 4pm. They were keying on an almost rust colored mayfly in a size 14.
We didn't bother fishing the first evening although we could have as there was plenty of light left but after the long grueling ride up the mountain I was simply not in the mood. So we set up camp and spent the evening bullshitting with the boys.
Next morning after breakfast and a briefing from the boys we were the first ones to set out. At 3000 CFS we were limited on both wading and fishing areas. The snow melt hadn't yet gone into full effect but the water was still slightly tea stained and still dangerous. Careful wading along the edges were in order. Fishing was tough for all but the boys managed a few to hand. I came up with the skunk but lost one on a dry when my knot slipped. Otherwise it was a tough day all around for me.
The fishing was poor for me but no matter as the scenery more than made up for the disappointment. Wildflowers while not at full glory were still out in force in all their majesty. The highlight for the weekend was the salmonfly hatch which must have just started on Saturday. I managed to see a few on branches and boulders but the trout had yet to target them as evidenced by my failed attempts to get them to rise on a large stimulator.
Everyone but me managed at least one fish mostly by Czech nymphing, a technique I don't care much for but was necessary in these types of conditions. The next day while some decided to fish the main river again, while we decided to check a tributary on the way out. Smaller and ideal dry fly water, the creek refused to give up a fish. So after about a hour we quit and decided to head home.