Wednesday, October 14, 2009

End of 09 looking forward to 2010!

Hi all,

Last folks out this am and Deb coming to collect me Wednesday.

Our best year by far... thank you..... lot's of our regulars and ton's of new groups... great fun and thank you all for your generosity of spirit and great company on and off the rivers!

It's been a long time since the last report .... I think I warned that would be the case...... 27 days on the rivers, creeks and lakes from early Sept to early Oct..... lots of fun and lots of fish! You all tuckered me out!

September was up and down.... early with warm, bright conditions and a Trico hatch that would not go away! Towards the end the fish were as picky as I've seen them..... If you've been eating the same food item for two months ya kinda get used to it! But when the bluewings started showing up the fish started behaving themselves... right Gary! Even then with Bluewings coming off in droves there were still tricos.... m ust have been a great egg laying session last season!

Then it got cold and stayed cold! Mayflies wouldn't come back and play and quite honestly it was tough.... we always caught fish, and at times it was great, but as we're all experiencing in the rocky mountain west.... snow, snow and cold water.... Had two boats out Saturday... air temp high of 25..... water probably about 39... still caught some nice fish... but at the end of the day the trucks heater was more than welcome.

I usually tout the first two weeks in October as Indian summer like, crisp in the am.... nice during the day and good fishing. The weather gods stuck it to me this year!

A couple of special shout outs to my military boys... Charlie, Morgan and Carl and the old farts Jim and Wayne... that was a special few days with you guys..... glad you all made it out ... Parr and I look forward to seeing you next season! Jim I'll have more fancy graphite and bamboo for you to play with next year! My family from Dusseldorf ...... a treat.. see you in 2010.... The " day of beauty " lads..... you endured a tough day and treated it like your best day of fishing ever.... let's fish in shorts next year... not in snowmobile suits!!! Bob, great having your dad out and too much fun with you and Mike in the boat together the last day..... tough crew! Another great visit from John, Ellen and Ben... I even remembered the fish cook out this year! To the 65ers..... my belly is big... my liver shriveled.... thanks as always! I've left out tons of folks to thank... I'll make up for it this winter in my occasional reports or telling of tall tales.

After the holidays I'll email out my thoughts on the 2010 season.... our tenth anniversary!! I have a lot of you already booked and talking about booking specific times next season..... we'll talk after I reintroduce myself to my favorite blonde chicks and sleep in a few days!

Truly.... thanks for everything folks!

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service
www.northplattefishing.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hi Folks,

August.... hot still, warm water....... not this year! With a couple of snows, some rain and very cool night time temps the sleeping and fishing have been outstanding. The fish are rising all day and night out front... trikes rule, terrestrials rule and the Bluewings are starting to show.

Outlook..... summer is over, cool weather looks like it's here to stay... the best of the best for our season.

Fishing.... With the Bluewings here and getting stronger every day and cool temps everything is a go... nymph early, dries mid morning forward and go ahead and throw a streamer every once in a while and see what happens! Or... just keep a dry on all day long.. you'll do fine! Took a little personal fishing time to exercise a few of the pets out front..... long leader down to 6 & 7 X, stealthy approach with size 24 Trico spinners or small beetle patterns...... it's a fun game!

Mushrooming.... Took my usual family and friends week or so off and have been eating fungi on a regular basis. My new favorite is the Shrimp Russula... dam thing, in age or when cooking or drying it , smells like shrimp or crab. It's an absolutely yummy shroom and is great in omelettes..... right Deb!

Crazy busy in September so the next report might be the last for the season... sometime in October. So if you need a current report just call in the evenings... in between large sips of fine to mediocre scotch I'm mumble a current report for you.

Be well and enjoy the fall!

Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service 302 326 6079

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saved Guide rejoices..

Hi all,

It's either too busy a season for me or I'm losing it!

First the fishing..... very nice! We've been getting September like weather ..... a little snow in the hills, 39 degrees in town yesterday am.... and enough rain to keep the river up, cool and fishing! Tricos in full swing and terrestrials working well as well.

Had a few trips up Bennett to Treasure... fishing great but..... I had my big dogs yesterday... Scott and Brad... back for their 5th trip and at 6' 6" each, mid 200lbs and my fat butt in the boat... well we dragged a bit! Water starting to get a bit skinney up there with a drift boat. Great company, great workout.... oh yea Scott saved the trip and my ass!

A lot of you have heard the story of the Kiwi worm.... it bares repeating to show that us guides are human or just goofy buggers, So my Kiwi guide buddy is in a bar one night.... friendly drunk Swede shoves weird looking worm pattern at my buddy... guide looks at fly... dam thing looks like an old fashioned barber pole... smiles says thanks.. throws it in his wallet and forgets about it.

A few weeks later my friend is with clients being dropped off by helicopter in a remote area in the Alps of the South Island... helicopter leaves... with my guide buddy's vest! Rods with lines and leader on them... no tippet, no bugs... nothing! Frantic guide looks in every nook and cranny trying to make any fly appear out of thin air.... ah ha.... in the wallet the Swede's worm. With that one fly they rocked! Big Browns on the South Island ate it up...... the guide has since turned me on to the pattern and those who fish with me know it... and love it!

Forward to yesterday..... everyone happy at the put in.... joking, a beautiful morning and off we go down the river... with a vest less guide!! I'm beating myself up and thinking we've got all day with the eight flies we have on the rods, no tippet.... Scott without missing a beat or concerned in the least hands me his vest full of flies and tippet! I love ya man!! We did very well except for the big crash..... my savior Scott went down in a pile as we entered a chute and I side swiped a rock.... not the way to treat your hero!! OK to crash Brad.... but not my man with the vest! Get better Scott and thanks for saving the day!!

And many thanks to " Jimbo " my shuttle driver... after locking my keys in the truck for the first time.. I'll be dammed if I didn't do it again a week later!!?? My man Jimbo looking after the boss man, checked before locking up the vehicle at the take out.. saw the spare key, laughed and put it in the gas cap.... Jimbo got a raise!!

So with the rest of the season fully booked ... a quick shout out to my folks...... bring a check list to the put in for me!!!!!!! I feel like the fourth grader who all day long walks around with his pants on backwards and the fly open.... blissfully unaware and happy!!

Enjoy our fall like weather... we'll see you on the river!

Cheers,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Monday, July 27, 2009

PS TO WY fishing report

Hey Folks,

Almost forgot the fishing tip of the year.....If you really want to impress family, friends and in my case clients.... do the following...

In the morning put on wool socks, your neoprene booties to wet wade, with then your wading boots. Get them wet during the day... at end of day take socks, neoprene and boots off and put in vehicle..... clean out truck get ready for next days fishing.

Now the important part..... forget socks in vehicle and leave under canvas cover for the drift boat.

Next morning greet clients and yourself with the vehicle smelling like a dead badger is buried inside!

Thank god for good natured clients and widows opened at 90 mph!

You all owe me.

Cheers,
Mitch

Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Mermaids and Tricos

Hi folks,

Life continues to be great on the Platte.... need a good downpour in the Mountains to get my mushrooms poking their heads up though!

The Tricos and Caddis are still the headliners... nice Caddis hatches in the evenings, Trikes in the am with fish starting to pay attention to the spinner fall late am early pm.Fun fishing the Caddis on a tight line while swinging emergers or taking them proper like on dries..... the little ( size 18 ) speckle wing Caddis is around in great numbers right now. The Nymphing with Tricos is great right now right up to when the fish start eating the spent spinners on top. Look to my previous report re: the nymphing....... light tippet, longer leaders and tiny bugs...... a lot on my clients think I'm pulling their chain when I toss on a size 24 nymph.... right up until they land an 18" trout.... fish breed confidence!!

I got a discouraging report from a nice guy on the phone re: the fishing. I had been telling him what's going on on the Bennett float and unfortunately he called... not upset at all...... but saying they hadn't touched a fish on their own float. He did get a few nice ones wading Treasure Island though. We've been, and continue to do well on the upper, and now the lower river... so I can't stress enough how clear this water is and how important your leader set up and presentation are.... info available here anytime.

Clients.... TX Mitch up for his early summer trip brought the beautiful Miss Belinda with him this year... Ya never know what you're going to get when a client brings a partner up to fish... are they just here to please their better half.... or do they really want to fish ....... Well our Mermaid Belinda.. having never really fly fished before.... took all of a couple of hours to learn how to cast, mend and get the perfect drift! Then she started setting the hook with vigor...... the Trout never stood a chance! Mitch, after I've beat him into submission the last 8 years, is a fine fly fisher and had two stellar days... but he and I were both impressed with how quickly Belinda took to the game.... and the results were impressive! You guys were great.... see you in September! Belinda before I see you again on the river just remember ya got to let them run!!

Over the years it's been funny to watch new fly fishers when they hook their first big Trout........ they all have a certain distance they will let the trout run to.... at that point they say the Trout is too far away and they clamp down on the line and...... well.... it's advantage trout! My Deb, when I first took her fly fishing would let the fish get about 50ft out or so when she would try to rein them in..... and then she would look at me as if to say " well what are you going to do to get my fish back! " She's since learned that's why God made backing!

The lower river is really starting to get going with good numbers and good sized fish. Our next group. Father Glenn and Daughter Betsy, on only a 1/2 day trip hooked and lander a good number of fish and Betsy, not having touched a fly rod in over 7 years tending to babies and business, did a great job and was almost a hero...... probably about a 5 or 6 lb Rainbow.... out of the water three times, four ft+ in the air each jump and shaking it's head like a Tarpon...... I see a lot of nice fish on this river.... this one really got my attention... alas on the third jump he spit the hook.... the guide said really bad words..... apologized for his bad language... then said more bad words... but ......... " Tis better to have hooked.... than to not have hooked at all "

From here on out..... It's really in the hands of the weather gods... with continuing cool nights and some clouds the fishing will be as good as your drift...... If we get some hot and dusty days... it's out of bed and on the river REAL early..... off by noon napping and waiting for the evening hatch.

Can't believe we're not that far away from September...... Dam, life does speed up as you get some age on ya!! Good news is the Blue Wings are stirring on the bottom on the rivers... see ya then

Cheers,
MitchHarrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hi all,

Many days on the water and many fish since my last email / blog fishing report.Most responses ever to any of my reports and I'm happy to say all supporting this humbled guide. Really I'm just a big whiner... I get one rough group every three years.... I'm a lucky guy!

Report...... River dropped like crazy from the 6th of July to the10th. I was fishing some other waters and got back on the Platte and Bennett the 11th and it was like September.... crystal clear! As a matter of fact the whole system I guide on was clear and fishing great. had my good friends and clients EDI back for their 5th annual retreat to our place and all four boats we had on the water scored. From Bennett to Sanger all boats did really well..... probably their best fishing trip to date with us. Pat.... please next year let the big bugger run!!!!!!!!!!

Drakes well up on the Encampment now and the Caddis are coming on strong with a great hatch the other night in front of the Guest House. Seeing the first Tricos about so it must be summer!

Speaking of summer and clear water.... best tip I can give you is this... The Platte never LOOKS crystal clear because of our fertile and moss/mud bottom... but looks are deceiving.... right now it's as clear as most spring creeks and I often run into folks using short leaders and large diameter tippet and not having very much luck. The Caddis that are hatching are from 14s to 20s, the tricos are 20s - 26s, PMDs 14 - 16s, small stones 14s - 16s, scuds 18s.... so you see the main bug menu... not counting crayfish, leeches, minnows etc.... is from size 14 all the way to 26s... and like I have mentioned the water is very clear. Couple the above info with a perfect presentation and you'll have a ball! Think long leaders with 5 & 6X tippets......

Our spring weather madness is behind us now and soon we'll be into our warm weather rhythm of up early, off early, back on late.

New group in today then Texas Mitch back with us Thursday for his 9th or 10th visit and a few days of fishing. It's been a busy month and a half so Debs coming up this weekend for a break from her busy schedule and to relax in the mountains while your's truly cooks up her catch of Brook Trout...... we're lucky kids and it's a great time of year in the valley

Best to you all,
Mitch

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Being guided, Indicators, shuttles and Full Moon

Hi Folks,

Long time…. And so much to report on.

First the fishing… it’s been really, really good. The Drakes continue to do their thing on the Encampment and the upper river, Bennett to town, has been great on nymphs and when the cloud cover permits on dries. Everything is hatching so there are bugs deep, in the middle and on top.

The river and our area continue to get fresh shots of rain, the river comes up and slows the fishing a bit then goes down and the fishing is wonderful. You’ll never see Wyoming, Montana or Colorado so Green in July. It’s great for the rivers and should allow us great floating well into the summer….. the down side is the folks who like to wade fish it’s tough right now… so bring your boat, inner tube, log or rubber ducky to float on…. Or hire me to row you!

Speaking of hiring me.. Or any guide for that matter….. I’m usually good at asking my clients what they what to get out of their trips… and then I’ll explain what’s happening on the river right now and what’s most effective. More often than not we can find a happy medium to keep my guys happy and put a few fish in the boat while enjoying the day on our beautiful Platte.

So I get a couple of new guys, spur of the moment who want to fish… they want to float the Encampment themselves and do the big river with me… tomorrow. I explained that the nymphing has been hot on the Platte and judging by the rain that was coming down at the moment they may want to wait a day for me on the big river so it could settle and start to drop and in the meantime and they could do their thing on the Encampment. They voted to do the Platte right away so off we go the next am.

As advertised the river was up a bit but we still had decent visibility …. No worries we’ll nymph the edges and do just fine.

Right off we catch an 18” Brown and life is looking good… until I apparently didn’t know where to fish, how to set up a leader and was using rotten tippet material.

My one client, who caught the nice Brown, all of a sudden decided that he would start throwing his bugs in all the juicy looking runs where the fish just had to be… Just like on the Arkansas says he, and tying up his own leader using his bugs ….

Sadly we were on the Platte and for an hour or so he lost flies, broke of leaders by casting into 5” of water rather that fishing the runs I pointed out. He and I were both frustrated so I pulled into an eddy took a deep breath. I looked at his leader which was now down to 5 feet and about 20lb test with no tippet …… he liked it cause my tippet was rotten and he wouldn’t break off this way….. I explained that he wouldn’t catch fish with that set up and if he would please allow me to re rig him and give my way and hour. Begrudgingly he said yes and unfortunately I set up a battle between the client…. An old fly fishing sage….. And the guide… young punk kid wet behind the ears…. That would last the rest of the trip.

So…. The very first run after re doing his rig and with him putting the fly where I asked… he could do this as he was a good caster and good fisherman…. He immediately hooked and landed a 16” Bow…… ah victory was mine and now we can start catching fish and enjoying the day. Alas it was not to be….. He is after all the client and many years my senior so by Ten am I was relegated to boat driver and following his directions …….we proceeded to not catch fish in every imaginable way.

So while this is drama is unfolding my other guy, also a good fisherman with ton’s of experience lands a nice Brown and says “ great fish… now let’s take off the indicator … which he doesn’t like fishing with…. And carry on. No worries, I don’t use an indicator for my personal fishing and it’s a challenging way to fish…. But to be effective you have to really, really, really pay attention and work hard at it… I love it!

I’m sure you’ve already guessed that without the indicator and without the intense concentration it takes to make it work…. that end of the boat stopped catching fish and wouldn’t let me work with him to get the good drifts required to catch our beautiful Browns and Rainbows…. Drat’s !... foiled again!

So……. First, if you hire a guide for the day… use him…. After all we do know a little about this game….. And if you decide not to use or listen to him, except to row….. please don’t look to your guide at the end of the day and say the fishing was poor… just thank him that the boat didn’t sink, the water and ice tea were cold and what a pretty river the Platte is.

I digress, sort of…… Now for the final blow… for the first….. And last time….. Your fearless guide committed the cardinal sin as it pertains to running the shuttle….. As we all know the key to the shuttle is the KEY! At the end of the above explained, less than stellar trip…. I arrived at my truck with both keys locked inside… E Gad… what next… with gathering storm clouds I’m sure a lightning strike was in order!
A borrowed cell phone and with my mechanics help we were on the road again… thank god for friends!

So I wake up this am…. A little fuzzy from the single malt that was used to soften the above fiasco…. off to the west I spied the moon setting…. A full moon!

So a final thought to end this rambling e mail report…… never, ever, never hire me on a full moon… let’s all just sit on the deck, enjoy a few libations, howl at the full moon and wait for the dam thing to go away!!

Hope you all had a great 4th of July and are enjoying a fish or two!

Cheers,
Mitch
Harrison’s Guest House & Guide Service 307 326 6079

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hi Folks,

Really starting to feel like spring and the fishing is outstanding!Two days ago we had no less than 10 different species of bugs coming off... Drakes, Caddis, Stones ( little black and yellow sallies ), PMDs, Mahogany's, Blue Quills etc. We had pods of fish to work over... some wanted the Caddis and the others wanted the PMDs and a few wanted the Drakes... great fun.

Yesterday with bright blue sky's and no wind we had just a few bugs coming off, but the nymph fishing rocked with a good number of large fish.

For my spin fishing folks..... we killed on the lower river with one hole accounting for 3 fish over 20".... I won't tell you what on or where ...... membership does have it's privileges!!All right....... it was the town to Foote float and we killed them on R_______S...... like always I cut off two of the treble hooks and we loose very few and don't hurt the fish. If the fish are going to give it up like that it's good karma to treat them nicely!!

I think through July with the water we have it's going to be as good as it gets. August should be good in the early morning like always and September and early October as always will be superb.

Deb and I are busy putting on a new screen door, washing the deck, cleaning the grill and cooking meal after meal of wild mushrooms..... with all the rain we got this spring the Oyster Mushrooms have gone wild! My last five floats have seen me and my clients collect pounds and pounds of them! Lot's of new recipes with one that includes heavy cream, jalapeno's and sherry that is a champ!

Fish on folks, and we look forward to seeing you soon...... I'm off this afternoon to check on my Cutthroat Stream... will report soon!

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hi all,

OK, first things first... a lot of you have asked if I got those mushrooms I talked about in my last report.... kinda. I floated yesterday with one of my shuttle drivers and we went to the place where I had scouted out a bunch of shrooms. Alas by the time we got there the little buggers were either dried out or full of beetles... dang! .... but wait we did run into a bunch of Morels... yeah! So don't you all worry I won't go hungry and might even have some about to share on your arrivals! But don't even bother to ask me where I got the Morels..... I'd give up a 10lb trout before giving up a Morel patch!

Alright back to business. Our beautiful river is trying so hard to drop if the rain would just give it a break ( if it stops raining for a second the river drops like a rock! ).... but.... even with the continued rain ( records being set daily ) the clarity of the river is still good and the fishing has been fair to excellent above the Encampment river. Mostly fair to good because of the constant coming and going of storm cells.... if we settle down for a week or so the fishing is going to be superb!

The weatherman seems to think during the course of the week we will be getting better.... less rain, sun and warmer... into the 70s this weekend..... about time! I'm looking more like a pasty Englishman than a rugged, tanned Wyoming fishing guide.

So to all the calls and emails I've been getting re: the water..... from here on out we'll be fine and getting better unless a storm shows up of biblical proportions. If that happens I'll be giving Mushroom floats..... the good news is on those floats it's all catch,keep and eat!!

Any questions give a yell or an electronic howdy.

Best,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service 307 326 6079

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hi all,

We'll my prediction was going so well...... river dropping, clearing and the big bugs were starting to show last weekend........ All good things come to an end!

We've had unprecedented rains... I mean every day for now a week and their calling for a gully washer today! So the river is up, close to a couple of feet and over a 1000 cfs jump.

The clarity is not bad at all..... we just need the rain to stop, cause when it does the river will drop and it will be all on....

So if the rain stops falling..... by later next week...... into the weekend the fishing should be really nice.... Great for Rick and friends showing up next Friday but not so great for Bob, Barnard and their family. They're showing up in a few hours to stay with us for a couple of days for a 50th wedding anniversary and hoped to get a little fishing in..... I just hope the Guest House doesn't float to Pick Bridge with them in it!

So once I meet my clients I'm going to float the river tomorrow, with a step ladder in it.... and go collect some Oyster Mushrooms I scouted out the other day..... can't get to them without a boat and a ladder.... but they will be mine... oh yes.... they will be mine!

Fishing is on the way hang in their everyone!

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service 307 326 6079

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hi all,

The fishing was as predicted, steady and with nice big fish. Dennis, a very good fisherman, had three fish in that 20” + or – range, one brown probably about 5lbs throwing the hook on a jump, and a good number of other fish. First fish of the Day to the boat was a beautiful 20” Bow with a red stripe an inch wide. She was almost fully recovered from the spawn and looking good!

We took fish on streamers and nymphs with lots of Caddis coming off with only one fish sighted on top…… so far… it’s a coming.

Water clarity stayed at 1 – 2 ½ feet throughout the day…. And it felt like July out… hot!

My prediction…. The Snowy Range has lost a lot of it’s snow, at last report down to 70% of it’s normal snowpack. The Snowies are where the Platte gets most of it’s run off snow above the Encampment. The Sierra Range still has close to 100% of normal snow pack… where the encampment gets most of it’s run off.

I think the Platte above the Encampment is going to fish well from here on and I don’t see it getting blown out, maybe a little higher but not dirty. More importantly this sets us up for a real good shot at getting in on the legendary but often hard to catch Salmon Fly hatch. For those who haven’t fished it ….. it’s one of those things us fisher types chase all our life trying to catch…… Bugs the size of hummingbirds on the water, in the bushes, on the rocks with everything, and I mean everything eating them! Birds, snakes, frogs, and of course Trout…… the first big meal of the year for a lot of critters.

Big Trout on dries is the deal.

As the Platte stays in good shape the Encampment should come along and be perfect towards the beginning of July just in time for another of our legendary hatches the Green Drake….. once again big dries and big fish. Now this hatch gets a lot of attention from local and traveling anglers… get up early, back eddy the boat in some soft water and wait until about 9 or so when the big green bugs start coming off….. we’ll see.

With the Encampment being full of water this also bodes well for the water downstream from Saratoga…. Good and cooler flows longer into the summer.

You’ll notice everything I’ve posted is good news……. Remember I’m a fishing guide…. The glass is always half full and the trout are all 20” plus!!

Early to mid June for the Salmon Flies and Early July for the Drakes.

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison’s Guest House & Guide Service 307 326 6079
www.northplattefishing.com

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hi all,We'll spring has sprung and after catching a few fish out front and visiting the Bennett Peak put in I think this could be the time for some big fish

.Visibility is good up to 2 - 3' out front and better up above the Encampment. This will be streamer fishing to the bank and any other quiet spots the fish may be hanging out. We'll also be using nymphs and maybe some dries in the quieter backwaters as the caddis are going nuts.

It looks like the big flush won't happen as it's been slowly coming off and now that the upper river is warming we could be in line for some big naive trout not used to us evil fisher types after a long winter lay off. They'll be congregated in very obvious areas for us to take advantage of.

So for all my front range guys and gals give a call and let's talk if you have an hankering to wet a line.... or those with miles just waiting to be used!Hope all is well with everyone! I caught a few fish out front with a couple of caddis nymphs.... emerger on top and of course a Buckskin on the bottom!

Best,Mitch 307 326 6079

Monday, April 20, 2009

First Trip of the Year

Hi All,

SO… our first day of the season is in the books.. And it was great!

Now let me explain great… One of my folks was back for his fourth trip and instead of Brother Scott I got the fun and pretty Gabriela as Brad’s partner. Really nice folks to spend a day in the boat with…. A little sun on the cheeks, waterfowl pairing up, deer, mink and even a Bob Cat which I’ll talk about later….. Any way a pleasant day on the Platte.

The fishing was great…. What I mean by great is we didn’t put tons of fish in the boat, but we did put a big Bow that was closer to 25” than he was to 20”.. A handsome boy fish far along on his recovery from the spawn. And two other fish.

So only three fish in the boat with a half a dozen other close calls and it was great? You bet. Spring on a freestone river depends on sun during the day and it still staying cold in the mountains. Even with that the water will be cold and the fish a little slow but…. It’s a nice time to get the rust off and catch a big fish. The pressure has been light, the fish are hungry and if you keep at it the chances of catching a fish like Brad’s big Bow are pretty good. And regardless where you’re fishing a 25” Rainbow is a large fish… a very large fish.

Also for me as a guide if the first day we just slayed them it kind of puts a kink in your psyche for the season …. You always want to slay them, you know it’s not always going to happen, so a slow day with a big fish is a cool way to get the motor warmed up for the season…… Somehow tempering expectations….. who knows Ken and Bob showing up next weekend might slay them and also see a mountain lion!

Speaking of felines…. We had just released our first fish of the day and everyone’s spirits were high when Gabriela told us we were being watched. On a sheer cliff, about 40 yards away, in a little cave, a Bob Cat was taking in the action. In all my years out and about I’ve only seen two, both times while fishing, both times on the Cheeseman Canyon stretch of the South Platte, and both time for just a brief flash…. You knew it wasn’t a neighbors overgrown tabby, too feral and quick, but I never got to watch and enjoy them for more than a split second. This little beauty was comfy, warm and safe and was content to stare us down from his or her little sanctuary. A rare bonus for us all!

So enjoy the pics of the Bow and Kitty and we look forward to seeing you on the river. Time to clean the boat, refill the fly boxes and welcome Ken and Bob for their first trip with us.

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison’s Guest House & Guide Service 307 326 6079

Friday, April 10, 2009

Opening up for 2009

Happy Easter all!
Opened up yesterday and the house and cabin are still here! Only extra found was a trophy mouse in a trap. He's a keeper, I'm sending off the skull and fangs to Boone & Crocket thinking I might have the new State record!

Woke up this am and took off for the hills to take a hike.... snowshoe hike. We had a skiff of snow last night but in the hills it was miles and miles of champagne powder! About 10" of fresh. The snowshoeing was awesome... fresh snow, sun, no wind and a couple of moose.

The river is in great shape and ready to float. See attached photos out front of the Guest House. The road up to Bennett still has a few snow drifts but give us guides a few days and we'll dynamite our way through to the put in. Yesterday afternoon before the snow showed up it was warm and sunny with a f ew trout out front sipping midges....... dang it's good to be back!

So.... if you're inclined to get out and wet a line........ bring your warmest clothes but have a few Hawaiian shirts along... you never know in April.

Take advantage of our Spring special...... $300. for a day trip.... $100. off our regular season pricing. Heck I'll still provide flies and lunch! '

Expect the fishing to be slow with our cold water but don't be surprised if we have a banner day..... the best dry fly fishing I've ever had on this river was in April.... Blue Wings and a snow storm...... remember that Uncle Jim??!!

Off to clean and polish up the house.... Deb and her Mom ( Mom in from England to celebrate the nuptials of her Grand daughter ) are on their way up for the weekend to help me open up and for Deb and I to celebrate our 17th year of Deb putting up with a fishing bum! Have a great Easter!

All the best, Mitch Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Exciting News !!!!!!!!!

Hey all,

Finally a big dumping of snow! Great for everyone.... but especially great for the North Platte Valley and it's rivers.

So the exciting news. I'm just back from Saratoga from meeting with the BLM and National Forest Service. As I think you would all agree we have tons of water to fish with a lot of choices. Well, our choices have just been added to!I now have BLM and Forest Service permits for all BLM and more Forest Service areas.

What that means is I can now guide Bennett Peak on weekends as well as during the week..... do you hear that Pat and Kyle? This years trip we're going up river! We also have rafts and shuttles available for floats from 6 mile to Prospect to Bennett. It's going to be fun! This also adds ton's of water to our fall sight fishing!Any thoughts or questions just yell... I'm in Colorado until the 9th of April 303 298 0848 then in Saratoga 307 326 6079 opening up and floating a bunch of new and old water!

Cheers,
MitchHarrison's Guest House & Guide Service
www.northplattefishing.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Report 3/17/09

Hi all my fishers and fisherettes,

Are you kidding me? The weather has been outrageous out West, high 60s low 70s in the Colorado front range and even our lovely Saratoga is seeing 60!!

Good news... go fishing now! Client/Friend Allen from Tennessee dragged me along to go fishing with him last week, happily I might add! Went to the Blue River in the Silverthorne area in Colorado. Hell, Allen even let me catch a fish! It was fun,...... nice, big, healthy Rainbows........ I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't say that they don't compare to our fish on the North Platte........... but they were OK Nice to be out with Allen and wet a line!

All right.... a report. The snow pack in our drainage on the North Platte as we speak is good.... but we sure would like to get some more snow these next two months. It's gone a bit dry in the high country.

SO....... stay in touch, check my blog on the site, www.northplattefishing.com and if we get a slow run -off we may have some wonderful early season fishing.... April is always fun but if we get a slow run off look for May and June for great fishing and big bugs on top! I will let you all know!

Hope you all are fine with visions of jumping trout soon to come..... just received my yearly order of fly's, new waders and boots in the mail..... just like a little kid on Christmas day I am!

Cheers!
MitchHarrison's Guest House & Guide Service www.northplattefishing.com

Friday, March 6, 2009

Out in the water

Hi All,

It seems I'll be following some of my own tips next week. New friend and Client Allen B. has invited me to fish with him on the Blue River in CO. It seems he has some business up in Copper Mountain so... after business he booked a trip to fish and invited me..... long time since I've been on a guided trip myself...... I'll have to give the guide a rough time and really screw up my Karma for my upcoming season!

So what would you look for on a winter tail water like the Blue?? First I looked at the weather forecast.... partly cloudy... hmmmmmm.... in March...... break out the dry fly rod.. there has to be some Blue Wings and certainly midges to bring some heads up.

These bugs are tiny... the size has to be right. And these fish are educated so long limp tippets. If you're having a hard time seeing your bug just toss on a parachute something about a size 12 so you can see then drop the real bug about a coupule of feet off of it.

Don't forget your pam to wipe on your guides to fight off the ice!

Cheers,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fly Fishing tips for Winter/Early Spring

Hi Folks,

With the warm days a lot of Fly Fishing Talk and E Mails from the North Platte River and Encampment faithful are coming in.

It was suggested I add tips and tricks on a regular basis for folks.... so here ya go!

First and foremost the single, most important, without fail fly fishing secret to always catching more fish is......... PRESENTATION! The bug you use is is way down the list unless your in a blanket hatch and fish have been habituated to a certain size and color.... even then I often use a wildly different bug to break things up ( In February I've dragged an unweighted egg through a dry midge hatch, for fun, and slayed them!)...... make sure the wildly different bug is presented perfectly.... no drag or any unnatural movement.

Winter/Spring...... the water is cold, the fish are therefore sluggish.. as are the bugs! So... slow and perfect presentations, no drag and look for fish on the edges, not in the fastest of water, and look for them deep in the slowest of the water.... bounce bottom and go ahead and lose some bugs... the trout will like it!

Never give up on dries..... some of the best dry fly fishing of the year can take place in the middle of the most miserable weather.... snow, rain etc. No bad days, just bad clothing..... dress warm and look for heads during the worst of the weather..... midges & Bluewings love it... so will you!

Go out and get some! PS: Bring some Pam, the cooking spay, and spray some on your guides to cut down on all the ice build up! You can use it on your long haired dog during hunting season to keep burrs off as well.

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service

Friday, February 6, 2009

WY Fishing deals for Spring

Hi Folks,

The warm 60 to 70 degree days out West have people thinking of resting their knees from the ski slopes and soaking them in some North Platte River water. Lots of calls…… for the summer/fall months…

A quick thought and some deals for you…

My mid June – September always book quickly…. In going through our fishing diaries we’ve always had wonderful fishing from Mid April – Mid May…. before run-off. But I usually only book a handful of trips during that time.

Most of that could be attributed to me scaring people off will tales of snow, wind and hail. While under selling the fact that we have fish that haven’t been harassed for a long while that are hungry… and it can also be sunny and warm! A good time of year to get into massive Blue Wing Olive hatches as well…….. My man Jimmy F. from Sacramento could tell tales of fifty+ hard feeding fish at his feet during a snow storm…. Then after dealing with a few 14 -16” fish hooking and landing a prime 23” brownie…. All on dries! A heroic shot of Jim and the big Brown are on my site….. snow, smiles and all!

So… yes in can be cold and snowy, it can also be sunny and warm. My good friend Ole from Oslo tells us there are no bad days….. Just bad clothing!
So here ya go…… My own little stimulus/bail out plan for my fishers of the Upper North Platte River….

Mid April – Mid May – run-off (whichever comes first)
Day Trips $100. Off = $300.
¾ Day trips $75. Off = $275.
25% off on all Alpine Adventure trips….. Great snowshoeing and critter watching in the spring/late winter.

20% off house and room rates.

Same goofy owner & fishing guide…. No extra charge.

Off to play in some fresh powder with our youngest……. And looking forward to soaking my knees in the North Platte with you. Only eight weeks until back in the boat for the season…. Ye hah!

All the best,
Mitch
Harrison’s Guest House & Guide Service

Monday, January 19, 2009

PAST POSTS 2008

WY Fishing Report 11/1/2008


Hi all.

Well the subject should read Harrison's Guest House & Guide Service has closed it's doors for the season...... but I'm sure with the high 60 degrees temps in Saratoga all this week the fishing could have been and probably is stellar!!

This email more that anything is to thank you all for a great season........ our books say our best!

If I had to pick a year and have every other year be like it this is the one. We had great water, cool temps and almost non existent wind..... my Philly guys I'm sure are reading this and saying all we get is sleet, rain and cold temps..... the weather has to break for you at some point guys... I'm sure of it!

The water was great on the Platte and Encampment but also great for the high country where we did a load of trips this year, climbing and enjoying the wildlife and pan seared Brook Trout for lunch. We also guided a half a dozen trips to a spectacular little stream loaded with Cutthroats...... and when weather allowed us to get to this remote spot it was always a 10!

I'll always try to find new waters for us to fish and explore... as we speak I'm working with the Forest Service and BLM to add a few more gems to our list... these will be remote locations, a little hiking involved but will give us more shots at solitude and even some great sight fishing like we enjoyed this year..... Just like down under mates!

As we speak the 4th week in September, half of June, a 1/3rd of July, are already taken..... call for your spots and hope for another winter like last year!

As always as we get closer to the season I'll keep you up to date on snow pack and how the river looks....... as always the end of August through the second week in October are as sure bets as you'll get in fishing..... Tricos, Bluewings,good weather and cooling water temps. On the front end of the season Mid June through Mid July are great bets as well.. clearing and warming water, Stone Flies, caddis and a great time to chuck streamers for larger fish.

Please call anytime for any info you may need 303 298 0848 or in season 307 326 6079 ..... even if your not staying or fishing with us we love to talk fishing, the mountains and the North Platte Valley in general.

We hope you and yours are enjoying your Fall.... if you're feeling itchy and need to wet a line.. go for it! The weather is great right now, most of our Western waters are crystal clear..... think long very light tippets and small bugs.... or thrash about with a streamer the size of a large rat, tie it to 20lb test and try to antagonize some big Brownies!


All the best,
Mitch




WY Fishing report 8/28/2008


Hi all,

End of August, Tricos in full swing with a smattering of Blue wings starting to show up… The best time of the year.

Just made fast and lasting friends with Keith and Terry out of the great state of Alabama….. Deb always has a kick when I’ve got Southern folks out as my ear bone is obviously attached to my mouth bone… At the end of their stays I can “ya’ll” with the best of them.

Keith and Terry don’t get to get out and fly fish as much as they would like, as a matter of fact this was really Keith’s first fly fishing venture and Terry hadn’t been out in 5 or 6 years….. the first day was a bit rusty and the fishing was slow, but yesterday they put a whoop on our poor fish, ton’s of fish hooked and landed, lots of jumping and high fives and more importantly the first of our lake run fish showing up, silver Rainbows, plump and hot and slightly colored up Browns starting to look for a little love, all we need is a touch of rain to keep our river floatable…… little dragging here and there on the lower river, the upper would be tough.. Keep your fingers crossed! PS: Bill, “ Wigs Run “ is in full swing!

Tip of the week….. Don’t fight the feeling…. Right now, if fishing dries or nymphs you’ve got to go small…… 22s to 24s… it’s all about the Tricos and the fall Blue Wings, don’t be afraid! And get a good pair of cheater glasses and some good 6 or 7x tippet…… but as always the perfect drift will set you free…. Not the bug!

Things are looking good as old favorites are on their way, The 65ers for their week, Tim and the Philly Mafia, John and his family, a New Zealand aficionado and our Tulsa group….. What a treat!

I’ve attached two photos showing a Cow and calf moose and a hen Blue Grouse we ran into while in the high country catching Brookies, making lunch of them and hiking away in our beautiful high country.

Believe it or not here we’ve only 5 weeks give or take before the early snow starts flying…… in a few weeks the aspen will start turning then by the first of October the river foliage will light up… another great season in the bag!


If you’re a fall person like me…. Get out in it and enjoy!!

All the best, Mitch





WY Fishing Report 8/12/2008


Hi all,

A quick report while I’m on vacation with the family and heading out to the Jethro Tull Concert tonight at Red Rocks! At 60 Ian Anderson is as fresh and as wonderful as he was when I first saw him in 1975.

Fishing…. With our initial snowpack and now with our rains and cool temps it’s probably been one of our better years…. Especially for August, good floating and great fishing from sun rise to about 1pm. Streamers early, when the sun hits the water go small mayfly or caddis nymphs… the spinner falls are getting better every day and we should have larger pods of fish on them any day now…. Bluewings can’t be far behind! Bookings… totally booked for the rest of the season except for the cancellation we have that opens up a prime spot… 15th – 21rst of September.

Also our new emphasis on Alpine hiking, fishing, and photography trips has been a kick…. See attached photos of the Murry brothers fishing a 11,000+ ft. and enjoying fresh trout, pan fried with a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread. A great workout and a great meal!

I’m back in Saratoga tomorrow with old friends the O’Fallon’s back again from Florida and the 65ers right on their tails…….. The 65ers all turn 65 this season…. I hope I can fish as hard and play in the evening as hard as these fellow do when I get there!

The best of the year is on its way…. September and October… get out and enjoy.

PS: got my first winter warning…. Grays peak in Colorado @ 14,200+ft had 1 – 4” of fresh snow on it yesterday….. Oh my!

Cheers,
Mitch




WY Fishing Report 7/18/2008


Hi All!

Quick update..... Deb and Burt did very well on their visit....... Deb's been fishing the North Platte for 30 years and it was her best day ever! Ah such sweet words to this guides ears! Check out pic of attached 20" Brown.

So.... the river from top to bottom is in great shape and fishing well and the really good news is our nights are getting cold! THe trout are loving it and the evenings on the deck require a sweater at times... perfect.

Have a few dates left for the rest of the summer.... and just had a group cancell a week in September.... poor buggers it's right in the middle of the month... blue wings and our big run of Rainbows coming up the river... prime stuff.

Tricos are just barely starting to show up.... the main players now are the caddis.

See you on the river!

Cheers,
Mitch




WY Fishing Report 7/9/2008


Hi Boys and Girls,

Sorry so long between reports but with summer FINALLY getting here it's been hard to stay inside and peck away at a computer!

Season really started rolling with the visit of my Mississippi friends Frank " the Bull " and Graig. We had Ok fishing on the big river with nice fish but not many but....... A little piece of water saved the trip, good fish and lot's of them, won't divulge the little piece of water as it's small and could end up getting more pressure than it needs, sorry but I need to keep some secrets...... although I'm sure I can be bribed!

THe big river was bouncing up and down causing the fishing to do the same. My friends from EDI were back out again about the same time as the Mississippi Mafia and even joined them for dinner at the Guest house. The fishing was pretty good for the EDI boys with Phil looking to be top rod enjoying good days on the Platte and a little stream.

Hot on their tails came friends Charles and Sarah from the great state of Texas...... Charles you'll need to forget this next time you show up for some fishing but...... I'd guide you and Sarah for free for a breakfast of your Pig and Deer sausage!!

Charles and Sarah brought along their friends Greg and Cindy and Mark and Kate and lots of personal bests were bested and great weather for the length of their stay. Sarah did rule the second day with good fishing on nymphs.

Now.... water is dropping like crazy and the report has Drakes on both the Encampment and the Platte. With the high water we've had this might be a short lived blast of the big mayflies but I'll report back after I chase them upstream the next few days.

Looking forward to return clients Burt and Deb to show up and visit the lower river for a few days..... I'm chomping at the bit to get down there cause it looks really nice.

Speaking of looking nice...... the high country is slowly starting to open up. I got up Medicine Bow Peak yesterday and was able to see a lot of our lakes getting most of their ice off and should be able to start our treks into them soon. My fearless Deb over the 4th weekend took a hike with me into the headwaters of one of our streams as well as a lake.... beautiful country and the water is right as are the fish!!! So if your ready for pan seared Brook Trout and a great hike the rest of July - September should be choice! Beautiful view from Med Bow Peak is attached.

Hope you all had a safe and fun 4th..... let the summer games begin!!

All the best,
Mitch





WY Fishing Report 6/15/2008



Hi all,

Just a quickie........ the irrigation gates are wide open, we're getting cool to cold nights in the high country, the river has great visibility, the big bugs are out and really starting to rock. Good to the best fishing on all parts of the river.

Come get some!!

I'll be on the river a lot so I'll probably get back to anyone how wants info quicker if you call..307 326 6079.

Check out the cool shots I attached of fawn deer and calf elk!

Cheers,
Mitch





WY Fishing Report 5/16/2008


Hi all,

Well it's finally stopped snowing on us! Now we're looking at a weeks worth of 70s to 80s... uh oh... news flash Harrison's Guest House new location..... Nebraska! Let's hope the nights get cold enough to slow down what promises to be one heck of a flow.

Don't know what to tell you about the fishing at this point... The Encampment has been ok but with the warm weather it will be gone for a while, the big river is only going to get bigger, great for scenic floats... not so much for fishing. I'll keep you posted but for now if I had to take a guess... mid to latter part of June... ah.... great for the river and should set up for a great summer...... no moss hatch this year folks!

In the meantime I've been busy plotting a new part of my business.... I'll be leading a number of trips to the high country this season..... Introducing Harrison's Guest House & Guide Services Alpine Adventures...... The Forest service has enlarged my permitted area by 15 lakes or so giving me over 20 to play with, we'll be averaging about 10,000ft in altitude in some of the most gorgeous country around, our long hike will include summitting Medicine Bow Peak, 12,000ft plus a few, Brook Trout and fresh locally baked bread for lunches and sleep like a baby that evening. We'll have all sorts of hikes available, half days, full days, fishing, just hiking.... tell us what you want and we'll create a trip together.... we have lots of water and lots of options.. call for details.

So what am I up to???? I'm hiking a lot, not smoking and trying to get skinny, taking lots of photographs and waiting to see all your smiling faces on the water or in the hills! Just to show you I'm really not just lounging on the deck wrapped around a whiskey bottle I've attached a neat shot of Sage Grouse going about their courtship rituals..... out near Bennett Peak. About 18 males having at it...... if you haven't seen this it's worth casting about on the back roads in the early am in search of the amorous guys!

We'll talk soon about changing water conditions.... until then....
Cheers,
Mitch





WY Fishing Report 5/16/2008


Hi all,

Well it's finally stopped snowing on us! Now we're looking at a weeks worth of 70s to 80s... uh oh... news flash Harrison's Guest House new location..... Nebraska! Let's hope the nights get cold enough to slow down what promises to be one heck of a flow.

Don't know what to tell you about the fishing at this point... The Encampment has been ok but with the warm weather it will be gone for a while, the big river is only going to get bigger, great for scenic floats... not so much for fishing. I'll keep you posted but for now if I had to take a guess... mid to latter part of June... ah.... great for the river and should set up for a great summer...... no moss hatch this year folks!

In the meantime I've been busy plotting a new part of my business.... I'll be leading a number of trips to the high country this season..... Introducing Harrison's Guest House & Guide Services Alpine Adventures...... The Forest service has enlarged my permitted area by 15 lakes or so giving me over 20 to play with, we'll be averaging about 10,000ft in altitude in some of the most gorgeous country around, our long hike will include summitting Medicine Bow Peak, 12,000ft plus a few, Brook Trout and fresh locally baked bread for lunches and sleep like a baby that evening. We'll have all sorts of hikes available, half days, full days, fishing, just hiking.... tell us what you want and we'll create a trip together.... we have lots of water and lots of options.. call for details.

So what am I up to???? I'm hiking a lot, not smoking and trying to get skinny, taking lots of photographs and waiting to see all your smiling faces on the water or in the hills! Just to show you I'm really not just lounging on the deck wrapped around a whiskey bottle I've attached a neat shot of Sage Grouse going about their courtship rituals..... out near Bennett Peak. About 18 males having at it...... if you haven't seen this it's worth casting about on the back roads in the early am in search of the amorous guys!

We'll talk soon about changing water conditions.... until then....
Cheers,
Mitch





April 08 Season Starts! 4/15/2008


Hi All!

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2008 fishing season!

Hope everyone wintered over well and that us poor buggers out here can retire our snow shovels til next winter! Really can’t complain much about the snow….. it was really an “ old school/normal “ winter that we haven’t had for a bit and it sure will be great for the health of the rivers! It’s the perfect time for hikes in the high country, you can hike on the snowmobile trails but the snow isn’t in good enough shape for the noisy things to pester you! Scout and I have enjoyed it and yes there’s a ton of the white stuff up there to melt………. When Scout wanders off the trails following her nose she sometimes disappears in the unpacked snow…… to the point where once I had to fall in myself to pull her out.

The run-off has started here with the river today starting to pick up some color and depth…. It’s come up 7 – 10” in front of the Guest House in the last week. Depending on Mom nature… sun, cold nights, rain, snow, etc the river could be out and cold until mid June….. I’ll try and keep you posted or just give a ring, I’ll look out the window, and let you know.

The fishing……. Started out the season with regulars Dennis, son Greg and friend Dave…. It’s fun to watch people’s faces when our drift boat, with Dave and Greg , comes drifting by with wine bottles in the front AND rear drink holders…… Dave and Greg were happy they had them as the fishing was slow to say the least.

Timing, timing, timing………. Dennis and Greg showed up Monday evening with the fishing and water temperatures good ……. The next am the Wyoming wind made and appearance…….. you know sort of like the Huns used to make an appearance…. Loud and vicious! Dennis and Greg took mercy on their guide and we decided to “try” and wade fish……. By noon the wind won and we ran away.

That night it snowed on us, about 3 – 4” in town, and with it the water temps for the next three days hovered between 38 and 42 degrees, trout hibernation temps ……… Long story short…. We caught fish, not many, but a few big ones and stopped the last two days trips by noon……. No use beating a dead fish us guides like to say!

Thank you Dennis, Greg and Dave for your good spirits and all the laughter over the four days……… thank God we have a history of stellar trips together or I’m afraid I’d have been tossed over the side!

Looking forward…….. unless we have truly unnatural warmth or wind to make all the snow disappear overnight we should have a “normal” year……Fishing taking off mid June, good floating and fishing through late July, early August, no moss, morning fishing only.. for a few weeks in August, after getting our mid to late August rains game on for the rest of the season through mid October.

For fishing this spring……… call for Gray Reef reports…. I might be talked into going up but only during the week. I’m afraid what I’ve been talking about the past two years continues to be the case up in Casper….. Lots and Lots of new outfitters, lots of boats and lots of the kids parking on spawning redds and killing a lot of fish…. The results……. Not near the fish there used to be, still some big ones but you’ll have to share them with a lot of people.

If you’re looking for a possible hot spot to be guided on, ( sorry I won’t give this one away….. yet) there is a fairly new tail water fishery that I’ve visited a few times, only a few times…… as I got lost trying to take Mississippi Frank there last year……. No Frank I still refuse to ask directions !………. It’s a neat winding meadow stream with deep cut banks and Bows up to 18”…. So far!

As always if you want to talk fishing or just shoot the bull give a shout 307 326 6079

Be well and see you on the river! I’ve attached a photo of a few Cinnamon Teal in front of the Guest House in a full pre-mating frenzy…… beautiful little birds!

Cheers,
Mitch





Opening up!! 4/8/2008


Hi All,

Opening up this week, water good, runoff big, probably starting Mid May - Mid June... Great for the river... tough fishing for a a month.

Will produce a more info/story filled report soon??

Happy 08 Fishing season!
Cheers,
Mitch