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