It started out cold and never warmed up. Our 5-day annual fly fishing trip from the fishing standpoint would’ve been consider a great success, however, mother nature decided to deal us a hand of bitter weather that wouldn’t let up.
The unrelenting snow pounded us from all angles, but that wasn’t enough to stop us from the best catch, I’ve ever been a part of. Our first day was the nicest day of weather. A balmy 35 degrees with peaks of sun teased us. “This isn’t so bad,” I said. Boy was I in for the weather shock of a lifetime.
We would not see the sun the rest of the trip, with the high’s only reaching the 20’s. Did we mind? Maybe a little, but the pics below will remind you why the weather would not slow us down.
Netting the 26”/10# rainbow pictured above was the largest of my young career in the sport. In my mind the quintessence of fly fishing, is sight fishing. I relish the opportunity to see my fly being eaten by my prey. The rush of adrenaline I feel as I yank the fly rod downstream to hook my target is unmatched.
Overall between three of us we caught close to 90 fish in 4 days on the water. With only a few brown’s sprinkled in, most of the fish caught were rainbows ranging in size of 16-26.”
Aside from the fishing we had quite an adventure traveling through the snow-packed mountain passes. With thousands of feet of vertical drop, going off the road was a very real possibility. I would consider myself a bit of a thrill seeker, but at times I found myself white knuckled on the seat in front of me.
Like any trip, this trip wasn’t without drama. The last stop on our trip was a new spot, a secret spot as Jason referred to it. Unfortunately for us this fishing wasn’t a great success, but it was the events that followed that had us all on the edge of our seats.
After the day of fishing was done, we had to hike up a steep grade back to our car with 30-40 extra pounds of fishing gear. When we arrived I set my fly rod on the top of our Suburban to grab a drink of water in my exhaustion. I bet you can guess what happened next; that’s right, we took off with it on the roof. It wasn’t until 20 miles down the road that I noticed only one rod was packed in the car.
“Why is there only one rod in here?” I said. Jason slammed on the brakes and I leaped from the car to see if in fact the other two somehow fell behind the seat. They had not. It was at that moment I realized I left my rod on top of the car.
On the long 20 mile drive back, I was filled with anxiety. As we retraced our route, my Sage was not along the highway or in the middle of the road. That’s a relief I thought. We hit the dirt road that led to our “secret spot” and still no sign. I was so afraid that we would run over the rod that I sat on the door with the window down.
“Stop!” I said, pounding the top of the SUV. There it was lying across the road still intact. Phew! We continued to search for Jason’s second rod that was also left behind. After at least 1 ½ hours of searching the rod eluded us, I guess we will never know what happened to that mysterious St. Croix.