Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cheesman (Olympic Peninsula Deja Vu)

Rainy weather and overcast skies: a great day to chase the baetis hatch on the S. Platte

Bitter weather at Cheesman Canyon was a perfect combination to get the miniature mayflies hatching for multiple hours. At first cripple patterns took the most fish, then the trout started to key in on duns. 

Little Browns took dun imitations with absolutely no hesitation

Court with a nice cheesman 'bow

Spring in the Canyon is always fun: the larger fish start to show themselves!!

This 5 lb. hen was not a happy camper, nice work court!

One for the Scud!

Like usual some type of epic trout battle took place. This time it was a 24''-26'' Kamloops Rainbow who had wandered just upstream of the TEE PEE Club. With the initial shock of being hooked the fish went into crazed head shakes and we tried to net her, before she could re-orient herself. However, within seconds the large hen made her way toward and under the fence cutting across the river, and with it we thought it was another one who got away.  There was a pity party with a thrown net, and curse words thrown at the inanimate fence, where 15 feet of my fly-line had crossed, trespassing the legendary waters. However as I started to reel in, the fish was still on the line!! But how would I coax the fish back under the fence upstream to me. 

Well, a couple years ago a very good guide up on the North Platte taught me that in dire situations large fish can be pulled upstream under water on relatively light tippet by putting the rod tip under water almost on the bottom and slowly reeling in line.

This was a dire situation, with an 8-10 lb fish on the line. So I started to slowly reel in, and the fish began to follow, but every time she crossed under the fence, she would get wary and quickly speed back to safety.

We knew if we positioned someone on the net to quickly try to scoop the fish once it crossed under the fence, that we might have a chance. We had one chance and we missed it, with the flies eventually ripped out of the 'bow's mouth. 

I thought we had it,  but we didn't , and I was consequently devastated. No F-bombs this time, just head-down and silence. 

But hours later, now I just think it was a pretty sweet day on the water, with a wild battle that a smart fish won.


  1. There's no such thing as a big dumb fish.

  2. I must agree! Just dumb guys like us tryin to figure out why they are so smart... now, thats dumb.

  3. regardless, looked like a great day despite the loss of the big guy! Besides, it's always good to be reminded that we aren't as smart as we think we are...

  4. Sanders,

    Exactly, and it keeps things in perspective, and keeps me coming back for more!

  5. Great looking blog and amazing fish ... I have just added your site to my blog ... Looking forward to following your adventures.

    Jim ... Two Guys ~ Wet Waders & Flies

  6. Jim, thanks for the kind words! We have periodically followed your blog from time to time, its awesome!