Gary and I were the first boat on the water for the day. Most guides meet clients in Jackson at 8 AM and don’t even get to the river before 9. It’s not only pleasant being the only boat on the water but fish start their day more aggressive than ever because they have yet to be molested by the numerous anglers. We experienced some unusual weather. It was cool, cloudy and even some drizzle. You just knew the fish were ready to feed heavily.
On the first cast with my double Kiwi Muddler streamer rig I had a big fish flash. It was game on. I slammed the last bit of coffee in my mug and in the next fishy looking spot I nailed a stunning 16” Snake River Cutthroat. The fishing never slowed down from 7 till noon! Gary and I stuck with the streamers and probably landed more than 20 good quality Snake River Cuttys.
One fish of note was this large shouldered slab of a cuttbow. The Snake is 99% Snake River Cutthroats and although there are some brown trout, brook trout and lake trout, rainbows are few and far between. And a cuttbow is extremely unusual. Let alone a perfect specimen like this!
Another unusual find today was a drowned elk cow. I watch elk, deer, antelope and moose swim the rivers all the time and take for granted that swimming is dangerous for them too. The Moose to Wilson stretch of the Snake rages. Currents slam into rocky banks and under sweepers like you can’t believe. Floating this particular stretch takes a very skilled rower. And there’s no reason to think that the best animal swimmers can’t drown just like we can. It doesn’t matter what creature you are. Get stuck under a snag and you’re dead meat. This elk looked as healthy as ever yet there she was dead as can be creating new cutthroat trout holding water.
Gary and I finished up our day at 2 PM. We still had some clouds but the heat was back. And that’s likely the reason our fishing slowed dramatically from noon till 2. Its great starting early and ending early. I’ll spend the rest of the day on a watercolor I’ve been working on and get packed up for tomorrow. Yup, you guessed it; I’m fishing a lot while Granny’s away.