This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

September 29th, 2003

Fish-In '03

For us the end of a Fish-In is always difficult. The beginning is the culmination of expectation and planning - and with a little luck, the weather co-operates and the folks who come have great water to fish. It helps a lot if there are actually fish to catch! Someone at the Fish-In mentioned hearing a weather report calling for snow. Not uncommon in the western states anytime after (or before) September. But instead of snow we had bright sunny days and a little frost on the windshield in the morning. We couldn't have asked for better. Except like many there, I didn't want to leave either. I wanted to stay a fish a couple more days.

Once a boat fisherman...

Some fished until dark every night and were up and off at first light. It was not easy fishing every day, and some days were double number fish days. No great secret, one day was really great and the next nearly fishless. But no one gave up.

Locksa River

Fishing was split between the Lochsa and Selway Rivers, with a few fishing the Clearwater near 'camp.' The concensus was the Lochsa held bigger fish, with the Selway having more fish. Rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout were caught, and I heard a rumor that a brown was caught as well.

I don't have a final count, but almost everyone who had signed up for the Fish-In came - and a couple we hadn't expected showed up. There were about 40 people, some had to leave early because of other obligations - and some came in as early as the Friday before the 'official' doings. It was a great group of folks!

Some of our group tying

We picked the dates for the Fish-In carefully with the idea we could hit the October Caddis hatch. We did. And more. One group hit a blanket hatch of something very small. Others hit a mayfly hatch. Stu Farnham claimed he took most of his fish on Madam X flies. Something for everyone.

Real caddis and fake

Almost every evening found people tying in the Rumpus Room. Materials were swapped along with tying methods. Cole Martin from Great Falls, MT. was the youngest in the group, he received tying lessons and a 'guided' day with Al Campbell. He may have learned more from his week at the Fish-In than he would have at school.

Al Campbell

It's always a delight to see old friends, some of whom we only see at events like this one. Putting faces on names is fun, and we had several 'new' folks at this Fish-In. I'll get more photos with names up over this week - I have a couple hundred photos - and more to come. Be a little patient and you'll be able to see for yourself.

Jeff Fields (Grizzly Hackle) put on his steak fry Friday night again, at "dark-thirty." I hate to suggest this is becoming a tradition, but everyone brings what they can (including their own steak - or chicken) and Grizz does his magic. It's good food and great companionship. Thanks Grizz for another success!

Grizz tending the grill

Our sincere thanks to all who came and made the Fish-In such a terrific time. It wouldn't happen without you! We are planning a repeat for next year - same time, same place, (the last full week in September '04). If you are into planning ahead, start making your plans now for next year! You don't want to miss the fun. ~ The LadyFisher

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