IDAHO FISH-IN WRAP UP
It's hard to believe that September is almost over, or will be when this is published, and another Idaho Fish-In is over. Not just any Idaho Fish-In, but the 10th Idaho Fish-In.
The 2011 gathering of like-minded folks on the banks of the Lochsa, Clearwater, and Selway Rivers started a bit different. Rain! Really, we had rain for a couple of days and evenings. No big gully washers or anything, but heavy enough, with a bit of thunder, to give pause when standing in a body of water holding a graphite lightning rod. The remainder of the week we enjoyed, as Jack Hise put it, Chamber of Commerce weather.
We were too early for the October Caddis hatch, but the trout didn't seem to mind. Though there were very few naturals to take note of the trout eagerly ate anything that somewhat resembled an October Caddis. Surprisingly, they also readily took hoppers in various forms as there were a ton of the naturals still lingering after a late summer season. PMD's were also pretty effective, as were BWO's.
We ended up with 25 folks from around the country. Most hailed from the Northwest, but Jack Hise and Kaboom1 (Brad) fished their way across the country to join us in Lowell. Dana and his wife made it up from Colorado, as did DG.
The fishing was a bit tougher this year, but the fish seemed to be larger and fatter than in previous years.
Our focus during the Fish-In is, well fishing!! Oh sure, we tie a few flies in the evening and sit around the camp fire (Thanks MarkK) listening to Danbob and Z play guitar while having a few adult beverages. At one point folks started to get nervous as the guitar playing started to sound a bit like Dueling Banjos.
There were some new folks that joined us for the first time, like Ron and Jan with their two rather large and friendly Golden Pyrenees. We also met some nice folks from Tennessee that will be joining our ranks once they return home.
With a major focus on fishing, we only have a couple of organized events. There are casting contests for distance and accuracy, plus a combined distance this year. Conranch Hackle provided the prizes for the casting contest as in years past. Denny was kind enough to provide three JV Rooster skins and three JV hen skins. Thanks, Denny, Liz and Ken. They were much appreciated by the hosts as well as the winners.
The distance casting was open to all casters using my Sage SLT 8'6" for 5 weight rods with a weight forward 5 weight Sharkskin line. No warm up casts were allowed. For the distance casting we measured each cast and the best out of three was the counter. The distance winner was Foo (Jon) with a 68' 7" cast, and he took home a fine JV Rooster skin. Forthebirds12 (Jerry) was the runner up, winning a beautiful black iridescent JV hen skin with a best cast of 62"4".
For the distance combined we added the three casts of all casters and the high scores took the prizes Taking first was Foo who got yet another rooster skin with a combined score of 198'1" and Jerry who scored 174'5" took another fine hen skin home.
For the accuracy contest paper plates were set out at 15', 20', 25', 30', 35' and 40' in a zigzag pattern. Casters started on the near target casting to each target at greater distances, once the 40' plate was cast to the casters had to work their way back to the starting plate adjusting their line length in the air. A fly on the plate was worth Zero points, within one foot of the plate was worth one point, between one and two feet of the plate was 2 points, three feet and further was worth three points. A perfect score was zero. The first place accuracy winner with a score of 19 points was you guessed it, Foo, who took home yet another rooster skin. Let's face it; Foo (Jon) is just a fine caster. 2nd place was MarkK (Mark Killiam) who scored a 20, breaking the Foo/Jerry winner streak, taking home a JV hen skin.
For our other major event, the BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) Cookout and Potluck, Z served as charcoal master as in years past. Following the advice of our late fiend, Al Campbell, you have to use a whole bottle of starter fluid to get it burning right. Once the charcoal was burning properly it didn't take long for all sorts of meat and veggies to be on the grill, then a dash into the Rumpus Room to dig into all the goodies that folks brought to share. I especially want to thank JeffW for roasting the coffee beans right outside the door.
I can only speak for myself when I say I had a blast again this year and have started tying hoppers and October Caddis in preparation for next year (I will even manage a few BWO's and PMD's).
Next year we'll be gathering at the Three Rivers Campground on September 22d through the 29th. We look forward to seeing as many as possible next year.