February 8th, 1999
"Fishing With Dad in North Idaho"

by Andy Cottrell (aka SE)

The sun rises to start another day of hunting for the "golden" trout. I ask my dad (I am 13) if I should get into the car. He says I should, so I go. I wait anxiously for our trip to begin. My dad finally gets into the car and we are off.

The spot we have chosen today is a small falls high up in the mountains (we usually fish small streams and rivers) called Snow Creek Falls. The site is and hour and half away and the road to it is way out in the country.

During the car ride my palms are sweating because of the excitement of going to the river. My Dalmatian, who usually comes along is carefully watching the countryside pass. I assume he is trying to figure out where we are headed.

As for my rod, I use a 7-weight Custom Made (a small company) fiberglass rod. I have a Field and Stream fishing vest filled with all my hand-tied flies. I tie my own flies. As for my reel I have one made by Elite. I have never heard of this company, but I use it since it was a gift (also I can't afford another one.) All of the gear I have was handed down to me from my dad.

After a long ride up windy roads of the mountains, we finally arrive at our destination. We have to get all our gear together and hike down a half-mile trail before we get to fish.

Cutthroat Trout

This site is a Forest Service tourist site so the trail is well maintained. Even though it is a Forest Service site, I have never seen another person there, probably because it is so remote. The trout here are small but are native and the area is not stocked. Even though the fish are small, it is still extremely fun.

We finally arrive at the end of the trail. The trail empties out onto a platform there to view the falls. We put on all our stuff and equip our rods with gold hare's ear nymphs, either #12 or #14.

These work well here because the stream has many big rocks. Many pools are formed, and there is a strong current too.

I slide under the rail and start my journey through the fairly dense forest downstream. I go about quarter mile away from the platform and I work my way upstream, fishing the pools.

The journey there is very slippery. We have to walk on a slope and the ground is covered with moist moss and dead trees. As I go along to my spot I see a rabbit jump from the bushes and bolt of into the woods. Seeing this makes me wonder how many more rabbits there are.

Finally I arrive at my destination and move as quietly as possible to the waters edge. I attach my strike indicator (I am not very good yet without one) and pull out a little line to sling-shot my fly into the pool. I can't do a full cast because the area is too tight.

On the first cast I land the fly just at the top of the pool. I follow the fly down the pool watching the strike indicator intently. At the slightest motion of a bite, I am ready to hook the fish.

After 2 or 3 casts a fish finally hits the fly, and I am able to successfully pull the fish in and admire it. It is a 7 inch native cutthroat tout. It is a work of art. After admiring it, I carefully release it back to the stream. ~ Andy Cottrell

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