Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Aaron Borow, Adam Page, Josh Sykes and I woke up Saturday morning @ 3:30 AM so we could arrive at the Lower Fly Zoo in Altmar at the butt crack of dawn. It didn't matter...there were like 5000 people there already. We wandered up to "the wire", our favorite run at the very top of the Lower Fly Zoo. We managed to fist fight our way through the crowd, and acquired the most coveted shore side chiller rock at the wire. There is a nice fast run above the rock. At the bottom of the run, the huge rock sends the river off on a crooked direction. This makes a killer resting seam just feet off shore. Despite butting our way into a favorable location, the fishing was slow, just steady enough to keep us interested. I saw very few hookups the whole day. Everybody in our group but me got a good hook set the first day. Josh landed the only fish. Picture #4, his very first steelhead! A remarkable fish!
Day 2 we decided to try the Upper Fly Zone. We arrived there an hour before sunrise but were still greeted by 20 cars. The shore was littered with anglers about every 20 feet. Right before first light we decided to ford the river at the tail out of the long productive run. It was a sketchy crossing and would be unsafe any higher than the 650 cfs the river was running. We then ran to the head of the run and declared scabby beach ours for the day, a perfect location for 4 anglers. It is a sandy little beach with the littlest trib trickling in, making a perfect fish landing zone. Not more than ten minutes of fishing went by and we heard a, "PRAISE JESUS!" come outta Josh's mouth. This caused quite a great uproar amongst us, as we had talked about replacing the "fish on!" with other things the night before. I believe Josh landed that fish, a nice probably 26 inch steelhead buck.
I had the hot hand the rest of the morning. I hooked up about 10 times and tried different flies every time I lost one. The pattern didn't seem to matter, and I lost quite a big ass fish with a large salmonfly nymph....probably a brown. The long run called for strike indicator fishing and with my new 10' 8" 8wt switch it made it a breeze. Aaron and I each built one specifically for this river. The rods have great action and helped us make 50 foot drifts with ease. I landed two nice hen steelies and a nice brown. Josh landed 2 buck steelies and Aaron landed one nice buck. We had a great time and it is quickly becoming an addiction, fueled by the loss of every single truly gargantuan fish we hooked. I'll add a couple more pics when I get them from Adam.