Sunday, June 5, 2011

Up North

I had never met dave hartman before but had conversed with him a few times on the site. he lives about 2 1/2hrs north of missoula and had invited me to come up and fish some stillwater with him off the boat, so i excepted. i mean everyone that i fish with in utah i met on a fly fishing board, they are all great people so i had no heartburn meeting dave this way. now we are! just kidding. anyway i left my house at 5am to meet dave at a cafe by 8am. after the short introductions we were off to the lake. when we got to the launch i was in awe, it was one of the most beautiful lakes i had ever seen. tons of structure, beautiful white capped mountains loomed above the lake, the water was glass, trees all around, i mean it was gorgeous. we fish our way around some coves looking for bass or pike, i did manage to hook into a bass but quickly lost it. other then that the first couple of hrs were really slow and i was in shock cause the water just looked to damn good. we move over to some submerged islands and as we are fishing another boat pulls up and the guy introduces himself as a game warden and proceeds to check our licenses. this is only the 2nd time in my life and the first since high school that i had ever been checked. it was good to see them out patrolling. dave asked the warden about the pike and he tells us the he hadn't seen a pike in the lake in about 3 yrs. well that sucks! but the beauty is is that about a 1/2 hr later i land a nice little pike. we had moved to another shoreline were i proceeded to take that pike and a couple of largemouths. we had come to another cove and i got my fly hanging in the water behind me and i'm talking to and watching daves fly work in the water, i turn to my fly before i get ready to cast and theres this pike right under the surface about 2 ft behind my fly just checking it out. that was awesome and intense to see. i quickly start working my fly at different speeds, not really sure what to do in that situation, just hoping he slams it, but he just continues to follow it and then decides he's not interested and veers off. DAMN! after a few more hrs i think we made a mistake by leaving that lake in search of big pike. we actually ended up leaving the 2nd piece of water for a 3rd and neither the 2nd or 3rd produced any fish for us. the 2nd did however produce more game wardens on the water. so after only being checked for a license once in my life, i got checked twice in one day. i actually felt good about that. after striking out on the 2nd body of water dave said something that made a lot of sense......never leave fish to look for fish. although i don't always agree or follow that, it certainly pertained to this situation. dave was a helluva guy and a great fishing host but after about 9hrs on the water it was time to start the 2 1/2 hr drive back. i look forward to heading back up that way cause i'm sure once the weather continues to warm up the fishing up there is going to get really good.


Jim Browning said...

Mike ~ Slightly longer drive , but the invitation is always open for a day on the river.

Two Guys ~ Wet Waders & Flies

mike doughty said...

thanks jim!

Brett Colvin said...

Looks like a hoot Mike - that turtle photo is pretty awesome. I can't recall ever seeing a turtle in the wild. Beautiful country too.

mike doughty said...

brett there were quite a few turtles that day. in fact 1/2 the lakes i've fished here are loaded with turtles