Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Elk River- Scouting Report

Today Anthony Williams from Calvary Outfitters took me out for our second scouting trip of the year to the Elk River. I plan on doing some trips down there this year and wanted to try out a few patterns as well as to take a look at some of the better spots we’ve found over the last 6 years.

When we arrived at the river we were surprised at the lack of people on the river. There were exactly….no people within eyesight and only one vehicle in the parking lot. As we were suiting up a gentleman from North Carolina and his daughter arrived. He was teaching her to fly fish and I can’t think of a better river to teach the mechanics of fly fishing than the upper portion of the Elk. We exchanged pleasantries and while they went back to their car to get suited up, we backed the canoe into the water.

As I said before this was more of a scouting trip, so my job was to sit in the front of the canoe, look for fish and watch the bobicator. The usual suspects were in the usual holes along the river and before we arrived at the bend pool we had a couple strikes. A quick stop in the bend pool and we picked up a couple rainbows on the Tutto. Moving downstream from there we were under crystal clear skies and on crystal clear water. The river is in very good shape particularly when we consider last years summer drought.

I have a favorite run on the the upper portion of the Elk. This run produces fish most every time and Saturday was no exception. The run yielded two very nice holdover browns with outstanding color on a small Clouser. Then I moved onto a long run and caught another brown. This opportunistic brown was a little larger, but the color was more memorable than its size. The fish had the butter color belly and golden sides. The spots were vivid black with bright red mixed among them, but the most distinct features were the white at the tips of the fins. This fish was in great shape.

While Anthony fished downstream, I took a lunch break and sat down next to the water. Between bites I turned over a few rocks and found………..sow bugs. The largest sow bug I found was approximately a #18, which explains why the Tutto worked out so well. Anthony continued working a run and came up with a nice rainbow of his own on a Clouser.

We did see some younger folks turn over a canoe, which yielded some colorful language and shouts of “this water is cold, this water is cold” and “this water is cold!”. After that we fished downstream a little longer and then decided to call it a day.

Anthony’s canoe gets a lot of attention while it is on the river. There were some long looks on the way back to the ramp and several people stopped to discuss the distinct lines of his River Ridge Custom Canoe.

My seat in front of the canoe, over the past couple weeks, revealed there are not as many fish in the upper river as in previous springs. However, it is still a little early for the TWRA to stock the upper part of the river to its normal capacity. Down river the fish seem to be as plentiful as previous years. The holes further downstream should hold the bigger fish that we know are there just waiting to be caught.

1 comment:

  1. For the record - my 2 were rainbows (one being the largest fish of the day but who's keeping score?) - I really wanted one of the brown's though.