Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thomas Jefferson's River

I fished the Jefferson yesterday with a couple of buddies. It was the first time in almost 10 years that I wet a line on the Jeff and it might just be another 10 years before I do it again. Just kidding. We floated from Cardwell to Sappington which is a 16 mile float through a tryly remarkable canyon. The water is pretty tame through the whole thing with lots of stretches of dead water which can be rowed through worry-free. I got 9 fish, the largest of which was 19-20 inches and a really healthy Brown. My buddies didn't do so well, but I think that was due to luck more than anything.
This river has probably sufferred more than any other in the area over the last 15 years or so of drought conditions. Irrigators basically suck it dry in the summer, which has resulted in heavy siltation and lots of vegetation. So, the trout numbers aren't what they once were and neither is teh fishing. It's kind of sad that the state and regional conservation groups have pretty much ignored this river over the years. It's reallyt hampered by the fact that the Big Hole, Beaverhead, and Ruby form the Jeff...none of whihc have had any real good water years the last 5 or 6.
Anyway, it was a beautiful float and we caought some fish nymphing. Maybe could have done better throwing streamers, but we weren't in the mood for that junk yesterday. So, we had a great time being alone on a magnificent western river. I hate my job!

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