Thursday, May 29, 2014
After wrapping up last week on the Missouri, I headed up to Heron, Montana to hang out with my oldest son for the weekend. As it turned out, he had some school stuff he had to take care of in Spokane, Wa. on Saturday which left me with a whole lot of down time for a day. I was exhausted after driving to Thompson Falls after finishing up fishing on Thursday (construction on HWY 200 sucked in between Rogers Pass and Lincoln). So, I debated on whether I should hang out in the hotel Saturday or do something.
The fishing options over that way are pretty limited right now as the waters are high and busy where things are easily accessible. I always like doing something different, so I looked into some Pike fishing on Lake Couer D'Alene. The guys at Northwest Outfitters in CDA hooked me up with a conventional tackle guide on the lake and after some negotiations I booked the day.
I had no idea what to expect and was a little worried when I showed up at the boat ramp to be greeted by a husband and wife team with a 22' Custom Weld boat with a 200HP outboard complete with down riggers and 20 different combinations of spin casting and bait casting rigs. It only took a few seconds of talking to them though to know I was in for a fun day. They just had that "fishy" thing to them and knew what to do even though they had never taken a fly fisher out. Their standard fare is the resort tourist looking for a few hours of trolling.
We loaded up and headed South, maybe East…I have no idea where we went. We ended up a creek cursing with the trolling motor, working the cuts in the bank, structure, and some deep cuts. I had to make 7450 casts and stripped in 6 miles of fly line that day, it was exhausting and fun as hell. I got to experiment with tying wire leaders, working around a trolling motor, and watched a dozen or so Pike and a Smallmouth hammer a white Sex Dungeon.
It was one of the few times I can recall where my arm was truly sore from casting and fishing all day without my elbow feeling like it was going to snap. The second to last fish was pushing double digits and I couldn't even set the hook. They are such a fun fish to watch eat and light up once they see that fly.
I fished a 906 H2 with a floating line and intermediate sinking leader with 20lbs wire tippet. Would have preferred a 7 or 8, but I only had heavy sinking lines on those reels. Was totally worth the trip, learned a lot, hooked the guide, banged some fish, laughed a lot and burned the top of my baldness.