Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fishing the Gros Ventre, Fall 2016

You can tell if a person is from Wyoming, by listening how they pronounce the name of the river, Gros Ventre, (its pronounced Grow Vont). The river flows westward from the Gros Ventre Mountains and finally empties into the Snake River just north of Jackson Wyoming.
Its a beautiful river and one we hadn't fished this year so George and Val joined us for one last fishing trip before we headed south for the Florida, Texas and and Louisiana Coasts, our usual winter journey.
Arriving at Crystal Creek Campground we found the campground closed and the river clear and low. Donning our vests and boots we all tied on different dry flies before heading out to test our luck. Renita and I stopped at a great looking hole and as she fished it I went further downstream so I wouldn't disturb her.
Casting my fly, a purple haze, size twelve, I watched as it made a good pass through the hole and past several rocks that should be holding a hungry cutthroat.Noting happened and so I cast again and again, all to no avail. I saw that Renita wasn't having any takers and so I moved further downstream to the next great looking spot. Again nothing happened and so I changed to a lime elk caddis. It didn't make any difference, nor did the  next two flies I tied on.
Returning upstream, Renita told me she hadn't had any bites or even rises. Perhaps the stream had been heavily fished and the trout were all gone. After all we were fishing the stretch near the campground.
She moved upstream and I decided to tie on a prince nymph. Its a wet fly which means it sinks and bounces along the bottom. You can tell when a fish takes it as you also use a bright strike indicator, (like a little bobber). When a fish takes it the usual motion is sideways and sure enough on my second cast it moved. I set the hook and was onto a really big fish as it stayed deep. Now this isn't how a typical cut fights and so I figured it was a mountain whitefish.
I never did find out as it threw the hook, but three casts later I had another strike and after a long battle finally landed my biggest mountain whitefish of the year. Another three casts and another fish but again this one pulled free.
Lunch time arrived and so we met at the truck. No one had had any luck with the trout and so we headed back downstream, Its a rough road and it took about half an hour to go the ten miles to the town of Kelly.
Stopping at a stretch near Black Butte. we again spread out. Renita and I went one way and George headed to his favorite spot. Neither one of us had any hits, which is no surprise as this stretch is heavily fished and in the National Park.
George however caught and released two fish, including a seventeen inch Snake River Fine Spotted cut, his biggest of the season. We congratulated him on his fine fish just as the rain started to pour. It drove us into the truck and just like that our fishing day was over.
It had been a good day and a fitting end to our summer. The next few days will find us packing our new to us fifth wheel. We plan on heading out on Monday, taking two days to drive to Casper where I have one last doctors appointment. Clear skies.

ps the remnants of a Mexican hurricane arrived here yesterday and it is pouring rain. Hopefully it will stop today and start to warm up as the snow is almost down to our elevation

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