My best of the trip. A fat 9 LB. hen brown.
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This is my favorite time of the year without a doubt! The browns get stirring after a slowed metabolism during the winter months. As the water temps get up into the 40’s and right up to around 50 they will continue to get more active. The weather always seems to be an issue here in Central Oregon each spring as the fronts just roll through to the tune of at least one a week....week in and week out. That can be the fly in the ointment on successful brown fishing as the barometer yo-yo’s.
Eric Cole went up with me the first day and we got up there in the early afternoon. It was snowing when we got there. It seemed like it was one white out after another as the clouds pushed through. Occasionally, you couldn’t see the other shore as the flakes got bigger and more snow fell.....the good news is it wasn’t sticking much! We picked up a few browns and Eric got the best that afternoon with a nice 6.5 LB. hen. He headed home that evening as he had more work than he can get to right now.....that is actually a good thing in this economy!
Next morning I awoke to clearing skies and little wind. It was a slow morning to start but them things heated up on the action mid morning and a nice slight breeze brought a perfect chop. My first brown was the best and the 9 LB. hen was a fatty and put up a really good fight. After a couple of self photos ( that is why you see me in the same boring poses in the back of my boat!) I put her back. Right after that I had an 8 LB. hen on and exercised the same photo drill and then dropped her back. Next was a 7 LB. hookjaw and it was game on for the next several hours. When it slowed up I had caught browns of 4.5, 6, 6, 6.5, 7, 7, 8, 8, and 9 LB.!! Like I said in the title, getting lucky is a good thing! At the end of the day I had caught and released 13 browns. In fact, it was good enough that I didn’t bother to take any photos of browns under 7 LB. other than the one that bit the A/C plug. If you are lucky, and I truly was, you only get a few days in your life like that.
That night a truck pulled in next to me but I couldn’t make out if it was someone I knew. Next morning I hear the truck start and figure the guy is putting his boat in......sure enough it turned out to be one of my old brown trout buddies, Chuck Jones. What a coincidence, it was a trip with Chuck back in Aug. 2010 that I had the best day I ever had catching 12 browns over 6 LB. up to 9 LB. on Wickiup. For more info on that trip click the following link to read that report http://www.trophytroutguide.com/news/08_25_10.htm.
After fishing from our respective boats early that morning, I asked him to join me and we fished the rest of the day together. Even though we caught 13 browns between us that day, it felt like a bad day compared to the day before! The wind finally came up pretty good in the afternoon and I got a couple of calls about a wind advisory and rain coming in from some buddies in town. We did get a couple of 7.5 LB. browns before we got off. I got a male and Chuck a hen. It was fun just to get out with him again.....so many stories to share!
During the night, it hit full force and when I got up it was pouring and real windy. I decided to bail and bid Chuck a farewell and headed home. Chuck was going to see what the rest of the weekend would bring him......may not see him again until the end of Aug. on Wickiup.
Look for a report from Wickiup coming soon as the opener hits on the 27th and then a trip over to Pend Oreille in May to chase some giant gerrards.