Doesn't get any better than a big old hookjaw brown. He is still swimming....
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I have been fishing pretty hard these past few weeks and enjoying the trailer and longer stays on some of my favorite lakes! I was up at Crescent a few weeks ago and got hit with some bad weather for most of the week. A special thanks to Fred and Lynn Roy for towing my boat up so I could haul my trailer and we got it all done at once. For their troubles, I took them out for the day and chased after some browns in a lot of rain! It turned out it was mostly chasing but Lynn finally got a 3 LB. brown they took home to eat.
After Chuck Jones caught a 14 Lb. hen from there a couple of weeks before that, I was pumped up on the lake again. It was pretty slow overall for me but I did get (3) browns in the 4 LB. range plus a 5 Lb. buck and finally to top it off, I banged a nice 9.75 Lb. hen for my best of the week. Finishing up the week, my buddy, Eric Norgaard, came up on Friday to stay and fish and then tow my boat home on Saturday. We did troll for browns but when the wind dropped down we decided to look for lakers on some of my old waypoints. We did mange to get into 3 lakers in the mid teens before the wind blow us off again. With wind, rain, sun and snow it was a typical spring week in CO!
After a couple of buddies, Ryan Daniels and Andy Rose busted some 13 and 12 Lb. browns respectively from Paulina last week, it helped to gel my plans for an extended stay at Paulina. As of this writing, I am half way through my two week commitment to stay in the crater. Jan and I didn’t get up there until Tues. morning but the warming weather felt good. My best evening at Paulina was on Wed. when I got into a 4 Lb. hen and right after that I hit a short but stocky 8.5 Lb. hen. The way she fought, I thought she might go 10 but she was just too short! Still a very nice fish and even better fight!!
It was a plan for weeks that I would be hooking up with an old guide client, Vince “the Vin-man” Cacciottoli for an extended weekend stay at East lake. We have done this for several years now and really enjoy the fishing and fellowship. I might add he is a fantastic cook and delivered the best meals I have ever had in a fish camp situation.....simply delicious!!
On Thursday I moved my boat over to East and met Vince at around 3:00 p.m.. When we got off the water that night, we had caught 7 browns to around 3 Lb....nothing to write home about on the size. On Fri. morning, we hit several of our favorite runs and stuck a lot of fish. After a late breakfast around 10:30 we took some time off and the critical mid-day nap. That evening we got into some nicer browns and had one heck of a day with a total fish count of 34 including a couple of the recent plants of the Blackwater rainbows from Canada. The best of the day was a 5 LB. hookjaw that was gorgeous as you can see in the photo. The weather changed and we had some big thunderstorms that evening.
The main point on the Summer Homes side at Crescent.
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Sat. was cloudy but productive. In fact it got crazy around 7:00 a.m. and at one point we had 3 doubles in a row!! These were not your usual ones either. It started when Vince had a fish on and as I was retrieving mine, I got hit. This was the same pattern each time of the 5 overall doubles we had. We started really working the lures on in after we realized what was happening.
Around 8:45 a.m., I dropped my lure down to around 30 feet in 45 feet of water after running through some nice marks on the graph. Suddenly, the rod starts bouncing on the rigger and then as I get to it, it pops out of the release right before I pop it.....a good sign. The telltale signal that this might be a better fish was the big exaggerated head shakes and then I watched the line as he slowly but deliberately swam off away from the boat. I like to lean into the rod and when I did, I knew this was a heavy fish.
After what seemed like quite awhile, I finally had him directly under the boat and he was circling but not coming up. When I did get him up enough to finally get a glimpse, I told Vince to get the net.....we could both see he was over 10 Lb. for sure. When Vince slid the net under him, I knew he was my biggest male even before weighing him. He hit the first mark above 15 Lb. on my net so that translates to 11.25 Lb. on the Boga-Grip discounting the 4 Lb. my net weighs. After a few close calls with browns near 10 Lb. earlier this spring, I finally broke through! After a couple of photos, I slid him back and watched as he took off for the bottom. As many of you know, the adrenalin rush can be incredible after getting into one of these big browns. Mine lasted for over an hour!
Sunday morning was sunny to start but clouded up again. Not near as many fish today but still hit 13 before we pulled out to eat and head home. The total count for the stay was 73 trout including 70 browns and 3 rainbows. The biggest ones included 3 in the 4 Lb. range and then a 5 and 6 Lb. buck and following with the big 11 Lb.+ hookjaw to top the trip. Another trip I will never forget!
I will be back up there for most of this coming week so should have something to report by next weekend!