DaGarth and I met up with DaGoose for a week of Crowley kickin on Sunday the 8th about 11 Am at the Fitter. After we checked into the condo, we headed to...you guessed it...Crowley. We got into the water about 1:00. As usual the smack was flying and I was getting all this crap about my Beautiful new Tropical Lightning Net (Greg you missed a good one). "Gee you're aweful optimistic with that big net". "How many dinks can you fit in there?" Yea, Yea, Yea...we'll see. So I proceed to get skunked. I really showed them. DaGoose and DaGarth both caught several and I sucked.
Not using this as an excuse, but I was having trouble with my tube. It got perched last time I used it and it kept losing air. I would have to go back to pump it up every hour or two. I had tried to find the leak before I left with no luck. So with my tail between my legs we head back to Mammoth. I couldn't buy a tube liner so I just bought a new tube. I wasn't going to deal with a crappy tube all week.
So the question is: If you only fish a half a day and get skunked, does it count as a full skunk or a half a skunk?
Monday is a new day and I survived the onslaught of smack from the night before. Here I am in my brand new tube with my brand new net and my new supply of hand tied flys and my new furled leaders and new loop-to-loop connections and knots. What could go wrong? I'm thinking lots of things.
My First Fish - 24" Brown - Good thing I had that big net
Ahhhh...the silence from the peanut gallery...priceless!
Anyway, I don't remember the exact numbers of fish, but generally the grabs were slow. We were all catching fish mostly legals, except DaGarth who seemed to like the dinks on the inside. Midgers were getting their share, but I didn't see them getting anything of size either. Mostly planters.
So Tuesday, we wake up to this:
The forcast didn't look good, so we could be Iron men or we could get some of these:
and we could do this:
I think we made the right choice. How often do you have a chance to get together with good friends and just spend the day tying flies?
The Crowley Cam was showing rain all day and it snowed all day in town.
Wednesday, the weather was good and there was another storm forecast for Saturday. We fished Crowley everyday and we were getting fish even though it was still slow going for the bigs. We were getting several 18" kamloops footballs which are like kamikazes. At one point DaGarth hooks one and suffers the most humiliation of all. While he was fighting the fish it swam right up between his legs and jumped hitting him in the chest and face and then proceeds to land back in the water and swim off. Now that's fish smack
Because I can't remember what fish were caught on what days, I'll just show some of the fish:
DaGoose's beautiful 21" Brown:
Another Brownie for DaGoose:
A Nice Brownie for DaGarth:
I got this nice fat 22" Cutthroat with chrome sidewalls.
Here is a typical 18" kamloops football.
So fast forward to Saturday 10/14. Forcast is for a storm. We head out to Crowley and DaGoose decides that he's going to fish a half a day and then head back home. DaGarth and I decide we will hang until Monday weather permitting. The lake is empty. We are the only ones around in sight. Things are slow and it's aproaching noon. I have one 17" kamloops and 3 dinks so far. DaGarth has a couple of legals and DaGoose has DaGoose egg. I revert back to my original question. Does a half a day skunk equal a full a skunk?gunzDeath_To_
So DaGoose just barely gets out of sight and the kamloops go off. I had 5 fish in 5 casts within about 20 minutes. I was even getting hooked up when I didn't want to. I got bit while my rod was laying across my tube and I was busy reviving the previous fish for release. The fly was just laying on the top about 6 feet from my tube. So I have one on the rod and one by the tail....awhhhh...life is good. I ended up with 4 legals and 2 shorts. The weather was holding nicely and no wind. By the end of the day, I think DaGarth and I each had about 8 legals each.
Sunday is beautiful and the place is a ghost town. DaGarth and I have the place to ourselves and the water is like glass. The grabs are about the same as the other days. Slow but we are still getting a few. I decide that this is the last day, so I try the old big bait big fish tactic. I tie on a #6 hairy bugger and go deep out by the channel. On the way back in as I was stripping, I felt what seemed like I hooked the bottom. The line just stopped. Then a head shake. I knew it was a decent fish so I called to DaGarth so he could kick over for a pic. About 15 minutes later, I got the fish to net. I had to raise the fish onto my stripping appron to get the line untangled from it's pectoral fin. As soon as I got it up there, it went bullistic and back into the water it went. Luckily it was still hooked and after another 10 minutes, I got it back to net. I still didn't know it's length, but I knew is must have weighted about 6 or 7 pounds. It fought better than the 24 brown and the 22 cut by far. When I finally got a chance to measure it, it was only 21.5 inches as officially measured by DaGarth. It really thought it was a much bigger fish as did I. Anyway here it is:
As a reference, the net is 19" across the long way.
We could not see anyone on the lake except a rental boat way accross the lake up by Leighton Springs. As soon as we moved away from the spot this damn poacher zooms clear across the lake and anchors right on the spot. We weren't hooting or making any noise while on the fish except when I called out Garth's name to get his attension for the pic. He must have been glassing us. Damn Poachers
All in all a great trip with great friends! Can't wait until next time!
P.S. All fish were released safely.