Sunday, September 23, 2012

I've been down with a nasty cold the last week but felt decent enough to go out last night after having passed off the cold to Heather. I got to the water about 6 and had all these buffalo where I hike in from. I have never seen them over here so I was surprised. There is a herd on the other side of the river at a ranch but I always assumed it was cattle on the western side of the river. I was wrong. 

This picture is deceiving. It was blowing like hell. I knew right away that it was going to be a long and tough night trying to punch a wet fly and 80' of fly line through a head wind. No matter where I went it was always the same battle. There were a couple times when I could use the wind to my advantage and make my final cast a back cast but not often.  Just before the sun was going down I was working a spot when I heard a loud crash about 40 yards upstream. During the fall, it's common to hear this at night. Sometimes it's a huge brown chasing something big and sometimes it's a Kokanee Salmon but I have yet to see a salmon so I figured it was a brown. I quickly ran down there and worked it over but never found what it was.

This humpback brown hit a brown Meat Whistle on a dead drift and totally caught me off guard. I wasn't ready for it and it pulled the line right out of my hand. I figured it was off but the hook set was good enough. This definitely was not the fish I was hoping for but the back was impressive and the colors were loud and, along with the slight hook of the mouth, tells me it was likely a buck.

It didn't take long at all and it was ready to go and so was I. I figured I better check a favorite spot since I was close. With my headlamp on high, I spotted what had to be a 26" brown but the beam of light shut things down and even with a big fly right in it's face it just laughed at me.

I finally got fed up with the wind at about 9 and headed back to the car and changed. On the way out, I could see about a hundred critters crossing the dirt road and kicking up all kinds of dust. They were way too big to be antelope so I figured they were elk but it was a huge herd and some of them were incredibly big. I grabbed my headlamp, left the car running and jumped out and took off into the field. I made it about 30 yards in when they stopped. I probably got within 20 yards before I realized they were the buffalo I had seen earlier. I can't recall what I said as I slowly backed away and turned the light off but it was not PC.

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