ON THE FINS OF WHITEFISH - Whip finish - Nov 21, 2011
ON THE FINS OF WHITEFISH
I pulled the Jeep into the small Gravel parking area below the Skookumchuck Reservoir and shut off the engine. It was an odd weekday off so at this point it appeared I had the river to myself. A crisp clear late February morning which was heavily frosted. The field adjacent to the stream was blanketed with a 10 foot high layer of fog that was rising from the frost covered ground as the morning's sun began to warm the air.
This quote from the article ...
..."I had really thought it to be a Cutthroat when first hooked" reminded me of an experience on the South Fork of the Snake in March '08.
I was fishing a medium depth riffle with a tandem of rubber legs stonefly nymphs which had accounted for a half dozen or so pretty much routine mountain whitefish. The indicator went down, the rod tip went up, and there was a really strong pull.
"Big brown" I thought. "But it's acting like a whitefish." "Got to be a big brown." "No, must be a whitefish." So went the internal dialogue until I finally got it to the surface - a big whitefish. Big as in 23".
Mountain whitefish are a worthy target species in their own right, and, as Kelly noted, a good indicator of the health of the system. These fish are heavier than trout of the same length and often occupy difficult water that a lot of trout can't handle. They tend to pod up, and catching one is a pretty sure sign that you are in for a good time. Though they don't have the fighting endurance of trout, they pull hard as long as they can. They deserve more respect than they get from a lot of fly anglers.
P.S. Thanks for the good read, Ralph, and with apologies to Ron Eagle Elk.:roll: