Headed to Idaho
I'm about to head out the door to go fish JohnScott's home waters. I'm looking forward to meeting the legend. Consider this a pre-report. I'll follow up when I get back.
You'll have a great time with him, he doesn't know he's a legend.
Over in Northern Idaho, rumors exist of a legendary angler. The Legend of the Lochsa they call him. He apparently knows the Lochsa River more intimately than anyone else - he knows its deepest secrets. Some even say he turns into a fish and night and sleeps in the deepest pool of the river. No one has ever seen him though. The only evidence that he actually exists are unverified photos of his left hand. I set out on an adventure to see if I could find indisputable evidence of his existence.
On Thursday I made it to the river, and quickly hooked up with a couple of small cutthroats and a baby steelhead. If he's one of the lucky few, he'll survive the 1200 mile round trip journey to the ocean and back and we'll see him again in a few years.
I built a new net last week, and got to christen it with this guy. I certainly didn't need the net for him, but I needed to get a fish into my net, so...
I bounced my way around the river, learning what kind of water the fish were holding in, and what they wanted to eat. I picked up a couple of dozen fishes or so in several hours on Thursday. Friday, I met up with JohnScott, and once I saw his left hand and was able to verify that I was indeed standing face to face with the Legend of the Lochsa, we hit a few of his favorite spots. Being guided by John definitely sped up the learning curve on a new river. He mostly let me fish and just watched, but occasionally he put a fly out there just to try to put me to shame.
And just to prove that he does exist..
After John and I parted ways, I hit up a few more spots that we didn't get to during the day. I landed this cutt that had by far the best coloration of any fish on the trip.
Saturday morning, I hit up a few more spots on my way back east. I picked up this baby steelhead who had some real nice rainbow coloration.
I hit up one hole where I could see a dozen fishes hanging out, including one that would have easily been the nicest fish of the trip. I don't know if there's a 20" cutthroat in that river, but if there was, this was him. He came up and looked at my fly three times, but never broke the surface for it. So I had to settle for this guy.
Finally, on the way back up to Lolo Pass, I stopped along one of the main tributaries, which quickly gave up this cutthroat and another of the same size.
All in all, it was a pretty fun trip. The fish weren't huge, but they were healthy and plentiful. Most of all, I had the pleasure of fishing with the Legend himself. Too bad it's 10 hours away, or I'd go back more often.
I stopped in there too, after you I suppose. I only picked up a couple cutts. The big one I toyed with was, I believe, one or two pull-offs upstream from that spot. Maybe more, I don't remember, but definitely upstream.