Owyhee River Report (5-15)
I made a run to the reservoir to check on the crappie fishing, and after 4 hours of fishing and only 5 crappies, I decided to drag out the fly rod and hit the river. I started on the slick below the Dam People Bridge and there were a few sporadic fish rising, but no consolidated groups. I worked the shore line up to the riffle section with the small island and on the smaller shallow branch of the river there were 6 or 8 fish feeding against the bank. I hooked and landed 2 fish out of that pod and probably would have hooked more, but the second fish thrashed through the run and put the other fish down. I hooked both fish on a Caddidge #22.
I moved down river across from the Scout Camp and there were no fish feeding, but I decided to work the riffle anyway. I landed 2 large fish there on a PMD Searcher #14, and both of them ate the bug out of nowhere. I never saw them rise or ever show themselves, they simply rose up and took. That’s been a hard thing to get the Owyhee fish to do lately.
I moved again to a stretch of water below the first bridge on a boulder-strewn edge, and immediately I see large Callibaetis floating on the surface. They weren’t in large numbers and occasionally I’d hear or see fish bang them at the surface. I changed flies to a Tan Searcher #16, which looked exactly like the bug on the surface. I had two perfect targets that rose in casting distance and I caught both of them on the Searcher and hooked another fish I never saw but lost him in the fight. No more targets appeared and I couldn’t raise any other fish so I walked up along the grassy edge to another run. There were multitudes of bugs in the grass and willows, but the predominant bug was caddis.
I tied on a Peacock Caddis #16 to fish the faster water ahead of me. In a giant boulder patch, there was a small pod of fish feeding on the road side of the river. They were on an inner gentle riffle right against the bank. In order to reach the fish, I had to wade across heavy current and position in the middle of the river to make a delivery. I waited for a fish to rise and create a target, and it didn’t take long. A big old bruiser peaked his nose up and immediately I served the fly just ahead of him. I lost sight of the fly in the shade of the afternoon, but I saw a break in the water close to the fly. I set the hook and it was the same fish I’d targeted. I’d hooked the fish but it would be a miracle if I landed him. He was in the center of an obstacle course of boulders and he was a very large fish that I couldn’t hold if he decided to loop me around one of the many boulders.
I got lucky and wrenched him out of the boulder patch, but he immediately hit the main current and bolted down river toward more large boulders. I waded out of the middle of the river to the bank and chased the fish that was already in my backing. I got my fly line back in my reel, but I had reached a point where I could no longer chase the fish because of the deep water on the edge. That meant I’d have to fight this fish up through heavy current back to my location. Ten minutes later after dealing with a heavy fish, fast current, and boulder encounters, I finally landed the fish. He was a big old guy around 2 feet long and heavy. You know one of these days, I’ll actually think about what the heck I’m going to do if the fish eats my bug, but I’m a slow learner—all about hooking a fish and worry about landing him after that.
I caught one more fish in the same place I hooked the large fish and called it a day. I ended up landing 8 fish on four different flies.
Flies that caught fish:
1) Caddidge #22
2) Tan Searcher #16
3) PMD Searcher #14
4) Peacock Caddis #16