Sunday, 18 January 2009

North Platte at Grey Reef

Fished the North Platte at Grey Reef with Garrett on Sunday. The weather was supposed to provide spring like temperatures, forecast to get as high as 62°F. Garrett and I have fished at Grey reef a number of times and typically know how to catch fish there. I caught a 27" rainbow there years ago and on Sunday I hooked three and landed two around 18" and Garrett hooked four and landed three. One of his was huge, estimated at 25". He kept a measured 21 1/2" fish at the end of the day and the one he released was significantly larger. The photo above is of the larger fish. These fish proved to be redemption for our failure earlier this month on the South Platte at Deckers Colorado.

Grey Reef is one of the hottest fishing spots in the west and we were not alone fishing there, though it was not crowded by Grey Reef standards. American Angler magazine called it the number one big fish destination in the world. That kind of publicity tends to attract some people. Most of the license plates are WY and CO and there was one from NY. Typically, the fishing is rather technical and it is another situation where tiny flies mostly rule the day. All of the fish I hooked up with took a size 22 or smaller fly. I talked to a few other anglers, none of them hooked up at all. Streamers are also reported to work, but I've never tried them myself.

The day was beautiful if a bit colder than expected. When the clouds cleared off in the afternoon the colors in the river were extraordinary and the day warmed up to around 52°F. There was even a few moments around 2 PM when the midges started coming off, though the hatch didn't last long enough to bring the fish up.

Flows were around 550 CFS which is about as low as it gets. Flows can be as high as 2000 CFS. In higher flows, the rocks where the photos above were taken are spots where we have caught good fish. The river has a dramatically different character with these vastly different flows.

I forgot my camera and the photos shown here were taken with Fuji disposable cameras with prints written to a CD. The photos are not the quality I get with the Canon G9 but they are not bad.

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