White River

Low Water Kayak Trip 7/17/16

Posted by Phil Lilley on July 18th, 2016
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Up and at it early putting in sweat equity at the Bluff lot. Drag limbs, weed eat, mow, repeat. Many sweat hours later, Come home load yak and hit the river. I knew it was supposed to be LOW water when I got there and I thought higher water would reach me about 6 PM. I spent a little time gather up my fly rod and the gear I would need with it. I also threw in a spinning rod and my 1/16 oz Zig Jigs just in case.

I guess I got fishing by 3:15 PM. I paddled up to the John Berry Hole and got started. Water was low and very clear. It was hot so I availed myself of the opportunity to immerse myself and cool off. water was around 700 CFS. The fish wanted nothing to do with my fly rod offerings. I changed flys and changed locations and I got completely ignored. I never got a take at all. The bad news is that they would hit a Zig Jig. I’m going to have to leave that crutch at home IF I’m going to grind it out with the fly rod. I think a big part of my problem was that the water was much deeper than it appeared and my fly was not down where the fish were.

I was in a little bit of a crunch for time. I knew that the water had turned up sometime between 1200 and 1300 and I figured closer to 1200. I absolutely knew the water would be there by 1800 so I planned on being close to the yak at 1700. I consider myself paranoid about getting caught by rising water. It has happened to me twice now and I really hope to avoid a third time. So after 30 minutes or so of having my fly ignored I started sling the Zig Jig and catching a few fish. It was slower than I would like, but at least I fished pretty clean. I was hooking and landing most of my bites. relocated across the river and got into a larger group of fish. Down and across and then work it directly down current. Multiple throws. Walk downa few steps and repeat the process. Change your angles.

I was catching them and having a good time. I kept my eye on a couple of rocks at the head of the riffle and kept an ear to the sound of the flow. I was pulling in a fish when I heard the water change. The water had gotten just a tiny bit louder. I checked my rock and it was still visible, but maybe a bit smaller. I started wading for my boat. Hmm, water was deeper than I remembered,  another couple of rocks where going under now, my boat that was beached a swell as anchored was now floating freely not drifting but floating, but no big deal. I got there and hopped aboard the boat. I checked my phone. it was 17:20. I looked back up river and my shallow riffle was completely under. They had increased the water to about 3000 CFS I eased down river with the rising water and caught a few fish along the way. A soft rise definitely sparks a bite.

Good trip. Ended up with 27. I lost maybe 2 fish that I had hooked and missed a 1/2 dozen bites.  Not a bad 2 1/2 hours on the water.

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