Archive for December, 2010

Dec. 13-14, 2010-“Miracle Mile”-N. Platte River, Wyoming

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Fat Brown in full spawning colors-19 "

I took another quick trip up to the “Mile”. When was the last time anyone else out there had a 45 d F day, with almost no winds, and cloud cover all day on the Mile in December? Not in my lifetime!!!!! We hit the weather perfectly and I cannot ever remember a December day this warm with little or no wind. And….the fish cooperated exactly the same-a dream come true! To sum the trip up, my buddy Lawrence Perry and I hooked 60 fish on the 13th no lie, just fact!   We landed about 2/3 of our hookups. All fish were taken on Otter’sSoft MilkingEgg“patterns in numerous colors!  I had my Islander “Steelheader” center pin reel and 13 foot Loomis GL 3 float rod and was hitting center sections of all the runs that a fly rod could not reach. Plus, I had virtually drag free drifts from 35 to 60 yards, and did hook several fish at that 60 yard distance! Lawrence could not compete with that setup with his fly rod, and I think I may have converted him to start looking for a center pin reel and float rod!

Tangerine Opaque egg, 20" Male

The Otter with a nice 18" 'bow

Lewy hooked up!

Lewy above the Chalk Cliffs







Different from our other two trips, we dropped way down river this time to the S Curve Hole and below,  above the Chalk Cliffs and a mile or so from Pathfinder Reservoir. We wanted to see if there was any truth to the story that some of these lake rainbows come up river in December to winter over in the river prior to the March-April normal rainbow-cut bow spawning months. We only hooked a handful of browns all day– the rest were all rainbows-each on in the 16 to 20 inch range and fat as hogs from that plentiful lake food chain supply. And all we caught were as as a  bright chrome steelhead-all red hot silver bullets  jumping all over! They all fought like a tiger, unlike most of the “dogging” browns we have been hooking. You can  immediately tell  it’s a rainbow by their fight, “zip” and leaping action. And some of these ‘bows are as wide as they are long! This convinced us the ‘bows are coming in from Pathfinder Reservoir already to winter over in the river! They also are picking up eggs from the brown trout spawners, which is why Otter’s egg patterns are doing so well.

Fat 20" Silver Bullet on Tangerine Opaque egg!

Otter Egg colors that were the best were the Tangerine Opaque, Tangerine, Tangerine/Red Flash, Dead Egg White, Apricot, Apricot Opaque, Apricot/Silver Flash and Salmon Egg plus the old standby, Kiwi Opaque. I also hooked quite a few on Otter’sSoft Milking Embryo Egg“, with a red or orange bead inside the egg, close to the outer egg skin. This new pattern is working very well, and especially on selective fish. It looks so close to a real egg…………!  Shortly I will post on my web site how to tie up this new “Embryo Egg” pattern, with  step by step photos to assist all our customers.

Otter's new Salmon Egg color red "Embryo Egg"

A nice fat 20" bow on a Salmon Egg color Embryo egg!

This trip was a good example of why you need numerous colors of eggs. Fishermen always ask  me “What color is best?”. Well, they all work, to different degrees. On this day, we used two different colors on each of our rods. We started in an 8 mm size. and worked the run for a few hours, by taking down river steps every few minutes, I fished the run in it’s entirety. Then I would walk back up river and start at the head of the run again, but changing colors and sizes, and lo and behold, more hookups in the same run! And after a few hours, move back up, and start going back down the same long run, but this time with a smaller egg size, the 6 mm, in some of the same or different colors. By switching colors, and sizes, and changing up after each hour in the same run, we produced all day long-on several holes that we fished that day. That is why my personal Otter Egg  Box has  10 to 12 different egg colors, and one box for each two egg sizes. I did not go down to my 4 mm egg size or the small Otter’sSoft Sucker Spawn” ( OS-3)  on these three trips to the Mile since we did so well on the 6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm egg sizes, but if I had hit a no hookup time, I would have dropped down even further in size to the smaller 4 mm egg, which incidentally, is the close to the actual size of the brown trout eggs that were are the river this fall. The “Soft Sucker SpawnOS3 egg pattern will come in use this next spring when the suckers start coming up river. I still cannot answer why these trout  take such a large egg size; both the 10 mm and 8 mm eggs produced well over these last few weeks. Remember, the natural egg size in this river is between a 4 mm to 5 mm  diameter egg, based on my observations!

A short word about equipment is in order. Over three trips to the Mile this fall we encountered some brutal weather. Both Lawrence and I used the Wright & McGill Big Horn wading jackets. This jacket is moderately priced-not a $350-$400 jacket like many others. At about $200 at Bass Pro, it’s a deal. Heavy, good for cold windy rainy weather. If it can break the winds and  cold at the Mile, it has to be good. I’ve had mine in the rain and snow  from the Lake Erie tribs and Michigan up to the Skeena River in B.C. Canada and it has never failed me. Put a few light layers on underneath, and that is all you need as a great fall-winter and spring jacket for all weather conditions. And the new W&M Dragon Fly large arbor reel did the job for Lawrence. With all the trout we caught over these three trips, and about 8 days of hard fishing, this reel never flinched. It has a great drag, easily adjustable and it held all these big browns and the screaming silver bullet ‘bows. It also is moderaterly priced, and if you are in the Denver Area, stop by the Eagle Claw Store along I 70 at E. 46th Ave. off Colorado Blvd. and look over these items and many more!

Full colored male spawner as wide as long!

Otter's Apricot "Embryo Egg" and a Silver Bullet lake run 'bow!

The best egg sizes were the 8 mm as #1 choice, and then later in the day after we had pounded several long holes, we switched to the smaller 6 mm egg and that worked well. The smaller egg size picked up a lot of fish we either hooked previously in the day, or those that did not like the unnatural size of the larger 8 mm egg. Also, several of our late afternoon fish were the biggest of the day, and both Lawrence and I did not land several ‘bows and  browns that were in the 24 inch range, with big, heavy shoulders. Also, I did not “peg” any eggs on this trip mainly due to the fact that the normal Otter’s egg patterns were working so well that “peggingwas not necessary.

21" brown taken by Lewy on a Tangerine Otter egg

Lawrence with a 20 " bow!

I stayed overnight  to await an incoming snow storm, and the next morning the temperature dropped over 30 d F from the previous evening to a  chilly 25 d F, and the “W”  word came up blowing and howling with fresh snow. I fished  4 hours and  picked up 6 of 8 hooked, all on Tangerine Opaque , Tangerine, and Kiwi Opaque egg colors. Most were hooked on 8 mm eggs, with several on the 6 mm size. Definitely, the storm front that came in overnight put a damper on the fishing for the morning compared to the previous stellar day. All in all, this was the best of 3 trips to the Mile this fall, and my last one for the year. Now for the spring rainbow run!!! 

Fat Silver Bullet on Tangerine Opaque egg

Kiwi Opaque works!

Kiwi Opaque again!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you out there, and stay in touch. Have a great 2011-Tight Lines and All Releases -All Year Long! Make it a New Year’s Resolution!

Walt-“The Otter”