Archive for March, 2012

February 2012 Clearwater River, Idaho Trip

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I have told most of you about my recent trip, so these are selected photos from the Clearwater River in Idaho. The weather was terrible for 4 of the 9 days, resulting in lost or very limited fishing days. The Clearwater went from 2600 cfs up to 21,600 cfs within 36 hours! But the good news was that it brought a lot of fish up river to the South Fork of the Clearwater and for a few days we had great fishing. My best fish was about 36 inches at 16 #. Most fish averaged about 12 # overall, with very few under 10 #. The best fish was by Art Pine of Travis De Boer’s group; a big buck at 38 inches and 18 # on our last day of fishing. Can’t say enough about Ralph Rhodenbaugh of North West Jig Company who made the long drive down from the Seattle area and then hosted me for the first few days on his jet boat on the Middle Fork. I am deeply indebted to his hospitality and friendship to The Otter.

For the main river I fished tied flies in the Embryo Egg style in 8 mm or 10 mm sizes along with some Otter “Pegged Soft Embryo Egg” patterns. On the first day, off of Ralph’s boat, I hooked 7 nice fish, landing 4. The very next day, in the same slot, Ralph and I hooked only one fish!! Then for 4 days of fishing dirty, high water in both the Middle Fork and South Fork, it was two fish for 4 full days while I fished alone from sunup to sunset in rainy, cloudy and windy weather. Then on Saturday, with the South Fork still high but now clearing and dropping, I hooked another 7. These were all large fish, which somewhat soothed the body and shoulder aches. Never-the-less, the long previous week of early rising and late fishing (4 AM rise to 6 PM return) in inclement weather made The Otter call it a day at high noon.


Sunday through Tuesday on the South Fork was great with good fish for two of three days. The last day, I was hammered, stomped, spanked, and just plain out fished, humiliated, whipped and thrashed by the Travis De Boer group. Having the same eggs, same colors, same sizes, same rigging, and fishing the same runs did The Otter no good!!, I had one hookup against 15 to 20 hook ups by Travis, his Mom, Kristie, his step-dad Art plus Travis’ wife Julie!! They took no pity on this old man! To add insult to injury, humiliation, and disgust, Art Pine offered to sell me back some Otter Eggs in the correct size and color so I could start catching fish on them!! Imagine!!!!!


All in all it was a great trip, meeting many new fishermen and finding new waters to fish. I know I handed out over 15 dozen tied flies to other fishermen, along with hundreds of loose Otter Eggs in all sizes and colors to the many wonderful people I met along the river. Even gave out beads, bead threaders, safety pins and showed them how to rig them up so they too could catch a few nice steelhead. The Otter shall return, and perhaps gain some of his lost talent of fishing and hookups on the next trip!! Enjoy the photos as I am and the reflections of wonderful moments on a beautiful river system in Idaho with both old and new found fishing friends.

Regarding Otter Egg products, we really made believers out of many watching and fishing with us on this trip. There is no question that the Otter Embryo Eggs, both tied as flies or Pegged on a leader, continue to outperform most other flies or egg patterns, including on some days, even fresh spawn. Used with a fly rod, spinning rod, bait caster or center pin- it does not matter-all fishing systems worked very well as all these photos attest. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!


Best Regards,

Tight Lines and All Releases,

 Walt Mueller, Jr.”The Otter