Saturday, July 18, 2009

Crooked River Outing Report: "You should have been here yesterday. Well, ten years ago, actually."

Sometimes the cruel winds which suddenly arise that keep me from fishing actually do me a favor. Events conspired to keep me from the Crooked River Outing. Here's a report from last weekend of what I missed filed by our Outings Chair, Andy Andrews.


On Monday, July 13th, this reporter for HHS News interviewed expert fly fisherman Andy Andrews (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) as to fishing
conditions on the Crooked River in Central Oregon. Mr. Andrews reported that he and two others in his group failed to land one fish during their stay. Reports from other fisherman seemed to confirm that catching a fish on the Crooked was a very unusual event during the weekend. Opinions varied as to why fishing was...slow! Mr. Andrews was told a variety of reasons for the lack of other fishermen's success with the primary reasons being:

1) the water was too cold.
2) the water was too warm.
3) the water was too clear.
4) the water was too cloudy
5) there was a full moon.
6) barometric pressure was falling
7) barometric pressure was raising.
8) the 'shocking' of the fish for sampling two weeks earlier had disturbed them.
9) the number of fish was incorrect (presumed to be somewhere between 1000 to 8000 per mile, depending who you interviewed)
10) Mr. Andrews own observation: they (the fish) knew he was comin' and that scared them so the fish were in hiding.

This reporter did interview one other camper who arrived at the Poison Butte Campground late in the weekend and stated that he could catch as many fish as he wanted, any time he wanted in the Crooked, but he was satisfied to just set and watch the river roll by. After a while, he stated he became bored with the catching of fish on the Crooked because it was too easy.

The weather on Friday and Saturday was very warm in the afternoon, with thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon. One hailstorm dropped nuggets of ice between 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Some rain fell overnight and continued on Monday morning. Each evening, Mr. Andrews and his party enjoyed good food and drink, had great campfires and enjoyed each others company.

Each afternoon there were hatches on the river of BWOs and caddis, but there were no rises by the 1000 to 8000 fish (per mile) to indicate the presence of fish.

The lack of fish remains a mystery on the Cooked River in Oregon.

Editor's note: Tom Wolf, seen here studying the futility in his fly box and the refuge available in alcohol, offered the following addendum to Andy's report:

As one who was there, I think it was a combination of many of the reasons Andy has mentioned. The water was 48 degrees, the clearest I have ever seen the Crooked, with an incredibly bright full moon, and there was the electro-shocking a few weeks before. It was the worst "catching" I have ever had on the Crooked.

Still, the weather was nice, the company was good and the food great. So I still enjoyed myself immensely, reinforcing that old barb: "The worst day of fishing is better than the best day of working."

A wonderful way to spend the weekend.