I'm not quite sure how, when the discussions previous to the trip were going on, no one mentioned any opposition to the idea of driving to Northern Saskatchewan straight through in a day. We were probably all just too euphoric about the idea of sight fishing to monster pike, and innocently oblivious to what 24 hours in a car really means. Having survived the experience (twice, since we came back in a day too) I can now safely say that it is not something I would recommend. I would, however recommend getting up to Reindeer Lake as fast as possible. And I will say the week of fishing that we experienced was worth the hell of getting there and back. No question.
There are some browns that we've been wanting to go after for quite a while that reportedly exhibit some fantastic color and dreamy proportions this time of year. It was hard to get schedules to align, but we found one partial day to go searching and hope to strike gold. From our research, it seemed that the Browns are few and far between in this particular stream, but they are definitely its crown gems when you find them.
What do you say about a week long fishing trip in some the most scenic country you've ever stepped foot in? Not much I've decided ha ha, it’s just too hard to describe..... This summer we made a long awaited trip up north finally happen. Five days fishing the most insanely clear water, in a stunning landscape, for Westslope cutties and........Bull trout. Don't get me wrong, fishing for cutties is a blast, but bull trout have completely taken over my mind. Fishing for bull trout was a sight fishers dream come true. Imagine stepping up to a hole and seeing a dozen BIG fish stacked 15 feet down. That just doesn't happen in your day to day fishing exploits.... And to make an insane situation even crazier, imagine your streamer hitting the water across the river and immediately having one of those beasts race from 20 feet away to crush your fly like it was the first meal it had eaten in months. You see everything that happens, it’s insane, and it’s the most visual fly fishing I have ever experienced!
Imagine a place, hidden in the mountains, where a crystal clear stream winds in broad meanders through a willowy alpine valley. Tucked away in the deep holes, brushy cover, and undercut banks of this river are perfect specimens of big, native cutthroat trout. They're also the meanest, baddest, hardest streamer-crushing trout you've ever chased.
I remember the first time I saw a steelhead on a fishing show when I was probably 15 years old. Back then the idea that I would ever catch one seemed completely unreasonable. Even now after getting a few under my belt it seems unreasonable. Every single time I've been on the water fishing for steelhead some form of hopelessness seems to temporarily set in. This is probably what makes fishing for them so addicting. That and the raw power you feel when you finally have one on.
The plans for our first trip came about after our first day ever fishing with Targhee. We had a good day fishing and somewhere within our conversations steelhead came up, and just like that we were planning a trip. October rolled around and it was time to go, we heard reports coming in and we knew fishing was gonna be tough. Some fish were being caught in the area we were headed but overall numbers were pretty low. Well long story short the run was later than we expected and fishing was very poor. Targhee was the only one of us that landed a steelhead in 3 days of fishing. And as those of you who who have fished for steelhead know, it only made us want to go back even more. After discussing our options we decided to plan a trip to a different system further north, where fish are bigger and the river is smaller. It seemed an obvious choice after how overwhelmingly large the Salmon River was.
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