Saturday morning brought snow, sleet, freezing rain, and COLD temperatures. I woke up at 7:00am feeling the effects of twelve beers and a night of tying flies. After banging on the wall of Brent’s room with my wading boot, and scaring what alcohol was left in him, we showered, suited up and hit the Lodge for some breakfast to soak up last night. We were supposed to meet Gavin Poppen and Mike Swederska, two other members of the St. Louis Fly Tying Group on Yahoo, for a day of fishing, but with the way the weather was turning we weren’t sure if they were going to drive down. A quick call confirmed that they were on Highway 63 and about a little less than 45 minutes away. We couldn’t have timed breakfast any better, for as we were walking out of the Lodge we spotted Gavin’s Jeep Liberty and we followed them to the first spot we were going to fish for the day — the Blue Hole. After some quick conversation, pouring of the sacrificial Bloody Mary and Dill pickle, and rigging up our rods we were finally on the water.
Fishing conditions on Saturday were tough to say the least. The temperature was in the mid to upper twenties with a slight breeze, there was a wintery mix of precipitation falling (snow / sleet / freezing rain), and the fish just weren’t cooperating. We fished from the Blue Hole upstream until lunch with limited success. I had horrible luck on this section and resorted to snapping photographs of the others fishing. I did have one legitimate hook-up but I lost him. Gavin and Mike had a little better luck than I did, but not that much better. Brent on the other hand, well lets just say he lived up to his celebrity status. Brent proceeded to wipe up the stream with his scuds and his ability to fish under and indicator — both I firmly believe are an art form. After a hot lunch back at the condo, we decided to fish the C&R area and the waters near it. My luck changed in the afternoon, and I was able to land over 10 fish on mohair leeches, Mike Mercer Rag Sculpins, and tan scuds. Brent continuted to terrorize the fish with his scuds and probably landed over 25 fish for the day. Mike had some success fishing his teeny weeny parachute adams to risers, and Gavin ventured up to the C&R lake with his 6wt and sinking line to fish for Shamu with limited success (landing 3 rainbows). At 4:00pm the whistle blew and Mike and Gavin were on thier way back to St. Louis, after quick conversations with McClane, Dave, and myself. Saturday night was not to be a repeat of Friday night, as I doubt our livers could take another night. We were both wiped after dinner and found ourselves tying flies and ready for bed by 7:00pm. I hit the sack around 8:00pm but was back up around 10:30 or so, as I couldn’t sleep. I ended up tying a few dozen flies in front of the television and reading the latest issue of American Angler from cover to cover until about 2:30am and I finally drifted off to sleep.