Friday, July 3, 2009

Gone Fishing

Fishing the North Fork of the Shoshone River on opening day (July 1) is one of the most unbelievable outdoor experiences I would ever hope to have. I was lucky enough to spend the day in the fresh Wyoming air with my father and wife, while we rafted through the wilderness, catching hoards if trout. By the end of the day we had spent over six hours floating ten miles and it wasn't a big deal to trade the sunburn for the mountain of fish we caught.

As I prepared earlier in the week for opening day my main goal was to out-fish my dad, or at least keep up. See, the problem is that he only fishes with worms and I really haven't since I was a kid. It's not that I can't do it, I have just been fly-fishing and making my own flies for a long time, so I like it much better, but back to the problem. We took a couple preliminary runs in the upper part of the river (where fishing was open) last week and I wasn't able to catch anything. Bullshit! Not to mention that my dad may be the best worm fishing, trout catching, making fun of fly-fishing easterners man I have ever met. I had to do some research. It had been at least a couple years since I've casted my fly rod, so I felt like all I could do was get better.

I went into Cody Wyoming and found a couple fly shops, the first being "The Humble Fly." The guy was really cool and talked to me about how fast the river was flowing and how my flies weren't getting deep enough in the water. He gave me a couple patterns and we talked a little bit about how to tie them with more weight and get them closer to the bottom. Then I told him about not getting killed by my worm fisherman father. He chuckled and said "You know why they let little kids fish with worms right? Because it's so simple anyone can catch a fish with a worm. There is no challenge."

Just hearing that made my day. I couldn't wait go get home and give my dad grief about it. I also couldn't wait to get back to the house and get to work on making some of the flies and after about two hours of tying I had produced a plethora of North Fork ready nymphs. was ready to dominate some trout.

That morning we were up with the meadowlarks and on the river ready to fish by 9:00 a.m., only slowed once by the amazing tastes of Taco Johns. I mean, who can resist the Ole' Breakfast Scrambler?

Fishing started hot and stayed that way through the day. In the first hole we stopped I caught 2 rainbows and we never looked back. At one point I actually pulled out a fish four casts in a row. By the end of the day I had caught so many fish that my thumb was bleeding from all the teeth marks and to be honest the competition between my dad and I dissipated as we lost track of how many fish we had actually caught. Christy was even able to catch three or four - she has to let them all go, not wanting to do harm to any living thing. As we left the river were tired and hot, but had an amazing time and a stringer of fish for dinner.

By the way. I will be fishing with Rachael Nichols for ESPN's E60 today. Hopefully we can have a repeat performance.

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Chris, I enjoyed your story about fishing. Looks like you had a great time with your dad and wife. Good for you. I hope to get up to Powell later this fall and do some fishing too. I think I will follow your dad's lead...use worms. I am looking forward to watching you play ball this fall. It's our family tradition. Best, uncle Greg.

man, that makes me want to go fishing...

I love the blog Chris, keep up the great work and all the hilarious stories. Anyone else not a fan of Rachel Nichols? You should push her in the water Chris

Rachael Nichols kind of reminds me of a fish.

Props to you with the fly fishing, very bad ass. You need to play to your strengths in Virginia. You are depriving yourself if you don't start fishing the south fork of the Shenandoah River. You can catch 40-60 smallmouths a day. A novice can catch near that using only small rubber worms or a beetle spin. These guys can hook you up I recommend the 2 day trip which features camping at a beautiful spot. It's one of the funnest times you can possibly have. Happy 4th to all.

What a memorable day. Fishing with my dad was my favorite thing to do. Fly fishing is a sport. Anything else is a hobby.

Geez. First you kill a horse and now a fish... do you have any heart?!?!?!

Kidding by the way. I'm sure you'll get some freaks that post like that. I lived in Wyoming for 4 months...f'n awesome. Catching a Brown was one of the hardest things Ive done. They can fight!

Wow- "A River Runs Through It" indeed!
Fresh trout fried in bacon grease over a campfire- mmmm.

I'm not one for fish, but you had me at Taco Johns!

See, this is what I dig about you Chris. You are just a guy like the rest of us.

I just got back from a camping/fishing trip in Pagosa Springs CO. I hit the west fork of the San Juan River and it was great. Caught Rainbow Trout and did some cool hiking in the mountains there with my wife, daughter and one of my daughters' friends.

It was wonderful to spend time with the family and enjoy the outdoors. Next weekend my daughter and I head out on a backpack trip into the Pecos wilderness of New Mexico (my home state). Will fish the west fork of the Santa Barabra River!

Guess this is what we do when not watching the Redskins sweep the Cowboys huh... Go Skins!!!

Have fun Chris, see ya in September.

So for us female fans out time take a pic with the fish, then another one without the fish...ah there you go!

Going to show that picture to my husband, Chris. He just pulled two blue fish out of the Atlantic Ocean and you would have thought he had won the Super Bowl. Ha! by the way, I'm from the Shenandoah River area mentioned in a previous post and you might catch fish there but please don't eat them! Wouldn't want anything messing up our march into the playoffs next year.

In my next life I definitely want to come back as a Cooley! You guys really know how to live.

A day of fishing with Chris Cooley....sounds like a good time also sounds like a raffle or contest award.

Nice catch! Love fishing for Trout! WTG!

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