Loop Army Brown Assault
Spring and early Summer were lacking in big trips this year for the North Idaho crew. Mainly due to the fact that most of the guys had been busy or away working. Brandan finished school and headed up to work in N.Dak while Brian was down in the dirty south for five weeks at a time. The remaining few that held over here in North Idaho picked away at the short windows we had on the Coeur d’ Alene river if the water levels allowed it. So when the word was out a few of the guys had time off in June, we rallied the forces for a full frontal assault on the River of Souls LOOP Army style.
This was it… three straight day of fishing with warm weather and a promise of crazy hatches gave me the hope I needed after my last experience on this river (we won’t talk about that). The plan was to leave at around 3am the first morning but a fast moving cold front with some hard core thunderstorms had us keeping a close eye on the forecast. And yep, just as forecast the first day was a bit rough on the wind and rain side of things. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise as not more than five minutes after setting up camp we were ripping lips. No hatches to be seen up top but the fish were hungry and the choppy water and cloud cover were probably getting the bugs stirred up.
The second day was filled with an absolutely epic Caddis hatch which had Brian Griffith so frustrated I had to keep the camera rolling just in hopes I’d have some crazy John Macenro style freak out on film.
He’d switch fly after fly only to finally get it right, land a fish and then watch as every cast after that was rejected. Another few fly changes and he’d be hooked up, only to find himself digging through the fly box again. It was really impressive to watch this guy take the patience to cast to specific fish until everything came together perfectly. Especially when most of us were staying on the lazy side and nymphing.
Aside from a few stubborn fish it was an awesome trip. I don’t think there was one style of fishing that didn’t work. Dry flies, streamers and nymphs were all great ways way to land a trout on any stretch of the river. Also lost the biggest brown of my life the second day there. Losing that fish was enough to make a grown man want to cry… all the more reason for another visit later this year.