Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shooting Trout TV on the North Platte

This summer my worlds are colliding. My two professional histories in television news and fly fishing guiding smacked into each other recently when I was asked by Bob Asbury from Columbia Country Television to co-host a new fishing show called Trout TV alongside the lovely and talented Rich Birdsell, owner of Northern Rockies Outfitters. The show is a fly fishing-only video festivus of the most interesting, beautiful, plentiful and nutty fisheries in the West. We hope to venture south and east next season...but for now we're mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain region. We're shooting 18 episodes this summer and fall, and the series will start airing on 35 network affiliate channels in February.

This past weekend I got to go on my first shoot for Trout TV. And, in true cliche fishing show form, I must say it was "a dandy." And we caught some "real pretty trout." The truth is that we are trying to steer away from traditional fishing shows in which two big 'ol guy pals slap high-fives all day and seem to re-catch the same whopper over and over. However, I have to admit that when you actually are catching "real pretty trout" it's hard not to fall into the cliche and state that fact every time it's brought to the boat.

We drove 14 hours from West Glacier, MT to Casper, WY to fish the North Platte with Ryan Anderson from Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service at the Platte River Fly Shop. We put in west of Casper at the Grey Reef access in Alcova. When I first looked at the river, I thought, "no stinkin' way is this going to produce." The river was cruising at 7,000 cfs; the most water those banks have seen in 30 years, thanks to huge snow melt out of Colorado. Apparently I don't know much about tail waters or the strategy therein...because despite my doubtfulness, Ryan got me into some amazing fish immediately. (The pictures below are only of the small ones, because shooter/producer Bob wouldn't let me get out my camera for the biggies--we have to save those for the tv show, you know. So, the pics below represent the smallest fish of the day.)

We fished a long leader and double red rock worm/San Juan rig. I caught two 15" "dinks" but the rest of the day yielded 19-22" rainbows. So yeah, more than once I said, "that's a real pretty trout."

I was so impressed by the North Platte River and its lovely rainbows. And I understand it fishes that well all year 'round.

Thanks to Ryan and Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service for a great two days and an amazing experience.


Mike said...

The more fly-fishing shows the better. I wish you well on this venture and hope to be watching your show soon.

Murdock said...

Great news for all of us fly fishers - Can't wait to see the new show!

Kara said...

Can't wait to see the new show after seeing those photos of the "small" fish. Keep us posted on when and where to watch!

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Kev2380 said...

If you love that, You need to check out the South Holston in East TN. It's also a tail water fishery. Amazing hatches and big fish caught on flies. Even a 12 inch fish can strip off line.

Hilary said...

Thanks for the tip about the South Holston, Kev. I've been to East TN once and I thought it looked pretty fishy. Hopefully we can get over there for a show next year!--Hil