Cutthroats on Kootenai Creek

I switched shifts from Saturday to Sunday this weekend so a coworker could go shred Big Mountain. Couldn’t let an open Saturday go to waste, so Shannon and I headed down to Kootenai Creek. It was her second outing with the Soyokaze and her first time on Kootenai. After this trip, it really cemented itself as my favorite creek in the area. Just too much fun.

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We hit our first pool and Shannon had first crack at the fish. Being only her second time, she needed a bit to get the muscle memory back. Missed a few sets in a fairly difficult spot and decided to move up to the next hole. I threw in before we moved on and pulled out my first of many on the day.

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Moving up to a spot that was a bit more open, Shannon was getting tons of strikes but her timing was a bit off on the set. She worked at it, slowly getting better, and finally, success!

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Once she brought the first several fish to hand she had it down pat. Her casts improved throughout the day and her sets became better with each opportunity. She’s yet another example of how tenkara is about perfect for beginning anglers.

We moved upstream, taking fish out of each spot we stopped. Ranging in size from 5″ up to a bit over 10″, it’s a great stream to build some confidence and just have fun catching beautiful fish. Primarily Westslope Cutthroat.

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Lots of greedy little guys, as you can see above.

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Shannon pulled three fish out of this area if I recall.

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Two of the very nice fish she landed. She’s working her way up to handling/releasing them herself, baby steps. 😉

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And yes, she caught a bunch of these little guys too.

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I get just as pumped catching little guys like the one above as I do bigger fish. Haven’t broken the 20″ mark yet, maybe that will change my feelings but, I doubt it.

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Great way to spend a Saturday morning.

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Shannon rocked her Vibrams on this trip. Great way to get a grip on the slick rocks and stay cool.

Afterwards, we headed in to Stevensville for breakfast/lunch at the Stevi Cafe and ended our trip with a beer at Blacksmith Brewing.

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A new seasonal IPA for Shannon.

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And, as usual, a Cutthroat IPA for me.

I’m really glad I bit the bullet and got into tenkara last year. It’s a great excuse to spend time with some great friends. And I couldn’t be happier that Shannon has jumped on the bandwagon.

And on that note, I’m going to go get rigged up. Matt and I are heading down there after he finishes up work. Should be a great way to cool off this afternoon.

Happy angling!

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