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Barnacle Charley

Big Hole River 3300 more or less

Here it is almost July and the river is still running full. Haven’t seen this for a year or two—like twenty something. I remember June 17th 1985 when I was running the old Anglers Paradise Lodge at Brown’s Bridge the river was lapping the bridge.

Today was Barnacle Charley’s last outing. We went way up river to avoid the weekend crowds. The river is much slower and the fishing was actually pretty good. Brook trout, grayling, and rainbow mostly with lots of spot fishing which is fun. The high point came within a couple hundred yards of the take out. Charley hooked a monster brown trout on a double humper (not to be confused with a double humpy). The fish was trying to get behind some big rocks on the south shore. I told Charley to put his rod tip into the water while keeping him from the rocks. “This worked and brought the fish to the middle of the river. However a short time later the fish gave two sudden upstream lunges and broke that 2x, 10 lb tippet. I only got a glimpse of him but he was in that 25 to 28 inch range. For several moments after that Charley just hung his head in silence. I patted him on the back and told him you hooked him, fought him and did nothing wrong. About that time his buddy Mike said “it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all” Charley looked at him and said now what the hell does that mean. It did bring him out his slump of not landing the fish.

Fly’s used today—-conventional adams, sneaky pete pmd, purple haze, cat puke and the now proven double humper.


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