|Viewing the Ruby Mountains from Jiggs, NV. |
The small, white speck on the slopes in the middle of the picture is the RCR cabin.
It had been over 11 years since I fished with my good friend and fellow pescador, Bill Bergan. In November 2003 I flew to Sacramento where Bill picked me up and whisked me off to fish the lakes at Henderson Springs in Northern California. Since then we have been scheming up new fishing adventures, but we could never connect. I was pushing the waters around the Ruby Mountains south of Elko, Nevada. It turns out the driving time to Elko from Sacramento and Las Vegas was about equal. Bill knew how beautiful the Rubies were from our 1979 backpack trip to Favre Lake on the Ruby Mountain's Lamoille Canyon trail. We eventually settled on the Ruby Mountain area where Bill was able to meet me, ironically, driving directly from another group fishing trip at Henderson Springs.
|The Ditch near Unit 21 where Brown Dike and Long Dike roads cross.|
|The Ruby Crest Ranch (RCR) is located in South Fork, Nevada.|
|A wild stallion and his three mares at the southern end of the Ruby Valley.|
|This is looking south from where the Ditch flows into the Marsh.|
|Taking a break on the Ditch while pondering my next move.|
The trout was near the far bank, at a spot indicated by where the tall grass
on the right side of the picture appears to touch the far bank.
|The red circle identifies the trout and its shadow.|
|Master Guide Bill Gibson orchestrating his beloved yellow Labradors.|
|Bergan in the skiff with the Rubies in the background, fishing South Fork Reservoir.|
|My first of the trip, a 15 inch South Fork rainbow.|
|Bergan with a very fine looking cutthroat hybrid |
from South Fork that was well over 20 inches.
|A close up of Bergan's magnificent cutthroat.|
|My pretty little 15 inch rainbow from South Fork.|
|Here's Bergan playing a nice trout in the Ditch.|
|This was my largest catch of the trip, a Ditch rainbow pushing 24 inches, maybe 5 lbs. |
Note that she's dropping roe from her vent.
|My second nice Ditch rainbow caught "bonefish" style, with a landing assist by Bill Gibson.|
We took a break from the Ditch to visit the Ruby Crest Ranch cabin in the Shanty Town area. Gibson had to repair a faucet for a set of fly angling clients who travel up from Bakersfield, CA every year. While he toiled away, Bergan and I chatted with the guys from Bakersfield, exchanging stories, reports, and flies of particular note.
Once tasks were completed we set out for the Main Boat Launch, where we found ourselves fishing in aloneness once again. The Marshes can be thought of as a maze. This time of year the pathways through the Marsh are more obvious (although there are miles and miles of them to navigate), but once the bulrush gets taller and thicker they are not so obvious. Gibson reports that anglers inexperienced with the Marshes often cannot find their way back and spend the night in the marsh waiting to be rescued. Best to explore the deep marsh area with an experienced guide like Gibson.
|A small section of the "marsh maze" that defines the Ruby Lakes NWR.|
|This was the only Marsh trout I landed on Tuesday.|
|I lost two like this one within 40 feet of each other, likely due to leader mismanagement.|
This rainbow would easily have been 4 pounds.
|Bergan floating Wild Horse Reservoir in search of fish.|
|Our Scadden NFO tubes on the beach at Wild Horse Reservoir.|
|FisherDad fighting a tug of war with a Wild Horse rainbow.|
|Bergan wet-wading South Fork Reservoir in the waning light.|
|My 21-inch South Fork rainbow caught right at sunset. This fish fought very hard.|
|Main Boat Launch, Ruby Lakes NWR, with no one in sight Thursday morning.|
Final trout of the trip, right at 20 inches.
Sort of made up for the two I lost on Tuesday... but no.
|I believe Gibson told me this was the old post office for Jiggs.|
|Wildlife is everywhere in the Rubies, but I was especially taken aback by the numerous herds of |
pronghorn antelope I witnessed every day. This lone buck was up about 6,500 feet in
the pinyon and juniper trees. I think I saw over 50 antelope.