The first hole was a spot I chose from the road, while searching for a place to pull over. It was a pretty hard bend in the river with a strong eddy. It just screamed "big fish" and I was intent on finding one.
Starting slightly downstream, I chose to work a Gulp! minnow. I was confident that any large fish in the hole would be quick to react.
Before I even got to the big eddy, I picked up a small brown that was more than willing to bite.
Acknowledging that the Gulp! could get some attention, I got low and carefully crept up to my point of attack. My first toss landed right in the inside seam of the current flowing in, above a sand bar. Jigging lightly to keep my gear moving, I saw a large fish roll on it and was late to set the hook.
The big fish theory was confirmed and I spent over an hour in that area, trying different offerings. It was very frustrating to watch it give chase three different times, only to reel in an empty hook each time.
Eventually I decided to fish some holes farther downstream for about 20 minutes before heading back to that hole for another go at the big one.
Once again with the Gulp! minnow, I placed it right where I knew it needed to be to get the reaction I wanted and it got hit! The big brown bulldogged me into the current while my drag buzzed and I got maybe 10 seconds of fight with it before it came unbuttoned.
Somehow, my hook pulled free and my chance at meeting this particular fish slipped away. It was really disappointing to lose it after putting so much effort into catching a nice one that I was specifically targeting, but that's part of fishing. Oh well.
Moving upstream, I found some more willing mouths and was able to bring in several for a quick photo.
The solitude and nice weather were really nice, regardless of the fishing.
As the afternoon started making way for evening, I fished one last stretch in hopes of finding something with some size. Finally, under a shelf of ice, I popped a pretty good male with a marabou jig.