December 31, 2009
December 19, 2009
I've been without a fishing trip for over a month. I had high hopes to catch a few fish to close out the year. Craig met me at my house and we were on the stream by 1pm. The first stream we stopped at had a little open water down the middle. After a hour we decided to head to the next location and found it was locked up tighter then a nun's twat.
We skipped that stop and headed to our last location. As we drove up the canyon, we could see open water and clear flows. I thought our day had been saved. But when we got to our destination, it was barely open. We decided to scope out the stream before we rigged up. I grabbed my jacket out of the back seat and slammed the door before a passing car hit me. Unfortunately, when I pulled my jacket out, the tip of my rod came with it. The tip snapped in three pieces! I was sick. I rigged my 10-foot giant and tried to redeem the day with at least one fishy tug. Light began to disappear along with the hope of catching. With my head hung low, we loaded up and went home. Not the best way to end the year!
December 13, 2009
I've been cursing not having a good packable rain jacket for quite some time. The $2 emergency poncho loses its luster pretty quick. I hit the WJ sale last week and scored one for $50. I can't wait for winter to pass so I can run it through mother nature's shower.
November 10, 2009
While my buddies left me in the dust and headed north, I stayed back and batted clean-up on a mixed bag of browns, bows, and cutts on my favorite fall stream. Although I haven't caught anything over 16" this fall, I've had a blast with numbers. The scud/hare's ear combo seemed to be the ticket. These little guys can put a nice bendo in the 3wt.
November 2, 2009
October 30, 2009
Up until last year, I eeked by with one or two dull pairs of tying scissors for years. But over the last year my scissor collection has grown to over eight pairs of quality scissors and a bunch more destine for cutting foam, wire and anything else nasty. About a year ago I bought a pair of Dr. Slick bent shaft scissors and they are still my favorite. I had a $15 gift certificate from Sierra Trading Post and with free shipping last weekend, I decided to use it towards a couple more Dr. Slick bent shaft scissors. They arrived today and I am stoked to try them out. They have a much smaller cutting blade then my other bent shaft scissors, but I am sure they will get used regularly.
October 29, 2009
I like the simplicity of this technique. But I about went nuts over how bulky and sloppy the dubbing was. I'm sure it adds to a buggy looking fly, but I cannot stand balled-up dub jobs. It also appears this method requires many turns of hackle. I assume he is using tippet material. I have some clear tying thread that should work nicely for the paraloop.
Be fore-warned, the music will put you to sleep. But I guess its better then hearing some guy explain the steps in a different language. I've never been able to master biot body flies. But with the striped stem technique, I might be able to achieve a similar result.
October 22, 2009
October 12, 2009
Day 1: We headed up to the cabin outside Oakley, Utah to break the drive in half between southern Utah and Idaho. When we reached Summit County, it was lightly snowing; I thought this was a good sign for BWO hatches...wrong. We started on the Smith-Morrhouse and ended the evening on the upper Weber. The water was very low and the fish had no interest in what we had to offer. A little rainbow was all I hooked that evening.
Day 2: We made the rest of the drive the next day and stopped at Warm River Springs late afternoon. There was a 4-man group already working the run below the springs so we headed for a new spot. On the way up, we checked into our cabin at Pond's Lodge and hurried out to fish the Coffee-pot rapids section of the Henry's Fork.
The water was low and clear and I was able to easily wade to the other side. I worked upstream parallel with Craig to no avail. Just before the light of day hid behind the canyon walls, I switched my set-up to dredging bottom. Soon after, my indicator paused and I set the hook. I could see my advisory working its way deeper into the abyss. I stayed with it and finally beached the 18+" fish in a small cove. I couldn't tell if it was a rainbow, cutt, or brown; It attempted to run back in the current a few times until I finally tailed it. Once I touched its tail I knew what I was dealing with...a fuckin' whitey! I was so disappointed, my heart sank. But I have to admit, it was quite the bull-dog fight.
Day 3: We woke up the next morning unsure where to fish. We still had one more day on our Idaho license, but I wasn't very impressed with the fishing and sites thus far. I talked Craig into heading towards the park and try some areas around the West Yellowstone entrance. We took the scenic route around to Raynolds Pass and stopped to look at the Madison. It was still very brisk and a couple anglers had just pulled up and began walking upstream to fish. We thought we might stop again tomorrow and try our luck on the way through the park to Jackson Hole. We drove past Quake and Hebgen Lakes and made it into West Yellowstone just as it began to lightly snow. A quick stop into "Blue Ribbon Flies" to test Craig Mathews on his promise to give good information (it was pretty standard beta) and we headed into the park.
We drove past hoards of fishermen on the Madison & Firehole and ended up trying the Nez Perce. The NP looked fishy, but after about 45 minutes of flogging water we moved on. We stopped just above the upper falls of the Firehole and saw a few rising trout. I was unable to connect on top, but this little guy came to play on a #16 PT. small to say the least, but it was my first Yellowstone fish.
We caught a few more dinks before taking the Firehole Canyon loop and fishing between the falls. I took the opportunity to try out the 9'5" fiberglass 5/6 I just finished before the trip. It took a little to get used to the length and weight, but after a few runs, I adjusted. It mended line very well and made high-sticking a breeze. But it would be too heavy to fish with it all day. Craig and I both caught more dinky rainbows. I caught a 12" brown just below the upper falls pool. We tried the Gibbon for about an hour without any sight of fish. The plan was to hit the Madison on the way out of the park, but heavy snow changed our plans.
Day 4: The next morning, we woke up to very cold temps. Our Jackson Hole connection reported 17 degrees and inches of snow. Our original plan was to drive into Jackson and fish along the way. We planned to float the Gros Ventre the next morning. But due to the swift change in weather, we decided to head south into warmer temps. Good thing we saw the park prior to the storm. We fished a river close to my parents on the way back south. I caught a small brown, but that was all she wrote.
Day 5: We decided to fish a few local haunts on the way home. I took Craig to snake canyon and we tried our luck at the small browns and bows its water holds. But we couldn't buy any action and the casting seemed more difficult then it was worth.
We dropped down into the Fremont flats and began picking up risers in many of the pools. It was nice to catch fish with some consistency; and it didn't hurt they were on top. We planned to fish one more haunt that I seem to do well in the fall. But a gas leak and worried wife put that on hold until another trip.
My first trip to Yellowstone to fish was far from epic, but I learned a few lessons along the way. I think next year we might plan a little earlier in the year and hope the crowds are manageable.
October 5, 2009
September 20, 2009
September 11, 2009
Craig and I met at the Shell station and headed up the canyon. We've made this journey many times in the past three years and never once have we been disappointed. After a sour month of missed fishing opportunities, I was in dire need of respite. As we pulled up to the small, willow choked stream, we could see the flow had receded a substantial amount from just one month ago. It was second nature as we geared up and walked down to the first of many honey-holes. I tied on a Royle Wulff and immediately began catching fish.
After losing my fly to a small brown with a deep throat, I fumbled through a few patterns before I regained my momentum. I tied on a modified Boots Allen Emerger with a PT tail and body and the catch rate maintained from then on with about 90% Browns and 10% bows/cutbows.
Craig and I both had great success. I love catching fish on flies I tied and a rod that I assembled. Where these fish lack in size, they make up for in therapeutic value. With my batteries recharged, I'm ready for another week.
September 9, 2009
I inherited my '93 Toyota Pickup about ten years ago after my Pickle-Rocket ('89 Nissan mini-pickup) fell victim to a hit and run. I've had to do little in the past ten years to keep it running strong. But all came to a head when I took it in for a safety inspection. A big red FAIL was issued due to worn-out brakes and the hood was held down by a bungee cord. And on top of that, it was diagnosed with intermittent starting disorder.
I THOUGHT I was mechanically inclined and this little weekend project would only take me out of the game for a day. I started by cleaning the battery terminals in hopes it would resolve the starting issue...wrong. Then I placed the truck on MacGyver jacks stands found in my back yard and began tearing into the axles. The brakes were paper-thin and the rotors were scratched and covered in rust. My little helper helped me lose a few parts along the way, but he got a good dose of grease in the process. After countless hours and lost fishing trips, I got it going strong with new brakes, rotors, battery cables, and a hood that latched.
I felt about the same way before it was done.
August 23, 2009
While scoping for more fly tying deals at my local Ace, I decided to take a detour over to the hardware section. I stumbled upon this little contraption and it looks like it will fit the bill. After some investigation, I found that DMT produces an "Angler; MiniSharp" with a groove for the hook. But this Diamond MiniSharp should be just as good and is $5 less. It folds up nicely to fit in a pack/vest and doesn't require any oil; just dip it in the stream and sharpen away!
The following in a screen-shot of the search results.
Life goes on with googley eyes, but it makes it hard to spot fish. (I'm also color-blind, so that really makes it hard)
August 21, 2009
August 18, 2009
I went to bed at 3am, up at 5:30am and I was ready to go. After meeting up with Kyle and Matt, I followed them to our destination. Matt was finally able to ride shotgun since I had to work at 3:30pm (don't get too comfortable fool!). We stepped out into frigid cold and I could barely tie my knots while I shivered for warmth. I decided to go with a combo of meat and subsurface. I tied a few articulated Zoo Cougars and I was hoping to hook some nice browns on them. I also rigged a great pattern that's got the masses talking, if only they knew!
I took the first couple runs hostage hoping to break in the day with some vicious predatory strikes. I had a brownie chase and mouth my fly, but I didn't set the hook in fear I would pierce Matt's other ear (he walked behind me at the wrong time). I got back at him later in the day when I tried to "help him tail" his fish of the day, at least 18"+.
Matt ad Kyle both seemed to have the magic with the larger browns. I on the other hand was bating cleanup on brownie crumbs.
It was my turn to cast first in a small pool. On the first cast, my thingamabobber almost became a victim to assault. Before I could switch to a hopper/dropper, Kyle jumped in with his trusty Joe's Hopper. He hoked and landed a beauty. The further we waded up, the better it got. I switched to a green Stimi and caught some brownies on top. I switched to a green Dave's Hopper after some advice from the beer-man.
Time was drawing close for me to part ways and head to work, but I hated to leave. I slaughtered a stretch of prime water with risers along he whole run. When I say "slaughter" I don't mean the fish...only the water with missed takes and sloppy casts. With minutes to spare, I spotted a pool with a small tributary flowing into it. The pool was shaded with over-hanging grass and I knew this was my best chance to get a sizable fish. A few casts went unnoticed until I hooked into my fish of the day. It swallered my hopper real nice and I landed it after a great fight.
I decided this was a great point to end my day. Kyle and Matt were nice enough to walk back with me to the trucks. My chicken legs felt like noodles as I tried to navigate down stream. Kyle showed off his ballerina skills, but took a couple dips in the process. I lika the hoppas!
August 4, 2009
August 2, 2009
August 1, 2009
I tied up a few #16 Butch Caddis last night. I used some of the cheap antron from Robert's Craft; it made a great segmented body. These things float like a cork!
I took Connor to the spot I fished yesterday while he watched his DVD. The water is shallow and the banks are low. It was tough to find holding water, but I was able to get a few little Brookies coaxed to my fly. I spent more time watching Connor then fishing. He is such a joy to have along.
We moved spots and Connor took a nap while I fished the Brook Meadow. When Connor woke up, we went on a short hike.
We ended the day on the Meadows and I rigged Connor's DVD up while I made a few casts. A couple smaller browns and a decent one before it was time to head home. I met a guy from Vegas just as I got back to my truck. He said yesterday there was a strong PMD hatch and he caught a lot of fish. We swapped stories and I excused myself to get Connor home for bed.
July 30, 2009
I took a little break and waited for the rain to subside. I think I replayed "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" about 12 times for Connor while I waited.
I got one quick shot before the lightning got too close for comfort. We headed home and rocked a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Bruno's.
July 28, 2009
Matt has the schematics of the trip. But long story short, after many trials and tribulations (including nearly gluing my shirt to my arm with Zap a gap), I finally caught a Tiger! I got it to hand, but it slipped off the hook right when I was picking it up for the photo-op. But maybe I'll have photographic proof of my second Tiger.
Thanks to the Blood-thirsty Chucko, we had some tasty Brookies for tacos; fresh from the lake to our plates.
We finished off the trip on one of my favorite streams and had a fair share of fish sub-surface and a few on dries and streamers. Usually the irrigation flow is too high to fish the stream this time of year, but it was perfect. But I can't wait for this fall!
Kyle was nice enough to not only drive, but bring along snacks. Thanks again!