Sunday, February 26, 2012

So many films!: The Waters of Greenstone

So many.  And I like 'em all-- here's the most recent I saw floating around that seems to have a cool sentiment behind it:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Jams: Ben Howard

Here some jams from across the drink-- the UK to be not so exact.  Recommended to me by a co-worker, I have to say I enjoy the fact that, while still in the new folk vein, the newest album has just enough shuffling rhythm throughout that I find myself bobbing my head in my cubicle.

Hope you like it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Round Three.

This time I committed. 

I spent nearly all day with 10ft of T11, a 4ft leader loaded up with split shot, and a couple of hare-brained-pun-intended-last-minute articulated streamers that had me up late the night before.  I made sure the rig got deep and I nearly gave up after seeing a couple of big fish rise for some emerging caddis.  I had a couple of big shadowy followers, an unfortunately brained whitefish, and I finally made a connection with a 20+ inch bull.  Alas the hook had been dulled by a recent encounter with a rock and the fish shook loose.

That's when I went back to the nymph rig for a couple of hours to shake the skunk.  And shake she did-- bless ye ole' prince nymph.

Back at the truck at the end of the day I felt like a success-- a few fish to net, some streamer-faith developed, and I covered a good 6 miles of beautiful and brambly trail. Tough to beat.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One in Winter by Ryan Peterson

There truly is an amazing amount of fly fishing videos right now-- I'll try not to post too many since most of them are pretty dang good plus the fact that Le Mouching is a much better source for keeping up on them.

That said Ryan Peterson's videos have always stood out to me and super super super super super super super super kudos on this one for the choice of sound track.  I've been a Mt. Eerie fan since they were The Microphones and before I even knew Phil Elverum was from the Pacific NW.  Check it.  Retarded ending.  I liked it:

One in Winter from ryan peterson on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Get in line.

Here's a few images from a recent float on the Nestucca.  I was determined to catch my first winter steelhead and I was in the mood to simply get 'er done.  By that I mean I nymphed big heavy egg flies under a big plastic indicator that would've looked at home in a grease-spotted paper bag -- the "McBobber," if you will.

The conditions were perfect-- dropping flows after some big rain events, green tinged water, and the temperature on the rise-- what could go wrong?

50 boats.  That's what could go wrong.  It was literally hard to find water to fish-- if I waited for the river to clear then people would start drifting through the slot I was fishing.  If I drifted downriver then around every bend and in every fishy looking hole was a drift boat full of dudes.  And I mean dudes -- nothing against 'em, but it was the usual crowd of camo-and-baseball-hats who you don't want to piss off for fear of the hunting rifle that could very likely be stashed on their boat.  I only saw a single other fly fisherman and I was the only raft in that army of drift-boats... guess I missed the memo.

I worked to make the best of it and fished what I could including some very marginal water and a few decent holes that were best accessed by foot, not by boat.  My main rig was a lowly glowly with a caballero egg dropper and around midday I got a take-down, set the hook, and was rewarded with some heavy head shakes.  It was one of those downstream hook-sets that are always a gamble and after the head shakes it decided to jet upstream and I simply could not strip in line fast enough.  After I picked up the slack there was no longer a fish on the line- that's all she wrote.

I didn't get into any more fish after that but I felt ok with at least getting a chance--it's a wonder that anyone catches anything with that kind of traffic.  The teeth marks on the fly said that the fish wanted the caballero egg.

Winter steelhead: 2.  Me: 0.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Round Two.

Here's a few images from a repeat visit to that dang river that supposedly holds monster bull trout.  Granted, the fish above hints strongly that this fact is true-- not to mention this beast that made the chum the other day.  I'm painfully aware that I haven't been dedicated enough to the streamer.  While I really feel like I put in a good effort last time (I gave up some nice big streamers to the submerged branches that seem to be at the bottom of every big hole) I still haven't put the big one in the net.

But I certainly can't complain-- the weather was much warmer this last trip and the trout were much more responsive.  The fly of the day was a #10 Possie Bugger and was responsible for every trout of the day.  Strangely every whitefish I caught took a stonefly nymph. The warmer weather definitely brought out some of the crowds but with some hiking I managed to have the kind of day where I can't even remember how many fish I caught.  It's probably somewhere in the 10 or 12 range and it was about 50/50 whitefish and redbands.

Next time I might have to leave the nymph box in the truck.

With the local water levels dropping into shape for anadramous fish I'm not sure when I'll be back, but now I've got beef with these bulls too.  I've also not regretted a single day on this river-- you can't go wrong with the scenery of this place- last trip I saw beavers, mule deer, elk tracks (I think) and a few bear tracks-- pretty great really.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Streamer Testing & My Fish Spotting Deficiency.

I've been doing a little bit of streamer testing lately.  For the most part I've favored simple streamers that are either entirely composed of rabbit or are basically variations of the woolly bugger.  However in doing some simple in-the-water testing I've found that the the combination of arctic fox and marabou makes for outstanding motion in a fly.  This combination is the basic recipe for Doug McKnight's home invader streamer and below is a very similar articulated fly that had the best results (to my eye) out of the half dozen other flies I put through the swim test:

I admit that I haven't actually hooked a fish on this fly but here's a really terrible video of how it looks in the water.  I guess I'm convinced it will work-- feel free to share your thoughts:

I also want to mention that I've been finding it very difficult to spot fish.  Lately I've been very intentional about sneaking up on a hole and scoping it out before I cast to it and I've yet to see anything but a few spawning whitefish for my efforts.  I also had some serious difficulty spotting carp on the Columbia river when John Montana was seeing them everywhere (though that probably has more to do with his proficiency than my inefficiency).  

Here's my theory why I'm crap at it:

Supposedly there are numbers in all the circles but I mostly see random dots with the exception of the 25 in the upper left hand corner.  If I blur my eyes and stare for some time I can make out a few of the other numbers but a couple are completely undecipherable.  If you have the same difficulty you are probably a male and are likely partially colorblind.

Unfortunately the above colors are extremely common in fish, the water they live in, and the substrate along the stream bed.  Granted there is more to spotting fish than these color combinations (shadow, movement, and their white mouths) but I have a bad feeling I may be at a slight disadvantage.

And though it won't stop me from trying, it kind of pisses me off. 

Until next time.