Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The boys of summer

I haven't posted in a long long time.  Quite frankly, I sometimes get tired of the fishing interwebs and feel like it becomes wash, rinse, and repeat.  I continue to do what I do, however, which is work, fish, and spend time with my family.  

I've managed to make it east for a couple trips this August, each with a different buddy of mine.  Both times the weather as HOT as could be.  The trade off for the extreme heat is that the W(ind) was quite tame.  We moved fish every session and Chad and I experience the hottest double I've even been witness to.  

A controversial topic seems to come up this time of year, every year:

Low Holing

It is not cool to drop in below a fly angler that is fishing the swing and step method.  Some runs are quite long. Some runs do not have a well defined beginning or end.  Some runs are very popular with spinner, fly, and nymph fisherman.  In any circumstance, communication should be the top priority.  Because a fly angler works down river does not mean he is trying to "own" the entire river.  I've heard that copout way too many times from folks who don't want to behave like adults. 

I kind of see fishing parallel golf a bit here.  Do you show up to the course, race ahead of the group before you, and start putting on the green?  No, you wait your turn as everyone gets their shot.  If someone is slow, you communicate with them and can ask to play through.  Same goes with fishing.  

I will also add this:  If someone asks to follow you through on a good sized run, there should be no reason to deny them.  After fishing through my short camp water run several times, I hiked upstream about 1/2 mile to another run I knew had shade on it.  There was an angler about 1/2 way done with the 150 yard run.  I got his attention to ask if he minded if I followed him through.  He requested that I didn't because it "was his only water to fish until the jet boat came back to pick him up in 30 minutes".  I respected his request and hiked back.  I didn't think it was cool, but that is life.  

I say all this to say, I haven't been low holed this year, but I have been before.  And I will again.  A little respect will go a long way on the river.  Fortunately, most people get this. 

A beauty nate

This guy jumped about 5 times

We save the lil' guys for Simon

Hatchery Steelhead, its what's for dinner.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Springer fishing, the ultimate mind game

It ain't fly fishing, but that doesn't mean your mind won't be tested.  Sitting on anchor and waiting for the takedown is nearly the antithesis of fly fishing.  You aren't moving to the fish, the fish are moving to you.  And sometimes it can take days.  On this trip, we waiting for 40 hours before we had a run of consistent action.  It can really test your will, but the mayhem that takes place while fighting a 30lb Springer, has me hooked.  

Potter fighting a 30lb hatchery fish that was lost at the boat!

Yes sir


Black bear on the bank

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm a fan of the B10 Stinger

For me, no other season or species of fly fishing leaves you questioning yourself more than winter steelhead. The grabs and fish are so often few and far between that we always believe "there must be a better way to do this". That internal thought drives me to tie all sorts of various winter bugs of different styles and sizes. I've tied em' on shanks with a fireline trailer, shanks with a tube style trailer, fixed hooks like a 7999, small tubes, and so on and so on.

I really enjoy tying on tubes. I have to have confidence in my bug, and part of that confidence is the hook I'm fishing. The tube fly with a small piece of junction tubing allows me to rig and fish my fly with confidence. I've often times rigged a non slip loop with a gammy octopus #4 cradled in the loop so it sits upright(similar to a loop to loop connection). That has worked great for me at times, but I've also had my fair share of yanks that don't stick or fish that come unpinned. That is winter for you, right?

My brother has been fishing the Gammy B10(straight eye) stinger hooks with a non slip loop recently. Instead of the cradle method, you rig the loop through the eye of the hook. I commonly use this method during the summer when fishing hairwings instead of the double turle. On the winter tube, simply pull the knot into the tubing and your hook basically become a version of a siwash setup like you might see on a spinner. On smaller tubes, you might also choose to fish it fixed, with the eye of the hook pressed inside the junction tubing.

I converted this weekend and this hook is sticky................

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mid Feb Update

I recently had a heckuva streak going in which I was only landing native fish. No formal count was tabulated, but I figure it was something in the neighborhood of 10-12 in a row. Hatchery fish were simply repulsed by my offerings until I broke the code a couple weeks ago. It felt good to dispatch a few and be the hero of the day by giving eggs to a buddy that "cured up real nice".

The first of two bright brats within 30 minutes.

Different day, a little bigger fish. Broodstock "misclip". Lower maxillary appear to be clipped as well. Taped out at 34".

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The story so far....

I've been fortunate to get out for winter steelhead a few times this winter. Still looking for that piggy..........

Here's a few of the fish from the beginning on the season:

Friday, November 4, 2011

A fall to forget

This fall has been frustrating from an angling perspective for me. I spent 5 weeks working in Chicago during the "prime time" months of September and October. Don't get me wrong, I loved Chicago and everything about it, but you won't ever catch me trading Wrigley for my Oregon's fall steelhead rivers. I sat with angst from a 41st floor window overlooking Lake Michigan wondering about how my brother or Simon or Chad was doing at their various locations. My hotel had a river view, but I didn't see any fish rolling among the water taxis.

I took full advantage of August though. On my last trip, we got em' pretty good, despite some ripping winds. I took the shot below as we had 40+ MPH winds blowing from right to left. You can see the dust it kicked up in the Gordon Ridge area.

I've been limited to weekends on local waters since I've been back. The fishing hasn't been great, but enough action to keep a guy and his fly happy.

Bernie landed this above average fish last weekend. Another one of those mystery "misclip" or "wild" fish from the Willamette Valley.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Canyon

I had a chance to get over to the Deschutes a couple of times in the past month. The first was a work trip that Chad and I parlayed into a 24 hour jet boat excursion. This was Chad's first trip taking his own sled up from Heritage Landing. Having been a passenger on other boats gave him a good idea on the proper lines to take. If you've been on this section of the river, you know that hazards abound. There are many places where ledge rock is hidden just below the surface. Hitting one of those can ruin your trip in a hurry.

While Chad was a bit puckered going up through Rattlesnake, we made it through fine. The rest of the rapids went off without a hitch and shade was on the water in no time. Coming off a July trip where I was skunked, I was in disbelief when my loop was taken from my finger and line began peeling from my Salmon 1. While the fish wasn't a trophy, the small hatchery fish marked the start of a good night for both of us. At the end of the night, we exchanged stories of each take and enjoyed a cocktail. The next morning wasn't quite as productive, but we still had our share including a big native buck that kept me smiling for some time.

I tried to get a picture of Rattlesnake rapid on the way out. It was a little bumpy, so excuse the finger in the picture below.

Chad playing a hot one

While the jet boat trip was sweet, it was too short. I had to get back. Bernie and I packed up the driftboat and headed back over. Fishing started out slow for me as I hadn't even had a tap in the first 24 hours. That was all forgotten later in the trip when both Bernie and I ran into a pod of fish for an epic night. My size 8 drab little pattern I tied up was getting yanked aggressively. On the 2nd fish of the run, my 7127 Burkie snapped at the top ferrule. I had to collect myself quickly and sprint the 1/2 mile back to camp to exchange rods. Luckily I made it back to the same run and nobody had stepped in. The fish didn't go anywhere either.