Sunday, March 21, 2010

Double Dip

Chad and I got together on Saturday night to pre-flight our Sunday and tie some flies. We put together a few black and purples, red and oranges, etc. After looking at the new tie we usually follow it with 1 of 2 statements: "Oh, I bet that would work great for summer fish on the Willamette" or "Oh, that would be a killer fly for the Deschutes". That is usually followed up by me saying "Hmmm....I can't wait to do Macks to the Mouth this summer".

So we put our routine to bed and performed a Double Dip Sunday. We fished bright and early for some steelhead and in the afternoon for trout. Chad wanted to get his 7134 Burkie out on the water and I was just happy to be swinging.

In the afternoon we put the Jet boat in and drove upstream. After a few stops, we found a nice flat and the bugs starting coming off. The hatch got increasingly intense over the next hour. We hooked and landed a few fish, but nothing to shout about. It was one of those episodes where you wonder how a fish is going to pick your imitation out of about 10 naturals whithin rising distance.

The coolest thing of the day were the 2 bald eagles we saw streamside.

Mixing in some trout

With winter fishing winding down and having to stay close to home, Bernie and I hit the local waters for some trout action. We had some good action below the surface, but the bright sun kept the marchies from coming off. The caddis, though, did come off, and in blankets. The trout were happy to let most of those bugs pass by without a glance.

With everyone and their mom pimping the mega prince, we used standard stones nymphs and various droppers to mix it up. Most of the fish came on the stone. The best fish of the day took my dropper, ran straight for the middle and broke me off. Later on, Bernie had a nice fish break him off as well. Great day to be on the river.

Bernie here with a nice bow.

Grilling some brats streamside. Bernie is trying to look tough, but ends up looking like he's pissing on the food.

Another nice bow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Final Coast Trip

With some responsibilities looming, I had one last chance to get to the coast and fish for winter steel. Casey and Mike came down and we shoved off early.

We fished long and hard with Casey getting the only grab of the morning. The level was perfect, but it just felt like there were less fish around. We only spotted a few fish and gave the good runs plenty of chances to come through. The bright sun on the water didn't help.

We finally had some action in the afternoon as I hooked up in a small run. The fish ran quickly downstream and put up a great fight. The fight gave out quickly and as Casey tailed the fish we realized it was a male kelt. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails, but a fish is a fish. We quickly got the wild fish back in the water and moved on downstream. No more takes or grabs of any kind. To cap it off, the shuttle we called didn't show up and Casey had to hitch it back upstream. It all worked out and we were home by 9pm!

That is it for now Coastal Winters...............I'll see you next year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunny Day on the Clack

I was in Portland for the weekend and got a chance to float the Clackamas with Casey and Mike. We floated a nice stretch of river and had a good time casting. That's a nice way of saying we didn't hook up once between the three of us. Casey had a solid grab early and I had one late, but nothing stuck, and we went home sad.

The sun was out all day and the water was really clear and measuring 46 degrees. It was fun to get out with Mike and watch him boom line out like a pro. I think he has more spey gear than anyone in Montana. It's a classic scenario: A trout guide with an addiction to steelhead fishing.

The silver lining to the trip was that I followed up the skunking with a nice dinner at El Gaucho with my wife. The New York Peppercorn steak, mashed potatoes, tableside caesar salad, and bananas foster was a great ending to a beautiful day.

Here's Mike testing out my 7133 CF Burkheimer. Also, he really hates my miracle braid running line.

Last run of the day. Mike is fishing what we later found to be 2 foot of water. The speck at the top of the tree is actually a bald eagle.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making Days off Count

I was able to sneak out of the office on Thursday to go chase some chrome. Casey and Mike the Michagander were originally schedule to both appear, but Domino the dog got in the way. He decided to eat some salmon from the banks of the Clackamas which made him very sick. With Mike at the Vet, Casey and I headed out with the old 4:30am departure.

The river was a little low, but still in good enough shape for fishing. We put the boat in and hit up the first run. Usually this run produces, so hopes were high. Casey briefly hooked up, but it didn't stick and the fish came free. I swung through without a grab. Up above the pool, there was a nice redd where about 5-6 steelhead were doing their thing. Always cool to see wild fish making more wild fish.

We moved down to the next run. I took the top, Casey took the bottom. In a 30 yard stretch, I had 4 grabs. The last one took my loop and about 2 feet of line before there was slack. Of course, Casey stepped in above and stuck a fish. The wild hen put up a great fight.

The fishing kind of slowed after that. Some of the runs that don't fish high, fish great at the lower level. Things remained quiet until around 3 in the afternoon. I was fishing a flat soft strech lined with boulder when my line kind of just stopped. I remained calm and told myself its either a fish or a rock. My loop went out and the reel started screaming. The fish took about 20yards of line and boiled on the surface where I was able to get a look at his chrome sides. After the boil, he ripped on another 20 yards of line and stopped in his tracks. The hook came free and I was left with steelhead blue balls.

No other action for the rest of the day except for the local named Jim that motioned us over to fish the run with him. He was drift fishing clown eggs and was really interested in our spey rods. He shared a couple local secrets with us and threatened to "take a nut from each of ya" if he found out we were telling others!

Pocket picked again................