Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Skoal

I've been bulking up one of my favorite summer run flies, the Skoal, for a winter version with a bigger profile.
Black and Orange.  I gained major confidence in this color combo after watching Dave pick my pocket as hard as ever with it.  I had just fished this little dump on the Hoh, and Dave came in behind me showing our friend Jason how to spey cast, and got crushed by a 12lbs native about three casts in.

Black and Blue.  Blue is so hot right now.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hello and why I'm here

First off hello to my fellow anglers who have been reading and following my brothers blog. Secondly thanks Jergens for inviting me to contribute. You might have seen the shameless promoting by my brother earlier on the blog, and if you follow my Flickr account thank you.

At a young age I was taught to fish, much like my brother. However, fishing never clicked for me. I started taking pictures of my family while they fished so that I had could stay entertained on family fishing trips. As I got older photography became more interesting to me and fishing, well, it remained the same. I continued shooting photos through high school where I ran a small photo business selling action shots to the parents of high school athletes. I also did a little bit of work for the Columbia Basin Herald.

In the summer of 2008 I broke out five teeth while kayaking the Wenatchee River. After the incident all I could do was fish (no mt. biking, no skiing). Living with a part time fish bum forced me to get out the river and get it done. Since that summer I suppose you could say I'm hooked (I hate me too for that pun.)

You can expect me to post how-to tips, post processing tricks, camera advice, and anything funny that has to do with fishing.

-Jergens C Squad

It looks like a......

Brought to you by the fine people that offer dry-droppers pre rigged DL Fish Things Online, the heavy duty trolling bobber!  Obviously designed with the spey caster in mind!  Also available with a single propeller.

"As long as your line is strong, this bobber won't break when you hook a fish. Of course this is assuming the fish isn't trying to eat the Trolling Bobber."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I love gold!

The Goldmember is a fly I wrapped up last summer with the sole intention of quoting the classic Austin Powers movie and screwing around on an evening float with Scottie Dub, Mike D, and D-lowe. At the time I was living in a single wide trailer (insert WT joke here) and had my fly tying stuff narrowed down to essentials in a three drawer plastic-thing. While digging through my three droors of materials I found some bright gold ice-dub left over from tying exasperater sculpins, and thought it should find a home on some dries.

 I was immediately reminded of "Goldmember" and wrapped it on the bottom of a couple of chernobyls for a float that evening. 

Surprisingly the goldmember ended up holding it's own, and actually produced one of the bigger fish I caught last summer(see photo below). It also goes to show how having confidence if your fly selection can improve your catch.  To me, confidence in fly patterns is HUGE when choosing what fly I am going to fish.  Even if it is some half-baked idea like the goldmember, having the belief that it will work makes a difference.  I have a feeling that there will be a re-run of Goldmember come golden stone time, why not?

"Toight like a Toiger!" Photo Gredit: Mike Doughty

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A note from NZ

After the previous clip we'll continue with the part of the world that is currently enjoying summer right now.  I got this note on the face-spacey from Beautiful Brett, (a friend and fellow guide at the stonefly as well as a damn good angler) who is spending the next three months bouncing around New Zealand with his GF, pretty much living in a van down by the river.
"First sight fishing opportunity I had was yesterday on the gin clear Rangetieki River, probably a 22-24 inch brown kinda mid stream behind a gigantic boulder, searching for the right fly and not having a fucking clue what it should be I landed on your small version of the Don King , first cast of the day lands like two feet off to his left and about dead even with him, fish elevates turns downstream and swims like ten feet to chase it down for the longest eat ever..... I waited dude..... and still pulled it out too early... first cast of the day, on a heavily pressured river... your fly got chased down like O.J. back in '98... no I haven't booked a ticket yet but I'll let you know when I do, hope all is well."

God save the queen, Brett!  Here is a shot Brett also posted, he crushes behind the lens, and you will see more of his shots here in the future.  Keep us updated brother!

That's not a stick.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Patagonia fly fishing style

Just saw this clip over at The far away fly fishing blog. And after a little research found that it came from these guys Big Fish Patagonia (Thanks Chum).   One of the few words that I understood on their website was Steelhead, so I'm down with that!  I don't know what my favorite part of this trailer is, either the reel noise at the beginning, or the lost fish mid-way through, but it looks sweet, and gets me far more pumped to fish than watching some bonefishing video as the Beav slushes by my house (not that I'll be going to the southern hemisphere any time soon, but I will be spey casting soon).

Friday, January 22, 2010

The final countdown

"A simple mechanism for counting your catch and release!"
"Display it smartly on your vest!"

I first heard about this fish counter from one of my guide buddies who came to work one summer morning to find a box of them next to the register in the shop he works for (He asked for them to be removed, I hope for his sake that they were).  The fish counter seems harmless, but to me it is the principal behind it.  It says that "I need to catch fish to have fun fishing", and not only that, I need to know exactly how many I caught, and I am going to base the success of my day on that number.  This is far from the reason I fish, and can't imagine why the exact number of fish you catch could be so important.  The first one of these I see in my boat will likely end up in the drink.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January on the Madison

Although the weather has been unseasonably warm, my motivation to get out trout fishing has been lacking.  After finding out that my departure west will be put off a little longer, and some motivational calls from my buddy Rick, I ended up meeting him, another old friend, and a couple new friends at Varney Bridge for a mid winter float.  The weather couldn't have been better, fishing was good, and we didn't see another person on possibly the most popular trout drift in the country.  Here's a couple shots:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Skykomish Sunrise

I met Bill and Paul on a guide trip in the Summer after my Junior year of college at CWU.  We had a great day on the Yak followed up by a great day of steelhead fishing (my first steelhead guide trip, unbeknownst to them at the time) and quickly became friends.  It was during the first trip down the Yakima that Bill told me about his favorite steelhead fly, the Skykomish Sunrise, and gave me one that was likely older than I was at the time.  At that point I was just getting in to swinging for steelhead, and I couldn't imagine why a steelhead would come up and eat such a little fly on a dry line.  I proved myself wrong later that year by catching my first steelhead on the dry line, of course, on a Skykomish Sunrise.

Fast forward a couple of years (and many fishing trips for the three of us) to my first fall of grad school.  The three of us met on a central Washington river to do a little steelhead fishing.  River conditions were in prime shape, and after nymphing up a couple of hatchery fish to get warmed up (and to keep Bill's wife happy), we walked into one of our favorite runs to swing.  It was a nice grey afternoon, perfect conditions for dry lining, and of course Bill and I rigged up with his favorite, the Skykomish Sunrise.   I drew the short straw and came through the run behind my friends, and right at the sweet spot (which in this run your line is going about 10 different directions) got a big yank,  and ended up landing my biggest fish of the fall, a beautiful rosy cheeked native hen.  This was only the beginning though.  After watching me land my fish Bill walked back to the same spot, and while Paul and I stood on the bank and watched,  threw a cast behind the same rock.  At the time it seemed like the fly didn't even hit the water, but it must have, and no sooner than it did, a bright hatchery fish lept more than a foot out of the water and ate Bill's favorite fly. A quick hookset and battle gave us our second fish in 10 minutes, both on the Sky Sunrise.  I can't remember being as excited as I was watching that fish jump out of the water for that tiny little fly, and to this day have a vision seared in my brain of those events.  Memories like this make my favorite thing about fishing just being able to spend time on the water with good friends, and see things most people would never believe.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter flow

While downloading fly pictures from my camera I found this one that I had forgotten about.  A nice sunset on the Beav on the otherside of our backyard fence.

Monday, January 18, 2010

One hour, one pattern

There are times that I think I enjoy tying flies as much as I enjoy going fishing.  I was very lucky to be taught how to tie by my uncle about the same time I started fishing, and developed a love of tying early on in my fly fishing.  These days tying is often a mix between production of standards for the upcoming guide season and screwing around with different things to come up with new patterns or tweaking old ones. It seems like most of the time I am heavy on the screwing around and not so focused on the production tying.  As a way to help myself become more dedicated at wrapping production style bugs I have been sitting down at the vise for an hour, and tying one pattern for that time. 

For this week I tied a pattern I have worked on with a good guide buddy, and probably the most innovative trout fly tier I hang with, Scott W.  Scott turned me on to fuzzy foam a few years ago while he was living in Missoula.  The first person that we heard of gluing furry foam to closed cell foam was John Foust out of the Bitterroot Valley on his Fat Freddie flies.   Although I don't know how much of a difference it really makes for catching fish, the fuzzy foam is definitely fun to tie with, and creates a cool looking bug.

Results from One Hour:
Number of Bugs: 19
Pattern:  Wilson's Chernobyl
Hook:  standard dry hook
Thread:  Ultra thread to match foam
Body: One layer fuzzy foam, 2 layers closed cell foam
Wing:  EP Fibers
Legs:  Flat Barred Legs
Front Foam (on top): Yellow razor foam

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wadering up at home

There are many things that are great about living in Montana, or anywhere that is close to fishing, one of which is wadering up at home.  I took these things for granted until I spent two years living in Spokane, with a neighbor who had a pitbull named C-Note and a house across the street that I'm sure has been on COPS at least once. It's great throwing on the waders in a nice warm garage with no rocks tearing into your booties, no stripping down in the cold, just on with the waders and off to the river (Unless you get completely wadered up, with your new studded boots, and realize you forgot your jacket inside, and have to crawl hands and knees across the linoleum so that you don't have to take everything off and put it back on again.)  Yesterday I ran up to the Ruby for a couple of hours, caught a couple fish, and enjoyed the 40+ degree weather.

A nice January afternoon on the Ruby.  If you haven't fished this river it's definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The fate of a Kalama hatchery brat, courtesy of Thad Ary, and beautifuly displayed by his brother.  Thanks for taking one pond monkey out of the system and providing possibly the best picture of 2010.

Monday, January 4, 2010


After a week long break that involved driving from Twin Bridges to Whidbey Island with a brief stop in Ephrata, we are back in MT.  It was great spending time with family and old friends, and nice to enjoy the weather at sea level rather than 4500'.  For this trip the spey rod was left at home, even though hatchery fish are trickling in to all of the S rivers, but will be put to good use soon on some native winter steel.

Like many, as the decade came to an end last week I got to thinking about all of the fish I had caught and what I had done for the past 10 years.  The 2000's were a big decade for me both fishing and personally, and when I remember all of the fishing and fun I had, i always remember the music I was listening to at the time.  I love how listening to an album can bring you back to what you were doing at the time.  For my memories of the past decade I have put together a list of the top 3 albums I was listening to and the fishing that they remind me of.

Winter Steelhead 2005/ Say Anything: Is a Real Boy

Was fortunate to spend a lot of time on the coast this winter, mostly watching Dave catch steelhead, but got my shots as well.  Had by far the best single day winter steelheading I have seen, and rocked out to a lot of Say Anything, especially "Spider Song".

Fall Steelhead 2005/Death Cab For Cutie: Plans.  Coheed and Cambria: Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV-Vol. I.

This fall pretty well cemented steelhead in my life.  I had arranged my college sschedule to have two days off during the week, and utilized these two days to fish summer runs on the Methow and Klickitat.  My best fishing buddy Dave had a similar schedule and we put in a serious amount of time cruising North or South of Ellensburg.  The reason there are two albums for this season is because the Coheed CD was stuck in the CD player of Dave's truck, and when he drove that was all we could listen to.  I will never again fish as much as I did that fall, nor do I think I want to.

Summer 2008/ Eddie Vedder: Into The Wild Soundtrack

This was the first summer I spent in Montana working for The Stonefly Inn out of Twin Bridges.  Early season in Twin often includes a drive over the high road to the upper Big Hole.  At the end of a hot day on the upper hole it is pretty much required to stop at The Hitching Post in Melrose for a cocktail.  After that stop, cruising back to Twin with the windows down, Eddie jamming out, and an unbelievable view of the Ruby Valley was hard to beat.

Here's to another great 10 years!