Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hopper conspiracy?

I know that it is no longer trout season for alot of folks, and I am struggling to think about something besides steelhead right now as well, but as I was looking through some pics from this past summer I was reminded about how poor hopper fishing was.  Actually, poor is an understatement, abysmal or non-existent would be a better description.  The lack of YPA toilet bowl flushes and CFO Ant explosions this past summer has to be the result of one thing: a government conspiracy against hopper fishing.
See that big shiny streamer, it should have been a hopper!

You probably remember the article in the Wall Street Journal this past March that sparked the talk in the fishing community about the "epic hopper hatch" and doomed good hopper fishing for our part of the world, and from what I understand many other parts of the west.  As fisherman we tend to be a superstitious group if for no other reason that something to blame bad fishing on, and I should have know that when an epic hopper infestation is predicted at a federal level, hopper fishing is going to be jinxed.  This prediction resulted in a jinx far beyond that of talking about a good run before you get there (guaranteed double tangle).  This jinx was the equivalent of closing down the local Winston plant so that a banana distributor could operate for the summer.

To help with next years fishing I am going to go ahead and make some insect predictions now:

Due to the amount of cheap beer spilt in the upper Big Hole from Buttians throwing rapalas from rafts there will be no salmonflies on the Big Hole.

There will be no PMD's on the upper Beaverhead becuase of the toxic level of split shot from a summers worth of drop-shot rigs and size 27 splitbacks left in the bottom of the river.

All crayfish and sculpins will be flushed out of the Jefferson and Madison valley's during high water.

If my predictions are as accurate as last summers "epic hopper hatch" that should about cover it for next year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bumper Sticker from TroutHunter

Modobi, local Scott/Nautilus/Solitude rep, sideburns aficionado and speycaster, showing off a sticker he found down in Idaho at Trouthunters.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Casting for a cure ebay auction

My buddy Kirk over at Unaccomplished Angler, who also happens to be the author of the Olive the Woolly Bugger Series, and a top notch graphic design artist (He created our logo) sent me an email letting me know about this ebay auction he put together for Casting For A Cure and to help get the word out.  I knew a little about Casting For a Cure and that it is a fundraising organization to fight Rett Syndrome, but here is Kirk's description:

Casting 4 A Cure is a tremendous organization comprised of folks who love kids and fly fishing. The passion for one benefits the love for the other as fly fishing serves as a vehicle to raise much-needed funding for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
Rett Syndrome is a cruel neurodevelopmental disorder which begins to show its affects in infancy or early childhood. It is seen almost exclusively in females, although it can occur rarely in boys.  The disorder severely disrupts gross and fine motor skills as well as robbing the girls of their ability to speak and communicate with the outside world.  Seizures and breathing problems can also be prevailing symptoms. It affects every aspect of a family’s life, as our girls are dependent upon us for almost everything, from helping feed them to helping them get around, bathing, and most other daily tasks that most of us take for granted.
Here is a link to the Ebay Auction, which includes a Scandolous Stick's Fly Rod, a Redington Reel, Rio Line, a Kids fishing DVD as well as the full collection of Olive The Woolly Bugger Book's written and signed by Kirk.  If you are thinking about getting a Kid into fly fishing for Christmas, this would be a great set-up for them to start with and the money would go to an awesome cause.  Hurry up and get bidding, the auction ends Dec. 2nd.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tarpon: The Movie

I know that I am way late on this being re-released, but I picked up a copy of TARPON late this summer and finally sat down and watched it about a week ago, and it is incredible!  It is an awesome movie from beginning to end, and when you think about the fact that it came out in the early 1970's it is even more amazing.  Thomas Mcguane, Jim Harrison and a group of guys that are thoroughly baked (from the sun, and maybe some other stuff) running around the Keys slamming tarpon on rods that looks like they have more flex than a modern 5wt and reels definitely don't have modern 10 layer ceramic/titanium/costyourleftballsium drags.  The editing and soundtrack (By Jimmy Buffett) is great, and more importantly it has a strong focus on conserving these incredible fish.  These days there are some great fishing film makers out there, and there are a ton of guys running around trying to get great, and they could all definitely benefit from watching this film.  Being able to look back at everything these guys were doing almost 40 years ago from the filming to the gear and the fishing is definitely worth the $35.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The ultimate guide rig

Although you don't see as many guides using them as you would think, it's hard to argue against the fact that a Suburban is the ultimate guide vehicle.  It comfortably holds a mountain of gear, 2 clients, rods completely set up, and you can sleep in the back when your wife/significant other kicks you out. Although the shiny new suburbans are sweet with dvd players and onstar and 22" rims, my buddy Tyler has the ultimate guide rig: A 1978 camo suburban.
The Shuttle drivers should pay you to drive this sweet ride!
Thanks to some car problems this fall I was able to spend about a week guiding out of the Suburban, and it was sweet.  Once I got her fired up, the CD player kicked on Lynard Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama  started blaring which was the perfect soundtrack for this rig.  In the back of the Suburban, next to a sub-woofer with a trout cutout in the side, there was a cliff bugger barn loaded with nasty home rolled streamers.  Of course when you drive a camo suburban, all you do is throw streamers!  Here are a couple more of the benefits of fishing out of a camo suburban.

Instant respect from clients:  If you are fishing with new people there is always a moment of uncertainty from them about your personality/abilities/etc.  When you say "Hey, I'll help you grab your gear, I'm parked over there with the Camo Suburban" they instantly know that you are legit, and any uncertainties are gone.

"What happens on the Bighole, stays on the Bighole"
Roll down rear window with aftermarket rod holders:  There's no worrying about your rod holder's suction cup failing and 4 grand worth graphite hitting the freeway when you have PVC tubing, a rope and bungey cords screwed into the roof of your suburban.  Combined with the roll down rear window is a perfect rod system.
10 footers?  No Big Deal!
Pimp my ride quality attention to detail:  The all camo paint job makes sure that you are not missed on your way to the river, but it's the small attention to detail that you notice when you are driving.  The suburban has functional accessory like the heavy duty floor mats that protect the stylish carpet or the bungey cord that keeps the 4-wheel drive lever in place.  Some of the finer points are not quite as function and nothing says class like the door lock, which would make Hugh Heffner himself proud.  The playboy lock is a symbol to the amount of partying that this ultimate guide rig has been involved in.
I don't know where he found this, but in 1978 it was probably standard equipment.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fishing beer bread

It's getting dark damn early already in SWMT which means it's time so eat good food, drink, and hang out with the few friends that are as crazy as we are to live year round in the Ruby valley.  This time of year when I'm not wrapping bugs, catching some frozen browns or influencing the minds of Twin Bridges youth (substitute teaching) I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. One of the easiest things I make is beer bread.  The recipe is incredibly simple and it creates a great thick bread that does an excellent job of soaking up soup or chili.  Of course when making beer bread (which takes one bottle of beer in the recipe, and several in me) I opt for one of the fishing themed montana beers.  This past week I went for the Double Haul IPA, and it was good, but I think the best so far has been Moose Drool beer bread.  Here's the recipe I've used, and it doesn't get any easier, give it a try: Recipe.
Double Haul beer bread and chicken corn chowder.  Makes the winter go by a little quicker.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mills Mojo

The delay between posts is because I have been out in the 509 for the past three weeks rowing and swinging.  Last tuesday after an excellent day on the Klick with good friend Steve, we awoke to a chocolate milkshake flowing by the Stinson boat ramp (3rd blow out for us in 3 years running).  Rather than sour the taste of you good day prior by fishing in the mud, we decided to pack it in and I headed north.

The initial jump from this fish was awesome!

I arrived at my new location about 3 and met up with Brazdel for a little evening spey casting and we proceeded to go 0-3.  Thanks to an alignment of stars, Brazdel and I both had the following day off and went on an exploratory swing float.
Beauty of a Bull for Jethro.

The first run we got to was our Mojo run from the night before, and as I looked into my fly box I grabbed a black/blue swinging bug that my buddy Mills had given me the week before.  Black and blue is always a go to for me, and at this point my buddy Mills' steelhead fishing was done for the year because his wife was due for their first child any day.  I stepped into the bucket and made about a dozen casts I felt my fly tap two rocks, swing another five feet, and then one of those tugs that feels like a rock, but more like a green and red and silver rock then the moss covered, fly-losing kind.  I let a little loop go (rare occurrence for me) and came tight.  A couple minutes later I slid a beautifully colored hatchery fish onto the bank with the black and blue Mills' bug in the top of it's mouth.  After I dispatched of the fish and took a couple quick shots, I texted Mills a picture of his fly on the cherry gill plate of the fish and thanked him for the good bug.  His response was equally as exciting to me as the fish: "Sweet.  At the hospital, it's go time!"  The next day I received a picture of their new huge (Josh is nearly 7' tall) baby boy!  Congratulations to both  Josh and Kallie and their new, healthy baby!  I know that the joy of their special day transfered some mojo to the fly Josh had given me the week before.  For more about baby mills, and a great piece that Josh wrote for Deneki outdoors about his new son, check out Millsfly.

Thanks Mills!