Got out for an afternoon on the Beav yesterday for a cold memorial day celebration. Thanks to those who served and allow for us to enjoy life the way we do!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Had a mixed bag of conditions this past week around Twin Bridges, and ended up with a couple rocking days of fishing, and one where we had to work harder to get em.
The weekend continued out the average weather we have been having, which kept the freestones in shape and fishing super consistent. Sunday, just as you could see the rain building in the distance I started to see the caddis that can lead to amazing May dry fly fishing. Unfortunately the fish weren't ready to eat them on top, and the rain caught up to us late sunday night, sending a flush of water that hasn't subsided yet. Fortunately we have the Beav, and now that the upper is open it's a great option when there is too much water.
I spent two days up below the dam this week, and it was busy as expected, but as usuall people were friendly and showed good etiquette. Clark Canyon Creek was a little muddy, but we fished to henne one day, and certainly could have the second had we wanted to. The first day fishing was a little rough, but we had a great time, and hooked a couple of the crankers that enjoyed the high water through the winter months. Wednesday we threw in at 1:00 thinking everyone would be through the top, which was not the case, but caught some good fish regardless, and welcomed Bubba back to Montana, trout style.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
We've been having a sweet combination of warm days and rainy days, a perfect combination for runoff, which has bumped everything up pretty good. Check out this great video from the boys at Headhunters. If there are some guys that know how to fish big water it is them, since there homewater is the confluence of everything we fish this time of year (plus the gallatin). Even though as a giant tailwater the Mo is rather unique, and I don't often nymph that deep, this inside out type of fishing is a great technique anywhere when you're dealing with big flows. Also, take note to what Mark says about his leader setup, this makes a huge difference and although I tune mine slightly different, the 2x from the bobber down is huge. Check out that hookset too, booyah!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
For those who haven't noticed, on the bottom right corner of the blog is a banner link that says "stop eating wild steelhead" and if you haven't clicked it yet, get on it! If you don't already know, wild steelhead are ESA listed in many parts of the Northwest, or on the way to being ESA listed. There are many different factors that have led to the rapid decline of steelhead, one of which is the netting and sale of steelhead at restaurants and markets. After a successful campaign last winter that stopped pikes place market from selling wild steelhead, Evan Burck has formed a more unified group for outing those restaurants and markets selling wild steelhead, and notifying them about the peril of the fish they are selling.
|See that adipose fin? That means it's the real-deal and not meant for eating.|
Evan and I have been friends since we were about 5 years old, grew up fishing together, and after different paths out of school, have both ended up being very passionate about the conservation and protection of steelhead. Here is what evan had to say about the cause:
"I mainly want it to be a place of info for things dealing with steelhead harvest, management, ethics, etc. "Eating" steelhead is both a literal and metaphorical thing in this case... We don't have to eat them to be doing damage to them. I think that if we are users of a resource, we should be doing something to give back to it. I'm trying to get people informed and passionate about making sure this resource lasts. With the general apathy of the situation within the angling community, and the general public's ignorance, something needs to be done to bring these topics to people's attention."
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
|No brown trout were lost by crazy predictions either.|
Friday, May 20, 2011
|Tying on ANOTHER fly for Brett (not really). All photos by Brett Seng.|
May and June is an interesting time in Southwest Montana. There is always a small amount of risk involved with coming to Montana this time of year as the rivers can be big and brown, but one of the benefits to fishing around Twin Bridges is the amount of tailwaters nearby. When the freestones are fishing they typically are on fire this time of year, but when they blow out you fill up the tank and head for the bottom of a dam. B.Seng and I got to guide together for my first couple of trips after the ACL, and we spent a day on the Beav, a day on the Madi, and then a day in the same boat for a tag team guide trip with one angler on the Mo.
All three rivers fished well, and although they are all tailwaters they all fish very differently. The Madi, which fishes and acts like a freestone, was definitely the most difficult of the three days. The Ron Burgundy was definitely the hot fly in all three locations, and a bobber with the appropriate amount of lead were key.
|Thunk is the noise this trout is about to make|
|Check out the worms flying out of there.|
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Since we have a temporary hiatus on Backyard flow, I thought I would take this opportunity to create a new weekly segment. The Escape Series will feature photos that take you away from wherever you may find your self on a Monday morning. I often find my self framing hero shots in this similar fashion, with the angler taking up the majority of the side third and showcasing the scenery of where the fish was caught. This brings a lot more to a typical hero shot, showing not just the beauty of the fish but also the beauty of the areas we fish.
Post processing done with Aperture 2.0. Selective dodging on shadowed areas, primarily on the face. Luminance of blue hues dialed down. Small bump to contrast and black point.
Friday, May 13, 2011
So for the summer I am switching things up and rather than the Backyard Flow we have tried to do most fridays, we will throw up a Friday fishing report. Most of the content will be about SW Montana, but if c-squad does something in Central Washington he'll be sure to post it. Most of them will be nowhere near as long as todays, but there was a ton of funny things that happened yesterday, so I have to share.
Yesterday while drinking my morning coffee and debating on tying more worms or mowing the lawn, B.Seng, fellow guide at The Stonefly Inn, called me and reminded me that because of my knee surgery he was guiding a single angler, and that if I wanted to go fishing he'd swing by on his way out of town and let my gimp ass sit in the back of the boat. After a couple minutes of lawn mowing thoughts I did my usual mind trick and erased all notions of responsibility and got my gear together. After picking up his truck from the shop for a brake job, Brett and his guest Ryan picked me up and we did something I rarely do, drove past the flashing light in the middle of Twin Bridges and went to the Madison.
We dropped down through Ennis, and as we pulled into Varney Bridge, Brett's truck starting making a weird rattle from the front left brake. After stopping and checking it out, Brett declared it good to go, and he backed in to launch his boat. At this point we all realized something was really wrong with the brake as it made a loud groan and stopped working, smack in the middle of the varney boat launch. In order to launch the boat we pulled the trailer off of the truck, slid it down the ramp, launched, then hauled it up by hand. Brett made a call to the mechanic who did the brake job the day before, and he agreed to drive over and fix his truck at the boat launch, which was very nice for saving our fishing day, but forced us to change our shuttle time, a change that the shuttle driver could apparently not comprehend.
After finally getting into the water, Ryan hooked up in the first decent piece of water, and we all thought it was going to be game on. This of course would not be the case, and it was several hours before we finally put a couple of trout in the boat. About 2:30 a nice string of clouds rolled over and fishing got somewhat consistent, but still left us scratching our heads. There was not a full blown mothers day hatch, but there was certainly enough caddis around that our pupa's should have produced better than they did. Although we didn't break any records, the fish that hooked were really good ones, including a cranker that handed Ryan his ass just below the 8 mile take out. This was defintely one of those fish that you want to at least see if you can't land it.
As mentioned above, changing shuttle plans because of the brake situation was a little much for yesterday, so when we arrived at valley garden Brett's truck had not be moved. Fortunatley a couple of guides on a day off were able to give Brett a ride up to Varney while Ryan and I kicked back and drank a beer at the take out. Every guide season we all have days like yesterday, and lucky for Brett he got his out fo the way early this year. It was definitely a great time, and really nice to sit in the back of the boat and tell Brett where to row, what flies to tie on, and complain when we were not catching very many. I am sure that he appreciated my constructive criticism.
"Maui doesn't really have any good flats to speak of but I have been able to fine a few small shallows or "flats" in Kihei. After several outings and attempts, today I was finally able to connect with a nice bonefish and some tourists walking on the beach collecting shells were willing to take some photos with my iPhone (hence the poor quality). The fish had almost all of my backing within seconds and it was defiantly my most exciting fight on a fly rod to date."
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
|The Lane Bryant, prom dress for big girls, doing work.|
Rather than tying the flashabou in one color on both top and bottom of the shank, I began tying the flash on only the top of the hook, in two different segments (similar to an intruder). I also started using three different colors of flash which blended together nicely when wet. To create the segments and puff up the flashabou I used EP Anadramous advantage brushes rather then a dubbing ball or similar technique. If you haven't tied with these brushed get ahold of some, they are a great simple way to add bulk without weight to your flies, and they shed water incredibly well. The color scheme of the version above is similar to Tyler's fly, "the elk". The signature part of "the elk" is the white butt, which contrasts nicely in the dark fly. Here is a fly pic and recipe.
Shank: 35mm Waddington, Beadalon trailing material, #2 or #1 Owner SSW.
Butt: 3-4 wraps EP Anadramous advantage brush, white
Tail Wing: Blue Flashabou
Body: Blue flashy diamond braid or similar low bulk material.
Front Bump: EP Anadramous advantage brush, black
Wing: Flashabou layered in this order: Blue, Purple, Black
Notes: Everything is pretty self explanatory, and tied on in the order of the recipe. The only thing that I do different is tying on the flashabou. Rather than tying it on and clipping it on the front edge of the thread at the hook, I cut what I assume would be half the number of strands that I want, but twice as long as I want (For the above fly, that was the length of the package of flashabou). I then tie the flashabou on in the middle of the strands, and fold it back, doubling the flashabou back on itself, then tie it off. This saves space at the head of the fly, and also creates a good "bubbled" or "puffed" look to the flashabou and gets it to stand off that hook even more.
Also, the fly in the vice is the same one that is in the fishes mouth, and caught another fish between the above picture and making it into the vice. Let's just say it had some serious mojo.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Here is to a new week- started the good way! Today The Honest Angler announced the winner for last weeks Simms photo contest. The theme was fishing buddies. I entered several pictures, and the folks over at Simms chose this picture of Jergens with fellow Stonefly Inn guide Brett Seng.
This weeks topic is "extreme fishing." Entries can be emailed to email@example.com.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
|Warmth and Haze= perfection.|
Friday, May 6, 2011
|Sunset on the Beaverhead last Friday.|
I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water...has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river. -Roderick Haig-Brown
Thursday, May 5, 2011
|A great Yakima rainbow. Better management will definitely help these guys.|
There is a very interesting project being proposed for the Upper Yakima basin. This project includes putting in a new billion dollar dam, called the Wymer Dam, at Lluma Creek in the lower canyon, and pumping water from the upper river to the new dam to fill the resevoir, with the outcome of providing more water for irrigation in the lower valley. This project is designed to provide more storage for irrigation in the Lower Yakima
If you look at the yearly hydrograph for the Yakima, it is the opposite of how a natural river should behave. In the spring the Yakima flows big with runoff, and has short bursts of snowmelt, but then stabilizes at a much higher then normal volume from June till September. The water is then cut off at the beginning of September as lower valley irrigation needs are met by the Naches watershed. This cutoff, known as the flip flop, drops the Yakima from 3,000 to 4,000 cfs to typically 1,000 cfs in a matter of a week. The large summer flows combined with the sharp flip flop create less than ideal conditions for trout, and although the yakima does support a healthy population of trout and an increasing amount of salmon and steelhead, a natural hydrograph would certainly help the watershed.
I am not sure that this dam is needed, but better control of the Yakima's flows would certainly be a benefit if this project is completed, and the potential to help fish in the Yakima is certainly there. Here is a link to more info on the Wymer dam project from The Osprey: Link. Below you can find the action list from the Osprey along with contact info. Make sure that comments are submitted by the 19th of May.
From The Osprey:
All told the plan has the potential to greatly benefit fish populations in the Yakima basin, but it is critical that the measures which benefit fisheries be implemented fully and be given equal priority in federally appropriated funds. Comment today on the draft plan and tell the department of Ecology to:
- Prioritize fish recovery and water conservation actions for immediate implementation even without congressional authorization for the full $4 billion in funding.
- Increase storage capacity only after thorough environmental review and a determination that doing so will not have undue impacts on listed bull trout or other species.
- Manage increased water storage such that it provides a more natural hydrograph and improved habitat conditions in the mainstem Yakima, and Naches Rivers.
- Prioritize protection and restoration of the Teanaway River basin, where there is an imminent development threat but also considerable potential for salmon, steelhead, and bull trout recovery.
- Include in the EIS an assessment of how the various alternatives will (or won’t) help fish populations survive and recover in the face of climate change
Attention: Candace McKinley, Environmental Program manager,
1917 Marsh Road
Yakima, WA 98901;
or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 2, 2011
|Dave Henry of 2handedtrout, check out his report from the Bow.|
Check out the new website coming out of Langley, B.C. 2handedtrout. The name explains itself, a site focused on using two handers for trout. With as many options out there now for light switch rods and light spey rods, you really don't hear or see too many guys fishing trout with them. I bring my 6wt spey in the boat in the fall to get tuned up before fall steelhead season but need to utilize it as a tool more regularly, especially with some of the options we have for bigger trout around here. When I was on the Yakima and had consistent winter fishing, a switch rod was the ideal tool for swinging a light tip and a bugger, and lead to some great afternoons of fishing. If you already throw the big boy rod for trout, or are just thinking about it, take a look at 2handedtrout.