Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bass on a Fly

I finally got the opportunity to target Bass with a fly.
The day started off with a few strikes on top but nothing special. Cheech picked up a Bass pretty quickly and I stayed with my foam frog. To my surprise a little "Brimma" (Blue-Gill) took the foam frog. It was not a real productive fly but I really wanted to catch fish using my own creations. Cheech went tight again. Alrighty then, I need to re-think my choice of flies. He was fishing subsurface using dumbbell eyes with rubber legs. Looking through my box the only thing I found was a small crawdad imitation that I use at Strawberry. So on it goes. We decided to sight fish, which made all the difference. We searched out the shoreline looking for Mr. Bass. Well... I got one! Holy smokes I thought my rod was going to break... but it didn't. I was on again! This little disregarded fly that patiently sits in my fly box surrounded by veteran solders was today's unsung hero. Cheech and I took turns hooking Bass and taking photos. In a few hours we had landed a dozen or so along with a few small blue-gill. Time was running out for me on this adventure, I had responsibilities to attend to, work. We motored back to the dock after a great day on the water. At the dock there are some really nice looking Bass. These fish get fished for by every angler that passes by. I am sure they have seen every fly, lure and trick in the book. Well, they haven't seen mine. To my surprise I was lucky enough to hook a few more.... in front of the "bait chuckers" none the less, he he he...

Another great adventure to add to my life and I can't wait to go back to try it again. After I felt the tug of a Bass, I can't help but think of what it would be like to catch a Carp with a fly.....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mountain Streams

Small mountain streams...... I do not expect to catch trophy Trout there but I do expect uncrowded water, pristine scenery and freedom of not paying for gas, taxes and the American Dream. I enjoy the solitude but its the adventure that keeps me coming back.

Today Andy and I visited a favorite creek, one that we both frequent a few times a week. I was surprised to see how low the water was and realized that the low snow pack could have a big impact on these delicate streams. ...Andy casting to rising fish

Fishing a small stream is not the easiest thing to do. There are no wide open spaces for a back cast, brush seems to be a constant enemy and don't forget about the sunken snags at almost every good hole. Tight casting combined with spooky fish can make a mountain stream a real challenge. The good thing is that it can make you a better fisherman. Matching a hatch is not as important as getting the right drift, having line control and being able to tie funky looking flies. These places do not have a high population of fish per mile, so you need to bring your game every time. To be blunt, this is a obstacle course from hell. It never ceases to amaze me of all the unconventional ways I find to get my fly out there, anything goes. These fish don't really care about your exact replica of an insect that you know the genius of, what kind of materials were used, what major mall brand you were shopping at nor do they care about your name brand equipment, line weight, bank statement, 401K, sunglasses and they don't give a second thought to the car you drove/pushed to get there. They can skunk the greatest of fishermen, break the most patient man and make rookies feel like hero's. Because here its all about the perfect picture. When you get all the factors right they will let you know by attacking everything that you through at them... over and over and over and over. These fish can attack a fly ten times their size with shocking vengeance, I have been in awe thinking that this little 8 inch fish hit my fly harder than most larger river fish. When you get it right, this art can be some of the fastest fishing you have ever encountered.

A birds eye view of Andys strategy, yep he got one on that cast.

To me small streams are a beautiful place to fish and there is no place that I would rather go. I have gone back to where I started my love for fishing, small mountain creeks. I guess its the lure of the unknown that takes me to places that only a map and compass are familiar with. Call me crazy but a 8 inch fish in the middle of nowhere is what I call heaven.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Big Dry's = Big Brown's

The anticipation of the day to come was running through my mind. I had heard that guys were taking some big fish off the top- (18"- 20" is considered "big" on this river) Although, I know this area is more notorious for its nymphing action, the thought of the "what ifs" kept me awake.

This time of year large Stoneflies are beginning to hatch. Now these fish are more accustom to tiny, and I mean tiny insects as their main staple for most of the year, so when the Stoneflies are hatching anything is possible... yummm steak diner......

The morning started off slow, really slow. I went to a dry dropper but quickly switched to my go to rig for this river... the bounce-rig. There are many native Rocky Mountain Bone's here and I figured that some action is better than no action. After switching from fly to fly I began to really wonder what is going on. I had a big strike on a dry but swapped out again for the nymph rig. One of the guys finally hooked up, ON TOP! Wow, maybe it will happen. I kept dragging the bottom while Cheech started to pick a few Bones up. What area you using I asked, to my surprise some stonefly nymph imitations. A rather large fly for a bottom lipped whitey to eat, I did not clue in on this until he had about a half dozen of them. So, I rigged with a similar pattern, aftera short time I was about to give up when.... I finally got one, a whitey, then another and another. I quickly caught a few and then things began to slow so I decided to find the others. After I reached them I discovered that another had been taken OFF THE TOP. Cheech had switched to a dry and I kept with the nymph rig.... Mistake on my part....Bob and one of his many monsters

Some great fish were taken that day, Bob stuck with his plan of dry fly fishing and it paid off big time. Cheech switched over and picked off a few brutes as well. Meanwhile, I am STILL hucking lead and have almost gone through about every size shape and color of nymph in my box and found nothing that is really sanding out.... SO .... I finally began looking for something that resembled the same shape and color of the dry flies. I had a choice between a black cricket with a slender profile or a hopper with a dark green under-body, oops should have thought of that LAST night!! So, I put the cricket on... got a hit... set the hook... felt the tug... snap... the line broke, @#*% ^ bleep bleep ^ %$@$!!! That only leaves the hopper. Well, I finally got one after many strikes. It was a great day! Bob caught tons of great looking fish Cheech cleaned up as usual and I pulled it off at the last second. I will be more prepared next time
and I think it is going to have to be sooner rather than later.

Me to the left and Cheech right both fish taken on Drys

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stillwater Fishing

I was invited to do some "Stillwater" fishing - mom its"lake" fishing, fly-fisherman gave it a fancy name : ) I was so excited because I was going to be using a pontoon boat for the first time and I have been hearing how fast the fishing is there. The big bonus was that I get to learn from some of the better Stillwater guys out there.... and... test out my "Blue & Green bugger" creations.

Curtis and Cheech, Doug S and Herb, Blue Bugger

The test went great, could have been better, but they worked - this fall I am going to give it another try.
I actually caught two dumb rainbows with the blue one, green a few dozen!! I was so excited. The lake fished great, actually too well. Between the five of us we were able to land hundreds, yes that's right hundreds of fish. I had the least amount and was just trying to keep up; some of the guys were well over a hundred. I was struggling at first, learning how to cast from a sitting position, figuring out how to maneuver and not get blown around, it was all new to me and I enjoyed every second. I was just trying to watch and learn from the guru's and have fun. Everyone was nice enough to give me advice and with that I was able to start picking them up.
Cheech left and Curtis right

One particular moment after traveling to the other side I herd a "splat" on the back of my toon. Looking behind me to see what had happened, I was surprised to see a fish flapping frantically next to my cooler. I took a second to register but I realized that the joke was on me, nothing like a "rainbow" toss from the boat off the starboard side to give you a laugh, perfect shot! I also remember the same guy squirting fish eggs at someone else, great times.

We traveled to another spot and just went to explore, to see what happens. That turned out to be a good call! The fish we
re just feet if not inches off the shoreline. You would see a rise or a fin, cast just beyond it and then hold on. In a short time I had hooked a dozen really healthy Rainbows. Cheech even started fishing dry and soft hackle flies and picked off a few. All in all it was a great day, I learned a lot and the fishing was superb! Can't wait to return.
This fish was caught just inches from the shore. I was fun sight fishing for cruising fish. At times I found myself crouching down like I was stalking a river fish. For how good the fishing was there was only one other person that was there. Jeez... what a gem!

One of the greatest things is making your own flies and catching a fish with it. I got to use almost all my own creations this trip. I was given a few different flies that also produced fish but wanted to just through my own. That evening I got to fish them and what a riot it was! Here is also a picture of the " Buggers"..... No I did not rub my extra garlic crust with roasted garlic sauce that had garlic encrusted chicken on top, pizza onto the fly... I already did that while I was tying them J/K.... Had to put the pizza down to fight the fish, after I released it I noticed a tad bit of rainbow caviar was kindly left by the fish. Wow, not only are they easy to catch but if you let them go they give you free sushi.

My Green Bugger and my Blue Bugger. Both worked but Green out-fished Blue.... Score Green 1 Blue 0 ..To be continued...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Fished a place where there was a "controlled" fire; one guy and a Got a few pics this one really did not have anything "fishing related" going on and would be seen as a standard bland shot, but kind of cool at the same time. Took this picture and went to the "drawing board".A little imagination, time and Patience.... This is what I came up with...... What do you think?