Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Back to the lake....

Got up early and headed back to the lake with Captain Dax. It was a brisk, breezy morning to say the least. Shoved off and set out to find some Cutthroats. We found them and had a blast, great day on the water. Could have used a smidgen less wind though, nothing a 454 engine can't handle.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Day of Days---- Four Hatches, One Day - Drake Trip #1

The call came in, now this was not the "hey the so and so river is going off" type of call.... it was THE call. You know the one that you have always dreamed about, search for, and anticipated since last years disappointing ring. Yep, the Green Drake hatch was going off!!! The source was reliable and I am very happy to say it was not at the local river, it was off the beaten path, tucked away from the public eye.

That night I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning ... I couldn't sleep a wink, my mind was racing, oh the possibilities, then came the past let downs but the what "if" question's are the one's that kept me awake until the early hours of the morning. Morning finally arrived, a few short hours later. With the little sleep that I got I was surprisingly energized, the growing anticipation was now running at full bore. I grabbed my bags and off I went to the rendezvous spot to meet up with the informant, Cheech. The drive went rather quickly, the beautiful scenery and the many fishing holes along the way kept my thoughts from the Drakes but for only a few moments.

I was in such a hurry this morning that I think I forgot something...whoops...I was trying to remember if I had everything, the check list was constantly being repeated in my head... 2wt… Check... 236.7 fly boxes...check… Camera... check... Reel... uh, oh, um, jeez hope so... Pack… Check... go-go juice (Red Bulls)… Check... brain... shoot where did I leave it... wading belt... nope. Oh well, its always something and I was glad it was the belt and not the reel!

We packed up and started the hike to the water, finally. On the hill the first glance the water was seen, it looked like it always does, quiet, peaceful and inviting but we were still too far to determine any specific insect activity. The trail to the water is, well, how do you say, a pain in the arse... bushwhacking through a maze of green fences under a few bushes and ta-da the river... few... Rigging up there was just a little hesitation but I went with the adult Green Drake, that's why we are here so got the bump to first string.

Turning over a few rocks you could view a variety of insects.... but there they were, the Drake nymphs, they look like their on steroids, stout, lean and very healthy. They were plentiful, a good sign but hope we are not too early in this game. Ah, the first few flying adult insects were coming into view, looks a bit on the small side… first suspect identified... Caddis, kind of a let down... oh wait we have more incoming... drum roll.... adult Green Drake!!! Then another, woo-hoo, it's on!!

The first few cast reveled that the size 12 adult fly was right on target. Cheech was with was catching them on many different patterns and even caught them on a new secret prototype that has been producing rather consistently on many different waters. I also started to switch as well, to my uh secret store bought flies : ) A nice looking run would appear to be vacant, no action going on, but as soon as you made a few casts there was a strike at most every spot. We took turns and rotated after each fish, I would somehow always start. I would picked off the little ones out of the back of the hole and let my partner catch the big ones, this was embarrassing, an outrage: ) Every hole held the same scenario. Don't get me wrong, I got my fair share of fat healthy 14-16" Browns, all off a dry fly!!!

After a few minutes another player introduced itself to the field, Stone flies.... What, a Stone Fly hatch too, score!! They too were everywhere along with the Drakes and Caddis. Now we were switching from big green flies to big brown flies and than back again, the fish however could care less they just wanted something large and in-charge to be thrown at them. This continued for hours, yes hours. Each cast had the possibility to be a hit, sometimes five hits per hole. I would get one, Cheech would get one, this continued through out the 10 hour fishing day.

As the day went on we were getting hungry. At every bend we were getting hungrier, stomach's were yelling feed me. We would both say, "after the next hole let's stop for lunch", and right after fishing the hole we would wind up and start walking to the trail. We would both look up the stream and say " how about right after this stretch" and repeated this scenario until we couldn't bare it any longer, we were starving... not really but extremely hungry. Funny what good fishing will make you do, how it controls you, it's so hard to leave. Lunch added much needed fuel for the evening session; a few PB&J's, Red Bulls and an energy bar did the trick. We were ready to get back to the water!! But had no idea the events to come....

After lunch we made a move upstream. Upon getting back to the water a fish was hooked on the first cast, not mine though, smiles were big and spirits were high. The green bugs were disappearing though and the Stone Flies were all but gone... You could see a few here and there but the fish were keying in on another insect... Caddis. A prolific hatch was getting underway, the sky looked liked a fuzzy black and white television scene. Caddis were swarming, a few Drakes and stones were also in the mix, and a new arrival came in... Rusty Spinners, everywhere. This was insane!!!! Rusty Spinners didn't seem to play a role in the fishes mind but they had no problem eating a Caddis adult!!! This continued for the duration of the evening, until the sun had left the sky and it was dark... because each bend of the stream could not be passed by without a cast.

We reeled up looked for the exit... and gasped... uh-oh, how do we get out of here. It was dark and we didn't bring our head lamps, oops! So we just went straight through a wall of brush, some small trees, bushes, sharp objects, sticks, prickly plants.... the entire time I had a script visually stamped in my brain.... Us walking trough the forest like two idiots in the night and stumbling upon a Moose, the end... but I couldn't help from thinking that we just had a epic day on the river and at least we got to fish before getting run in by a angry Moose. After about 20 minutes of bulldozing trough the labyrinth we finally made it to the trail. The hike back was full of memories and tales of far away fishing, a few jokes about the days events and the amazement of getting to be apart of one of the greatest hatched known. Those who know never say where and those who know always smile when the Green Drake hatch is talked about. Most people never truly get to fish a good hatch such as this, what a day!!!

Back to the High-Country

After the last visit I couldn't wait to get back to the backcountry. Caught a few hungry fish and took some landscape pics....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fly of the Week - Pulsating Caddis

Size: 14 -18

Hook: TMC 2457

Bead: Black or Gold bead.. I prefer black

Abdomen: 3 glass beads (caddis green) surrounded by loose course brown dubbing

Wing: Partridge hackle tips or Wood Duck flank fibers

Thorax: Brown dubbing

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The search continues

What is going on in the world today? When did everything start to fall apart? Where was I? After loosing a good friend I have discovered and old value that I once set into stone for my life...If you are not doing what you want to be doing then what is the point... I am not on this planet to work as a servant for money hungry crooks, to consume, spend, and repeat until I die. That's a waste of life, disrespect to life and just plain old boring. If you are wasting time then you obviously have no value in life itself, worthless living...robotic... At one point in my life I had the ambition and ventured into the unknown and feasted upon the life's energy, gazed at the end of the world and then kept on walking, there is never an end, its just an illusion. The unknown is not unknown people just call it that. What they might be trying to state is the fact that they are content with and have settled for their time spent, The everyday routine becomes a crutch, something people can depend on. I have always been asked the same question throughout my life, what do you do? Do for what, is my usual reply. For work they say, talk of jobs and education is almost always next. I listen to what they have to say and then state my rebuttal…. I work the least I can, my life is too important to waste and explain that half of my year is spent working so the other half of the year I can enjoy the mountains. I guess that either I look or act like a total uneducated person or everyone is really concerned with what the other guy does for work. I cannot relate to them on any level. Now I have neither Harvard degree nor any degree for that matter, but I have educated myself with worldly things, adventures and life itself. To me that is something, to others its nothing, but inside I know that what I spent my life doing was worthwhile and not a waist. To many it probably sounds like hogwash but to those that really know what life is really worth is makes perfect sense. The lure of the unknown is too powerful to stop my search, so it will continue. I have subconsciously been traveling in search for these things most of my life. The second question I hear after the first long drawn out conversation seems to be…where will it take you? To be honest, I have no idea but it has never bothered me or failed to exceed my expectations in life. To me and the very small population of like-minded individuals life is worth living not trying to make it through the standard daily grind for the weekly paycheck to pay all the bills that good credit can afford.

Yep, once again I am searching for the elusive addiction. Once again the map and compass (I mean GPS and Goggle Earth) are the best ways to travel, the streams with no trail are the exact areas that I will be targeting. Funny though, I'm back at the place that I always wanted to leave. As a kid the thought of fish in far away destinations always sounded so grand, believe me it still does today but not at this point in my life. I spent more than the last decade tracking the big fish dream but fishing at home has a mystic about it that I cannot quite figure out. So off in search of that treasure that we all seek, mine is somewhere on a map that looks like small squiggly blue lines and holds a bounty of native cutthroat trout. There are so many of these small streams and river systems but each is unique in its own way and each holds its own treasures. Target…Cutthroat, they seem live in the most pristine environments, where man has not disrupted nature's life, where clean clear pure mountain water is a must and the land is in its own harmony. This usually means that it's far, remote and not an easy task to get there. For me this means that it’s a place seldom visited which makes my brain think about all the possibilities. I ponder this area sometimes for only a second before I have map in front of me planning the trek to sooth my soul. So, this summer and fall will be a great adventure and I have already started the search.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Fishing Quote

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau

The Berry

Fished Strawberry this morning, cool temperature and clear skies. It was a great day to head up to get in some stillwater action in. Regina and I hopped in with Captain Dax , a long time ski buddy of ours. Well we threw everything we had at them: flies, tube jigs, rapalas, pop-gear, troll, dread-drift, jig... we picked up a few but nothing that would claim this day as easy or fast fishing by any means. It was a slow day. We each caught a few nothing out of the slot limit. Even Regina got one, her first "Berry Cut". All in all it was a great day on the lake, cool temperatures soon became warm temperatures and there was little if any breeze, smooth sailing.

High Country Thaw

Been a while since my last entry, fortunately it's because I have been busy fishing.

I have been waiting for the high-country to thaw since it froze. I was on a mission to get up there before the crowds and definitely before Memorial day weekend. Well, I did and it was a blast. A few of the lakes were already clear of ice others were still caped and this one was in the first stage of the melt. Hungry fish would attack anything that came their way. On this trip they were happy to take my prince nymph. Upon my arrival I noticed that a few other like minded individuals were already there and fishing the spot that I had anticipated on hitting. Chatted with a few minutes and moved on around the corner but in eye sight of the hole I wanted to fish. After a few minutes they reeled up and headed out. Perfect!!! I quickly walked extremely briskly to the treasure. First cast out... good placement... one - one thousand, and first at bat was a small Grayling, awesome....

second cast, same spot... one- one thousand, two -one, and here comes a planter Rainbow, sweet!!!

third cast... same spot...this time, gave the fly a little movement and a small Brookie... .... three casts, three different Trout.

Now my goal was to actually get a Tiger Trout, I stayed there until it started to snow again, caught a few more fish but no Tiger, oh well almost got all four. It was a great day to be up there and I can't wait to return.