Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back to my roots..

Ive been fishing quite a bit in the last week, and basicly doing rather poorly. 3-12, I would prefer numbers in the 7-12 range maybe even 10-12, but not likely. In the last week the rivers have blown out, its snowed 8 inches, I was late to a fishing trip and Ive turned down 3 offers to go fishing and had high muddy fast water to deal with. I sat in my man-cave thinking of my week of fishing and trying to figure out why I haven't really had fun on most of my trips this year. Glancing to the corner of the room my eye's spied my RPL, adorned with a very sexy Ross CLA covered in dust, sad and feeling scorned.. it seemed to say... my grandfather was with you when you couldn't even hook a steelhead, and now this...why? I tipped my glass and waxed my lips with Jameson and stated matter of factly that the water this year was for the most part too high and mean to even land a fish if I managed to hook one. It turned and faced the wall again, and muttered.....the 30 year old Riverkeeper would have rather seen his sister in a whorehouse than his brother holding a spin rod....pussy So I threw the rod in the truck at 2 in the afternoon yesterday drove it 50 miles, and took it on a 5 mile bike ride behind a locked gate and into some of the best sight fishing Ive had all winter.... The 40 year old Riverkeeper is not a pussy, I think its time the spin rod collects a little dust-

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How not to work a steelhead...

I can't believe this guy posted this video, but im glad he did. Often I am asked by new steelheaders how to, or what to do when they get a fish, well this video contains the best examples of what NOT to do. 1. on the strike he did a perfect hook set, then he lays the wood to the fish 2 more times, with an uphill hit with the fisherman below the fish this fish probably hooked himself as good as it was gonna get. 2. The angler then proceeds to "attack" the fish in the very first minutes of the fight, this fish spins on the surface soley becouse of how hard the angler is pulling up on it.. this fish should have been allowed to pull, without having the boots put to him. 3. NEVER put your hands on the blank of your rod, if there is not cork on it, then its not a place for your hands, this guy actually grabs the rod at the ferrule with a hot fish that is still green... the fish was nowhere near being ready to land without a net. must be an ugly stick.. becouse a loomis would be laying on the ground in 3 pieces. 4. You will only be able to tail about 1 out of 3 fish bare handed.. 1 out of 10 that are still as hot as this fish was when he tried to land it, and 1 out of 20 when the fish is a dink like this one, there is no girth to the tail, its simply gonna scoot righ through your grip like a bar of soap... a glove will improve the success rate of this dramaticly, he is wearing nitril gloves, but that is about as bad as a bare hand. but this fish was too hot to land anyway. 5. I don't understand why guys set themselves up for failure.. no net, from a rock ledge, across the river was a perfect drift with an exellent bank he could land a fish on, or chase a fish.. if this fish had run down through the tailout how was he gonna chase it? he started himself out already behind the 8 ball. I think my favorite part is how he kinda punks like he just let the fish go, when it clearly made a fool of him. But, in closing I will admit it was a sweet hook-up and he did at least touch it, myself I subscribe to the belief a hook-up on the first cast is bad luck for the rest of the day... but then I guess you don't need luck when you already got one in the first 3 minutes of the trip. Man I hope this Oregon flood ends soon... im starting to get cranky- Good fishing

Monday, January 16, 2012

Steelhead limit on glass...

Sorry to all who tried to read the post I deleted, The post was all scrambled when it appeared on the site, so I deleted it- Saturday was the only day available for me to fish this week, I typicaly don't fish the weekends due to the high pressure, but Ive been wanting to hook a steelhead to the business end of two new glass rods, so I went.... and it turned out pretty good for weekend fishing. I fished my new Wright&McGill S-Curve medium drifter spin rod.. landed 3 and kept 1 clear finned chromer, one was a pretty decent high finner around 30 inches. The second half of the day I fished my Cabelas C.G.R classic glass 7/8 wt... 3 fish all in the 6-8 lb range, once again retained a stunning clear finned chromer, both were nice hard fighting hens, and both rods performed exellent, I plan on doing full posts on both rods performances soon. I had been hoping a new reel was coming in the mail so I could introduce a whole new angle on hammering steel on the blog... soon perhaps.. Sorry about all the Fiberglassmanifesto content in the photos, ive been trying to get a good shot to enter in the T.F.M spotting contest.. can always use a new rod! Anyway this post was way better the first time I wrote it but now have lost heart in it so enjoy the Fish porn... Im going fishing again tomorrow, in a big snowstorm.. maybe that post will be more eloquent and more interesting- Good fishin-

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Invasive species..

Somewhere around 13,000 years ago man made his first appearance in North America, and has been screwing it up ever since. Todays post is a retort to a comment left on "windknots and Tangled lines" regarding a very large ( 32" 10 pound ) German brown trout that was senslesly destroyed in 2007 in the Madison river of Montana for just its skin ( meat from real skin mounts is almost never saved and eaten ) to be stretched over a piece of plastic for bragging rights. Most shocking of all was the statements made that the German brown is an invasive species so it basicly had it coming, I guess in hopes of making Montanas crown Jewel fishery better.. lets talk about what the German brown has done for Montana. On February 24th 1883 the first eggs of a German brown made first landfall on the shores of North America. Many purist were quite concerned with the dangers of this voracious carnivor trout, it would possibly decimate the native trouts of the rivers it would be planted in. In 1872 Yellowstone Park was created, at the time 40% of the parks waters were barren of fish, only 17 of 150 lakes contained populations of fish, while some were sterile by nature, many had been decimated by man. In 1913 Theodore Gordon a pioneer of North American fly fishing stated in Forest and stream magazine " many of us remember how poor our sport was before the German brown came in" The German brown trout is now one the most prevelent species of trout in the Madison river, one of its running partners the Rainbow trout is also an invasive species, but it seems whirling disease has been making short work of them. The cutthroat trout is the only native trout to this region, Rainbows prior to the McCloud strain transplants only existed in bodies of water in which Native Steelhead runs existed. The native Brook trout of the eastern portion of North America were virtualy destroyed by logging, dams, commercial harvest and a great deal in part by civil war soldiers who slaughtered them for food by the hundreds daily. In 1879 it was estimated that the fishers of that time would be the last Brook trout fishermen... German browns were introduced and thrived in the higher water temps that the Brookies were doing very poorly in. You cannot undo most of what man has done, Bass, Perch, Carp, and so many others are invasive species in most of the waters they inhabit, and they are here to stay. Same with German browns, Rainbows, and Brook trout, cuttbows, hatchery salmon and steelhead and humans, we are all parts of an enviromental disaster that started 13,000 years ago.. and continues to this day. Next time you see a photo of a human being standing in a Montana river holding a ten pound German brown or Rainbow, try to see if you can spot the most dangerous invasive species- If you can't be with the one you love...... love the one your with-

Now the project slows..

With the bottom completely off and a full inspection of the hull Im happy to say the show will go on. No rot in the side panels.. whew. It will take some time and possibly a trip to Seattle to produce a marine grade piece of plywood that is long enough for the bottom, but I will most likely have to scarf two 4x8 sheets together, wish me luck. The project will slow down considerably also due to the fact I have to do my taxes, put a new top and computer in my jeep tj, and finish the steel shop with a loft im building, and hopefuly get in on some of the ridiculously good steel fishing going on all around me. I hope to have her back together by the time the fish hit the clack and sandy in the big February pushes. Grace my 2.5 year old daughter and fishing companion has been sick with a fever for 3 days now, I hope she gets better soon- Good Fishin-

Monday, January 9, 2012

And it just keeps getting worse...

6 hours, 11 beers and 2 slivers later I managed to get the glass off the bottom of the drifter to have a look.. worse than I thought. It seems the glass work the previous owner did was very poor, trapping water in the wood and causing serious rot in 5 locations, fortunately none has moved into the side walls, if it had I wouldn't continue with the repair. Its funny how dissapointing an on the the water problem can be, but you later find out how important the problem brought to light actually is.. this boat was dangerous, and on a bigger river could have resulted in a much worse scenario, in the least a complete loss of all my gear.. or possibly a life. Wood boats are fragile, and must be stored, repaired and maintained differently than more conventional materials, wood is not for everyone. Funny this boat has always been stored indoors, but due to poor repair it sat inside with water trapped in it probably for several years. I hope to have the bottom completely off tonite, and then make the decision on whether to continue on with the project-

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Capt Crunch

I new I shouldn't put in, but I wanted it.. I mostly do what I want, and often pay for it, this one will cost me days, if not weeks. The Trask was too low to drift, at least for my 1985 wood drifter, The last time I drifted it was already too shallow.. but I did it anyway. First shallow run Eggs called a rock river left, I dodged right, CRUNCH.. "man that was a good one" Eggs said with a tone of worry in his voice, I faked it and said it was cool, ive hit harder. We pulled up on a gravel bar and fished the lower run, the hit weighed heavy on me, I walked back to the boat to grab a pack of smokes only to be met by 2 inches of water in the bottom of the boat. This is a fatal hit I thought. I pushed the boat 50 yards upriver to the last boat slide and we hauled out and headed To the NF Nehalem and fished out the day on foot. Put her in the garage today, 4 inch hole almost all the way through.. new bottom or burn.. Caron voted burn, folks have been telling me for a long time that im a glass or metal boat kinda guy, but only wood has warmth, life.. I won't abandon a friend... the war wagon will live again, I owe it to it...... its my boat, my friend, and it is a legend-

Friday, January 6, 2012

How To Cast a Fly..

It was in the Times of Atari and the great cola wars, a time of termoil in America, Ford Verses cheverolet, Mcdonalds or Burger King..Glass vs graphite.. no one in Indiana even knew about the middle east, gas just miraculously showed up at the gas n'go. But I was aware of none of this, I was eleven and had a bike a fly rod and a copy of the curtis creek manifesto, and thats all I had, Al Gore had not invented the internet yet, youtube was non-existant, and blogs were places in Scotland they went to get peet to fertilize those ridiculously nice gardens they seem to have everywhere. I was casting wooly buggers in the little Spokane river to mountain whitefish that I just couldn't seem to get to stick when I heard a voice behind me, Lord, you are only casting 10 feet and the tightest point in your loop is 19 feet over your head! The 30 something year old know it all then stepped into the silt choked river and walked up next to me.. "cast" I was struck with a bit of terror, "im gonna hook this fool if he doesn't move" I thought, but he was a rather intimidating guy so I did. I lifted my rod and began my cast long before any of my line was off the water, powering back I felt the sudden creepy thud of his hand as he grabbed my wrist and held it, my line shot up and fell all around us snaking in the water between our legs and then down stream. "did you feel that?" he said.. "feel what?" I replied.. "thats my point" He then told me to follow him up onto the gravel road that followed the river took my rod and began stripping line off to begin a cast. I freaked out a little after his first cast as he lifted the rod tip my line raced across the ground like a snake shooting gravel and dust as it lifted.. " your gonna ruin my flyline!" I shouted. He looked down and smiled, "its a shakesphere level line.. it was ruined when it left the factory" he said with a sideways smile. We worked for probably an hour and my cast improved more than it had in a year.. he taught me how to sense the rod and feel the stroke, my loops tightened, my distance improved and my cast all of a sudden had presentation, something it had lacked entirely previously. He dissapeared for a few minutes as I kept practicing my new found talent and then I noticed he was standing beside me once again. "Thank you, I don't really have anyone to show me any of this stuff" I said with a little bit of shame and embaracement in my voice.. " I really don't know anything about fly fishing" He reached over and handed me a Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 flyreel loaded with a wf line, "Practice, stay diligent, and trust the proccess.. thats everything you need to know about flyfishing" and then he walked away... I thank him, the first person I ever met who loved flyfishing the way I do, enough to help another fisher improve himself, I hope someday he finds this blog-

Thursday, January 5, 2012


It must be nice, discovering such a handy niche.. a decision has been made, evolution stop.. comfort, I would love to try your way, seems highly effective but unfortunately I am a purist.
Purist, possibly an early Galic term for fear, anxiety, lack of self confidence. A tool that explains away failure, lack of achievment or simply the desire to no longer evolve.. what a tool, a word like a mother with a lazy child, enabler.. I have been reading quite a bit about fly fishing and the pure side, the enchanted side, those that have apparently held high court with their inner emotions and made sense of the conflict that every predator must have. He looks to the bead as if its another mans wife, to go there would violate high church, High Church.. I actually heard someone refer to fly fishing as high church... really? We must after all stand for something or fall for anything..right? these are the thoughts and words of wolves in sheeps clothing that in the end wish to send young boys into battle, their battle, but not their children.. I would be careful how firm I stood on any belief that involved a group or class of people, that is how you end up holding a gun, or driving someone different from you to the edge of town.. get out, this is Purist town... flosser.

While I am just a childish 40 ( well actually 13094 days old ) I have learned that for the most part credo's and boxes rarely teach the world much or make anyones life better, I have enjoyed alot of the reads and conversations Ive encountered as of late but have drawn nothing from them, just fishing themed episodes of the Kardashians, conflicted folks with issues they can't work out.. issues that are simply non-issues, Ive come to the conclusion that these folks who appear to have figured it all out, while knowing a great deal about conflict and over analization.. know nothing about what fly fishing is really about- tight lines.