Wednesday, May 25, 2016

There's No Such Thing As A Loser...

That's right.  Only quitters.  And a quitter is someone who gave up on their dream.  A true winner is someone who will fight for their dream even when the world says they can't have it.  No one ever loses anything, they just simply give up on what they were after.  In the long run, isn't it better to say that you gave it your best shot instead of not trying at all?  

So what are we afraid of?  Let me put a fishing example out there.  Many of us that fly fish, have our go-to flies, our favorite rivers that we know very well.  

How often do we just throw our fly box in the car and go to a new place to scout out?  What are we afraid of?  That we might get skunked because we don't have the "experience" in this new water?  I will answer that question with a BIG "YES"!!  Folks, it's all about the adventure!

  I have decided to step outside the box for a day trip that I am taking next week.  It will be a challenge.  I expect that much.  But, I will make the best of it.  And I will throw my 6 or 7 years of experience into figuring it out.  I'm downright excited!  Because, you see, if I come up empty...  I tried my best.  Nothing to be ashamed of.   And if I catch and put fish in the net...  Then, I have improved my skills.   You see, winners are always learning and are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves.  They are positive thinkers and they work hard for what they believe in.  So, I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and head to the river "Unknown".  Because it's the challenges in life that make us stronger.

 A friend of mine had me read from Romans 5:4-5.  It tells us that patience produces character and character produces hope and this hope will never disappoint us.

        Do I hear an "Amen"?  = )

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Fly ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

There is a time in every fly fisherman's life, that he or she has a special day with just "one fly".   For some, it happens more often.  But, for me, I'm usually happy if two or three flies are working well  on a trip out.  If memory serves me right, I don't think that I have had an outing where "one fly" gave more than several dozen netted.

As the afternoon wore on, I kept looking at this magical fly.  A bit tattered with ends unraveling.  What once was tight, now was loose.   (That sounds like my skin)  Yes, this was not the prettiest fly.  It was downright ugly!  But, it was beautiful in my eyes as it had caught close to thirty fish.  Could it keep going?  Would I finally lose it under a rock or in a tree?  Oh, I didn't even want to venture such a thought.  I could stick it in my hat right now and call it good.  And leave it there for old time sake as a remembrance of a great day on the water.  Where had the time gone?  The sun had moved it's position in the sky.

I looked at the clock for the first time that day.  Ohhh... It was already that time that I was supposed to be back at the car.  It was time to go home.  Time had flown by and those boots had to go in the direction of the car now.  The slow walk back had me shaking my head how incredible the day had been.  There isn't a better feeling than being in the zone while fishing.  You don't always see things happen quickly and easily...  There are challenges in fly fishing.  And that is why it intrigues me.  But, once in awhile, we have that special day.  As I put my gear back into the car, I reached into my fly box to retrieve the "one fly" that would be stuck into my hat and to never be used again.  As I looked at my weather app, I noticed something startling.  The barometer was falling.  I had hit the front of a storm...  Don't ever tell me it doesn't effect the fish.  Lol.

The day needed to be capped off in style.  A cozy restaurant in the canyon that has a few peacocks strolling the grounds was a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the outside table on the porch.

Did I say that it was a perfect day?  That one on the left is mine.  A garlic bleu burger that is undoubtedly the best I've had.  Yummy!  

After using a single fly all day long, I had to look up the "single fly" competitions that I have always heard about.  No, I'm not ready to enter into one.  Haha.  But, this is what they are about.

The Utah Single Fly, held on Utah's beautiful Green River, is a fly fishing tournament whose goal is to raise funds to support TU's work to protect and restore streamflows in Utah and to fight the spread of aquatic invasive into Utah waters.

Teams consist of four anglers.  One fly per angler, one point per trout caught and released added to the total inches of two measured trout.  A “big trout bonus” of 5 points for a trout of 20‐22”.  “super
big trout bonus” of 10 points for a trout >22”.

I've heard that these are fun competitions for a great cause.  Now, I look up to those who have entered, as it isn't the easiest to select the "one fly" that takes in all your fish.  = )

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Back Roads Adventure

It was another epic adventure with "The Three Amigos" last month.  As we normally do, we met up in Montana, which ranks 44th in the U.S. population statistics.  And you can see why they have this ranking, as there are more back roads than highways.  And along those miles of no man's land are some 56 native fish species.  It is the place of my first Arctic Grayling.  And it is the "Amigos" meeting place every year at the end of March.  And each year we have different family/friends join us for some "trouting" along these back roads...

No, he wasn't on our adventure...

Here we are...

With our special guests... Squiggy and "Pa".

The gang was all here, ready to search and find some of the prettiest trout along our way.

As the rivers beckoned our most delicate casts with a dry fly at times, it gave back some rich rewards in return.  

But, in the end, it wasn't the trout we caught, but it was about the comaradarie that we share as close friends.  Friends who despite the many shenanigans and taking unexpected back roads, come back to Montana each year to share many laughs and fishy smiles.

Enjoy the slideshow of the "Back Roads Adventure"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hold That Housework!

Fly fishing brings so much joy to my life.  Sure, I could stay home and do more laundry and more cooking.  Huh?  Are you serious?  Well, when friends from out of state want to meet up, I drop everything... just temporarily.  = )  You see, my visitor was looking forward to fishing some new water.  I wanted to give her a little taste of some of my favorite riffles that hold some beautiful fish.  We would start the day... well, unloading!!  I brought another buddy of mine along, Joe.   He is one of the most knowledgable flyfishers I know.  Those two hit it off like old buddies.  Heather is on a whirlwind month long trip to visit friends from many western states and fish.  You can imagine what packing for a month looks like... Actually, I was amazed how orderly it was.  There was a system!  Haha

Heather is an seasoned angler.  She started a women's fly fishing group in WA., Spokane Women On The Fly.   She is quite accomplished in catching steelhead.  But, our day would be full of the other kind of rainbow trout.  I love this gal.  She is always full of smiles.  We have fished several times though a facebook group.  I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to share some good times on the water with her.

One catch after another, we hauled 'em in.   Then, watched them swim back to where they thought was a safe place.  = )  

We had a killer day, but we would still have been full of smiles if we hadn't caught as many...  Laughs are worth a million bucks.

Just remember that housework will always be there...

But, the opportunity to spend some fishing time with a visiting friend is now.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Don't Trust Your Memory.... Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Sometimes reminder lists are not so bad.  Whether they be grocery lists, to do lists, or travel lists.  My memory isn't what it was five years ago.  And when I got in a hurry a few days ago to get a few hours of fishing in before a doctor's appt...  Well, I forgot something.  And something that would be very important to a fly fisherman.  The waders!!  Yikes... The cold water from the dam would be felt through my wet wading pants for summer months.  April in Utah is still darn cold.   

But, it was too far for me to go all the way back home, so I suited up with my wet wading pants and boots.  A couple steps into the brisk water would teach me a lesson.  I told myself that I would stay for just one hour.  Catch a fish and call it good!  

Me, thinking that this is going to be a short stint...

So, I start walking down the path of no return (to get my waders) and I come upon this older gentleman, who is just getting ready to cast a fly into the water.  I tell him that I won't be there too long.  After he hears of my predicament, he offers me two "money" flies for that river that should get me that fish quickly, so I don't have to chill too long.  I already have my setup to start off with, so I tuck these flies away for the next fly change.  Well, I was lucky to have at least my sows that I tied the night before.  I had put those in my purse.  But, my clippers, forceps and two containers of the bugs for that day were in the wader pockets, miles away.  No need to fear.  Boom!  And another boom!  Well, he was amused.  I gave him my sows for him to try.  And gave him my spot as it seemed to be the "hot" spot for the time being.  A couple minutes later he had a nice brownie.  I caught a couple more and decided that I would like to feel my toes again.  Haha!  So, I left for the doctor visit.  But, what a great morning with a new friend and a great fishing companion.  Thank you, Don!  My last fish was on the fly that he gave me.

Sunday Tippet ~ So, moral to the story...  You can make the best of a bad situation.  But, it is always better to be prepared so you don't find yourself in that situation!  Right???  =  )

Well, I left you all in suspense about the contest that I was in last month.  You probably forgot about it by now...  I'm slow pokey on this blog sometimes!  = (  I was very fortunate to win among so many great contestants.  So much talent in this group of fly fishermen and gals.  Rob and I were the finalists and both had beautiful rainbows.  I only beat him by a point or two, so it was so close.  Thank you, Rob, for putting me on this bow.  He told me in the boat that it would be cool if I beat him with a fish that he netted for me.  A great guy for sure.  It was a lot of fun to participate in this event.  This was judged by the Castle Rock Middle School fly fishing club.  Thanks to them and their teacher, Nathan Moore, for putting on such great contest!  

This was the meme that I made up, jokingly of course!

As you can see... We both had really awesome fish.  So much fun.