Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Lazy Arm

So, you see the indicator twitch, but you are just sure that it is just your weight that caught the bottom of the river bed.  So, you let it keep drifting.  There it is again!  Another little bump in the water, without a set.  You say to yourself, "I will get another chance at the end of the drift"... Guess what?  No more chances.  You now have to recast and start over.  There it is again!  This time the hiccup in the water causes your arm to go up with your set.  But, 2 seconds too late.  Game over.  Sound familiar?  The frustrations of a lazy arm or in my case, a delayed reaction.  Haha.  Recently, I have been at a loss of reasons why I am working harder, not smarter.  I know that every time a strike indicator does anything besides drift calmly in the water, it is a reason to set that hook!  And when I finally do get the timing right...  It's game on!

 In being ready for that set, you need to make sure you don't have too much slack line in the water.  You don't want to spend your strike time picking up line.   I know that I leave too much line on the water if it lies in too many waves and coils.  Mend that line and minimize the slack.  All you need is enough to keep the indicator drifting freely,  I mend my line near the top of the drift and maybe one more time directly in front of me as it passes by.  More than that... and you are doing yourself a disservice because you are possibly moving that fly with each mend.  Now, you should be ready to make that "once a lot quicker when younger" arm of yours raise to a tight line with a trout at the end of it!  Right?

The last little midweek "tippet" for you is to not yank on that "rock" that you set and hasn't moved.  You see, I had given up on a supposed snag in the water and handed my rod to my buddy for him to get it free for me.  He turned to me and asked me, "Are you sure you don't have a fish?"  Hahahaha.  That "rock" was indeed a big ol' fish just being honery and belligerent.  It didn't want to head to a net with an angler waiting for a possible photo shoot!   It gave a wiggle after a few minutes, he gave me the rod, and the rest was history.  So, patience is a virtue.   It could be a very nice surprise down under that is trying to outfool you...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Don't Fall Short ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

So many times in life, we fall short.  Whether it is that latest diet, weeding that flower patch, or saving enough money for that last bill of the month.  We all have challenges that require patience, planning and some expertise.  We must spend the time at that given task.  Sometimes we need to take little steps before we can accomplish that goal.  In the end, we hopefully see a positive outcome.  If we don't, we should not give up, but try again.  I know for a fact, that sometimes the best laid plan can fall through the cracks.  Or comes up short by a few inches.

On the fly fishing side of things, I have fallen short on becoming more accomplished in dry fly fishing.  It might be that I lack the patience of trying to follow that very small, minute object that looks like the actual hatch that is on the water.  It could be that my casting needs better accuracy or distance at certain times.  Or it could just be that I feel more familiar with nymphing, so I continue to do what feels comfortable.  Do you often take the easier way of doing something?  We all do.  

So, my latest journey required me to take that extra step.  When I got to the river, I could see that this would be definitely be more dry fly than nymphing. 

The water was slower, the fast water runs were far and few between.  The fish were looking up.  You say that the fish were looking up?  Well, put on a dry fly you crazy woman!!!  I would have to conform.  Yes, I can catch a fish with an emerger underneath with my nymph rig.  But, I could see that the odds with the hatches that were out, would be fishing dries.  So, out came the box to make it all happen.

I would join my Idaho fly fishing friends for a couple days of practicing and making perfect, my dry fly approach.  I was determined.  Ahhh... That is the word that makes things happen, isn't it?  If you have a goal, you must have determination to see it through.  This was merely the side story to this adventure.  The main reason for going on this trip was to fish with old friends that I had missed last year after going up on an annual trek to this river.  So, it was great to have a few days to reaquaint and have some fun times together.

Yes, Patti, Aileen and Rachel joined me for some fun times on the water.  And we had a night of camping to boot!  Oh boy...  

Aileen is one great tent builder...

And she makes one mean prime rib in the dutch oven...

And Rachel can cook up one awesome lemon pie from her kitchen on the farm...

Ok. Ok.  So, I'm kidding about the that stuff... 
But, the trip into town was way worth it.  =)  

But, I'm not kidding about the beauty of the river.  One of the most beautiful places that I have fished.  And where it all started 5 or 6 years ago and actually started this blog.  If you are one of the old-timers over here, you will remember Rebecca who took me to River X for the first time. 

Yes, when you see 50 slurpers of 16-22 inches in front of you, it's time to practice your dry fly casting.  Heck, maybe you could get lucky and just put it out there and hope for the best!

I like luck.

With a little bit of determination in the mix, anything is possible.

And who knows, someday I just might add skills to make it a little easier...

Thanks to the girls for hosting me once again and renewing our friendship and camaradarie.  And a special thanks to Michael, Patti's hubby who joined us one afternoon and gave me some great dry fly pointers to add to my knowledge of this great passion of mine...  <"((((><<

Enjoy the short slideshow, The Rising Browns Adventure!
Click on 720 hp for clarity in the settings.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Once Upon A Time...

There lived a River Damsel who had a fly fishing blog.  And had quite a few readers who interacted on somewhat entertaining posts.  Well, this was two months ago...  Now, here we sit wondering what happened to RD?  Did she fall in the river and get swept away?  Did she have one last, great fall and end up in the hospital with two broken legs and a broken hand? (hence she couldn't write)   How about a case of sore stripping fingers?  I know, I know... not good enough.

I kind of wish that I had a decent excuse.  But, maybe I just needed to rest a bit more because five hours of sleep a night just isn't going to cut it.  So March was a catch up time to preserve one's health and April was time away from home on several fishing adventures.  Yeah, I am thinking that is how this story is going to go.  Ahhhh.,,.. I ask forgiveness my friends.  But, sometimes life has a way of running you around in circles and before you know it, yup... it's a couple of months later!  

I wonder if this guy still remembers who I am? Oh, I hope so...

So, how have you all been since we last met?  I'm thinking that I need to hurry up and play a game of catch up on my blog buddies tonight so that I can connect with you again.  It has been longer than I had expected.   Time to plug it back in...

So, as I said, April was a month of adventure.  Even the hotels that I stayed in were... ugh, interesting!  The River Damsel Adventure Train hit Wyoming several times and Utah fly fishing was stellar as well.  I got myself involved in a Facebook group contest and I was the captain of a team.  There were three teams and I was allowed to draft 11 others for my "posse".  Well, I traveled all over to find the biggest trout since it was a total of everyone's best fish.  I had my chances, but ended up with a rainbow of 21 inches.  I've done better, but fortunately my teammates came through!  



My top dog, Joey had a 30.5 steelhead trout and Justin turned in an awesome 27" rainbow.  So, my "posse" did great!  When all was said and done, we won the competition.  And all of those miles are now being felt.  At the end of the month, I fished for 9 days straight.  Yeah, someone put me in a "straight jacket"!  Geez... I'm not that young anymore!  The things I do.  

Here is a fun video that I made with all of my April pics put together...  You will see that I was really busy...  Probably one of the fishiest months that I have ever had...  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ode To The Thin Mint

Pass the Thin Mints please...  No, No, No...  Not those!

What I'm wanting are more of these...
The Thin Mint Wooly Bugger

You see, I took the two that were sent to me from my friend Mark, over at Northern California Trout... and went out on an adventure.

He had a post about the Thin Mint Wooly Bugger.   I asked him about them and wanted to tie some up.  His recipe for them is in the post.   He was so nice to send me a couple of Thin Mints, along with his book.  I don't know too many authors.  =)   

So, we headed to the river recently, with the Thin Mints in tow.   I was throwing small midges and sow bugs for the first little while.  The fish were in there.  I knew they were.  But, no bites as of yet. Then, it dawned on me, that I should try the Thin Mint as an attractor and see if they would take the Thin Mint or maybe finally take the midge dropper.  

One Thin Mint...

Two Thin Mints...

Yeah, you get the picture...

Then, all of a sudden, I was hitting on the midges underneath the Thin Mint.  A great attractor pattern too!  Ok.  So, I moved downstream and put my hat on right (realized that I looked like a dork the way I was wearing my double layer hats!  Haha.  

And the fish didn't really care how I wore my hats... They just wanted that Thin Mint to be on my line.  And some very good outings since... Thanks, Mark!  

I have the materials now and we will make up a batch.
Oh, did I have to say that word???  Now I want some Thin Mint cookies.  Well, I only have this recipe...

Hook - TMC 5262 or 5263 Size 10 or 12Thread - Black 6/0Tail - Maribou in Black/Rust/Olive in that order, top to bottomFlash - FlashabouRib - Wrapped first with copper wire and then with FlashabouBody - Black Crystal Chenille, regular black would probably do.
Hackle - Rust Saddle HackleBead - Tungsten 5/32 Gold

Good luck!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Now and again, I find that I am the forever student.  The river is never the same, the fish are never the same in what they want to eat, and the weather is never the same.  Case in point...  I just got back from Colorado.  I went on a quick weekend trip with my friend Lisa.  We looked at the weather forcast for two different places.  Then, we checked out the fishing reports, along with the river flows.  There were pros and cons on each.  In the end, we decided to go to the colder destination instead of the warmer.  Due mostly to the hotter fishing that was going on and a higher than normal winter water flow.  Well, so much for our 30%, then 40% chance of snow.

The warm spell that the West had been experiencing the week before, well... ended.  Just in time for our arrival!  Of course!  The barometer dropped as well.  But, we were determined to still have a good time and make the most of it.  Hey, at least the accomodations were perfect for the weather.  I picked a winner of a hotel.  A nice hot tub awaited each day after being out in the elements.  And the breakfast was way better than any other continental breakfast that I have ever had.  All for the low, low price of $55.  I know how to pick em'...  =)

So, what about the fishing, you ask?  Well, it was average.  The storm blew through and the one full day of fishing was the snow day.  And the wind day.  But, there were still at least a half dozen fish for each and we were smiling at the end of the day.  Well, sort of.  Yeah, Lisa really did have fun... =)

Lisa's first Colorado trout... Now, there's a smile!

Hey, Lisa, look's like it is time to put that glove with the handwarmer back on for a few... = )

A few more brownies for me too...

No, I'm not doing jumpin jacks to stay warm... Get in that net, Mr. Brown Trout!!!

So, Day 2 ended and we headed out to figure out our strategies for the finale.

Now, we had been following the tips of friends that had been on this river recently and also the advice from the fly shop experts.  With the final day coming near, we were in need of some "tweeking" to get past the cold temps that the fish obviously were a bit effected by.   I had been using 5x mono tippet and size 20's on the flies.  Now it was time to get down and dirty.  6x fluoro tippet and size 22's... No, I will not go size 24 EVER!!!!!! 


Yes, these new "tweeks" brought in a few nice fish.  But, I have to give credit where credit is due... I met up with two of the nicest guys on my last afternoon.  The first one, was a local... older gentleman, who was watching me try to get out of my tangles as he caught fish after fish after fish!  Haha.  When I got all sorted out, he offered me his spot.  Told me to fish these two flies out of his fly box.  What a super guy he was... So, thank you to whoever you are!  That is what I call sportsmanship.  Sharing the river and sharing the knowledge.  He said that he could fish every day there and sometimes did!  Lol.  So, I thanked him and got down to business and landed one.  He left and another local watched me as I was working the "magic run"...  Well, he noticed that I was working off a longer leader than he usually used.  So, he showed me his set up and it was like two feet shorter than mine.  What the heck!  Do what the locals do, right?!!!  Besides the 6x fluoro and the size 22's... I needed a seven foot leader.  And less distance between my indicator and the fly.  BAM!!!  Thank you, Mark!

I'm willing to listen...  And the moral to this story is, if you ever have the chance to help someone with a few "tweeks" on the river... take the opportunity to share your knowledge if they ask for it.  Especially if they are an out of town'r that believes the forecast will be 48 degrees and sunny instead of the actual 30 and snowy.  = )  

A special thanks to my dear friend, Lisa, who is one of the most gifted fly fishing ladies and a fun roadie to boot...  We had a ton of fun catching fish and finding good places to eat.  Hahahahaha

By the way, guess what the forcast is on our little CO. river this weekend...  You got it, 48 and sunny.  And I bet it's going to be...