Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Step Behind...

So, Howard has called me out.  He says that it's time for a blog post.  I have lots of excuses. But mostly, this winter has consisted of a few cold outings to lakes and rivers without much fanfare. 

 A fish here and there and a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me when I get home.  

December and January are always challenging fishing months. 

First, to find lakes with open water or rivers with deep pools and possibly a midge hatch to fill up a winter's day.  Second, to find fish that are willing to move a little in their deeper winter homes.

Today started a little later than usual.  Waking up early to meet up with friends, my body just wasn't wanting to move.  So, I sat down to tie a few flies.  Then, I threw a batch of cookies in the oven.  I figured that I might as well have some trail food for my friends.  I then started packing my gear.  It was 9:00 am.  I was supposed to meet up at 8.  Well, better late than never, I guess.  But, I was still feeling a step behind the whole way.  Maybe the fresh 
air would do me good.

It was fishing.  Not catching.  And the still air had no sounds of fish rising.  It happens. Sometimes you have to dig down deep to get what you are after.  A stick of TNT might have helped.  Just kidding.  At least there wasn't any wind... Ha!  So, fishing became more like casting practice.  I casted out, waited ten seconds for the weighted wooley bugger to drop, strip... strip... strip.  Wait a few seconds.  Strip, strip, strip.  Repeat.  

Then, all of a sudden, a grab of my fly and poof!  I stood there dumbfounded as to why I didn't set that hook!  Was I asleep?  I guess so...  There wasn't a fish to the net.  There wasn't a streamer at the end of my line either.  All that was left was a River Damsel standing alone shaking her head for having slow reflexes on this cold winter day...  

Sometimes it is better to stay in bed.  =)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Tis The Season...

It's that time of the year that we eat too many goodies and visit relatives that we don't get to see too often.  It's also that time of the year that we find it a bit colder outside and spend maybe a bit more time at the vise tying flies.  Ho ho ho.  And for me this week, I have an important decision regarding some arthritis in the thumb that has been causing me problems.  I am considering some alternative herbal remedies, so stay tuned.  All I know is that I will be fishing TOMORROW.  

My days of fishing the high country and some of my favorite lakes will have to wait now til Spring.

The late fall fishing was pretty pleasant with the global warming.

Now we welcome winter.  The ski resorts need it desperately.   The reservoirs and rivers will need the runoff.  So, out come the fleece hats and the warm woolen mittens. 

Hoping that all of my friends and family have a wonderful Christmas season.  Happy Holidays!

From my family to yours... 


Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Pyramid Adventure ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

There's a fishery that I have wanted to visit for the last couple of years.  I finally got my chance last weekend.  A group of friends that live in Nevada and California, met up at Pyramid Lake, NV.  It was a post Thanksgiving event.  I left Friday after Thanksgiving and stayed until Monday morning.  There were several friends that knew the ropes and that could tutor me about this magical place.  I will be honest.  It wasn't the easiest place to fish.  And I got skunked.  But, I still had a great time with my fishing buddies and I am grateful for the time that they shared with me on the water to find that one fish.

This adventure was different than most.  I had a horrible motel experience, which has never happened.   To say that I was happy to leave that motel and go home and get a good night sleep is an understatement!  My car had a slight problem with the headlight going out the morning that I left.  Haha.  And I had to borrow waders to make the trip happen.  How does a girl end up with three pairs of leaky waders at the same time?  Yeah, procrastination to send them off for repair.  Oh well.  Should be in good shape for next year.  =)  And I will definitely choose a better motel to hang those waders to dry...
(You get what you pay for, I've been told)  

Pyramid Lake is an unusual animal.   The fish don't appear to be leader shy, but flourocarbon probably improves hookups.  I fished with an 8 wt rod and an indicator between 5 and 9 feet above the first fly, which was usually a wooley bugger or leech.  Then trailed that with a chronomid or snowcone midge about 18 in from the first fly.  I believe that I had the right flies.  It was just my casting in the wind that broke the camels back.  If your double haul game isn't strong, you better have a darn good single haul!  Because that wind can be brutal.  We managed to get it out there, but no fish in the net this time.  Here's Jose, who fished alongside me the two days that I was there.  He opted for a ladder at this spot... That is the other fascinating part of fishing here.  People on ladders 20 ft apart.  Haha.  Some of the drop offs can be 200 feet from shore.  

When you do it right, you get this...

If the wind is blowing the right direction, the right speed... etc. etc. etc.  And if the temps are this or that...  Yeah.  You know that the prize is there, so you deal with the "conditions".  The weather plays a huge role day to day here.  High pressure sunny no wind days are tough.  That is what we had the first day.  Cloudy windy days are the best.  But, if you get tooooo much wind, like we had the second day, you end up taking a long lunch break!  Ha!

There are two different strains of Lahontan Cutthroats.  Pilot Peak and Summit.   They are both beautiful in their own right.  These cutthroat can get up to 20 lbs.  I just wanted a 5 pounder!   I'm not picky.   =) 

So, there's a few "tippets" about fishing Pyramid Lake...  Now enjoy a vid that sums up a pretty darn good trip, despite not catching anything!  All you need is friends to share a turkey dinner with and have a taco night that is "out of this world" delicious!  My 40 lbs lost is holding steady.  Now to get through the holidays.  Enjoy the video.  It was fun to put together.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Full Moon Adventure

Six years and a couple weeks later, I was finally reunited with one of my favorite pals, Howard of the Windknots and Tangled Lines blog.  You can read "his take" about our adventure here.  For the past few years, we have tried to "hook up" on a Colorado river and to no avail.  Finally, we got all of our ducks in a row... (hey, it's duck season!) and we had our day.

It was fortunate for us, that Steph of the Antlers and Gills blog, lives right on the street of his favorite little creek.  So, I told Howard and Chris of the Fading Angler blog (who flew in from MN.) to meet us there.  It was a chilly and crisp morning with a light freeze on the steps outside.  But, they melted off nicely by the time those two guys rolled up in their Rolls Royce errr... Jaguar.  Ok, if I was renting a car from the airport in CO., I will go on record saying that my choice would be a Jeep!!  Hahahaha.  

So, this happened.  Howard had a nice brown on the end of his line and as I was scooting falling down on my butt to net the fish, it was ADIOS!  Dang... I'm lousy help!  Sorry, pal.  I owe you more cookies.  Next time we will net that fish!

But, hey, it was better than sitting in a fly shop after your hospital visit in 2011!

Chris put a few brownies in the net on Clear Creek.

Stephanie and I pretty much just enjoyed chatting with the guys and catching up on things.

We had an awesome lunch at Lucha's!  My favorite Colorado Mexican restaurant so far...  You will have to take me somewhere else to prove that there is better.  Haha.  

I took the guys to the Blue River in the afternoon to find it changed to the Brown River.  A side channel had leaked out some bad muddy water.  The snow decided to come in too, so I let Howard (I fish in this kind of crap all the time) make the decision on calling it a day.  It was sad to say goodbye.  But, we all had a good time together that day for sure!  Did my hard hug give that away, Howard?  =)   As most of you know, my blogger buddies from the beginning, mean a lot to me.  They gave me a quick start to my blog and have followed faithfully all of these years.  I wouldn't have had so much fun with it without them.

So, here comes the "Full Moon" part of the adventure...
People will tell you different views on it.  But, I honestly feel that when the full moon is out, that the fishing is usually slower during the day, due to the fish eating all night long under the lit up skies.  I cannot come up with any other excuse reason for catching less when it's out.  Except that maybe it's me!!!!!  Hahahahaha

So, three days of fishing with the "Full Moon" effect...  What are you going to do?  Fish anyway!  That's why I came out here!  
And to see the beautiful fall colors of Colorado.  It just doesn't get much better than the month of October.  Why I have a pilgrimage out here every year. 

There were fish caught, friends visited, and bbq eaten!  What more could you ask for??

That "full moon" couldn't take away from all the fun that I had!
I love meeting up with my Friends of the Fly.  A special camaradarie between friends that enjoy time on the water...

Thanks to all who took time out to fish with me during the
 "Full Moon"...   I will never forget my visit and the trip to the freeway to go home.  Hahahahaha.  That canyon was so beautiful, 
I almost got back out of my car to put on my waders again!  =)  Yeah, it took me twice as long to get down the road because of all the beauty and stopping for pictures.  But, that is what life is about.  Enjoying the journey!

Enjoy the video...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3...6? ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

It was going to be a beautiful fall day with the temperatures in the 60's.  Winds at 5-8 mph.  What more could you ask for?  Well, I tossed back and forth throughout the night with a headache in my eyes and front forehead.  I wasn't sure that it was a go for fishing the next morning.  I laid an icepack in a towel over my eyes, after taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen before bed.  A few hours passed.  My eyes half way opened and looked at the clock.  1:30 am.  Three more hours of sleep.  Getting up at 4:30 am on a Saturday morning is just not right!  But, I needed to pack since I didn't feel good enough the night before.  Maybe I slept, but it wasn't that deep kind of sleep.  4:30 came and I put on the snooze button.  5:00 am.  Ok, this better be worth it!  On probably 6.5 hours of sleep, it was on... It's funny, but as I drove and got closer to the river, my last dose of Ibuprofen seemed to work.  You better be ready, fish!  I have a new weapon...  Seaguar 6 lb flourocarbon test.  

Well... As luck would have it, I caught the biggest one first.  So, here was the real test.  Would my lousy knots hold on long enough and would my weak arms be able to hang on tight with this guy?   I have tried a variety of tippet and leaders throughout my fly fishing journey.  Recently, a friend told me about Seaguar.  He told me that it was 30% stronger than the off brand stuff that I have been using.  I couldn't believe how much easier it was to bring in a 20 incher with big shoulders!  Yeah, he ran a bit, but I felt so much more confident as I battled him.  He wasn't going to come off if I had hooked him good!  He was mine... Well, for a few minutes until I put him back in his home.  Here are a few of his homies.

It was a good day, to say the least.  The fish liked everything I served.  RS2, Sowbugs, PT's, Red Worm, and a Surveyor.

I netted more fish with this new friend of mine, Seaguar 6 lb Fluoro.  Compared to the Berkley Vanish 4 lb @ .007 diameter and 110 yds...  I got 6 lb @ .007 diameter and 200 yds with the Seaguar for twice the price.  (So, basically the same price, but the internet deals are cheaper)  BUT, it is sooo much stronger with the same diameter.  And my knots held up better than ever.  I can't tell you how many fish that I have lost due to breaking off.  It is heartbreaking to say the least.  Hopefully, this is a start to even better fishing days.  =)  This can be a tough fishery and I've always come out with at least a couple fish.  But, when you can have a day where your arms feel like they had a workout from almost a couple dozen, it is all that much better! 

Haha.  Yes, "Make My Day" kept ringing in my ears!

So, lesson learned.  Don't be afraid to try something new with your equipment.  Whether it is floating line, leaders, tippet, rods, reels...etc etc.  There might be something out there that can be the game changer for you!   And one last note... What works for me, might not work for you.  And visa versa.  We all have different styles to our fishing.  That's why this pastime is so much fun!  But, if you need more strength in your tippet and have a need for fluorocarbon without losing the thinner diameter... This one is a winner.