Thursday, August 30, 2012

Between A Rock And...Well, Another Rock!

Ok... The title is what you call a blog teaser... = )
Back to that later...
 I'm back!!! Wow... What a terrific time I had on my birthday weekend in the Henry's Fork, Idaho area and the Yellowstone Ntl. Park... Maybe I am fish crazy. Maybe. In four days... I fished the Henry's Fork, Box Canyon, Harriman, Gallatin, Hebgen, Lamar, Yellowstone, Soda Butte, and the Madison... = )

Leaving Sat. morning at 3:30 am and arriving around 9:30 am.   (An unneeded emergency Walmart stop halfway through the journey to buy a cassette adapter for my Ipod which wasn't in the plans)  Sometimes it doesn't pay to buy cheap... I bought the better one this time.  Anyway, I found a couple of fly shops in Island Park, got some questionable half-decent advice on what was fishing good.  Then, headed out with my maps and gear to the Henry's Fork - Coffee Pot Campground section of the river.  A new part of the river for me... And where I ended catching the most fish on my trip!  Walked about 15 min down the river from the crowd and found my "Peace on Earth!!

The Box Canyon of the Henry's Fork was up next.  I had some time to burn while waiting to meet up with friends later that afternoon. 
The smoke from the fires on the other side of Idaho made for some hazy pictures...

And one more river to sneak in during the afternoon...

The most technical river that I have ever fished on...and super smart fish that just know what an imitation fly looks like...  But, it's a lot of people's favorite water due to the competitive nature of it.  The Harriman Ranch of the Henry's Fork.  Of course, one more skunking on this river told me that I can skip it next time...haha. 

It was time to get cleaned up a bit...(No, I don't wear waders into restaurants...well, most of the time, anyway!  Lol.)  Met up with my friends for a birthday celebration and had a great evening out.  It was so nice of them to make reservations for the "Party Room"...don't you think???   = )  Doesn't Chucky say, "Where a kid can be a kid"??  Well, that would be me.  Ha!

Yeah, seriously...  I remember a place with loud music, sports on the big screen and a bar for grown ups.
(That wouldn't be me)  And  yes... it did have yummy pizza too!!!  = )

We headed out early the next morning for a "drift" across the Hebgen Lake in Montana.  It was a beautful, scenic lake and I learned how to cast a little farther!!  (Fish don't like coming up close to boats you know!)  So, I had no option than to haul my cast out more than 20 ft...  = )  Heehee.

No Brad Pitt that I could find...

In the afternoon, it was time for the Gelatin Gallatin... I have always wanted to fish this river, so a dream come true.  It is one of the finest wade fishing areas in Montana. Many of the fishing scenes from  "A River Runs Through It" were filmed in the Gallatin Canyon,  south of Bozeman and north of where we were.  A great river full of cutthroats, rainbows and browns...

One of my buddies caught this beauty... 
Another day ended...but, it was one to remember.

Yellowstone was on the agenda the next day.  I always love photographing the Madison In The Park... Now closed, due to warm water on that side of the park.  So, no fishing there.

Another river passed... The Gibbon below the Falls.  Incredible sight.

All of us were anxiously wanting to get to our destination...the Lamar.  But, a surprise stop was in my future... The Yellowstone River!  Can you say "BEAR COUNTRY"???  Ok, so my friends tell me of a time that they saw a bear in this particular section... I could have done without that story!  The bear spray was quickly attached around my waist and we headed down the trail to the most beautiful river I have ever seen!  The trail down was...errr...interesting.  But, the river was worth it.  It was breathtaking!  So much variety of water...riffles, runs, pools, and pockets. 

 Of course, my head kept turning to check what was behind me.  But, as I glanced up the trail through the pine trees that we came down... I figured it didn't matter.  I would never be able to out run anything back to the car anyway!!  Might as well enjoy the river and not worry about it. 

My nicest fish came out of the Yellowstone... but, the picture above is the 2nd place entry.  Of course, in River Damsel fashion, the "big one" was in the net and as I handed the net off to one of my friends and he returned it to me in exchange for the camera,  the Yellowstone Cutthroat flipped out of my hands and back into the river.  A true disappointment.  But, he is now a fond memory in my mind.   He was a fatty which was almost bigger than my net.  Fly fishing in the Yellowstone River was an amazing experience!  I will be back!

We finally arrive at the Lamar.  One of my favorite rivers to fish.  (I have a lot of favorites...let's be honest)  But, yes...I love the Lamar.  It's emerald green water is a sight to behold., now we come to the beginning of what's behind the title.  What makes the Lamar so beautiful is the boulder rock placement.  And I felt them.  I am sporting two, big, bruised knots on each knee.  I couldn't just fall once.   Well, who wants to be uneven???  It's all fair game when I step into the river.  = )

The last river to visit for this day was in the very north east corner of the park.  Soda Butte.  Now, I have had many friends tell me that this is the best water in the park.  So, I was anxious to see what it was all about.  We still had an hour or so of daylight to cast to a few, hungry trout.  It was a different feel, for sure.  Sagebrush greeted us and a walk through buffalo country... Well, and bear country...but, at least you can see them running at you!!  Right???  Heehee.  My personal vote... The Lamar still.

A smaller Yellowstone Cutthroat to end the adventurous day!  I will admit...I was starting to get tired.

Well, it was quite the journey... Three days and eight rivers/lake to make anyone's head spin!!  I was planning on leaving for home early the next day.  But, the Madison was calling my name.  It was only a half hour away from my hotel.  If I had left, I would have been kicking myself all the way home.  So, you know...

I made it four days and nine different waters... The Madison would be the perfect ending with the only brown trout catch all weekend.


I got my big foot stuck "Between A Rock And...Well, Another Rock"!  How do I do these things???  Unfortunately, I was fishing alone on the Maddy... And I had been climbing over rocks the whole morning.  So, let's chalk it up to exhaustion.  Moral to this story.  Know when to call it quits!  But, I did find my first brownie on the trip.  As I was trying to find the best way out of the river, my foot slipped between...two rather large boulders heavy rocks.  Now, if your foot slips down, shouldn't it come back up?  No.  I tugged for about 10 min.  Nada.  I had my Simms BOA's on and managed to pop out the dial to release the wire laces finally!  After pulling this way and that, my foot wouldn't come loose.  Ok...I was starting to get ticked now.  My fears were now overrun with being perturbed with the whole situation.  My only way out of this was to move the one rock enough to raise my foot and leg out from underneath.  I don't know how I mustered my non-existent strength.  Maybe it was one of those adrenaline rushes... That must have been it!  The rock finally moved enough for me to pop out of my boot.  But, of course the boot was still stuck.  I wasn't going to leave my somewhat new boot behind.  Another ten minutes... I pulled this way and that until the boot finally gave way to the friction underneath the water.  Yes, it was time to go home.

Well, after these guys gave way for me to turn right at the stop sign!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Knotty And Nice Of It All...

Maybe I am alone here... Most fly fishermen don't have a problem with tying knots.  Just us River Damsels that have long fingernails!  But, for those who have been there and can relate... Here is the short story.  You have a fish on...he jumps, he wiggles, he breaks loose...he swims away.  You bring in the line and no fly.  Just a curled up piece of fluorocarbon from a weak ass poorly tied knot.  Yes, I have tried and tried to get better at my knots, but it wasn't until recently that I "knotted" one to my fly that would never come off unless you cut it off!  VICTORY!!!  It is the perfect streamer knot, I believe.  But, also a great knot for caddis on top with a jumping Rainbow!  And for the Brown that goes after your nymph...

I will share my new discovery with you and thank Jim Browning (Two Guys ~ Wet Waders & Flies)!  He uses this knot almost every time...  Maybe you are a knot expert and happy with what you are tying on... That's great!  But, for those that might need something new to try and want a easy, non-slip knot...this is for you.  The DAVY KNOT!!!

The knots that I have tried and that I still use from time to time depending on the situation at hand...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday Night Lights!!

My son, Ryan, reminded me yesterday of something.  I'm a cat with nine two lives.  And living them at the same time.  This might sound strange, but it is really true.  Sometimes they intermingle and sometimes they separate temporarily.  But, one thing is for sure.  I have a deep love for both.  Family and Fishing.  And so, this is a post for Ryan... as he says, "Mom, all you do is talk about fishing on your blog"!!  So, with humble heart, I dedicate this post to Ryan.  Yes, it's not always about fishing over here!!  We even have embarrassing 90's hairdo's!  Lol.  

Once upon a time, there was a baby named Ryan...born just 10 lbs, 3 oz. and 23 in long.
17 years later...he is now 260 lbs, 6 ft 6 in long.
Don't think that is records slated him for 6'9...don't think we are going there... = )
But, my refrigerator might tell you something different!

Ryan was named after "Nolan Ryan", Owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team and of course, the master of strikeout records and no-hitters of teams like the Calif. Angels which I sat and watched in amazement each time he would pitch a game...  He has an 8x10 glossy from Nolan Ryan, himself...with the inscription, "Happy Birthday, Ryan"...which he received when he was a few months old.

Ryan is also a winner... Amongst family, friends, and teammates. 
He stands tall.  He stands for what he believes in at all times.
For which I am very proud...

He once had the nickname of "Gentle Giant"...this was when he started football many years ago.
Some of it is still lingers when he looks after teammates...but, forget it when it comes to opponents!
They might look at him more as "Blankenstein"!!

It's good to have long arms like a monkey...

And it's good to have long legs like a giraffe...that can still jump a bit!

First Team All Region as a Junior.  Lineman of the Year at Hillcrest as a Junior.
Great honors...but, the best thing of all...
Ryan has been blessed with many talents and good traits. 
The most important being a sincere and loving person. 
 (Along with being a practical joker...)
So, here's your post, buddy.  It's not "fishy" in the least!  Lol.
I am one lucky lady to have four wonderful children who make my world brighter...

Recruiting has started...interviews and highlights...

Thanks for reading and sharing a little bit of RD family time!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The One That Got Away!

My big fish of last year on something quite smaller...
I write this post for selfish reasons.  I'm hoping that I will get a few suggestions before tomorrow morning's "Fish Tuesday" streamer session.  Here's the sad, sad tale of "The One That Got Away"!!  Last Saturday, RD went on a streamer run.  Ok, you say, so what?  After three years of fly fishing, this was probably only the second or third time that I have thrown streamers.  I had a tip on what to use and where to go.  (Yeah, people don't have any problem telling me where to go...ha)  So, I headed off.  I didn't find the area that they told me about.  So, I journeyed over to a familiar fishing place of mine instead.  Now, I usually look for deeper water for BIG fish.

The bottom sculpin would find a new home in a Big Brown's chops!

But, as I was walking down to the deep water...I thought that I would throw the streamer in as I walked.  A more narrow, shallower side stream of the main river.   Kaboom!  Wait a minute!  That fish shouldn't be here!  Or should he?  You tell me.  Anyway, as soon as he hit that olive sculpin...he came up and with a big splash, went back down.  As I started stripping the line, he was off the line and swimming down the river with my...yes, olive sculpin.  As I brought in the rest of the line, I looked at the end with dismay.  No fish, no sculpin, just flourocarbon.  Bad tie on or not strong enough tippet?  Probably both.   

Well, my friends...I smiled.  Hey, that was a twenty incher that I should have had.  I know that.  But, it was dang exciting to even feel him on that streamer in the first place with being a newbie at this type of thing.  Now, I try once again to bring in a fish on a streamer.  I'm no longer using 3X or 2X leader and tippet.  I now have 1X and 0X on hand.  I have a new supply of streamers.  We will give it the good ol' college try.

  Will I find "Rodney" or "Roderick"???       

Rodney, the poor, lost fish of  "cofisherdotblogspotdotcom" or  Roderick of   "roderickhawgbrowndotcom"?
                                                            Or maybe I will just find "Nemo"...

If you have a STREAMER TIP...I'm listening!

On another front... my friend, Brian Schiele, has a post up right now with a very cool picture of...well, The River Damsel herself.  (Believe me, that's not the cool part) 

Courtesy of Brian Schiele
 Check out the story of how the special effects came out "naturally"!   He is definitely the Holga Master...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

T! For Tenkara ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

There is one thing that I can say for sure... When I started fly fishing, I would have never imagined fishing without a reel.  Well, the month of July 2012 changed all of that.  When someone asks me if I would like to try something new in regards to fly fishing, I am usually receptive.  And so, when Michael Agneta (Troutrageousdotcom) posted that he was coming out West for the Tenkara Summit in Salt Lake City, I thought that I would give this Tenkara style of fly fishing a whirl.  My first experience with it was with Owl Jones (Owljonesdotcom) in North Carolina.  If memory serves me (which it usually doesn't!), I believe that I just held the cane pole rod, but didn't fish with it.  It just seemed all too strange not to have a reel to help me bring in the fish!   So, my friend, Brian Schiele, The Holga Master... gave me my first actual lesson in Tenkara, up in the Big Cottonwood Canyon in July.  I went with a pretty open mind (better than no mind at all) and a positive outlook on what was going to be demonstrated.

We got geared up and Brian explained to me the ins and outs of Tenkara. 
And how to dodge jumping moose from the thickets!!  = )

Look, Mom...No reel!!  It felt a little strange, to tell you the truth...
The handle just feels a little bare... like it needs something else to snuggle up next to!! (A reel?)
Brian giving me the demonstration of the "light" cast onto the the Big Cottonwood Creek.  Just a flick of the wrist, really.  Tenkara enthusiasts like the simplicity of Tenkara.  A 12-13 ft rod, a line, a fly.  ("One fly is all you need...")  You can fish a few feet off the river and still fish pockets of water with no drag.  The emphasis is not of making that fly "match the hatch", but in the presentation of making that fly look like "trout food".   The purists of Tenkara fish with traditional Kebaris flies.  But, there are those who intermix elk hair caddis with a dropper like an RS2.  So, there can be some flexibility. 

The Tenkara Summit 2012 - Salt Lake City, UT.

Well, the Tenkara Guides and Troutrageous got name tags...
They must only give tags to the "true believers"...
Maybe they knew my apprehensions... = ), this is fun.  Where's the fish???  Oh, do I need water?

Tenkara is supposedly a "one fly" style of fly fishing.  But, there are at least 15-16 different patterns out there for the fly tying enthusiasts.  The fly box above shows the variations.  One video presentation at the Summit really stressed that the fly does NOT matter.  This was probably the biggest hurdle for me to jump I believe that the fly DOES matter... Eh, if we both catch fish, who cares.  Right? 

Hey, it's that "Tenkara Sasquatch" guy... Troutrageous! Mike...
I got some pointers on casting the Tenkara from the Sasquatch himself...

The Master of Tenkara... Dr. Hisao Ishigaki from Japan...  He was very fun to watch in his demonstrations, as he is truly artistic in his approach to fly fishing.   Now, in regards to his ability with the sword... well, I cannot say.  But, there was a funny side story to the Summit.  You can find it HERE... Something about a "tea party" ceremony up in the Big Cottonwoods...Hmmm... Mike and I missed out on that one...being on a trek in Wyoming...  He thinks that we should have a "Diet Coke" ceremony next round!  Ha! 
In Conclusion...

Well, to my good buddies, Brian and Mike... I appreciate your time and efforts in teaching me the basics of Tenkara.  It was a very interesting experience, that's for sure.  I enjoyed the Tenkara Summit and meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces too.  And who knows... I just might pick up a cane pole Tenkara rod again one day.  You never know... If you can prove that "one fly" is all I need....I just might put aside my backpack of needed "Western" gear... temporarily. 

~ Sunday Tippet ~

Always be open minded to new techniques and styles of fly fishing.  You might pick up something that can very well be incorporated in your current repertoire.  I believe that it was the Tenkara style of casting that has helped me with a better presentation (a lighter one!) when I have casted out dry flies recently.  So, always keep your eyes and ears open for new learning opportunities! 

Some great websites to learn more about Tenkara:


photo courtesy learntenkaradotcom
The Last of the Mohicans Kebaris Enthusiasts (and a Sasquatch) at the Tenkara Summit 2012...

photo courtesy troutrageousdotcom
And a final stop in a Utah creek for Troutrageous to catch a wild bow...