Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Smokey, The River Damsel and Troutrageous!

What would "Buford" have to do with this trip???
The adventure train rocked and rolled and rocked some more on the recent journey north to Wyoming with Troutrageous!... It all started as a leisurely drive at 5:30 am.   T! threw his gear in the back of the car and we were off!  Honestly, I had a few anxious moments planning this adventure.  I wanted everything to be so perfect for Mike to have the best time he could on his visit out to Utah.  But, when you go fishing... there isn't a promise that everything is going to be perfect.  Right?   Utah's best doughnuts awaited him in the front seat.  Cell phones were charged up.  (I especially liked the fact that here was a fly fishing blogger with a Google phone!) 

The trip up to WY. went quickly as we had much to gab about during the two and a half hour road trip.  From fishing in PA. to Lilly and K.C. to Football Fanatics.  And yes, he learned a little more about the River Damsel too. (Scary)  I felt at ease with the Italian Stallion.  Ok... I hate to break it to you... Troutrageous is really a thoughtful and nice guy.  Oh, have I ruined his image???  Haha.  I only tell it like it is.  Oh yeah, there is this guy with a quick wit and a slight sense of sarcastic humor and a talent for creativity (Fly fishing women in bikinis? Ugh.)  He knows how to get the attention out of readers...that's for sure.  And he will give you his honest opinion of fly fishing gear... (You can bet on it!)   We all know that he will not pussy foot over something... Well, finally, I got to see the other side.  And it was nice.  T! was more than happy to fish wherever I took him.  And I really wanted him to land a big fish.   A great stream in Wyoming would be the ticket.  So, I thought. 

We caught a lot of trout...but, not of measurable lengths like I had hoped for.  (I guess that I won't ever get "hired" as a river guide)  But, Mike was still happy with it all and loved being there with the "open sky"...  Did you know that where he lives in PA., that all you see are skyscrapers and buildings up above?  Ha.  Welcome to the West, Mr. Agneta.  Home of Big Sky... He couldn't get over the fact that he could backcast into air rather than low lying trees and bushes!  He and I walked the banks in search of rainbows...and we found them.

And finally a brown in the mix!

It was a fine day of catching.

The best part was the weather...as I have been so uncomfortable in the high temps recently.  We had this nice little frontal system come in and a few sprinkles to cool us off.  Then, it became partly cloudy and very mild for the rest of the afternoon.  Loved that! 

But, we finally had to take a break from our rainbows...it was lunchtime!  Yes, RD's famous pastrami sandwich came out... And T! couldn't resist posing next to my back window...ha!

We probably fished three access points as I remember.  I fished poor Troutrageous! hard... = )
But, he was a good sport and took everything in stride.  Even leading the way out of the thick shrubs so that RD wouldn't have an extra opportunity to fall in a ditch or a hole!  Lol.

At the end of the day, we had the long trip back to Salt Lake.  I don't like passing on two lane highways.  And now Mike knows why!  Ahhhh... We were stuck behind a truck for about 15 min when I finally had the courage to put the pedal to the metal!  And I did...

Ooops!  I forgot to take the foot off the pedal.  Good going RD!  An adventure "on every highway" too... And "Buford" didn't have much of a sense of humor.  His opener was, "Did you have a good day of fishing??"  He obviously didn't follow The River Damsel or Troutrageous blogs... For shame!  Yes, "Buford"...I will send my check to the fine court system in Wyoming... = (   I wonder if he would have accepted my last doughnut in lieu of... Nah.

What did I do now???  T! is looking rather dapper, don't you think?  = )
Thanks T! for sharing some river time with me... Another outstanding blogger experience.  On-line friends meeting up....good times!  Funny how we all have common threads, although miles apart.   And Mike, I will let you drive next time.  = )

Next up:  The Tenkara Summit with T! and my thoughts about Tenkara...

***We now have a new post from T! ... You can read his side of the story...HERE.  Hmmm.***

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Have I Unleashed???

Or "Who" have I unleashed???  Remember that nice, quiet, conservative, fly fishing blogger from Colorado, who pretty much hid behind his pen?  Well, well, well...he has become "Unleashed"... Who could blame me for hinting to him that I had to search his blog high and low for a picture of him to post on my blog?  And when I only could find a "Blogger" Profile Pic, that is what you got.  And a side shot, that you still couldn't see who he was.  So, I made a few suggestions to him on posting up a few more pictures in between his wonderful, dynamic writing.  Just to let us know a little more about the guy behind the pen and paper.  Well, his http://casaderhythm.blogspot.com/2012/07/maybe-im-understanding-why.html about our adventure on the Middle Provo, certainly gave us the other side of Marc Hughes, writer and blogger extrordinaire!  Seriously, I really am glad that he has such wit and humor to make my "quick release" catch and release fishing, so much better...ha.
Yet, another "incognito" picture on the Provo River, but with bended fly rod!

Ok...Here we go.  I finally have a picture of Casa de Rhythm...

Sorry for the poor quality of my "disposable" makeshift camera...
My phone is now toast.
We should have better pictures next time out!

NEXT UP:  The RD Adventure Train picks up a weary traveler...Troutrageous!
(I might have enough room for the guy on the left...In the caboose!)

I think the Rainbows will wake Mike up...If not, we will let him take a nap on the side of the river after he eats his pastrami/provolone sandwich.  20 min. power nap there, big guy!  We got fishin' to do!! 
If I let that hairy guy come along, he won't steal my fishing hole, will he???

"Good Eats" when you are with the River Damsel!

The Journey continues on Friday...
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Adventure Train Is Rolling...

All Aboard!!!
Curiosity is a great thing... It seems that RD's "Adventure In Every Riffle" Tour continues into this week big time. Why people want to come out here and share water and fish with me, is anyone's guess.  I just hope that they know that they will probably get what they pay for with this free tour.  Ha!  There are two fly fishing bloggers coming in this week and we start tomorrow on "Fish Tuesday" (what a coincidence)!!   It should be a great week!  First up, we have Marc, the Rhythm Rider from Colorado, coming in for a business trip and heading out to fish tomorrow afternoon after he dashes through his sales presentation or whatever it is that he does!  Haha.

Marc's blog...Casa De Rhythm...is a must see.  And the guy has a thing for drums... Check it out.  We are going to throw a few PMD's! We have it narrowed down to two places for a late hatch with rising fish... It should be money during that time of day.  A report will follow for sure!  I'm feeling a little more confident as I had a pretty nice day on the dry flies last weekend too...so we will give it all we got!  Looks like Marc likes to fish a few dries too... = )

Then, we have this trout hunter (although I understand he isn't all that serious!)  escaping crossing the boundries of Pennsylvania and coming in for a "Fish Friday" with the River Damsel.  Yeah, I know...I'm not allowed two "Fish" weekdays.  Oh well.  Got lucky this week as it is a holiday on the 24th in Utah...You know...we have weird holidays out here.  "Pioneer Day" gives me an extra 8 hours of holiday to burn this week.  So, you know... <"(((((><<   Lucky for me, Mike "Troutrageous" Agneta is coming to town for the Tenkara Summit this weekend.  I must admit...that is why I have taken a few lessons...didn't want to look totally green on the subject!  Ha. I have a feeling though, that we will be using "RD's" 9 ft graphite fly rod a bit in Wyoming... Oh, did I tell you that I have found the perfect place for T! to re-juvenate and put away his "apathy" that he has been ranting about??... That will be fixed after this weekend.

Yes...the River "T!"  not "X, Y or Z"
I think that he will like this...

Is T! taking the same tour that I have been on???  Ha!

So, I took a little scouting trip to Wyoming last weekend.  And I'm telling you what... you just can't ask for a more unusual beautiful setting for fly fishing.  And there is plenty of humorous scenic value too...believe me!  Yes, welcome to the "Pay" station... I paid the first time for parking and private land use...but, I think we can actually do better down yonder... = )  Do you like the Redneck table?  Seriously, it was nice of a landowner to share this stretch of large rainbows...even at a price.

Hey, only the most luxurious restroom accomodations for my roadies... ha! 

Yes, by Saturday, I should be ready to wind down and enjoy some clinics, speakers and a bit of fishing with the folks over at the Tenkara Summit.   And see if Mr.Troutrageous gets some of that Green Jello for lunch...heehee.   = )   

Ok... I really did find a beautiful place in Wyoming... You do want to be there, don't you??? 

 Photo courtesy of Russell Schnitzer

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Bit Of This, A Bit Of That

He's Back!!!  My favorite Midgeman.  And three hoots for that!  As Billy Crystal would say..."You look Mah-ve-lous", Rod!!   The long awaited return of one of my favorite bloggers, fly tiers, and all around great guys.  The Midgeman.  You can now find him at The Midgeman Manifesto.  And the new website is http://www.buttdeepinatroutstream.blogspot.com/  Rod, you have been sorely missed.  Welcome back, my friend!

Rod and I met a last year at the little shindig in Colorado...The "Rocky Mountain Frenzy" after blogging back and forth for about a year.  As I had expected, he was the down to earth person that I had guessed that he would be.  He was a wealth of information to all of my fly fishing questions...  He has such a deep understanding of fly fishing and fly tying... It's amazing.  Maybe someday I will have a quarter of his knowledge on the subject.  He is the master teacher of  "everything fly fishing"!  With experience...comes knowledge.  I will get there...

And after I got to pick his brain for a couple of hours,  I even got a casting lesson after lunch!  Lucky River Damsel!  Anyway, if you already have followed his blog in the past (The Poudre Canyon Chronicles) or you are a new reader and want to follow one of the most experienced fly fisherman around... this is your guy.  He will share many of his favorite, proven fly patterns and also give very valuable fly fishing tips along the way... And hopefully, he will still share a few of his fly fishing journeys... They were a favorite of mine  So, enjoy!!

Next up...

Look Ma, No Reel!  Hmmm...
Well, RD has done it again.  Always an "Adventure In Every Riffle"!  I have been trying to get ready for Mr. Troutrageous (Mike Agneta) and learn a little more about the fishing style of Tenkara.  I signed up for the Tenkara Summit, here in Salt Lake, to learn more about it too.  So, that is where I will be for a few days at the end of the month.  I want to try all styles of fly fishing so at least I can say that I have tried it.  Whether it sticks or not, who knows!  (And yes, Czech nymphing has stuck...)

So, Brian Schiele aka: Mr. Holga Master ( mtbbrian.blogspot.com ) and I went up to the Big Cottonwood Canyon to fish for small browns and brookies.  I learned about the set up, the delivery and the follow through.  Well...I tried.  Not sure if I was the greatest student.  But, we got our feet wet. = )   Glad he is a very patient teacher. Now about that Tenkara net...

And here is a little diddy from Lesson 1...please excuse my "french" as I was a little excited about what had happened prior to this video... = )  Sorry, no time to shoot a picture of that brief interruption!

Then, RD and Brian journeyed out for lesson 2 this past "Fish Tuesday"...  It was fun, but...still no fish on the Tenkara.  But, I did land a few on the ol' standby.  Ha.  Yeah, back to my comfort zone.  But, we will try the Tenkara one more time at least.  Promise.  And without moose jumping out of the brush behind us!! Wow...

Ha!  Reel time... How about that gear bag of Brian's?


So, my journey continues this month with Tenkara...

Yes, a rather slow day on the river for our second lesson, but picked up a few little brownies to give RD that big smile!   Maybe lesson 3 will have me catching trout with the Tenkara... Will it happen?  Stay tuned.

I will be taking a little break until Sunday Tippets as I will be scouting some water in Wyoming...(Cowboy Country!)  There's this Troutrageous guy that is coming out from PA. and we have to find him some trout to write home about!  Haha.


I mean... I could show him some awesome bugs on the Weber that I found this past week...   These stones were pretty awesome.

But, I have a feeling that he would have a lot more fun looking at something like this... Oh wait...Sorry T!    That is the hat they wear in Wyoming...but, that definitely isn't the fish or the girl... = )

Yes, this is what we are looking for...


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Making It Real - Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

What's your dream? 

We have big dreams, high hopes, and great plans. For a lot of us, they just never happen.  Almost everyone I’ve ever known has a weekend hobby or a passion they wish they could turn into a job or career. They sigh and say, “Boy, I wish I could do this all the time.”  Then they’re back at their jobs on Monday, groaning as they look forward to Friday.  Or maybe they don’t have a passion or serious interests. I’ve known a lot of people who constantly scheme about doing one thing or another and are quick to point out potential  possibilities. “Wow, I could do this” or “Boy, I could really make something of that…”  Why not do it? “Oh, you know…money, kids, bills…  Sound like you or someone you know? Dreams and plans don’t just happen. We have to make them happen. What’s holding you back?

RD on the left...The next Stevie Nicks?

As a kid, I played around with a vague notion of “rock star.” I had no idea what that would entail, but I loved singing and playing the keyboards. A race horse jockey was a dream for a few years, but even at 10 or 12, I was already too tall, too big.  I was inquisitive, I was smart, and I got good grades. I read a lot, wrote a lot, and I questioned everything. I wanted to be something or someone other than what I was at the time—a kid—but I had a hard time envisioning the future or making plans. 

Would I become a high fashion model in New York City?  Ha, No...  Just a pretender in a college dorm on Halloween... silly co-eds!   I did study fashion design in college though.  Can you tell by the way I'm dressed there?  Heehee.  All in good fun.  Tall and skinny, I once was!   And you thought it was Marie Osmond...

One thing that I have learned growing up, is that immediate gratification and living beyond your means steals future potential.  There’s a difference between “living in the now" or being in the present moment and seeking instant happiness by living in ways today that don’t make sense for tomorrow.  So, what can you change?  Is it time to explore your options that lie in front of you?  One thing is for sure, if you do nothing about an aspiration, it won't come to fruition...will it?   And sometimes living with regrets of not doing anything are worse than trying for something and failing.  

I’ve had a lot of goals and dreams in my life, and I’ve repeated this process of reasoning:

1. How is my current situation holding me back?
2. What are my options, and who can I look to as a role model?
3. What beliefs or fears are holding me back?
4. What can I do without, if needed, while working toward my goal?
5. What can I change so I can make it happen?

Dreams, hopes, and plans don’t amount to anything on their own except once in awhile for those fortunate enough to be spotted by a talent scout or tapped on the shoulder by the fairy of good fortune. But even those people have to work hard, and they have challenges like everyone else.  What about you? What’s getting in your way? What obstacles have you overcome or which ones are you facing?

I have a dream...and many obstacles have been thrown in my path.  But, I am a "never say never" type of gal.  I'm working hard every day on it...(Except for Fish Tuesday)  to make this dream a reality.  For now, it's a secret and hidden within my heart.  But, next year... = )

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being A Good Road Buddy ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Stephanie and Dustin
Road Buddies - Rocky Mtn Frenzy Trip
While traveling alone can be rewarding and adventurous, the majority of our travels will include a partner or two.  Be it a significant other, friend or family member, you will typically find yourself on a trip with some company.  If I've learned anything from my travels it's that your choice of partner can make or break a trip. Not all friends make for good travel companions.  You have to choose wisely before inviting someone on a trip with you. So, what makes a good road buddy?

Here is a list of traits that every successful travel or road buddy should possess.  (In my humble opinion)  Find someone who fits these criteria and you can be fairly confident that you won't be ready to kill each other before you even pack your bags.

Mark and Owl - Road Buddies in the Smokies

Be together but alone - At some point on any trip, people will want to do different things. This will either cause a fight because one of you is insecure or create an opportunity for you to split up, enjoy some alone time and keep everyone happy.

Flexibility - Travel can create stressful situations. Plans will change on the fly or new ideas will be discovered. A good travel buddy can roll with the changes and see them as exciting opportunities.  Especially when the river gets too high during a flash flood in North Carolina!  Ha.  Has anyone walked on the Appalachian trail before??  = )  I can now say that I did!  Thanks, Owl!

 Road Buddy, Rebecca at River X

Hygiene - Hey, you're going to be with this person (potentially in cramped quarters) for days, or possibly weeks.  Either you both have to be slobs or you both have to keep clean.  Plain and simple... Make it pleasant for everyone.

Quiet Time - Whether you're standing at the edge of a cliff admiring the view or sitting around a campfire after a long day, there are times when you just want some peace and quiet. The company is nice, but knowing when to be silent makes it better.  And there is always time to be alone to gather one's thoughts for that upcoming blog post!  = )



Spontaneity - The chance to catch an arctic grayling in one of the few rivers in the U.S.  Off the beaten path a bit, but this is your chance to do it.  These are the opportunities that require split-second decisions and can create amazing memories.  Thanks, Maynard for having the vision on this one!  My highlight of the trip to Montana recently.  And it was something that I hadn't planned on!

Quiet Time - Whether you're standing at the edge of a cliff admiring the view or on a train after a long day, there are times when you just want some peace and quiet. The company is nice, but knowing when to be silent makes it better.


Why is Montana always so much fun???

Share responsibilities - If one person is doing all the planning, keeping things on schedule, booking all the flights, buses and hotels while the other person plans to just show up, there's a good chance resentment will pop up the first time you miss a bus. Split up the leg work and share the experience from beginning to end.  Sharing in the meals also helps.  For road trips, I always have a good assortment of lunch items for the whole gang. 

Extroverts have more fun - Going out on the town during a trip is a great way to change up the travel dynamic.  Find a lively place with music, food and drink...and let the good times roll!  West Yellowstone has a few of these type of establishments...  = )  I even remember someone dancing in our group... ha.   Adventure out on your adventure!  You don't have to be the life of the party...just join in the fun. 
And having a friend on a trip that likes to do the same crazy things as you do, is a plus!


Respect - You and your friend can disagree about a lot of things - foods, activities, destinations - but don't criticize each other. If your friend wants to eat grasshoppers or even scorpions while in Mexico and that grosses you out, let him or her enjoy the experience without having to hear you gagging in the background.

Cultural sensitivity - If you've ever traveled with someone who got into an argument over a language barrier, belittled someone or, in exasperation, yelled out something to the effect of "That's what's wrong with these people," you know how mortifying it can be to apologize for your friend's behavior. Best to travel with people who can handle cultural differences as well as you can.

Maynard and Ernie...what more can be said?
Of course, these aren't the only things that you want to keep in mind when choosing a road buddy, but they're the biggest concerns. You'll surely also want a friend who won't mind if you stop to take lots of pictures or who will share their photos with you if you're not a shutterbug. And it never hurts if you don't mind sharing a jacket or iPod when someone didn't pack properly. Compromise and common courtesy go a long way towards keeping the peace.

Sunday Tippet:  Picking the right travel partner will ensure that you not only enjoy your trip, but that you will have shared experiences that will strengthen your friendship when the trip is over. I am fortunate enough to have a group of friends that can tolerate me for a little while anyway!  Ha.  Seriously, I am fortunate to have great road buddies that share the same passion of fly fishing and adventure.  It has been great to make new friendships and make memories to last a lifetime.

 A final note:  My last trip to the great state of Montana..."Land of the Big Brown Trout", was directed by "Maynard" and I must give him his very much earned props for giving us all a great trip!  Thanks, buddy!

  And check out this Arctic Grayling from Alaska that Maynard sent me...The dorsal fin is incredible!

Have a great week, everyone!