Sometimes you just have to suck it up and say that you messed up. You know that there is a bit of mud under the paw, but eventually you learn your lesson and will be allowed back into the good graces of the carpet layer. Let's begin at the beginning...shall we? My dear friend, Howard. He is a good great guy and sent me some flies a couple of months ago. He was working on a "blue damsel" for me. Kind of a "signature fly"... He said that he would throw in a few more flies with it that I could try out.
Well, the old fart classy guy sent me a darling fishermen's basket full of his original tied flies! At first, I didn't want to fish them. I thought that I would just look at them for awhile. But, I knew that he would want me to use them, so I took them and put them into a prescription bottle and off I went to the river. The first one got stuck under a rock. The second one ran off with a brown trout that was stronger than my knot. Down two, I closed up the bottle and decided to take them home.
I have a special piece of furniture in my house. It is my grandmother's cherry wood hutch. A display case for my favorite fishy things... My River X box (that someone had tied up special flies) has been in it and I placed the fishing basket there too. Just kind of a sentimentalist, I guess that you could say. I have certainly been a very lucky lady in receiving special packages of flies from my blogging friends! I just have this tendency to put away singles that I want to look at later on...
So, here's the bugs. And I have a fondness for that blue one near the top. = )
But, I am thinking that I will take that bottom middle green guy to River X with me in a few days...
Beware, Howard, if it is the secret weapon! You might have to tie me a buttload few more...hahaha.
This post is my answer to Howard's question in my last post. Howard had wondered why he never got a river report... (after the thank you via FB) Well, Howard...Simply put,
because they have made a home away from home. And like you, they are warm, cozy and happy. = )
The barriers have been knocked down. Creative planning and finding a road buddy have been accomplished. (Well, who really likes to travel alone for more than a couple of hours?) Time flies when you are having fun! Sept. 28th... The journey begins. I had a great day on the Middle Provo last week...(previous post) to warm up. I will try my best to duplicate that effort up North... All I have to do is Will it!! Right?
I Will do a better job in staying away from these guys on this trip!
I Will stay on my feet instead of slipping on rocks.
I Will continue to wear my Bud Lilly green shirt to remain "superstitious"
like fishermen have a tendency to do!
I Will bring my stash of "Crystal Dips" with me...
Why shouldn't they work up there too??!
River X Browns LOVE midges...
And... I Will find some "pigs" up there on River X.
Well, I'm hoping that we find the variety that have spots on them instead...
And not a toupee! Ha!
5 Days and Counting...
Sunday Tippet: In preparation of my upcoming trip, a few fly fishing friends have sent me some new bugs for my River X box.
One friend, Ross Slayton, is trying to buy some new waders and selling flies to do it! If you don't tie flies, or you just want to buy some for a good cause...here's a great deal.
Oh no...we don't need to find Casey Cockroach...that's for sure!
How about these guys??
Oh yeah, my favorite...Stonefly nymphs...
(And no, Howard...that isn't my hairy hand...But, it could be T's!!)
Sometimes it is quite easy to decide what goes on the end of your fly line and other times, it's a guess.
Hopefully, an educated guess. But, I know that I have thrown the whole kit and kuboodle at times too. The selection process... Isn't it grand? Really...isn't that what makes flyfishing fun? Interesting? Heck, yes!
I have watched many caddis hatches over the past couple of years. Now, don't laugh. You know me, the forever-under the water, nympher. Only a few times, have I tried to cast out that dry fly. But, my curiosity is getting the best of me lately. And maybe a little bit of adventure into the unknown... I'm one that likes a challenge. And as frustrating as it has been with my attempts with the dry fly... I have not given up hope yet.
Fish Tuesday... Enough said.
What did I put on my line?
Nope. It wasn't my trusty "Thingamabobber"!!
Believe it or not... I stuck with the elk hair caddis for the first two hours. And during the waves of the hatch throughout the day... I got to the Provo River at 7:30 am. A brisk 38 degrees. But, it warmed up rather nicely. Only one car in the parking lot! Surprise!! Ha. They missed out. For the last three weeks, the Provo has had high traffic and smaller fish. (Being 6-12 in) I walked out to the spot that has given me a bit of a test as of late... As I scouted out the water and screened for bugs... The largest caddis hit my arm, followed by many, many more! Ok. I can play this game.
FOILED! He took the copper bead head midge dropper... Haha. (It happens every time)
Ok...let's try again.
That's better...VICTORY on the dry!
Fish after fish after fish... There must have been twenty or thirty even, all around me! It was an incredible site. At one point, I had to stop fishing. I just had to watch the heads and tails. The sound of fish jumping in the quiet still of the morning makes my heart race! Ok. I'm a weird girl. But, it's true.
It was time to head upstream and see what was happening up there.
And to try something new...
Putting on my new find... the "Graphic Caddis" (above)...
Under a big elk hair caddis or under an indicator... It worked both times! It was money...
Thank you, JC... A most knowledgable, FISHWEST employee!
And I had the right size... I'm finding out how important that is to this game...
It was amazing... My biggest day on the river in my 3 1/2 years... I even lost track of how many... (I have a pretty good guess though!) How fun is that? The interesting thing was that with less people on the river, and an epic caddis hatch... There were more fish and bigger fish. Hmmmm. (14-18 in) And I won't complain on that kind of day... = )
So, all was well. I matched the hatch and wore my lucky green shirt...
(Yeah, you knew that I wouldn't leave home without it!)
And thanked the bugs of the Provo River for being there for me...
Let me start with offering you a treat... For being such good friends and
followers of the blog:
Oh, this recipe now is my favorite...
Oatmeal scotchies with milk choc. and semi sweet...
No calories. Ugh...in the first bite.
Now, back to the regularly scheduled topic of fly fishing...heehee
Last Saturday, my friend Jeri and I went to the Weber River to go after some big fish...and early... We got there at 7 am...still a definite chill in the air. Yeah, 38 degrees. Jeri had her ski jacket on...Oh, good grief! I told her that it was going to warm up quickly according to the weather report, so I got her to leave it in the car. Trust is a great thing about friendship... = )
The water was high and murky. Not exactly what the fishing reports had read... Oh well. We gave it a try for a few hours. Then, decided to go to another part of the river twenty minutes away. It was also running murky. I tried my Czech nymphs and some other mayfly nymphs, but without success. It was now 1:00 pm... Time to go home? Heck no. I am a trooper until the end. And this didn't feel like the end. I still had some vigor left in me. Jeri looked at me with a gleam in her eye... like she knew it wasn't the end of the day either. "How about the Provo? It is only another 20 min. away", I prodded. Jeri responded with a "Hell, yes! Let's do it!" So, off we went. Two crazy fisher ladies.
Here's the kicker...
I really like my blue Simms shirt, but for some reason, it just doesn't bring me the same luck as my green Bud Lilly's shirt from West Yellowstone. What can I say? I have not been skunked yet in my "Bud" shirt. So, why don't I wear it every time??? I might have to. I am seriously starting to get superstitious!! I'm sure that Jeri thought that I was nuts as I reached into my travel bag and pulled out a different shirt when we got to the Provo! Haha.
Jeri is a great fishing partner. She has spunk and she can hang with me on a 10 hour fishing day! The Provo River was much more clear and lower also. A perfect level right now at 250-300 cfs. We headed to a favorite stretch of river that has given us luck before. Yep, with the green shirt, it was bound to happen...
De-skunked!! A smallish brown...but, I didn't care!
And that was just the beginning...
Jeri followed suit and got her own catches in...
And a few more...and we had our fill of browns for the day.
Oops! 5:00 pm came... and as I looked at the sun over the mountains to the West, I knew that it was time to head back to the car. A journey that took perserverance, patience and a little bit of luck. (At least for me)
As I headed back down the trail, I noticed a fisherman that wasn't all too careful with his release of the fish. It got me thinking about the "Golden Rules of Fish Survival"...
Make sure your fishing net’s web is wet
before picking up a fish.
Wet your hands before handling any fish!
Don’t squeeze a fish’s stomach.
Don’t stick your fingers or any object into the
If you can’t remove a hook, from a fish, cut
your tippet line
and release the fish before
the fish becomes overly stressed.
Quickly photograph a fish and immediately
return the fish to water.
In warmer water conditions try photographing
fish in a net that’s held partially in the
Well, I am off to hit the pillow for the night... I have a bright and early fishing date...with, ugh...A FISH!
And don't even ask which shirt I put into the wash tonight...
Have you ever been to a Trout Ranch? Here's a taste of what you could find. Courtesy of Fly Fishing Frenzy... (Hit the link for a great blog and some awesome merchandise too!) At the White's Ranch, Sportsmen's Paradise... Outside of Logan, Utah.
There are many Trout Ranches if you just "Google", you will probably find one in your area.
"Tucked away in a remote corner of Utah there lies a fly fishing recreation resort where the beauty of nature entices us with her pleasures. L.C. Ranch is located just 2 1/2 hours east of Salt Lake City at the base of the Ashley National Forest in the Uintah Mountain range. Our lakes and ponds are spread over 1400 acres ideal for guided fly fishing trips. The stillwater habitat is nearly perfect. Under a strict policy of catch and release fly fishing, it is well managed, quiet and unpressured, perfect for the growth of large trophy trout. With an average length of 17 inches and the chance at a trophy like the one pictured above weighing over 15 pounds, it is a fly fisher’s dream world!"
And in the beautiful mountains of Utah...
"There is no other Utah fly fishing lodge and mountain resort like this. At the Crystal Ranch you get exclusive access to the entire secluded 500 acre property on the doorstep of Utah’s High Uinta Wilderness area. The well-appointed luxury lodge gives you every comfort and amenity you could want, along with the privacy, exclusivity, and seclusion that make the Crystal Ranch unique."
"The Crystal Ranch offers incredible fly fishing on Utah’s Yellowstone River with the opportunity to catch 4 species of wild trout. 2 miles of private access trout stream will be all yours. In addition, Utah’s Uinta Mountains provide incredible scenery, wildlife, and more."
Yes, there are many opportunities to catch trophy size trout if you don't have the chance yourself in your home waters... Check out those in your area and see what they have to offer. Many times there is a lodging package as well. So, you can make it a day trip possibly or extend it to a nice weekend away... = )
Because let's face it... not everyone gets into BIG Fish very often!! Lol.
In conclusion...A Sunday Night Video, if you have 13 min to spare ... If not, thanks for stopping by!
The fisherman in the following video is none other than my buddy, Brent Ramey of Fly Fishing Frenzy! (He can find big fish in whatever river that he goes to) But, Brent also enjoys the White's Ranch from time to time. It's just another outlet for fly fishing fun... If you ever have the chance to go to a Trout Ranch... you might enjoy what it has to offer... Enjoy the vid...
Everytime I put a hopper-dropper on my line, the fish takes
the dropper! It is almost like someone is telling me that I was meant to be a nymph fly fisherman. I have fellow fly fishers tell me that I should fish dries....... and fish them 24-7...... Is that what fly fishing is really all about? Is it true that our fly fishing ancestors only had in mind "dry fly" fishing when they first concocted this crazy sport?It's not like the act of catching large, dripping trout by drifting a small hand-tied bug on the surface into a mouth the size of a two-car garage doesn't do it for me... It's the precision and accuracy that is involved that has me flustered. Hence, I have caught only a handful of fish on the dry fly in my 3+ years on the water.
What is funny to me is that fly fishing is all wonderful, but truth be told, almost everyone secretly holds on to the hope that the mother-of-all hatches is going to occur during their time on the river. This will naturally translate to rising fish everywhere. I love the active hatch bringing up trout to snif the dry and drop down and take the nymph! = )
The truth is that for the "dry fly only" fishermen... it's dry or die. It is engrained into their souls... it is where fly fishing starts and where it ends. Now, when I talk about dry fly fishing, I'm talking about spotting a catchable feeding fish, casting to that fish and fooling him into to eating your offering. At times, I will play the game. It is a game of dedication, of patience, and perseverance. You have to have these qualities to be a "dry fly only" cat. It's the truth. Are you a "DFO"? I will probably never be one, but still would like to add the dry fly to my bag of tricks.
Here are some of the hard truths about dry fly fishing:
When you are a DFO, you probably have higher success when you limit your fishing to times of year and time of day when there are rising fish or the prospect of them occurring looms large. The time of day that risers are most likely to occur may be the butt-crack of dawn, or the last 5 minutes before dark, or it may happen around the lunch hour if you pass on going to the car for lunch. = )
Being in the right place at the right time is essential but also is no guarantee. As I have seen repeatedly this year on the Provo and the Weber, some days the bugs just don't happen, or we'd have bugs and the fish would not get on them. Sun, wind, weeds, angling pressure, and non-angler pressure are all factors you have no control over. Your two choices are to work around the issue or not. Sometimes picking a better day is the only option. Most of the hard-core dry fly folks I know live here or near a similar river and have a very bountiful access to it in terms of time. They fish a lot and are on the river a lot.
The fish won't always eat what you just spent 50 bucks on in the fly shop to feed them. Regardless of what the shop's website or blog said, sometimes fish will not eat the "hot fly". Not even the Crystal Dip!! (My new go-to midge) It is often times more about the presentation than the fly itself. There, I've said it. I know my weakness. I can drift a nymph under water, but drifting on top... ha! Some guys can catch fish on dang near anything because it is presented properly.
For some folks, fly fishing is something they do maybe 4 to 10 days a year. My guess is the average hard-core local is on the water 4 to 10 days (oops...me!) a month. Not all of that time is spent dry fly fishing obviously, but valuable time is spent getting to know your fly rod. You know, that expensive tool you use to do all of this. Yes, I'm talking about casting skill. (Something that I need to acquire more of) Dry fly fishing pretty much starts and ends with the ability of the angler to deliver the fly to the fish. You are not born with it. You cannot purchase it.You cannot tie it on the end of a fly line. You cannot realistically consider yourself a "dry fly" guy/gal without it. But with practice you can develop it. And that my friends, is the secret. PRACTICE!
Someday it will happen for me... I know that. I won't always be a nymphing "sloth"!! Yes, it is easy to get into that "comfort zone"...
Those nails do need to be trimmed a bit!
What does this all mean? Dry fly fishing is most definitely worth the effort but one needs to keep things in perspective. Most of the serious dry fly guys and gals that I know have moved beyond their fish-whacking days. They have experienced the big number days and now are truly and honestly content with the pursuit of a good fish and treasure the moments and time spent doing so. They understand what needs to fall into place for banner dry fly fishing to happen and cherish it when it occurs. They are honest to the core when they say for them there is no such thing as a bad day of fishing. Ask your local guide if this is true!!
So do people nymph because they are too impatient to dry fly fish? Maybe for me. But catching fish will do that and you can't stick the genie back in the bottle.........