Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cooling Off With Brookies ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Well, if you can't beat the heat... you head to the hills!  At least here, you do.  Normally, a higher elevation will do the trick.  Salt Lake City has had its share of 90-100 degree days this past month and I for one, was ready for a change!  Normally, it will be at least ten degrees cooler in my canyons nearby.  But, there is another mountain range that has even cooler air and beautiful brook trout.  It's just an hour and a half away, so I headed out.

Lately, I have been admiring more and more, the smaller fish and their vibrant colors.  Alan, over at Small Stream Reflections, always is posting up gorgeous small trout from the creeks and rivers that he visits.  As Alan says, "Fly fishing need not be complicated.  Take the time to slow down on the water and look to the grand beauty out there in it's most simple form."

I took this quote to heart.  Packed up my gear and met my friend Jeri for a day trip to the Uintas.  And what did we find?  53 degrees when we got there and 65 degree when we left.  Ahhh...  Now to tell you the truth, I wasn't so sure if I could catch a fish in that amount of water running through the rocks.  I'm pretty much a "big water" gal when fishing for trout.   I haven't had great luck on small streams.  But, Jeri assured me that they were hungry in there, as she had fished this stream before.  So, I packed up my bear spray.  (Definitely a must in this area)  and I packed my granola bar.  Yes, I know.  Don't bring food to feed the bears.  But, there was a reason for my madness.  When asking Mike, Mr. Troutrageous! for some small stream advice, he told me to "walk slow, stay low, if you're in the stream, stick to the edges.  And bring granola bars.  If you do spook em' ...stay in one place and eat a granola bar.  By the time you finish, their settled down and ready to cast to."

We had to walk through many pine trees and leap frog over many fallen tree trunks to get to the creek.  And along the way, Jeri was searching for her mushrooms.  She is a pretty knowledgeable gal on the subject of "Shrooming" and even belongs to a club.  She showed me the BAD ones, that you don't touch.  And we also found some others that you can hold, but don't want to eat raw...  We didn't find the variety that she wanted to bring home to cook up.  But, it was something new for me... a "shroomer" adventure of sorts!  Hey, it got me to stop thinking about bears anyway! 

Finally, we got to the small stream of brook trout.  It was a beautiful site!  Just like Alan said, you just need to sit back and enjoy the 
beauty around us sometimes.  

Now, how in the world do you cast out to small stream trout?  Well, you don't.  At least I couldn't, with the trees and shrubs all around me.  So, it was a simple drop and drift.  Drop the dry fly (yes, my nymph box did not come out this day!)  where you want to start and help it along the way through the rocks.  And if you get lucky and see a little deeper pool, drift it through there for sure!  I was starting to wonder about all of this and if you just catch these small fry with pure luck, until...

The first of some beautiful small fishies to jump out of the water and into my lap pretty much!   And boy, do they squirt off into the water
 quickly when released!  Zooooom!!!

Then, it was time for a T! snack.  I figured that I had stirred the little guys up with that catch.  Time to give the water a chance to settle down, like T! said.

Yes, it seemed that ants and caddis were on the menu...

A couple hours passed and it was time to head back down the road.  We stopped at another larger river on the way back to just toss a few casts.  Lots of beautiful slate on this river bank.  And then to another part of this river on 
 departure out of the "cooler" neck of the woods...

So, sometimes you have to venture out of the heat to be cool.  Unless you want to stay inside with your A/C on all day... 
But, that's not much fun, now is it??? 

I chose to find higher ground.

Even if it meant to throw a dry fly.  = )
It seems that I have added a few more in my box lately...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

River X... The "Bachelorette" River Adventure Finale...

The party was over.  Or was it?  Well, we did bid farewell to Rachel, Patti, and Rebecca.  After talking it over with Aileen, we decided that we weren't totally exhausted yet and had enough wind in our sails for a quick trip out to River X the next morning.   C'mon now, I would have to be on my last breath to say no to River X.  It was in my plans as a third day from the start, actually.  But, Aileen wasn't a definite yes.  I know how to twist people's arms... heehee.   Big, ol' pouty face works too, most of the time.   = )

Hey, Aileen... How about a short day? 
 We will just fish until about 1:00 pm or so...
Oh, you say that sounds good?  Great!!!  Let's go!

Well, I knew where I wanted to head off to first.   I always start at the "RD/RG Run" each time I go to River X.  Let's just say that I am dang lucky on this stretch!  And I figure that I will get the fish that I want and then I can relax for the rest of the day...


A few of these in the morning... Nothing better! 

And the excitement didn't stop there...
 All of a sudden, we heard quite a holler!  As Aileen and I looked upstream, what would we see???  Someone pumping their fists in the air... We didn't invite ROCKY
 to our finale, did we???

Kind of reminded me of this... 

No, it wasn't ROCKY, but our fearless leader, Rebecca!  She was doing a "sort of happy dance" with her fists up in the air and telling us that nothing stops a "Garlock"!!   Haha.   Robert had dropped her off  to fish with us before heading to another section above us.  Yeah, she knew where I would be first thing in the morning... 

Soon thereafter, she had a nice brown trout of her own.   She never wastes any time!   Rebecca was still feeling whiplash from the day before, but "loopiness" now took over instead of constant pain.   Let's just say that she would be good for a few hours... ha.

We fished.  And we fished.  Not too much catching in the afternoon.  Now, I must say that I wouldn't have stayed out so long if Rebecca wouldn't have shown up.  But, we got along just great because Aileen brought this wonderful neck cooler that kept me cool all day long.  (90 degrees usually doesn't go well with RD)   More on that in the next Sunday Tippets...

It was getting into the late afternoon and we had hooked up with Robert again.  Found a few more stretches to try to lure Mr. Brown trout, but very little was happening hatch wise.  By the way, my catches were all on a 22 black zebra midge.  Rebecca followed suit.  This river just loves this midge all year long...  You can never go wrong with putting a zebra dropper on.

How about a 22 on a 22?  = )

Day 3 was fun because we made it that way...  I mean, when Robert asks me if we should wait for a hatch or go eat dinner and I don't have to think twice about leaving...  Yeah, that elusive hatch just wasn't going to happen.   But, we could go find out who could eat more shrimp at Golden Corral...  = )  You know that I'm all about friends over fish.   Why?  Because they keep coming back.  Fish don't.  So unreliable...  Lol.  What a great group of friends to hang with for a few days.   This will definitely go down as one of my favorite adventures.   Thanks, girls (and guys)...   Congrats, Aileen!
 Rebecca put together a slideshow, the 
"Bachelorette Party ~ River Style".  Enjoy...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hitting The Deck, The "Bachelorette" River Adventure, Part II

What appeared to be footsteps outside the tent the night before, vanished in the night air.  Alas, it was a good night sleep on a thin, foam mattress pad.   The next morning would bring a new member to the group.  Patti would join us as we prepared for a full day float trip in two drift boats.  As I am an early riser, I headed out to the water to take in an hour of fishing while we waited for the rowers to meet us on the river.

7 am... On the water.

8 am... Back to base camp.

8:30... Hmmm... Well, the doughnut holes must have been good!

Patti is starting to wonder if she picked the right seat!

Waiting to launch...
And we are off!
And the Salmonflies are still out in the masses... 
Off of me already!

A nice rainbow for Rachel.

Aileen brings in the ol' whitie.
And I would bring in the second!
Fishing was on the slow side, but we didn't care much.    
Time for a streamside lunch of pastrami and swiss croissants.
And of course, RD's cookies!

 Just chillin'...
A beautiful river to explore
Our fearless leader, Rebecca taking the front as I had the helm on the first day.
Pass the olives, please!  I found out that long handled nets
 on drift boats aren't just used for fish!
Yes, we were all having a fun day amongst our salmonfly friends.
BAM!  Whooooaaa...
The drift boat that Rebecca and I were in, hit the side of the bank as we were in a strong current and starting to go through a corner bend.  There was the HIT, the FALL, and the BUMP... of poor Rebecca's head hitting the side of the boat.   She had been experiencing migraines since the beginning of the trip... this did not help!  As we came back out of the turn... she managed to get back up into her chair, in much pain, but trying to brush it off in Rebecca style.  I have to say that this woman is amazing.  As much pain that was in her neck, jaw and head, she tried to be the best sport and make things alright for everyone to go on. (Even though I knew they weren't)  The rower felt so completely distraught about the situation.  Sometimes accidents do happen.  And they happen very quickly.  She has been to the Dr.
and is hoping for  a speedy recovery!  Love ya, Bec... You rock.  This is definitely not the "adventure in every riffle" that we want repeated...
Now, we couldn't leave the adventure on this kind of note...
So, stay tuned for the FINALE!!!  There's a GOOD surprise in store!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Salmonflies And Strawberries... The "Bachelorette" River Adventure, Part I

Idaho.  Five flyfishing women.  A surprise bachelorette party on the river.  What more could you ask for to have a good time???  How about tossing in some salmonflies and strawberries?!  Yep... We had all of that.  

Rachel, Aileen, Rebecca, RD, and Patti
Rebecca and Rachel wanted to throw a little surprise party for the third member of the "Trifecta", Aileen, over at Flyfishing Ventures.  And they invited Patti, of DreamCastIdaho and good ol' RD too.  Adventure in every riffle?  Yeah, I think that you could say at least that and a little more... Well, would you expect less?

First things first.  How many flyfishing bloggers does it take to set up a tent?
Three, including one in a "skort"... Yes, it was also boat attire.  Don't ask.

Then, RD took Aileen for a walk to look for bugs and places to fish, while the rest of the gang stayed behind to set up the "bachelorette surprise"!

Gorgeous gals, eh?  All decked out with veiled hats with flies attached and little tiaras for the rest of the attendees.  And yes, we had to fish in them!!  

Even me.  Rebecca loved the way that the tiara stuck into my hair so perfectly.  What can I say... I have the Utah "poof"!!  
Well, no reason for a hat today.

Geez... That tiara is giving me extra lift!!  Haha.   So, off we went... A big thank you to a couple of Rachel's buddies that volunteered their time to float us.  I had put in an hour or so of wading by the camp before the float and found some little friends...

Let me tell you, this was the first time that I had actually been up close and personal with salmonflies!   Yes, I have seen them on the Firehole in Yellowstone... But, afar.  Oh, I was fascinated.  Then, after a few hours of picking them off of me, the fascination was over.  Ha.  Clingers!!!

And big ol' stoneflies too.  So do you think that the fish were hungry?  No way.  They had so much food in and on the water with these huge bugs, it would be tough to lure them onto a hook.  Full bellies would 
pretty much prevail. 

And if the big bugs weren't enough of a meal for the trout, we had the pink cahill and caddis hatches going...  It was a river feast.  
Now, talking about feasting...

The day had come to an end.  Our afternoon drift was done.  A few fish in the net.  And I was hungry!!  No worries.  RD's cookies were there.  And Rebecca brought the dinner grub to cook up on her Coleman stove.  (She promised us that it wouldn't be anything special because she doesn't cook)  It was delicious!   But, we had one activity that had to be done beforehand.  In search of... branches, wire, whatever would work to get Rachel her keys inside the car.  = )  You should have seen her in action.  Like a sleuth.  She started with some finely crafted branches turned into almost car door openers.   I went down the path to fish a bit since I could see how determined she was to open it herself.   About an hour later, I hear a car alarm.  Oh good!   I guess that they went down the road towards another camp and saw a wire sticking out of a tree covered in overgrowth.   She cut it off and end of story!

The campfire was aglow, the party continued... until, this ol' gal called it a night.  I was dang tired after driving up to Idaho at 3:30 am.  So, I zipped up the tent and said goodnight.  Until the laughing and calling of my name would not stop!  The girls were into the melted chocolate, strawberries and whipped cream.  I was as full as a tick.  I hollered back, "No thank you!"   The good time outside the tent wasn't going to die down for awhile.  So, I finally got up and rejoined the party.   I told myself... just one.  Hmmmm...

I can do without all the fluff... ugh.

 Just chocolate is fine.  = )

Totally evil, but good.  Thanks, Rebecca...

But, really... how could you say no???

We cleaned up the mess and went to our sleeping bags.  After a little disco light show with our flashlights inside the tent, (are we teenagers?  yup.)  and Rebecca responding to turning on her flashlight in the truck (yes, she doesn't like mice), we settled down for a good (sort of) night sleep.  Bec was lights out too.  Then, I hear Rachel and Aileen whispering to each other, "Do you hear those footsteps?"  Next thing I hear is "chik, chik"... yes, I'm protected!   I look over to see two silhouettes in front of the zipped up tent that remind me of... Charlie's Angels.  Silence.

To be continued...