Sunday, February 10, 2019

Outsmarting That Fish... Sunday Tippets ~ Damsel Style

Now, first of all, I am going to tell you that I'm not an expert in any means in "outsmarting" fish.  But, I have found a few fishy tricks that I thought would be helpful to some of you.  You never know everything.  In some way or another, we are all learning something on the water each time we go out.  That is a given.  And that is why we fly fish.  Because it is not always the same scenario each time we go out.  Water levels fluctuate, currents change, hatches change, etc. etc.... And so the adventure continues.  So, how do we "outsmart" those trout that lie beneath the riffles and pools of our stream?  

When there isn't a hatch going on and you can visually see the risers in front of you, we look for places that hold trout.  This is where reading the water is a necessity.  When I first started fly fishing, I was so confused on what to look for and where to find it. Ten years later, I'm not an expert... but, I do know where they lie a lot of the time.  I just need to perfect that bug selection and set that hook a bit quicker!!   (I have lost a few... haha)  When fishing a river, I look for where the fast water meets the slow water.  Where the deep water meets the shallow water.  And where the rocks offer a resting place for the trout from the fast current. 

Let me tell you about a fun experience that I had.  I saw a tree and a lot of obstruction falling across the narrow channel on the side of the main river.  Boy, did I want to investigate!  The short riffle on top going into a deeper small pool in front of a fallen branch.  For sure, there would be a fish in there! Mainly because, he would think that no one would bother him and be in this safe haven.  This was a highly hazardous place for a fly to go astray and not come back.  Do you get my drift?  Drift... yes, that is what I needed to do.  Carefully, drift that fly across that deep spot and then pull the line up quickly before it got caught on the fallen branch. Can you see a "tangled line" happening???  And I might only have one chance if it was a spooky fish.

I'm definitely getting more daring.  What the heck, I reached into my fly box and picked two flies that I was ok in losing.  (Positive thinking, huh?)  My placement of the flies would have to be perfect.  I could so easily be snagged.  I had about three to four feet of water to drift.  I casted... I drifted right over... BOOM!!! Hello, Mr. Trout!!!  Up and out of the water he came and then down under that stinkin' branch.  I have lost too many fish lately due to pulling the line.  So, I waited and kept the line tight.  A minute later and he went towards the corner of the trunk of the tree.  Now, I could start stripping the line in a bit.  I worked him a few minutes and he was in the net!  Lucky?  Yeah, that I didn't lose my flies. But, not lucky that he was there.  It was just the perfect place for a fish nap. 

A huge grin appeared on my face as I released him back into the slow current of the river.  I "outsmarted" a fish and it felt soooooo good.   I cannot lie.  We will all have this experience sometime and will relish in what we have learned in our many journeys out to the water.  It makes it so worth it.  = )  Go with your instincts.  You will probably be right!!

How sweet it was...

Size 16 beadhead rainbow sow to lead and entice and a Size 18 purple zebra midge to bite on... 

Sunday Tippet:  Trout fishing is challenging.  But if we find places that fish can feel secure, don't be afraid to try it!  Even if there is a bit of obstruction.  They will try to find a comfortable place where the current is slowed and food is pushed their way, as this channel was.  Trees, undercut banks, rocks (I know, bring a few extra flies) are usually great places to find Mr. Trout.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why Fly Fishing???

The year 2018 is behind us.  There are great memories. Many good friends were visited and fished with in other states around the West.  I put on a few more miles, ugh,,, like 20k on the fishmobile.  I would say that my biggest thrill of the year was standing at the Bow River in Calgary.  It was the color of the water that put chills down my spine,  Oh, you thought it would be the fish?  Sure, I go to catch fish, but that isn't why I fly fish.  See these guys?  It's just about getting outside and chilling.

 It is the whole experience that surrounds me.  It's the beauty of every stream, river, and lake that I fish.  It's the solitude when taking a solo trip and needing to unwind and have some meditation time.  Other times, it is the companionship of a few friends and to share laughs, fish in the net, and good food.  It's about flies that I tie up at midnight the night before and then seeing those same flies devoured by a hungry fish.  Yes!  I guessed right!  Or was it an educated guess?  After all of my years on the water, I would hope so.  Lol.  Flyfishing is a grand sport, pasttime, and relaxer.  It's a way of life that I have been accustomed to for the last 10 years or so.   Yes, to say that I am an avid fly fisher would be correct.  But, I am also a nature lover and a conservationist too.  

This past year was tough healthwise, but I perservered and got out there anyway.  Don't ask how I felt the next day.  I know that it makes me feel better to be in a river with the cold water rushing around me, even though it does tire me out pretty good.  I work hard, I play hard.  That's just me.  2019?  I will venture to say right now that it will be a little slower one for me.  But, I plan on a few good trips with special friends that I have made.  My "friends of the fly" have a special place in my heart and we have shared great times together.  Fly fishing invigorates your mind.  There are things to figure out and I like that!  You can always improve.  I have a long time friend that teasingly yells out "mend!" when you fish in front of him.  That got me to mend a whole lot better over the years.  It's a mindset.  And this year, I am going to be working on my casting and my double haul.  I don't think that you ever stop growing unless you stop trying and I'm not there yet!

This 3 min video will show you why I do what I do.  =) 
RD & Friends 2018.  

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Final Adventure of 2018

As 2018 closes, I look back and have to say that I had some amazing trips this past year.  On the top of the list, was Canada and Costa Rica.  I just got lucky that my son, Daniel, wanted his mom along on his company trip to CR!  This past month has been challenging.  I have had a two viral infections and a bacterial infection.  I believe that I am now well.  Good grief!  But, I still enjoyed CR immensely, even though I was a little tired out.  

Just a brief intro to the video that I am posting.  Around 35 of us from Solcius, a solar company, went down on a service trip/adventure which they put on every year in a different part of the world.  Solcius "Brings the light" trip involves giving out solar lanterns to needy families.  We met these sweet people at the community center with household goods and food items too.  It was a lot of help to these good people.

We had a couple of days where we helped the community around Quepos and a couple of days of activities.  I said that I was too old for ziplining.  Well, I did it!  And I'm glad that I did.  Not everyday do you get to act like Tarzan and swing through a rainforest.  We also had snorkeling, beach time and touring the Manuel Antonio Natl. Park.  All I can say is that it wouldn't have been the same trip without the service days.  It was humbling to help these beautiful people of Costa Rica who were so appreciative.  The people there are sweet and treat tourists amazingly.  The food was top notch.  Mostly steak and seafood  for dinner and lots of beautiful local grown fruit.  Costa Rica exports bananas and pineapple to the world.  I loved having it for breakfast every day!  I felt so spoiled while there.  We take so much for granted.  

Maybe I won't get to feed sloths next time, but I am sure that there will be something to do or something new to see!  Our service day at the Kids Saving The Rainforest, was truly an experience to remember.  Our large group cleaned up this sanctuary for sick and hurt birds and animals for more than half a day.  In that time, we got as much done as they had done in 3 mos.  They were so grateful to have us there.  I loved this beautiful part of the world so much.  No fishing this time around as it was really pricey and supposedly slow... Sooo... I brought home Christmas money.  =)

Enjoy the vid and see why I had a hard time saying goodbye!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Canadian Rockies Birthday Adventure ~ Part 2

I woke up to this on my birthday.  My favorite blueberry pancake breakfast.  There was no way that my Canadian friends knew this.  Everything about this trip was perfect.  Such great people to spoil me so. 

Of course, I had to smother it in the good stuff.  When in Canada!

We were now on the third day of my trip.  Now, I have had a fishing birthday trip quite often in the last ten years...  I don't remember when I started this, but I figured that as I kinda share my birthday with my daughter whose birthday is a day before mine, why have another party during the week?  And I don't mind having a birthday fish instead of a cake anyway.  

It was time to launch!  What would we catch today???

 We headed back to the Bow River.  It was a pretty, but cold day.  We were hoping that the fishing would pick up since we fished it a couple days before.  We met up with another new friend, Doug, also from the Calvary area.  He brought me something special in the morning.  Birthday cake doughnut holes!   These Canadians are the best hosts...  Facebook friends become real friends.  =)

The cold front was definitely coming in on us.  I never though that I would need a winter coat on my birthday in August!  Haha.  The fishing was a bit slow, but we all hooked up with a few fish that day.  And it was great to see a new part of the river. 

Dougie kept bringing fish in from the back of the boat.  =)

Angie was great on the sticks.  She actually is guiding now up in Calgary.  She is so fishy and has a great sense of what is going on in and around the water.  We had such a blast.  At the end of the day, my birthday fish got hooked up.  I wasn't sure if I was going to find one of those big rainbows, but I did!  Thank you, Angie, for stopping and letting me wade a bit.  Perfect spot! 

It was here that I caught my birthday fish!

And Angie did a great job with netting the runaway.
  A nice rainbow for RD...

On  the final day, we hit Banff Natl. Park.  WOW.  That is pretty much all I can say.  It has been on the radar for quite awhile.  I wanted to see Lake Louise and Lake Moraine.  They are definitely lakes that are in the most beautiful setting in the world.  Hands down.  So, on a chilly summer morning, Angie and I set out to be tourists for the day.  The drive was amazing going up there.  The cloud cover didn't let me see all of the mountain tops, but I got the jest of it.  I decided that tourism is healthy in Banff.  People on every corner and long lines to get on the shuttles because the parking lots were full.  We did get to see Louise.  The lines prevented us from seeing Moraine.  Next time!!!

As we left the park, we had to stop and fish just for a little bit on the beautiful Bow River outside of Banff.  Ohhh my!  The glacial water is the most gorgeous color that I have ever seen...

My trip of the year.
Thank you, my dear friends, Angie and Joey...
It will always be remembered fondly.

RD's Tip:  Visit in July if you like short sleeve weather.  =)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Canadian Rockies Adventure ~ Part 1

For my birthday at the end of August, I flew to Canada.  It's been a dream fly fishing destination for the last five years or so.  I figured that I'm not getting any younger and so I should just do it.  I have taken road trips for my last few birthdays.  It's my way of running away from age.  Yeah, I know.  I still get older.  But, it is more fun when you can be on the water and catching a birthday fish!  

I met up with some new friends that I made over Instagram.  Social media introduced me to a new friend and fishing buddy, Angie, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Getting there was the toughest part of the trip.  A 14 hour delay at the airport included me actually going back home and catching a morning flight.  Some kind of mechanical failure (a broken arm rest) from the airplane that was supposed to come in for us.  But, I got back a third of my airfare from the circus of delays that night and for the inconvenience of coming back.  I also tagged on an extra day with a phone call to my boss at work for the lost day.  (And it actually let me fish an extra day... hahahaha) The flight delay was a blessing!  Now I can go back to Canada next summer with my flight discount.  Well, if they will have me. Hahahahaha

From the beginning, I knew we would have a great time, whether or not we caught any fish.  Angie was the nicest and was so willing to make my trip awesome in every way.  Taking a cnance on a stranger staying in your home for a few days is quite hospitable.  In this case, I believe that we became life long friends.  I can't wait to show them my local waters and get them into fish in the states!  Joe was the master chef during my time there.  Wow.  Every night that we came home from fishing all day, there he was cooking up a storm in the kitchen!  Each entree was delicious!  So spoiled...

So, the Bow River, several other rivers in high country, and Banff Natl. Park were on the list of things to do.  I wanted to see two of the more popular lakes in the Park.  Lake Louise and Lake Moraine are beautiful!  More on that later.  So, we got Angie's drift boat out on the Bow and I caught my first Canadian fish.  Of course it was a brown trout!  So exciting!  =)

Angie took me to a couple of other rivers in the mountains that had Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout.  Yeah, we were quite excited to see a bullie chasing the cuttie on my line as I reeled it in.  But, he backed off and I didn't get to catch both!  Haha.  We only saw two bullies down under so another reason that I must go back.  =)  But, the Westslopes were quite beautiful and the scenery wasn't bad either!  The weather... Well, if you like a drop of 20 degrees in one day and a sleet and hail storm... Then, you should have been with us!  

August 24th

Unbelievable... Angie said that it was epic hopper fishing just a week before.  The Bow River dropped in CFS the day before I got there and the weather got colder than usual for the end of August.  When we got to the mountains, it was 38 degrees.  But, we still caught fish and had an epic trip.  I just got out my Patagonia puffy jacket and went back to my favorite nymph fishing and all was well.  I did catch a few on dries.

O Canada!!!
Maybe July next year???

My first Westslope Cutthroat and on a dry.

Angie caught this beauty!

All in all, the first two days went well.  And when we came home, food was hot and ready.  Well, of course it was.  We had Joe!  Thank you so much, buddy.  These new friends are something else.  I love Canada.  Wouldn't you???

Well, on Instagram that night, Angie put up a post about our day...

An awesome privelege to fish with me?  Haha.  No, I think it was the other way around...

Part 2 in a couple of days.  My birthday fish is caught and we do a tourist day to Banff.  Oh, and a special video has to be made.  So glad that I bought a new phone before the trip... 
You will see why.  See you soon!