Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Oregonian Adventure... Part II, The Metolius

Usually when I venture out on a fishing trip, I pretty much know what to expect.  Especially, if I have been there before.  There usually aren't too many surprises.  I have done my homework on the selected river and usually have the box of flies that will get the job done.  Of course, there are those variables like weather and moon phases. (Yes, I do have strong feelings about a full moon the night before)  When I packed for my trip to Oregon, I just threw my boxes of flies in the suitcase and hoped for good intel from my friends who lived there.  I was going to a place that has the reputation for being very finicky and difficult to those that visit for the first time.  Or the second for that matter!  So, I would have to rely on "Lady Luck" to catch just one fish.  And I would be forever grateful for that one fish... Whatever it may be.  A redband trout, brown trout, whitefish or a coveted bull trout live in this crystal clear, 45 degree avg cold water of the Metolius River!  

I am a realist.  It's fun to dream, but I don't like disappointment.  So, I just told myself that any fish caught would be a win!!!  Truth be told, I just wanted to see one of the prettiest rivers in the nation.  The Metolius River has been on my radar for about 4 or 5 years.  I have seen pictures and have heard amazing stories from those who have been there.  It was time to see this "Heaven on Earth" that has fly fishing only sections and no commercial guiding.  My skills would be tested.  But heck, if you don't try, you will have regrets later.  So, Dan and I stayed over with my besties, Alice and John, after the day of crabbing.  Ha!  Try getting up the next morning to fish after having a 5 course meal at 9 pm!!!  We would meet up with our friend Jessie, who would travel down from Bend.  I hadn't seen her in quite a few years and was excited for the reunion.  Down the trail we went, excited and anxious to see what we could find.  Would there be any chance of a bull trout that had escaped me in Canada a couple of years ago?  The Metolius allows for you to target the bull.  Not all rivers do.  They must be caught and released though, as they are endangered.  My bucket list char would be a long shot at best.  

Another part of this adventure was to get my son, Dan, his first fish on the fly.  I had great people around me that could help with this.   I brought two sets of everything with me on the plane. Lol.  He was excited to try.  I will get my two boys into this sport before I retire from it!!! Someone needs to inherit one thousand errr... a few dozen flies and all the extra "stuff" in my gear box!

  On my third cast, I had a fish!  A sweet, little whitefish.  Whew!  The Metolius curse was broken.
  I could relax now.  Haha.  Alice was in disbelief and with her eyes rolling like...
 "Emily did it again".  Lol.  Lady Luck was with me, that's all I can say.  I was really expecting to go half a day without anything.  A few more casts and I had another whitefish. The "Queen of Whitefish", that's me!!  I was kind of hoping that it would have been one of those Redbands that I had heard about.  Well, I put out a few more casts.  And on about my tenth cast in this intimidating river, I had a another hook up on the end of my line.  Jessie, Alice, Dan, and John were above me on the bank looking down.  They started screaming!  "You've got two big bull trout chasing after your whitefish that you have on"!!!   Bull trout are very verocious predators.  I was shocked!  Was it finally going to happen?  I missed getting that bull trout that followed my cutthroat in Canada.  But, I had hope as Jessie scaled down the bank to try to net these fish for me.  I had an expert netter.  I kept my line tight and with very careful precision, brought the fish away from a fallen tree in the river.  Ugh...  We did not need any extra complications!  One of the bull trout latched on to the whitefish.  Reeling got tougher.  My arm was about to give out.  But, no pain, no gain.  Right???  Just keep going!  After a few more minutes, Jessie put out the net and with a swoop, I saw two fish jumping in it!!  My first reaction...

And the peanut gallery hooted and hollered.
Oh, and all Alice could say was, F-n Emily!  I think that was Frickin. =)
(I might have brought some magic in front of her before on a river.)
We have so much fun going back and forth.  Haha.

Believe it or not, the whitefish was ok.  
He gave me a few wiggles and smiled as he swam away.  Lol. 

Off the bucket list!  Hallelujah!!
It will always be one of the most incredible moments in my fly fishing journey.

Now....  It was time to get Daniel on a fish.  We moved down the trail to another spot and I asked Jessie to give him a mini lesson on roll casting.  He was a natural.  He picked it up quickly.  The rest of the gang went on down to the next stretch as I stayed back with Dan to cheer him on.  We were on a good corner.  I knew that it was just a matter of time.  

He caught his first two fish in that corner!!!  It made my heart happy.
 He spoiled me so much on this trip and I was glad the river gave it up to him.  Who would think that the same fly that I use on my home water would catch all of our fish... 
And it was my tied fly.  Bonus.  

  I don't usually get to share my river days with family.  So, it was extra special to have Dan with me on this adventure and for him to meet my "Friends of the Fly".
  It was a great weekend all around.

Special thanks and much love to Alice and John for giving us a fun filled two days in Oregon!
The crabbing was a once in a lifetime thing for me and the bull trout will probably be too!  Haha.

And to Jessie, who made the most amazing two fish grab with her golden net...
THANK YOU!!!   You are the best...

There is truly "an adventure in every riffle".  Since 2008, anyways.  =)


Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Oregonian Adventure - Part One

I have had many great adventures during the last ten years or so.  I have seen many beautiful places and met many wonderful people through fly fishing.  This trip took me to see my son, Dan, who lives in Oregon now.  He sure did spoil me!  A doughnut run was in order.  Voodoo is definitely one shop that I had to visit while I was there.  Nothing ordinary about it, that's for sure.   Besides touring the city of Portland and surrounding areas, we got some fishing in too and I got to see some close friends.  A perfect vacation!  

Great dinners out... Tableside guacamole???  YES, PLEASE!!!  This guy did a fantastic job mixing this up!

Besides the amazing food every day, there were some places to play "tourist".
The Portland Intl Rose Test Garden... WOW!!!  Let's put up my favorites in one pic.

Portland is known as the "City of Roses" because the weather is ideal for growing them.  There are 10,000 roses in this garden.  Is that a few more than yours???

The scenery around Multnomah Falls

 Then, there is Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Portland Coast...

What else can we get in on this trip?

Let's meet up with my friends, Alice and John!  They are only two hours away and we wanted to get in a bit of fishing and go crabbing!!!   =)  I met Alice online in a fly fishing group many years ago.  We have kept up our friendship by going on a few adventures through the years.  I have always wanted to visit her neck of the woods in Oregon.  I finally got to do that.

My bestie, Alice.

Showing my son, Dan, the ropes. 
Teaching him to cast.  He was a fast learner, thank goodness!!! 
I wasn't sure if any of my children would ever want to fly fish with me.  
Now, I have both of my sons trying it out.  That makes my heart happy.

Crabbing is not an easy task.  But, Dan put his muscles into it and got it done.

I did my part in holding one for a selfie.

After a patio boil at 8 pm...  We have dinner!  Along with steak and chicken, oh my.
What a great day out with some great people.
We must get some sleep now.  Tomorrow is the long awaited trip to the
Metolius River...  I have waited like 4 or 5 years to experience it.

To be continued...

Sorry... =) But, it is a story unto itself.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Adventures With Friends

Sometimes I wonder how long my body will withstand my fly fishing days.  I work hard when I am out there.  It's never been something that has come easy.  What fun would that be?  Haha.  It's something that I love immensely though.  Being laid up after surgery, I was finally given the doctor release to fish again.  I packed up my bags and headed to Montana to fish the "Three Amigos" trip the second week of April.  Every year, we have this annual trip on the Beaverhead River and surrounding areas.  Last year, I did not attend due to my accident and back injury and the Covid 19.  So, I was more than anxious to see my buddies again and get on the water with them.  Our time together was fun, but catching fish was not like previous years.  Next year might be at a new location. Stay tuned.
  Here are some pics of the trip.

My best catch was the first day.  A beautiful 24" bow.

It's always good to have buddies that carry tools in their truck.  
Wading sticks that "stick"!!!

A couple weeks later, I hit my favorite Wyoming fishery with one of my best buddies.

Back to baking cookies for family and friends.

Then, out to visit my favorite brown trout and colorful cutties in my home state.

And back to Wyoming this past Saturday to fish with an old friend of twenty years...

Adventure in every riffle.  Now to rest up a bit and leave those fishies alone for awhile. 

I have work to do this week.  =)



Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Luck of the Irish?

 Today is St. Patty's Day and I am looking back at this past year.  Wow.  I must have a bit of Irish in me, because I have survived 2020 and the many things that came my way.  Despite the long break from the blog, I am feeling compelled to write yet another post.  You see, an old friend of mine, Mike Agneta, reminded me that there is joy in writing and remembering those adventures in life.  Whether it's good or not so good, you are on a journey.  It is up to you what you do with the hand that is dealt to you.  So, here I am.  Green shoes and all.  Because I did have a bit of Irish luck and God's blessings upon me this past year.  Now, let's get this story rolling..

Through many prayers and support of family, friends and doctors, we have much to be grateful for.  My husband had a heart attack last February and upon finding him falling over the side of the bed, I was able to catch him... sort of... after he hit his head on the night stand.  Sorry, hun.  911 was called again. This was the second visit that night from the paramedics, after the first crew passed him off as being ok.  Obviously, he wasn't!!!  Ughhh... So, a heart stent was put in and a week later he was home.  

I couldn't let him get all of the attention.  He was finally feeling stronger than ever with that new stent.  Then, I call him as I am shaking like a leaf after being hit in an intersection.  Everyone walked away from the car accident, so that is the most important thing.  Someone was watching over me that day.  Many months of chiropractic visits and physical therapy was done.  Oh, February 2020.  All we can say is that we came out of it alive.  We don't want to miss those grandkids hugs and kisses, ya know?

Things happen in threes.  A dog bit me on my upper leg two weeks after the car accident.  Of course, it had to be the same side that was black and blue already.  I was not entering any beauty pageant!  Then, March 2020 brought us the news of COVID 19 and the pandemic began... Get out the masks!!!

Yes, I was finally able to do some limited fishing and my back was finally feeling better by my birthday at the end of August.  It seemed like that I was doing more sitting than fishing the other times out.  I had a banner day to celebrate!  The bottom left pic is that epic day of cutthroats.  It is true, back injuries take time to heal and sometimes they never go away.  It is what it is.  If you need to borrow a heating pad or an ice pack, I've got em!

 By the end of the year, we were feeling very fortunate to have escaped Covid anyway... Oh wait.  Sorry.  Did you ask me what I got for Christmas in 2020?  Hahahaha.  COVID 19!!!  Just a few days before, I tested positive.  I landed in the hospital for a few days.  All of the refrigerator was full of Christmas dinner and no one to share it with.  We were now quarantined.  Then, I gave it to my poor hubby who we had tried to protect all year.  As expected, he got deathly ill with it because of all of his health history and was in the hospital for a week.  Oh, what fun!!! But, again we were blessed and came out of it shaking our heads on how this virus affects people differently.  We now await for our vaccine next Saturday and feel incredibly grateful for our recovery from everything 2020.  =}

2021?  Well it started out like this...

Haha!!!  This was at the end of January.  Arthritis of the thumb. 

Next month, if all goes well...  You will see me back on the water.  I have a lot of making up to do!

So how was your year???