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!



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Surprise In Every Riffle

There are times that I get surprised on my adventures.  Oh sure, I sometimes expect to land a big fish in certain water.  Or I know that there are going to be certain species caught that day, if I have been there before.  When scouting new water, you are on your own in hopes that you don't end up in a dry ditch.   What might be found there is a mystery.   I have maps, books of each state that I frequent most, and Google Earth on my phone to get me to those fish that I yearn for.  Every adventure that I set out on is just that.  An adventure.  Sometimes there is a nice surprise in store.  And sometimes, we go home shaking our head with more questions. Why did I not find what I was looking for?  Where were they?  Did I have the right bugs?  Was the water too high, too low, too murky?  Was I patient enough and did I give it enough time?   Did I mend well enough?  

Oh, the life of a fly fisherman. 

I set out last month to visit my good friends, Kerry, Julie, and Lonnie in Island Park, ID.  They are always so hospitable.  I love seeing the beautiful pine trees and the canyon walls of the Box Canyon of the Henry's Fork.  Yellowstone is usually included on my trek up there, but not this time.  I had only a couple days there, before moving over to Montana to fish a few rivers there.  You know me, got to keep moving! 

 But, after the baklava.

Beautiful scenery in the Box Canyon...

And gorgeous sunsets at Henry's Lake, ID... 

I met up with a friend of mine, Ron, and a new friend, Molly.   Ron was so gracious in rowing his drift boat so we could fish the Box one day.  We had so much fun.  

1st of June and wearing extra layers...  Only in Island Park!  Haha.

Waterfalls coming out of the Box Canyon.

It was time to head out and hit some Montana rivers!
Yes, I am an early bird. The Madison on a foggy morning. =)

They call it "Big Sky" country.  You can see why.  I usually hit this little creek once a year.  So, I backtracked a bit on my final day to meet up with my friend, Chaz,  and give my reel one more chance to scream.  

Off we went, to find the river off color and running high and swift.  We walked it for about two and a half hours and Chaz said that he was going to call it a day as he needed to get back home.  I watched a couple of other anglers attempt to catch in it.  Nothing.  Something just told me to stay.  I looked down at my phone and the time was getting close to head home to Utah.  I had a long journey ahead of me.  It was noon.  After talking to a local at my car, I decided to go back in for one more hour.  I believed that I had the right bugs and enough weight.  It was just a matter of time and time was running out!!  Haha.  
Don't call me stubborn!  =)

A fish! A fish! 
You don't know how happy this little guy made me.  So, I could go home now.  But, as luck would have it, a guy passed me on the trail and told me that was just the beginning.  Haha.  I was happy.  Just a couple more casts and I would go home...

What is the title of this post?
"A Surprise In Every Riffle"...

Well, I was literally on my last cast and I connected on my double nymph setup.  With what, I didn't know.  But, it felt heavy and strong.  I started screaming, "Help!"  I was a little nervous.   I didn't want to lose this baby.  No one came.  I could see a rod casting downstream out of a bush.  But, they were too far to hear me.  So, I would have to net this guy on my own in the rushing water.  My forte is not netting big fish.  Weak arms.  It got closer and got brighter.  It was beautiful!  Oh, you are mine for just a few minutes!  

And yes, I had a smile from ear to ear.

Now, as I admired this hen in my big net, I looked up and there was my new friend, Jack!  The one I had talked to earlier.  He had heard my cries of excitement.  And I was so glad that he would help me with a couple quick photos.  (No way could I do a selfie shot with this brownie!)

I was sooo surprised.  I've never seen these in there before!

Thank you, JACK!!!  
I don't know who was more excited...  Haha.  He was stoked to see this catch and was so happy for me.  I was done for the trip.  I needed to get home.  With a HUGE smile on my face...

It's never over until the fat lady sings... =)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Patty Girl Adventure

Here they come, the Patty Girls!  With their Patagonia puffy jackets and their "Pat Rubberlegs" stonefly meal for some hungry trout! They search out every river and stream, even the ones that are a bit high and murky from the Wyoming runoff this year.  What will they find???

Trout with appetites for an imitation of a stonefly that guide, Pat Bennett of Hyde Outfitters in Island Park, ID. created.  Similar to the girdle bug, this tasty treat is very popular out here in the West.

As easy as the pattern looks, it can be frustrating to tie because the rubber legs can be hard to handle while you are placing them.  But, after a few, you learn a few tricks to make it easier.

So, my friend Clairey and I set out for a few days to explore the beautiful country surrounding Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  What trip could have more beautiful mountains to look at, right?  Oh, how I love the Grand Tetons and there majestic presence.  The highest peak reaches  to over 13,000 feet.  The Grand Teton Natl. Park is neighbors with Yellowstone Natl. Park.  So, there is not a shortage of breathtaking views! 

My video will tell the rest.  Many hours of driving back country roads and laughing all the way.  My "sassy mama on the fly" is a great friend and hostess that has a huge heart.  She also rowed me down one of her home waters and cooked up some great grub.  And she knows the way to an awesome taco bus!!!  
Thank you, Clairey. =) 

So, without further adieu...  Enjoy the video of the Patty Girls...

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Tiger Adventure

This month has been quite the adventure.  A couple trips to the jungle to find tiger trout.  It has been a fun journey to catch these unusual fish.  The tiger trout is a sterile, intergeneric hybrid of the female brown trout and male brook trout.  Tigers are a beautiful fish and when they mature in lakes, can become very large.  Their contorted stripes like a tiger make them unique.  I have fished a certain lake many times, but have always caught the cutthroats in it instead.  Well, I had a tug on my line that just seemed a bit too strong for a cutthroat.   Hello, Mr. Tiger!!

Oh wait!  I didn't hook that guy!  Hahahahaha
This one...

My friend, Whitney, had the winner of this day.
A 24 in beauty!

And Rebeca had fish after fish...  We lost count.

What a most awesome group of friends to fish with...  
And something new was added to my adventures.

The traveling vise!  Haha.  So, after one of the guys started hooking up on a certain bug, I got out the vise at lunchtime...  


More tigers and more beautiful Colorado cutthroats...

So many fun pictures from this trip...  So, enjoy the vid!

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Mighty Siren Adventure

After a month of recoup from the Three Amigo trip, here we go with the story.  As we always do, the Three Amigos headed up to Montana for a few fishy days at the end of March.  This one ended one day shy of April Fools Day.  (I kind of thought that I should not be on the river with these jokers on that day!)  We had the usual rivers to fish, but there definitely has been a decline in the quanity and quality of a certain river at this time of the year.  As you see in the photo above, Ernie had time for a nap even.  It is what it is.  So, we kind of tossed around the idea of maybe going somewhere "warmer" for our winter trip next year.  We've had enough of the frigid temps in March. 
19 degrees on our last day...

Salt Water 2019???

Our reuniting and just hanging out together for a few days, ranks higher than the actual fishing part of the trip anyway.  I think that it has now been 6 years for our get togethers every month of March.  

Beauty still surrounded us and nothing is more relaxing than seeing this kind of water.

My favorite fish of the trip came after the guys wanted to head downstream and I went up...  Well, what can I say???  Follow, follow, me!!!  =)

Easter landed on April Fools Day this year.  That was kind of weird.  But, we all decided to go home for Easter and head out a day early.   Yes, I made these good sports hold Easter egg doughnuts...  Haha

Montana is a quiet and breathtaking type of place.  "Big Sky Country" they call it.  You can appreciate the big open spaces of beautiful sky throughout most of the state.  I love it.

Maynard didn't find it so quiet in his hotel room with the other amigos...  Can you say "earplugs"???  Heehee

And at 10 pm, Dillon's finest decided to turn on the blaring town fire alarm... Maybe we should call it more of a "Mighty Siren" for the volunteer fire dept.!!!  You could hear it for 30 miles I bet!

And of course, I had fallen asleep for like thirty minutes and when the siren went off, I found myself falling out of bed and onto the floor.  Whoa, what is that siren???  I looked out the window and it didn't seem to be the hotel on fire.  So, back to bed I went.  =)  

And that was about the most exciting part of the trip... Hahahahahahaha

There were enough fish for everyone and enough laughs about the meals we had in town to make it another memorable adventure.  These guys are more than friends, they are my brothers...  I would trust them with my life, in fact.  
Enjoy the video.  Till 2019... 3,4,5 Amigos, out!