Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's skip the where is the first place you'll fish in 2011?..

I'm guessing here, but most of you probably have "I want to fish more" on your New Year's Resolution list, am I right??  At least that is what I have been reading the last few days. 

So, let me hear where your first journey will be for the year 2011...(You see, if it is written down, instead of just in the back of your mind...chances are, you will actually do it!) 

Here is my first river of the New Year 2011...WEBER RIVER, UT. 

sows, midges,  partridge soft hackle, wd40's...

And maybe throw in an Alpaca...(well, they do live next door!)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

'Twas Almost The New Year!!

No, I'm not going to break out in poetry, song, or dance!  I promise you that...

As there was a "Writing Prompt" on OBN after I finished my 2011 New Year's list...
I have added a few additionial items that I would like accomplish in the year 2011!!!
(I guess that you could call it "The Addendum")

5.  Try to smile at the guy who is looking up river wondering how I caught that fish in my net. (Like I'm just a girl...yeah...I know I am!) Even though I am a little tomboy...

4.  Teach one member of my family how to fly fish so they can better understand why the river beckons me... 

3.  Add to my knowledge of bug life...take another class in entomology. (Damsel, right?)

2.  Fish with a few of the OBN bloggers... (Hoothoot!)

1.  Learn to tie a fly (or two)!!!!! (heeeheee)

And as midnight quiet little New Year's Eve will include, dinner and a movie, setting off a few fireworks, and banging a few pans together!  And then, to load up the car for my New Year's Day fishing trip!  Oh, I hope my $25. "Online Special"... Cabela's 4 wt. rod, arrives at my doorstep in time to give it a whirl this weekend!! 

With 3 layers of clothing, two pairs of socks, faceguard and beanie -  it's going to be a bit chilly...I will journey out on New Year's Day on the freshly, fallen snow and hopefully catch a few nice trout in those deep holes. Someone told me that it is "hot" fishing this week...ha.

Those felt sole boots almost did me in last week.  A very close call with a slick rock underneath the snow last time...ugh.  Can you say "face plant" ??? No, it would not be pretty.  So, these puppies have seen better days...for the winter, at least!

Hopefully,  my friend, the brown trout, will be there to greet me on New Year's Day.  And I will be saying, "Incoming!!!" faster than you can say "it's 0-10 degrees...are you crazy?"!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Journey 2011 Is Looking Good!!

Well, the Christmas vacation is good for a lot of being, that I can get the new calendar out and start planning next year's fishing trips!  (Outside of Utah where I fish at least once a week..."fish bum"???)
Whoohoo!!!  Here we go!

1.  March 2011... Steelheading! On the Salmon River...Riggins, Idaho.
2.  March 2011... South Fork of the Boise...Idaho
3.  April 2011...   South Fork of the Snake..., Idaho
4.  May 2011...    River X (Sorry, undisclosable location)
5.  June 2011...    "The Box Canyon", Island Park, Id./The Lamar & The Firehole...Yellowstone, Wy.
6.  August 2011...Greys River...Star Valley, Wyoming
7.  Sept 2011...   The Madison and The Gallitin...Montana
8.  Nov 2011...    Steelheading somewhere!!! TBA... (Don't want that Steelie rod to collect too much dust!)

That's it folks!!! Well, I do have to go places so I can write about my adventures, don't I?  And hey, you are always welcome to join me if you feel too left out!  <"(((><<

Saturday, December 25, 2010

To Each And Every One Of You...

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season...

aka: The River Damsel

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Do Reindeer Fly?

Ahhh...the week that we have all been waiting for...Christmas Day is approaching faster than you can reach the front of the Walmart checkstand!  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a cashier during the holiday season?  Ugh...nevermind.  I decided to brave the snowstorm this morning at 6:00 am and finish up my Christmas shopping.  Yes, indeed...that in itself was a crazy idea.  I made a decision last night.  My #2 Christmas wish on my Santa's list...well, it is going to be kind of held by Santa's elves a little bit longer.  I got a Christmas bonus and was already to order away for that Steelhead rod that I want so badly.  But, my senses came back to me...What is priority #1?  Well, in my case, it is my family.  So, the Steelhead rod with the nicely engraved "River Damsel" will have to sit in Santa's workshop awhile longer.  And in exchange, I will see a few smiling faces at the hacienda! (And what's better than that?) They have been pretty darn patient with my fishing endeavors (twice a week sometimes!).  So, it's time to give back. 

On, Dancer!, On Prancer!...Looks like the reindeer will be leading a sleigh with a new T.V. for the male contingency in the house to watch the Bowl games this holiday season!  Do reindeer really fly?   Hmmm... In my case, they do. Just needed a few miracles for it to happen.

This Christmas, cherish your family and friends.  Cherish your health.  I know that I take these things for granted too often.  My hubby is in the ICU today with a bout of pneumonia and it isn't looking too promising that he will make it home in time for Christmas.  But, I'm sure that he will be home soon thereafter! I'm just so thankful for family, friends, and neighbors that make everything a little easier when there is a bump in the road!  A little service with a smile is very infectious!  And it makes you all warm and fuzzy inside...try it!  Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and many tight lines for the New Year! 


Monday, December 20, 2010

Trout Olympics

How do you know you're a fisher when you aren't fishing?  Let me tell you about a recent adventure that I had...It used to be that when I saw a big fish in a small creek that allowed no way to land it or play it, I'd cast anyway. We're talking about a fish over, say, 18 inches. If I hooked-up, naturally the fish would jet downstream and be off in a few moments because the terrain made it impossible to follow more than ten feet. Of course, I'd feel pretty stupid losing a nice fish, a nice fly, a bunch of tippet--to say nothing about my sense of humor.

What I'm trying to say is, you can get to a point in your fishing where the best strategy is to sit down and realize you have no strategy. You can sit this one out, walk on to more strategic water,  or try rethinking a few things.  In this particular case, I didn't even put a fly in the water when I saw the large brown trout showing its back in weeds and muck impossible to float a line and fly. So I got on my knees and snuck up until my head parted the tall grass and I was peering at the slow currents. Quite frankly, I was more concerned about getting up close and personal with the snake that crossed my path as I was approaching my perfect hiding place...I think that the snake probably was saying to me, "Who the heck are you and What the heck are you doing down here?"

I dragged the tip of my fly rod behind me, and pulled it forward slowly until the tip was even with my head. Then I pulled the fly out inch by inch, which, as some of you may know who get obsessed about small creek fishing, is no easy task. In a case like this, you need to have the leader rolled up on the reel and the fly hooked on the tip top. Then when in position on your stomach, you gently work the fly and a foot or two of tippet out with your fingers.  Standard operating procedure for near-trout experiences. I very slowly worked a few feet of the rod out and began dangling the fly over the water, with enough desiccant to float a battleship (wait . . . they already float). Did I mention that I had cut the hook off. Sorry. You can't play this game with a working hook, or you'll be back at the start, chasing a losing battle. Beside, if you catch a small trout this way, you'd have to back out of position and ruin all hope of interesting a large trout.

When everything was in place, I let the wind grab the fly and dangle it above the suspect fish's liar, letting it dance with the wind on the water like a caddis fly. After a few moments my mysterious brown trout rose from the depths and took the fly on the surface and dove back down--except that the fly popped out, as designed. I kept doing this until the big brown stopped rising. Then I had fun with some smaller bows, who were much more willing to jump higher than the brown, even with a fly that was getting a little water-logged and slimmed. The brown didn't seem too willing to jump out of the water, but the bows, I learned seemed quite happy to jump 6 inches out of the water. One almost got the fly at 8 inches.  It was amazing!

I'm not sure it is fly fishing. In fact, without a functioning hook, I'm not sure it is fishing at all. It is more like "Trout Olympics". And it is more fun than a barrel of monkeys (Note to self: work on more consistent metaphors).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No Artificial Anything Added...

On a recent fly fishing trip, I had the privilege of fishing with Rebecca Garlock aka: "The Outdooress".    I will tell you one thing...what you see, is what you get, with Rebecca!   No artificial anything added with this outdoor enthusiast.  And those are the type of people I like to hang out with!   She will be the first to tell you that she doesn't have a special technique or go by a set of rules when she is on the water.  She has her own style and grace that is unique. (We will forgive the one moment above that wasn't all that graceful!!)  I will admit one thing now...I am a better photographer than a  fly fisher...Everything seems very “natural” for Rebecca when it comes to fly fishing.  From the gearing up for the journey to choosing the right fly to use.  Then, as she makes her way towards the middle of the river (where I like to hang out too)…her graceful casts are simply amazing.  I have had to work very hard on my casting, so this was fun watching someone that could do it so effortlessly!  She just kind of takes it all in stride, very relaxed.  And that, my friends, is what makes a great fly fisher…getting to the point of it being second nature to you.

Rebecca and I had a few things in common, which made the trip even more fun.  We are both die-hards.  If there is an obstruction of some type to get us off course...we find a way to work with it.  Example...The famous leaky waders!  Yes, they were leaking...but, like a true camper that she is, she just went ahead and fished while her foot inside the wader felt like it was stuck in a fishbowl of water!  It was all good.  We had a few laughs about that.  Comfort isn't always an option.


We were fortunate to find a perfect campsite alongside the river bank.  As we set up camp, we met some visitors from out of state who were discouraged about their day thus far.  Rebecca quickly opened up the back of her truck, got out her fly boxes and gave them some helpful advice.  They were a little surprised that she would take the time to help...but that is who she is.   Rebecca loves sharing her knowledge and excitement for fly fishing with others so that they too will have a journey to remember.  These two guys left with smiles and hopes of having better luck after chatting with her.  And it always gives karma to the giver, you know!  It's all good.  

One of my friends was an experienced cook.  After hearing that Rebecca can live off of Snicker bars and Diet Coke, I figured that a little extra nourishment wouldn't hurt. : )  I think that she was a little surprised with the menu each day.  Breakfast was my favorite...banana pancakes, sausage, eggs, and juice.   Then, we brought on the three layer pastrami and swiss sandwiches for lunch.  And to cap off a perfect day of extreme fishing, we all gathered around the campfire and had a dutch oven casserole and pineapple upside down cake.....yummy!  

A perfect ending to an awesome day on the river...oh wait!  It wasn't quite over yet!  Did I say that this was my first real camping experience?  And yes, I got an initiation...After I snuggled into my sleeping bag; there was this constant rustling in the brush outside of my tent.  Everyone was sleeping in their vehicles, except for me....and I was starting to think that they had the right idea.  After awhile, I just couldn't sleep until I found out what was making this scratchy noise!  Was it a raccoon, opossum, or a rabbit?  I decided to move my bedding to the middle of the tent.  I laid back down and looked at the amazing view of the stars through the netting of the tent.  But, that could not calm me.  Ok...that was it.  Whatever was making this irritating noise with its feet was going to be found out!  I turned on the flashlight and moved the light around the bottom of the tent to make sure there wasn't something inside with me.  There was a large rock in each corner of the tent.  As I flashed the light on the corner where my head used to be...up sprang this little head with big dark eyes looking at me!  Yes, out came the scream! It didn't scare the mouse though...he proceeded to jump up on the top of the rock and do this little jig of a dance...I'm not kidding!  I couldn't believe it...he then stood up on two legs and posed like he wanted me to take a picture! A real character.  Help came quickly and we returned him to his home in the fields away from my tent.  I can't wait to go camping again!!  (Honestly, I am going to get a pop-up trailer!)   

                        Take a look at my favorite fish on the trip.  This is why I will be back! 

All in all, it was an awesome couple of days.  Plenty of fish, good eats, some awesome scenery, mice dancing on rocks, and a midge hook caught in the cook's lip (did I say that Rebecca is also an excellent emergency surgeon?  She will deny that acclaim... :0  But, she is!)   Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your time and talents with us...we couldn't have asked for a better guide and compadre!                           

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In The Meantime...Czech It Out!

Long time, No post!  Well, it's not because I haven't been writing...In fact, I have been very busy on a special piece that is almost ready to publish... But, until then, come check out why I love the Czech nymphs so dearly!  

This past summer, I took a class in Czech nymphing and really got hooked.  It's a highly effective nymph fishing technique. The Czech and Polish anglers have been amongst the top performers in World fly-fishing championships.  Why? One reason is because you are fishing very close to where the trout lie in the river.  I load up my leader with two nymphs that are heavily weighted.  The lead fly will be the Czech nymph that has lead to drop close to the river bottom. The flies have a lot of color...pretty vivid in fact. The size of the Czech nymphs runs large and this doesn't seem to deter the fish.  The heaviness of the flies will cause it to sink rather fast and down to the bottom where the fish are eating nymphs.  And the best part of this technique is that I don't have to use an's all about the feel of the take. Tight line nymphing can be very productive and a lot of fun! (I love fast water!)  By using this technique, the fly is in the water longer and that means a greater chance of hooking a fish! And isn't that what we all want?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Santa...I Believe!

Santa's Nice List Christmas Tree Ornament ornament

If kids all around the world believe in Santa Claus...why can't adults believe too?  So, I submit my "Christmas Wish List" to Santa this year and hopefully he thinks that I have been a pretty good, little damsel this past year... 
Candy Cane Skiis
On the light-hearted side...

10. In that Christmas stocking, just for about See's chocolates instead of the little reindeer and snowmen wrapped in foil and that taste like foil...

 9. A stocked pond of tiger trout in my back yard. (Then, I won't have to jump the neighbor's fence anymore, although I do have permission!)

Grouper fish

 8. A better steering device for my pontoon... I have trouble reaching the handle on the motor.  For some reason, I am always going in circles!! Ha. (Maybe it's just me)

7.  A pair of waders that fit a woman (And make her look 2 sizes smaller instead of 2 sizes bigger!)

6.  A year supply of tippet...have you seen my snags and tangles?  Those darn rocks and tree branches follow me everywhere!!!

On the more serious side... 

Santa Driving5.  A new transmission for the old car in the garage that sits for now. (Although, I must admit, that we are saving on fuel by carpooling!)

4.  A trip to Alaska.  The first time wasn't fair game...I didn't know how to flyfish, then got stuck in a riverbed of silt (lets say "quicksand" hip waders got left behind), and I sure deserve a second chance!!!

3.  I could really use a new pair of wading boots with non-felt soles...dang, that snow is slippery!

2.  A steelhead rod for my next trip to Idaho to fish with "The Outdooress!!"

1.  A Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season for all of my family, friends and fellow bloggers!

There you go...a few funny things, a few needed things, a few things from the heart.  Just keep it simple, Santa, and deliver what is needed.  Whatever that may be.  We are truly blessed and are very thankful for what we already have...LOVE.        Yours truly, The River Damsel

heart wreath

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Best of Both Worlds...

Now, you can't blame me for wanting to enjoy "The Greatest Snow on Earth"!!  So, this week is the beginning of my time on the slopes once again.  I did get in a little winter fishing in as you can see...It was exhilarating!  Utah is special in that you can hit the moguls in the morning and the riffles in the afternoon...Nothing like Park City and the Heber Valley to give me a perfect day!!  Lucky Chica.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Three "F's"...And Fishing Is One Of Them!!

These three "F's" are my favorite things in the month of December... Family, Friends, and Fishing!!  There...I squelched out the fun of guessing what the other two were! So, when I think about the month ahead and all that goes on during this busy month, it is flabbergasting!  The parties, the trips to relatives houses, the relatives visiting you, shopping for Christmas presents, cooking and more cooking...etc. etc. etc..  So, how do you get fishing in?  EARLY in the month!!!  I remember a fun trip to one of my favorite places...The Madison River, in the great state of Montana.  I have now been up there a few times since the wintry trip that I'm so fond of.  I must admit, there was something special about sharing a snowy river with a great group of friends.  Now, it doesn't look like the cold is bothering us, does it?
This was a lunch break in the parking lot...yes, there were quite a few crazies that got together for a great time.  Heck, we even had "Piper" Jim, the "Bagpipe King", serenade us while we munched down our hogie sandwiches in the snowstorm!  If you must know, the tall geek in the middle with the fur hat is me.  Believe it or not, this was one of my first flyfishing trips and the cold didn't drive me away!  I wanted more!!!  I love the Madison...and I'm sure that most of you that have visited this "big water" river, would agree with me on how special it is.  What type of winter fishing?  Well, I do remember that I had a nice 23" brown trout...maybe that's why I kept flyfishing!  Beginner's luck...  Ok, I look a bit colder standing in the river...don't I?
But, to this day...I will always remember how this nice, brown trout "warmed" my heart as he was finally pulled out of the water.  My friends were cheering all around me as this was my first "brownie" and my largest trout caught up to that point.  It was awesome.  And the cold, brisk days are ahead again.  And guess what?  They won't deter me, not one bit.                                          

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Respect Breeds Respect

Sure would like to see more of these postings...