Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

I have been feeling a little stressed lately...maybe a Snickers would help!

Stress...It can bring excitement, happiness, sadness or anxiety. What makes this a thing of complexity is that stress actually differs from person to person. On the other hand, no matter how much stress we have, the mere act of laughing at short funny jokes, expressing feelings, and smiling could release some of our everyday stress.

The fast-paced world clouded by the pressures of work and the demands of living compounds stress. This is exactly why spa and sauna businesses have been a booming industry in the recent years   Because people are made to believe that availing their services is the only effective means to de-stress. However, there is no need to go on a money splurging activity to relieve stress.

Here me out!...Some simple ways by which you could deal with stress without having to burn some cash.

1. Learn to smile.
Don't undermine the power of smiling! Take every opportunity to flash that million dollar smile. As surprising as it may seem, smiling could actually lighten a very unpleasant situation. : )

2. Talk about what stresses you.
Talking about problems and sources of anxiety is a great way to release the burden of having to deal with a stressful day. It doesn't only relieve stress; it also enriches your social life and keeps you in touch with friends and family.  You will be amazed at how many people have gone though similar experiences.

3. Keep a journal and write about your feelings.
There are some people who might not be that comfortable sharing their emotions to others no matter how close they are to the person. When such is the case, journal writing is the way to go. Writing about what happened during the day is a manner of cleansing oneself of all the anxieties during a hard day at work.

4. Reading a book that interests you.
Reading a good book increases your knowledge, and does well for your overall health. A really inspiring book can give a feeling of lightness and motivation in a person. Sometimes, it can even encourage a person to act on life-changing decisions.  Heck, it was my first read in Field and Stream in a dentist office that started wondering if fishing might be fun...oh boy! 

5. Laughing at short funny jokes.
Studies show that 40% of people who have heart diseases are less likely to be inclined to laughing. As funny as it may seem, laughter might just be the cheapest and easiest way to relieve stress. Joking around with friends, watching funny films or TV shows and reading funny comics are cheap and fun solutions to de-stress.  This can easily be remedied by visiting funny blogs like...Owl Jones, Troutrageous, or Wind Knots and Tangled Lines...

Stress may be part of everyday living, but that doesn't necessarily equate to letting it through and take over. Accentuating the positive is a solution to deal with it. After all, stress is not what occurs; it's how one reacts to it.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!  And remember to SMILE and LAUGH a little! As as we say in our house...L.I.G. it !!!  Let It Go !!  You will feel so much better.

Just like I let this baby go...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Waterlogged Waders!!

From Field and Stream...                                                           What To Do When You Fill Your Waders

No Problemo!
 by Kirk Deeter

"I'm an "aggressive wader." I drive like a little old man, but when it comes to stomping around in the river, sometimes I get in (literally) over my head. I'm starting to mellow out with age, but I go swimming pretty often. Fortunately, I've learned a new trick from my guide friend Katy Melo in Argentina, who took a digger on Rio Quillen the other day. When you fill your waders, instead of sloshing around all day, or going to the trouble of taking off your boots, emptying everything out, and and starting over...Simply find a big boulder in the middle of the river, and do a headstand for a minute or so, until all the water drains out (or at least most of it). You won't get all the water out, but you won't waste a lot of valuable casting time."

RD:  This made me think of a time, ok...a few times, that an unfortunate step this way or that caused me to go down.  And then once, you get up...what to do!!  I have never thought of tipping myself upside down on a about you?  hmmmm... Share your thoughts and stories...Don't be shy, we've all been there!  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Keeping Those Brown Trout In Czech!

Oh my...I had such a dilemma are looking at the picture and saying, "What dilemma"?  Well, usually, I have Tuesdays off and I call it my "Ski Tuesday" in the winter and my "Fish Tuesday" in the summer...But, as I gazed out the window at the beautiful, freshly fallen snow during the last 2 days...I couldn't decide what I wanted to do!  I mean, 24 new inches at the ski resort was soooo inviting.  But, this morning as I went to the computer and looked at my "Sunday Tippets" still sitting there...I knew what I had to do.  So, let's get this blog back to FISHING, shall we?!!  Quickly, I got the fishing gear together, I hopped in the car and started towards the Provo River.  I had heard that was the place to be.   So, I drove right past the ski slopes....(and they looked mighty fine)...But, I was on a mission see, I was totally, I mean, TOTALLY excited to fish after viewing this promo video last night...CZECH it out!!!  Then, you will see why I had to fish...If this doesn't get your blood pumping and your fly pole in the truck, I don't know what will... Oh, and turn up the speakers!!!...

Nice trail...huh??

Absolutely, what I needed to get myself stoked about fishing in the winter again...The last few times, I have struggled a bit.  No real hatches going on.  But, this fish video got me motivated and so the journey began again...And off I went drudging through two new feet of snow to get to the river!  (It took awhile, let me tell you...)  There was a burrow next to that log and a little varmint peered out at me for a second.  That surprised me!  This snow was a workout.  It should take the place of my treadmill tonight...

The Middle Provo River

Finally, I made it to the river.  Oh, a partly cloudy day and 20 degrees...delightful! Haha. With my new set of Czech nymphs in tow, I was ready.  I saw that one of my favorite holes was open around the bend.  Nice!  A place that I could call my own.  And guess what?  Fish were a midge hatch!  Now, I had already decided at the car to put on the midge as an attractor, followed by the heavy Czech nymph.  A friend gave me a new Czech stonefly to try and with the third cast, wallah!  "INCOMING" was a beautiful thing to watch.  Almost too easy.  I was saying to myself, "Is this real"?  A brown beauty came into my net with a big ol' brown stonefly in his lip.  Within another half hour, I had another.  I was really digging the European style of fishing.  What was crazy was that I could have been throwing a few  dry flies and catching too...But, I was having way too much fun with this Czech stonefly!  Until...

Awesome Lamson reel...just not today!
A "reel" misfunction...well, of some sort! I couldn't figure it line came out underneath and I had to open it back up and when I did...I couldn't get the d@*! thing to click back in all the way...ugh, a perfect day in the making and it was going to be cut short.  It was just too long of a walk to go back and get my backup reel.  Well, with my couple of brown beauties, I was happy anyway.  So, my journey was now going to take a turn down the road to the fly shop in town which took it apart and fixed it in no time.

I  DO wear pink camo!
 So, my day was a success.  All in all, the Czech nymphs worked like a charm.  The straight line nymphing is really fun and I'm definitely going to do a lot more of it this year. I love the feel of the set rather than watch a little bubble indicator...I picked up my reserved copy of the new video at the fly shop as they fixed my reel...It is hot off the presses as it was just put out on the shelves at the end of 2010...Ya know, I think that I will take a seat on the couch, enjoy my Polish sausage and sauerkraut and slide this European Nymphing Vid into the DVD machine.  And try not to get too excited about next Tuesday when I have to make another tough decision... I'm out!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baseball, Hotdogs, My Life...Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

1978 Topps 400 Nolan Ryan California Angels Baseball CardWhere and when did the Angels go wrong in their early years?  Well, in my humble opinion, one of their worst decisions was to let their fast pitchin' ace, Nolan Ryan, "The Express", get away in free agency...Yeah, like they didn't know that he would be in the Hall of Fame someday!  Oh, how I loved to watch him pitch!   I saw many games where we would count his strikeouts like they were flies at a picnic!  I was fortunate to have a childhood where the family enjoyed the "outdoors", but at the ballpark!  Anaheim, CA.  Home of the ANGELS.  Oh, they had their struggles.  Too many to count.  The 70's were hard to sit through a whole game sometimes.  Until the mid 80's, things didn't get too much better. Have you ever seen the "Bad News Bears"??  Yep, many a night we would look around in the 9th inning and only a thousand of the original ten thousand were still sitting in their seats! (They now pack the stadium of 45,000 capacity.) 

RD and BG

When we had an extra seat with our season tickets, I could always find a buddy from school who wanted to go... ; )  Got tickets, let's go!  We would chat with the players before the games as they were warming up.  During those years, that was maybe more fun than the game...Ha!  Section 124, Row G, Seat 1.  I loved the aisle seat, as I had the best view of what was going on the field and in the stands!  My other favorite player was Bobby Grich...All-Star Second Baseman and Golden Glover... He was one of the single guys on the team at the time... : )

A view over our section.

After we moved to Utah, they got better, of fact...2002 World Champions!!  Whoohoo!    But, let me go back to the one, the only, Nolan Ryan.  I watched many one hitters, two hitters...missed the no-hitters.  But, I was there for many record strikeout performances which were also exciting!  I would sit with my scorebook and love to jot down the "K"'s...I think that I had a record of 3 years in a row that I had a "listening streak" and never missed a game on the radio or being there live.  And I would even keep a scorebook at home as I listened to away games.  Crazy?!  Yes.  But, when I do things, I do them full hilt...anyone that knows me, will tell you that.  Ha.  No half-way job on anything.  Maybe that's why I'm afraid to get into fly-tying...I might never stop!   

Anyway, when my last boy was born, I named him after Nolan Ryan...he is now 15 yrs old (6'5, 220) and has quite the stretch at first base.  My "Ryan" always laughs when I tell him who he's named after...but here is the story.  After my teeny weeny baby boy was born...all 10 lbs 1 oz, 22 1/2 inches (yes, it's true), I knew that his name had to be Ryan.  My husband understood this had to be the case too.  Ha.  My dad was overjoyed, of course.  I think that it was almost Christmas and my dad came over to the house to give me an early Christmas present.  I opened up an 8X10 glossy Nolan Ryan photo signed by the man himself!  What made it even more special was the inscription..."Happy Birthday Ryan!"  How cool was that?  My dad had a tear in his eye, as did I.  Ok, the tears flowed!  My husband just looked at us like we were nuts...well, maybe we were!  (past tense)  I asked my dad how in the world...and he said that he mailed a letter to the Texas Ranger organization where Nolan Ryan was employed after he retired.  They forwarded it on to him.  In the letter, my dad told Nolan Ryan that we had been to many of his games and loved to watch him pitch.  Then, came the baby story and the name thing...and wallah!  A response back.  It was indeed special.  Not every kid can say that he has a story like my son can laugh all he wants... :)  Wait until he becomes a major leaguer and some kid wants an autograph from him!  So, there is a little bit about my childhood and how I started my life "outdoors".  A little different, I know.  But it was good.  Very good.  Now, I fish...and I don't keep score!  

My Sunday Tippet for this week: 

Perseverance and off most of the time!  Did Nolan Ryan put in countless hours of practice and hard work towards getting to where he wanted to be?  You bet he did.  He also had talent to boot, but without his determination, he wouldn't have had the same results.  He wouldn't have thrown 7 no-hitters!  Whatever you want do in life...if it is something you really want to have to give it the old college try!  You have to dig in with all your heart, might, mind, and strength to make it happen.  If you don't, you might never know.  Don't wish that you had done it years later.  Where there is a will...there is usually a way.  And that ain't no curveball...just a fastball down the middle!! 

Check out highlights of 7th no-hitter...

Friday, February 18, 2011

R-Dub Steelhead Flies, Meet Mr. Steelie!

Wow...What great timing, if I could actually win some SUPERB Steelie fly patterns!   R-Dub Outdoors is having a little contest and all I have to do is tell why I would love to have these gorgeous, outstanding patterns for my flybox and throw my hat in the ring!  Well, as many of you know, I do have this kind of big trip planned for the middle of March...A Steelie run for R.D.!!!  It has been much anticipated, let me tell you.  Ever since I started this wonderful world of fly fishing a couple of years ago...I have had my eye on the Steelies of Idaho!  Oh, they are sooo beautiful.  And I finally saved up my nickles and purchased my first Steelie rod and I am...well...almost ready to go!  Except for one little, but very important detail...I haven't got one Steelhead fly in my collection...yet.  And I need to start on that, like real quick!  I would love to have the best start possible...and these flies on R-Dub Outdoors, look like winners to me...I will be enjoying the company of a very renown fisherlady...and I am  sure that she will put me on some beautiful, large, Steelies, like this one!  All, we need are some knock out flies!

Let me guide you R-Dub Steelie Flies, through the clear blue water, and great Idaho fishing.  I will introduce you to the most wonderful fishing on the edge of the great Idaho wilderness. Steep canyons, beautiful skies, abundant wildlife, and some of the best fish in the country.  That is what awaits you R-Dub Steelie flies!!!  Take a journey with me and you will be glad you did...and we will tell the blogger world what you did when we return...ugh...Well, of course we will come back...heehee. ;)


Food For Thought...Before The Journey!, I shared a recipe for Biscuits and Gravy (use revised recipe) over at one of my favorite blogs, Small Stream Reflectionsand it got me thinking, how many times do we rush out the door on our way to fish with a granola bar in hand...hmmm? Or even better, a Diet Coke and a Snickers!! (Who would do that, huh? Ha.)  So, I'm going to tell you the same thing that your mother and grandmother told you...that BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day! (And it helps prevent that SKUNK from showing up! Ha)  Now you will do it, huh?  Well, if your belly is full, you WILL have a smile on your face rather than showing pangs of hunger!  And don't will walk off the meal by lunchtime anyway...So, wake up a little bit earlier before your fishing journey and make that "breakfast of champions"! ~ It doesn't have to be a big production, just something to get you through with a couple snacks packed during the day until you get home.  I'm sure you can fix this important meal of the day in LESS than 30 minutes...tops!  And if you would rather put an instant oatmeal in the microwave...go for it!  Good Eats and Bon Appetit!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do I Smell A Skunk???


I don't get as upset as I used to when I get skunked. I think it's because I spend so many days on the water now - averaging about 60 a year. I know that if today was a rough outing, there will always be tomorrow, often times quite literally. Plus, I try really hard not to prescribe to the philosophy "you are only as good as your last game" when it comes to fly fishing. I try to look at the broader picture, the patterns that form. You know as well as I do that there are tougher waters than others to fish, that there are tougher seasons than others to fish, and there is more dumb luck (both good and bad) involved in fly fishing than we all care to admit. Sometimes "Fish Win!"

On the other hand, the three things that get to me more than the occasional skunking are: 1. losing nice fish to poor fishing tactics; 2. getting skunked repeatedly in a series of outings; 3. watching everyone around you land hogs and not getting a fish.

And to add to "The River Runs Through It" screenplay highlights reel..."What do you say you and me go out again tomorrow and wipe this one off the books."  Nothing cures a good skunking like the anticipation of heading back out on the water the next day.

So, cheer up friends!  When you happen to get skunked, as many of us do...just remember that there is another day...and having a positive attitude as you go out the next time will be much better than a "stinkin'" attitude!  And if the "Fish Win", just turn around and give the fish a salute and say "You won this round, see you next time!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunday Tippets...Damsel Style!



                                                             The Moguls (L), SkiCross (M), Aerials (R)

Well, my volunteering days are was so much fun!  Now, back to work and back to "SUNDAY TIPPETS!!!"

Let's start this week off right, shall we?  I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately.  What is it that we really lack?  Do we find ourselves complaining too much and for things that we don't really need?  I know, I do!  I found some interesting quotes:

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."  ~Epictetus

"Gratitude is the best attitude."  ~Author Unknown

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."  ~Thornton Wilder

"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily."  ~Gerald Good

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel."~Author Unknown

 "We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."  ~Cynthia Ozick

And if you don't believe that you have something to be grateful for...take a hard look around you and you will see that you wouldn't trade places with someone else...there are usually bigger problems on the other side of the fence! 

This is just my belief, take it for what it's worth...but, if we had a more grateful heart for everything in our lives, wouldn't we be a heck of a lot happier?  I think that when we start wanting more and not being grateful for what we have, we get more frustrated with our situations and become discontented and unhappy. We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.  Don't take for granted the things or people that enrich your life for the better.  This is something that I need to be more mindful of.   Be thankful for each new day and each new challenge with a positive attitude!  It's so much easier that way... 

A report from a 2nd grader in Mrs. Burn's class...
The Inuit
By Brandon
The Inuit lived in homes called
igloos and sod houses that were made out of sod. 
The climate, when it was winter, was cold.  When it was summer, it was cool.  They would eat seal, fish, whale, and caribou.  Their clothing was made from caribou and seal skin.  Their jobs were to hunt for caribou and for whale and seal. 
They would have ceremonies to thank the animals for food.

"Reflect Each Day On All You Have To Be Grateful For And
You Will Receive More To Be Grateful For." -Chuck Danes

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That's Some Mojo Going On!

A perfect day for The River Damsel...skiing Deer Valley in the morning and fishing the Middle Provo in the afternoon!  The only thing that could have been better would have been to have a little warmer of weather.  But, I'm a tough old bird and the 10" of new fallen freshies made the skiing bearable.  (Temp. was -4 in the parking lot!)  I think that it warmed up to about 15 when I left for the river!!  Ha.  Hand warmers are wonderful things. I decided to take a few pictures for you...a sacrifice, let me tell you, as my hands were frozen holding the camera!  Anyway, this is the view on the Tycoon run overlooking Deer Creek Reservoir.  My volunteering each year at the World Cup gives me free skiing...a perk that I just can't give up. (Lift passes are $90/day)  There is a beginner run for the kids that I skied down at the end of my day as my legs had about just enough!  Thigh burn is felt when you do 18 runs in 3 hrs...let me tell you!  Anyway, the houses along this run are gorgeous and they have a few extra things for the kids and the kids at heart...

Even the bears have frozen snot!!! That would be me on the rooftop!

Some of you might think that I'm crazy for doing both activities in the same day, but the river is only ten minutes know.  (You should have seen the expression of the ski attendent as he saw my fly poles next to the skis in the back of the car!)  And it actually seemed warmer than going downhill at 60 mph at -4 degrees...ok, maybe that's a little exaggerated...but, it seems like it's that fast!
The raccoons seem to have fun in the cold!

I figured out that with me doing 18 runs in 3+ hrs, I covered approximately 24,000 vertical ft...  And I burned off  about 3,000 calories according to my handy heart meter that I wear...not too bad of a work out, huh?  So, a productive day in my mind!  That's some mojo going on!

And at the end of the day, there was a fish (We'll call him Jr.) give me that WARM feeling from my head to my toes! For the first time all day!  :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cofisher's Woodchucks

Could Cofisher be right? The Midgeman thinks he is onto something...The question is HOW MUCH wood WOULD a woodchuck chuck IF a woodchuck COULD chuck wood? So, is it really possible that they were the "culprits" that night on the Provo River?

Things that make you go, hmmmmm...

Adventure On The Dark, Provo River

Do you ever have the desire to try something new, not knowing what to fully expect?   Usually, I will venture out and do something new as long as it's safe...Well...a few of my fishing club buddies wanted to go do some night fishing.  And it was my birthday to boot!  So, it sounded like a fun time...I bought a headlamp and I thought that I was ready...Oh, yeah, I also grabbed some mice knowing that this might be the first time that I could actually catch a fish on one!  But, no!  That wasn't all I I was going to find out.  I needed a secret service agent. Or a bouncer...or, Owl Jones! Yeah, that would have been more like it. 

So, let me begin...It was a nice summer evening in August.  The sun was just starting to give way to shadows on the water.  We had caught a few fish and were having a good time.  As the darkness approached, I grabbed my headlight and adjusted it where I would need it.  One step at a time, I carefully went into a pool of water just deep enough to give me a little apprehension, but the current was slow.  I was a just a little nervous, being the first time on a pretty big river at night. The moonlight glistening on the river was quite beautiful.  This river is famous for Brown and Rainbow trout.  And the night fishing is supposed to be some of the finest that you can find.

I was quite excited about it all, until..."Splash"! "Splash"! "Splash"!  WTF(udge)!!!  Rocks were being thrown at us from up above in the trees.  The section of the Lower Provo has elevated banks that have thick brush and trees.  We couldn't see who was throwing rocks, but this was not very funny, indeed!  I really didn't want to get hit in the head.  You couldn't see what direction the rock was coming a pretty helpless feeling, if you know what I mean!  We yelled back at them to stop the throwing...but, to no avail.  So, here we were in the middle of a dark river, and nowhere to go as the missles were being fired at us, so to speak!  We called the Sheriff, as we stood in the river and they said that they would come and check it out.  They were about a half hour away though.  We thought about walking out, but then thought that we were actually safer where we were.  We didn't want to get into any scuffle with them either.  So, we stayed put.  Rocks were being hurled at us and above our heads about every five minutes.  It was not fun.  I will say that.  My legs were cramping up standing in one place.  In the dark of the Provo River, I never thought that my birthday would be so adventurous!  Or scary...I just wanted to throw a few mice.  One of my friends,  yelled out that he had a BB gun and he wasn't afraid to use it! (Although, he didn't have it on him at the time)  Oh yeah, that did it. Silence...five min...ten min...were they gone?

We heard the Sheriff yell out to us that they had arrived.  They combed the area and no one was there.  So, we all waded out to meet the Sheriff and his search and rescue dogs...ha.  We gave our report and the last thing the Sheriff said to us was, "If you are going back in to fish, have a good time!"  Yeah, right!  This night was finished.  We all laugh about it now and have a code word "Splash" that we say between us when we fish on the river now.  So, I guess that you could say, that fishing with me is...well...interesting!  Adventure in every riffle...errr...pool, whatever! (And my term, "Incoming" is not related to this night in any way!!)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Alaskan Hip Waders

Have you heard of "Stupid Pet Tricks"?
Well, this is a "Stupid RD Trick"...but
before I became The River Damsel...  

The Mud Flats of Cook Inlet 

About 8 yrs ago, my husband and I had a business trip to Anchorage, Alaska.  This was the first time that either of us had been that far north.  I was so excited to be going to the "real outdoors"!   Being a So. California "city slicker", this was all foreign to me.  We flew into Anchorage and my husband went off to his business conference and I headed out to the local shops to gather up a few know how women do...Anyway, I decided that the next day was going to be something fun...I saw a sign that had "Fly Fishing Rentals" posted on it.  I thought, why not?  I wonder if I could learn to do this?  So, I ventured down a few blocks from the city streets to the riverbank which had the rental building. 
Lesson #1...Learn the skill before going out on your own.  The manager of the business said that he could teach me how to cast in fifteen minutes in the parking lot.  Ok...that sounded easy enough...or was it?  So we head out and I try to do a few loops in the air back and forth which looked very sloppy to say the least.  He said it was good enough to get the line in the water...Ha!  Then, he had me put on these really ugly hip waders that had attached boots.  Oh, I made Roseanne Barr look good...My friends really would have had a laugh if they saw me now.  So, he puts on a single fly and sends me down the river with a few fishing hints and one warning.  He told me to be careful not to walk in the mud.  Evidently, there was a tide that would come in and then go out each day and as it did, it would leave the banks pretty soaked with unstable ground and silt.  So, off I went on my first fly fishing adventure, not knowing what adventure I would find!

Lesson #2...Don't go alone when trying something new, like fly fishing.  And especially when going to a new frontier, like Alaska.  So, I venture down the riverbank with flypole in hand and a huge smile on my face!  This was so exciting!!!  I was outside enjoying the slight breeze and getting closer to nature than I ever had before.  I found a spot on the bank that was dry and stable and it seemed as good of a place as any.  I got my line out, my casting was really loopy and didn't go out too far.  I sure did wish that there was someone to watch and learn from!  But, no one was in sight.  This was really kind of unusual as I found out later, because it was towards the end of the King Salmon season and usually there was "Combat Fishing" as they call it, when everyone from the city goes after work for an hour or so because it is so convenient.  Ship Creek flows from the mountains to the Cook Inlet and is only a few blocks away from the city.  So, travelers flying in usually will head over if they have time to kill.  But, all was quiet.

Lesson #3...Listen  to instructions...especially about your safety.  No fish to be had as of yet...But, I know they were in there...many of them!  I was just not doing something right...Hmmm.  Well,  I had been casting with the same fly for an hour now.  And then finally, I was joined, not another fisher, but a moose!  Now, I had never seen one up close and I did hear that they roam freely throughout the Anchorage area.  In fact, there was one walking through the Walmart parking lot the day before!  Walmart shopper? Lol...Well, this guy didn't look too friendly and he was bigger than me, so I just stood still as he was walking behind me.  I must admit, that my heart raced just a little as he came within 200 ft of me.  That was close enough for a picture, but didn't bring the, this pic will have to do.   I stayed very quiet and watched in amazement...what an animal!!  Then, came the next adventure...and being totally unprepared for it...Remember the one fly that I went out with?  Yep, that one fly now caught a snag...and there was no way that I could get to was like stuck in the "mud".  I tried every which way to pull on the line, but it wasn't going anywhere!  Now, I remembered what the man told me...don't walk in the mud., I saw a sort of dry path that I could walk over to retrieve my fly.  I got a few steps in and down, down, down went my left foot.  As I tried to get it up and out of the hole that I made, it just went down deeper!  Goodness!  What had I got myself into this time?  This was not a good thing.  My heart sank as I couldn't go anywhere and the more I tried, the deeper I got.  I was knee deep now and as I tried to pull myself out on my right side, my right foot went in also!  What was next?  I started screaming for help.  Unfortunately, the rental place was too far away for them to hear me.  And there wasn't a fisherman in sight.  I wasn't going anywhere, but I remembered that the tide would come back in at some point, so I really didn't want to linger too long.  I must have been screaming for help for about thirty more minutes...when a "golden" fisherman approached my sight upstream.  Oh, was I glad to see him!  He finally reached me, but couldn't grab my hand from where he was standing without also having a problem.  He had a wading stick though, and he took it out of his belt and reached out again and my outstretched arm barely grasped the end of it!  We tugged and pulled for another ten minutes when my stocking feet finally budged out of the hip wading boots and I started to pop out of there!  I managed to crawl on my belly to where he was and he grabbed me and I never was so happy to see someone, let me tell you!  He cut my line, to free me from the snag.  The mud had risen up to my upper thighs when he found me.   And I don't even want to think about what if...I'm sure the rental manager would have come out at sometime looking for me...right?  Anyway, I thanked him and headed back to the rental building. 

 With my fly pole in hand, I told the manager that was all I had left from my expedition...and he sighed as I told him where the hip waders were...still stuck in the deep mud...err...quicksand!  That's pretty much what it was.  And I was indeed grateful that I was safe and sound.  Who really cared about catching a fish anyway?  He was very kind and offered me a half of a salmon to take back home, but all I could think about was getting back to my room and chilling out a bit!  As I went back to my hotel, I looked over a bridge and saw an amazing scene, similiar to this one to the right...Huge Salmon!  And thick...yep, I'm most definitely going back now that I have had a little lesson learned and I now have a bit more experience fly fishing.  What a day it was...and after I got back to talk with my husband, he told me stories of how people have lost their lives in the Mud Flats of the Cook Inlet...not that I was in that kind of danger, but my experience was enough for me to remember to be more careful where I walk!
Here is a little bit of a recap...Ship Creek is said to be almost completely BEAR FREE...Just an occasional moose strolling around.  It is also relatively safe as compared to a wilderness fly-in trip that Alaska is known for.  Unless, you find mud and try to be a smarty pants like me and test your luck!  One interesting note...The land surrounding  Ship Creek is owned by the Alaskan Railroad.  They have been very good to fisherman as long as the anglers respect the property.  There are beautiful rainbows and salmon in this river.  The King Salmon go until the middle of July and the Silver Salmon go until October.  One last bit of advice...Read signs that are posted in the Cook Inlet...which is the most dangerous section of the Mud Flats...They can be fatal!  The Cook Inlet has the 2nd highest tides in No. America.  When they wash back out to sea, they leave glacial silt and mud that exhibit quicksand quality.  Futile efforts of rescues have come up with unfortunate results!  What's next for me?  A trip to Alaska in 2012-13 to try again, preferably with a group of people and maybe even a guide and a bush plane!!  LOL.
And believe it or not...after this trip, I didn't fly fish again until two years ago...and now I can't put that darn fly pole down!  :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Chance To Meet ALL Of You!!!

So, this weeks "Outdoor Writing Prompt" from OBN is the open ended question, "If you had a chance to meet some Outdoor Bloggers you’ve come across online, who would it be?  Who would you like to fish with, hike with, camp with, hunt with, toss back a beverage with?"  There is a very large group of people that I would like to meet.  I believe that the OBN get-together in the summer will be a chance for me to enjoy interacting with those that I have blogged with and with those that I have yet to meet... I'm sure that there will be great "cross-training" in other fields that I don't know about and I will marvel at those that have talents that are beyond what I have ever tried to do!  And then there will be those fellow fly fishers that I will marvel at their talents as they share with me their experiences and vast knowledge. 

To narrow this down is difficult...but, hey, that is what OBN is asking us to do, I guess!  So, I will take the "OWL" approach and just pick a few that I know best and for the rest of you that I enjoy reading and appreciate you reading my posts...just know that there are a lot more of you that I really want to meet!

The River Damsel hopes too meet and fish with:

Owl Jones, What can I say?.  We are so much alike,  but still very different, I'm sure!  He's just a crazy and honest guy who really makes me laugh. (Especially when he says "Incoming!" in his vids!)  I know that I can read his post and have a better day.  But, would someone take that Tenkara rod away from him??? Haha.  Buddy, if you forget the grits, I really won't mind!  :) 

My PhotoHoward,  This guy rocks!  (For an "0lder" guy...haha) j/k Howard!  His blog is so diverse and always has something different for the reader...from glass rods that he wants me to try...(heehee) to a fish name "Rodney"!  Honestly, Howard has a lot more "expert" knowledge about fly fishing than he admits.  And a sense of humor to boot!  And he can take a little bit of teasing... :) 

Rod, ...What can be said about wanting to meet the "Midgeman" himself?  It would be an honor, let me tell you...I have only tied a few flies and I am mesmerized with each post when I see the talent of this man.  He is my "Czech" nymphing blogger friend...finally, I meet up with someone that shares an interest and maybe a passion for this style of fishing.  I appreciate his experience that he shares with all of us...we are so fortunate to have him as a fellow blogger!  :)


So, I can't wait to meet ALL of you of the OBN...  It has been something so different than I thought it was going to be.  Thanks to Rebecca and Joe for creating such a fun place to meet such great people with so many outdoor talents and skills...See you in Colorado!