Sunday, June 26, 2011

The "Custom" River Glove... Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Do you ever want something that is "Custom"?  Something that will give you that one of a kind, specialized feeling?  I do.  And that is why I have a little too much fun when designing my blog page...Ahhh...Changes...We all have them in life...we all go through them.  After taking some advice from others, I am trying something a little different with my posting today...Hope it will make things a little easier on those who might be experiencing a "change" with their eyesight as I have been going through recently.  If this lighter background in my post helps your reading...then the change was good!  You will have to let me know... : )  Content is the most important part of this blog, of course.  But, I love design and individuality too!  There's just something to say about something that has a "custom" effect.  Which, leads me into my "Spotlight" for today on Sunday Tippets!! (Amazing, how I did that!) 

I met up with Luke Sherman and his "Most Things Custom" blog a few months back.   I found Luke to be a really fun read and something not out of the ordinary...which is something that I look for when reading blogs.  He is from Van, Michigan...I hear that it is somewhere in the "top of the glove" of Michigan, where all the "best" fly fishing is according to Jason @ "Fontinalis Rising"...haha.  These two friends are casting their fly lines in the water on a regular basis up there.  Luke seems to be a kind of a back woodsy type... I mean, any guy with an "Old School" shoulder bag... ; ) Brad Pitt would be jealous!!!

Anyway, Luke is a carpenter, musician, and all around nice guy.  He likes to dabble in making "custom" musical instruments, knives and woodworking.  And I hear that he plays a mean banjo!! : )  A little bit of country and bluegrass in this "Coyote Luke"!!

The Glove of Michigan! 
Plenty of Fishable, Wadable Water!! (Unlike Utah right now)

 Be sure to check out Coyote Luke's last post on a trip that he had last Spring @ South Manitou Island ...

Lastly, a recent video with Mutt and Jeff...errr...FR and Coyote Luke!
(Permission to post by FR)

Sunday Tippet:  If it isn't obvious...It's time to look for something "Custom"!!!...  You can follow Coyote Luke HERE... I am also glad to have him as a Facebook friend...Boy, do I wish that I had all that fishable, wadable water up there in Michigan right now!

When God rested on the seventh day
He laid his work glove down on an inland bay
Soon little lakes and rivers were born
As they seeped thru the holes where the mitten was torn
Then up sprang the forests so lush and green
Bringing forth the apple blossom, robin and wolverine
Cradled by great lakes so blue and fair
God decided to leave it there.
When this water wonderland was found by man
It was given the name of Michigan
So if you seek a pleasant peninsula
There are two that you will love
One is called the upper and the lower is God’s glove
Today they are joined together by
A rainbow made by man
And Mackinac is the title of this
Grand and glorious span!
 2000 Elsie Minor


Friday, June 24, 2011



Story #1 -You are probably wondering what's up with the title of this post?...Well, let me begin by telling you a little story about eyes...and in particular, my eyes!!  Unfortunately, I believe that a lot of us take things that are very important in life for granted.  We journey through life enjoying the beauty of nature, family and and many other things that our eyes look upon.  I really didn't appreciate my good vision enough...until 2 wks ago.  My vision all of a sudden got dramatically worse in my right eye and I am now just recovering from some extensive treatments.  So, things have slowed down on my blog the last little while. 

Now, I tell you this because everyone needs to protect their eyes...from wearing sunglasses while driving (glare) to wearing polorized sunglasses while fishing...(oh, please don't say that you learned the hard way on that! Ouch!)  And having those once a year check-ups at the optomistrist.  Because you never know when a little problem is going to crop up.  And did your mother always tell you to eat carrots?...ugh.  Did I just give you a Sunday Tippet a little early??? Ha.   


 "This is the little jewel that saved the day for me!!
The unique thing about this fly is the fibers of the fly all stand out under water, it is as if you was looking at a tiny porcupine under water, the fly comes in a size 8 hook." 
Bill Trussell...Fishing Through Life
Story #2 - So, I have been restless about my crappy eyesight and not too patient in wanting to get out again and fish.  So, I got the hubby to take me up to the Provo River last Tuesday.  Ok, I will admit that I was a little bit disoriented on the banks due to a poor sense of balance because of the eye.  But, well...I'm kinda stubborn when it comes down to something that I want to do...badly.  So, I stepped in a more shallow spot to see if I could wade at all.  No, didn't feel comfortable.  So, out I came!  I had some very nice streamers with me..Butt Monkeys and Sex Dungeons...swung a few...nothing.  Got tired and soon saw that the flows were getting a little higher...they increased the cfs by 200 that day...I decided to pack it up.  A beautiful day...but...challenging to say the least.

Ok.  So, back home I go.  Not to worry...back up plan in motion.  You see, I have this little fly (above) that came to me from Mr. Bill ...and I had a great idea.  The longest day of the year was not to go in vain without catching a fish.  I know of a little pond near my house that would more than welcome this little black gnat!! 


Sometimes LOVE is found a little closer to home... : )   I never imagined that I would pull this guy out within 10 minutes!  Right at dusk that evening...a beautiful thing... It was magical...I can't explain it.  A rainbow dancing in the air and almost saying to me...everything is going to be ok, RD...You just got to focus a little better and be patient!!!  Ha.  (I have to admit, it was a struggle to thread that fly on as it was getting shady...) But, I did it.


When Bill said that he had 15 blue gills in a cooler to take home after using this black gnat...I had to ask pretty please and wallah!  I got a couple in the mail soon after.  Thanks, made my, you made my last two weeks!!!  Feeling a little better now.  Blogger friends are special.  I really mean that.  I am now making a special wall mount for my room that has all my blogger friends samples of to keep out in an honorary way...and I fish with the others.  I will post a picture of that when it is all done.  Lastly, I am very thankful that the eye treatments are going well this week and hopefully, things will clear up within two time for that crazy OWL JONES to come out from GA. and fish the Provo with me!  Yes, it will hopefully be lower by then too...   : )  If not, the pond!!!  (Just kidding Owl...) mmm...maybe.

Well, who would say no to 17 - 24 inch rainbows and tiger trout???   Hmmmm?  And less gas to get there too!!!  Dah.  Don't get me wrong...I still love the river and I will always, always be drawn to it...but, sometimes...timing is everything.  And Mr. Rainbow was waiting....and a black gnat from Alabama. : ) 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Random Thoughts...Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

It has been a long week...full of surprises...and my thoughts have been away from the computer for a few days.  But, we are back at it again and as this is kind of a last minute post...I will give you just a few thoughts about some of my favorite reads

First of all, Owl Jones.  Now, what in the world is he doing filming a "make believe" dating video ????  The camo shirt was enough to make any smart girl or trout run away...haha!  Honestly, I know that this is partially my fault, as I didn't keep tabs on him this past week and everything runs a muck when there isn't supervision...haha.

Then, there is the Midgeman.  Wow.  He got tired of waiting for the water to recede in those Rocky Mountain streams...and took his 7 wt to a carpy pond...   Now, you tell me if that isn't the prettiest piece of carp that you have seen in awhile???  It must have been an awesome smell in that car on the way home!!! : ) The Midgeman sure knows how to catch all types and all sizes...kudos to Mr. Gibbs, his darling Schnauzer who hung in even while getting dunked!

My PhotoWant to see a  honkin' big brook trout?  And on video to boot???  Well, Fontinalis Rising had a post a week or so ago that made me push that replay one more time!  Incredible action videos lately on Jason's blog...check it out and see how much water can be covered in so little time!  The "Croc Hunter" of Lake Michigan or any other piece of water that he can find within 30 miles.

UA strikes again!!   This post is about one of my favorite places to fish...The Firehole in Yellowstone National Park.  His recent journey was one filled with good times with friends, and a lot of humor.  Mother Nature didn't take pity on "The Firehole Rangers" and it was a snowy Memorial Day Wkd, but still fantastic fishing like always!!  Really, who wouldn't want to fish with these guys??!!!

My PhotoLast, but not friend, Sanders.  Have you been reading Up The Poudre? ..If you haven't, start now!  A terrific read...everytime!  I am picking as my favorite recent read, his "Dog Post" ... It just made me laugh...and I needed that this last week.  So, thank you Sanders.  There is only one thing I can't figure bulldogs get that dang long tongue of theirs, rolled back into their mouth!  Lol.

Tippet of the Day:  Try finding a new read for the week...maybe you are already following these, so go over to the OBN directory and check out a few new ones...There is so much talent out there!  And there is always something that I can enjoy from someone's writing style that makes them unique.  And that is what is so much fun about writing.  We all show our individual personality that makes our readers come back for more. (Well, at least I hope they come back here!!)  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The More You Give, The More You Receive

Centennial Valley, MT.
What is more exciting than to share your fly fishing knowledge with others so that they may also enjoy the pastime?  Pretty much least for me.  Fly fishing involves so many different have the solitude, the water, the fish, the ecosystem.  It is all incompassing.  Of course, I go out to the river to catch a few trout.  But, when I look back at why I first was interested in learning about this great was the education and conservation that was intriguing to me...and the rest was frosting on the cake!

Elk Lake, Mt.
And now we have Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, which is inviting four OBN bloggers this summer for a tour of Montana’s Centennial Valley and Elk Lake Resort.  Oh, what a beautiful place to learn more about.  What a lifetime opportunity!!   Why not fish and learn about TU’s work in “The Last, Best Place.”   I think that most anglers are in some form conservationalists.  We have to be...don't we want our children and our children's children to have the same opportunities as we have had?  Of course, it is a huge responsibility that one person can't do alone.  I would like to think that most of the fish that I have caught and released responsibly, have continued their journey.  I love to teach someone new to fly fishing...the skills, but also the importance of being responsible and taking care of the banks and waterways that have been given to us to appreciate nature's greatest beauties.  I have been personally involved with a Utah group that helps clean up the rivers and banks from debris, so that others might enjoy their outdoor experience even more.  I have admired Trout Unlimited for their great efforts in conservation and protecting our cold water fisheries in even greater ways.

Red Rock Lakes, MT.

The wild trout, salmon, and other wildlife need our help.  It takes many volunteers to get involved with the restoration and watershed projects.  We need to make wiser ground water management decisions.  Many rivers in the Western Region have been adversely affected as a result of ground water pumping.  Now, more than ever, we need to find other strategies that will allow the West to grow while protecting our fisheries and wildlife.  Groups like Trout Unlimited are there to guide us in the right direction.

As part of the Trout Unlimited's writing contest, I am now going to tell you about my favorite fishing trip.

The Lamar River, Yellowstone
So, we go back to last July, 2010...I only had three days to see as much as I could of Eastern Idaho and the Yellowstone area.  It was a whirlwind trip to say the least!  Eight rivers in three days.  Well, yes, it did include different stretches of the Snake River.  We started at Herriman Ranch (Henry's Fork of the Snake) which will challenge the most seasoned angler, then moved to the Warm River, Buffalo River and Box Canyon of the Snake.  Then, the Firehole, Gibbon, Lamar and Lava Creek in Yellowstone, Wy.  Yes, you read that right.  So, if you ever want to fish with me, you better be ready to move!!!  Ahh, I'm just kidding around...well, maybe.  Anyhoot, I'm going to share a story that happened on the Lava Creek in Yellowstone on this trip.  A few friends and I had been fishing the Lamar River for most of the day.  On our way back to our camping area, we spotted this creek and just couldn't pass it by.  Had to, had know how it goes!  What a pretty setting on the side of the main highway.  A nice little picnic area with benches, lots of shade, and a creek full of bubbling brookies!  We got geared up and headed down the grassy slope to the contingency of trout.  Oh, this was quite the find...we worked one side of the highway and then the other side.  Some very nice 6 to 12 in brook trout in this creek.

Lava Creek, Yellowstone
We headed back to our vehicles to get some different flies and there was a family gearing up. We chatted for a few minutes and came to find out the parents of a young boy (about 8-10 yrs old)  had brought their son to Yellowstone for his first fly fishing experience.  What a great thing, right?  Well, it was a great idea, except there was no one to teach him the basics...hmmmm.  His dad had fished with a spin rod a little and that was about the size of it.  But, they had bought a fly rod for the youngster.  So, one of my friends decided that they looked perplexed enough to offer some assistance.  Kind of like Fishing 911...something in a hurry, but effective.  No time for a Fishing 101 class!

So, my friend pulls out the fly boxes and tippet and with a big smile says, "Let's start!"  In twenty minutes, tops...the young boy was at the creek pulling out a brookie.  He screamed and then laughed and what a sight it was.  What could have been a frustrating vacation with that fly rod turned out to be a great first experience which will probably lead to a life long journey for him.  It was the best moment of our trip, for sure.  Nothing could top that afternoon when we saw that smiling face with the trout on the end of his line!  We packed up and headed to camp.  A memorable day for the boy and for us too.  Sometimes it is about giving a little time and sharing your talents to make someone else's day a little brighter...and once's the giver that receives the most out of it.  The joy of it all!

Special Note:  I would like to thank Trout Unlimited for reaching out to the OBN family of bloggers and offering this once in a lifetime adventure!  May we all unite together and fish our waters with passion and respect and help protect and restore the lands and waters that we enjoy so much.  Fly fishing is a privilege...I feel a rebirth every time I go out as it can be a spiritual, emotional and learning experience if you let it be.  Give a little and it will give back ten fold.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Brain, Use It Or Lose It ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style


As I have started a new exercise regime back in March of this year, I have noticed that there has been something different about me.  And it isn't just the weight that I have lost.  It actually has something to do with my brain!!  Yes, that is correct...It is a well know fact that if you give your brain more oxygen, your brain is more alert and healthy...Walking or jogging is especially beneficial because they increase blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain.   But, did you know that "exercising" the brain will help with age related losses of memory?  I have been concerned about that lately, as when I hit that "official" middle age number, my mind seemed to be slipping in the memory category.  So, I have been hitting the treadmill and doing yoga exercises (thank you to Jennifer Aniston and her coach inspiring me) to improve the mind and the body...

Yoga  can put a smile on your face...besides toning  : )

Even in old age, the brain can grow new about that?  Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses of memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation!!  In other words, use it or lose it!  So, I decided to get my rear in gear and start exercising that brain as well.  Not just by my physical excercise each day, but by mental stimulation...It's the mind-body connection!
 Here are some simple brain exercises...they might seem silly, but just doing a few of these each day will help stimulate your brain and rejuvenate!  So why not try it...

This is an exercise that can strengthen neural connections and even create new ones...

Switch the hand you are using to control the computer mouse. Use the hand you normally do NOT use.  What do you notice?  Is it harder to be precise and accurate with your motions?
Do you feel like you did when you were first learning to tie your shoelaces?

If you are feeling uncomfortable and awkward don’t worry, your brain is learning a new skill.

Try other neural building and strengthening exercises with everyday movements. Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, dial the phone or operate the TV remote.

Don't let your brain turn to MUSH!!!

Sunday's Tippet ~ If we can put in 20 min of some type of cardio exercise (even a leisurely walk through the park) and do a few simple mental exercises like doing a puzzle, reading, playing a musical instrument, repairing something around the house, or even fishing!!!...our brain and memory will thank us!!  Good luck...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Rockin' 80's And The Blue Angels!

'Please DO NOT duplicate or distribute the following pictures without expressed written permission from the author...The River Damsel.  Thank you.  This is solely for your enjoyment and snickering behind my back...yeah, sure...go ahead. 

Thanks to OWL JONES, this post is going, where was the Damsel in the 80's...  Well, let me show you...

Ok...the Showman himself, David Lee Roth.  Yes, I camped out with friends overnight in sleeping bags around the old Salt Palace in Salt Lake City to get up in the front ten rows...and yes, it was AWESOME!!!
My favorite song has to be "Dreams" and I will have to post Sammy Hagar doing it up right.  So, I'm cheating a little bit here to give you the improved version.

Then, there were the Commodores and Lionel Richie.  I have to admit it.  Sorry...the end of the disco era in the 80's and yes, I camped out again to be one of the first in line.  I was famous for my red pants and hitting the discos...(No pictures, sorry.)  But, yes, I could dance.  Actually...I still can.

Many, many concerts.  Good times.  Then, there was baseball.  Always had the best of times at the ballpark.
Well, when you have up close and personal season tickets, you get hooked!  Go Angels!! (pocket camera)

"Cool" foil wallpaper!!!

 Then, it was off to college...moving from Calif. to Utah and learning how to ski...maybe I didn't plan that jump!!!  Haha.

Yes, away from parents and enjoying my new found freedom!  I really don't remember what this was all about!!  lol.

I was quite the prankster...surprising my roomate on her return from Christmas vacation...

Before "Rock Band" the video sensation...I had my own rock band.  Do you like my guitar?  What dorks!

Stripes were the "in" thing...not quite sure about the pigtails...

Best Friend, SaraMe, Pippy Longstocking

As I was all about baseball.
Nevermind the avacado peel...
What am I puckering up for?  No one would kiss that!
Do you see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

Halloween in the dorms...I guess that we thought we were Sax 5th Ave.!!!

My brother got the Z28...I got the Silver Blue Streamer...
Ya, I borrowed his car a few fast is fast?

I am holding my cousin's pet skunk... 

Then, came an idea of dressing up for a college Halloween party...
And the next morning, I was at the drug store buying bleach because the "temporary" black spray didn't wash out!!!  Then, I looked like Rod Stewart with bright gold hair...ugh. 

Boots were popular...and look at that...a creek in my parents back yard!!!
(The answer would be no...didn't even think about looking for a fish in there...)

Matching overalls was just a little too much...I know.

The Fam...

That's All Folks!!  The college years of The River Damsel...!!
Who would have "Dreamed" that I came from such humble beginnings... 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Things Go "Thud"!

It was one of those days that only the most unlucky fishermen have...When everything that can go wrong, goes wrong.  It was a beautiful day outside and I started out early to video tape on my new video cam.  Video takes of beautiful mountains, a couple of lakes, and the only fishable river in Utah right now! Ha. Oh, I was having an awesome time.  Almost 8 am and already to the river after a few stops to take video.   Oh, a sign up to get my attention...

Ok...that really didn't thrill me.  The first bear sighting that I have seen posted in the three years of going to the Provo River.  Hmmm...only one other car in the parking lot.  What to do.  I would have rather been with a group of people, especially since it was early morning.  I kind of wasted a little time setting up and finally someone else joined me.  So, I followed them out...felt a little better.  Took a few more videos of the awesomeness of the Provo.  What a gorgeous morning it was!  No bear was going to spoil it for me...and I figured if he came anywhere close, I would throw him a fish...oh, you don't do that???  Anyway, as I walked a mile down the banks, I found the perfect deep fast pocket that I was looking for.  I had already lost a couple of flies due to snags under the water.  (Czech nymphing, you do that)   I could see some large boulders underneath that would make a nice hideout spot for a Bigerrr fish

So, I casted out a few times and finally felt a "thud"...could it be a fish?  Oh look!!  I have it on!  My vid cam was in the tree behind me...perfect.  I set, I prayed.  I pulled...nothing.  Just a kind of "thud"...weird!  It felt like another stupid snag in a, I quickly jerked the rod to release the snag.  Still nothing....I was stuck.  Again...oh, great!  Here comes my fly back in the air to me!  And what is that???  A huge rainbow swimming away from me!!!  Yes, the biggest, baddest, bow that I have seen on the Provo.  How could this be?  It wasn't a fight to the wasn't a fight at all!  That fish stayed motionless like a big rock.  And when I finally jerked hard, he had enough and off he went!  (I have it on good authority today, that this fish is the same fish that the fly shop in town knows about...he hangs out in this hole)... So, I will be back...Mr. Bowtrout.  Turned off video.

Then, my day just went awry...The next thing that went "thud" was my reel.  I have had my reel foot loosen up on me the last few weeks and finally it absolutely fell apart!  Back to the car I went...put on the old Cabelas back up...better than nothing.  At the end of my day, the reel was taken into the shop and they graciously sent it in for repair and gave me a loaner.  So, I'm good until it comes back.  Now, you know me and my two step...haha.  Well, there was some nice grassy, muddy bank.  And wouldn't you know it...whoopsy!!!  Down I went...right on my fanny...kept my arm up though, trying to save my fly rod from a blemish.  But, to no avail...the rod hit the ground with a "soft thud" (totally the truth) and wouldn't you know it...broken guide.  Ok...I can live with that since it was in the middle.  But, probably won't.  Then, to top it off, when I got 20 something video takes were no longer in the camera.  OMG!!!  I couldn't believe it...I spent so much time taping all of these great sites for you to see...and absolutely nothing for my efforts!!!  So, sorry my friends.  I didn't take pictures because I had everything on video...or so I thought.      Some days are better than others, I guess.  

Oh, I thought that I would sneak in this 80's picture for Owl, since it is 80's week and I'm still working on finding my photos...Ya, that would be me on the left.  This was in Snowmass, Colorado, outside of Aspen.  I had some nice video of hot air balloons out last Saturday morning in Park City too...all deleted.  So, you will have to settle for this silly thing...Ugh.