Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haunted By Waters

From "A River Runs Through It"...

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."


        Thanks to Brian Schiele for his most incredible photography...http://mtbbrian.blogspot.com/

Another favorite "A River Runs Through It" quote:

"My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation - came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy."  

Brian has been featured on several well known publications and blogs as of late...And his Trout Dream series is unbelievable.  Check it out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

TEAM EFFORT...Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

So, here we are...just a few days from the Rocky Mtn. Frenzy!!  And to tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind  if it was tomorrow!  With it originally planned for August (until a medical emerg. came up the night before leaving)...the event is now happening during the beautiful fall season, which I don't mind a bit!  Since booking my flight last week at the last minute (and what a great deal I got!) a few days ago, things are shaping up very nicely.  And I am thankful that I am working with such wonderful people in Colorado.  Everyone has pitched in with ideas and plans for some outstanding fly fishing this weekend.

Our Friday Night Meeting Place For Some Grub!
This weekend isn't all about the fishing, you know!  I believe that all who attend the Frenzy will agree that the meeting of fellow outdoor bloggers and on-line friends ranks even with the fishing or maybe more...It's all about sharing time together and telling stories (tall fish stories??) and having a few laughs.  When I think about it, isn't that what we really do in the blogger circuit?  Of course we do!  We support each other.  We read, comment, and give advice (when asked)...and some maybe not!  We are interconnecting all the time. : )

Teamwork is all about picking each other up.  Giving support when needed and giving a hand of friendship.  I'm sure that there will be good advice for me on the water too...And I will take it all in to improve my skills. When you are working on a project at work, isn't it the team effort that ultimately puts together a successful completion?  You bet it is.  And usually, with a strong team effort, possibilities are endless.  And  the fishing opportunities will be endless this weekend too!  We have a great lineup of rivers to fish.  And I thank everyone coming to the Rocky Mtn. Frenzy for helping out with the itinerary.  We have worked very well together and everyone's input has really helped.  And a special thank you to Dustin and Stephanie for their help!!

Friday:  We start our fantastic weekend on the Cache La Poudre River...This river was named by trappers after a cache of gunpowder that had been stored there. It has been designated as a National Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service.  And it is the home water of many of those that are participating in the Frenzy! (Including the "Midgeman" who catches all of those fish on the heavy fly skimming the bottom of the river...

Saturday Morning:  We continue our journey to Boulder Creek.  The creek was named well ahead of the city's founding, for all of the large granite boulders that have cascaded into the creek over the eons. It is from Boulder Creek that Boulder City and hence Boulder is believed to have taken its name. Boulder is famous for its status as one of the most liberal cities in Colorado and its colorful Western history too.   We just got a late addition to the party...We welcome Kyle Perkins...who will show us some of the best spots on Boulder Creek. : )

Saturday Afternoon:  There was one river that I had to fish for sure...and it is fishing very well right now! : )  The Big Thompson or the Big ''T" as locals call it. This river and canyon were named for David Thompson, an English engineer and astronomer, who, early in the 19th century, explored many streams in the Mid-West and mountain states in search of trapping camps.  The Big Thompson Canyon is an area of enormous beauty and I can't wait to see it!!  

Sunday:  Another "epic" day in store...I am leaving the planning on this one to Stephanie who treks so often to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  I can't tell you which water we will be fishing as of yet...but, I know that it will be a day that I won't want to see end.  Populations of at least four species of trout exist in the park - brown, brook, rainbow, and cutthroat.  

I am going to share the following video...as I love the music, the mountains and well...the dog !  Enjoy.  It will give you a feeling what the Rockies are all about.  There is a whole lot more to the RMNP than just the lakes and rivers that flow through it and the incredible wildlife.  I'm sure that as I get to know all of my Colorado blogger friends, I will find out that they are all as down-to-earth as one could be.  And I will feel right at home...Just a hunch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THE ROCKY MTN. FRENZY IS ON!!! Bloggers Unite!

It's booked. Done. No turning back.  Even Howard can't scare me away!!  Ha.  The Rocky Mountain Frenzy is ON!!   RD will fly in on Sept. 29th to check out the fly shops, get her license and do her homework on the rivers.  Friday, Sept. 30th...it all begins.  Who's with us??? 

It's looking like Sanders (Sean) and Cofisher (Howard) and FlyFishingCrazy (Larry) are joining me Friday afternoon so far.  Then we will have the rest of the troops meet up with us on Saturday, Oct. 1st and Sunday, Oct. 2nd.  I believe that the Poudre,  Boulder Creek, Big Thompson and the RMNP are on tap. (Calling Midgeman! My river reporter!!)  It should be quite the adventure.  Sure would love to have all of you there, but maybe we will see a few more of you next summer if the OBN tries again with their first big hoopla in Denver!  Have you read the recent post by Rebecca???  Funny...such perfect timing for her to write about blogger connections...As we are ready to embark yet on another journey to meet online friends and share bonding and fishing time together.  So, let's start the countdown...it's only a week away.

IMG_4668For anyone wanting to fish in some of the most beautiful settings that you can imagine...we invite you to the Rocky Mountain Frenzy.  We will have a meet and greet Friday night at a restaurant in the Fort Collins area.  Final planning will take place this week and I will email with specifics. (Contact me here if you aren't already on the list) We will have a lot of fun, that's for sure!   How many rivers can you fish in three days?  Well, come and find out!!  (I have personally done 6)  Not promising that, but just sayin'...







                                                      SANDERS - UP THE POUDRE



                                                    ERIN - MYSTERIES INTERNAL



                                                         KYLE - COMPLEAT THOUGHT



                                                    ANDY -  AJSUTTS BLOG




                                                       EMILY  -  THE RIVER DAMSEL

LOOK LIKE FUN???  YOU BET IT WILL BE!!  Just imagine Howard swinging that fiberglass fly rod around on the river and Larry sharing some "secret weapon" fly rod that I get to review on when I get back!  It will be great to meet Stephanie, the Biology Queen...who has learned very quickly, every inch of the RMNP...Oh, and the "Midgeman" will give me a fast track class on the Poudre with the Czech nymphs...oh yeah!  I can't wait...See you all there!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Higher vs. Lower Maintenance

From the movie, "When Harry Met Sally"...
Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.

For Sunday Tippets...I thought that we would talk a little about high and low maintenance... I have often wondered what the big hoo-ha is all about when men talk about high maintenance in women.  Do women talk about high maintenance in men?  I've never really thought about it to tell you the truth.  And does this whole maintenance issue also apply to fly fishing?  Hmmm...  I asked a few blogger friends to give me some feed back on these topics.  The bloggers are going to remain anonymous...but, they are those that you read every day on the fishing blog circuit.  So here we go!! (Now, remember...this is to be light hearted and ONLY opinions!!)

High Maintenance Women
  • Not ok with the guy being gone for more than 50% of the time fishing...iffy about being gone for more than 25%  
  • Takes it personally when the guy uses the word gorgeous only about Brookies (all Brookies are)
  • Takes offense when he's more "tempted" by Browns at night than...other stuff at night (N/C)
  • Long manicured nails (Now, we don't want RD to rip her natural nails...do we? Ok...-1)
  • The need to shower every day
  • Needs to have someone tie their fly on (I might not be Speedy Gonzales, but I have this one down)
  • 5 Star accomodations (Super 8...how many stars??)
  • You make it, she spends it.  Always name brand, never on sale, worn/used/tried a few times then it gets lost in the walk-in abyss or donated.  It's even more of a bother when she fusses at you for spending anything (Call me the sale guru...and I usually wear things out)
  • If she camps, is a tent, or worse a camper, a requirement?  Then my friend, you have a higher maintenance woman. (Can I have a inflatable mattress?...that's all I ask...-1 darn it!)
  • Her personal appearance falls into this category as well; does she wear make-up to the gym? (Nope, gonna sweat it off anyway...if you are there to work out!)
  • Does she always dress as if some lone paparazzo will jump out to take her picture unawares?
  • The grass is always greener to her and when you fail to be the best she can imagine, she will start to hunt for that greener grass. (The only green grass that I care about is around a body of water)
  • Men can be low maintenance, until we get involved with a woman, at which point at least 67% of us become high maintenance.  (You don't have to clip your nose hairs for her if you don't want to!)
  • The fact that women have to pee like every five minutes
Cortland machines hard at work!

High Maintenance Fishing
  • Silk lines--have to dry them after every fishing? I fish too hard to have the energy for that! (Me too!)
  • Rods that are so high modulus that you get one--and one--clouser impact before it shatters on the next fish
  • Sorry...but dry flies that I have to add floatant to after every dang cast (Maybe that is why I am a nymph fly fisher!)
  • It may be of interest to you ladies that fly fishing is inherently high maintenance (Yes, this is true...but, I wouldn't change a thing about it)
  • I've never mended a spinner, but I absolutely must know how to tie a blood knot to be a fly fisher.  And the latin names of mayflies
  • I don't know what's high maintenance about fishing...maybe keeping up with the hourly posts on Owl Jones' blog. (hahahaha)
  • If I carry more than 1 fly rod, a half dozen flies, and a spool of tippet, I consider that a burden.  Excessive materials basically.  (Yesterday...I tried this for the first time...and it was nice!  I am definitely scaling down with the "necessities"!)

Low Maintenance Women
  • A girl who can laugh about forgetting her man's name because he's always out fishing (Who??)
  • Don't have to pee every 30 minutes (Oh, now we are up to 30 min!!)
  • Can build their own campfire
  • Can unhook their own fish (I can unhook fish, just can't unhook a finger! -1)
  • Don't complain how cold they are  (I have never been cold...fleece is wonderful!)
  • Low maintenance women are those that don't require constant attention. (The only attention that I need is for that fish to take that fly at the end of my line!)
  • A little independence is nice in women as well as fishing, like independence from carrying too much down to the creek
  • Low maintenance...in women...if somebody tells you, let me know because I've got nothing

Low Maintenance Fishing
  • Fiberglass rods that can be left on top of the car on the trip back to the campground...and actually fish better afterwards (yes...I can prove it) (Just don't drive too fast...)
  • Lamson reels that don't give a rip if you rinse them off after playing in the salty water
  • Furled leaders that don't change weight or length no matter how many flies you change/lose/tie on wrong and have flick off at the end of a long cast (yes, I can prove that too)  
  • In fishing...Tenkara baby...rod, line, fly...that's it (Can I get a rice hat to wear?...just sayin'!)
  • Very limited equipment is best for me.  I'll even pass on the waders until the water is absolutely unbearably cold

A final quote and the tippet of the day...regarding relationships..."Imagine a lazy river.  The river is moving and changing, it flows at a steady pace, and it adapts to the terrain around it.  It constantly moves forward, but it isn't in such a rush to get there that it gurgles and churns against the landscape.  That to me is what a relationship should be like.  Slow and steady wins everytime." Anonymous  Blogger

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Exclusive Interview...With MR. "D"

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL...After I have been tossing this idea back and forth for awhile now, I have finally decided to let fate win out.  I mean, yes, I could lose a few readers...heck, I could lose more than that!  But, I am always one to try something new and different.  So, I bring you an exclusive interview with none other than MR. "Damsel".  (In reference to what Cofisher calls him, or was that Poor Mr. Damsel !) 

As I was fishing the other afternoon, I asked Mr. "D" a question...what is it like to live with me...hahahahaha.
That led to few more questions and then he started writing.  Oh dear!  That's all we need.  Another blogger in the household!  LOL.  So, here is HIS big time shot in the spotlight.  He's lovin' this, by the way.  Enjoy.  And feel free to leave comments.  I'm sure you will have some! Ha.

RD:  MR. "D", What do you do when the River Damsel is fishing? 

MR. "D":  First, as most of you know, I don't fish.  Two reasons...I'm too competitive and this is The River Damsel's hobby.  Secondly, I take a good book/magazine and sit by the river and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.  Lastly, I have plenty of time because The River Damsel doesn't actually do much fishing because:  She is getting geared up (at least 30 min); getting a snag out of a tree/shrub; or on the phone. (Ask Owl Jones about that!)

RD:  First of all, the above answer is totally untrue. ; ) ...So, when you go with The River Damsel to fish on a local stream...how long of a journey is it?

MR. "D":  She always says an hour or two, but it usually turns into four to five hours (or more) because (see paragraph above). This is why I don't go too often...someone needs to make dinner!

RD:  Has The River Damsel improved sinced she started fly fishing?

MR. "D":  Absolutely!  She can get a snag on the first cast of the day and she can catch a fish on her first cast also. 

RD:  MR. DAMSEL, does she have any problem fishing with her long french tip nails?

MR. "D":  No. she can scratch a back wonderfully.  Oh, you meant fishing...I truly think that it is her eyesight that is going.  She just better remember those magnifiers!

RD:  Does The River Damsel only listen to country music?  

MR. "D":  No, suprisingly, she listens to a wide variety of crap.  Anything from Pink Floyd to The Commodores.  Ok, that was awhile back.  Waaay back. (Her favorite is Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash)

RD:  Does The River Damsel enjoy her blog?

MR. "D":  You can say that again.  She comes home from work and spends 3-4 hours that night on the computer. (Nothing compared to Owl Jones 24/7...) Ha. (In fact, my son just walked in and said, "Does she post every night?!!!")

RD:  No, I don't!!! 

MR. "D" Rebuttal:  Ok...to be honest, I don't know how she gets it all in.  She is a great wife, mother, worker, and has many talents and gifts...   

RD:  (Blushing)

FINAL QUOTE FROM MR. "D"..."I must say that she has learned a lot during the past three years since this fly fishing craze started and thanks to all of you that have shared your time and expertise with her on this blog.  She really does appreciate it.  She loves writing about her adventures and she surely has some!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Needs Expensive Rods?

I am delighted to bring in a guest writer this week.  I met this "freelance blogger" over at his Google Plus page(Now, all of you do know that it is the place to be these days, don't you?)  Brandon Robinson is a USAF veteran and Trade School Instructor.  He has found fly fishing as therapeutic as you and I do!  And he has the fishing pictures to prove it...Brandon is the founding force and is heavily involved in FlyStock, which is a fund raising event for Project Healing Waters a non-profit organization.  So, let's give Brandon some blog love and enjoy his talented writing...Oh, he has also stated that "I am not ready for prime time"...you decide.       
Who Needs Expensive Rods?
 By Brandon Robinson

I fell into the art and obsession of fly fishing hard.  Really hard.  I fell like one of those raindrops that were suspended in the cloud nearly long enough to become hail.  You know the ones, when they hit you it almost hurts.  That was how it was for me, suspending in the idea of it until finally I had enough weight for gravity to exert itself on me.  I was the big, fat, angry raindrop of fly fishing.  My girlfriend at the time and I had watched that movie about three months earlier.  She confessed a secret love for the art of fly fishing, a crush I had harbored as well.  I say crush for the simple fact that the Brad Pitt movie was the only exposure I had to it.  Fly fishing was a magazine bound beauty queen I never thought I would be introduced to.

Being a good boyfriend though, I decided to summon the almighty oracle known as Google to decipher what fly fishing was exactly and where we could find a way to start.  With luck Living Waters was literally blocks from the house so I put in a call.  I talked with the shop owner, Chris Johnson for a little bit to figure out their hours so I would know when to bring her by.  That started it all.  She wanted to wait for casting lessons, but I am not a big fan of delayed gratification.  Chris suggested I buy one of the lower end expensive rods because they come with a warranty; I went to the box store instead.  Warranty or not you can’t beat 45 dollars for a rod the quality of the base models of some other companies.  I didn’t even know if I was going to like it (fly fishing). 

I did though, I loved it.  I quickly got sucked in to all the aspects of it.  Including the misconception that serious fishermen have serious rods, not $45 toys.  That was all well and good until the stupid things began to break.  First to go was a TFO 2wt, then my Ross FlyStik®, then my Scott F-2, and then my FlyStik® again.  Each time one of those rods break, I was out $30-$100 for warranty repairs!  Meanwhile, that $45 Okuma Crisium was still whole.  Most of my personal best fish were brought to my hand by that rod, and she was still kicking.  When she finally broke, there was no warranty, just a $7 repair job at a local tackle shop and she was back in business.

I read on The Fiberglass Manifesto about Cabelas CGR and then a little later about the Eagle Claw Featherlight.  One thing I did know from the expensive rods I had owned was that I did like fiberglass.  The hunt was on.  There was a distinct price difference between the two, so I went with the cheaper rod.  The Eagle Claw retails at anywhere from $18-$30 depending on if and where you can find it.  I tracked one down after weeks of looking and ordered two.  The seller only had one, so I took what I could get, and had it shipped as quickly as I could.

Finally, my 6'6" Featherlight came in the mail. I ordered a 4/5 weight as it was recommended by Cameron Mortenson and to my surprise, the packaging called it a 3/4, but the rod itself said it was a 4/5.  Curious as to which designation was right, I tried it with a 3wt DT first.  Not bad, however it didn't really load like it should, yet enough to lay out 25' of line close to where it was intended.  I decided to fish it like that too.

First time out, I caught a little bitty 2" bream that flexed that rod way you only dream about with graphite! I felt like I needed to hone this combo even more so, I dropped by Living Waters Fly Fishing and experimented with some of his 4wt DT line.  Not bad, but I felt like I should try a 5wt WF line. For short little casts the 5wt line was perfect but it petered out a little past thirty feet, while the 4wt seemed like a good compromise.

This rod was roughly $30 with 2 day shipping.  I took a quick S.W.A.G [Scientific Wild-A…um Ape(?) Guess] at the line, choosing the $20 bargain bin Scientific Angler WF line in 4wt. To finish it off I went by a box store, picked up a Shakespeare Click-N-Paw and 100 yards of Dacron backing. All told, I have a whopping $70 in this entire outfit and it’s ready to fish!  Satisfied with my purchase, I went home and assembled it.
Never one for delayed gratification, I wasn’t waiting to see how this combination would perform, so I took it out to the parking lot behind mi casa.  Man, this rod is sweet! With the WF line, I was able to lay out roughly 85' casts, in the dark!  I was very satisfied with the whole deal, and you will be too even if you aren’t a glass enthusiast.

Let’s be fair.  There are a lot of really good rods out there.  There is also something to be said about cost versus quality, cast one of those
packaged deals in Wal-Mart and you’ll see what I mean.  But, if you are careful, do some research, and most importantly learn from other’s mistakes; you can get started on the cheap, or add a satisfying rod to your current stable without a guilty conscience. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nature ROCKS!! Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Gretchen Steele-Photographer

Families and experts say that play in nature is good for the whole family - whether at home, in the back yard, park, campsite, or  even by a lake or a river!  The result? Children and families are happier, healthier and smarter. So, why not unplug, relax and explore together!!  There are also those times, that we as individuals need to step outside and find solace in what nature can provide.  As I was browsing the blog waves the other day, I stumbled upon a post that gave me a ray of sunshine on kind of a crummy day.   It was just the uplift that helped me decide to take an hour and drive up the canyon and breathe some fresh air!  I share it with you now...and I thank Gretchen for allowing me to post her photographs. 

Gretchen Steele is an avid outdoors enthusiast and nature and wildlife photographer.  (steelephotoservices.com.)  She is the author of  the "Walkin' With The Wild Woman" blog and tells of her experiences in the outdoors and how she faces challenges in her life and tries to not let them deter her from enjoying her outdoor passions.  Gretchen is also part of a group of outdoor women bloggers that enjoy sharing experiences of the outdoors.  My favorite line in one of her recent posts, was "She brought me the acceptance that some days it really truly is okay to  - "Just. Be. Enough".  In that post, "She -Who- Hugs-Cute Baby-Deer"...she is reflecting on a friend that is going through some difficult times and how grateful she is for the "outdoor sisterhood" that gives each of them a little extra support.  Enjoy this fantastic lady's writing and unbelievable photography.

Gretchen Steele-Photographer

Sunday Tippet ~ Sometimes we need to reach out to nature...I will usually go to God first.  He knows me better than anyone else.  But, there are times that hiking or fishing or just enjoying God's creations, give me that peaceful feeling...It can calm our fears, sooth our hearts, and it is even better when we share our experiences with others.  So many people are battling different afflictions or problems in this world that we live in.  You don't have to look far, as "She -Who- Hugs-Cute Baby-Deer" could be a neighbor, friend, or family member.  What gets us through these things is support and love.  And if nature is allowed to play a part in the healing or just giving you some extra smiles...spend a little time enjoying the outdoors and all that it has to offer!   I know that it usually turns my frown upside down!!  : (  yuck  to  : ) yay!!