Friday, March 30, 2012

Gone Fishin'! Road Trip #1 For 2012...

GONE FISHIN'!  Bags are packed and the trout beacon is on!!

It' a toss up which I love best...Montana or Idaho!    Road Trip #1 to Montana is down to a few hours to departure!  And am I glad that I'm used to waking up each day at 4:30 am for work...that actually helps!  I will be rolling out a bit earlier and putting the GPS towards the great fishy state up north. 

Ahh...Montana, land of boots, tumbleweeds and blue ribbon rivers...

And if luck holds out...good enough weather!  Yeah...forget those 50% rain/snow showers...not gonna have any of that nonsense!  And you know me, I am prepared with my fleece (Yes,'s packed).
  See ya on the flip side...with some fishy photos on Tuesday!  <"(((((><<

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roadie Food ~ Late Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

With Spring finally here, it's time to get out the calendar and look at the maps!  And there is nothing like planning the first trip of warmer weather...err...wait a minute.  Oh, sorry!  I just checked the 10 day forcast for Montana and it shows possible snow/rain showers!!  Looks like I'm going to have to wave my magic wand for cloudy, overcast skies and a hint of sunshine.  But, that's ok...we will be prepared for whatever mother nature brings. 

One of my favorite things about a road trip is the travel time.  Sure, I want to get to the destination like everyone else...but, I also enjoy the drive along the way.  So, as I am planning the trip for the weekend coming up, I find myself in the garage finding the cooler, thermos and camp chairs.  And now to plan the menu.  It isn't hard to plan lunches for the road.  But, I thought it would be fun for me to share my idea of roadie food and let the rest of you suggest a few of your favorites that I might like to add to the lineup!

  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Apple juice, cranberry juice, water.
  • And my usual stop to Starbucks for my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread that I love so much!  We will definitely pack that!  

My favorite Starbucks coffee cake...Choc Chip Banana...mmmm

Why am I posting this late at night?  Now, I'm hungry!

  • Sandwiches are always great for a trip. My personal favorite is a pastrami/swiss on sourdough or rye.  My visit to the deli the day before I leave will include these items for sure!
  • Good old peanut butter and jelly is great for kids.  It's also great for adults like me!!  Pay just a few more pennies and get the peanut butter in the tube. No messy knives and it's smaller than a jar. If you have spare packets of jelly from eating out, use those or buy jelly in the tube, too.
  • Potato salad or pasta salad...kept in the cooler, it will last for two days. 
  • Chips, crackers and cheeses.  And a dry salami stick...packed.  Nothing is more fun than putting together a plate of cheese and crackers along the way!  Cheese sticks are perfect for a snack too.
  • Fruits and veggies.  Apples, oranges, grapes.  Carrot sticks and celery are great too.
  • Cookies ~ Nutter Butters and Chips Ahoy.  Enough said. = ) 
  • Drinks - Of course, the Diet Coke must be the first on the list to make a journey out!  I also like to freeze bottles of lemonade and let them thaw along the way!  And a pack of 24 on the water shouold do it!

  • Time to splurge a little bit and unwind at a local restaurant after a long day of fishing... 

Sunday Tippet :  Extra Things To Remember... 

  • Be sure to bring those extra mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper packets you get from fast food. Don't forget the plastic knives, forks and spoons along with napkins and a paring knife. Make sure just about everything is disposable.
  • In this day and age with so many convenience foods available, it isn't hard to pack a lunch for the road. Even using those convenience foods that are pre-packaged, it is usually cheaper than buying food for the everyone at a fast food place or dining in.
                                           And grab that SNICKERS bar and away you go!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Twenty Questions For The River Damsel

Eat More Brook Trout

Yes, RD gets a little exposed, but reasonably unscathed, on Chris Hunt's famous "20 Questions"!!!   Check out the answers...

Thanks, Chris...and for the record, you really look much younger now that we have met.  =  ) 
In all fairness, I think that the netting really aged him!

(And if you would leave a comment over there, it would be appreciated!  Thanks!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Patience Can Be Learned ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Yes, it was a fish!  And proud of it!
Patience in fly fishing?  No... Not at all.  Ok...We all know there has to be a certain degree of patience involved here.  After my last three years in the sport, I still have a few strands of hair left!  Haha.  Honestly, I needed something to help me learn to be more patient in everything.  And this my friends, has given me a whole different way of looking at things.  And I also look at the river a whole different way.  When I first started, I would pounce right in any old water and start casting to who knows what!  Maybe even River Sprites!! (Don't ask)  And sometimes, I would get lucky and catch something.  But, after many days out and listening to more "knowlegable" fly fisherman out there...I am slowly learning patience.

Several people that I fish with will move frequently and try other spots. I'm curious if there are some of you who follow my "method" of staying in a spot or are the "movers."  And how frequently do you change flies, (again assumming the there is no need to match the hatch.)   One of the beautiful things about fly fishing is that it is a sport of patience whether you are moving and looking for the right spot or changing out flies because you know that fish are in there.  A combination of both approaches develops a wiser fisherman that knows when to stay in one spot and when to move on. I suspect a lot of you have achieved a good part of that wisdom. (Personally, I'm still building some of that wisdom).  We will get there eventually!  = )

Sometimes, I end up fishing a given spot for too long before I realize that my plethora of casts have spooked any fish still in there, and I would be better off to keep moving up/downstream and come back to the spot after its rested.  Does this sound familiar?  That is one of the wonderful aspects of this game we play, You against the fish and who will outlast the other.  I have been known to work a feeding fish for a long time, whether it be nymphing or on top, if that fish is a good one and keeps eating, I'm staying with it.  Patience.

Now, if I'm only working a run or hole that looks "fishy", with no visible fish, then my patience can sometimes fall short.  I would much rather fish to a fish, than fish an area that just looks like it has fish.
If I know the hole I am fishing holds trout, I will throw for a while. If it just needs a "hatch" to get it rolling, and I feel confident that it isn't too far off...I will take a rest.  Maybe grab my Snickers and Diet Coke and watch for awhile.  I guess that I don't catch a lot of fish that way, but somedays are just made for relaxing. But when I do catch one that I have been after for an hour, I feel like I won the battle!

How many of us fly fishermen, need to improve on this little thing called "impatience"?  Do we sometimes go tromping through something that maybe we should have checked out with a few casts first?  Here's a story from a friend and guide, Kerry Almond.  He experienced this first hand at a recent trip to Montana.

This isn't the MT. "river", but you get the point...
"Patience starts from the second you get out of your car and walk down to the river.....Today for example, I was fishing with newbs (new to flyfishing) and came on a beautiful run. The newbs immediately jumped into the river and waded across to cast to the far bank where there was some beautiful eddies and pools off of the main channel of the river.  I knew that they had just made a huge mistake, but I wanted to teach them an important lesson. After they had caught a few fish and waded back to the bank,  I told them to watch what I was about to do.  I stood up and walked up the bank that we were sitting on and threw my flies not four feet off the bank and caught the biggest fish of the day.  They were awestruck.   I explained to them that if they would have slowed down and took a few minutes to look at the river, they would have noticed that the bank closest to us had a huge undercut bank.  They were only focused on the gorgeous pools on the other side. They should have looked close at all of the possible places that fish can hide and work them all closest to furthest and work the whole river.   They would have either spooked the fish by wading across or just missed the undercut bank all together...So, if you are patient, you wont miss the feeding fish nose, the undercut banks or the hatching bugs and you gain more knowledge by just sitting and watching for a few minutes before you get out there and start fishing..." 

SUNDAY TIPPET:  Patience or the lack thereof?  I guess that we have to decide how much we want to put into it and what we want to take out of it.  But, for me...I'm going to try dissecting the river a whole lot more.  Starting close and working out.  And on occasion...sitting on a rock with my fly box and watching what is going on in front of me and around me.  It's all good.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bent Rods And Bumper Cars

Are these tired eyes ior determined eyes??? 

Yes, you have that right...So many adventures in a fishing day with the River Damsel.  The day started early.  Ok.  Very early. This voice kept telling me to go back to sleep.  It was my day off already...But, like clockwork, my feet hit the floor and I was headed out for another journey.  My haste to get out of the house, caused me to stop for some breakfast at McDonald's.

There is a crack in the back bumper that caused it to shift.

And as luck would have I was stopped at the end of the driveway leaving, a not so attentive driver of a F350 plowed into the back of my car.  The blunt force made me shutter at what it might look like.  But, I was lucky...just minor damage.  The policeman was cordial...even asked me where I was fishing.  Ha.  Now, the wind had really picked up and I don't know why I didn't see a sign of going home at this point.  But, I agreed with Mr. Heber City Police that fishing might make my day better...Who am I to argue with the law? 

So, we were on our way!  I made a turn into the parking lot that I had planned on going to the night before.  Hmmm...Six cars already.  My gut feeling was that I go across the street instead.  The wind was really blowing...about 25 mph at least.  And tangled lines are not my favorite thing!  But, there is a cliff wall over on the other side of the river that sometimes protects the water a little more from wind.  So, that is where I headed.  So far this winter, I have tried this deep pool about 5 times and it has not brought one fish to my net.  I could go upstream where everyone else  Why do that?  I wanted to land a bigger fish anyway.  And there are some butes in there!  My friend pulled out a nice 20 incher a month ago.  So, I tied on a BWO for the top and put on a Beatis Nymph on the bottom.  And twenty minutes later...Bam!  And again and again!  I couldn't believe it.  Each time they were biting at the nymph.  That was ok.  My last fish finally took the BWO!  Hallelujah!

As my rod bent 8 different a short 2 1/2  hr hatch of BWO's...I was absolutely delighted.  I even forgot about the bumper I left on the other side of the fence.  Where I had such a tough time catching anything last week in a thick hatch that was really too much of a good thing, now I was watching my BWO cruise ever so lightly down the path of a few friendly companions.  I am far from knowing how to repeat this day...but, I will definitely keep trying.  And I made someone happy when I turned downstream to tell him he could have  my "All Browns, All The Time"  fishing hole.  Share the wealth, I say! 

So, today was the Good, Bad and Ugly.  Let me explain...The good was that I had my day with the brown trouts!  The Bad was being in a bumper car and losing the battle.  The Ugly...well, it's definitely not pretty.  It seems that my Patagucchi waders that were patched from a recent debacle, sprung a new leak in the other leg. When I got back to the suspicions were proven right.  A boat load of water emptied...ahhhh!  I must have had a small tear in the other leg that we didn't see...I did fall on both knees.  I guess that the bright side to this story is that both sides will match with tape!  I'm so cool.  Haha. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Longest Hatch ~ The Longest Day... Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

If anyone had told me that yesterday would be one of those days where I would find out that my fly fishing skills still need to be polished...I wouldn't have argued.  In fact, that is probably one of the reasons why I headed north to Idaho to take on a new piece of water.  I have been fishing the same river all winter long.  It was time to get out and step outside of the box for one day.  And indeed I did!  You see, I am not the dry fly type of fly fisherman...No, nymphing is my thing.  The deeper my nymph goes in the water...the better!  Czech nymphing has given me quite a few fish.  Next, soft hackles would be my favorite.  Probably because if there isn't a hatch, swinging a soft hackle is usually a safe bet.  But, dry flies...hmmm.  I have watched others stalk and wait...bent over and moving very slowly toward the target.  They are the hunters on a quest.  Well...yesterday was one of those days where it was all dry fly all the time.  It was time that I practice until it became perfect...well, at least try.

It was a beautiful journey to a river that was ripe with a hatch of BWO's.  I was going to learn a new style of fishing and have to be patient with myself, as there were many obstacles to my time on the water throughout the day.  "Clicker" magnifiers and  and  climbing, s, The bugs were thick.  Oh, I have never seen anything like it.  The morning hatch of BWO's went into an afternoon hatch.  I must have watched six hours of BWO's jumping on the water in front of me.  It was a thing to behold.  They were on my sleeves like they wanted to go home with me...I think there were a couple that did!

I made my way up the river, through the thorns and sticker bushes that scratched through my sleeves as I walked.  I wondered if this was all worth it.  It had to be.  The journey went on.  After the first hour and feeling a little frustrated, I texted a friend to inquire what I was doing wrong. Nothing seemed to take my BWO dry...My response back was..."Dry or Die!"  Love it.  Well...I wasn't going to give up the fight.

I continued on a couple of hours with dries until a few rainbows hit the fly and then decided that wasn't the morsel that they wanted.  I forgot to put the sugar on it, I guess.  As I climbed over a few more boulders, I found some flat water.  A nice pool of fish, slurping...this was going to be the winner.  It had to be.  I was going to learn how to be a dry fly chick if it killed me. Nothing.  Now, it was time to try some nymphs and starting working the seams.  It was late in the afternoon...the sun was getting close to putting me in the shade.  I had to catch something!  The BWO's were still doing their thing.  How could this day have so much bug life and for such a long period of time??  It was incredible. 
Another text came in..."I always catch something on the hares ear there..."  Oh, what the heck.  So, I put on the hares with a midge at the end.  A black zebra midge 20 is my go-to fly all year round.  As I worked the BWO infested seams back down the river towards the parking lot, a tug on the line.  Could this be it?  Could my day that started 12 hours before...finally produce something in the net?  (Yeah...woke up at 5 am)

Yep.  Ya know what...I will take it.  One lonely rainbow in my net all day long.  But, on the bright side...and you know there always is a bright side to everything, don't you?  : )   My casting got a lot of practice this day, which I needed.  So, it was a good outing.  And we will catch one on the dry fly next time.  Because I am back in two weeks to see that hatch again.


There is always a way to end your day on a good note.  Besides Mr. Rainbow, the two scratch cards (not a big gambler) that I picked up earlier in the morning, bought me dinner AND...inticed me to buy a $10 Lottery ticket.  So, if I win...MORE ROAD TRIPS!!   Haha.  And more practice on dry fly fishing... : )


If you are feeling kind of itchy and uncomfortable as you walk through bushes and obnoxious weeds...
There probably is a reason to check after you get out of them...


Buy a Magnetic tippet threader... or some "Clickers" , so you won't spend so much time tying flies on!

20/20 Magnetic Leader Tippet ThreaderClic Reading Glasses-- Red

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cinching The Knot For Success!

Let's start with the answer to the question last week...Why did I lose my Buffalo Midges to a hungry trout EACH time I had a strike?  I would bring in the fish, and it would break off right before I put out the net.    After much investigation, it has been declared: 

No spit on my Improved Clinch Knot!

       Improved Clinch Knot 
Used to attach tippet to fly
  • Pass the line through the eye of the hook.
  • Make five turns around the line.
  • Pass the end of the line through the first loop, above the eye, and then through the large  loop. Draw the knot into shape.
  • Wet the knot to reduce friction, spit works well. 
  • "Wet the knot to reduce friction, spit works well".  AHHHHHHHH!!!!!  Ok...I was in a hurry and only had one hour left to fish.  Absolutely forgot to spit on the tippet and secure the knot into place each time I replaced the fly!  
  • Slide the coils down tight against the eye.
    • Pass  of the hook. ive turnsthe line. e ef
      Finally, Fish Tuesday came and we landed the three that we lost last week.  Hooray!
         I will never forget again...
        And I will definitely remember that the wind can play tricks with my photo taking!
        Happy Weekend All !!!    I've gone fishin' for a few days!

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    A Compleat "One Bug Is Fake"

    A Special Guest Post by Brandon Robinson, "One Bug Is Fake"
    As far back as I can recollect I have had to maintain some level of professionalism. Not that I have always done so, but it has been expected.  The oldest child, “You’re older, you KNOW better.” The only son, “While I’m gone, you’re the man of the house.” Funny, Dad got to whip my sister when she got into trouble, I never did get to shoulder that particular “hurt me worse than it does you” burden. Then, I went to work for my father in his business.  He poured concrete, and was famous for his work. I went to work at a very young age because it made sense to my father:  “If you don’t stay in school, this is the kind of work you will be stuck doing.” He had a small crew, of which I was the only relative.  Some dads have kids that “can do no wrong” as employees: I always envied those kids.  My dad was of the opposite school of thought in that his kid will never get the chance to do wrong, because he will ride his kid harder than any other employee. At the time, I thought it was crap. Though now, I will openly admit it provided me with valuable skills that would save my bacon in the future. His work ethic was the greatest gift I was ever given, even better than Teddy Ruxpin.

    Military service demands professionalism.  It is more than an expectation, it is doctrine.  I didn’t have to learn it like others did, still I was constantly reminded of it.  Example, at one point I was jumped by a seemingly constant increase of TIs (Training Instructors… USAF Drill Sergeants), startled because I was not aware of any ‘malfunction’ on my part, I panicked that my military career was finished before it began. I saw into the future, and it was bleak almost post-apocalyptic existence. I ran through all the hoops and fought back the tears as I stood there bracing myself for the shame I was about to bear.  Suddenly it was over, leaving me more confused than when it started.  Weeks later, SSgt Anthony Bell informed me that on the particular day I had the pleasure of meeting all those TIs, he had recently realized that I had not screwed up, and no one could remember me screwing up and thus, I had not been properly motivated.  It was his job to make sure I received the full experience, and it would be shameful if I graduated Basic Military Training without it.  I suppose Orin Scrivello, DDS must have been his life coach.
    Every review, every performance report, every letter of recommendation I have ever received has had the same things in it.  “Excellent work ethic… upmost integrity… highly professional…” All because every time I am faced with a choice, the easy choice always has me projecting my father’s disappointment.  Instead of the proverbial ‘angel on one shoulder / devil on the other’ helping to steer my life, I have a father’s pride on one shoulder and a bleak nothingness on the other.  His lasting guidance allowed me to succeed in the job I have now.  I teach air conditioning at a “for-profit” trade school.  Many of the kids (colloquial term, most of the students are older than I, when measured by calendar) in my classroom have never known a sense of professionalism.  It is something you can tell them about, but yours has to be near perfect if you want some semblance of it to sink in for them. I have this role and in many ways, I have become my father. I am a better man from his influence. The students in my class are my kids and they know I hold them to a standard beyond the minimum.  This is my wheelhouse, it is what I am.  I hope they are better from mine.

    My dad doesn’t fly fish though. In fly fishing, I have no mentor.  I am void of tutors and authority figures: there is no one to disappoint. I can fish anyway I want, be irreverent as I like, and that appeals to the part of me that wishes I would choose a different path, on the occasions I can take the ‘easy street’ or ‘integrity boulevard’.  Because of that, there is a freedom in fly fishing permitting me to tie soft-plastic grub tails to bass flies on occasion, or chunk a 1/32oz rooster tail at trout.  I don’t subscribe to the three rules of fly angling; it’s rarely upstream, hardly ever dry flies, and almost never to rising trout.  I fish for carp, gar, catfish, suckers, bass, bream, and even felines: and I don’t feel the slightest pang of guilt. 
    The sad thing is; this will probably put purists off of me and my writing.  To some in the world of fly fishing, I am a pagan devil.  A heathen, a non-believer… an infidel.  I am, “all that is wrong with the direction this sport is going.”  If you prick me, do I not bleed?  If you open my car, would you not find fly rods?  I hold myself to my one standard… one testament, I fish with a fly rod only. If you don’t fish the same way as I do it isn’t a problem: judge not, lest ye be judged. Fly fishing is supposed to make you happy.  If you like to fish a certain way, then go for it.  Even if you pick up, own, or frequently gear fish… I’ll still fish with you, but there will be some good natured ribbing.  Just like I catch flak at the fly shop for buying more flies than I do material, it isn’t meant to be anything mean… Not the way I do it anyway.  I try not to nymph, not that there is a thing wrong with it, I just don’t like it. I do know how to drift, just ask Crazy Mike.  He assumed because I wanted to throw streamers, somehow that meant I didn’t know anything else.  After a while I became frustrated with his assumptions and I picked up a rod he had rigged with a pattern that he proclaimed “wasn’t working”, and promptly tossed out about twenty feet of line upstream and let it drift.  Two perfect mends then a fish to hand locked his jaw for the trip, save for one remark under his breath… “Guess it wasn’t a bad pattern…”   He was looking down at me judging me with holier than thou assumptions, and that just brings me to the creamy center of this philosophical twinkie, finally.

    The point I am making is; this sport is what it is, and people get exactly what they want out of it.  This is the one area of my life where I don’t have to be professional; I don’t have to subscribe to someone else’s ideals.  There isn’t wrong involved in enjoying your hobby however it makes you happy.  The wrong is trying to enjoy your hobby the way someone else pressures you too.  So yes, by many other standards, I am an infidel.  It’s my church friends, and I’m the Padre.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Working And Guiding In Yellowstone Country


    Today, I have a special treat for all of you!  An acquaintance of mine, Kerry Almond, has graciously accepted to write a "guest post"!   One of my favorite places to fly fish is in Yellowstone.  The beauty cannot be surpassed.  And Kerry is up close and personal with it, six months out of the year.  Originally, from Utah...he has lived and fished in Idaho and Montana and has vast knowledge of the amazing fisheries in those areas.  His story is amazing.  I am sure that you will enjoy...       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

    I was one of those guys that was fed up living a fast paced, stressful life as a manager for one of the largest financial companies in the world. As everyone knows, in 2008 the economy was in a  downward spiral and the company I worked for decided that they were going to pay me 40k less a year. Their “take it or leave it” attitude just didn’t set well with me and after being a loyal team player for such a long period of time, I politely told them where they could stick their job. So I decided it was time for me to go do what truly made me happy and became a Guide in Mecca.

    My personal Mecca is West Yellowstone, Montana. I was very fortunate to land a job in Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop and after a couple seasons, I convinced them that I could guide. Working and living in West Yellowstone with rivers such as the Madison, Gallatin, Henry’s Fork and Yellowstone all within a stones throw makes any fly fisher anxious to wake up every morning to get out and catch fish!  What makes guiding out of West Yellowstone and Bud Lilly’s so special is the diverse clients we get in the fly shop. We get the families that have just driven through the park and saw all those fly fishermen out there catching fish and are excited to get out and try it, to the experienced fly fishers that want to go out and fish a specific hatch or technique or water that happens at any given time.

    Some guides prefer to guide the more advanced fly fishermen, where you rarely have to deal with the casting lessons, the tangled lines or the endless lost flies in the bushes.  I however, actually enjoy getting out and teaching the families and kids the sport we all have grown to love. There is nothing more exciting to me as taking a family, father and son or just a person that has never fly fished out onto a river and teaching them how easy fly fishing really is and how exciting it can be to learn about hatches, feeding lanes and fish. My satisfaction comes from watching all the pieces come together and the clients start catching fish and the endless smiles and excitement on their faces.

    I was in the shop one day last season and watched 2 guys rolling into town on Harley’s in full riding leathers and park across the street ( in a no parking zone) and I thought, “Man, I hope a cop comes by” and went on with my work. As luck would have it. the guys came into the shop looking for a guided trip and guess who was up on the list…  I met them at the shop the next morning and got them all set up with waders and rods and we headed for the Madison River. These guys were both from Canada and were on a road trip all the way down the Rockies. They had never fly fished, but thought it looked “cool” and wanted to try it. After a quick lesson we waded out into the river and within a few casts the fish started to cooperate and the smiles, laughs, smack talk and fun had begun. That was my most fun day on the water with clients last year. I still get a picture every now and then of the fish they catch on the Bow River and a smile comes across my face knowing that the addiction started that day we were on the river.

    There are never-ending opportunities year round on most of the rivers in the area. You can fish most of Madison outside of the park up until the end of February, just the section above Quake lake to Hebgen then the river opens back up the 3rd Saturday in May. Yellowstone opens up to fishing the Saturday of Memorial day and fishes all the way to it’s closing the first Sunday in November.

    Sunday Tippets:  
    My favorite hatches to fish:

    Salmon Flies
    Henry’s Fork - May 20th to June 15th
    Madison River - June 25th to July 15th

    Golden Stones
    Henry’s Fork - July
    Madison River - July

    Gray Drakes on Slough Creek
                                                              July 15th to Sept 15th

                                                              Terrestrials on All rivers
                                                              July 20th on
                                                                                                                    So, whether you are new to the sport or a pro, come on up and feel free to drop by and get the low down on what's going on around our area.
    I hope to see you all out there with a smile on your face. I know I will.

    "Dream Big And Live Bigger".

    Kerry Almond

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Running With The Buffalo Midge

    Or should I say "Running Away With The Buffalo Midge"!???  Because that is what the Brownies did.  Today on the Provo River, we had a prolific Buffalo Midge hatch.  I had them all over me...I was "bugged out", I guess you could say.  And I was on the time clock.  I don't usually try to squeeze in a fishing trip, unless I have ample time...which means 4-6 hours.  Today, I had exactly two hours on the water before I would have to head back.  But, I heard that things were hatching up there, so I had to break out the new 10 foot fly rod.  It needed more excercise. = )

    I was greeted by 6-8 inches of new snow in the past few days.  Which isn't much, unless you have to make new tracks instead of walking over a beaten path! Ha.  Of course, I take the higher road less traveled.  So, now I only have 1.5 hours to fish.  Being on the clock just isn't as much fun.  The Buffalo Midges came out about a half hour after I got there.  The water was quiet with no rising fish.  I walked past two deep pools with three fly fisherman in each of them.  This always makes me laugh.  Why they hang out in the same spot, every time they go., I'm not a dry fly expert.  And maybe it is fun to wait and wait for that fish to come up and grab the fly.  Maybe, someday, I will find out.  But, I was on a quest for nymphing and putting down some midges and stoneflies.  I had heard that stones had really kicked it this week.  Nothing bit though on those... Oh...check out my newly patched Patagucchi's!  Nice geometric design, don't you think?  = )

    I was on my last hour and it was crunch time.  Buffalo Midges came out on the water...and all in a blink of an eye, fish were rising in front of me on the end of a gentle run.   Time to change the flies.  A Buffalo midge and a Zebra midge.  Bam! Fish on..."Incoming"!  Outgoing... What the heck happened there?  He was 2-3 ft in front of me and broke off! Ahhh... Again...  Bam!  Fish on..."Incoming"!  Oh, this was a nicer Brown trout...I wanted this one.  As I reeled him closer to the rocks in front of me, I felt the snap of the line.  No way!  Outgoing...  Ok.  Fifteen minutes left before I would have to pack it up and take the long walk back to the parking lot.  Bam!  Fish On..."Incoming"!  The third brown to wave his fins at me...reeling, pulling in line...there he was!  Getting the net ready...Snap!  Outgoing... Ahhh... What was the problem today?  a) not enough time and rushed things and brought them in too fast  b) not a quick enough set and they wiggled their way off at the end  (although, they ran off with the midge each time)  c) poor knot tying of my flies   Yeah...that's probably it.  Well, I said goodbye to the sipping Brown trout.  Oh, those twenty or so of Provo's finest, had another hour to play.  But, they would have to play with the real Buffalo midges now.

    It was time for me to head home and hand over the keys to the car to a very excited 16 year old going to his Junior Prom!  He was worried that I wouldn't get back in time...he knows about my lengthy excursions!  But, I got back 15 min. before I told him that I would.  Way to go, Mom.  So, all was good.  Now, about those break offs...I won't say they were good.  There's only one thing worse than a skunking.  And that is losing three fish that are brought in and look you in the face and say I'm "Running With The Buffalo Midge"!  And so they did. fishing.  Gotta love it.