Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trout Chasing The River Damsel? ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

It is true.  No lie.  Trout were chasing the River Damsel yesterday.  Every pool, every run, every riffle...there they were!  Lying in wait until they met eye to eye with the River Damsel's brown stonefly.  Then, chasing that fly and grabbing it like there was no tomorrow! It was definitely a "Troutrageous" kind of day.  The trout were after it...or after me, it seemed!   Last week, I wrote about setting your hook like you mean it.  Well, I set it that hook and meant it.  Only a few were lost, with most netted.  In fact...over 40 fish between two anglers doesn't sound too bad, does it?  = )

Yes...A pretty epic day, alright.  And what was funny was that I have wanted to fish this part of the river for awhile now.  But, last year, it was always high and murky every time I stopped by last summer.  But, last year we had an incredible run off.  And yesterday, it was a bit high and fast, but, I felt that some big trout were in there waiting for me.  Call it ESP, Inspiration, A Hunch.  My friend that came along, looked at it and said, "I don't know, it is pretty murky!"  But, I wasn't ready to turn around so fast this time...I just had that feeling.

An hour later, we were catching trout after trout.  We decided that the stonefly would be the fly of the day and it was!  Big time.  In fact, my buddy caught so many trout on his brown stone that it looked pretty weathered.  Then, at the end of the day...he finally had to give it up to the river gods...Bummer.  He was going to mount it on his hat at the end of the day.  Oh well.  Yes, the sun was shining upon us all day long.  And the trout were chasing us...instead of the other way around!  A nice change...

Everywhere I went, there was a trout around the corner.  I can truly say that I know the feeling of viewing firsthand, "Fish In A Barrel"!  Yes, Quill Gordon, I let my hair down and didn't have a care in the world.  I don't know if it can be repeated, or when it will be repeated...wait a minute!  Of course it is going to be repeated!!!  Where is my positive mental attitude???  = ) 

Some fish were of the smaller variety...

Some fish were "teenagers"...

A few "young adults" in the group...

 Even a "Whitefish" was thrown in the mix...

All in all, it was a very good day...two anglers netting over 40 trout...

Because we had the magic...two fly patterns that could do no wrong.
The trusted brown stone fly and the sow bug with flashabou.

Love my Mr. Brown Spots

Ok...So here is my "Tippet" for the day... One "Tippet" from me and hopefully some "Tippets" from my readers. productive day was because I finally fixed the problem of my fish breaking off.  I have gone to heavier leader and tippet when nymphing.  But, still they would come within a few feet and run.  Looks like RD learned a valuable lesson from my friend who came with.  Something that I learned a long time ago and forgot, I guess.  But, you have to keep that arm up the whole time that you are reeling in that trout!  Rod handle above the armpit!!   It seems that I have a bad habit of lowering my arm towards the end...thus, giving it a little bit of slack.  Problem Fixed.  Yay!
Now...for you out there that know your bugs a lot more than I do.  Here is the scenerio...
  I would say that 3/4 of our catches were on the stone fly.  The other 1/4 were on the sow with flashabou.  The fish were pounding the brown stone flies when they were trailed with the sow.  It was murky water, so we figured that the bright flash helped the trout see their dinner.  But, when we took the sow off...the stone fly was not touched.  Question:  If they liked the stone fly so much...why couldn't you mix it with anything else that had a bright color and still work?  Nope, only when it was paired up with the sow.
Any thoughts on this?

Monday, April 23, 2012

SET That Hook Like You Mean It!

That's right...If you don't set it, you don't catch it.  Simple as that.  When I first was learning how to fly fish, I wasn't quite sure when to set that hook...  In nymphing, everyone told me that I would feel the line ever so slightly pull away from me.  Oh, and watch that indicator as it makes the first little dip down into the water.  And lastly, KNOW when that indicator is going to make that first little dip before it actually does it!  Ha.  Ok...  Was I supposed to be a mind reader?  A fish whisperer?  You know what...The guy who told me the last rule, was right on.  Anytime you even think you have a strike...SET IT!!! 

It's when you hesitate even in the slightest way, that you will lose the chance for a strike.  I figure that you miss every shot that you don't take.  I'm being serious's the truth!  Right? So, what if it is a branch underneath or a rock that you get hung up on... it also could be a fish!  <"(((((><<  Then, you will become a believer of the rule of setting anything that you might think is a fish.  Just put a little bit of faith in yourself and that the fish is going to take the fly.   Tomorrow, I am not going to set like an old lady...I have truly been a whimp with the fly rod.  My new mindset goes like this... Set, Set, Set!  No pain...No gain!  The reason I am so adamant on this setting thing is because of late...I have been late.  So many fish on my fly, but because of hesitence on my part...they ended up laughing at me.  Have you ever seen a fish laugh????

Oh, I can't even imagine how it could have been if I had brought them all in.  It has been a couple of great weeks for the River Damsel.  I think that I finally have turned the corner, so to speak.  But, my ratio is a bit off and I know that if I set that hook just a little bit quicker, I will find a few more in the net.  Not that I am unhappy about my catches as of late.  But, you know the feeling when the big thud under the water is there, and then not there.  Yeah... Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to set that hook like I mean it!   

I'm not usually into numbers of misses...but, I kept count this past week on one of my days.  I caught 8, but I missed 14 that I was certain were fish. (6 of the lost were actually seen, but came off the hook)  Ugh.  And maybe 6 more that were borderline fish/rocks/branches.  Not pretty, too some.  Maybe great to others.  Wait a baseball, that is a pretty high percentage!   So, we will batter up, hit that strike out of the park, instead of whiffing at it and striking out.  (Go ANGELS, by the way)  I've increased my line and tippet weight.  I'm pretty confident that I have the flies that will catch the fish.  So, now it's just the set that we need to practice on...To bed, Fred.  I have a big day ahead of me...It's Fish Tuesday!!!  Whoohoo.  And despite how serious this sounds like...I am having a ton of fun.  And that is the name of the game, my friends. Well...maybe it's the pink hat.  That is still under debate.  I'm starting to get a little bit superstitious about it!  = )

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Sunday Tippets" For Georgia Bound, Troutrageous!

So, it has been announced that the "Epic Troutrageous ~ Owl Fishing Trip" is only a few weeks away...oh, wait a minute while I look at that Countdown Meter ...  Yep, less than that now.  Anyways, the fly fishing brothers are about to embark on a Smoky Mountain adventure...  I thought it only fair to Mike Agneta, Mr. Troutrageous! to give him fair warning or shall we say some "Sunday Tippets" for his upcoming trip.  I mean, I did experience fly fishing in the Smokies with Owl and Flyfish SC last, who else would be better in giving a little bit of advice... Do you know the words to "Rocky Top"??? Lol.
Milliam will definitely keep things on an even keel... 
                           I think.  = )

Owl Jones dot com recently put out his announcement with an interesting list of promises for those who come to visit him and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Here was his list... Listen up, and take note,
Mr. T!  There is a lot to be said for reading between the lines... = ) 

1.  Culture shock ~ What Owl really is saying that you will see many new and different things.  A Chicken Statue...Boiled Peanut vendors with a steaming barrel on the side of the road...those sort of things...


 2.  New food (fried pies, boiled peanuts, pork rinds, fried pickles, grits) ~ Well, you know that you have to try the favorites of Georgia while you are there...just be very careful not to eat too much of these goodies!  You have been warned.  But, you must have him take you to a BBQ with fried green beans and okra.  Just sayin'! (You can easily put on 10 lbs in one weekend.)  And don't put those pies in your suitcase to come home with... They won't make it.  = )  And if you try the grits, you are one up on me... 

3.  Amazing fishing for 6 inch trout ~  OR LESS!!!  Lol.  No, that isn't a lure. be fair, there are some 6 inch brookie beauties like this one too...

4.  Live, first hand observation of redneck behavior ~ You don't have to look far to find redneck behavior... Their outdoor swings are a little strange though... 
5.  Camping with bears ~ Ya know, I had a perfect way to remain safe and sound from the bears.  This will be my most important tippet to you.  Get first dibbs on sleeping on the air mattress in the back of the SUV!  Let the Georgia natives have the tents.  = ) 
6.  Free lessons on proper speaking ( How to speak Southern ) ~ Now, Owl is the Host of Southern Speaking... He will have you speaking a foreign whole new language before you go back home.  I will give you a couple of starters before you you will feel a bit more acclamated when you arrive!! 

Howdy = hello, hey there. "Howdy, y'all".
Yonder = over there. "I'm goin' over yonder."
Fixin' = about to or going to. "I'm fixin' to get somethin' to eat."

7.  Atlanta traffic ~ Well, you are flying into one of the busiest, yes, you will see traffic.  Owlie lives north in a quiet suburb...he doesn't like all the hustle and bustle.  =  )  No worries on getting out of there... Owl is a car jumper.  He presses a button and the car automatically jumps over several at a time... And if you have signage like this... People will let you pass.  Lol.  Oh, well...maybe not for your trip.  = )  
8.  Lame jokes ~ Well, I really can't help you out there.  It is what it is.  You are with Owl Jones.  But, he does have some pretty good ones too.  = )  But, I promise you that the jokes will keep you laughing the whole time...even if they are lame.  And forgive Owl for his sense of direction...he will get you to your destination in the end.  = )

9.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park ~ My only "tippet" here is to let that camera will see the most amazing scenery and views as you make the journey around the Park... You might even see an Owl in front of the GSMNP welcome sign...just sayin'! (It's such a friendly place)

 10.   $1,500 cash ~ Ummm...this was not on my original list of things promised when in Georgia... But, no worries!  If this is the only thing that isn't fulfilled on his promise are doing very well indeed!  Your experience in the Smokies will be priceless.

SUNDAY TIPPET:  Last, but not least... Pray for no rain and especially no flash flooding... Really, there is no way that it could happen again like last year.  = )  No way...

And despite the weather Owl, Mark, and I  had... It was a great time.  Because when you are with friends...nothing else really matters.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Facing Your Fears ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

How does one go about taking risks and overcoming
fear???  Well, I decided to take on the challenge of a friend that told me that I needed to take the leap.  The leap to overcome my fear of a river bed!  Now, I know that it sounds funny that after four years of fly fishing, that I would still be apprehensive about the flow of the water in a stream or river.  But, I am.  I've had enough adventures of falling and nearly drowning that it has made me a bit gun shy.  And the last thing I want to do is stand on the side of a river casting out in one direction!  It works, but it is so much better to stand in the middle and be able to cast to one bank and turn around and hit the other side too.  So, I decided to confront my nemesis and leap into it a little bit farther...with a wading stick!  A great invention.


Most of our experiences in life are determined by
our own perception.  And my perception of the water that I fish twice a week, has been off kilter for sure.  I have spooked myself out!  In a nutshell, my perception of a situation that can be remedied just by practicing a lot more...has been hindered by my fear factor.  So, you feel apprensive about something that you want to do.  You are feeling scared and timid about jumping in. That prompts you to worry and that worry then influences all of your actions. It affects how you talk and it even impacts your body. You get the nervous stomach and so on. That all began with a feeling.  And this past year, I have searched for "safe spots" to fish...slower water, deep pools.  But, am I improving my skills as a fly fisherman?  No. 

Which bug is fake?  Oh...I guess that one with a bead head!
The best thing to do when confronted with anything is to view the situation with objectivity and an open mind. Be honest with yourself, too.  If the water is too swift, then I'm not going to plunge through it!  Of course not.  But, if I can scope out the different areas in front of me, I can usually see one route that would be easier to walk to get where I want to be.  When you put your emotions aside and can see something independently from what you may think about it, then you can cut through any possible delusion and see the situation accurately.  The interesting thing about overcoming a fear is that you need to believe that you can do it. Doubt is like cancer. It feeds on all the positive, happy thoughts and feelings you may have. Nothing kills a dream more quickly than doubt.  It's kind of like picking up the stone fly yesterday as I was re-rigging.  There was no more doubt on what to throw out there to land a fish.  So, I quickly put on the arsenal...  Bam, bam, bam!  Shakespeare said that “life is a stage and we each must play a part.”  It was so true yesterday.  For the stone fly, the trout, and for me!

A most deserving kiss from RD...

Now the thing about believing in yourself is that you have to have an accurate perception about yourself and the situation at hand.  When I picked up that stone fly, I knew my subject and fly of the day like I knew the back of my hand. I have no doubt about my potential and/or talent. I also know that I am capable of learning more and that makes me even more secure in knowing that I am on the right path.  I just needed a little bit of courage and a kick in the butt from a friend that told me to start believing again.  And you know what I found out?   It is easier to take a risk when you believe that you can achieve what you are trying to do.  Bottom line.

So, I headed out to the Weber River yesterday to try out the wading stick that has stood up in the corner of my room for the past four years...don't ask me why...Stubborness?  Probably.  But, we put it to the test.  And after ten laps across the river as my "practice time", I felt more comfortable with my balancing act.  Even the rain and then snow pellets coming down, did not deter me!  And how odd that it would make for better fishing!!  They were slurping... = )

It was a "rainbow" day for sure...and I actually killed two birds with one stone.  I started my journey in overcoming my fear of wading in a river and I won the battle with my old favorite river, the Weber!!  Now, this river has been tough for me this past year.  But, today...with a new confidence and positive attitude, I believed and those big ol' browns and rainbows filled my net.  I will take 17-18 in trout anyday!!!  In the end, oh yes...there had to be an end to the day unfortunately...we headed back to the car at 6 pm...ha!  When you have a successful journey, you make the most of it.  Don't you???  Nothing is better than the feeling of accomplishment and laying the fears aside.


Cast your fears aside.  Face them head on and take on the challenge if you are physically, mentally, and emotionally able.  When you test your limits, sometimes you find that you can accomplish more than you originally thought!  It is often the anxiety that prevents you from doing it.  .Don't let the fear corner you or prevent you from doing something that you really want to do.  In my is just going to take practice, practice, practice!   That means that you give your best to the present moment and trust that it will lead you exactly to where you need to be.   
Fear and risk does exist in all aspects of life.  However, we become a slave to our fears only when we allow ourselves to be intimidated by it. Fear only becomes real when we believe that it is real.  So, believe that it isn't and LIVE BIGGER (As a friend has told me...)!!  Fear is not the boss of you….you are the boss of it. Decide today that YOU CAN and you will overcome your fears!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Short And Sweet Of It All...

Yes, we did have a "Fish Tuesday"!  No, we didn't hitch a ride with these guys on their "Golf Tuesday" or try to find a fish pond on the golf course.  And unlike, Howard...I didn't go to a cemetary to fish for bass on a "Stroll Tuesday"  (I guess that you have to give the guy credit for using his lunch hour wisely to get free fishsticks, with permission of course...)  

Instead, I hightailed it up to Idaho for Round 2 in a secluded place with rainbow trout.   A journey that was a little more of a drive for a Tuesday, but I felt like getting out of town today.  And I was greeted by a nice, little BWO hatch that went on for several hours.  But, it was a nymphing day with the fishies until they came to the surface around 3 pm... So, I decided to stay a while longer.  = )

And then it was time to go home.  You know why those fish up there in Idaho are so healthy... it's the bugs!  Look at the ones I brought home!!  They definitely have juicier bugs than Utah does... = )

Last stop before heading back to the hacienda... will have to excuse my nibble before the picture was taken...a girl gets hungry after a long day on the water!!, that I have made you nice and hungry... ; )  This was the best pizza that I have ever had.  Thank you Nick Jones for tellilng me about this place...Jack's Wood Fired Oven...Mmmmmm
I couldn't decide between I made them split it.  Ha.  We call it the "Twisted" (Bbq chicken, mango, jalepenos, roasted almonds)  and "Chuckwagon" (Bbq pulled pork, pineapple, jalepenos, parm cheese on top)  It was delightful and filled the craving for something spicy and something sweet.

Just another "Fish Tuesday"!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Easter Lily - Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

A book review of The Parable of the Lily ~

This story was written by Liz Curtis Higgs and has masterfully painted pictures by Nancy Munger.

The story begins in the winter months. Maggie goes to the mailbox down the lane to retrieve the mail and receives a mystery letter. It told her that a special gift is on its way just for her. This letter aroused her curiosity and she anxiously waited for the gift. The days went by and finally the gift arrived. Her father, the Farmer watched Maggie open the gift and saw her disappointed face.

The gift wasn't a doll or new toy; it was a box full of dirt with instructions that said, "Hide in a cool dark place, water as needed, When spring comes bring into the light." Maggie figured it was probably a bulb that would bloom sometime. She placed it on a shelf in the basement and pretty much forgot about it. The Farmer was sad because he had given her this gift, but as spring came he waited and hoped she would remember the box. When spring came, the Farmer got out his gardening tools and began to work in his garden. Maggie ran to the basement to get her tools and accidentally knocked down the box full of dirt. Out rolled the bulb.

Maggie picked it up angrily and threw it outside. She was angry with herself and still hurt from the disappointment that the box had not held a new toy. On Easter morning, Maggie woke up early and went outside to pick some flowers. In the garden, she saw the most beautiful lily plant that ever bloomed!

She called everyone to get up and see the beauty that she knew had come from the ugly box of dirt. When she saw her father's face she knew he had given her the bulb. She asked him for forgiveness and he said to her, "That's what Easter's all about."

Sunday Tippet ~ The box of dirt came as an undesirable gift...but, was it?  Don't judge a book by it's cover.  Beauty is often found inside...What you might see as a insignificant gift from someone, might be something of great value and worth to you someday.  As many people in the world celebrate Easter in some way today, let's remember to appreciate those gifts that are placed right before us, but we somehow toss to the side and often forget.  Hoping that all of you have a wonderful Easter Sunday!!!

And don't let the "Easter Bunny" get away with the eggs at your Easter egg hunt!