Thursday, June 28, 2012

Maynard & RD's Excellent Adventure - Part I

Day 1 - This soon to be 1400 mile journey started a little frenzied, I must admit.  We were going to leave on Saturday, then at the last minute, found out that Maynard wanted to leave on Friday.  I had it off from work, as it was going to be my prep day.  Well, now I just had to throw all my gear together in a pile and hope it was all complete.  My flies stayed in their prescription bottles instead of being neatly arranged in the new fly box that I had ready to go.  No time to buy any new clothes for the trip.  My two pairs of shirts and pants would have to do.  Montana was waiting!  And I was not going to delay the departure... We met up with a friend of mine, Peggy Sue.  She had taken a fly fishing class with me and we wanted to experience the Firehole River.  It is both of our favorites in Yellowstone.  So, we were off!  Along the way, it was sandwich time at the Mountain Market in Island Park, ID.  And greatest homemade mustard!  (I brought some home)  Thanks, Dione!

We drove into West Yellowstone in the early afternoon, got our licenses and stopped by to tell our friend, Ernie (Flyshop Guru) that we had arrived.  And to pick up some of the "hot" flies for the Firehole. Haha.  We also got directions on where the better fishing might be.  Hmmm...  Anyway, we were off once again, bidding Ernie goodbye.  He hated to be left out...but, no playing until your work is done!!  = )  We drove around looking for the "place".  Well, we picked one, but not quite sure if that was it or not!  (Not)

This was a forest of pines that we would have to walk through to the river.  Yeah, RD in a forest with BEARS!  My first time loading up with a can of bear spray.... Why wasn't I feeling much better?  Maynard assured me that the probability was small that we would run into one.  Peggy Sue just laughed...Why was she laughing?  We finally found the river after about a 2 1/2 mi. trek in... We gave it our best shot for a couple of hours, but it was fishing rather slow.

I landed a 14" rainbow, Peggy Sue caught a brown trout, and Maynard well...had an adventure. You see, we found a meadow coming back that we could walk in, which would give us a better sighting of bears running at us!  Much better than a bear jumping at you from behind a tree!  Haha.  We were almost through this meadow when we discovered marshes in front of us.  There was no way to go around them.  As I sloshed through the thick, crusty volcanic mud... it stuck to my waders like paste.  I was about ready to have a melt down, being so hot in the waders with the long walk.  So, I just kept moving ahead!  Visions (or were those hallucinations?) of the truck lay before me in my head!  Only a little ways to go!  Maynard had chosen to wear his sandals and shorts and wet wade because of the temps.  Well, Maynard didn't fare well.  Down he went, into the mud.  After reaching down at his feet...he managed to take off the sandals and step out.  He had completely white, pasty legs from the crusty mud!  Kind of like the Pillsbury Dough Boy's legs... It was incredible.  What a mess...

We were back on the road again...back to West Yellowstone.  We would meet Ernie and have a pizza at my favorite place in town...Wild West.  There was some kind of country/blue grass band playing and the place was lively.  A good time. Oh, did I mention that if you go with fly shop might get a white pizza with artichoke and tomatoes?  Hmmm... Maynard wasn't thrilled.  To forget that he didn't get meat on his pizza...he started dancing some kind of watusi dance!!!

Day 2 - We headed out towards the Madison River.  Lions Bridge seemed to be somewhere that we could have a rest stop and I could throw a few casts in for just twenty minutes.  Back in the truck and on to Ennis, Mt.  (Pronounced Eh-nis)  Ok...I confess, I went with the long E and was quickly corrected, by Maynard.   I loved being greeted by none other than an iron fly fisherman in the middle of town! (He's got a trout at the other end of the gravel box)  My guess is that Lewis & Clark probably came through here on there expedition.  A very quaint town.

We drive a little further and we get to Virginia City, Mt.  It has stagecoach tours waiting for visitors along side the old, western style main street.  A boom town during the gold rush, they have kept all the shops in tact for tourism.  Half of the structures were built before 1900.  Didn't have time to stop, but someday it would be fun to go in and look around a bit.  It's a fun, little ghost town and even Calamity Jane lived here for awhile!

Next stop...(Are you seeing a trend here?  This isn't just any ordinary fly fishing trip!  No, Maynard only give scenic tours that have fly fishing in them!  For which I was very grateful because I had never been through this part of Mt.)  We arrive in Nevada City.  Home of the "Haunted Mansion" least that is what we are calling it!  An old western town that has small shops and old frame houses.  Then, we get to this house!  Scary at night, I bet...

Now, we find the land of fly fishing (And a few buffalo!)  As we entered into the Alder Gulch and Ruby River was breathtaking.  A beautiful valley of hills and trees.  Maynard had a great idea of putting us on Fluvial Arctic Grayling (Thymallus Arcticus)  in the Ruby River... I have always wanted to see a grayling, up close and personal.  This was one of the "extra perks" on having Maynard drive...he knew the spots that had all different species of trout. 

And I was totally "game on" finding a grayling!  But, not just any ordinary grayling.  A river-run Fluvial Arctic Grayling!  There are only a couple of rivers in the U.S. that have them, as they primarily occupy lakes.  But, what were my chances, really?  I mean, I have to work for every trout that I would be pure luck if I got into one.   But, just between you and me, I could see how Maynard's face lit up when he said that he was going up there specifically for us to find one.  So, I couldn't disappoint! = )

Unless, I met up with this guy first!  Rawwwrrrr!!!  Yep, Yogi. (nice nails...errr...claws)
I really didn't need to see this next to the hole that I wanted to fish out of...

I was into my casting about 3-4 times...and "fish on"!  Something deep below started to rise from the was greyish I knew it wasn't a brown trout!  I didn't look like a rainbow either...Could it be???  I screamed over to Maynard and said..."Is this it?"  He replied, "Looks like an Arctic Grayling!" 

To say that I was a little ecstactic, would be an understatement... To catch a new species of fish is exciting...but, to land something that you can't find just anywhere...that is special.  Thanks, Maynard...for thinking up this journey!  Peggy Sue and Maynard were happy netting cutties on this stretch of water... 

Maynard... Showing me how to hold a Fluvial Arctic dorsal fin up!

So, our second day was done.  It was time to drive the last leg of the day into Dillon, MT... For the Beaverhead River was before us... = )  We checked into our rooms (which happened to be the last couple of rooms due to a rodeo in they said.  I think they just looked at us and said..."far back corner, away from everyone!"  Ha! )  We cleaned up a bit and finished the day with some grub at Dillon's finest...


Why would I make this the biggest picture on this post?  Simple...I was fetchin' hungry!  A macho carnitas burrito did the trick.  If ever in Dillon, Mt... Highly recommended.  And conveniently placed across the parking lot from the hotel.  = )

Who is this guy???  Can Frandito Bandito catch more fish in half the time???

NEXT UP:  Ernie finds his way out of the flyshop, finally... Late at night, he journeys across mountains and streams, and fortunately avoiding deer contact...arrives to fish with us the next day.  Now, our adventure will have a few extra kicks in it!   Peggy Sue and I better be ready to keep up the pace!  You can bet that we will give it our all... BIG FISH are on the horizon!

Montana... Got to love it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gone Fishin' To MONTANA!


Where the rivers flow with BIG Trout!
See you on the flipside...

I will be back Wednesday with my report...  Sorry, no "Sunday Tippets" except for the ones in the water ! 

Have a great weekend and go catch some fish!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Swiss Family Robison

Family... I have come to realize that there are some traits that are inherited.  Like a lot.  But, as of this writing, I only know of a few great-uncles that fished.  So, I take great pride in carrying on the tradition.  My grandmother's brothers were from Northern California (Grass Valley) and were big fly fishermen.  They must be smiling down upon me every time that I go to the river.  At least I think so.   Here's a bit of heaven in Grass Valley...Too bad as a kid, I only wanted to ride the horses when we visited!

Next up:

My son is going on a Pioneer Trek this weekend in Wyoming.  The bus leaves at 5 am tomorrow morning and several hundred teenagers and adults embark on a four day trek to relive and follow the path that the pioneers walked with handcart to settle Utah in the 1850's.  It has got me thinking about how many rivers the pioneers had to cross travelling from East to West?  I'm sure that my son will appreciate his ancestors a lot more when this hot, dusty trek if over!  Ha.  It should humble him to appreciate all that he has, I'm sure!  I had to look up some genealogy and stories about his ancestors on the internet the last few days...I cannot even believe how much information there is out there.  People sure are doing their homework.  I have my triple great grandmother's picture now, along with her amazing Indian, if that wouldn't build your character!  An amazing woman of great strength and courage.  She calmed the Indians who entered their house full of children while the husband was out gathering wood.  For some unknown reason, the men had left the gate to the fort open that night! =  (   But, all was well with Grandma in charge!  She fed them and her Indian song calmed them to a point where they got up and left... (I think that someone from up above was watching over her, for sure!)

Here's the I was browsing through records on the web and figuring out where everyone fits into the family tree...I find out the maiden name of my triple great grandmother.  I only knew her by Grandma King all of these years.  But, her full name is Matilda Robison King.  And she settled into Central Utah in the 1850's...from New York.  Now, my boss at work is a Robison.  My first thought was "Yeah...wouldn't that be something?"  So, I walk into work yesterday and ask him where is ancestors are from.  He blurts out the name of the town that this grandmother settled into...of course!  Turns out my boss is a distant cousin of mine!  Lol.  This world is definitely smaller than we think. (Oh, and he likes to fly fish. So, another relative fisherman!)

So, I have been looking up and reading about my family from far, far back.  And it has been pretty interesting to say the least.  Maybe I would have rather helped settle Utah with the other side of the family...My great-great grandfather, John Watkins, built this home in Midway, Ut. after crossing the plains in 1856.  Just a few blocks from my stomping grounds on the Provo River... It was in the family for a very long time, but no longer.  That makes me sad, but who knows...I just might buy it someday and live a hop, skip, and a jump to one of my favorite places to fly fish!

And finally...

The house will be pretty lonely without my son for the rest of this week.  But, I'm sure that I will find things to do.  Like, starting to pack for my trip to Yellowstone and the Land of  "Coolness"!  Ok, we enjoyed making fun of  Yellowstone's snow in June a few weeks ago or was that last week?  Ha.  But, I will be looking forward to a pleasant 70 degrees up there while it is a scorching 90+ in Utah!  Yeah, baby!  First, on tap...The Firehole on Saturday.  Then, more fishing in the Park on Sunday.  And on Monday, The Madison between the lakes.  Then, on my way home on Tuesday, I will stop on the Henry's Fork of the Snake for a few hours to catch a few more... This is the trip that I have postponed twice now.  But, this is it!  I'm finally hitting the road.

 And not by handcart.  = )

And not by travelling this road...

Have fun, Ryan!!!  (He will)
I will tell you who had the best adventure, next week.
It could actually be a toss up!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sharing The Talent Of The Ivories...

Growing up as a kid, I didn't have the outdoor experiences of fishing.  No, that didn't come until much, much later.  (3 years ago, in fact)  My life was at the piano.  It is what made my parents happy.  Music was in our home... Mom was a concert pianist and a piano teacher.  (I didn't have a fighting chance to quit, although I tried! 14 years later, a dislocated pinky from volleyball gave me the "break" I needed)  A youngster that would rather be playing sports anytime.  
Geez...That Farrah Fawcett hairdo in college!

Seriously though, piano taught me about hard work, dedication and well...competition.  Oh, those long drives to "who knows where" to play for judges and an audience of total strangers!   I was a case of nerves.  (It was supposed to get better...ha!)  But, years later, I have come to realize that I had opportunities that not every child has.  And I also learned that when you have a God-given should use it!  I learned that if you don't use it, you lose it.  When I got into college and all the boys like to listen to me play piano, I had to practice up like crazy to get those fingers to move on the ivories once again!  The talent that I got from my dad was composing music.  He is very skilled at it and I like to dabble.  I even put together a few songs to make up a medly for a college talent show.  = ) Lol.

50th Anniv. at my house...No need to hire out entertainment! Ha.

My dad studied opera in Italy in his young adult life.  He still has quite the voice for 80 something and can play piano like "Liberace"...Those trills and arpeggios!!!  Today, I pay tribute to him for his talents of music and parenthood.  He gave his children quite a legacy and memories of having music in the home.  He and my mother always played duets on two grand pianos. And she always made a great accompianist for him to sing his heart out. 

I'm the shorty amongst the piano family!!  Yes, my brothers play the ivories too.

One of their famous melodies that was requested of them to play everywhere they went, was Dr. Zhivago's "Lara's Theme" (Somewhere My Love).  They have played it for friends and family since I can remember back.  Maybe when I was 8?  I have listened to many arrangements on videos this morning.  I found one version that has the same dynamics as he plays this song with.   Thanks, Dad...for sharing your love through music. 

In tribute to my dad...who plays the most beautiful rendition of Dr. Zhivago (along with my mother), I share this version that sounds almost as good as Dad's!!!   I love you, Dad.  You're the best!

   Sunday Tippet:  Have a wonderful and safe Father's Day!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Match The Hatch? No...Higa's S.O.S.!!

Fish Tuesday this week, has to go down as one of my more epic days on the water.  Hands down.  You see, I had to drop off a dog to be groomed, went to my hair appt., picked up doughnuts for a hungry teenager, and flew to Western Rivers to rent boots for my son, who finally was willing to join his mom on the river!  But, of course that all changed when I got to the shop.  I received a text that he had changed his mind and was going out with friends.  Ok...I understand the need to hang out with your peers rather than your mother...But, if he had only known what he was about to see this day on the river...Well, let's just say that he totally made the wrong decision!  First, a beautiful day around 75 degrees and sunny skies.  Then...the pasture walk.  I had my choice of pastures to walk through...I could say hello to the goats, or the llamas, or the cattle, or the horses...I picked the horses!  I love this magnificent animal.  So majestic...And friendly!!  Ha.


I couldn't visit too long, as it was already 2:30 pm and I was probably missing a hatch that started an hour before I got there!    But, it hadn't started yet or maybe it just wasn't going to happen on this day.  I put on my lucky yellow hat (Kirk Werner...So sorry, I forgot to pack the banana to test out that yellow banana/fishing theory of yours.)  I had this new green drake nymph that I was dying to try even though there wasn't any buzzing around.  But, I knew there were golden stones. 
So, I put the two together on a nymph rig and this is what I got!  I should have known better than to fish deep!  Hello, Mr. Rocky Mountain Whitefish.  And on the green drake.  Lol. 


Higa's S.O.S.It was time for revenge...To find real trout.  As I searched my fanny pack, a caddis landed on my hand.  Nice!  A ring here, a ring there.  This slowpoke needed to hurry it up!  I was hunting all through my pack to find a Higa's S.O.S. nymph...Great, I had forgotten that too!  I had a new dozen and left them in my other shirt pocket. But, wait!  I found one in the bottom corner of the pack that must have fallen out of my fly box. That would last me maybe a half hour...ha!  So, putting the dry dropper of caddis and S.O.S., I was ready.  The  S.O.S.   This is one amazing nymph fly!!  There isn't really anything quite like it.  In a hatch or without a can do the job.  Mr. Reliable.  Thank you, Spencer Higa, for creating a masterpiece of a pattern.
More rings.  Fish were jumping.  And I was in the middle of it all.  No other fishermen to share the water with either!  I was in a fishing paradise...  I laid the caddis down ever so softly.  The S.O.S falling beneath.  Wham!  Incoming!  And again and again! 

A wave of caddis flying overhead and what were they hitting?  The nymph dropper, of course!  I am not a dry fly fisherman and I really thought that I would have a chance on this day.  But, guess what?  Every single trout took the S.O.S.  Why?  You tell me... I have no clue why one out of twenty four couldn't do me the courtesy of letting me watch a dry fly hit.  It had to be one of the weirdest days on the river in my three plus years.  I caught every fish on the same fly (No, I didn't lose it in trees or rocks) during a three and a half hour span.  Let's go back here...first of all, I am not a high numbers gal on the water.  So, that was highly unusual.  Then, to catch all of those trout on the same fly...very strange.  But, enjoyable!! = )

 Besides the lucky yellow hat, I brought these.  Maybe I will continue to bring them!

As I left, the horses were gone, but these guys were next to my car.

An enjoyable day, although still mystified why I can't catch one on the dry fly...
Even when I am standing in the middle of two waves of caddis.  = )  Go figure.
For Howard and anyone else that would like to give the S.O.S. a try...

Monday, June 11, 2012

To What Extreme Do Flyfishing Bloggers Go???

Why is this always my story???!!!
I wish that I could say it was
What I find interesting about this whole activity of fly that you can get as serious as you want or as laid back as you want. Bloggers seem to take things a little differently, as they are looking for a story as well as a fish.  Cameras and video cams are usually in the backpack.  And if you are lucky, a friend will come along to help out with capturing the "moment"!!  I thought it would be fun to see what heights our flyfishing blogging friends go to get a "story" to post on their blog or just to have around in the family picture album for all to enjoy.  Some of these pictures are mishaps that are "unstaged" and some are just plain out "staged"!!  You be the judge.

"Honestly it’s a lot more work to crawl under a log, and the thought of the log shifting while I was underneath it was a little unnerving.  So I opted to go over whenever possible."  K. Werner  (Staged)   But, still a good example of how some fly fishermen will go to all lengths to get to their favorite fishing hole.

                                             Howard Levett :  "Windknots and Tangled Lines"
                                              I would have to say that this is NOT "staged"!!!
 Our dear Howard definitely has "extreme" tangles...

But, to his credit...he can get that line out on the water...eventually!
And that makes a great story in itself!

It's hard to know if this is staged or not.  Mainly because, I know this guy.  = )
He really believes in camoflauge... Lol.
Does this "exteme" help you catch fish??  I don't really know.
I wear yellow myself. = ) 

This is the ultimate effort in getting back your fly... I'm not sure if this is "unstaged" or "staged" due to the fact that he can get another fly anytime from the shop...Maybe it was a one of a kind!  It definitely had some kind of meaning to him... = )

We all know that T! will go to all lengths for a laugh.  And his most recent fixation with "Bigfoot" has him dressing up like the guy to catch trout... Or maybe that is really...No, couldn't be.  I know those Italians can be hairy...but, no way!  This is definitely "staged"...

 (Ok...I have to come clean...Mike didn't get back to me with a picture...
So, I had to improvise a little.  But, it isn't like he wouldn't do this!!)

So, there you have it.  Bloggers trying to get a story.  And sometimes a fish!  Regardless... Ha!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Road To Frozen Bison

Well...that is a correct statement!  It snowed in Yellowstone this past week and I have now postponed my trip for a couple more weeks.  After reading the flow charts and fishing reports...I've decided to wait.  So, I must wait for my freedom from my desk job for a bit longer!  But, my freedom to enjoy and discover the secret mysteries of Yellowstone National Park is still around the corner.  But, let's get real...It's June!  I love to fish all year round, but it is time to now fish in warmer weather, isn't it?

I don't want to see frozen bison...

I don't want to be running from bears in the snow...even little ones!

I don't want to be sledding or snowmobiling next to "Fred"!!!

So, turn off the snow makers, Yellowstone!!  IT'S JUNE, for pete's sake!!!

Because I have already been initiated up there once before...

So, I am ready to make my way up north in two weeks...
Would you have the bugs out on the water for me, how about it??? =) 
And maybe a little bit of sunshine would be nice.
I'll even be happy with a balmy 60 degrees.

Thank you.
And Most Sincerely,

The River Damsel