Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's All About Mojo ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

From the World English Dictionary...

Mojo means:

1.  an amulet, charm, or magic spell

2.  the art of casting magic spells
3.  uncanny personal power of influence

Once upon a time, it was a cold, cold winter.  RD kept fishing, although there were some dismal days with frozen fingers.  But, Spring has sprung!  And so has the catch and release rate... Whoohoo!

Nothing like listening to trains while you are fishing...

Something is definitely different at the river recently.  Maybe a few more hatches.  Or maybe a little bit of River Damsel "Mojo" being cast out the last couple of months.  Ever since my trip to Montana last month... It has been a heck of a good run.  This guy got a good dose of sow up the nose...

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I love Mr. Brown Trout.  But, recently... I have turned my attention to a new river friend, Mr. Bonneville Cutthroat.  I haven't really caught too many cutties in my fly fishing adventures.  So, it has been kind of fun to find new water that is home to these beautiful native trout.

This one got a dental check-up (Did he have some teeth!)  as I had to take the fly off the back of his tongue.  Ugh.  When you have a good case of "Mojo", take advantage of it.  Because not everything lasts.  Sure, I will have that skunk sometime in the future again, I'm sure.  But, as long as this "Mojo" run lasts... I will enjoy every minute of it.  So, what is causing this spell or magic that is bringing all of these fish to my net?


The "Mojo" is coming from the hat.  No, don't ask me to remove it.  Well, not until I have a crappy day.  = )    Ok.  So, here is the REAL "Tippet" for you today.  I have to plug a new product, TroutHunter Tippet, that I picked up when I was in Idaho last month.  I love this stuff!  (It could very well be the reason why I am catching more fish lately)  We know that it really can't be the hat... right?

Now, if only the "Mojo" would help me take better pictures!!! Haha.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Flash In Muddy Water ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

A quick getaway to Idaho brought a good ol' skunking this weekend.  But, you know me... There's only one way to cure that problem!  Get back out there and try again!  So, I did.  I crossed back over the border, into Utah.  And decided that I would give it one more try before heading home.  And what did I find?  Murky, muddy looking water.  Now, most of the time, when I see this kind of condition...I just head home.  But, I wanted to try out something that I had heard.  That if you throw something bright or flashy, that the trout will see it through the murkiness and take the fly because they aren't eating much of anything else.

Now, I didn't expect to catch four whitefish in a row...  Hmmm.  Ok.  Let's try this purple San Juan worm followed by a gold flashy midge (that David Goodrich tied up for me) again.  I know that this is usually a big brown trout river.  At least that is what I have caught before in this section.  I was going to be happy with anything though.  So, after losing that lucky flashy fly in a tree, I searched my pack and found one more.  As I was sitting on a rock, minding my own business... I looked across from me to see this...  

Yes, it is what you think it is.  A decaying bat getting some sunshine on a rock! Well, no worries!  Right.  Until, it started moving.  Like a couple inches every time the wind blew!  AHHHH!   A stretched out wing... Ok.  Time to get up and leave.  All, I needed was for a bat to wake up from the dead and take off.  So, I moved quickly down river.  Maybe it was a sign.  That better water was upstream.

Surprise!  A Cutthroat!  I haven't seen one of these for quite some time.  And never in this stretch of river.  So, I was stoked at this 12 inch beauty.   Until...

BAAM!!!  l hit the mother lode!   Almost an 18 in. Cuttie... Wow.  In my own backyard.  Who would have "thunk" it.  And in murky water to boot.  And I thought that there were only browns and whitefish in there.   I was liking this flashy fly of the

Sunday Tippet ~  Don't judge the water by it's color.  (or that book by it's cover) Purple seemed to be a good attractor because it could be seen.  It is on the far end of the spectrum of colors.  Have you heard of bass anglers using purple worms in off colored lakes?  Yep.   And the gold flashy midge was tailing it and even though it was a size 20, it caught their eye.   So, don't think that you can't catch in water that isn't the most pristine, clearest water.  You can adapt to different light and water conditions.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Wind Tunnel Adventure

I'm sure that some of you are wondering why and how I would fly fish in a Wind Tunnel...  Well, when you plan a trip, you can't plan the weather.  All elements were thrown at me on this one.  Cold, snow, sleet, rain and WIND!!!!  Ok, you get the idea.  Perfect fishing weather... hardly.  Weather for active fish... YES!

Take 30 degrees with a 20-30 mph gust and you get... a challenging trip.  Those Montana winds can cause chapped hands and faces, but also bring big fish to the net.  Yes, Montana again.  I couldn't get enough of it last month.  And I had to take advantage of the wading flows as they will quickly be raised by next month.  

So, I set sail on a Thursday and spent four days on water in Montana.  And then, headed over to Idaho for a day of fishing on my way home.  It was an adventure of strange occurrences.  Oh, that doesn't sound like the River Damsel, does it?   

Highlights of the Wind Tunnel Adventure

Day 1... The one that got away was pretty exciting anyway.  I don't believe that I  have had a fish take me for a rocket ride like this one did!  It was WHOOSH!  upstream and WOOSH!  downstream.  Wow.  I will always remember watching that lightening bolt under the water take my line with it as fast as you could say "Jiminy Cricket"!  I picked up a few browns after being on the road to get to our destination.  A good way to start!

Day 2... A strange day, but not one that I would ever trade...   It was an EPIC day of my friend losing a big fish along with her whole line and me a half hour later casting out to the indicator and bringing the 20 in brown with the line and her indicator!! Haha. Then, on the next stretch of water, I get a double hook-up! I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw two brown trout coming in at the same time! Wow...  The only sad part was that when I was trying to fit both in the net, the last one flipped out and off my hook.  But, it will definitely be counted as the most fun I've had in awhile... And since I caught Jeri's lost fish, I told her that we would share it for picture taking.  = ) 

Day 3... We only survived the snow, sleet, rain and frozen fingers because we started the day with a good breakfast every day.  There is the best place right across the street from the motel and I definitely had my share of "booberries" on this trip!  And plenty of brown trout to fill the net time after time made it a little easier to tolerate the 25-30 mph WINDS that came up to haunt the best of my lousy casting abilities. 

Day 4 was a RAINBOW day.  All the other days were full of brown trout.  But, on a different river in Montana, I hooked up with some very special pre-spawn rainbows and the largest ones that I have ever caught.  It was amazing!  Then, on the way back to the car, I had to trip and fall in the middle of the riffled water coming down with the water at my chin and on both knees.  I would have to say that got my heart racing faster than the biggest rainbow.  Ha.  And when I got back up on my feet against the current and back over to the bank, I saw that my rod tip hadn't survived the fall.  Oh well... all in all, it was a pretty terrific day as we started it with visiting the streamer guru, Kelly Galloup.  Now, that was fun!   The king of feathers and fur.  Sure was nice of him to take some time and chat with us.

Day 5 was on the water of Idaho and covering the chapped faces and hands from more abuse from the WIND!   A stop at one of my favorite places to fish on the Henry's Fork and meeting up with my friend, Shelly (picture at top of post) from Trout Chicks.  (More on TC in a future post)

The rest of the adventure can only be shown to you by pictures and there are just too many incredible ones to pick between... so, for you enjoyment, I have put together a little slideshow for you to see the River Damsel at play!  Haha.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Preparing That Fishing Getaway Bag

It came to my attention from family members this past week, that I should be more prepared as I take my fly rod down the road on the next journey.  They seemed to think that I could alleviate some stress at the last minute in my packing if I already had my bag repacked after the last trip. Hmmm... Could this really work?  Prepare a getaway bag that I could just pick up, along with my gear and be on my way?  No last minute laundry and throwing the whole bathroom drawer into my bag?! Another problem...organization.  So, I went surfing the net and found exactly what I will need.  Well, to start...  No one knows that the River Damsel has a thing for fish.  Ummm... Do you like my room?  Yes, I'm a "Finding Nemo" fan. 

So, the first thing that I will need is a new bag.  Ahhh... here we go. 
 Yeah, I thought that you would like it.  This ensemble includes a lunch box.  Perfect.

Ok...enough of the silly stuff.  Let's give you something that is practical. And organization is the key...  From the Midcurrent publication, I bring you the following article.
 I think that this is right on the money...


Five Ways to Pack Better for Your Next Fishing Trip

by Andrew Bennett
photos by Andrew Bennett

Tidy, pre-packed, wheeled, plenty of room.
GREAT, you’ve blocked off the time, rounded up your friends and spent some money on a fishing trip. When it’s time to get packed, just a little extra effort will make your life a whole lot easier before and during the trip. Give these ideas a try the next time around!
1. Ditch your rod tubes. Yes, those aluminum rods tubes that came with your rods are pretty much bomb-proof. You could throw them in your suitcase and you wouldn’t have to worry at all about damage to your rods. The problem? They’re also heavy, unwieldy and often totally unnecessary. Lots of modern angling luggage provides a very safe place for rods just folded up in their ‘socks’. Bags like the Sage DXL Rolling Duffel have a stiff bottom compartment that’s perfect for ‘loose’ 4-piece rods, and still has plenty of room for fleece, waders, shirts…pretty much anything else that’s soft and bulky. As a bonus, that bulky stuff helps to pad your rods inside the big bag.
2. Use packing organizers. Most fishing trips involve multiple stops. You might hit 3 motels in Montana in a week. You might overnight in Anchorage on the way to the lodge. Any time you’re going to be in and out of your luggage, packing organizers like the Eagle Creek Pack-It system keep you, well, organized, and avoid the ‘sea of gear in a giant bag’ syndrome. They weigh almost nothing, and you’ll be amazed at how much more space you have in your bag by keeping things folded and packed in a little more orderly fashion. No more digging through your bottomless duffel in the morning – just unzip the ‘clean boxers’ pouch and you’re off!
3. Pre-pack your boat bag. Prior to your trip, think hard about what you’re going to need when you’re out on the water. Pack your boat bag accordingly, at home, before you leave. Organizing your boat bag on the first night of your trip is a pretty bad idea. Loading your boat bag at home makes it a lot more likely that you remember every last little gadget, and besides, you don’t really want to spend the first night of the trip alone in your room organizing fly boxes, do you?
4. Know what they’ve got where you’re going. Can you do laundry at the lodge? Do they have loaner waders? Is your fly shop host bringing extra rods in case you break one? Is your buddy bringing the cooler? Do they have your favorite scotch behind the bar? Getting these kinds of questions answered will keep you from over-packing. Really, you and your 5 buddies don’t all need to bring a spare 8 weight.
5. Go for wheels or backpacks. It might not be that far from your car to the check-in counter, and the rolling duffel bag may cost a little more, but we angler types are expert at packing 50 pound bags. 50 pound bags slung over one shoulder are very bad for your back. Make it just a little easier on yourself – go for the rolling bag, or at the very least go for the backpack and use both straps.

Great.  I am so done with carrying around a large duffel bag that weighs 50 lbs!  On to rollers... Now that we know how to prepare our more organized getaway bag... let's go fish! 
Yep, I'm back in Montana this week.  My year license has to get some use, you know... 
 More browns, More fun!!
Lots of spotted friends were found yesterday...
I'm making use of my newly purchased third net.  Ahhh....

Well, I'm back out to walk the dusty trails to some of the most beautiful water
 that you will find anywhere!
I just have this feeling that Day 2 is going to be quite epic.  Let's see if we
 can bother some brown trout and a rainbow or two, shall we?
 Have a great day and enjoy your weekend! 
I'm surely going to try...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Women in Fly Fishing: Emily Blankenship aka: The River Damsel

A River X trip that I was lucky to be a part of... 
I had the privilege to be part of the Fly Fishing Ventures post today.  Go on over and check it out... Women in Fly Fishing: Emily Blankenship  Yep, you might learn a few things about me that you didn't already know.  Like, I'm a Flyfishaholic!  Ha.  Thanks, Rebecca.  I knew that there was a word for it.  Fly Fishing Ventures is a great new fly fishing site that has a ton of information for the fly fisher.  From gear reviews to fly tying recipes and tips to interviews with those that love the sport.  So, go on over and get yourself familiar with the Fly Fishing V gals...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

So, You Want To Work In The Great Outdoors... Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Do you want to trade your desk job for a job that includes some fresh air?   Some outdoor enthusiasts are fortunate enough to make this a reality.  Others, like you and me, can only dream about it...for now, anyway!  My motto is always, "Where there's a will, there's a way"!  Let's look at what is out there for the outdoor folks.  Some of these might appeal to you and others... well...

Sky diving instructors don't just get outdoors, they get all the fresh air that one could ask for!  Yeah, what goes up, must come down... right?

Until recently, I thought that working on a cruise ship would be a fun job.  You could work in a variety of positions.   And of course the bonus is traveling all around the world.  Oh, but you are working, huh?  And not a job for those that have sea or motion sickness...

I had my chance years ago to be a ski instructor.  But, there was the problem with it being a seasonal job.  You are being paid for having fun though!  Well, most of the time. 

Now here's an outdoor job that has an adrenalin rush!  And Paramedics have the bonus of knowing that they are helping others in a very important position that not everyone is qualified to do.

The photographer... Now, isn't it every kid's dream to snap pictures?  I am hoping to do a little more in this area.  Maybe not to be a professional, but to take a few classes and to develop some skills.

How about a Park Ranger?  The job duties include protecting endangered areas, teaching visitors about wildlife and plants, and gathering scientific information and conducting search and rescue operations.  Wow.  There's a job and an adventure! 

Fishing Guide

From regarding Fishing/River Guides

"The one thing that most prospective guides fail to realize is that “guiding” doesn’t mean “fishing.” When you take a paying customer out on the water, you are expected to be an instructor, a cheerleader, and—in some cases—a babysitter. The worst-case scenario requires you to choose the fly, tie all the necessary knots, teach the client how to cast, point to where the fish are, and then stand there while the client proceeds to do everything wrong. In some cases, the client will blame you for his ineptitude, and you’ll just have to smile and nod."

Sure, we all would like to be on the water every day and call it our "office".  If you have the maturity, dependability, and angling knowledge... Go for it!
But, be prepared to work hard at your "fun" outdoor job.  It's not as easy as it looks!

Well, there are some choices to work in the outdoors industry.  Perfect for some, not for others.   And for me right now,  it's back to the office tomorrow.  To just dream about being back outdoors!  When will that be you ask?  Soon...