Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Take The Leap, Be River Courteous...

Fall fishing.  What most of us fly fishers wait for all year long.  Oh sure, the summer days were nice and toasty and the hatches were a lot of fun to match.  But, now comes the crisp fall days that I in particular, love so much.  I will take a 50 degree day over an 80 degree day anytime!  And when the browns are in there pre-spawn mode and starting to wag their tails and fins a bit more, it is a heck of a lot of fun.  But, it is also this time of year that people seem to "crowd" a bit more too.  I have never figured that one out.  Why someone would want to be so close to another when there are miles and miles of river.  And recently, I have noticed a few frogs on the battle line.  Let me show you.

Here is the leap frog.  He sees what he thinks is his "competition" and he doesn't bat an eyelash to jump right in front of the angler working the run in front of him.  He doesn't care if the other angler is slowly, but surely taking a few steps downstream and has a plan in the making.  Be courteous.  Find a spot two holes down or at least 100 yards from the guy who is moving along, singin' a song.  

Ok.  So a guy is sitting in your favorite hole when you arrive at the river.  What are you going to do about it?  Start ranting and raving like Jim Carey?  Or worse yet, just hang over him until your tongue reaches the end of his rod to physically move it?  No, No, No, No.  This is when you put yourself in his place, mentally.  Of course you would want your privacy for a little while too.  And when you come back, he will probably be more than gracious to give you his spot since he had it for long enough. (One could hope)  Honestly, 30 min is long enough... My rule of thumb anyway... Take it for what it is worth.  And I can find new water if he needs two hours (no kidding, I've seen some).  There is always fish... EVERYWHERE!  Another tactic to combat this problem.  Always have three special go-to places on a river that you can go-to in case of a "crowd"...  Rotation is the name of the game...  And everyone should learn how to play.  But, again, it's not worth growing a wart over if they don't.  I'm good at Solitaire...

Now, if the guy is untangling a big ol' mess and just standing there doing it, there isn't any reason why you couldn't ask him if you can take 5-10 min in the area until he is ready.  He did get their first, so he has the right of way.  Some will let you in and others won't.  And there is nothing wrong with a loaner space if you have the nod to do so.  I have even made new friends this way.  I'm a bit slow on the tying of flies onto my line.  So, there have been times where I stood back and invited someone to fish the hole while I got my act together.  And maybe I was lucky, I don't know... but, they kindly let me stand back in when I was ready again to cast my line in.  Just a random thought... And another scenerio, if I go with a buddy fishing, there is sometimes enough room for me to fish the tailout with my nymphing while he works the top riffle of the run.  It's all about using "good" communication skills and being thoughtful and knowing when you can share a run and when it's better to move along.

So, turn that frown upside down.  What is the number one rule when you go out to fish?  It's the golden rule of course!!  Treat others like you would like to be treated.  And it's much easier to follow this rule if you have on your good attitude face.  Fly fishing is supposed to be about enjoyment.  Breathing in the fresh air.  Kicking up your heels and taking that mile or two walk.  Listening to nature and investigating what goes on around it.  Take the time.  Enjoy the moment.  The grass can be greener on the other side if you work at it.  So, keep moving if you don't like where you are at!  And if you are on the opposite side of the fence and holding on to a spot... give it up if you have caught your allotment to the frog that at least asked.  It will give you good karma.  

Let's all be good sports... = )  There is plenty of room for all of us.

I believe that there is an 80/20 chance that the rude behavior of some frogs is completely unintentional, possibly done with inexperience. So forgive and move on.   And the other 20%?  They will probably have a tough swallow of their own medicine someday, so don't worry about it.

In Conclusion:  RD's Rules of Etiquette

  • If you come upon an angler fishing... walk either 50-70 yards up or below the angler in question.   You won't be able to hear him swear at the fish that he lost.  He won't see your secret fly that you tied the night before that is going to rock your world.  Everyone has their space to enjoy.
  • There isn't an alarm clock on how long an angler can sit on a spot in the river.  Sometimes I think there should be.  But, if I don't like it... I can always set my alarm clock a little earlier.  And if we don't like the guy "high or low holding" on a run that we are fishing too, all you have to do is move to the next run and start catching left and right and scream "FISH!"  "FISH!"  Lol.  You know that I'm just kidding... don't you?  = )
  • If you have two frogs that are fishing 50-100 yards from each other, don't wedge yourself in between them!  Let's just say that you will have eyes from both peeled on you...and they might be squinty.
  • Keep your distance from that angler that is fishing if you don't know him.   Don't walk up briskly to start a chat.  He could very well be in tune with fish that are feeding close to the bank.  Just try to keep some distance and if he wants to chat, he will turn around.
  • Don't jump in, don't jump over, be polite.  You can always ask what direction they are going and go the opposite way.
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T

PS:  You can usually share my run if you have Nutter Butter cookies and a Diet Coke.  = )


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flying Furballs ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

There are many experiences one might have when heading off for a day of fishing.  Seeing a ball of fur come at me in the darkness of an early Saturday morning is not one that I want repeated.  The short story... A tanker truck on the highway hit a deer, warthog, or something with elk caddis like fur.  I have a few stands left attached to the back of my SUV.   Yeah, a little fix up job on the undercarriage of my vehicle.  Shocked and bewildered, I drove on to my destination safely.  Once there, a nice kid temporarily stuck the piece of undercarriage tightly away so it wouldn't drag on the road when I headed home later. Yikes!  This goes beyond saying that my next ride is going to be high above the ground...

Yes, the River Damsel joins forces with the Caped Crusader...

No more flying furballs will get in my way on my journeys...

So a day that started out on the "wild" side, only continued to get worse,  five hours on the water and not a single bite.  That hasn't happened in a long while.  So, I guess that you could say that the River Damsel was humbled.  It just wasn't going well at all.  Windknots and Tangled Lines, all along the way.  And every knot that I tried to tie just wouldn't hold.  I must have tied on 15 flies and tying on each of those three times.  It wasn't pretty.  And to cap it off, a barb got stuck in my finger.   I really don't have much more to say about the day...
Except... THE FISH WON
And sometimes it happens that way...

On to the good news of the week...

My daughter and son-in-law presented us with a second grandson this past week.  Meet Cameron.  I probably should have stayed home this weekend in hindsight and enjoyed the new family addition.

The best catch of the week for sure...

Sunday Tippet

Roads are best traveled in daylight.
Enough said.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Forever In Plaid Adventure

Yes, it's been a couple of weeks again without a siting of the River Damsel.  Sometimes life gets put ahead of that thing they call fly fishing.  You know... Hey, I even had a birthday two weeks ago.  One that I would like to forget.  Let's just say that it was kind of a flop.  I guess that I'm a kid still when it comes to birthday celebrations.  And well, I had to work for a half day before I could get out to fish for a couple hours.  It was very nice of my friend to take me out to the river that day, but with the storm that greeted us, the fishing was all but stellar.  And I got back home late, so there wasn't the usual dinner out or cake. (Maybe I didn't get one year older, eh?)  So, what do you do when you want a re-do of your birthday? That's right... you go on a fly fishing trip!  So, off to Montana I went for my rain check this past weekend.

  Fly boxes were loaded full of "winners", I hoped.

Almost there... I get quite excited when I see that 
"Welcome to Montana" sign!

But, the excitement faded quickly when I saw my favorite river full of moss and grass.  I had checked the reports and I did know that there was "some" moss.  But, the fishing was supposed to still be "good".  The flows were even lower than expected too.  Well, sometimes a fly shop report isn't quite all the way truthful when conditions are not up to snuff.  It's all about getting you up there for a visit.  I don't like it, but I understand it.

Ok.  So you can catch fish in moss and grass.  But, your tolerance level is definitely challenged.  Haha.

Fortunately, I had a friend that I was meeting up with that is a local and he knew of a few more fishing spots that we could head to.  So, after one day of fishing "green" stuff, we headed to more friendly water.  And this is where the "Forever in Plaid" adventure really started.  We are both members of a Facebook group that does a state count each week of getting out to fish as a competition.  We get a point for each day out on the water.  But, this week it was deemed "plaid week" and so we were decked out appropriately to get two points each day instead.  Oh, the silly games we play sometimes.  = )   And I was playing for Montana, not Utah of course...  Funny, it seems that I often play for another state during the summer.  Heehee.

I want to thank Travis for sharing his favorite fishing holes and also for his great knowledge of the bugs and surroundings.  He was a stand up guy and a lot of fun to fish with.  And he had patience... It's not always easy fishing with a girl...  Especially one that is a little slow in tying on flies.  = )

Without further adieu...
A recap of a most AWESOME fishing adventure!