Monday, December 21, 2015

The Holiday Brain Cramp

Yes, we are winding down into the last days of December.   Soon, it will be Christmas.  Then, the New Year's celebration.  Such a month of hustle and bustle.  We feel those pangs of panic and anxiety to find those last few items on the Christmas list.  Yes, we have probably overspent, but we certainly don't want to get into the return line at Walmart.  Then the guilt, as we overindulge on office goodies and neighbors thoughtful treats.  The Nutrisystem holiday special appears on a commercial.  Why did I eat those couple pieces of fudge?  You know the drill that happens every year.   It's part of that holiday brain cramp that comes when you get caught in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the season!

Shopping can put your body and brain into doing major overtime!   Your energy level is depleted.  You could use a full day at a "Day Spa".   I know that I could!  Oh, but you spent all your extra cash on gifts, food, and those monthly bills, didn't you?   So, you find relief in attending a Christmas concert or watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on the Family Channel.  = )   We are reminded once again that "no man is a failure who has friends"!!!   Your feelings of holiday stress have nearly vanished as you appreciate the little things once again.

It's so easy for us to let these holiday pressures put our brain into hyperdrive.  We don't have to let our heart race or put our stomach in a knot.  There's nothing worse than the feeling of being overwhelmed with it all.   We get this feeling that we "have to do it" and in reality, there might just be a couple of things that we really have to do.  And the other things, can be assigned out or just not done.  Ask a family member for some help with the decorations and delegate out part of the Christmas dinner.  There are always answers to bringing it all together.  You don't have to do it all by yourself!   In the end, it isn't the lights and decorations.  It isn't the gifts.  It's being together with family and friends if you are able.  And it is about giving your time and talents to help another person not as well off as you.   It's time for all of us to have an attitude of gratitude.   If you are unable to get out to a homeless shelter, donate clothes and cans of food this holiday season.  Because that is what brings true happiness.  And I promise, your burdens will be lightened and your heart will be filled with joy.   And that is no holiday brain cramp.  = )

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Farm Adventure

Old McDonald had a farm... E-I-E-I-O...  Well, I don't think that it was his farm that I visited in Cody, Wyoming.  But, it was one of the most fun places that I have visited in a long time.  I met up with my new Facebook friend, Mia, who has quite a few animals on her ten acres with husband, Bob.  Let's see, a rooster who was quite proud of his harem.  Twenty hens that belonged to the said rooster.  Three beautiful horses that Mia has taken great care of.  Three cats including one that likes to sit on the roof of the barn and be the watch cat.  Five dogs that were my official greeters.  And last, but not least... Chiquita, the donkey!  Hahahaha.  Why a donkey on the farm?  To shoo away those predators like coyotes and foxes that look for a good meal of eggs a la golden rod.  You learn something every day! 

See the cat?

So, I'm going to try to summarize the four days like this...

I spent two days fishing the Wind River and the North Shoshone with my friends, Larry and Tina...  Larry has a great talent of tying some amazing flies.  You can find him on Facebook.  His page is "Underthebridge Flies".  They both are incredible people.  We had so much fun.

And then, I fished the third day with my friends, Mia and Chaz on the Shoshone.  I put in a hour or so the night before on the Big Horn (In WY), but it was so mossy and low, that we decided to head to the Shoshone.  One run in particular, was money.  These two are so awesome to hang with...

Yes, my friends in Wyoming have quite the fish!  

And no adventure is complete unless you throw a damsel in the mix.  Ha!  On my way out... I found a few rainbows of my own.

Yes, there were great fish.  Yes, there was great scenery.  But, most of all... there was camaradarie like no other.  These friends are special.  They went over and beyond to make my trip so enjoyable.   And the fresh farm eggs were the icing on the cake.  =)  

Please take a minute or two to see what I am talking about!  
The Farm Adventure...

Monday, October 5, 2015


Now you see me, now you don't.  Well, it is true, I haven't been around these blog parts for awhile.  So, here is a recap of the last month or so... It's been a busy one.

I found myself in Tennessee, at a family reunion.  It was a great time.  We flew the family to Eastern TN.   I happened to make arrangements to fish with an FB friend while I was in the area and learned how to watch the clock with rivers on the generator release program!  So, in the water at 7 and out by 1.  But, we found some wild trout and had a good time.

Yes, I fished where Brad Pitt has supposedly walked.  No sitings.

Oh look!  My youngest came back home...
Goodbye Tennessee, till next time!

Then, it was back home to fish the local waters...

And then a quick trip to Wyoming to catch some gorgeous browns.

And this critter...  My first Kokanee salmon...

And this is where I will throw in a "Tippet" on a Monday...

I learned a very valuable lesson while on this little salmon adventure.  It is to never cross the line when approaching the "unforeseen".  The rivers and streams present different situations for anglers each time out.  It's rarely the same outing that you have had before.  Conditions change, water levels change, hatches change, fish's hunger pangs change!  I have learned a lot about reading water in my five or six years.  But, this trip taught me that I am so far away from being an expert of the water.  For what I saw in a slow moving current was a stronger under toe than I ever expected!  Two fishermen told me that I could cross right there... Well, they left and I looked out and it looked calm enough.  I got half way across and it got a bit deeper.  As I moved upstream against the current, something just didn't feel right.  I tried to turn around to go back and I couldn't.  I was trapped.  The current all of a sudden put more pressure against my legs than I could hold up against.  My walking stick was no use to me.  I turned my head again to see a fisherman behind me and I yelled at him asking for help.  He tried to go halfway into the river and stopped.  He kept telling me to walk as much upstream at an angle as I could.  He couldn't get any closer to me without himself getting into trouble to.  I said a silent prayer... a very quick one.  Something like, "Lord I don't want to go yet!"  So, now I looked downstream and saw my buddy that I had traveled with that day.  He saw my predicament and started to push his way upstream towards me through the strong current.  It seemed like I was in that spot for 20 min. while he moved slowly towards me through the current.   He finally made it up to where I was.  He told me that he was going to move above me to break the pressure of  the current, so I could start walking again.  We now had to keep going to the opposite bank.  We were almost there.  Another step, another deep breath.  I have never had more determination to accomplish something... I had to make it!  This guy pretty much risked his safety for me and we were both pushing forward with all the adrenalin that we had!  The water finally seemed calm.  The worst was over.  My feet were now in shallow water and I was coming out of it.  I sat down and thanked God and thanked my friend for the sheer courage that he had.  Maybe it was because of his training in being a firefighter.  But, I think it was more in who he was...  Thank you again, Cody.  I wouldn't have been able to stand there for another half hour without my legs deciding to take a swim downstream.  And that would have been NO BUENO for a big, wide river like this one...  

Moral to this story...  Don't cross the line of comfort in the first place.  It may be too late to change direction when you step too far.  (Hey, this goes for a lot of things in life)   Look for riffled, low water to cross in or very still water that isn't moving.  And having a crossing buddy is always a good thing.

After I rested my legs and nerves, the other side produced some sweet browns and I found this funny guy in the mix...

It was now time to go home and give a big squeeze to a few of those who matter most.  


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Smelling The Roses ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Stop!  Take a deep breath in.  Now take a deep breath out.  Look all around you.  Have you been rushing around or working late which has resulted in not paying as much attention as you should to those things around the house?  Are you spending quality time with your loved ones?  The time is now.  Not later.  The time is now to share special moments like a little league game or a recital for a child or grandchild.  The time is now to come home early one night and make dinner to a surprised spouse.  The time is now to give that big hug or an act of kindness to a friend in need.  This life gets too busy and cluttered.  Sometimes I feel like I am on a merry-go-round.  In fact, I'm taking a little break from fishing this month to take care of some more important things...

First of all, my youngest son, who is now a ripe old age of 20, comes home tomorrow from his church mission in Arizona.  It's been an exciting two years of writing once a week and exchanging pictures.  In his last letter, he said that it was the best thing that he has ever done in his life.  He has definitely grown into a man and has developed even a deeper love for others.  And a stronger relationship with God.  I'm so proud of him.  

And second, my hubby's side of the family will be having a family reunion and we will be taking off for Tennessee in a few weeks.  The last time that I was in TN...  Oh yeah, it was fishing with Owl Jones!  That seems like a century ago.  This time, I will be fishing a different part of the state.  And getting in some lake fishing as we are staying in a lake house for the week.  Oh boy!  

And third, my health is more important than my fishing. (This actually should be first)   Bottom line... I need more rest.  I have such a bad habit of biting off more than I can handle when it comes to fishing hours.  It's not a race.   It's supposed to be about relaxation and well being.  Right?  So, with that said...

Here is what I have been doing the past month or so... 

So, there you have it.  A few browns and bows from local waters.  But, now it is family time.  And to put the rod up until Tennessee...  It really won't be too difficult, as the temps have been soaring to the 90's each day and when I'm too hot to fish, the fish are too hot also..  At least that is my opinion!  = )

~Sunday Tippets~

Take the time to stop stressing about the little things.  If you are running out of time to do it all, it's time to prioritize.  Put those people and things that need attention FIRST!   Stay the course!  And if you have some "me" time...  Go enjoy yourself.  Just remember that this life is short...


Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Apple A Day ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Yes, we all know the famous phrase about how apples keep the doctor away.  Well, there is more to the old wives tail than you know.  Here is why I am taking the apple challenge...

I decided to take the apple challenge this past week.  It has been a tough few months with my continuous lack of sleep.  I was getting into a bad habit of stopping for a Rockstar energy drink every morning.  And with the reports of those not being so good for your health, I was anxious to find another alternative.  

This is what I found out about the apple as an energy booster...

An apple is more beneficial than coffee or an energy drink as a source of energy.  Mainly because they won't give you the needed calories to sustain your energy level.  You body creates more of a fuel for your cells with eating a nutritious apple.   It contains around 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar (natural glucose).  It shouldn't spike your sugar level too dramatically, even if you are a diabetic.  And it will give you the extra fiber that your body needs.  

And it will give you the extra energy to do a long day at the river.  Ok, I'm a glutton for punishment.  But, when the fishing is on, it's on.  So, I found a way to stay on the water.  Apples!

~Sunday Tippet~

 So, after one week on an apple a day ~ first thing in the morning, I do have a healthier alternative to staying awake.  No more energy drinks and a few more bucks in my wallet.  =)   I don't have as heavy of eyes while trying to get my work done in the office.  Sure, I could still use a bit more sleep.  There is NO replacement for sleep!!!  But, at least I have a buffer until I get all caught up!  

Get your extra pick-me-up tomorrow.  The crunch and smell of an apple will enhance your wake up sensors...  Give it a try!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Home Water Adventure

So, here we are in the middle of summer.  Those days of great hatches on the lakes and rivers.  And the heat that brings a few of the fish down into the depths of the water at mid day.  Yes, it is that time that we venture out early morning and late afternoon to fish.  Well, most of the time we do, except when there is a fly fishing retreat coming to town.   There was one such event here in Utah just recently.  And I was privileged to be a part of it.

Eight women from the states of NV, WY, OR, MT, WA and UT.  Can you say, "Diversity"?  Yes, we were from all over the West and we were from all different walks of life.  But, we met through a Facebook group, Trout Porn, and became friends over the past few years.

And now it was time to gather together for a few days on some spectacular lakes and rivers and enjoy time together.  We expected a great time and we most definitely got it. I was a little bit involved with selecting the places to fish with my friend Cheris and helping them on the water.  (I found out later they didn't need any help!  Ha!)  All these fly fishing ladies had talent and skills for sure. 

 There is no doubt that I was fishing with some of the most skilled fly fishing women in the West.  And I was fortunate that Tracy and Heather stayed with me before the event.  Don't know what possessed them to redo my fly boxes, but it was very much appreciated!  =)  Come back anytime, ladies!  

We had fun as we compared notes on leader set up, fly selection and reading the water.   As we dissected the river and figured out what the fish were eating, game on.   The rivers had raised a bit before everyone came out, but we could still fish them and be very productive.  A lot of smiles.  A lot of laughs.  We were together and enjoying our new "offline" friendships.  It was so interesting to me how many common threads you have with other people that love the outdoor lifestyle.  This group was amazing.  There was so much camaraderie between us and no jealousy or any of that childish stuff.  How refreshing! 

Helping each other and rooting each other on, created strong friendships.  Caring more for the other person more than yourself and making sure that person had a fun day was foremost.  

I found out that inviting three nurses can be very helpful in case of a mini-heatstroke. (The cold water running down my back felt great!)  Electrolytes became my friend.  And you can bet your sweet bippy that I will remember to stay hydrated from this point on... and get more rest!

Cheris, our planner of the event, really went all out for us in providing accomodations, flies, photography and just her time.  She was always encouraging and helpful on the water and had many useful tips for those that were visiting Utah for the first time.  She truly wanted each person to have the best trip possible.  Mission accomplished.

Many fish were caught.  Browns, Rainbows, Tigers, and Cutthroats were in the mix. 
 How could you not have a good time?


By the end of the event, we had learned a lot from this time together.  We learned that women that have the same passion for fly fishing can enjoy being together without all the drama.  I guess you can call it being "focused" on what is important.  We were there to catch, release, breathe, and laugh.  Oh, and to take pictures!  Of course!!  There was no time for intimidation.  Because the person that maybe knew more than you was right there netting your fish.

 I learned how to apply a few makeup tips from my roomies too... Now, that's a bonus to come home with some new beauty secrets!  = )  

But the one thing we learned for sure... What restaurant not to go back to next year!  Have you ever heard of a Mexican restaurant running out of rice?

It wasn't a favorite moment of the trip... haha  But, it's now the joke that we all laugh about.

All in all, it was a marvelous time.  We went home with many memories about our three days together.  We created a bond for a life long friendship.  The fish were amazing, but I think that all of us will all agree that this trip wasn't about the fish.  And really... how often is it?

Enjoy the slideshow...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Lazy Arm

So, you see the indicator twitch, but you are just sure that it is just your weight that caught the bottom of the river bed.  So, you let it keep drifting.  There it is again!  Another little bump in the water, without a set.  You say to yourself, "I will get another chance at the end of the drift"... Guess what?  No more chances.  You now have to recast and start over.  There it is again!  This time the hiccup in the water causes your arm to go up with your set.  But, 2 seconds too late.  Game over.  Sound familiar?  The frustrations of a lazy arm or in my case, a delayed reaction.  Haha.  Recently, I have been at a loss of reasons why I am working harder, not smarter.  I know that every time a strike indicator does anything besides drift calmly in the water, it is a reason to set that hook!  And when I finally do get the timing right...  It's game on!

 In being ready for that set, you need to make sure you don't have too much slack line in the water.  You don't want to spend your strike time picking up line.   I know that I leave too much line on the water if it lies in too many waves and coils.  Mend that line and minimize the slack.  All you need is enough to keep the indicator drifting freely,  I mend my line near the top of the drift and maybe one more time directly in front of me as it passes by.  More than that... and you are doing yourself a disservice because you are possibly moving that fly with each mend.  Now, you should be ready to make that "once a lot quicker when younger" arm of yours raise to a tight line with a trout at the end of it!  Right?

The last little midweek "tippet" for you is to not yank on that "rock" that you set and hasn't moved.  You see, I had given up on a supposed snag in the water and handed my rod to my buddy for him to get it free for me.  He turned to me and asked me, "Are you sure you don't have a fish?"  Hahahaha.  That "rock" was indeed a big ol' fish just being honery and belligerent.  It didn't want to head to a net with an angler waiting for a possible photo shoot!   It gave a wiggle after a few minutes, he gave me the rod, and the rest was history.  So, patience is a virtue.   It could be a very nice surprise down under that is trying to outfool you...