It's that time of the year that we eat too many goodies and visit relatives that we don't get to see too often. It's also that time of the year that we find it a bit colder outside and spend maybe a bit more time at the vise tying flies. Ho ho ho. And for me this week, I have an important decision regarding some arthritis in the thumb that has been causing me problems. I am considering some alternative herbal remedies, so stay tuned. All I know is that I will be fishing TOMORROW.
My days of fishing the high country and some of my favorite lakes will have to wait now til Spring.
The late fall fishing was pretty pleasant with the global warming.
Now we welcome winter. The ski resorts need it desperately. The reservoirs and rivers will need the runoff. So, out come the fleece hats and the warm woolen mittens.
Hoping that all of my friends and family have a wonderful Christmas season. Happy Holidays!
There's a fishery that I have wanted to visit for the last couple of years. I finally got my chance last weekend. A group of friends that live in Nevada and California, met up at Pyramid Lake, NV. It was a post Thanksgiving event. I left Friday after Thanksgiving and stayed until Monday morning. There were several friends that knew the ropes and that could tutor me about this magical place. I will be honest. It wasn't the easiest place to fish. And I got skunked. But, I still had a great time with my fishing buddies and I am grateful for the time that they shared with me on the water to find that one fish.
This adventure was different than most. I had a horrible motel experience, which has never happened. To say that I was happy to leave that motel and go home and get a good night sleep is an understatement! My car had a slight problem with the headlight going out the morning that I left. Haha. And I had to borrow waders to make the trip happen. How does a girl end up with three pairs of leaky waders at the same time? Yeah, procrastination to send them off for repair. Oh well. Should be in good shape for next year. =) And I will definitely choose a better motel to hang those waders to dry... (You get what you pay for, I've been told)
Pyramid Lake is an unusual animal. The fish don't appear to be leader shy, but flourocarbon probably improves hookups. I fished with an 8 wt rod and an indicator between 5 and 9 feet above the first fly, which was usually a wooley bugger or leech. Then trailed that with a chronomid or snowcone midge about 18 in from the first fly. I believe that I had the right flies. It was just my casting in the wind that broke the camels back. If your double haul game isn't strong, you better have a darn good single haul! Because that wind can be brutal. We managed to get it out there, but no fish in the net this time. Here's Jose, who fished alongside me the two days that I was there. He opted for a ladder at this spot... That is the other fascinating part of fishing here. People on ladders 20 ft apart. Haha. Some of the drop offs can be 200 feet from shore.
When you do it right, you get this...
If the wind is blowing the right direction, the right speed... etc. etc. etc. And if the temps are this or that... Yeah. You know that the prize is there, so you deal with the "conditions". The weather plays a huge role day to day here. High pressure sunny no wind days are tough. That is what we had the first day. Cloudy windy days are the best. But, if you get tooooo much wind, like we had the second day, you end up taking a long lunch break! Ha!
There are two different strains of Lahontan Cutthroats. Pilot Peak and Summit. They are both beautiful in their own right. These cutthroat can get up to 20 lbs. I just wanted a 5 pounder! I'm not picky. =)
So, there's a few "tippets" about fishing Pyramid Lake... Now enjoy a vid that sums up a pretty darn good trip, despite not catching anything! All you need is friends to share a turkey dinner with and have a taco night that is "out of this world" delicious! My 40 lbs lost is holding steady. Now to get through the holidays. Enjoy the video. It was fun to put together.
Six years and a couple weeks later, I was finally reunited with one of my favorite pals, Howard of the Windknots and Tangled Lines blog. You can read "his take" about our adventure here. For the past few years, we have tried to "hook up" on a Colorado river and to no avail. Finally, we got all of our ducks in a row... (hey, it's duck season!) and we had our day.
It was fortunate for us, that Steph of the Antlers and Gills blog, lives right on the street of his favorite little creek. So, I told Howard and Chris of the Fading Angler blog (who flew in from MN.) to meet us there. It was a chilly and crisp morning with a light freeze on the steps outside. But, they melted off nicely by the time those two guys rolled up in their Rolls Royce errr... Jaguar. Ok, if I was renting a car from the airport in CO., I will go on record saying that my choice would be a Jeep!! Hahahaha.
So, this happened. Howard had a nice brown on the end of his line and as I was scooting falling down on my butt to net the fish, it was ADIOS! Dang... I'm lousy help! Sorry, pal. I owe you more cookies. Next time we will net that fish!
But, hey, it was better than sitting in a fly shop after your hospital visit in 2011!
Chris put a few brownies in the net on Clear Creek.
Stephanie and I pretty much just enjoyed chatting with the guys and catching up on things.
We had an awesome lunch at Lucha's! My favorite Colorado Mexican restaurant so far... You will have to take me somewhere else to prove that there is better. Haha.
I took the guys to the Blue River in the afternoon to find it changed to the Brown River. A side channel had leaked out some bad muddy water. The snow decided to come in too, so I let Howard (I fish in this kind of crap all the time) make the decision on calling it a day. It was sad to say goodbye. But, we all had a good time together that day for sure! Did my hard hug give that away, Howard? =) As most of you know, my blogger buddies from the beginning, mean a lot to me. They gave me a quick start to my blog and have followed faithfully all of these years. I wouldn't have had so much fun with it without them.
So, here comes the "Full Moon" part of the adventure...
People will tell you different views on it. But, I honestly feel that when the full moon is out, that the fishing is usually slower during the day, due to the fish eating all night long under the lit up skies. I cannot come up with any other excuse reason for catching less when it's out. Except that maybe it's me!!!!! Hahahahaha
So, three days of fishing with the "Full Moon" effect... What are you going to do? Fish anyway! That's why I came out here!
And to see the beautiful fall colors of Colorado. It just doesn't get much better than the month of October. Why I have a pilgrimage out here every year.
There were fish caught, friends visited, and bbq eaten! What more could you ask for??
That "full moon" couldn't take away from all the fun that I had!
I love meeting up with my Friends of the Fly. A special camaradarie between friends that enjoy time on the water...
Thanks to all who took time out to fish with me during the
"Full Moon"... I will never forget my visit and the trip to the freeway to go home. Hahahahaha. That canyon was so beautiful,
I almost got back out of my car to put on my waders again! =) Yeah, it took me twice as long to get down the road because of all the beauty and stopping for pictures. But, that is what life is about. Enjoying the journey!
It was going to be a beautiful fall day with the temperatures in the 60's. Winds at 5-8 mph. What more could you ask for? Well, I tossed back and forth throughout the night with a headache in my eyes and front forehead. I wasn't sure that it was a go for fishing the next morning. I laid an icepack in a towel over my eyes, after taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen before bed. A few hours passed. My eyes half way opened and looked at the clock. 1:30 am. Three more hours of sleep. Getting up at 4:30 am on a Saturday morning is just not right! But, I needed to pack since I didn't feel good enough the night before. Maybe I slept, but it wasn't that deep kind of sleep. 4:30 came and I put on the snooze button. 5:00 am. Ok, this better be worth it! On probably 6.5 hours of sleep, it was on... It's funny, but as I drove and got closer to the river, my last dose of Ibuprofen seemed to work. You better be ready, fish! I have a new weapon... Seaguar 6 lb flourocarbon test.
Well... As luck would have it, I caught the biggest one first. So, here was the real test. Would my lousy knots hold on long enough and would my weak arms be able to hang on tight with this guy? I have tried a variety of tippet and leaders throughout my fly fishing journey. Recently, a friend told me about Seaguar. He told me that it was 30% stronger than the off brand stuff that I have been using. I couldn't believe how much easier it was to bring in a 20 incher with big shoulders! Yeah, he ran a bit, but I felt so much more confident as I battled him. He wasn't going to come off if I had hooked him good! He was mine... Well, for a few minutes until I put him back in his home. Here are a few of his homies.
It was a good day, to say the least. The fish liked everything I served. RS2, Sowbugs, PT's, Red Worm, and a Surveyor.
I netted more fish with this new friend of mine, Seaguar 6 lb Fluoro. Compared to the Berkley Vanish 4 lb @ .007 diameter and 110 yds... I got 6 lb @ .007 diameter and 200 yds with the Seaguar for twice the price. (So, basically the same price, but the internet deals are cheaper) BUT, it is sooo much stronger with the same diameter. And my knots held up better than ever. I can't tell you how many fish that I have lost due to breaking off. It is heartbreaking to say the least. Hopefully, this is a start to even better fishing days. =) This can be a tough fishery and I've always come out with at least a couple fish. But, when you can have a day where your arms feel like they had a workout from almost a couple dozen, it is all that much better!
Haha. Yes, "Make My Day" kept ringing in my ears!
So, lesson learned. Don't be afraid to try something new with your equipment. Whether it is floating line, leaders, tippet, rods, reels...etc etc. There might be something out there that can be the game changer for you! And one last note... What works for me, might not work for you. And visa versa. We all have different styles to our fishing. That's why this pastime is so much fun! But, if you need more strength in your tippet and have a need for fluorocarbon without losing the thinner diameter... This one is a winner.
There's a time at the end of the summer when those fall colors start to appear. The ambers and reds peak their little heads out so very slightly. It's that time. I love this time of year. And when you can add a good friend to share it with and a few fish, you have the perfect adventure. I had that very adventure yesterday.
Why do my adventures have to start so dang early???
With my friend, Holly, and her son Jack, we made the long journey to scout out new water. There's something about the first time out to a new river. Your anticipation makes your hands get a bit sweaty and your toes a little tingly. The drive had its scenic value too.
Cattle and sheep graced the countryside...
And a few frogs were found also!
The meandering stream with golden willows along the banks, made a beautiful setting for some great fishing. Just stay in the water so you don't have to find your way back in again. Hahahaha
Holly knocked it out of the park with cutties and bows to the net. And the hopper dropper worked its magic.
And I managed a few of my own. What a great day! When I saw this yellowstone cutthroat, I was so excited. It was beautiful and golden. And the rainbow at the end of the day was a last ditch effort to get a bow to the net. I saw him go after my dry once in the shadows of the opposite bank. Twenty (haha) casts later, I finally got him to take the fly. I am a determined creature. Would you leave a fish that you saw emerge after your dry fly? Then, it was back to the truck...
There has to be something said for a pair of women anglers who despite their difference of "name brands" in waders, can travel miles upon miles and enjoy every minute of the journey. Fish, frogs, ants, grasshoppers, sheep, cattle, horses, butterflies, ladybugs, shells... and even a teter totter! No, I'm not going to show two grown women on it, but, yeah... we did it for the kid. Ha!
And too top off the whole adventure, I got Holly to stop at my favorite place for Monte Cristo sandwiches! Thanks, friend! Mmmmmm
Yes, I burned off enough calories walking today, I think. =)
It's not every day that you get to go on a great white adventure. I just recently got back from one. Let me tell you how exciting it is to have that big whitie at the end of your line. They pull hard. They often take you down into the depths of the water over and over again before coming in. The struggle is real. Believe me.
Then, you finally net that great white. And look at it with a puzzled look on your face. Oh, it's Mr. Whitefish! The salmonoid who feeds off the bottom. As many people look down on Mr. Whitie, he still can save the day from a skunking. So, thank you.
My adventure to Yellowstone National Park recently, started out with a lot of great whites...errrr... mountain whitefish. It really didn't seem to matter whether you had two weights on or just one weight. They were there.
There are a few of these signs in the YNP. Kind of fun to have that feeling of "A River Runs Through It".
Some of my best buds live in Idaho and in the Yellowstone area. It's always fun to share time on the water with these guys.
Lonnie and Kerry have great knowledge and are top notch guides from the Drift Lodge and Fly Shop in Island Park, ID. Give em a holler if you are ever in the area...
Most of the fishing was in the mornings before the water got too warm. I personally can't wait for the fall. It's my favorite time of year. Throw me a jacket! Haha
So, I spoiled my diet and gained back 3 lbs. The downside of the trip. But, it was worth it. And I already have it off again. There was a great ice cream shop in West Yellowstone that gave me some "Moose Moss" and "Moose Tracks". Some of the best that I have had. Yummy!
The beauty of Yellowstone cannot be surpassed.
A little bit of haze from the summertime forest fires that crop up from time to time somewhere in the region.
The Henry's Fork of the Snake was my first and last stop. Such a beautiful place to photograph and to fish.
Finally, a few rainbows graced my net.
But, in the end, it was the great mountain white fish that would win out. I think that it was like 12 to 4 whities. Haha.
So, on the road back home again... A few days in one of my favorite spots. Good times with friends that I don't get to see often enough. And a chance to unwind and cool off a bit from the warmer climate of home.