Sunday, February 10, 2019

Outsmarting That Fish... Sunday Tippets ~ Damsel Style

Now, first of all, I am going to tell you that I'm not an expert in any means in "outsmarting" fish.  But, I have found a few fishy tricks that I thought would be helpful to some of you.  You never know everything.  In some way or another, we are all learning something on the water each time we go out.  That is a given.  And that is why we fly fish.  Because it is not always the same scenario each time we go out.  Water levels fluctuate, currents change, hatches change, etc. etc.... And so the adventure continues.  So, how do we "outsmart" those trout that lie beneath the riffles and pools of our stream?  


When there isn't a hatch going on and you can visually see the risers in front of you, we look for places that hold trout.  This is where reading the water is a necessity.  When I first started fly fishing, I was so confused on what to look for and where to find it. Ten years later, I'm not an expert... but, I do know where they lie a lot of the time.  I just need to perfect that bug selection and set that hook a bit quicker!!   (I have lost a few... haha)  When fishing a river, I look for where the fast water meets the slow water.  Where the deep water meets the shallow water.  And where the rocks offer a resting place for the trout from the fast current. 


Let me tell you about a fun experience that I had.  I saw a tree and a lot of obstruction falling across the narrow channel on the side of the main river.  Boy, did I want to investigate!  The short riffle on top going into a deeper small pool in front of a fallen branch.  For sure, there would be a fish in there! Mainly because, he would think that no one would bother him and be in this safe haven.  This was a highly hazardous place for a fly to go astray and not come back.  Do you get my drift?  Drift... yes, that is what I needed to do.  Carefully, drift that fly across that deep spot and then pull the line up quickly before it got caught on the fallen branch. Can you see a "tangled line" happening???  And I might only have one chance if it was a spooky fish.


I'm definitely getting more daring.  What the heck, I reached into my fly box and picked two flies that I was ok in losing.  (Positive thinking, huh?)  My placement of the flies would have to be perfect.  I could so easily be snagged.  I had about three to four feet of water to drift.  I casted... I drifted right over... BOOM!!! Hello, Mr. Trout!!!  Up and out of the water he came and then down under that stinkin' branch.  I have lost too many fish lately due to pulling the line.  So, I waited and kept the line tight.  A minute later and he went towards the corner of the trunk of the tree.  Now, I could start stripping the line in a bit.  I worked him a few minutes and he was in the net!  Lucky?  Yeah, that I didn't lose my flies. But, not lucky that he was there.  It was just the perfect place for a fish nap. 



A huge grin appeared on my face as I released him back into the slow current of the river.  I "outsmarted" a fish and it felt soooooo good.   I cannot lie.  We will all have this experience sometime and will relish in what we have learned in our many journeys out to the water.  It makes it so worth it.  = )  Go with your instincts.  You will probably be right!!


How sweet it was...

Size 16 beadhead rainbow sow to lead and entice and a Size 18 purple zebra midge to bite on... 

Sunday Tippet:  Trout fishing is challenging.  But if we find places that fish can feel secure, don't be afraid to try it!  Even if there is a bit of obstruction.  They will try to find a comfortable place where the current is slowed and food is pushed their way, as this channel was.  Trees, undercut banks, rocks (I know, bring a few extra flies) are usually great places to find Mr. Trout.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why Fly Fishing???

The year 2018 is behind us.  There are great memories. Many good friends were visited and fished with in other states around the West.  I put on a few more miles, ugh,,, like 20k on the fishmobile.  I would say that my biggest thrill of the year was standing at the Bow River in Calgary.  It was the color of the water that put chills down my spine,  Oh, you thought it would be the fish?  Sure, I go to catch fish, but that isn't why I fly fish.  See these guys?  It's just about getting outside and chilling.



 It is the whole experience that surrounds me.  It's the beauty of every stream, river, and lake that I fish.  It's the solitude when taking a solo trip and needing to unwind and have some meditation time.  Other times, it is the companionship of a few friends and to share laughs, fish in the net, and good food.  It's about flies that I tie up at midnight the night before and then seeing those same flies devoured by a hungry fish.  Yes!  I guessed right!  Or was it an educated guess?  After all of my years on the water, I would hope so.  Lol.  Flyfishing is a grand sport, pasttime, and relaxer.  It's a way of life that I have been accustomed to for the last 10 years or so.   Yes, to say that I am an avid fly fisher would be correct.  But, I am also a nature lover and a conservationist too.  



This past year was tough healthwise, but I perservered and got out there anyway.  Don't ask how I felt the next day.  I know that it makes me feel better to be in a river with the cold water rushing around me, even though it does tire me out pretty good.  I work hard, I play hard.  That's just me.  2019?  I will venture to say right now that it will be a little slower one for me.  But, I plan on a few good trips with special friends that I have made.  My "friends of the fly" have a special place in my heart and we have shared great times together.  Fly fishing invigorates your mind.  There are things to figure out and I like that!  You can always improve.  I have a long time friend that teasingly yells out "mend!" when you fish in front of him.  That got me to mend a whole lot better over the years.  It's a mindset.  And this year, I am going to be working on my casting and my double haul.  I don't think that you ever stop growing unless you stop trying and I'm not there yet!



This 3 min video will show you why I do what I do.  =) 
RD & Friends 2018.  

Enjoy and Happy New Year!