Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bumper Stickers

I was looking for some videos of emerging insects for no real particular reason other than curosity that was generated by Jim's conversations on bugs and his portrait photography of them. In my search I found a great bumper sticker that is sold on the website of Check it out!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We departed camp at 12:30pm yesterday and headed for home. The drive went smoothly, stopped for supper at Applebee's around 9pm, and arrived at Anderson's house at 4:30am. After unloading the skiff and Anderson's stuff, I headed over to Feiker's house to drop him off. I arrived at home at 5:15am, and to my surprise found that the house key I had on me was not the right one. Luckily, Jen heard me knock on the door and she even let me in.

Jen went to work, and I slept till 11am before Bailey decided it was time to snuffle my whole face and wake me up with by tickling my face with her whiskers.

I showered, unpacked, and now I am off to the Fly Angler in Fridley to bring in my 4wt rod for repair. The reel seat is loose on it and no longer is able to hold my fly real securely. This will be the second time the reel seat on this particular rod has given me difficulty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Packing it up

With a grim weather forecast for today, we decided to pack up a day early and head for home, so we will be scrambling around here for the next couple of hours getting everything rounded up, settling some of the bills, and prepping for a non-stop drive back to Minnesota.


Water: 38 degrees
Temp: 51 degrees
Weather: better than expected

We floated A to 3 today, from 11:30am to 8:30pm. Nothing spectacular to report. We had hints of dry fly action, but nothing to write home about, some were caught on nymph rigs as well. There may have been a short nap on the bank while waiting for the BWO action that never developed. The fish are just mean and not playing well with us or anyone else in camp. Size 18 Ray Charles in tan, grey, and natural still seem to be the best bet for catching trout. Today's total was 3 brown trout landed by myself and no success on the drys.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Yesterday we hit decided to float A to 3. We hit the river around 10:30 or so, and when we started floating down, most of the fishing spots were taken. There were boats and fisherman everywhere. We managed to find a spot a good ways down. We got out of the boat to start fishing and then the weather got crappy. It started to rain and sleet and the temperature was crashing. Then the sleet stopped for a few minutes, and then started up again and the sky was getting darker. We jumped in the boat, floated the rest of the the way to 3 mile landing, and got off the river.

Thinking things would be better to fish in the afternoon, we headed up to Hardin, MT for beer and groceries. More for the beer than the groceries, but what did you expect from a group of displaced fly fisherman. The trip killed a few hours, and when we returned things had not changed much, rain, no rain, sleet, no we had some pickled herring, crackers, sliced cheese, and Bloody Marys made with Scorpion Sting hot sauce for lunch. We moved over to the living room and watched a few movies and before we knew it the sun had set and another day of fishing had passed.

Feiker and I made tacos for dinner, and the Bob's both proceeded to use large amounts of Scorpion Sting on their food, to which had some repercussion on Bob F. later on that night. So Anderson deemed Feiker a little girlie-man. Hilarious, something to be said for a guy swallowing hot lava!

This morning is overcast and chilly, with no plans made yet as to what we are doing. We have today and tomorrow left for fishing here before we head back to Minnesota.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Things may be changing...

Temp: 49 degrees
Wind: tolerable
Water: 39 degrees
Weather: partly sunny

We floated 3 to B today, the weekend rental boats were out in force. We hit a few spots, and floated ahead of them. We parked at pipeline and sat and napped a little on the bank for several hours waiting and hoping to see heads rise for all the midges that were blanketing the surface.

Nothing ever materialized, but it was nice to hang out, drink beer and snooze in the sun. We decided to move on around 4pm to see find a good a place to nymph. We hit two or three places, then settled in not to far up river from Craig Matthews place (of Oakley). We hit the jackpot, and it was a lot of fun. I landed one nicely colored brown, and 7 nice rainbows, I had about a dozen more takes as well. The ticket seemed to be #18 orange Ray Charles. The Bob's were doing just as well, and we were all having a great time. We called it quits at about 8pm as it was getting to dark and we had a mile and a half to go before the landing.

I do want to take a second and raise my glass to my buddy Barber John, who is pulling through his operation and to say that on most the fish we landed tonight, we shouted out our favorite Quote of Barber John which is "Make 'em pay!" And we did. :) We miss you John!

Also, to my wife, cell phone service still sucks out here, but that is supposed to change later this summer, so that's good news for when I retire out here in August. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Front came through

Temp: 43 degrees
Water: 39 degrees
Weather: overcast with light winds
Flow: 3,500 cfs

The damn was opened up a little further again and we are up to 3,500 cfs. Which I think between the flows being adjusted every couple of days and the changing weather is causing our catching to be a little more challenging then years past. The front came through last night. We woke to an inch of snow with light flurries most of the morning. We had numerous cups of coffee, and headed up the Bighorn fly shop for fly tying materials.

We tied the secret flies of the we were short on over the next several hours, and then hit the river around 3pm. Reports around camp were that their was some dry fly action on river, so we armed ourselves accordingly. There were significant numbers BWO's and midge clusters , but our trout were obviously keyed in on something else as we fought hard to get their attention with very little reward. Bob F. was the only one to connect and land a brown.

Tonight, Thor is making supper with Sharon as the assistant as she is supplying desert. She did caution that it would not be near as good as the cereal bars Jenny had sent with us out here, which was a much bigger hit then I thought it would be.

Time to go warm up the toes and nose.

I just received an email from my buddy Steve that after years he got his first turkey with a bow. 18 yd shot. Head on in full strut. Weighed in at 17lbs. It was a bearded hen! CONGRATS STEVE!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A cold ride from 3 mile to B

Temp: 45 degrees
Water temp: 41 degrees
Wind: 15-25 mph
Wind chill: damn cold

We ran 3 to B today and started about 10:30am. We caught some browns today and it was a nice relief to know that we still knew what we were doing. The clouds and wind and temperature drop all moved in with a front that hit us around 2pm. We fished till around 3:30pm and decided to row straight though to the end as the front was coming in so fast you could watch the mountains disappear into the clouds and snow or rain coming down on them. We exited at 6pm and headed back to camp with the heater on high.

Sharon was quick to make all of us with hot buttered rum. And it was eagerly excepted by all. I had some significant shivering going on by then and wasted no time changing clothes and taking in my first encounter of hot buttered rum...I could do those again.

Now we are munching on crackers and chatting. Tonight we the gang has made reservations at the restaurant connected to the Bighorn Fly fishing shop at 9pm. The menu will be salmon and lots of smiles. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Anderson made us all laugh so hard that Jim actually had to leave the room twice to spit out his drink we were all laughing so hard.

Reports have come in that Bozeman has been hit hard and fast with snow, and that it will hit us tonight and tomorrow. So a day of tying flies and hanging out may be the itinerary for tomorrow for most of us. Rod will be taking off early in the morning for Minnesota. So trout camp will be less one more. I am excited though as Rod has opened an invitation to me to come up and visit him later on this year.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 to B Trial run

Water: 40F
Wind: less then yesterday
Temp: 80F

Still no dry fly action today, and the nymphing was exactly going either. Midges are starting to gain momentum, but some forgot to send the memo to the trout. It was a nice day for a float if nothing else. The afternoon we stopped at my favorite dry fly place on the river along with Jim and Sharon, and watched intently for something to unfold. Anderson and I had a cigar and we all had a beer as we watched Sharon take a couple of casts at a couple of finicky risers.

Nothing else too exciting happened today. Tomorrows weather forecast is predicting bad weather, hopefully that will be the ticket to get the fish active.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Windy day in paradise.

Temp: 82 F
Wind: 20-25 mph
Weather: Sunny

The Bob’s and I floated in the drift boat, with Rod in his kick boat from Afterbay to 3 mile today. Winds were strong and challenging today. No dry fly action to speak of, so we nymphed a couple open spots today. The first place we tried was uneventful, but the next spot fixed that. We got into a stretch of water that had a nice weed line and a couple of buckets. We all caught fish off of various midges, and landed mostly browns. I did have a couple of rainbows that I hooked and they took me for a ride and I was unsuccessful at landing them. They seemed to like the green weenie with a red midge dropper. We moved on and ended up at the Minnesota hole where we chatted with Brad who was hanging out with a fishing buddy (Dorothy). We headed back to camp for an afternoon break and a little lunch.

The wind died off considerably and we jumped into our waders and bolted down to a spot near the cottonwood hole. And there we were…it was so awesome. The four of us, armed with our dry fly rods, standing in line about 50 yards in between each of us in a straight line, knee deep in the river, facing up-stream. The sun was setting, we were covered in midges, and we all just stood there…rods ready in one hand, our chosen fly in the other, waiting…watching the rings, analyzing what we were seeing, and then one by one, we selectively chose our targets and played our game.

And while I didn’t catch any fish, it was one of the best fish-less evenings I have had in years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Windy day in Paradise

After a semi early night last night, we woke to fresh coffee and crisp mountain air. This was going to be pretty good day.

Anderson, Rod and Henry floated Afterbay to 3-mile landing this morning and caught a few. This was Henry's last day out here before returning home in the afternoon. Feiker and I hiked over to the Minnesota hole to try our luck. We spent a three hours there and returned to the parking lot so that we could get a lift back to camp. I did manage to land three brown trout, two on the Green Weenie and one on a Brassie.

After hanging out at camp we ventured into man-town to pick up supplies at the grocery store and to check out the Bighorn Fly Shop. They of course had a couple of things I just had to have and I of course was happy to help support them. We headed back to camp and tied flies waiting waiting for the wind to die down, which it did...after the sun went down.

So we improvised and tied some flies, then Jim and Sharon came over with chairs and beverages in hand. Sharon also treated us to some awesome shrimp she had been marinating since yesterday! I did manage to get the recipe and will be trying it myself when I return home.

Feiker broke out some gifts for the the 2009 attendees, which were t-shirts, bottle openers to hang around our necks, and key chain bottle openers compliments of some SMIRNOFF vodka Reps!

Now it's time to settle in with some cocktails, continue sharing stories, and have a cigar. This is great.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My vacation is here!

Last night myself and Bob Feiker and Bob Anderson departed St.Paul, MN at 8pm and headed straight through to the Bighorn River, MT after having barbecued burgers compliments of Sandy. The weather held out and we avoided the predicted rain. However, there was a 40 mile stretch or so of thick fog that made things interesting.

We pulled into Hardin, MT around 9:30am for a hearty breakfast and break from the road. Afterwards we hit the grocery store for supplies and to pick up an assortment of locally made beer. We forged on and arrived at the Cottonwood Camp at 11:30am, unpacked and settled in with friends we expected to be here (Rod, Thor, and Henry O.) and also to our surprise we bumped in to some other friends we didn't expect to be here (Jim Schollmeyer and Sharon of Sharon made a killer nacho appetizer, and Feiker is currently grilling up some burgers. I'm looking forward to chilling out tonight and can't wait to start chasing rainbows tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yes! Three days, and I will be on the road heading out to the Big Horn River in Montana to chase healthy spunky rainbows with friends. I have been packed since last weekend with about half my stuff already in the back of the Tahoe. I am so ready to escape and take a break from my current 'issues' and go have some fun.