Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fall Steelhead Trip #2 (Oct 17-18)

The following weekend we tried to focus on getting Jen a steelhead.  The biggest challenge was a pretty bad cold I was fighting that totally zapped my energy level, making it hard to stay upbeat, focused, or happy.

We got out to a couple of our favorite spots with ease.  Fished most of the day, but with no luck.  

It was a zoo.  There must have been a billion and one fisherman on the river today.  We fished most of the day, but again we had no luck. We went back to the hotel to dry out, and have a strong beverage (maybe more than one was had).

We decided to go home early.  We were frustrated with our lack of any fishing action, and thought it would just be best to put me to bed and work on recovering from my head cold.

So our 2013 Steelhead season was not one our greatest, but hopefully next year will be better.

Three-day Fall Trip #1 (Oct. 10-12)

I headed up to Peters cabin after class finished up, arriving a little after midnight.

The fall colors were beautiful and we were in mostly sunny with 60's and 70's for temperature.  There were a lot of people out fishing every day.  Some were grouse and woodcock hunters who said it was too warm to hunt their dogs, so they decided to go fishing instead.  Looking at the falling temp's in the forecast this week, that shouldn't be a repeat occurrence.

Fished for muskies with Peter and Wendy on the Flambeau
I hooked two but didn't get to fight them very long before losing them.
Headed up to the Brule motel, fished for steelhead.

1st day Jen caught a brookie on an egg fly and I caught a brown on  a nymph.  We ran into Peter who had some luck catching a couple steelhead.  He had to bug out back to his cabin as he was going to guide a couple of people over the next two days.
Met up with several of my St. Paul Fly Tier's at the Kro-bar who were up for our annual Steelhead outing.

2nd day, I caught two steelhead.  
Ed caught his 1st steelhead about midday.

Overall, it seemed that the fishing was not on fire, but it didn't totally suck either.
We headed for home Saturday evening so that I could spend Sunday doing schoolwork and incubating a crappy head cold that I have the pleasure of  dealing with now.  :)

September 2013 - Tenkara in the Smokey Mountains

Went down to visit my brother in Georgetown, Kentucky for a few days.  He took us around to see several sites such as the Buffalo Trace and Wooodford distilleries, a Japanese garden, a horse retirement ranch called "Old Friends," and checked out a couple of local restaurants.  

After that we went camping in the rainy, foggy Smokey Mountain National park at the Elkmont campground which had the very loud Little River that flowed through it.  We played tourist for a couple of days checking out some of the main attractions of old churches, water falls, old mills, and cemeteries. Then I had the treat of fishing some of the rivers on the Tennessee side of the park.

The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River
Open during the day, but the Chimney Tops campground is closed at night due to the high amount of bear activity there.  I caught a few rainbow and brook trout on the Tenkara rod.  They were not big, but they were fun to catch in the scenery was great, the water cold, and very few spots taken up by other fisherman.  This river was totally designed for Tenkara fishing!

Middle Prong of the Little River
Had a little luck on this river too, it had a little less gradient to it, less big boulders, and would have been better if I had used a normal fly rod as it it was much wider than the first river. 

I didn't take any photos of the trout caught, apparently I was having too much fun catching them and forgot to snap any photo's of the little guys.

August 2013 Recap

Greetings my friends!  I know I have been a horrible blogger this year, but my lame excuse is that I really have been a little more busy than normal since going back to school for an MBA.  With that, I plan to do a couple of posts to highlight a couple of fishing outings taken in 2013.

This spring I managed to get out and fish the Rush River a couple of times.  Nothing epic, but it was all I could squeeze in before my August vacation.

Roughing it in Montana...
In August, I had the good fortune of spending a week with Peter and Doug fishing all over Montana.  Typical of August in Montana, it was hot, dry, and lots of natural bugs everywhere.  Fires in Utah and over nearby mountains caused for awesome red sunsets and red moonrise's.  At times it looked overcast and caused mountains to be foggy due to all the smoke in the atmosphere.

Do you see the black bear?
There it is!
He visited us in the back yard and then ran up to this nearby hill.

Evening Moonrise over the Cameron Mountains

Lets get to the fishing, shall we...

Critter with a Rainbow on the Madison
Madison River
We drove straight out to the ranch house we were to stay at for a couple of days in Cameron, Montana.  At the end of our driveway was the famous Madison River.  We prepped Peters new drift boat (the "Annie B") and floated the Madison River two days in a row and caught some rainbows on Trude's and pink nymph droppers.  The fish didn't come very easily, but Doug managed to catch a whitefish.

Doug on the Beaverhead R.
Beaverhead River
We then floated the Beaverhead River, which was a very pretty little thing.  It was barely wide enough for a boat at times.  But we managed, and that included us all getting on the floor of the boat as we went under one bridge.  We caught a few rainbows and browns, and things got better when I cracked the code with the "right" hopper pattern that they would go for.  Doug was able to hook and land a whitefish.  I could spend years fishing that river and be content as it had so much character.  

Stillwater River
Stillwater River
We fished a couple of sections of this river.  One was at a landing, the other was along the property of a lodge.  The owner-operator invited us to fish his property as he didn't have any guests staying there for a few days.  Which was really nice of him, but the fishing was pretty much dead.  Peter did land a couple of trout; Doug was able to land several whitefish!

Doug's first 20" brown!
Bighorn River
We moved on to fish the Bighorn river for our remaining four days.  We stayed at the Cottonwood and hooked up with our buddies from the Fly Angler fishing crew.  Peter, Doug and I caught lots of browns and rainbows. Doug managed to find and hook more whitefish....he sure has a way with finding those things.  On the last day I believe I lost the 2nd largest fish I have ever hooked on that river.  But all was great.  At one point, on the last spot we fished on the last day, all three of us had a fish on at one time.  We had a lot fun at that spot!    

Critter's 20" Brown on the Big Horn

Peter with a beautiful brown on the Big Horn

Close-up of another gorgeous brown!

from Left to Right: Doug, Peter, and Critter

This was a great trip and I very much enjoyed our fishing team as well as the Big Horn gang that we had the privilege of hanging out with at the Cottonwood Camp for a few days.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Planning for Montana - August 2013

The past eight months have been busy, challenging and rewarding.  I must confess, I have put on less than 300 miles on my motorcycle and only one day on the river where I guided a gal fly fishing for trout at the Casting for Recovery retreat.  So now that I have a two month break between classes, I can enjoy summer.  Which means, time to go fishing of course!  Starting off with a trip to the Big Horn River with a group of people through The Fly Angler.

I have met up with my buddies a couple of times in the past two weeks to work out a general plan of attack for our ten day vacation in Montana.  All though I have fished Montana ten years (11 if you count this one) in a row, this will only be my 2nd time fishing it in mid-summer.  

I'm excited to hit some new rivers that I have not fished before and too see Western Montana.  By the looks of it, we will be driving to Ennis.  Why is that significant?  Because it is more west than Livingston, a town that I have visited once before and fell in love with because of the feel of both the town and the beautiful scenery.

Cigars have been ordered from CI, fishing license purchased online, and I have spent the last two nights in my Man-Room and at the fly shop, fiddling with flies, sorting out rods & reels, checking equipment, and making my "List" of what to pack and in general day dreaming about whats to come.  It's been a year since I've taken more than a couple of days off and I am in need of some unwinding time.

My triad will be departing early Friday morning, on the 16th.  I'm so excited for the trip to get started!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18th

Both the flooded streams and my fly boxes are full.

Five more inches of snow!

Both my patience and bourbon are running  low.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Big Horn "Plan B" 2013

After the deception, lies, and fleecing of America by that little rodent who goes by the name of Punxsutawney Phil (I'll call him Punky for short).  It seems that Punky has finally unleashed Spring upon us after all his tom-foolery and media shenanigans.  That rodent really needs a new agent, anyways I am watching the feet of snow melt down to inches and walking around creeks of snow-melt in the street and driveway to get the mail while wondering if I should take my motorcycle out of storage this week.  Spring is here. 
I will not be joining my buddies this Spring for the annual Big Horn river midge trip due to conflicts with school.  However, that does not mean that the Big Horn river or the infamous Cottonwood Camp will elude me.  Nope, it just means that I jump on an alternative opportunity that should be just as fun and adventurous.
This year, over my summer break I'll be heading out on a trip with the guys from The Fly Angler to Montana to fish the Hopper Hatch (or whatever else the trout may be feasting on at the time).  Plans are loose at the moment, but that will remedy itself as we get closer to August.  So far, I know I am going, I have the vacation approved by the bosses, and I'll be floating with Peter and Doug.  Heck, that's a pretty good  "plan b" for me.  :) 
Now, where did I put my cigar lighters, wading boots, turkey calls, motorcycle helmets, homework notes, and........or maybe I'll jus take a quick nap.
Wishing you a genuinely Happy Easter weekend.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fly Fishing Expo 2013

As many of you know this weekend the Tom Helgeson's Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo is taking place.  And holding true to tradition, the past couple of days has been full of fly fishing vendors, presentations, reunions with old friends, and meeting potential new friends.  

This year a met a couple of budding fly tier's, I should say they are already great even if their feet don't quit make it the floor as they are tying in their chairs.  Also there are three representatives (one from Grand Marie, MN, one from Columbus, OH, an one from Colorado) here talking about the latest buzz in the industry, Tenkara fly fishing.  

I didn't see a casting pond this year, but there were two different areas where you could shake a stick to convince you to just buy it, or you can work on casting with the FFF peeps to get rid of some of those bad habits.

So far I scored on a cool rod rack, a funky fish art coffee mug, and a nice brown furnace dry fly cape.  I also donated a little bit to the Project Healing Waters supporting wounded veterans who fly fish and bought a raffle ticket from Twin Cities Trout Unlimited chapter for a bamboo rod made by the hands of the illustrious Dave Norling.

I'm finishing up breakfast right now and am on my over for the final day of fun and tying flies for people on Fly Tier's Row.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tenkara Presentation Delayed

Tonight Sensei Eric and myself (Tenkara kid) were scheduled to give a presentation to our fly fishing club on Tenkara style fishing.  We had gadgets, rods, flies, and a power point presentation all set up to go.  But we got bumped out of our meeting room at Schroeder's by some other riffraff group that went by the St. Paul Winter Carnival planners or something.  So our presentation has been rescheduled for next month.

Regardless, it was good to see the guys and finally meet Eric's very nice wife.  In fly tier's fashion, we made due and quickly conducted a business meeting in the bar in preparation of the upcoming Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in two weeks. Minutes were taken down on a napkin and then we were back to swapping stories and generally enjoying not being trapped our houses.

I'm looking forward to another great fishing season and with Wisconsin C&R open, I wish you all the best for in your fishing adventures and hope to see you at the Expo!