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Another Reason to Protect the little Guys

11 Feb

In almost every corner of the fly fishing world you will find some form of protection for the little native brook trout.  Yes they are delicious, I will admit that in the past I have eaten them a time or 3.  Although at that time I considered it more a form of population control rather than a meal.  10 or more years have passed since my last taste of Native flesh and I have seen how fishing pressure alone can devastate a native brook trout population first hand.


Last Saturday I headed out for the first time in about a year to check on my little local friends. Almost immediately during my visit I got re-schooled on a few lessons that I had forgotten the Brook trout knew how to teach. So the next time you head over to your neighborhood Native Brook trout stream, not only protect it for it’s beauty and it’s rare inhabitants. Protect if for what and how the stream and it’s inhabitants can to each you to be a better fisherman.  Take and teach what we learn on our small native and wild trout streams  and apply them to other waters big and small.

A Few Lessons from the Teachers:

1.  Check your surroundings before you cast (look up and thank the fish god, then over each shoulder.)

2.  Don’t knock Small lines and small rods, they mimic big lines and big rods so bring your A game to the stream.

3.  Small flies + small lines + good knots = A happy fisherman and a happy fish.

4.  Stealth matters:  We don’t realize sometimes how much noise we project and how much backdrop distortion or shadow casting we do on a stream.

5.  Simplify what gear you take so it will be easier to find and manage.

The fly Stop….umm-Ummmm Good.

3 Feb

Searching the web for a great price to load your fly boxes full for your next trip?  Search no farther!!!  The Fly Stop is place to go.  We’ve been using them for around 5 years now and I still have flies from my first purchase that have made the trip from box to line to a fishes mouth and back countless times.  Yes a few have been donated to the fly gods way up in the trees and deep down to the river bottom gremlins.  Unlike most other flies you won’t think about stripping down and either climbing a tree or taking a swim to get them back.  Most are priced in a way you could buy 2 to 5 for the same price you would pay at your local shop (support your local shop somehow) or at that fancy place with the big O.  Give it look, buy some flies, pack them in a fly stop box and tell him we sent you.  Each fly purchased with a BRM recommendation with be blessed with the sand collected from our boots.

Memory Vault: One Long Day

1 Jan

The 2nd ridiculously rewarding thing we did on our trip out West took place on the night before our last day of fishing in Idaho.  Thank god (or your deity of choice) we all agreed to head back and hit up the hotel again for a good nights sleep, showers and a good meal.  I really just wanted to snuggle with Chris again.  This was probably one of the best decisions, unknowingly, since that next day turned into a LONG ONE!!  Up at dawn, no need to eat because of the massive portions from the meal we had the night before.  The HO was packed and ready to go so we headed for coffee, gas and then the quick hump down to the stream.  We fished pretty much all day, getting off the stream with little light left in the day.  Dropped off the boat at premier and took a quick tour of the Premier Oars and Blades shop with ? Guy who’s name I forget; he had a hat completely covered in used streamer flies and he let me pet him like a dog the whole time.  We headed for a quick bite to eat at a diner/gas station (Rockies) that had one of the best burgers that I have ever eaten in my life—bar NONE!

It was Ryan’s turn to drive in the daily rotation of things, Chris had backseat which would have been the place to be, and I had Co-Pilot.  Our destination was Cody which would take us in through the South gate and out the East gate of Yellowstone park at night………this should be fun.  The nice lady at the gate entrance who’s birthday had to end in B.C. told us to go the speed limit because the park police are always out (our white Tahoe looked just like-em) and the wildlife is always crossing the road.  She said, “Someone hit a bison a few weeks back and the bison won.”  About 3 minutes after leaving the gate a fox ran across the road.  Now I’ve seen plenty of fox’s in my life but come on this thing looked like at least 30 pounder.  It’s probably about 1030  to 11pm when we started into yellowstone and Cody was a solid 1.5-2 hrs away and we had to still hit up wally-world for a license and set-up camp.  Suddenly Ryan hollered out BISON BISON!!!  Chris and I both pooped in our pants a little and looked in Ryan’s POV and nothing.  He flipped a U-turn and headed back and the SOB was standing right in the middle of the road.  As black as NIGHT with a dull reflection off it’s eyes that really didn’t help reflect any light at all.  WOW those F-in things are BIG.  We could have hit that thing going the speed limit 35 or a little more and it would have done nothing but put the engine in our laps and just pissed off the bison.  He slowly walked across the 2-lane and disappeared into the darkness, like a big drunk dude staggering home from the  bar alone.  We made our way to wally-world, then backtracked about 30 minutes to camp.  Set-up shop and went to bed at about 3-330 am only to wake up when the sun hit out tents.  From this moment on in Wyoming it was a Trout Catching Marathon!!!!

This might be my favorite warning sign of all-time.

HELLS YEA…1ST MUSKY ON THE FLY…HALLELUJAH !!!!!!

12 Apr

One of the hardest parts about fishing for anything in the Pike family is finding someone who wants to partner up and go fishing.  Throwing big heavy flies with 8-10 weight rods and sink tip lines will wear out anyone…..quickly.  So taking turns with someone who is going to go at it behind the oars and throwing the rod is the most important key to increasing your chances.  

Zona Tea.....never leave home without it.

With that said I met up with Jason (JMM) Sunday to hunt for the biggest and the baddest family of predators that can be found in fresh water……PIKE.  Jason is another one of those God Dam Yackers that thinks since he can row a Yak he can row anything.   I don’t even think they call it rowing in a Yak, I think it’s paddling?  The only thing I want to paddle is my wife or an expensive stripper.

At least that’s what I’ve experienced before when letting a Yaker row.  I can’t bad mouth him though he took to the oars pretty easy and did put me on my first fish.  We will see how he does with some water flow.  The best part about this kind of trip is that it’s really not a lot of hard rowing, you can just sit back relax and drink a few beers as long as you keep the boat in position to fish. You do however have to pay attention not to get hooked in the face by a 0/2  - 5/0 steel hook that is probably moving so fast it will embed itself down to the bone (glasses are a must). 

Jason prepping the next rig.

With limited to no experience between the 2 of us chasing this mythic beast we both planned on not catching a dam thing and we were ok with that.  Just get out and put the gear and the flies on a test run.  We knew this section had musky that wasn’t the issue.  We just really had no idea, despite all our readings and presumptions, if any of this would work. 

Eat Me.

Despite the dirty green water I was fortunate enough within about 70-ish casts to hook into and land a Musky.  Despite the lack of size when these fish hit….THEY HIT with a purpose.  Violent and quick.  I let out a short 20-25 foot cast directly at a pile of sunken debris about 3 ft deep.  The fly hit the water and I might have gotten 2 short strips in and WHAM.  Fastest thing I have ever seen.  The fish basically set the hook on its own and I began my violent boat shaking, screaming celebration as the fish took 2 zig zags across the river before it gave in to the power of the 8wt.  I haven’t smiled that big since my red fish trip last year.  Couldn’t have done it without Jason working hard keeping me entertained and keeping the boat in line.  I can’t wait to get out again and hook into another one.  Hopefully one that will test the full capacity of the gear.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

 

Banishment Lifted

29 Jan

The select and privileged few that know of our friend Teddy and of his historical virgin trip to the land that time forgot in the southern mountains of WVa will understand the meaning behind the banishment that was placed on our friend.  For those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing one of my best drunken nights on the town stories I’m sorry, unfortunately I cannot speak of this outside our circle as I will risk banishment myself from the valley of the big browns.  Basically it was a lonely night in a town of nothing but trout, beer and a bowling alley.   Basically Teddy’s territory was marked and by those in attendance he was banished from the land or risked being locked away in the sanitarium with the likes of those depicted in the movie Wrong Turn.   But after 5 years of banishment he made his return with a beer in one hand, a fly rod in the other and a  little more self-control (and by little I mean probably less).  And he did have a few supervisors privided by the state to watch his every move thankfully they did well since it was my responsibility to head up this excursion.  Although untimately I bailed out in exchanged for sex and sleep (I can’t remember the exact order) after 3 twelve hour work shifts in a row.  ENJOY!!

Teddy in the flesh

Kevin, who was responsible for monitoring Teddys ETOH consumption

Breakfast Beer

Who was the 4th person on the trip??? Kevin Teddy Jason (L to R)

Triple D’s and More on the Davidson

27 Jun

Raul and I (BayE) hooked up last Wednesday so I could get my Davidson River cherry popped.  We met up at Dave’s shop in order to perform an Intervention with Dave.  We begged and pleaded to him to attend a Fly Casting rehab center for guides.  Our efforts fell short to say the least as we were run off the property by Dave in a fit of rage holding a hula hoop in one hand and a coffee cup in the other, cigarette dangling out of his mouth and his pants starting to fall down.  He was spouting out vulgar profanities as we raced off the property in the Subaru.  Our belittling didn’t stop there as was made several attempts by phone to once again convince him of his need for rehab.  Remember Dave it’s only because we love you. 

During the entire drive to the Big-D I was reminded of the shit show I was about to witness.  Small stream fishing with fish just barely outnumbering the fishermen 10-1  (probably 1500-2000 fish in the section we fished i would assume?)  Nothing can be worse for a fly fisherman to have to endure as compared to a day of combat fishing, especially on a small stream with tight overhang.  Throw in a little low gin clear water full of some”naturalized” and wild trout, and you have a nearly impossible trout to fish to.

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We arrived to a parking lot FULL of cars, school is out, the parking lot is at the hatchery, picnic are, playground, stream access, hiking trail, and bike trail access points….did I mention yet it’s 128.6 degrees outside?  Well it was.  We rigged up the rods with some good old PIA 7x and hit the stream.  To our surprise 90% of the cars we not fishermen, but campers/hikers/bikers.  We found a couple great holes and the fishing commenced.  My cherry popped quickly with 2 nice browns giving up after great fights to get their picture taken.  We fished around for a few hours catching some dinks here and there until the call of the wild pulled us up near the hatchery’s water outlet.  A place were the men are separated from the boys, were the vultures circled for an easy meal, were heros are made and legends are written into the history books.  WOW what a big giant hole, gin clear of course, full of monster trout with NO ONE around!!!  Except Roll-Cast Linda (another story another day.)

After casting to what seemed like mouthless trout, minus a couple of brook trout brought to hand, the skies turned grey and started to rumble.  The rumble turned into loud cracks from bolting lighting somewhere in the close distance, then it started to rain.  Then rain some more.  And more.  And More.  And more.  Then it rained a little harded.  Then a little harder.  Then the wind picked up and so did the lightning, still it rained even harded, but in a different direction.  Did we leave?  HELL NO. 

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What happens to a stream after a torrential downpour of rain?  It gets muddy.  But what happens to the stream during the rain?  You get a window of slowly rising water along with a gradual change in water color.  All of this equating to hungry fish getting fed and we were going to be serving up some shit that would get them hooked!!!  Well at least that is what I thought.  I had my rig ready and so did Ryan and of course the Asshole that Ryan is would take on the first customer, which would leave me playing net man leaving my pole behind. 

I can go on and on at this point about the next 40 minutes of fishing but let me try to sum it up the best I can.  We are soaking wet, my double fly/indicator rig is so tangled it looks like something a cat coughed up. Ryan is fully rigged and rippin lips faster that I can net his fish, take his pictures, regroup myself and attempt to fix my rig.  He hooked at least 6-8 fish over 20 inches and a few reaching the 25 inch mark, that all fought like TANKS!!  I want to call him an asshole but I won’t, even though I would have given him my rod if I were on my 4th 20 inch fish while my “Friend” is struggling to restring his rod to participate in the fish frenzy.  With that said I was happy just to be the net man, glad to see those big fish brought to hand. 

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*BayE*