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Operation Shock and Awe.

9 Jun

The nightmares of shadows following are finally gone.  The screams of a taught line gone limp have been replaced by boat shaking celebration, man hugs, high 5’s, and that mystic chant of Ya’ma Ya’ma Ya’ma Yaaaaa’ma that seems to drive musky wild.

Mohawk Pic.PNG
I’m pretty sure my childhood nightmares of Spike the Gremlin are the same that I have now as a now grown child fighting myself to sleep being chased by musky.  A few days ago Ryan had the bright idea to go on a fish and film for musky.  Throwing all the chips on the table and betting on musky.  Not a smart bet.  When it comes to trying to capture film on a beast that will only show itself about 1 in every 7 million cast.  Or so it seemed.  Both of us had caught skis before, be it by accident, divine intervention or, my favorite, extreme skills. Fishing for theses beast and trying to film them for a world renowned magazine like Southern Culture on the Fly?  Now come on thats way to much pressure……or is it?  You put Ryan and I together with fish and film on the brain.  Magic will happen, with or without those DaM musky.  Trust me, I’ve been there and seen him take one for the team.  It’s not pretty.
Ryan did what any semi-intellegent person would do under these circumstances.  He put down the porn and searched the web looking for lovers.  And he found them in Virginia, the state for lovers.  Apparently musky lovers.  Blane Chocklett (no thats not his stage name) and Jake “I don’t know what to do” Grove of New Angle Fishing Company agreed to bring us along, cameras in tow on a musky outing.  I could go on about how great these 2 were to simply hang out with.  2 great fishermen, true stewards of the waters.  Unbelievably good fishermen who can create real works of art behind a tying vice.  If your ready to learn how to chase the beast or simply cross off the musky from your fly fishing bucket list then these 2 are the guys to contact.  They are moving multiple fish and hooking up far more often than not.  96 I think is what their numbers were on boated fish since january 1st 2012, 17 in the boat in ONE day, yes I said ONE day alone and with clients.
I’ll stop here as I don’t want to ruine the upcoming short video that will come to fruition July 14th-ish in S.C.O.F Magazine.  OOOOO-but wait, there will be MORE TO COME in the future with these to fools.
Charlie Murphy
I’m Rich Bitch!!!!!
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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!!!!

 

Purification

20 Mar
How can something so dirty, smelly, foul, rancid, putrid, ripe, so downright awful make you feel so much better?  1 word TROUT….ok 2 words WILD TROUT…….maybe 3  BIG FEROCIOUS WILD TROUT!!!!! (ok that was 4 words).  Another successful fishing trip is in the books.  Wasn’t a huge numbered 2 days as compared to previous trips, although I won’t complain about a 50 + fish 2-day trip.  This was one of those trips where on occasion I found myself saying this is F-ing awesome. 

Day one found me on the stream around noon-ish looking at great flows, higher than the norm but a pleasant sight to see since this stream has epic nymphing/streaming potential.  After a closer inspection it did have a little greyish hue to it, which is not uncommon for this stream after a good rain.  The CFS had been on the downslope for 5 days now so why it was still cloudy is beyond me and it was not something I had planned on dealing with.  Usually that color means this stream is shut down.  Now one assumes the color is because the all of the ground in Wv feels like a saturated sponge causing a lot of runoff still coming into the stream.  The day started off a little slow, I think because of my desire to nymph.  Once I tossed aside the nymph rod hit my stride on slinging streamers it was GAME ON!!!!!  Every fish I caught day one had a big fat full belly.  I had one brown came out of the water after a fly that was so fat he just belly-flopped on the surface instead of that smooth swing and a miss roll back into the water (if I caught around 50 in 2 days I bet I had twice as many swings and misses).

As you can see from the rocks on the wall this isn't the first spewage to be dumped into the stream. Maybe it's their version of hatchery feedings.

I really have no idea what happened to this picture.

Another WMD victim.

The next stage of my trip I found myself contemplating where to sleep.  My choices were to either make the 40 minute hop over the mountain and stay in a nice hotel with breakfast.  Stay 10 minutes down the road in a shit hole that I have personally vomited in and know of at least one other that has done the same.  Or, since I brought my sleeping bag, camp out in the back of my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  I chose the latter.  Why?  Well….I’m cheap and it’s not that I’m strapped for cash it’s just the principle of the fact that I know I can sleep perfectly fine in the car.  It’s cool outside, I’m dog tired and probably could have slept under a bridge (which I don’t recommend).  My wife was in Canada and with her upcoming trip to Italy we had planned practicing how or if Skype would work so I needed to stay close to a WiFi source (thanks Wal-Mart for making your password so easy to figure out).  So despite my parents and wifes approval I spent the night sprawled out in the back of the Prius with my sleeping bag and blow-up pad in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Slept like a baby after getting off the boob that had just been burped.     

Is that a Tarpon Fly in your mouth? I think so.

After getting micky-D’s breakfast I hit up a stretch of water that I have nicknamed Raul’s Miracle Mile (much more than a mile).  Last November Ryan managed something like 200 fish in 2 days of fishing this section with quite a few being over 16 inches and a few pushing the 22-24 inch limit.  So Ryan when that train full of bad karma finally smashes into you we will be sure to have this section of stream dedicated to your glory’s.  Thankfully the water had cleared about 50% and dropped about 6 inches so it was NYMPHING TIME!!!  After 3 days on the South Holston and Watauga rivers then my first day on this trip throwing streamers was getting old.  Plus my arm and wrist were starting to feel the effects.  Within 15 minutes I managed to pick up several fish.  When the bite cooled off I switched over to the meat rod and swung a WMD through a few zones .  I picked up a nice kyped up male that was sitting about 10 feet downstream directly to my left (rookie mistake not letting my flies completely swing out).  The next 7 hours basically played out like this.  Nymphing for a while until the bite stopped, switch rods and bounce a streamer, then move upstream and repeat.  The last hole of the day turned out to be the best.  After switching to the streamer rod, which I think at this point had a white/red muddy buddy on it, I had a massive rainbow come from the bottom and completely circle my fly.  One of those hold your beath mind blanking WFT misses.   He, which turned out to be a she, did this about 3 more times, each time a little less aggressive.  So I switched flys….olive muddy buddy….WMD….Black Muddy Buddy…..Orange/Yellow Tarpon fly, Yellow Muddy buddy, some angel hair pike fly.  Just before I decided to pack in up for the day I ended up tying on a 3-year-old fly that I got from where I have no idea.  I would describe it and show you all a picture but I think i’ll keep it to myself for a while.  Basically it was a black streamer with a REALLY heavy body.  1 cast and a slow strip is all it took and WHAM (an old school batman WHam SHazZam).  Great acrobatic fight with a short bulldog session and in the net she went.  Now I’m alone and it’s a bitch to photograph fish by yourself, especially a big fish.  The mark I made on the net later taped out at 24-26 inches but without a good picture I guess I have to go with a lower number like 22 since I have no evidence.  Regardless of its size a great fish.

Why would you walk down this road? A. To buy something illegal. B. To brush up on your arson skills. C. To get to the car quicker in order to fish longer. D. All the above.

 

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I Live in a Pineapple Under the SEA!!!!

15 Mar

After watching the Zero 2 Hero trailor about 10 times I finally noticed a fly they used called the Sponge Bob Square Head fly.  Here are my attempts with a few additions to the pattern…….as you can see I’ve been using my Imaginarium.