Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is It Spring Yet???

I have had the shack nasties for some time now. This winter is a tease. One day it will be 30 below with wind chill, the next day at 4o and no wind, then back to negative temps with the wind chill. I think Al Gore is full of crap!

Any way, last month I was driving home from school different ways looking for open water. After stopping at Cabela's to buy hooks and ask around about open water, I had a thought to try something close to home. So, I pulled over, strung up the rod with a hopper-dropper setup and walked down to the spillway.

I walked the channel for a few yards to see that it was only 4 or 5 inches deep and began to be disappointed that I couldn't see any fish in the gin clear water. Ah well, I kept walking toward the dam and the channel dropped of into some beautiful blue water.

I threw out a cast and half expected nothing to happen. The other half of me expected my dropper to tug on my hopper. Next thing I knew, my hopper got slapped and I set the hook. Here's what I pulled in:

Another cast, half bewildered, produced this nice little gill. Dry flies in the middle of winter? What the French, Toast!!!

Thinking that I was gonna have fun with some ignorant gills, I threw out another cast, this time with no dropper. This time, the hopper was smothered with a crash and I pulled in a little bucketmouth.

Now that I knew bass where hanging out in here, I switched flies. I tied on a little stand-by called the Crappie Candy. After a few strip - strip - pause motions, the line tightened and I brought this guy to hand.

Out of the blue I switched flies to a White Red-faced Wobbler I saw tied by a fellow tyer named Ward Bean. Check out his site at Warm Water Fly Tyer. As I cast a few times with no results, I changed the pace a bit. I would cast and let it sink for about 15 "one-one thousands." After my first or second 2 inch strip, it felt like the Loch Ness Monster was on the other end. This fish behaved as if it was middle summer.

I had to take two pictures just for proof's sake

I kept at it till the sun went down and the deer wanted their watering hole back. I managed a few more decent bass and happened to take another picture for kicks.

This particular Monday night was so much fun, I went back the next afternoon. Luckily, for me, school got out early on Tuesday. So, the rod got strung up and I walked carefully down the muddy hill for more fish.

What I failed to mention was that I tied some flies Monday to take on Tuesday. My best pal here in Omaha has a fly tying blog called Lime Trude; check it out. This particular Monday, he tied a little jig fly, on the hooks which I happened to purchase the day before while shooting the bull at Cabela's. So, I tied them up and put them in the truck on my way to school.

About 2pm I got to my little hole and started throwing, my new favorite warm water fly, the Jig Fly. First cast up into the spillway produced this nice little sunfish.

I took a close up just for Trude. Here you go bud.

Ward Bean ties his Wobblers in white, olive and a few other colors. After a few gills I switched to a bigger fly for bigger fish. The Olive Red-faced Wobbler was the ticket.

I managed 2 bass on this guy, then his red-face became tattered. I switched to Ward Bean's Plan "B." Supposedly this is his bass crusher fly. I can back that up!

I got 2 bass back to back on the Plan "B." I think it is my new Bass Plan "A!"

This behemoth is still swimming! I go back and fool him occasionally. I tend to find him, or a close sized friend, in a little different spot every time. What a great fish!!!

Bass on a 4 weight rod! What a good time! Get out a give it a shot! For now, dress warm. Bring on Spring!!!

Till next time,


Monday, February 18, 2008

A Stroll Down Mem'ry Lane

With the creation of this blog, I have found myself looking through the past at my fly fishing adventures. Most of the time, my mind reverts back to my favorite waters with my favorite fishing buddies. Although I love to think back on the fish I catch, I mostly enjoy thinking about the situation and the scenery.

Of the trips that stick out in my mind the most, one is a trip up in the High Unitas in Utah. Frequently, my school friend Ben and I would go. We had a blast walking up the river in our tennis shoes stalking the brookies. On one occasion, however, my beautiful wife joined me. She reminds me often that she out fished me too! These trips will forever linger in my mind as the best fishing on earth!

Here are a few pictures to give you a glimpse into my memories...

The replenishing alpine water flows down the Upper Provo. Every hole, riffle and run houses nature's beauty. What a place to go to "get-a-way!"

The blogs mascot!!!

My first and only Tiger trout. Since moving away, I regret never targeting them; they were so close to home; bigger and more aggressive too.

Can fly fishing get any better than this?

The wife's first brookie. This would have to be one of my most prized pictures!

This is the wife's biggest fish on the fly to date. Since the coming of the new year, we both have committed to spending more time together fly fishing. We hope to get her into more fish and bigger fish.

Till next time, Durangler

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Who, What, Where, When and Why...

I have been pondering some time over putting a blog up. I am very passionate about fly fishing and I didn't want to crowd our family blog with all my stuff. I am very blessed to have a sincere and loving wife, who, has never mentioned taking my fishing else where. These are the beginnings of this blog.

About 7 months back we moved to Nebraska to further my education. Along with that move from the mountainous state of Utah, we left a home on the Provo river. Since moving to Nebraska, trout fishing is, at the closest, 3 hours north and west of us. Needless to say, I have had withdrawals of all kinds, urning for the fishing I adore.

Here are some beautiful fish caught and released back in a natural spring near Royal, NE. The beautiful, picturesque stream is known as Verdigre Creek. It is home to these, still swimming, fish and a growing portion of my heart.

Above is my first Brown Trout caught out of these waters. Hiding deep in the undercut banks of the narrow stream hold naturally reproducing Salmo trutta. Of my 4 trips thus far, this is the first and only brown I have talked into hopping into a landing net.

My comrade joined me on this recent trip. Here, above, is the fruit of his second cast of the morning.

The stream is also filled with many rainbow trout that the NGPC stocks on occasion. Above is the most beautiful Nebraska 'bow that I have landed. Although a possible stocker, it is the only fish that I have not seen blemished. Her tail fin was perfect, her mouth untainted, and her appetite for an epoxy-backed gold-ribbed hare's ear was overwhelming. Of all my catches that day, she was runner-up... the brown took first hand's down!

After an entire day on the stream and many beautiful scenes engraved in memory, we called it a day. Last weekend the wife and me made the 3 hours drive to K & K Fly Fishers in Overland Park, KS to pick up some gear. I snagged a hat, as is custom when I go to any fly shop, to sport my support of the nearest long-rodder like myself. I thought this scene was deserving of a snap shot.

Well, I am excited to have this site dedicated to my passion for fly fishing and the beautiful fish I pursue. I will share with you many, if not all, of my fly fishing adventures, both still and moving water; warm and cold alike. However, the most treasured posts will be the times that I spend with my friends, the Brookies and Browns!!!