Sunday, May 29, 2011

Idaho water and lots of it...

John and I connected Wednesday to fish some Idaho water. The flows were up quite a bit but the water was clear. John scouted it Saturday and landed a couple on a stonefly dry. Even with the water high, some bugs were coming off when he was there Saturday. He saw an adult Salmonfly and had a Golden Stone land on his feet.

We felt it was worth a shot Wednesday so we headed off on the short, picturesque journey. It was my first time on this highway and it was gorgeous. The ride was very quick with the conversation and the scenery.

We stopped off at a hatchery on the system to ask some questions. Not a lot was happening on the river so we just shot the bull for a few moments then headed to some likely spots.

From the flows and the feeder tribs being super aggressive, the flows looked to be super high. I was in shock to see the water that clear though.

Here are some beautiful views of the river:

We didn't see any fish move. We focused our attention on the slower water along the bank. John had on a creation of his own that was salmonfly-like in size 6 or 8. I didn't have any salmonfly or golden stone patterns to start the day with so I purchased a couple Trina's Carnage Stonefly dries from Bob Ward's in town prior to leaving. That is what I started the day with. I ended the day with a simple Chernobyl in tan.

Around 2pm I saw a couple reckless stoneflies fluttering in the air. One came to land close to where I was standing on the bank. It was probably a 6ish and was golden olive. My first golden stone since learning to fly fish almost 5 years ago. We also saw at least 2 dozen mayflies hovering. I imagine they were PMDs but I was not able to get a super close look. John landed a nifty 14" cuttie, our only strike of the day. I took a skunking. What the heck, I learned a lot about runoff and high water.

Regardless, it was great to get out. I was fortunate enough to see some wonderful country, some beautiful wildlife and bask in the wonder of an amazing Idaho river.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our New Home....

... is Missoula, Montana!!!

We have been here a tad over a week and we love it. This new home is gorgeous and wonderful. The scenery is breath-taking.

The view from our new home is very similar to this:

Unfortunately, all the water that I am familiar with is blown out and Nesquik-esque. In some parts of town, the Clark Fork is out of it's banks. Rock Creek is flowing a massive 5500ish CFS and its normal, so I am told, for this time of year is about 1600.

One of the shops that I have been to up Rock Creek Road posted this video on Facebook. It's pretty hairy. I don't think the video does it justice.

Despite all the high, chocolate water I was able to get out with a friend on Wednesday. We had to travel some but it was gorgeous and worth it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pat Dorsey's UV Scud

Earlier in the week I received a request from a new follower (my third self-proclaimed follower :P). The comment on my last trip to Verdigre requested a pattern/pic/video of Pat Dorsey's UV Scud. This fly is amazingly effective. I think it fishes well since it is a very impressionistic scud and egg crossover.

Here is Pat Dorsey's UV Scud:

Mr. Dorsey certainly doesn't need my endorsement. I doubt if anyone that reads this will really be that affected by my review of his work and gratitude for what I have learned from him. Of my 3 followers (thanks Danielle and Mom), I hope that one of you benefits from the pattern above. If so, I recommend looking into the other two Dorsey productions that I own.

The first production I own is Pat Dorsey's Nymphing Strategies DVD.

This is a hour long DVD with nymphing techniques, effective flies and bonus knot tutorial for the beginner. While it is a video designed for beginners, I never tire of seeing it again and again and reflecting on my personal techniques and how I adapt on the water.

The second production that I own and LOVE is Mr. Dorsey's book Tying & Fishing Tailwater Flies.

This book is extremely well done in my opinion. It ranks up there next to Clouser's Flies and Barr Flies, both by Stackpole Books. Mr. Dorsey's patterns, as the title explains, are designed for tailwaters. He specifically mentions their use on famous Colorado rivers with which he is a resident expert. Undoubtedly, his patterns can extend to any tailwater and even many spring creeks and freestone streams.

I really enjoy that his book has some variety. He does spend some time, and great time at that, explaining his flies and how he develops them. However, he also promotes some other tyer's creations that he utilizes to fool trout. You can utilize Amazon's Look Inside feature to preview some of the excellent photographs, drawings and writing.

These resources are wonderful in my view. I am thankful for Pat Dorsey's contribution to fly fishing and fly tying. After using these two Dorsey productions, my fly boxes contain many of Mr. Dorsey's patterns. I hope to become as proficient of an angler someday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Verdigre Creek with Roger - May 7, 2011

Roger used to guide on the Henry's Fork for a good chunk of time. Needless to say, he has had epic days of fishing and he has landed epic fish. I thought the last thing he would want to do is chase Nebraska trout in a tiny spring creek - especially one with planted trout (just rainbows). However, as has been previously mentioned, Verdigre is a little gem to me since it has a sustainable population of wild brown trout. The browns make this "stocker" stream very unique and exceptionally fun to fish. Also, it can be quite complex getting that prefect drift.

Roger throwing a small dry to some likely water:

Roger and I made our way casually up to Verdigre. We started at the bridge section and started our way up stream. The weather was perfect - too perfect! The sun was high, clouds were minimal and it was getting hot fast. The water was loaded with midge adults and we even spotted the occasional little stonefly recklessly flying around the water.

Unfortunately, the fish were absent. Of the fish we spotted, they were small and tucked deep under structure. The fish were not that cooperative, either. I started the day with 3 small rainbows and a little creek chub that took my UV scud.

We worked a good amount of water before getting into more action. We missed a few fish on our dries in a "hopper"-dropper rig. We struggled to pin the fish when we got a good rise.

When we got to the end of that stretch of river, we did have some fish consistently rising. I was throwing a size 18 black Elk Hair Caddis and managed a decent rainbow. Roger was throwing a size 18 Hi-viz Parachute Caddis I tied. He hooked up with his first Verdigre brown and his biggest fish of the day:

We decided to give a different stretch of water a try. This time we were sticking to dry flies. Needless to say, nymphing was a bit boring and we weren't getting more fish as one would expect. Once we got some fish to rise consistently, we were hooked on dries and we were not about to look back.

We moved to the next stretch and once we made our way around the kids playing the the creek we were in business. It looked as if some bugs had started to make their way to the surface and before we knew it, the caddis were all over the place, bouncing around chaotically.

I had a hard time keeping my eye on my size 18 EHC so I changed to a size 14 stimulator. It must have looked like the little stoneflies or one of the the bigger caddisflies. Either way, the fish loved it. In one little seam, I hooked and landed 3 browns. One of them was my biggest of the day. He came to the fly right against the copious vegetation on the stretch:

We both managed some more fish. I am not sure how Roger did, but I missed more fish that I ever thought I could have. I also found myself really enjoying the topwater bite. I think I could get used to it.

We had a good time on the little gem of Verdigre Creek. To top it all off, it was a gorgeous evening fishing dries!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Screaming Reels - ZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzz!!!!

Over the last 4 years in Nebraska, I have been on a quest for a master angler wiper (white bass/striped bass hybrid). We have a lake relatively close to Omaha that grows monsters - at least I know a few guys that can catch the monsters.

As an aside, Nebraska has a program called the Master Angler Awards. Each species of fish has a specific weight that qualifies as a Master Angler eligible fish. Some folks regard the Master Angler Award as a thing of naught. I feel it is a great start for new anglers, or anglers pursuing an exceptional fish of a specific species, to find how a "larger" fish plays. More importantly for me, it teaches me about the species and what it takes to grow and fool a fish of larger than the average. The following are the qualifications for a Master Angler Award:

1) All fish must be taken from Nebraska waters.
2)Fish must be taken by hook and line. Fish caught on banklines are not eligible. Fish must be hooked, played and landed by the applicant for the award.
3) The catch must be verified. This may be done by an employee of the Game and Parks Commission, a permit vendor, a witness or a photograph.
4)Anglers 16 years of age or older must possess a current Nebraska fishing permit and enter the permit number on the application.
5) Only fish immediately released are eligible for an award based on length. Any fish kept in a livewell or on a stringer must meet the minimum weight requirement to receive an award.
6) Anglers may receive only one award, based on weight, per year for each species. There is no limit on the number of awards per year based on length.
7) Anglers who release a Master Angler fish will receive a "Catch and Release Master Angler" pin, in addition to the Master Angler certificate.
8) Minimum weights must be met to qualify for a Master Angler Award for a harvested fish.
9) Minimum lengths are used strictly for Master Angler Awards for an individual fish that was caught and released.

For a Nebraska Master Angler wiper, caught and released, a fish 24 inches in length is the minimum.

Up to this last week, I have landed several wiper. Unfortunately, all the others have been less than 24 inches, my first being just shy of it.

Here is my first wiper:

As our last "hoorah" fishing in Nebraska together, Targhee and I decided to chase wipers hoping we could find the MA wipers.

The morning started slow but we persisted and eventually found the fish. Targhee hooked up twice before I get into the action.

I finally got into the action but the fish were "smaller."

Things turned off for a bit but we kept after it.We both managed to find our MA wipers!!!


Targ was quick with the camera so we got some good picture and s/he swam off strong to fight another day.
I have yet to decided if I want to submit the application for a pin and certificate.... My memory is still pretty strong :)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mother's Day Caddis Hatch

I have never had the opportunity to fish a Mother's Day Caddis hatch before. I imagine this year I may catch the tail end of it if I am lucky. Either way, caddis are ubiquitous in many of the waters that I will fish over the next year so I have been thinking a lot about caddis and how I can fish them.

Here is a neat video out of Bozeman, MT (I think):

My blog stalking has piqued my interest in a couple new patterns I want to try, too. I shared my favorite blogger's caddis pattern a week ago. But here it is for your reference.

Tying the Colorado Caddis from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Also, a fantastic blogger and MFC signature tier, Carl P, has a very sexy caddis pupae. It seems like a winner.

If you have any killer patterns for the Mother's Day Caddis hatch or any caddis pop, please share them.

Happy Tying,