E-blog

 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

 
It is a new year, and I’m making a move or two this next 365.
First, a new blog site….https://bigflyguideservice.wordpress.com/, starting Jan.
Trying to do more, efficiently. This change will allow more flexibility and be more centralised.
I’d like it if you joined me for another year of fishy tales, and adventures.
Since there is no end to learning, think of me as a stand-in on the water, to relay discoveries.
I’ll continue to do my best to entertain and inform.
Thanks,
Jim  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December

 We have enjoyed a slow start to the serious part of Winter.
Patchy snow down near town allows us to get around to fish.
The roads are all clear, and we don’t have construction going on every road either.
Forest service roads are gated, and campgrounds are closed.
Don’t forget to park off the road this time of year.
Day time temps are pleasent out of the wind, and in the sun. But the shade feels a cool 40ish.
Night time temps are 6 deg. Water temp slowly coming down, mid 40s right now.
The lower winter flows, along with clear water, means this is time to approach them with care.
Lighter tippet 4x-5x. Being gentle with footsteps, and casts helps too.
This is a plesant time to fish. Quiet and slow paced. Few bugs on the menu means less stressing about fly choice..
Put on a clump midge or BWO in small sizes 20-22. Then get the drift.American Dippers are our only feathered company on the water now.
It always amazes me that they stay for the duration. Paired up….
The Squirrels are getting some last cheeks full of seeds before they are all buried by snow.
The sound of new studded tires is wide-spread.
A few folks are still laying in firewood, and sweeping the yard for things that shouldn’t lay out all Winter.
but most of us are ready…
Happy Holidays all…..  
 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November

 November is starting off chilly willy. Days are in the mid forties.
Several recent nights have frozen the water inside my ice chest, while stored in my camper..
The last little storm has left patchy snow, and a few less leaves of color on the trees.
Most of our summer birds have headed south. The woods are getting more quiet.
The river has come up slightly, and it’s color is clear/green and 49 deg.
A fishing sweet-spot seen in winter is beginning. Miday,(11:00-1:00) is good.
Few bugs are popping, but Baetis are the stars right now. The adult is reddish brown with clear/white wings sz 22. Few risers, but they are eating the nymphs/emergers.
The size of the fish doesn’t matter, if all they see to eat are small bugs, they’re gonna eat’em… Combined with light leaders, and a good drift of course.The Brown Trout are almost on the spawn now. It would be better for them, if we gave them less fishing pressure. They are too easy a catch, to be tooo proud of it..
Rainbows, on the other hand…… are posting up downstream from the browns.
Partly because they have been driven from a portion of the river by the browns.
And partly, because natures creatures don’t generally waste an easy meal.
It’s a little too early for the brown’s eggs to be available to them, but you know they are looking….
Midges, and BWOs are a factor as well. When it’s cloudy check slick water for risers.
There isn’t a huge menu now for the fish, but they still have to keep the calories coming.
This is the time of year that angling becomes more challenging, but it’s satisfying as well.
All summer, people show up in droves, flogging seriously spooked fish.
Now there are fewer on the water, and many of those I’ve met before.
Often, they are fishing friends, or fishers that I often see prowling, and other guides done for the season, and fishing for themselves for a change.
All, are people of conviction, who are willing to put in the effort.
Extra clothes, extra care in our steps.
Fishing light leaders that give fish the advantage, not because we want to…..it’s just that the water is clear/low and the fish are jaded from a “long” Summer.
These fishermen/women fishermen may endure a fish-less session, and cold fingers to boot.
On the other hand, they may meet a fish of dreams.
You won’t know, if you don’t go.
See you on the water.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October on the T

 Nature delivered the first snow of the year over the last few days.
After raining most of the night it started snowing in mini-squalls.
Maybe 2″ total, and most of that is already melting/melted.
Whitened pines this morning, and green now, a few hours later.
This snow will swell the creeks, tempting feisty browns to spar, and win a female.
This is the time of year to put things on hold if you seriously fish.
Male Browns are known for being tough to catch, Fall is an exception.
They get distracted, temperamental, and territorial.
Try a streamer just for fun, during the day, but especially at night.
They tend to hunt/move under cover of darkness.
I fish like this, right up to the spawn, in a couple of weeks.
I don’t fish over spawning fish, but love to sneak up on a pair romancing.
They isolate themselves, and the world shrinks to just them and the task at hand….
Guess that makes me a fish voyeur.Nymphing can be spotty this time of year. Small Baetis, PEDs, and a few Oct. Caddis.
Try soft hackles.Watched “Master Burk” land 4 fish, out of 8 grabs, the night before last, on dries….
Find a pod of risers, and get a perfect drift, with a sz 20-22 light-colored baetis dry.
I recommend a fresh 13′ 5-6x leader. Set softly, sometimes there are big guys mixed in with those little noses you see..
Heard Canada Geese flying over last night about 3 AM. Headed south….
Winter’s coming soon, get out there while you can

Monday, August 29, 2011

August II

River flows are coming down, and water temps are going up. About 72 above town.
We’ve hit the late summer slowdown…..
Early morn is so nice now, just a fall chill, then baking the rest of the day.
Lots of rafters, and floaties on the river all day long.
I go out just after dawn, catch a couple, then take care of business till evening, then say hi to them again at dark.
Guiding is slowing down, after a busy month.
Kids are back in school.
Far fewer fishermen out on the water.
Now is the time to begin stalking a dream fish, instead of dreaming of fishing.
A friend fished over the same tough brown for three days before landing him.
Practice, practice, practice…..
Fish are thinking about putting on weight for winter, and that helps to catch them.
These are the most difficult fish I’ve met, and well worth the time and energy to meet’em.
The bonanza of bugs we’ve had is slowing down, a few less everyday.
For the first time they are really starting to look at grass hoppers.
I love to drown one and see a fish come from nowhere to eat!
Squirrels are dropping pine cones already, and we had a localized light frost this morning.
Folks are laying in wood and painting, and coating their driveways and otherwise acting as busy as the squirrels……

August

WOW!
It’s August already.
Dawn attacks are pretty good right now……
Mid-day can be slow, but evenings are amazing.
Caddis flies are fluttering in numbers that strike both a newby, and seasoned fisher alike, as incredible.
Fun, just standing in the river watching all the biomass silhouetted against the glowing sky, just after the sun sets.
Don’t want to breath through your mouth, because you will be eating them.
They flutter into nose, ears, and down your your shirt.
When you stop to consider how many get eaten before they reach “fulfillment”, that is adulthood, and mating, it boggles the mind.
It’s fascinating watching the pupal forms drifting and swimming slowly to the surface.
Once there, they step through the surface tension, and almost instantly another life form
appears. A winged adult from an aquatic life form.
About as real, and now, as it gets.
The trout sure like them.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good times!

The phone started ringing again, and I started running.
I guess the word is out, that it’s time to fish.
Beautiful is what’s going on up here.
River flows are green/clear and stable. (54 deg)
The bug menu has grown noticeably this week.
Large Golden stones are flying.
Grass hoppers hopping.
PMD’s floating towards the sky.
Several types of Caddis are fluttering about.
Green Drakes are around here and there.
Finding more rising fish everyday.
Last night, some Bows were chasing dries, dolphin-style.
A meal, and air-time too.
Few things make it harder to tie on a fly, than fish jumping all around.
But I’ve learned to hang tough in the crunch…..All the summer players are on stage.
Humming birds arrived exactly when the flowers bloomed. Go figure…
The baby Geese aren’t babies anymore.
Beavers are slaving away.
Deer are in velvet.
Mosquitoes are making up for lost time.
As both, fishing and non-fishing folks have landed.
Thankfully, the whining buggers are equal opportunity biters…We had an amazing full moon rise, with alpine glow skies this week.
I spent time watching it for you guys.
After 8 months of chillyness, the fact that I can wear a T-shirt from dawn to well after dusk,
is hard to fully share.
Maybe, you should just come up?
It won’t get any better.
 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer begins!

Suddenly the weather went from cold….. to hot. Or, at least it seems hot wearing waders.
Get out of the water and you will seek shade. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Blazing blue skies have caused the flows to rise up into the grass, about a foot.
The water-color is a nice deep green in the morning, and off color in the afternoon.
Water temps are coming up slowly, 47-50 deg. in the morn, dropping a few deg. in the PM with the increased melt.
For those fishermen not averse to larger flows, this is a great time to attack.
Not a lot of fishing pressure yet, but soon….
There are a bunch of bugs around now. They like all the warmth.
The flying carpenter ants have arrived. I always suggest drowning them in these flows.
Saw my first grasshopper of the season. There’s are sure sign of summer!
Starting to see a lot of small caddis fluttering in the evening.
There are PMDs too.
Very large Golden stones are near shore, that are about ready to pop.
Green rock caddis are about. Midges too of course.
Some nice fish are very close to shore.
Try rigging at about 2ft. with two flies, and drifting near the bank in soft water.
In these flows, the fish have an advantage. Look where you can run BEFORE you cast, to make sure you have room….to run. You can’t run in the water/streambed, and walking around alders
and trees is near impossible.
Hope you get out to the water, it’s a good time for it!
 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Looking around.

Took a walk on the water, in a drizzle. Beautiful flows, no bugs at all.
Water temps holding at 42 deg. We have slipped back into EARLY Spring.
When the fishing is slow, I have a chance to look around.
Today, I noticed all the old stumps in this area were torn apart.
Mister bear has been looking for some grub, or grubs actually.
Hard times right now, no berries popping yet.
Wet, cold, hungry, and can’t go back to bed yet.
Pretty much the same for me.
Most locals have stated they are over it.
Bring on the warmth of summer!
Micro flowers are beginning to bloom, but otherwise we are in a holding pattern.
Been having some success with micro may patterns, and Baetis nymphs.
Most Rainbows are post spawn now, and feeling tired/satisfied and are waiting for bugmania.
Some larger Brown trout have been eating the bows eggs.
With the end of the spawn, the browns are searching for another tasty treat.
With higher flows a worm would be a good choice.
Walking in the woods on the way back to the car, I discovered a worm orgy just ending.
BIG worms crawling around, made it hard to walk without stepping on them.
Life force carries on, in spite of the weather.
 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good times!

 
The phone started ringing again, and I started running.
I guess the word is out, that it’s time to fish.
Beautiful is what’s going on up here.
River flows are green/clear and stable. (54 deg)
The bug menu has grown noticeably this week.
Large Golden stones are flying.
Grass hoppers hopping.
PMD’s floating towards the sky.
Several types of Caddis are fluttering about.
Green Drakes are around here and there.
Finding more rising fish everyday.
Last night, some Bows were chasing dries, dolphin-style.
A meal, and air-time too.
Few things make it harder to tie on a fly, than fish jumping all around.
But I’ve learned to hang tough in the crunch…..All the summer players are on stage.
Humming birds arrived exactly when the flowers bloomed. Go figure…
The baby Geese aren’t babies anymore.
Beavers are slaving away.
Deer are in velvet.
Mosquitoes are making up for lost time.
As both, fishing and non-fishing folks have landed.
Thankfully, the whining buggers are equal opportunity biters…We had an amazing full moon rise, with alpine glow skies this week.
I spent time watching it for you guys.
After 8 months of chillyness, the fact that I can wear a T-shirt from dawn to well after dusk,
is hard to fully share.
Maybe, you should just come up?
It won’t get any better.

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer begins!

 
Suddenly the weather went from cold….. to hot. Or, at least it seems hot wearing waders.
Get out of the water and you will seek shade. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Blazing blue skies have caused the flows to rise up into the grass, about a foot.
The water-color is a nice deep green in the morning, and off color in the afternoon.
Water temps are coming up slowly, 47-50 deg. in the morn, dropping a few deg. in the PM with the increased melt.
For those fishermen not averse to larger flows, this is a great time to attack.
Not a lot of fishing pressure yet, but soon….
There are a bunch of bugs around now. They like all the warmth.
The flying carpenter ants have arrived. I always suggest drowning them in these flows.
Saw my first grasshopper of the season. There’s are sure sign of summer!
Starting to see a lot of small caddis fluttering in the evening.
There are PMDs too.
Very large Golden stones are near shore, that are about ready to pop.
Green rock caddis are about. Midges too of course.
Some nice fish are very close to shore.
Try rigging at about 2ft. with two flies, and drifting near the bank in soft water.
In these flows, the fish have an advantage. Look where you can run BEFORE you cast, to make sure you have room….to run. You can’t run in the water/streambed, and walking around alders
and trees is near impossible.
Hope you get out to the water, it’s a good time for it!
 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Looking around.

 Took a walk on the water, in a drizzle. Beautiful flows, no bugs at all.
Water temps holding at 42 deg. We have slipped back into EARLY Spring.
When the fishing is slow, I have a chance to look around.
Today, I noticed all the old stumps in this area were torn apart.
Mister bear has been looking for some grub, or grubs actually.
Hard times right now, no berries popping yet.
Wet, cold, hungry, and can’t go back to bed yet.
Pretty much the same for me.
Most locals have stated they are over it.
Bring on the warmth of summer!
Micro flowers are beginning to bloom, but otherwise we are in a holding pattern.
Been having some success with micro may patterns, and Baetis nymphs.
Most Rainbows are post spawn now, and feeling tired/satisfied and are waiting for bugmania.
Some larger Brown trout have been eating the bows eggs.
With the end of the spawn, the browns are searching for another tasty treat.
With higher flows a worm would be a good choice.
Walking in the woods on the way back to the car, I discovered a worm orgy just ending.
BIG worms crawling around, made it hard to walk without stepping on them.
Life force carries on, in spite of the weather.
 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fish the flood!

OK, so it’s spring again (well almost). We got another dusting last night.
The ground is too warm to accept snow at this point.
The problem is, the water temps drop when it melts and flushes in.
This change retards the bugs, and therefore the fish.
Reset the season by a week at least.
Having said that, they can’t leave the water, or give up food totally.
Drive up-stream from town a ways, find the flows that suit your fancy.
Check the bug menu with your seine, pick a portion or two, to serve’em.
Now do the sneaky creep to stream edge.
Find some soft water, near the inside of a bend, and present with light weight, rigged shallow.
Takes are light, so be heads up.
Aquatic annelids abound during high flows, red-brown would be a good choice.
A few BWO’s around, and March browns still. Not dry fly time though.
Saw a skwalla this week, so a nymph might still be a good call, or drown an adult on a warm afternoon..
Little black baetis nymphs have been working for me.
You can wait till July this year for dry fly fishin’, or learn how to fish the flood.
Speaking strictly for myself, I can’t wait that long for a fish.
I always say in these flows, before you make a perfect cast, and a perfect drift, with the perfect fly, consider where you can run first.
Should be a great year for the fish, maybe us as well!
 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Game on!

Hope you all got out on the water for the 1st day of the season.
It was a big water opener here on the Truckee.
Water flows below-town, are serious.
Above town it’s a fish-able 70 cfs, and a sweet, sea-foam green.
Skwallas are still running around. Bwo’s, and March browns are out.
Snow is mostly gone in town, a few drifts in the shade. Spring has sprung.
The big water can deter a fisherman who is limited to throwing dries.
But, if one is willing to change it up, the fish are still there.
At these flows it’s not time to wade, just get “bank sneaky”.
If you think like a fish, you will understand how heavy flows move them to the bottom, and sides of the river.
Slack/edge water is easier on them energy wise.
Water temps are 47-52, so they won’t be actively chase stuff very far.
Do a quick seine for a look at the menu.
Then rig with lighter weight, and offer your flies on a perfectly slow drift near shore.
Find a foam-line that looks good, and look for a spot where it bumps a shore boulder.
Drop your offering into the line, and bump line downstream to the good spot.
You might even meet Walter.
Landing him is another story.
 
 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blue Sky

 
After a long winter of quiet, I’m very pleased to hear the first soothing notes of a mountain blue bird. If you haven’t seen one, they are the bluest of blues. Perfect match for our skies. The skwala stone flies have emerged, and are all over the shore rocks. Blue birds often feed on the wing, but the skwalas are a serious meal and worth a foot chase on the ground. Standing in the water floating my skwala dry fly to a gulping fish, I watch the enthusiasm of a blue bird from two feet away. The skwalas must taste good. I counted about 15 consumed in 15 minutes. Just the snack for a bird that flew many miles to nest near this stream. One day the area seems almost devoid of birds. The next, all my feathered friends have returned. Robins, Stellar Jays, Pygmy Nut hatches, Nut hatches, Flickers, and Alder gnatcatchers too. Funny how the weather improves, bugs reappear, and, suddenly there are birds. Every winter, I hang with American Dippers. They are one of the few birds that remain to keep us company fishing all winter. Now they’re acting amorous, and playing tag. Even though they mate for life, every spring I watch them reestablish the pair bond. It takes three to tango in a dipper’s world. Another male hangs around flirting and posturing and singing. This makes the mated male crazy with “jealousy”? Soon the pair will make a nest in a frothy section of the river. Spray drenched babies will grow to become my neighbors. Wading for fish, I will peak in to see how things go for them. This seasonal change of players announces that fishing season has also begun. The water warms, fish feel better moving to food, and I feel better asking them play. 
 
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring will come!

 
Well it’s happened, spring has arrived! Right along with the time change too!
I figure I lose an hour of fishing, every time they do that.
Don’t mind losing sleep, but less fishing?
The river is close to muddy, with just a hint of deep green.
Snowed like crazy last night, in the classic sierra cement style.
The rain/slush made driving sketchy, and closed I-80 this morning.
Winter is battling back, but I have faith it will be warm again someday.
Saw a couple of feisty Rainbows earlier this week, both showing signs of spawn color.
It has been a great early season, fishing small flies over big fish.
But now, I’m ready for spring.
Searching about for any sign of spring, I’ll submit that a Skwala stonefly hatch is a serious one.
Saw them near Glenshire this week, molting, and running around on the snow.
Then they do their seemingly suicidal stroll out onto the surface tension in the shallows.
The females ovi-positing send out little rings that call to trout, saying “Eeaatt mmeee!
This time last year the stream ran clear, and we caught BIG browns with Skwala dry flies.
Not so this year, we will have muddy flows. So it goes.
With the influx of new bugs, I’m seeing more birds everyday.
How do they know? They are making an important bet, that they can’t afford to lose.
That kind of commitment helps me believe spring will return.
Watched some Ravens cavorting today, barrel-rolls and playing grab-foot.
Looked like breeding behavior to me. Fun/sexy/risky.
They seem to start that stuff before everybody else.
My theory, is that they feed their chicks, the chicks of others.
So they need a little head-start.
In life, timing is everything, and you have to work all the angles.
On that note, there is a happy hour nearby that I shouldn’t miss.
Got a client there last week.
While getting my one meal a day, and frosty beverage at a discount…..
Speaking of angles.
 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My welcome back!

 After a three month hiatus, I finally got back on the water.
Pulled onto E-line st. on the Owens River in Bishop.
Talked for a while, with a spin guy who’d gotten blanked.
His wife pulled up and summoned him. So… all the water was mine.
Although my shakes had been in an advanced state, just being on the water was very soothing.
I was taking in the cute fish rises, when a bigger guy rose to something.
In a fraction of a second (or less) I was sprinting to the truck.
Shaking and panting, I pulled out a rod still rigged with a fly from three months before.
I made a couple casts up on the road to warm up, then boogied down to the water.
Walked through the tules, to a notch in them.
I made a beautiful cast (amazing, considering the time off), and started my 1st drift with a little white may.
Sure enough, he ate it!
In the near darkness, I couldn’t see how big he was.
Still….even stout and stubborn, he couldn’t resist my pull.
He slid into the little notch in the bank a couple minutes later.
It was then, I suddenly realized that I didn’t have waders on, or a net either. Ooooops……
At that precise moment, he felt the hesitation, and made his move.
A quick button hook pattern through the reeds, and the jump to warp speed and safety.
Game over!!!
I’d call it a draw.
I didn’t cast again due to darkness, and the law.
What a welcome back.
Not a bad way to start the season though. 
 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hello-serious jonesing

 
My apologies all, three months without a post?
My oldest fishing buddy passed.
Dad made it to 85, or close enough.
This entailed a major fix-up/sale rally on the house, and an extended stay in a deserty zone north of LA.
I haven’t seen moving water for the whole time.
Been having fish dreams at night. Stopped a couple times next to a flood catchment basin to see if something might rise. A basin fish maybe?
I’m not sure I could withstand a jones much stronger than I’m experiencing right now.
Serious shakes, that will be addressed as soon as I hit the year-round section of the Owens River.
The second phase of recovery will be to soak my bones in a hot spring!
Following that, I’ll walk into hot creek, to see if fish are there.
Then the east walker for a spell.
Finally back to my home waters of the Truckee. Hope Walter is glad to see me.
Lots of thoughts to share about fishing, but I’ll wait till I wet a line.
Hope you’re all well.
   

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spreading the word.

 
I have seen many people, avoid even the mention of the term “fly fishing”.
Literally, hold up their hand, and turn their head away.
Closing the subject before you can get started.
I don’t blame them really.
Those that participate in this sport seem to speak in tongues.
Some vibrate with so much excitement, you worry whether your CPR skills are current.
Others spew Latin to the point, you wonder if English is their second language.
The occasion for water influenced philosophy/poetry seems to increase per capita as well.

After a few years, you learn not everyone is crazy about the subject.
You figure out when it’s OK or not, to share the good word (FLYFISHING).
Here included are a few examples from my travels.

Generally, a dissertation on rise forms and their correlation to insect activity,
will not work as a pick-up line at a party.
If the guy checking, at the grocery store fishes, try to keep the conversation short to prevent bad PR in the lengthening line of shoppers behind you (especially if he’s a steel-header).
Fly rod brand, loyalty oaths loudly stated, can cause a fight in the right/wrong company.
Always establish subtly, who owns what kind, and, how many there are of them.
Having a stated preference for a fly, or fly style can generate heat too.
For example, never suggest broadly in mixed company, that an indicator is the only way to fish.

Although I get out quite a bit, my shakes (somewhat lessened over time) can still flair up.
I have learned a few terms in the dead language, but only take them out for special occasions.
One can learn to choose an audience wisely.
If you notice the listeners eyes kind of glaze over, or eye lids slide to half mast, segue to the weather.
Of course if it’s overcast, that could lead back to the epic Blue-wing-olive hatch that day.
Come to think of it, there is no safe topic, everything leads back to fly fishing.
But, don’t think for a moment that this sport falls into the category of an obsession.
This activity is just incredibly broad, deep, as well as fun.
So, spread the word, just be careful who you tell .

 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

 Sitting by a bush, watching fish the other day.
Slow movement out of the corner of my eye, caught my attention.
Creeping up the stream was a fish Ninja.
I could tell, because he was dressed like I was.
Camo hat, Olive shirt, darker waders, and a very low, stealthy approach.
He carried two rods held low, one rigged with a dry, the other rod rigged for nymphing.
Dropping one rod in a bush, he crawled towards the water.
He made a short cast, sidearm, and dropped his bobber into the foam seam and did a quick mend.
A nice fish immediately ate his offering, and he directed it downstream.
I laughed, and he saw me for the first time.
With a smile he nodded, and continued to school the fat rainbow he had on.
After the release, he waved and crept off through the bushes for the next one.

When you come here to fish, remember, there are people who spend a lot of time around here training fish. The fish dislike all the attention, and raise the bar on the entry level of fishers.
I constantly see people who wear a white shirt, and stroll up to the water, make a few ill considered false casts, and then splat something (not on the menu), on the head of a spooky fish.

If you burn to catch the best fish anyone has seen (or you’ve seen), you may consider improving the game you use.
When you hear 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish, this is a big part of it.

Most importantly, don’t let them see or hear you coming.
Next most important, get the drift, the first attempt. No flailing please.
The bugs have a scedule, the fish follow it, so should you.
Do some research, seine the water, turn over a couple of rocks, just sit and gaze into the air.
If you raise your game, fish stats will improve.
When you do land a fatty, get your hands wet first, before you handle them.
Leave them in the water, tell the fish how beautiful it is, how well it fought.
When they go to school next time, it just might put in a good word for you.
“That guy with the camo hat was cool.”
Every little bit helps.

 
 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fishiness

We’ve got some Fall color starting to show.
Frosting more often at night.
Water temps are dropping, fishing is picking up!
Seeing some isonychia swarms, and I found an October Caddis house yesterday.
It was sealed up. I popped it open, and the tenant inside was almost fully developed.
Won’t be long now.

Not everyone likes fly fishing, lakes, but I do.
Spent a few evenings on the water recently.
The inlets are going off!
Fish of dreams, in shallow water.
What more do you want? An invitation?
The little guys are rising, and macking on midges, caddis, hoppers on the surface.
Big guys waiting for a distracted little fry.
Try stripping a bugger with a midge off the back.
The best of both worlds.

Kokanee are running up now.
One great seasonal joy, is to walk the inlet streams.
It’s like a mini Alaska. Eagles in the trees, spawned out salmon on the banks, bear tracks,
big fish chasing each other around.
Once in while, even a mackinaw, comes up to eat.
Everything seems to be bulking up for winter.
Must be coming a little early.
October is the “norm” for this.
I don’t really care when it happens, as long as I’m there for it.

The evening window is the best, but if we don’t get windy, you can catch them all day.
Come on up!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dippers and such.

 I watch birds. They often convey info that is beneficial to my fishing, and add pleasure to my time on the water to boot.
After all, many eat the insects, that the fish eat as well.
Birds often help me determine what’s hatching, or what stage of insects the fish might be eating.
Since the different varieties of birds feed in different ways, once you learn what their normal style is, you can spot changes in feeding behavior.
Much like fish, birds will adopt the easiest feeding style, for the most food possible.
When a ground feeder like a Stellar Jay, is acting like a Gnat catcher, (Perching on a strategic limb, flying up, nabbing a bug, then returning to the limb.) I can safely bet that there is a large emergence of a flying insect like Termites, or Carpenter Ants.
I’ve seen ground feeding Brewers Blackbirds crash the surface of a stream to catch a green Drake. A risky business, since they aren’t water birds.
I’ve seen Gulls, and Geese swimming together in aimless circles, sipping Callibaetis Spinners on the surface of a lake.
American Dippers, are my local favorite. I’ve heard that they mate for life, and since they stay here year-round, I see them most often.
They mostly feed subsurface, walking on the bottom of a stream.
One day this winter I was standing in the water, wondering what fly to fish.
I absently watched a Dipper.
It took a moment for me to realize, both Male and Female birds were feeding on freshly hatched midges dotting the snow bank like pepper.
Tree Swallows will chase emerging Mayflies near the water, or forty feet up during the bugs mating swarm. Once female Mayflies return to the waters surface to ova-posit, the Swallows will disturb the surface tension, leaving rings when they make a grab.
The up and back feeding style of a Gnat catcher, will change to a hover style, with the May’s return to the water as well.
A birds, feeding frequency, will closely indicate the numbers of insects available to them.
An infrequent feeder reflects a sparse hatch, where as, busy birds indicate a feed is on!
As a fly fisherman, I need insights into insects of the watery realm.
Birds can give me an edge.
Spend some time watching our feathered friends, and you might catch more fish.
 

Friday, September 3, 2010

I thought I hooked the bottom…….

 It’s feeling more fallish all the time, a beautiful time to be alive and on the water!
No color change in the trees yet.
Seeing a small surge in bug hatches on slightly overcast days.
On the bright/hotter days it still slows a bit during midday.

A guide-friend and I were gentleman fishing a few days ago on the local tributary.
We traded off on each hole, in the intermittent rain and wind.
The flow was up a bit, and we needed more weight to get down near the bottom.
Suddenly my friend raised his rod in the middle of a drift.
He pulled hard for a moment or two, then started making one roll-cast after another to get his fly off of, whatever was holding his fly.
After the third hard cast to the spot where he was hung-up, the spot started moving across the water…….
He later uttered the near famous cliche for waters around here.
“I though I hooked the bottom…and then it moved”.
A chase down-stream a-ways, finally produced a fine colorful wild rainbow 17″+.
I get to travel around the west fishing/guiding a bit, but I hear the this phrase used more, around here, than anywhere else I fish.
Nothing makes me happier, than to hear a client say this. But it’s a hoot, to see it done by someone who knows how to fish, and fishes often.
On our local water, the fish get a lot of pressure.
Many of our best fish won’t rise to a dry-fly.
Feel free to add some weight, be bold enough to risk losing flies, fish down where they hide.
Try this style, and you may also “hook the bottom”.*

Edit* Same thing happened to me a couple days later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BE HERE NOW

Geese taking off at dawn, headed south. Coolish temps in the high country at night.
Smoke on the water in the mornings, and squirels dropping lots of pine cones.
Fall feels just around the corner.
I teach people to see the water they visit as a new expirience every time, even if they visit it everyday.
Most humans search for the consistant patterns to capitalize on, even when they fish.
If Fly Fishing has taught me anything, it’s that there isn’t a constant, only change.
Those that fish well, are immersed in this moment.
Work in a fly shop for a while, and you’ll see a fisherman walk in, straight to the fly bins, pick out a Royal Coachman (or whatever). The story you extract from him will run along the lines of
“Fourth of July back in ’76, I caught a monster, on the RC. from that rock by the bridge.”
” It’s the only fly I use.”
Talk about stuck in the past. Does he relly think fish follow habits like he does? A script?
This year in May, “normally” a muddy water month, we had clear water and an amazing Skwalla emergence.
June was mudded up, and our green drake hatch fizzled.
Fish live in a flux state. It is different everyday, every hour, every moment.
We live in this same state, but continue, for comforts sake, to seek predictability.
It makes our life easier , if we know the market’s going up, or Tigers going to win again.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan eh?

Raise your fishing odds, and overall awareness, “BE HERE NOW!”

 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Truckee Challenge

 The consensus from many fishermen polled, is that the Truckee River isn’t an especially easy piece of water.
I know a guy who fishes it a bunch, and figures he catches a fish for every ten hours he fished.
Fishing this river year-round for a few years now has led me to believe, that’s close to true.
You have to wonder why so many are loyal to a river that doesn’t let us look like “fish hero’s” very often.
For me, I like the bar set high. Doing the easy thing, has not had a large appeal in my life.
But, guiding the Truckee is really raising the bar.
Taking someone who rarely fishes, or is a total beginner, to a fish here is one of the hardest things I’ve attempted.
When we do get lucky, the river gives it’s best. Wild colorful fish with the ability to leave you standing there wondering what happened?
I call it, “A short meeting with Walter”.
A good fishing friend called me to share a fish tale yesterday.
He told me, he’d been fishing down in the deepest darkest heart of the canyon, and he turned a fine fish. The fish made the jump to warp speed, and headed downstream to Reno.
Realizing he needed to run to keep him on, my friend followed as fast as he could over broken slippery boulders. Glancing up to see where the fish was still going, he missed a step.
A hard fall followed. He tore his waders, got seven stitches in his leg, lost his nymph box (Tragic), and broke off a twenty+ incher (More tragic!).
He called this morning to ask if I wanted to join him fishing the Truckee.
The next time you go fishing here, and feel like whining about the spanking you received from the river, remember how bad it can be…. then, suck it up and go fish.
They are in there*.

*Edit note, My friend called to say, he got blanked the next day, the day after he landed a 25″ brown, the next a 23″brown

 
 
                     

Tuesday, August 10, 2010                                                                                                                                                        Fishing seasons

 
Guide season is in full swing, so, I’ve had little time for blogging.
I apologize for slacking.
August is apparently the high point of interest in fishing. Folks lining the banks looking for fish love. Where were they in March (BWO’s), or April (march browns), or May (SKWALLAS!!!!)??
Funny, how when the fishing gets toughest, some people feel the need most.
Since I fish/guide year-round, I get consistent feed-back from the fish.
“They” appreciate the time fishermen are distracted by other activities.
Ski season seems to be their favorite. Baseball/Football season figures in as well.
Slowly it’s dawned on me, that there are two kinds of people in life, fishers and
seasonal-fishers.
The former has a full blown case of fish mania that they just can’t shake. These folks do what they need to do, and go where they need to go, whatever time of year, to speak with fish one-on-one.
The latter approaches the activity mostly as a consumer, getting in line, buying the “stuff” necessary to participate, and playing during “the season”.
I’m not saying everybody should put on snowshoes and attack at dawn in Dec.
Just that, the shoulder seasons are kinder to the fish, and fishermen as well.
Right now, we have a small hatch window in the morning, and an even smaller window in the evening. The pm water temps on the Truckee River near town are disturbingly high 70+.
That leaves just mornings to hit the water with hope of a meeting with Walter, and not doing him harm in the process.
The hot tip right now, if you see a bug on land, in the air, or on the water, drown it.
Few to no noses rising right now. Nights are already getting slightly cooler, soon the temps will start dropping and “fishing season” will gain momentum again. “Take care of your fishery, and it will take care of you.”
 

 

 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scheduling a fish.

 
Blog #4 Truckee River Tips
I guess because we can drive to a store 24-7, we think the same thing works for fish.
Not so….
If you want to do well with the finny guys, check their schedule.
Right now, it is get up very early, and stay out very late if you want the love.
High noon is a good time to nap, or spend some quality time with family.
The fishing pressure increases, and the bite diminishes as the sun slides high across the sky.
It’s not just the fish either, all the critters lay low when the day is at it’s hottest.
I’m not saying a fish can’t be had at all, during the day, just that the bugs and fish have a different schedule than ours.
Don’t tell me fishing is tough, if you won’t adjust the way/time you approach them.
The value of Fly Fishing may be finding out about how the rest of the universe lives,
not just about “the color of the sky, in your world”.

Truckee River 7-7-10

 
Delight!!! The looong spring has moved on…..
It is officially summer, high temps 70+, massive radiation exposure. Man this feels good.
Flowers blooming, critters running around, birds singing arias.
Fishing has picked up too.
The bite has shifted to earlier and later.
Lots of bugs!
Grass hoppers, PMDs, little yellow sallies, small goldens, and midges both cream and black.
A smattering of drakes.
A streamer may do some good too.
The flows are down 6″ in the last three days.
Clear and fishable. H2O temp 63.
Large raft hatch this weekend. The last wave of them floated through by 7:00pm.
That leaves 1 uninterupted hour to say hi to walter.

More Profiling!

 
Don’t assume this profiling thing is a one way street!
Walk heavily, cast a shadow on the water, wave your fly rod around, wear white, and do that silly “Shadow Casting” thing, and you will have a hard time catching a fish.
The fish know what these things mean…..
I’ve watched fish, as dog walkers stroll by. They don’t quit feeding. Walk up with a fly rod and they’ll slide to the other side of the stream.
Fish don’t think like we do, but they do learn.
Fish can live six or more years, and some are caught and released dozens of times.
This “bad practice” teaches them how to avoid us.
If they get better at the game, you need too as well.
If you don’t believe me, try being in their shoes, so to speak.
I always say, we wouldn’t be an obese society, if we had to check every fork full of food, for a hook.
Maybe I should publish Bigflys’ “Hook Diet”!
(Lose twenty pounds in a week! Just stir a couple of hooks into every dish.)
Next time you seriously go fishing.
Try holding up a mirror up to profile yourself.
I bet you start catching more fish.
 

Friday, May 14, 2010

 
Blog entry #1
Confessions of a profiler.
I spend my days profiling fish, bugs, and fishermen/women.
Every living thing has an operating profile. Can’t be too cold or hot. Must get food periodically.
Reproduce, find shelter etc….
When you know the parameters of a critter, you can predict, to a large extent, where it will be at a given time, and what they’ll be doing.
We all do this to some extent, (whether we know it or not.), because this works on a level beyond normal thinking. We glance at something, and decide what it’s about in a second.
Good, bad, interesting or not. One’s personal motivations, experience, comes into play.
I think this is related to fight or flight responses, and has been expanded to everything else.
In my case, it’s all about Fly Fishing. Does this place have fish? If so, what are they eating, what is they’re activity schedule.
A policeman’s experienced judgement has held up in court cases.
Mine holds up almost every day.
Sure a policeman uses a tail light out, as an excuse to pull over a person while driving late at night, but it was a momentary glance that told him things didn’t look quite right.
Whether you are trying to catch a “bad man”, or a fish, the process is much the same.
The better I get at profiling fish, the better a guide I’ll be.
Hope the fish don’t lobby to stop this. Fishing would get a lot harder.
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