Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Militant Single Hander...

He's probably fished for steelhead longer than I have been alive.

And stay's firmly attached to his single hand rod.

I jokingly started calling him the MSH, or the militant single hander because on this river, the traditional 9 foot 8 weight is as he calls it, the novelty act.

We oooh and aaaah over 100 foot casts that boom out from our spey rods, but the truth of the matter is that we as spey guys aren't always fishing the water as well as we should.   I sat and watched my friend work a run and I noticed his constant attention to detail that put the fly right through each bucket of each piece of water we fished.

It was beautiful watching a master at his craft.

Sure he missed some of the "way out there water" that 2 handed casters can hit,  but guess who was the one caught fish.

The Militant Single Hander.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Swinging For Beaver...

I'm going to get some interesting google search hits from this....

The take was just like a hot early season fish.  It ripped the loop from my hand and after two days without nary a bump or a pluck, the reel screaming felt great.

Dogged runs and surges made me believe I had a monster buck on.  I had dreams of a thick bodied B-Run steelhead on the end of my dryline, but....

The head of the beast popped up near where I thought the fish was and my first thought was, huh...I spooked a beaver.

Then it occurred to me......I HOOKED A BEAVER.

On a traditional size 8

On a full dryline

Prior to the hookup, I had no idea the toothy critter was in the area.   The line swung through this runs bucket and the fight was on.

Not having a lot of experience in a beaver landing situation, I ended the interaction by popping the fly

All I could do was laugh.  I caught a freaking beaver.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A 3 Year Old In The Grouse Woods...

September 1st hits and it gives us the opportunity to walk old logging roads for forrest chickens.

Bringing a 3 year old into the grouse woods is awesome.  You get to see the hunt through their eyes, and Big C was into it.  The grasshoppers, the rouge sticks on the road that must be thrown, bird know, soaking it all in

We didnt have the greatest hope, as it was mid day and pretty dry conditions, but we found a road with a creek next to it and one bird exposed itself .

OMR held Carson back and I did the duty.  The dogs dropped down the ridge, found the ruff and returned it to us.

High fives and excited inspection by the boy brought big smiles to all around.  I was so excited to be there with him as he experienced the hunt as I had at his age 30 years before.

Five minutes later, I turn around to see Big C in full pout mode.  Shocked, I inquired to see what the issue was.

"Not fair, you and Poppa Fay have your own gun, I don't.  I want my own gun"

After  a quick chuckle and explanation that 3 years old don't have their own guns.  Maybe a bb gun in a few years.

But to be honest,  I couldn't be prouder.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fighting Goliath...

Fighting Goliath from Idaho Rivers United on Vimeo.

A repost from the Chum, here's a project I believe in, and so should you if you believe in wild places and wild rivers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dress Less....

Steelhead eat a lot of things.

The challenge is to get them to eat tiny little spey flies.    Even harder, forcing yourself to use less materials and dress your flies with the sparsest amounts of feathers and flash

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pink Clouds...

Pink clouds breed excitement.

The dropping sun throws their last bit of energy upon the clouds and rushes in the golden hour of steelhead fishing

You want the whole concept of time movement to go the hell away as every cast feels like it has the juice

Night is barreling down on the day and in that clash, those pink, fluffy clouds make me happy.

Very happy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bring The Kids...

Bring the kids when you can, because if you're not doing it right

There's a infinite higher amount of excitement in a child's eye when rolling down a river, looking for hawks, otters, ducks, herons and anything else that is not a video game or tv show.

Turning over a rock and finding giant stonefly nymphs will always create a better memory than that shitty plastic toy that now sits in the corner or his or her room

Learning how to row a boat, cast a rod, pick out a fly and sleep under the stars cement a bond that sometimes cant be broken by teenage angst.

When my buddy Ryan told me that instead of bringing another fishing buddy for our float on the Deschutes, he was bringing his 7 year old son, I was pumped.   It reminded me so much of floats with OMR on the Salmon River when I was about Ryan's little guys age.  Talk about impact, being outside with my dad is a foundational element to my life and having Jack in the boat that day was awesome.   It allowed me to relax, watch the day unfold through the eyes of a 7 year old and not worry about finding the next run to fish.

At the end of the first day, one of the best runs in the river was before us.  I waded out and began working down cast by cast as the light of the golden hour hung beautifully on the river before us.  The wade to the spot was tricky and as much as I know Ryan was dying inside (just a little), he stayed on the bank and spent that hour with his son.   Jack wouldnt have been able to wade to the spot but Ryan selflessly stayed back and watched the golden hour go into the night.

I'd say that was a great choice.  Fish come and go, but that's some quality time spent

Jack even spent a good amount of time on the oars, learning how to read the river (in the safe spots of course) and adding skills to his game for a life outdoors

You're doing it right Ryan, you're doing it very right

So as a father of 2 boys who are 3 and 1, I cant wait to get them into the boat and on the river so that the question of going fishing never competes with things like tv, video games and the internet.