Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elephants and Eggs...

They mix very, very, very well.   Prized for their table fare and fighting strength, I bet your dreaming of your next elephant fish encounter.

To the victor goes the spoils....

Monday, November 28, 2011

If You Swing, It Will Tug...

A big congratulations to Fly Fishing Degenerate Council Member BJ on his recent success on The Big Water.    A hell of a way to get on the board with your first swung fish, on a fly he tied himself. 

BJ is a hell of an angler, but fall pulls him in multiple directions with hunting and dock dogs, where one of his retrievers is nationally ranked.  Finally he was able to uncase his spey rod and chuck some bugs.

Not bad at all, not bad at all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This Is How You Should Spend Black Friday...

Next time your staring at some dreaded "mall time", do the polite thing and drop your better half at the mall and proceed to your nearest fly shop.  

Also, as Carson and I demonstrated here, it's easier to enjoy your beverage of choice than in, lets say, the hell hole that is Target.

Thanks to the Silver Bow Fly Shop for letting us boys get away from the madness. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tinsel Aint Just For the Christmas Tree...

Nope, Steelhead also have an affinity for it.  Here's a little bug that's going to get some R and D time on Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Big Water, Big Rods, Big Fish...

There are about 475 reasons why I love this picture. 

What a fall it's been.  Winter has blown the door open here in the Northwest and it's time to add another layer of fleece.  Soon we will devote our time to the big rods and big water.

Usually to big success.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And Murph Dog Says, I GET IT!!

Season 4 of a bird dog's life can be a beautiful thing to witness.

Last Friday, I watched it all come together for Murph Dog.

Gone are the wild escapes of birds sent up by an overzealous pup with nostrils full of a running ditch parrot.  Gone are the continued sprint with head cocked to the sky waiting for that hen to drop out of the sky.  Almost gone is the constant trailing and mirroring of the other dogs in the effort to learn

Murph has graduated, she gets it.

After we hunted the first piece of cover d in the morning to alleviate the nervous energy, the dogs shifted into their hunting pace.  Back and forth their worked the ground in unison between gunners, and soon roosters were on the ground to showcase their hard work.

Murphy has shown great promise since her first season in the field.  Generally she stays tight and works hard, but most of the attention we gave to the dogs focused in on Dakota, OMR's veteran pheasant sniffer.  She's a machine that works at a methodical pace and you absolutely know when you better be ready because her birdy clues rairly, if ever fail to produce.  You can read her like a book

This particular day afield, halfway into the canyon stretch of property we have access on, I watched it all click as well for Murphy. 

Both dogs instantly got hot in the normal spot and birds rocked out of the cover.  More weight was added my bird vest and we continued on.    A few hundred yards later I separated from OMR and Kevin, taking Murphy up a draw ourselves.

From that moment, her nose alternately went from ground and into the light breeze and I knew she was on a bird.  The pace picked up and we swung back up to meet Kevin and OMR in the main path of the canyon.  At that very moment, Murphy dove into a patch of native grass and up rocked up a cackling rooster giving me the classic going away shot that all pheasant hunters dream of.

One report of the Ruger Red Label 12 gauge and Murphy was soon hovering over her prize.

50 yards later a rooster surprised Kevin and I with a wild flush.  Over the top of a basalt column chased by two quick shots the bird roared.  A possible hit sent Murphy and I up over the top to a piece of cover that might hold the wounded bird.

After a quick approximation to the landing zone, Murphy locked into the birds sent.  Following it for about 200 feet,  a quick shot and retrieve gave me my limit. 

The day continued with success.  Kevin got his first ever rooster and plenty of prime pheasant dinners were added to three families dinner table.

A beer at the end of the day at the truck and we all came to this conclusion;

It was a hell of a day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Words Dont Describe....Boise River Steelhead??

Good Gawd Damn.  Makes me want to kiss the ground I stand on that I dont or wont resort to this sort of BS.

Thanks to the Shooting Head for unearthing this crazy video

Friday, November 11, 2011

Yes Dad, I Know It's a Staged Photo...

I dont care, it's a limit. 

What a great day out, a perfect excuse to skip work and share time outside with OMR and Kevin from
Ducks, Dogs and Downriggers. 

More info to follow, but we had a hell of a day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Little Drake Magazine Love...

A great thing about this blog is that affords me the opportunity to meet great people, whether in person or online and collaborate on issues that are big for all of us.

Recently, Sam Snyder from the Headwaters of History blog and I had an idea to draw the potential parallels of what we have done to the Columbia River system and what could happen to the Bristol Bay Watershed if we don't prevent the proposed Pebble Mine.

Out of this collaboration came an article that we are very proud of and we were honored to have
The Drake Magazine publish it today on their online site

Click HERE to read the article, and do something today to prevent Pebble.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The 38 Foot Tall Fly Fisherman

What you say?  This is no camera trickeration.  The guy in the front of the picture is 6'2, so my math has the Vanilla Guerrilla at about 38 feet tall. 

Damn guy is a stealthy Steelhead fisherman too, even if he can cast clear across the Snake River.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hey Montana Fly Co...

Hey, Carson here.  Today's my first birthday and I hijacked Dad's computer and I wanted to tell you thanks for my birthday present, the artist series river camo fly box. 

Looks like I can put about a bazillion flies into this thing, and impress my fellow fly fisherman as well.

Pops tells me he's going to test it out this weekend on the Grande Ronde.  I think he has plans to load it up with a bunch of swing bugs in his quest for swanging up a steelhead.  God bless America that dude is obsessed!

He also wanted me to tell you that he owes a big thank you to the Outdoor Blogger Network for setting up the giveaway that he won for this box.  I dont know anyone else who wins more swag on the internet.  Next time he tries to put me down for a nap before I am ready, I'm calling the IRS or something.

Anyone who's down for  a river play date..hit me up on Pop's blog here.  I can already cast 60 ft with a single hander and am working on my snake roll with the Spey rod.   I'm just kind of advanced for a one year old.  No big deal or anything.

See you soon on the river!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

From Stilleto's to Spey Rods...A New Life Discovered.

Gentlemen, we live in a dudes dominated sport.    Just about everything about it is geared for us.  Waders, Rods, Jackets, the drinking, dick and fart jokes....sounding familiar anyone?
Breaking into this crazy bunch isnt easy thing, but imagine being a girl who's never fished before.   
Recently I asked Lisa Rice, a newly devout fisher-lady to write a guest post about the transition from stiletto's to spey rods.  What a gigantic jump?
With help from her helpful fiance Andrew, the candle burns bright for this lady angler.  

It’s hard for me to remember what life was like before casting a spey rod and fishing for steelhead. Although, I am pretty sure it was less exciting, more expensive, and a lot less rewarding.
Growing up, I had horses, so it wasn’t like I never was outdoors or had an outdoor hobby as a kid. I loved digging up clams and getting fresh crab with my family at our cabin in the San Juan Islands. I was a part of Campfire girls. I was a part of Pony Club. I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty. I guess fishing just never was introduced to me in a way that caught on, or was as intriguing as it was when I was shown how to cast a fly rod for the first time.
In college—mostly in the earlier years, I did what a lot of girls my age did. I played volleyball, went on dates, liked to shop, and of course, did my share of partying.  So, the outdoors just stayed- well- outdoors. I found myself working retail and buying the retail I was selling. Shopping was definitely not a foreign idea, and I rarely left the house without makeup on. At the time, it didn’t seem like I was missing out on anything, but now that am in a place where I would rather find myself wading in a river swinging flies for steelhead than in a bar having superficial conversations with people that I can barely hear over loud music, I can definitely say that I wish I had discovered this other world a lot sooner.
Thankfully, almost three years ago, I was united with an amazing man who not only loved to fish, but who also loved to teach people how to fish. It is one thing to date someone who fishes, and they just go do their thing and you go to yours, but it is quite another to date someone who actually wants to show you what they love to do and share it with you. I am grateful to be with the latter. After only dating for a couple weeks, Andrew asked me if I wanted to go with him to a fly-fishing event in Monroe (the Jimmy Green Memorial Fly Expo), so that I could check it all out and he could show me what it was that took up his spare time. It was at this expo that I picked up my first single hand rod, and even tried casting a spey rod for the first time too. I guess I just killed a couple birds with one stone (or a rod in this case…). Shortly after that, we went to his parent’s cabin in the Methow Valley and he took me trout fishing. It was there that I hooked my first small trout and that was it. Pun very much intended—I was HOOKED. Seeing that mouth come up and grab the fly and then watching the line go straight to a shiny silver fish jumping out of the river… it was unbelievable.  Not to mention the whole adrenaline rush of fighting a fish on a fly rod with a single action reel, making it that much more of a challenge and a thrill.

Steelhead, were a foreign species to me when Andrew took me to the Grande Ronde for my first attempt at catching one. He told me that trout fishing was fun and difficult in its own way, but steelhead fishing was what he was really passionate about. He said it was like nothing else, to fight a steelhead on a fly rod. The way they ran and jumped… how you had to work to get these fish to your fly and then, if you were lucky, to your feet. Right away, I was gung-ho and couldn’t wait to get out there and try it for myself. On that trip, I hooked and landed not just one, but four, wild steelhead on a single-handed 9 wt. rod. I was elated. I also was quickly made aware that I was extremely lucky to hook and land that number of amazing fish for my first time out, even for an experienced fisherman. But, I knew that from that point on, I would have a relentless passion for the challenge nonetheless.  I was more than just “hooked”, I was obsessed.

Nearly three years later, I find myself looking for any excuse to get out on the river and cast a spey rod to find more steelhead. Ten years ago, I never would have guessed that I would be in this place-- one of pure enjoyment, unpredictability, excitement, disappointment, unbelievable experiences, memorable adventures and-- most importantly-- a life-long endeavor.

 I love everything about steelhead fishing. I love learning new casts and ways to improve on my casting. I watch videos of well-respected spey casters to learn new techniques.  I read articles and blogs written by other women who fly-fish for steelhead and even some that have made it their career. I admire what they have accomplished, and how they have turned what has been traditionally known as a male dominated sport into one where women are now guiding, teaching and even running fishing lodges all over the world. It is truly spectacular. It makes me hungry for more. I may have only started fishing a couple years ago, but I know now that it is something that I will pursue and embrace from now until I die. It’s knowing that, that makes me realize how lucky I am.

You can find more of Lisa's work at Hoof Prints and Fish Tales, as she too is a blogger.