Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flying Solo

Finally had a morning free to get out with the 2011 Kelt King, but at O'dark thirty I get the text that six inches of powder just dropped on the hill he opted for a day of tele and powder instead. Though too many knee surgeries have kept me from ever skiing, I understand just like in rivers that are in prime shape, you only have good opportunities a few times a year to ski on powder. So with that in mind and a warm body in bed next to me, getting out early went out the door. Hours later while attending to breakfast, I realized chores would again have to wait again for another day and finally got out the door to fish a local.

I do not fish solo much anymore in the Winter. If I am going to get out for some good casting practice, I might as well have a buddy tag along. But with a busy schedule these days, you sometimes got to take any opportunity to get out. This was one of those days that made it worth it. When approaching the run I wanted to fish, I ran into three guys about to fish the run I wanted to wet a fly in. After chatting it up for a while, talking about conservation issues and how the fishing was for them that morning I went upstream to explore new water. After working hard through a long run, I took a drive back down to where I ran into those guys.

Finding the run open was a signal to me that apparently there was not any fish to be bad in the run, at least that is what I thought to myself. The guys fishing the run were fishing both flies and jigs and already touched a couple fish that weekend. Working through the run and seeing a fish roll as I worked my way into the tailout, I finally at the end of a swing get a tug. After casting a few more time with nothing I switched to a darker fly and repeat with a similar tug. Minutes later I head back to the head of the run and start stepping again and a half dozen casts later I loose my loop and a tug of war began. This fish didn't run much, just sat there head shaking and moving back and forth in the current. As I brought it to the bank I realized this was the one. The one being if you have to land one fish a year, this is the one.

After bringing it to the bank in the fast current and bushes on the bank, I new it would be difficult to tail it. But after a few minutes, we shook hands and he went back on his way. A magnificent football sized buck. Though I thought the day could not get any better, I walked back to the head of the run and when I stood there casting and stepping, I started to notice fish after fish purposing and jumping in the run. A half dozen casts later I was in my backing with an acrobatic hen flipping me the tail in disgust of a hook embeded in her upper lip. This acrobat wore herself out in the air. I could not believe how many times she took flight, especially in 42 degree water. Minutes later she was on the bank and I had to end my day.

Vision Cult 7134

What a great day and it goes to show you that sometimes luck and just getting out the door is a must. I really wish I could have shared that day with a good buddy, but it sure was better then getting chores done around the house. Man this has been a great Winter! Hope your flies are finding paydirt as well.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Amazing work! Let's hope they do not screw it up with the planned hatchery supplementation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shame on WDFW

Despite fighting the good fight against Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Citizens of Forks, Washington,  native steelhead can indeed be retained this time of year on certain rivers in the Olympic Peninsula. Today many of us read this post on WDFW's Facbook page:

You can now (since Feb. 16 and through Apr. 30) catch and keep a wild steelhead on one of eight rivers on the Olympic Peninsula. The Bogachiel, Calawah, Clearwater, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Quinault and Sol Duc rivers are the only rivers in Washington where wild steelhead may be retained. See rules on page 27 of fishing regs pamphlet available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

What a disgrace! Post your thoughts and let them know how you feel.

Friday, February 17, 2012

One in Winter

Ryan Peterson a travel sales representative for The Redding Fly Shop took a break from fishing for a while to video his buddy Rich Zellman, a guide from the State of Jefferson a few years back. This is what they ended up with. I got to say I like it.

I have a couple good friends that fished with Rich a few years back on the North Umpqua and they had nothing but good things to say about Rich. Check out Rich Zellman's Steelhead Water.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scott Howell discussing the etiology of the Ska-opper with Leland Fly Fishing. It is interesting hearing him talk about popping and twitching flies for steelhead. I have found some success with this method over the last few years as well as seen it work for others. Do not ask me why dry fly takes are on my mind in February, but its there. Guess I will have to tie some dry flies now. You can see more in Skagit Master II.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Echo 3 Spey Review

so now after a couple days fishing/casting the 6, 7 and 8...here have been the thoughts on these sticks from both myself and the Mike of Steel. 

-they all feel at least a line size lighter in hand than you would expect 

-theres a couple minor details that Echo thought of (square rod tube to prevent runaway rods, alignment dots on the reel seat) that just give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

-nice work on the cork and grip lengths, and down locking reel seats on the 7 and 8 (this is something im surprised more companies have not already done, especially for two handers), with the uplocker on the 6, probably due to a shorter rear grip

-they each have a different personality...which leads into a short description of each as follows:

the 6127: great size at 12'7'', perfect for small to mid sized rivers where youre throwing smaller flies and lighter tips...surprisingly crispy for a 6 with a quick tip and smooth flex all the way down...great summer stick for dry lines and small flies. such a light stick. 

what id line it with: scandi: 360-390 rage: 420 skagit: 420-450

food it reminds me of: a fresh batch of taco time mexi fries with habanero powder.

the 7130: if you liked the classic and even the solo speys, this is the lighter, similar version with that same kind of "take-your-time-but-dont-be-late" action. while im sure this will get dry line time, i would definitely use this as a summer tips rod, and into the fall for when river temps drop and were not quite into the big fly, big tip game. 

what id line it with: scandi: 420-450 rage: 450 skagit: 450-510 

food it reminds me of: butter. anything with butter....like melting over a warm batch of cinnamon buns where the entire bun is the consistency of the middle.

the 8134: the bang stick. this is the stick ive been waiting for from echo...while the TR8 was a pretty good meat lobber, this E38 is lighter, has a faster recovery, and is gonna do some work for me this winter. with a quick tip, progressive even flex into the mid, and backed by a scarlet johansson booty, this rod needs a mission down deep. a crispy big fly chucker for all your t-whatever needs. 

what id line it with: scandi: 510-540 rage: 540 skagit: 540-570

food it reminds me of: chicken fried steak. with a side of steak. and steak fries. with bacon gravy. 

check please. =)

B. Chou