Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get 'em While They're Hot...

Check out yesterday's Plain Dealer article where Fast Jimi Says, " Our feathers are a flyin'. If you fixin' to get your hair did, best do it soon..."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Close Encounters

As I stepped out of the truck I fully anticipated a reception of odd-ball stares from the dog walkers and joggers and half-baked hippies known to frequent this spot. Though I couldn't remember ever pulling into an empty parking lot here, I'd always felt like it was one of my spots, so their goofy glances and muffled giggles had never much bothered me. I grabbed the pre-rigged rod and box of flies from the bed of the truck and the pooch and I took to the trail, mission bound and with a bounce in our step.

Mojo building was the first order of business, so we did our due-diligence and wacked a picture-perfect bronzeback specimen in a likely-spot.

We made it a mixed-bag in short order with an unexpected but welcome river resident largemouth.

So we'd gotten the juices flowing and now it was time to conduct some real business. River bass are a fine quarry to be sure but they were low on my list this day. I'd had a chance encounter with a self-proclaimed carp addict a few days prior and it'd renewed my intrigue with these bath water brutes. He'd even given me a home-grown lure which, he asserted, had been known to turn cruising carp 90 degrees for a closer look. I intended to test that assertion and tied one on. Confidently I approached the long shale flat that I hoped would be hosting some targets...

Too confidently. I was right, the flat was holding feeding fish, but in my haste I'd waded with a little too much gusto and spooked them into deeper water. Dejected, I scuddled over to a make-shift carp blind to wait for another shot. 10 minutes went by and my mind started to wander. I watched some kids splashing around upstream of me and hoped they wouldn't get close enough to spook my fish. In retrospect they must have been watching me with similar angst, wondering what that creepy guy and his dog were doing hiding behind a log in the river...

And then there he was. Thought it was only a foot deep, at first all I could see through the stained water was a dark, arrow-shaped line about a foot long moving right at me. As it got closer a huge, ghostly grey submarine-shaped head took shape. Fly in hand, I crouched as low as possible so as not to spook the beast, who was still moving towards me. At about 12 feet, he turned sharply to my left, turning broadside to me. I flipped the fly ahead of him and watched it land. The moment it touched the bottom he was on it. With my leader inside the rod-tip all I could do was twitch the fly using the rod itself. On the third twitch the fish closed on the fly like a smallie and tilted down.

One one-thousand.... WHAM

The fight was a good one on a 6-weight, but I didn't even care about landing the fish at that point. I'd gotten what I'd come for, an eat that I won't forget for a long time. After that rush, I'm fully hooked on hoovers and pretty sure I'll be spending the rest of my free time this summer chasing backyard bones...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June in Wyoming...

June in Wyoming comes along with a lot of uncertainty, especially in a year when snowpacks are over 300% or average.  However, salmonflies and streamers are some of the few things you can always count on...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Only in Buffalo..

Wyoming can you find this...

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good morning Wyoming

Spent the night outside on the mountain last night. Woke up to this...

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spots and Smiles That Speak for Themselves

I could spoil the weekend that was with words, but instead I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brookies on Dry Flies and the Law of Large Numbers

Returned Monday night from a long weekend at our friend Greg Senyo's cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. We hosted a group of Orvis Cleveland customers for a weekend of relaxing and mountain trout fishing. I think it's safe to say that everyone had a ball and some beautiful fish came to hand, including a number of them on my little 7' 4-weight J.S. Sharpe "Scottie" cane rod, which is always a treat to fish. I'm still sifting pictures (I know, same old story right?) but I'll recap that trip soon, hopefully before the weekend.

In the meantime, my buddy Jeff has been picking up the slack. He sent me this great recap of a day on the boat chasing stripers with his pops. Here's what he had to say:

I’ve fished the waters in and around Cape May, NJ since I was capable of standing on a boat. In recent years I’ve experienced more fishing and less catching. I’ve targeted flounder, weakfish, bluefish and now the ever popular striped bass. The only issue has been the dwindling populations of striped bass, thus the number sweet pics of me and my trophy bass have gone exponentially down. As the Dudes have posted recently my friend JD has begun to perfect the art of fly rodding for bass. However, the hero-shots you see do not come without extreme frustration and hundreds, if not thousands of casts. We’ve fished days with picture perfect tides, winds, temperature only to end the day drinking and asking “what the hell?” Is it our fly selection, depth, retrieve, timing, location? Who the hell knows.

This is where the law of large numbers began working on our side. It’s like firing lines out to girls at the bar… you might get the occasional nibble but unless you are talking to the right girl at the right time with the right line a nibble is all you’ll get. Well perhaps a slap but that’s a story for another time. As with wheeling girls, fishing is all about timing, patience and let’s face it, luck.

I fished over the holiday weekend and the tide seemed alright, the weather was nice, a bit breezy but nothing I couldn’t handle. I was out with my dad and fished the same area I’ve caught fish before but had struck out on with JD in recent attempts. We showed up on the outgoing tide and birds were hovering over a pod of silverside baitfish. My dad and I anchored up and I started whipping a variety of flies through the pod of bait fish to no avail. After my 8th fly change, a black gurgler finally produced the preverbal nibble in the form of a flying striper. Frustration set in and a combination of light and tide running out forced us back home empty handed, except for the Bud-heavies. We went back the next day and somehow I was given a second shot. The bait fish were in the same exact spot and I could see tails slapping the water. This time I changed up my retrieve and finally I was rewarded. I could see my fly in the water and saw the swirl. Like reacting to the slow- motion take of a cutty on the South Fork, I paused…one Mississippi, and set… fish on. It’s a great feeling that always keeps me coming back for more, and more. I might not be setting records for fish per cast but finally getting to scratch that itch feels oh so sweet. "

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hangin' around...

Still looooots of snow in the Bighorns.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Slam on the 'horn

Fished the Bighorn today...

Caught one of these...

And did really well with these too.

She's at 14k and going up! Islands are gone, banks are eroded, and last week it even closed 90. Hello high water June...

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