Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Zealand Fishing Opener

During my semester abroad in New Zealand I was lucky enough to become good buddies with a up and coming fishing guide. He took a few days off from guiding after the opener and we explored some new waters. Here's some highlights from the trip :

I am currently in the middle of finals, so more pictures and stories to come.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Faces of Bone

I can't be sure but Jesse's last post got me thinking that, back in July, I may have guided Ken Bone, one of the "undecided" voters from last Sunday night's presidential debate and subsequent internet star / Jimmy Kimmel Live show guest. In addition to being an internet star, he's also a fish flop star.
Better pictures of the 2016 fishing season to come...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Faces of Wilkie

While jamming this afternoon, I saw a familiar face in this video.

Are you with me?

It reminded me of another thought I had, circa 2006.

He's a man of many talents. 

But you knew that already.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Yup, it's officially salmon season...

"OH Yea! I'm goin up Tuesday. Bringing my lucky 6-1/2' ugly stick with my Garcia Mitchell 300. Just spooled it up with some new 20 lb Gorilla braid. Also picked up some super duper grout sponge from Home Depot. I'm ready" - Fired up SR salmon fisherman

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Reel Nice Program

Note the pun. A classic pun. A pun never used before especially in fishing.

The Wyoming Cutt Slam program is pretty neat. You can learn more about it here. Basically, it is a program to get people to learn about the native cutthroat in Wyoming and explore waters that they normally wouldn't in pursuit of these fish. From my experience the program accomplished both of these goals.

I moved to Wyoming about 5 months ago and have had a pretty good time fishing, birding, and generally looking at pretty landscapes. Pretty much immediately, my roommate and I joked about tackling the cutt slam and, more importantly, where we would hang our illustrious certificates once they were earned, but then we decided to actually give it a go. Why not, we would fish places neither of us had fished before and catch a few species we had never seen. What is the downside to that? You are correct, there is no downside.

We both had a headstart with the Snake River being our local water and would just be pursuing the other 3. Our first trip would be for the two that we thought would be most difficult. The Bonneville (or bear river) and the Colorado River strains. We headed south and found the waterways we were looking for. Bonneville's were the first stop and in two casts I was into my first. I lost it. Luckily about 2 casts later I stuck one and landed it. We had come to the right place. Shortly after that my roommate landed his.

Stop #2 was for the Colorado River Cutts. Again we found our water with little trouble. This time the water was super small, and I shifted flies accordingly. The flies and mosquitos were horrible here and we hadn't seen a sign of fish. I was ready to pack it up and live to fish another day. My roommate then threw on a big size 8 dry and immediately hooked a fish. Low and behold it was the fish we were after. I took his rig, and a couple casts later was hooked into a monster of my own. A mighty cutthroat and we were 3/4 of the way there.

The last fish on the list would be the Yellowstone variety, and you would think that it would be pretty easy and stress free, since we live pretty close to that watershed, but this one took the longest. Between busy weekend schedules, wildfires, and really really really wanting to avoid Yellowstone proper during tourist season we were not that motivated to finish the slam. One weekend we sucked it up and headed in to the park. We fished beautiful water with tons of other people and properly got skunked. We vowed to never return to Yellowstone until it got much quieter and much colder.

That was a few weeks ago. Recently We went to a much smaller and much lesser known creek and ended up catching a whole bunch of Yellowstone cutts and saw one other person in 6 hours. It was a much more pleasant experience.

Now where to hang my certificate?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I (also) went fishing on Saturday

I was in Idaho last week.  It's a pretty great state, and if you don't believe me, ask my buddy Zack, who grew up there. 

I fished in several rivers: the South Fork of the Snake River, the Big Lost River and the Big Wood River.  I caught fish in each but the latter was the most productive for me.  I found that the fish there were agreeable to terrestrial offerings; notably, hoppers and small, cinnamon ants. 

I had exactly two small, cinnamon ants in my fly boxes.  A size 12 Power Ant caught me numerous fish until I lost it on an unexpectedly large specimen in a small backwater flow.  I rummaged through my boxes until I found the only other suitable version, which apparently already had some encounters. 

The fly fell apart over the course of the next dozen fish until it no longer floated and hardly looked like an ant.  I tried a black ant, roughly the same size and failed to raise another fish.

I drove down to the famed Silver Creek, drank a beer while I walked its banks.  I didn't make a single cast.  Then I hit the road west, for home.

I went fishing on Saturday

The seas were calm and it felt like fall. Always a little sad when the summer ends. Not a lot of life on the water. My brother in law caught an albie, and my dad caught a weakfish. The fishing wasn't all that great, but we drank Miller High Life's and caught sea bass under the boat while we waited for the fish to show. I'm pretty sure Poseidon smiled...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Wahoo- The Other White Meat

They look good, they eat good, and the BFC love killing them. Especially the big ones... Solid Hookups boys....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How often?

One of the many 4UR veterans who are now still working in the industry or on the water is my good friend Drew.  Drew is a Wisconsin native who now guides for the Tight Lines outfit, a group of great Midwest boys who are fishy as hell and super keen on their smallmouths.

I had the good fortune to join Drew and a colleague for a spell in Pembine, Wisconsin, where the Tight Lines crew lives for the summer season.  The owner of the shop, Tim, falls into the description above and was especially excited for me to experience the great fishery they have at their doorstep.  I arrived late on a Wednesday to find the beer and whiskey flowing.  With an early wake-up approaching fast, several times we all contemplated the beds that awaited us.  Tim has a particularly good line of peer pressure that whisks away most reservations about another round, another story, another anything:  How often?  How often do I find myself in northeast Wisconsin with two of my best buds?  How often do I get to smallmouth fish on the Menominee with two of my best buds?  How often can I have one more beer in Wisconsin with two of my best buds? 

Not very often, is the answer to those questions.  I encourage you to employ such a quiz when confronted with decisions over one more beer or staying up a little later.  If the answer is 'pretty often', maybe you can find a way to phrase the question to get the answer you desire.

The mighty Menominee.
My prior experience with the smallmouth bass was largely in a couple ponds in the Camden-Rockport area, where Lefty Steele and I kept a canoe stashed in the woods when we were working at Maine Sport.  We found the fish agreeable to popper presentations there.  July in Wisconsin is topwater season for the smallies, and our bugs consisted of mostly the same, plus a local pattern known as Ol' Mr. Wiggly.  It's a quick tie that I plan to experiment for other species.  Perhaps you'll do the same.

So we were to float various sections of the Menominee in Drew's Clacka.  On the first day, ten minutes in, Drew pointed out a particular spot below a dam where a back-eddy turned into a downstream flow.  I made my cast with a yellow popper and this fish ate it immediately:

19.5" to start the trip.  Great!
Same fish as above.  Looks bigger here, eh?
Different fish than above, but just a bit downstream.  Twenty minutes into the trip.

I forgot how much fun smallies are.  They pull like hell, corking out 8-weights, eat topwater bugs like the dickens and love that warm water.  For a summertime fish, they're pretty rad.  I'm looking into my smallmouth locals out here.

Top.  Water.
Mahoney Thumbs-Up of Approval.

More.  Top.  Water.

Ate it good.
One last story.  We had pretty damn good fishing, but like any place you go, it'll slow down from time to time.  From what I've gathered, the gear and bait guys can really clean up on this river.  Case in point, on our final morning, while waiting on Drew to finish running the shuttle, I watched as a party barge (the river is pretty wide and slow) made its way up the middle of the river and then cut its engine directly in front of the boat launch.  Now I've heard of 'take-out fish', but rarely do I hear of boat launches being a fishing spot that one might target, or seek out.  Nevertheless, the captain of this vessel thought it to be a fine spot.
As the boat coasted to a stop mid-river, the captain grabbed the anchor and tossed it into the river: KABOOM!  The anchor splashed down, causing quite a ruckus, I thought.  I watched as the man then proceeded to remove his shirt, pull a beer out of his cooler, grab his fishing pole and head to the stern where he took a seat on a waiting chair.  He let fly his bait/lure and began a retrieve.  A moment later and he had one on!  Damn!  I guess that does work!  It would take us an hour and a half to get our first that day.
The big lake.

Cheers!  How often?!