And all I found…

I went to the Deschutes the other day with Alex in hope of finding some Steelhead. We had the spey rods all ready to go at the mouth of the river at 6 a.m. We thought we would be bad ass and hike in several miles, so we packed our waders in our backpacks and set off. Once we had gotten as far as we thought necessary we started casting. After working the first run Alex took off for the next one up while I finished working the one I was on. A few cast later SLAM! My rod went down hard and was shooting all around this huge river. I was super excited and then I saw a large brown fin and top of a body roll and I thought “ahhh Shit”. You see Steelhead aren’t really brown. No, no, I had found a monster sucker fish. Sigh…

I spent the rest of the day casting but nothing. Alex found a accidental 14″ trout. The real killer of the day is that Alex and I were way up the river thinking we were all bad ass with our bags we packed in and I see a guy who must of been 70 or so walk by with his rod. Oh yeah, real bad ass. We can hike as far as him. Geez. At least we had fun and the scenery can’t be beat.

Getting ready…

I went into the fly shop today and it felt really strange to walk out with a filled small brown bag for only $20.

Recently I talked my friend into loaning me all his fly tying stuff from his attic and I have just gotten totally addicted to tying flies. I started with some small midges then had to skip over to Elk Hair Caddis. After making dozens of caddis I started to make foam body caddis which I have to say float great and the fish loved the tan ones. But then the other day when I was on the McKenzie I lost my only size 10 Parachute Adams I had left and I decided to get the stuff to tie more. My friend already had the brown saddle hackle so I only had to buy a grizzly hackle and off I went. Three days and 25 Parachute Adams later I think I have them down pat. Which brings me to today and the $20. I went and got several color sections of foam for some Moorish October Caddis and some bleached elk hair for some flies to take on my trip to Colorado. The beauty is that with that small purchase I can make probably 80 fllies. And if you know me and my silly stubbornness I will use every single last little scrap and turn out at least 25 of each pattern until I get them perfect.

Here is a photo of my Parachute Adams and my still needing to be perfected October Caddis (man those size 8 October Caddis are fun to fish).

Finally…

Ahhh summer time. Freaked out trout in hot water. What a winning combination for not catching any good size trout for a while. I tried to find them though. I even went to the Deschutes to try and I never do very well with the trout there (unless you count 12″ and under). But last week the temperature dropped and on Saturday some clouds moved in so I had to make a move before the warm, sunny days that are coming this week get here. So Alex and I set off early for the McKenzie. Following along the Santiam River for an hour we decided to stop and take a look in one of the nicer holes “Is that a steelhead?” Alex asked. Way deep at the tail of a nice run, at the very bottom was a nice size fish. It was hard to make out what it was we just knew it was good size. So of course I flung all my steelhead flies at it. Three casts with one pattern then on to the next pattern. After 30 minuets of that I put on a mega prince with a small prince nymph below. And right where that large fish was I got a strike; this is what I ended up with…

That’s right, a huge forearm!! No, kidding, a white fish with a photo at a bad perspective. I went back up to look in the hole and the “big” fish was gone. Not sure if the white fish was that “big” one or not. So I moved down to the riffles where Alex was catching some small trout and sure enough I caught White fish number two. In need of some trout we moved on.

We got to our favorite spot on the McKenzie and Yayyyy there were fish rising. What a relief. We both got several nice fish. I had two that were really fun. The first is easier if you look at this diagram.

As the fly approached I saw a nice trout, silhouetted by the darkness of the rock, dart straight up from five or more feet of water. So, he shot up from A, struck with a vengeance at B, tried to run back down to C, realized he had something on his lip so shot across the river to D and did a beautiful jump to try and knock the fly off, ran back down deep to E, shot down river to F, back deep to G, then I was kind enough to pull him to H and get that silly fly off his lip. This was the result…

The other really fun one I had seen rising several times on the opposite side of the river from me. So I waded over the top of my waders (which negates the whole idea of having waders on) to a flat rock in the middle of the river and managed to climb up on it. I waited for the fish to rise again so I could see exactly where he was from my new perspective. Gave him a minute after the rise to settle back down and casted over him. Nothing. Arrggghh. Waited and he rose again so I tried to wait the amount of time between the two rises he had made and when I did “SLAM”! I just love when things work out. Makes me feel like I know what I am doing.

Sculpin

So I don’t know if I have just not been on the right rivers at the right time or if I have have just never payed that much attention but I have not seen a Sculpin before. I have seen photos of them but when you see them at your feet its a different story. Man they have big heads. I was just watching Streamer Fishing for Trophy Trout (see post below) the other day and I was thinking that his Sculpin fly, the Zoo Cougar (image below), was huge. Nope, Sculpins are bigger. The one in the photo was five or six inches long and I could see others around that looked bigger. I think the water in the Nehalem was just to warm and they were being super dormant because I have been there several times and never seen them. All I know is I am going to have to tie up some of his Zoo Cougar’s and give it a try when the water cools off. Maybe when it cools the Cuttthroats will come up!

Fish anything

It is so hard to pass up fish toys for my daughter. Ok, Ok, fish toys, fish books, fish swimming pools, fish tub toys, you get the idea. We go to Target to get her a little pool to beat the heat wave here in the NW, and I  gravitate to the one with the fish on it. I see a fish toy at a garage sale and I think “SCORE!”. It sure would have made my Grandpa happy though—man that guy liked to fish.

I saw these salt and pepper shakers at a restaurant in Clackamas, OR and they made me think of my Grandpa. Seemed like something he would have had. Now that I think of of it I should start using my Creel. Where is that thing?