“Fishing friends are long friends because the doing of it is an intense perceptive preoccupation and one that is charged with unexpected humor” Edward Weeks

“Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It is not even clear if catching fish is actually the point.” John Gierach

“But remember, the back cast is the foundation, and that unless it is solid the superstructure will be rickety.” Henry P. Wells

I wonder

I used to wonder why I never caught any fish and then I found the broken fly below in a bag I used years ago. Hmm, I wonder why I didn’t catch anything. An easy give away should have been the piece of nylon braided rope to attach your fly. Ok, ok, it isn’t that bad but it does feel like 20lb test line. Oh well live and learn. I still thought it was funny though.


So my fishing buddy turned the big 40 and some fishing, good food, and drinking was in order.

We took the wives and kids down to our favorite area on the upper McKenzie and found great dispersed camping spot right on the bank of the river. We set up camp as quick as we could and then busted a move to a fishing spot we like. There was not a lot of dry fly action but the Parachute Adams was good for a few fish in the 10 to 12 inch range. More action was found nymphing though, especially with little Pheasant Tails dropped below a really heavy fly. Now that I think about it I have no idea where all my Mercury Pheasant Tails are. Hmmm…

We got back to camp and the birthday boy cooked up his steaks cooked in a pound of butter, half a bottle of Dijon mustard, and bottle of Cognac. Then you flambĂ© the whole thing. It’s delicious but cleaning up those dishes the next morning was a major chore, all the butter and all.

The next morning we hiked up to the Blue Pool which is a four mile round trip hike. The pool is a beautiful sapphire blue and crystal clear. When you get up to the pool the cliff you are standing on is about 40 feet high so we hiked around to the far side to make it down to the water (we had the kids or the Billy Goat in me would have loved to try and make it down the steep side). The water swells up from the lava below the pool and Alex any my wife were debating jumping in but a quick dunk of there hand convinced them that hypothermia would probably set in within seconds.

At the head of the pool you can see the old river bed and it really made me sad. At one point it must have been such a beautiful area with the water plunging in to the pool. Instead the Eugene Water and Electric Company plugs the water up in a Carmen Reservoir and then pipes it a few miles underground to Smith Reservoir. Check out this lucky reporter who actually saw water flowing over the falls one day (http://www.kval.com/younews/22696999.html).

We headed back to camp for some lunch and then back out for some fishing It was more of the same with the bulk of the fish coming to hand with nymphs. I was really wishing I had a czech nymph set up because I think I was missing several gentle takes. We kept telling ourselves “one more fish” but you know how that goes. One more after this one. After this one…

In the end it just got dark out so we headed back to camp. We had Salmon over the fire and roasted bell peppers. Several Cuba Libre’s later I got to hear stories of Alex’s two week trip up to BC. Hopefully I will be able to get some photos out of him soon and we may even be graced with a little write up here! Basically it was lots of big trout taking dry flies with wild abandon but we will see.

The next morning we got our little village packed up and loaded back into the cars. We headed up the river and saw a few fish rising. While I was switching flies a fish rose down below me and Alex casted across the river to try and get it to come up again. “HEY, that’s my fish!” I yelled back at him. Trying to fish my side! Geez. Anyhow the fish didn’t take his fly and I showed him the fly the fish was going to take and put it on. Casted straight up river to get nice drift down and right as the fly came over the fish it slammed the fly. HA! Goddard Caddis to the rescue. Pain in the ass to tie but the fish love ’em. We fished the next hour and then the wives came to fetch us as it was noon nap time for the kids and that makes it the perfect time to drive two and a half hours back home. My daughter slept all but the last 15 minuets of the drive which is a huge nap for her. Thanks for watching her while Alex and I played this weekend honey!