Just got an order of beads to refill my dwindling supply. The good guys at Blue Quill Angler in Colorado are doing free shipping the month of July and they have great deals on beads. 100 packs of brass beads are 5 or 6 dollars and tungsten 50 packs are 10 to 18 dollars. Get ’em while the shipping is free. Or stop in as they have the coolest little log cabin fly shop.

Birds Nest

Last week the grandma-in-law had to head back to Virginia, but the day before she left I managed to sneak in one more day of fishing. I headed on over to what is quickly becoming my favorite trout river, the Deschutes. I can’t even count the amount of days I spent on that river getting completely skunked or being completely excited that I caught a few six inch fish. So much so that I gave up on it out of frustration. Than a few years back Alex and I hit the Stonefly hatch and since than things have just been improving. Now I have found really nice hefty trout every time I have gone.

This time I was fishing all the deeper spots I could find as it was a pure blue sky out with no wind (seriously, no wind). I was having a good time and found a few 12 inchers here and there. Than as I was fishing my way up a nice little run I saw a fluorescent green bait casters hook setup in a bush six feet or so out in the river. I went out to get it out of the bush and noticed there was a nice little beat up BH birds nest. It looked nice and tasty so on the line it went (and I removed the bait thingy). That little beat up fly produce six more fish in the 16-18 inch range. Just goes to show you can never tie your birds nest to beat up or too messy.

For a tying tutorial try Charlie Craven.

Late Summer McKenzie

After throwing a spey line ten hours with the guide I thought I would head to the upper McKenzie for some 3 weight action. A Parachute Adams with a natural color Mercury Pheasant Tail off the bend of the hook was the ticket. The fish would explode out of the water for the Pheasant Tail. Unfortunately I had only tied two and when the second one was gone the fishing slowed to a crawl.

Can you spot the fish?

Can you spot the forceps that I dropped in the river and couldn’t find/reach*? I took a photo to remind myself to check next time I go back. Hopefully the water will be lower, or I will take a snorkel mask so I can spot them easier through all the sticks.

These are the size of fish I was getting to hand. The largest fish of the day is the one that broke off my last Pheasant Tail. Next time I will head back  with my small arsenal of newly tied Pheasant Tails!

* hint: the forceps are in the upper right. If you can’t spot the fish in the other image up top you may want to take up tennis.

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.

Chubby Saturday

I finally nailed the Stonefly hatch on the perfect day. I mean catching this on a big fat size 8 Chubby Chernobyl rocks:

So I hooked up with Alex early Saturday morning and we visited all the regular spots that we had found fish in before but only managed to find fingerlings. After a few hours of roaming around the river we headed to the car for a lunch break and we decided to head up to Dechutes Angler to try and figure out what we were doing wrong. After a pep talk from Amy and Travis we went back down to the river and hiked in to some of the water type that they were describing. The first place we found and “Fish on!” We found spot after spot and every one of them was good for at least one fish, some even put up half a dozen or more.

One spot in particular I caught a nice fish and Alex went right after and pulled another nice fish from the same hole. I went back over and tossed my line over the hole and this time Alex was shooting a little video for me:

This was the fish in the video:

The hole was good for almost a dozen fish with Alex and I switching off one after the other. One fish even exploded out of the water to try and take my fly before it even touched the water.

On Sunday we met up with White Fish Can’t Jump and hiked a less traveled part of the Dechutes. Not to long into the hike I got into that gorgeous fish at the top of this post and he fought like a monster. Zipping up to the shallow ledge and back into the deep pool he would rip line off and make my heart race at the sound and the feel of that power. Deschutes trout really know how to put up a fight. All three of us got into some really nice fish on Sunday and all of mine were on that same Chubby Chernobyl that I used both days. Here’s Alexs fish with the Chubby in the perfect spot:

If you want to tie a Chubby Chernobyl check out this link.

Oh, and careful in the tall grass. The Rattlesnake I almost stepped on was kind enough to hiss and rattle at me instead of biting me.

Never tire

I will never tire of finding beautiful fish like this on the Deschutes. They fight so hard because they have to fight against such a massive river.

The only fish I found were hanging in the faster riffles and they were taking big flies. The one in the fishes mouth above is a size 8 Ice Dub Prince (learn to tie it here). I have had a great trout fix, now I am off to try for Steelhead again.

Here fishy

I have to get out and catch a good size trout. I try to bide my time through winter by tying flies, but now that the weather is getting spring like out the itch is getting bad. I may even run out to a lake this weekend and see what I can find.

I have been tying some great flies though. The most recent are a stock up of Parachute Adams in 14-18 with a great goose biot body that makes them super light and the biot will not hold as much water as a fully dubbed fly. I will try to get up the recipe and instructions for tying as soon as I can.

My dad’s flies

I started tying flies at the start of 2009 and by Christmas was feeling like I had gotten pretty good so I figured I would whip some up for my dad for Christmas. I ended up tying him:

8 – Craven’s Poison Tung

24 – Brassies (beadhead and mercury versions)

16 – Quick Descent Trico Spinner (they have quick descent dubbing on the thorax to get right into the film)

12 – Amy’s Ant size 6 and 8 in olive (there the big ones on the left)

and a few RS2 thrown in for good measure.

I hope he enjoys them and catches lots of fish. Now I have to start busting out some flies for myself—March is just around the corner and I have to be ready come spring.

Holiday tying season

I finally got a new rotary vise! What a great Birthday gift, huh. Its a Renzetti Traveler 2200 with a material clip on the vise arm. Thats a small size 20 parachute BWO with a goose biot wrapped on the tail.

Since I had the new vise and was in Colorado I went to Charlie Cravens Fly Box and WOW! I have never seen such an impressive collection of fly tying gear. All quality products—I didn’t have to dig through dozens of bags of deer hair to find a good bunch. To top it off Charlie Craven himself was helping me and just from the information he was telling me while I was gathering supplies I feel like I had a lesson on fly tying. The goose biot BWO that is in the picture up above is from his large collection of online fly tying recipes. Switch out the BWO colors for adams grey and  you have an impressive parachute adams. Also, the biot on the parachute fly makes the parachute fly really light and super waterproof as compared to the dubbing down the whole body (wait until you see the these Alex. We are going to have a blast with ’em).

Maupin off-season

Alex and I headed up to the mighty Deschutes for a little spey practice. I say practice since neither of us found a Steelhead. This post would have definitely had a different title if we did. We stopped in at Deschutes Angler and picked up some intruder style flies and proceeded to two step our way down many a run. I got into one really gorgeous Deschutes Redside Trout in the 20 to 22 inch range. Once I coaxed the fish out of his hole and away from the fast current I got him right up to me and the second before I went to take a photo of the beauty it slipped my grasp. Guess it was camera shy. Oh well, Alex wasn’t camera shy—or if he was he was to intent on finding a Steelhead to notice me.

Decisions, decisions, decisions: