Saturday, December 6, 2008

a zoo of people

holy hells bells. went to the river today with kari and steelie (the no longer good luck dog) and shit was hitting the fan. i apparently didn't get the "everyone, go fish!" memo that went out last night. if i had i probably would of considered a different river option, one that say, wasn't within 30 minutes of a million or so people. it was a good day for exploring though, so we did some hiking, looked for new bank accessable water and almost found it, we were but an impossible wade away!

gladly i was able to find a little tailout that fished well and called for some line hurling. this i was seeking out cause a good friend was kind enough to let me use a burkheimer 8134 and i wanted to see what i could get out of it. it did not dissapoint. with only 15 casts or so worth of launching called for it didn't get the extended test, but i was able to find a good groove in a hurry and only botched a half handful of them. the stick performed indeed. given the state of the stock market i'm thinking i should cash out my 401k, take the tax rape like a man, pony up and get one fer myself. maybe...if i was smart i would, but i'm sort of a tight ass so i'll probably just leave it be. i do have one thing going for me though, i'm kind of a prick, so i will see how long i can overstay my welcome on the rod lend.

anyways...stay the course ye faithful reader! there will be chrome again, i promise! (someday)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

shit hole

Citigroup got something like 320 billion dollars of bailout money. Now they are spending 400 million to the naming rights for the new NY Mets stadium. And still planning on laying off some ridiculous number of employees. How does that shit work? I want a bailout, bitches, and all I need is 60 bucks for a Washington fishing license and another couple hundred for gas. Where is my pie?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CORRECTION!

i saw the photo of the fat ass steelhead (picture below) on the sweatywaders blog. the first time around i wrote that the dimensions were 45x20, when in actuality that pig ass is 45" x 25". don't want to short change!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

tragedy brewing on the homefront

I received new information today about the status of riparian protection on BLM lands in Western Oregon. I don't understand how this shit gets to the Governors desk without anglers hearing about it, but that is precisely how those behind this move want it.

I'll make this easier on your eyes and give you a link to a much more readable discourse on the subject than I could come up with here. My only request is that, even if you reside outside of Oregon, you follow the link at the bottom of the write-up and send that message to Oregon Gov. Kulongoski. This is much more than an Oregon issue, if you don't believe me now, you will in ten years when you try to buy a fillet of fresh fish and all you find on the seafood shelf is Soylent Green (spoiler alert: "THE SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!").

go, now: http://tinyurl.com/5gsnf4

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ultra-egregiousness


received from a friend. his friend is pictured. face removed to protect from the myriad of things sure to come out of the mouths of viewers. 45" x 20" on the swung fly, good on you man with no face, good on you.
ps - clickety the picture for ultra hi def porn view

more good news

Uncle Ted conceded his senate race yesterday, I heard it on the radio on my way to swing flies for the first time in a good while. Needless to say, it was a good day.

In other news, my miracle braid (shooting line) broke yesterday. There was a small knot in the line, usually remedied by pulling the line on both sides of the knot to pull it out, this time it broke. Thankfully the skagit head wasn't lost, but it was a bit of a gong show when I tried to repair it. Most of the gong was due to my inability to recognize that the fix was easy and I tried to make it about as complex as possible. All that was required to make a new loop was an overhand knot, i.e. surgeons loop. For some reason I thought this knot would slip and spent about 45 minutes on the bank attempting alternatives. I had one decent fix that took 20 minutes to construct. I really didn't want to lose my skagit head so I cranked on it pretty hard to test the connection, breaking the line again and nearly severing my pinky finger in the process. Thanks to the cell phone and a sweet run with coverage I dialed someone who probably had some experience with the situation and he said "just throw a surgeons loop in it, you don't want to waste fishing time." As I said, I had been on the bank for 45 minutes, I probably shoulda busted out the phone a little sooner. Even with that fiasco on the books it was still an outstanding outing, the line launched proper with the big heavy stuff, the run swung magically (I'll be back soon) and, as I mentioned up top, Ted "series of tubes" Stevens is finally out after 40 long years of shitting on the environment and blowing big oils man shaft. Cheers to that.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

some good news

First, Ted Stevens was found guilty of fraud on all seven counts. He faces up to 35 years in prison, but he'll probably get no time. Either way, he is officially tarnished, which is good.

The next bit of news is much more directly related to my well being. I had Steelie out hunting for the first time yesterday. I can't afford a license so I brought him along with a couple buddies for Quail and Grouse in the coast range. Mainly I just wanted him to get comfortable with guns blazing. When we started I kept him 50 yards or so from the guns and had them shoot, then moved him to within 20 yards, then within 10 feet. He barely flinched when he was up close, his ears were up and he was looking around trying to figure out what was going on. Then I threw a pheasant wing that I taped to a stick (for distance), he got all fired up and pretty much stayed that way the rest of the day. At the last spot we walked we flushed a covey of about 15 quail. 5 shots were fired and he was staring at the birds the whole time. The bank was a little steep for him to be comfortable on, but I brought him up anyways so he could see the downed birds. One of them did the dead bird wing flap and that spooked him a little, but he recovered quickly. When we were back on the road I threw the bird for him to retrieve and he did, flawlessly. Before we headed home we stopped at a spot we had seen birds in earlier. There was one quail on the road that ran into the ditch and flushed too fast to get a shot. Steelie didn't see the bird, but when he got to the scent he got super birdy and I could barely call him out of the ditch, he was determined to find that bird. All in all, an awesome first outing for a 4 month old. He is amazingly controllable already and I'm pretty excited to see how he'll hunt next season. Til then, I'll keep him busy as an alarmingly effective (so far) good luck charm for steelhead.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Steelhead!"

Upon review of my last two posts, it was determined that I needed to go fishing. So a fishing, we did go. The camera took the day off, the lazy bastard. But that did not interfere, for the steelie dog was here (there really). Now I'm enjoying a grizzly and a stomach full of steelhead. Clearly, life is good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

sorry...

but i just can't help myself. with a big move coming up, there has been no fishing to speak of. so i've been keeping myself busy surfing the tubes. i give you a word from mr. strang.

"Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma magazine, a Pentecostal publication, titled one of his recent weekly e-mails to readers, 'Life As We Know It Will End If Obama is Elected.'

Strang said gay rights and abortion rights would be strengthened in an Obama administration, taxes would rise and 'people who hate Christianity will be emboldened to attack our freedoms.'"

this is very illustrative. but first, i don't hate christianity at all, i just don't agree with it. however, when obama is elected it will not embolden those of us that don't agree to attack freedom of religion or any other freedoms that you have as a christian. it will, however, embolden us to stop the government from turning christian beliefs into law therefore imposing them on the rest of us and taking away our freedoms. i really hope those days are over.

again, my apologies. this is supposed to be a fishing blog, kind of.

Monday, October 20, 2008

impending cranial implosion

This election needs to happen already. Every corner of the internet's tubes are clogged with McBama. Ted Stevens is probably turning in his grave, errrr, I mean defendants chair (note: Stevens' movement may also be accounted for by the attempt to relieve pressure on his hemorrhoids, a terrible case of which he has, from being Big Oil's bitch for soooooooo long).

Happy 14 days to go!

Monday, October 13, 2008

steelies and chanties and coho, oh my!

Its been damned busy around headquarters lately...I'll let the photos speak for themselves.










Tuesday, September 30, 2008

well fuck me, it happened


Sometime ago, maybe 10 years or so, I heard that steelhead take dry flies. At the time I didn't really believe it. See, back then I barely believed that they would take a fly...only under strict and rare circumstances. But this is the common mind of a Great Lakes steelheader, especially one fishing North Shore Lake Superior tribs. For me the game was spawn bags, until a fateful day which saw my brother outfish me using a size 10 hare's ear nymph. I started playing around with it and realized that steelhead would move to the fly with some form of regularity. But even then, dry flies and steelhead were only a pair in the science fiction section of my mind. Then some years passed and I happened to move some great lakes fish to a streamer (prior to this day it was nymphs only for me), it was a big olive conehead muddler and I outfished a super fishy group with the fly by casting up and across, throwing a downstream mend and giving it some action...the steelhead hammered that fly. Dry flies and steelhead that day moved from sci-fi into fiction, a shift toward the believable.

A couple more years passed and I found myself living in Oregon, a friend from back in the midwest set me up with a two handed rod, gave me a casting lesson and a quick one-day course in swinging flies for steelhead. I asked him about steelhead and dry flies and there was no hesitation in the "fuck yeah, they take 'em" reply. Well that would be my mission then, get a steelhead on a dry. I spent some time my first and second summers fishing dries with limited confidence. Then, fishing the Deschutes with a wet fly, I watched a steelhead make a bonafide rise. The wet was planed out on the surface and a steelhead came out of the water for it and smashed it, he missed most of the fly on the first pass but sunk the fly in his boil. Then I saw his tail come out of the water and thrash around, simultaneously feeling the big tug. This was the first time I'd seen any part of a steelhead come out of the water for a fly, it was the first reality bender. On the same trip I had one fish take a riffle hitched muddler, but the fly was in the glare so I wasn't sure if it was on top or not, it was a grab and go but a confidence builder. More trips, more dries swung, one big toilet boil flush under the fly last summer, one head-tail rise in smooth water this summer, but still no fish hooked on the dry.

This past week that friend from the midwest called and asked if I could get out for the weekend. I could and did, there is a big camp on a big river this coming weekend and we wanted to get a headstart, get a program going before all the dudes show up...I think there will be 15 guys, all badass sticks, in the camp so a program going in is key. We went and found some new water, re-affirmed likes or dislikes of "old" water and found some new opposite bank access on known-to-produce runs. One run in particular doesn't get fished much and has a serious penchant for giving it up like a 5 dollar hooker. The first morning we went in the backside and being the generous dude, he let me go through first. When I got to the bucket a fish came up and plucked the dry hard, two casts later on the other side of the bucket another fish came up and missed. I was thinking that was it for the trip, I've fished this river several times in the past and I essentially get two shots per trip...tops. Needless to say I was in disbelief when, three casts after the second fish, I saw a dorsal and tail of a steelhead sharking my fly that was waking downstream. Time slowed way the fuck down, my window of reality was a 5 foot square around the fish and the fly. I'm an atheist or agnostic or whatever the fuck you are when you don't believe that praying works, but I'm pretty sure I was praying anyway when the fish and fly dissapeared and went under and stayed under and stayed under and stayed under. It was probably 2 or 3 true seconds, about 5 minutes in my head, until it came tight. According to the witness "I've never heard a grown man scream like that, it was sorta girly". The fish wasn't big, and I didn't get it in my hands, but got it up real close and the hook popped out. Given that it was most likely a native it's better that way, especially since, given my state of mind, I might have hugged the fish or something...and he thought the scream was girly.

Anyways, thanks to he who let me have first pass through the money bucket. The moment fulfilled a huge goal of mine and has certainly changed my fishing self, in the best of ways.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dear The Drake,

I am astounded that you, once again, somehow trapped me into reading you cover to cover. I will say that compared to the first couple editions the trend is away from the little bank-eddy pockets and towards the main flow, a slight dissapointment, but if thats what it takes to keep you on the shelves than so be it. My favorite bit this time has got to be Jean Bie's letter to the Editor reprimanding Trask on his filthy language, a great touch, this is the stuff that makes The Drake, The Drake. For those of you that don't have a perscription, see your doctor at www.drakemag.com and get one. Oh yeah, The Drake, I do have one request...NO MORE CHEESE DICK UNDERARMOR ADS!!!

Thanks,

the leech

Monday, September 22, 2008

something you should know

From the Statesman Journal:

Following the report released by the National Marine Fisheries Service that identified 37 pesticides that pose risks to salmon and steelhead, Oregon state officials are moving ahead to set new safety benchmarks for seven pesticides of priority concern.

A team from the Oregon Water Quality Pesticide Management Program identified seven priority hazardous pesticides: azinphos-methyl,
chlorpyrifos, dacthal, diazinon, endosulfan, simazine and ethoprop, based on water-quality monitoring in five Oregon watersheds, including the Pudding River near Salem, as well as the Clackamas, Yamhill, Hood and Walla Walla watersheds. Three pesticides, azinphos-methyl, diazinon and chlorpyrifos have been detected at concentrations that exceed federal aquatic criteria in the Clackamas River Basin (See report here: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2008/5027/ ). Chlorpyrifos was detected at maximum levels more than twice the federal standard.

The National Marine Fisheries Service
report on the ecological damage associated with pesticide use reveals “overwhelming evidence” to suggest that 37 pesticides, including these seven, increase the chance of extinction for protected salmon and steelhead. See this report at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/pesticide_biological_opinion_draft.pdf
The state is now turning to its own team of experts to set stringent benchmarks based on existing research on these chemicals of concern. Generally the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with developing water quality standards as part of its registration process, however a significant time lag exists between the time the product goes on the market and the setting of final in-stream standards.

According to Kevin Masterson, the agency toxics coordinator with the State’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), a pesticide might be on the market for 20 or 30 years before the EPA’s water division finishes reviewing its effect. For example, the final in-stream standard for diazinon- one of the seven pesticides detected- was not set until it was already banned for household use because of risks to humans, birds and fish. Diazinon is still cleared for agricultural use but could still face restrictions.


“The EPA and the states around the country don’t have standards for the majority of current-use pesticides. More standards exist for drinking water, but there still are more pesticides without standards than those with them,” Mr. Masterson said.
(that is fucked up. even better...nobody knows what effect, especially long-term, a majority of current-use pesticides have on people.)

Despite the time gap for water quality standards, states are encouraged to develop benchmarks from a list of pesticides of concern. Unlike EPA standards, benchmarks do not have the enforcement power or require public review. These benchmarks will be designed to help state agencies better understand and explain to the public and pesticide applicators when there is a problem with pesticide concentrations in surface and ground waters. An example of a benchmark can include: 10 parts per billion concentration [of named pesticide] in waters can lead to salmon decline or increase the risk of cancer.


“You can do all the monitoring in the world, but without benchmarks, it doesn’t mean much,” said Steve Riley, an Oregon Department of Agriculture water issues specialist and team member.
Once benchmarks are established, the team of officials will begin working with farmers, nursery growers and other pesticide users to reduce pesticide runoff starting with a pilot project in the Clackamas River Sub-Basin near Portland, Oregon. The program is also evaluating a list of seven relatively newer pesticides such as
2,4-D and glyphosate for possible inclusion in the list as part of an ongoing evaluation of pesticides. The state’s DEQ is also increasing the number of pesticides it tests for in Oregon waters and lowering the level at which they register to give an even clearer picture of what pesticides are showing up at potentially risky levels.

Beyond Pesticides has long criticized EPA’s flawed risk assessment process that does not consider all aspects of potential harm to human health and the environment and that allow dangerous pesticides to be registered without having met all of their data requirements.
Aimee Code with the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides applauds the team’s approach to educate pesticide users to reduce runoff rather than replacing one pesticide with another. “There have been wonderful collaborative efforts around the state to solve these problems,” she said. “It’s a wonderful step in the right direction.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McStain

this is pretty good...nothing earth shattering, but pretty good.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c

Monday, September 15, 2008

Backlog

Steelie squared occured, and the world is still here. So, we're safe for now. It was barely a steelhead though, and when the first chrome winter hits the bank the total level of good will be much higher and therefore, who knows what will happen.


Went crabbing last week, only got 2 keepers but a dude on the dock had one and gave it to us, a definite bonus. Just cracked 'em and boiled 'em and ate 'em with butter...superb.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

a trick

last night kari decided steelie should learn how to rollover....
video

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

paradoxical, man

steelie might meet his first steelie this weekend, so if the world implodes you'll know why...too much good in one place.

Friday, September 5, 2008

tall boys

spent my birthday proper this year.

proof.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a photo essay, of sorts

As promised.


this is a big ass hive under a bridge










glacier np



more glacier

just outside glacier



that was unintentional


Monday, September 1, 2008

A Memo

Hiya, just got back late last night from 12 days in big sky country. Unfortunately we didn't find as many big trout as normal, but we certainly found more. Steelie is a badass fishing dog. Saw a shitload of water including, but not limited to, Rock Creek, Blackfoot, Flathead (didn't fish it), Bitteroot (can you say, fuck yeah?), E. Fork Gallatin, lower W. Fork Gallatin, etc... Kari hooked the biggest fish of the trip and it may have been the biggest MT trout I've ever seen...huge, on a hopper. The fall is late, the hoppers weren't really working (despite the previous sentence) and they were all small, like 10's instead of 6's like I've seen in the past at the same time of year. Nymphing produced the most consitently along with a good ol' Adams in 14. And of course the beetuljula slayed. I was popping the beeteuljula much more than normal and drew loads of strikes doing this, especially popping it downstream, oddly enough. One of said strikes was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen while trout fishing (disclaimer: there are large mouth bizass and pike in the lower bitteroot, but we were 30-40 miles upstream of there, no barriers but cold water), the cast was to the bank down and across and drew a really good boil but no take, the re-cast landed tight behind a big stump and got popped hard, the big foamer acted like a bass popper, and the take was an explosion, like a 15 pound pike in attack mode. I have to believe it was a trout, if it truly was it was a fucked up, 'roided out thing that I really wish I could have seen.

That was a sorta long memo, but you can deal. Pics to come...soon, maybe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Must See!

Ladies and Gentlenads!

you gotta go check out my niece throwin down the crazy charlies on Snake Guides aka "Brotha E's B-Log"... follow the link over
there ----------->

Friday, August 15, 2008

Missed one steelie today...

but landed another, my best ever......

meet the leech's partner in crime, presented here for the first time, i give you, Steelie.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Note on Athletic Domination: Genetics Helps

Regardless of the sport, when an athlete shows total domination it's pretty badass to witness. Given the unprecedented asswhooping Phelps' has delivered thus far I've been wondering, whats the physical-mental breakdown...in other words, is he a genetic freak or is he just that confident in himself? In his bio I found a partial answer...

"At first glance, Phelps might look like a typical swimmer. But several of his physical characteristics seem genetically tailored for swimming. His 6-foot-7-inch wingspan is three inches longer than his height, providing him with unusual reach. His torso is long compared to his legs, enabling him to ride high on the water. And his flexible ankles, combined with size-14 feet, allow for a powerful kick. Add to that more than a decade of high-intensity training, and you get one of the fastest swimmers in history."

Freak it is!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My apologies...

political again. dunno whats got into me.

from the AP:

"The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants."

this just sounds like a really good idea doesn't it? revamp the endagered species act, good, make it weaker, especially since the US is abound with flora and fauna. who cares if we lose the polar bears or columbia river chinook salmon, there are tons of other fish and bears all over!

how the administration gets this shit past all the other branches of government is wayyyyy beyond me. i remember, back in 9th grade civics class, learning about "the system of checks and balances". did we, like, switch to a new system since then or something? i'm confused.

Backyard tenants

For the past month or two we've had some subletters in the backyard. They were exceptionally lax this morning, so some photos were in order. I also have a video of some triplets playing tag just up the road, it's of poor quality but still pretty cool to see.





video

Friday, August 8, 2008

In the canyon...

As aforementioned we recently had ourselves a 4 day float trip down the D. It was my first overnighter with the boat and my first big water rowing experience...badass and badasser. I am going to mostly let the photos speak, but have a couple observations:

1) Jet boats are pretty lame, but not quite as bad as I suspected.

2) When you set up a camp, and a floatilla of 3 rafts lands at your site, you should run down and defend it. I didn't and when we got back to camp we had two tents within 20 feet of ours in either direction, and a radio blaring shitty fuckin music and several drippy douches acting like 4th graders...Seriously, we pulled the stakes on our tent to move down a couple hundred feet and as we were walking away one of them said "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!", fuckin circa 1993 and shit. Prolly shoulda punched him.

3) I fuckin love the tightline summer steelhead grab and go, it almost can't be beat.

4) 25 inch steelhead have heart too. I got my ass handed to me, literally almost had to break her off due to a shortage of backing, she went wayyyyyy deep into the reel (a reel not built for a 6/7/8 windcutter). She hooked herself, jumped once, hit the water and took off on the most incredible reel blisterer I've ever witnessed from any species, and didn't stop til it was almost all gone.

5) Bring more beer.

On to the eye candy!










Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Partial Digestion

So I've wrote nary a word on the North Umpqua trip and I figure I should probably at least get something started. I didn't have a camera, so no eye candy...though in terms of fish very, very little eye candy was available...for me anyways.

Overall the trip was a success, much more for some than others, or I should say, much more for one than the rest of us. See, one guy that was in camp is a bit of a yoda on that river. He knows it, well. And it was clearer to me than ever how far river knowledge can get you. But certainly that was only part of the massive gap in contact with steelhead. 9 out of 10 of yoda's casts were perfect, good loops, no tails, and the fly snapped straight out at the end, landed and was fishing instantly...about 1 in 5 of my casts could make the same claim. Prior to this trip I was very pleased to be in the "pretty casts don't matter" camp, but now I've learned that "pretty casts" are also "fishy casts"...especially in the summer and especially on that river, with clear smooth water and a lot of fishing pressure. Likewise, every cast that fails is one less cast to catch a fish with in a day. I paid attention to this and realized I was wasting on the order of 30 minutes minimum every day in bullshit casts, this was an extremely frustrating epiphany. When fishing is tough and one fish every two days is really good and that one cast that might have caught a fish lands in a big pile...well you get the picture. You never really know if it's real (a failed cast causing a missed fish) but you can't help wondering.

By day 3 I was thinking it ought to happen. Yoda had already landed 4 fish and brought one or two more to the fly, the rest of us (3) were fishless. Just after noon I was fishing over a suspected steelhead, he had risen once to a dry in the morning and grabbed a wet a half hour or so before I went through. After 4 or so attempts I finally got a cast to mostly straighten out over the lie, there was a big belly in the line and it was dragging through the juice pretty quick. Then it stopped, I swept the rod low and slow proper but there was a lot of slack and all I got was about 3 or 4 slack line head shakes. I couldn't decide if I should be elated for finally touching a fish or pissed cause I farmed the one chance I had...see with all that slack, low and slow wasn't proper, I shoulda wailed on that fucker.

3 full days later and about 3 casts away from calling it a night it finally happened. A little hatchery rat slammed the fly right above the lip of a small rapid in a nice tailout. For a cookie cutter degenerate it put on a good show, clearing the water 5 times in the first 10 seconds or so, but afterwards played the doggy hatchery fish game. Nonetheless at 6 days in I would have taken a tailess, finless pile of puke over continued nothingness. And it ate damn well grilled up over the camp fire, so I can't complain. I rose a fish to a waker the next morning. It didn't stick but it didn't really matter at that point. The fly was only about 25 feet away from me and I got to see the head come out of water, grab the fly and go down in a boil. I waited with maximum patience but nothing happened, the fly just popped back up a couple seconds later. Just seeing a fucking steelhead eat a dry is about the most badass thing in the world for a dude who cut his steelhead teeth on great lakes fish with lead and spawn bags. I need to see it again.

So like I said, all in all a success. It was steelheading at its finest, at day 4 I wasn't going fishing anymore, I was going casting. And like I said a couple weeks back, it's not all about the fish. Somehow, for about 6 or 7 nanoseconds during the trip I actually believed it and that was a fucked up feeling, but one I wouldn't mind finding again. Although if said feeling's attainment didn't include 6 fishless days I would be quite alright with it.

Thanks to those of you who've stuck around through this boring ass stretch of the pictureless Leech. But it is now officially over, Kari and I floated the Deschutes saturday-tuesday and got a new digi prior to departure. The next post will have pics and maybe even some fish, if yer lucky.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Bad Hair Day

So, yesterday I was checking out my brother's blogs. Whilst reading about E's trip to northern sconny with bacon and the legendary 17th Allman Brother, D-Pin, E mentioned something about seeing some badass patterns, some of which having a future place in his fly box. So I asked, bad hair day? And not because E is prone to frizzing. No, I knew what pattern struck his fancy before he even said it. So when I talked to him on the phone last night I was curious to hear what he had to say.....to sum:

"When you make a cast and a smally immediately attacks the fly, you strike at it, but miss and then a carp starts tracking the fly, so you give it a few strips, you know to get the carp interested, and right then a pike comes and slams the fly right in front of the carp, your either fishing in the fucking Chicago aquarium or you've got yourself a kick ass fly."

Some of you may have seen it before, but you ought to see it again.


Bacon - if you still read this madness...hope you don't mind I robbed the pic from the VB archives.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Breaking News: Karma Works!

Alaska's worst enemy is finally getting his. Better think of a new name for the airport.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080729/ap_on_go_co/stevens_indictment

In the good spirit of things, here is an excerpt from his famous "Series of Tubes" speech given in a senate committee meeting.

"...Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material..."


Well Ted, I hope your series of tubes are ready for "enormous amounts of material" while locked up in Federal Pound You in the Ass Prison. Sayonara douchepump.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some Badassness

It is really quite impossible to put words to the collective amount of mojo and trilobal we're going to smear all over the fabled waters of the North Umpqua. I can only describe it now in terms of whats been done and whats been felt, not what will be. For one, I have trilobal under my toenails, really, the shit is everywhere, I think there is even a piece lodged in my choad and I swear I tie clothed. The trimmed deer hair of muddler heads and other assorted spun wakers is much more manageable, but still, everywhere I go, it goes...static is a bitch. My fly boxes have likely never looked this nice, at least not from my doing. I have even started to put the bullshit into my flies that I personally don't think matters, like a piece of wood duck, or some pretty pheasant or a couple polar bear hairs, all done just in case. Just in case the fish really are as snooty as they are in my mind, like they are finning down there behind a rock and a fly comes into their window and they think, "ha, who is this amateur? he subbed schlappen for rhea? no fucking jungle cock? cheap saddle hackle tips? rookie." Really, this is what my mind has done with these fish, it's pretty fucked up since I'm the kind of guy who strips deer hair mice on the middle of a lake during a hex hatch, just cause, or fishes a big ass foam, rubber legged terrestrial through a hatch of sz. 18 BWOs...why, because it works. I am sure the same type of shit applies to the steelhead on the NU as to the trout of sconny, the fish usually don't really care if its ugly as long as its edible...usually. And that is the reason I'm spending 15 minutes a fly instead of 5. It's been this "just in case" reasoning. I'll look at a fly and think, 'I don't need to add the pheasant', then think, 'just in case' and I tie it in. Just in case the fish are thinkers. Weird shit man.

Above and beyond all that is the fact that I will be spending 7 days straight on the river, sunday to sunday. It won't really matter how many fish I move or hook or land. It'll kinda matter though, as much as I tell myself otherwise. The goal is to define the trip in another way, not by numbers of fish but by gained knowledge and the experience. Given the crew I will be spending the days with I can guarantee there will be knowledge to be had, and I'm gonna get me some. And on that river the experience is likewise guaranteed, my casting will improve as will my ability to read and wade that fucked up ledgerocky river. And that, ladys and stains, is the purpose of the post. To remind myself that it's not all about the fish. It's not all about the fish. It's not all about the fish. Though, I should say, my 25 year old mind has a severe issue with those sentences, it says, "then why the fuck do you have trilobal in your choad?" And I have no answer, except that it seems to me almost all the rickety old guys of fishing say or write that very thing...it's not all about the fish...and I have this feeling that there is a whole new dimension of fishing reality if you can get your mind to that place. So, I will try.

Disclaimer: If a steelhead eats my dry fly, the "it's not about the fish" shit will be a lost cause! Check back in a couple weeks for my reflection. peace out fools.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Couldn't make it up if I tried: part deuhhh?

I don't think I have put any Bushisms up on the blog yet, but this shit is just too good. Apparently after lifting the executive ban on offshore drilling, Bush got drilled by reporters on whether or not that was really the best way to achieve the desired result...less dependence on foreign oil, lower gas prices. I am putting up a couple choice excerpts from a Yahoo!news arcticle I read today...Bush needs to start writing childrens books...or something, he is a fuckin entertainer!

Speaking of the American Consumer:

"They're smart enough to figure out whether they're going to drive less or not. I mean, you know, it's interesting what the price of gasoline has done," Bush said at a news conference in the White House press room, "is it caused people to drive less. That's why they want smaller cars: They want to conserve. But the consumer's plenty bright. The marketplace works."

"You noticed my statement yesterday, I talked about good conservation and — you know, people can figure out whether they need to drive more or less," he said. "They can balance their own checkbooks." (balance their own checkbooks!!!)

This part is my favorite:

“It seems like it makes sense to me to say to the world at we’re going to use, you know, new technologies to explore for oil and gas in the United States … to send a clear message that the supplies of oil will increase,” he said.

“The president doesn’t have a magic wand,” the president added. “You can’t just say: ‘Low gas!’"


Well, there you have it. The president does not, I repeat, does not, have a magic wand. DAMN!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

hey! it's a jpeg!

this blog is useless without pics! someday, lads, i will jump back into society with a splash, start working again and buy a gotdam digital camera, but this day shall not be that day. in the meantime i have a really nice brother who took a pic of the carp fly i spoke about a couple weeks ago. i should, however, issue a statement of partial retraction on the whole "its the fly that matters" thing with the carp. I was back to the spot a week ago and didn't hook a fish. a friend was with and he hooked two, one on a little san juan worm and one on a small rubber legged squirrel nymph. the fly that slayed em the week before got only a few follows and one take. so it apparently isn't as magical as first thought. it is still a damn good fly though so here it is!

there are two small differences between this fly and the one i used...1) on my fly the larva lace is brown and 2) i used rusty orange rabbit for the wing instead of what appears to be hackle fibers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Couldn't make it up if I tried!

This is exactly why you should shop at Wal-Mart. I would say there is a pretty decent chance this dude could make some money off of this fiasco.

Wal-Mart customer bitten by rattlesnake hiding in plants!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Golden Bones

I definitely missed the camera yesterday. Decided to do a little carping yesterday afternoon. There is a little slough pretty close to home that I learned about last year, it was full of carp every time I went last summer but I never actually hooked anything. After yesterday I am pretty willing to blame it all on fly selection. I had this sneaking suspicion that some of the bonefish flies I had tied up for Belize would maybe turn the trick. One pattern in particular looked especially juicy, it has a little wood duck tail, brown larva lace body, rusty orange rabbit strip fir (no skin) tied in as a wing and bead chain eyes. It's tied to ride hook up and the beadchain is pretty light so it will stay suspended with a slow twitch strip. The water was about two feet higher than any other time I've fished this spot, but I think that made it a bit easier. I could wade in the grass and use it for cover, which made it easy to stay pretty close to the fish. I took up a nice casting station about 10 feet from the edge of the grass where there was a nice open casting lane with fish periodically cruising past about 15-20 feet away and several others hanging near the surface within 50 feet. I started with the fly described above and had follows immediately. When I finally got it in front of a likely cruiser the fish turned hard and came right up behind the fly about 20 feet from my position. I could see the fly in front of the fish and gave it a few mini strips, then watched the fish open its mouth and inhale, a strip set and the game was on. This was a very lackluster fight, the carp just rolled into the grass and dogged around for a bit, but I'll take it. I spent 20 minutes more at that spot then made a move about 30 feet down the shore to another station. Shortly after moving I got into another fish, a situation very similar to the first, but the fish fought much better. This crazy carp had only one eye, the left eye looked as though it never developed, it was just a tiny ring of head flesh, freaky looking. I tried some other patterns for about an hour and got nary a follow. Tied the magic fly back on and within 10 minutes hooked and landed another. This was the most satisfying fish because of the distance, it was at 35-40 feet and I couldn't see his mouth on the take. I saw a pec fin flare and the fish rotated about 10 degrees, so I set up and he was there.

One thing I found very interesting in all of this is that the fish were hooked within 50 feet of one another, there were loads of carp (~75) and the behavior didn't change much throughout it all. Since the slough is only about 200x70 feet I was expecting the whole slough to be abandoned or completely shut off after catching a fish. An article I just read in a dirty fly rag by none other than Whitlock himself said something about chemicals released by carp when they are caught causing the others nearby to quit feeding. In my limited experience this does not occur to any extent. I was thinking that maybe since there in a bit of a high profile spot (there was a family on one end of the slough fishing bobbers for 'em) that they are used to smelling the fear chemical so they don't get as bothered by it. Another thought was that there is slight movement to the water carrying the chemical away, so within ten minutes it was mostly gone. Who knows? I did notice that for 5-10 minutes after landing a fish other carp would come over to apparently scope out what the hell was going on. They would come over close, sometimes in groups of 4 or 5 which seemed a little abnormal, they were moving a little faster than normal and wouldn't follow the fly. So maybe this was the effect Whitlock wrote about, but like I said it only lasted 5-10 minutes so it was easy to wait them out. Regardless of carp chemicals, stinky willamette mud, crazy families fishing to eat those pigs and one dead log of a fight, it was a fucking banner outing. First three carp on the fly in four hours of fishing, given the multitude of hours I spent out there last year, I'll take it and run.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gear Revisited

Way back, during the leeches infant stages, I wrote about salmon fishing with bullshit gear and half-heartedly vowed to not fuck around with the wrong tools for the job. Like with most dipshits I clearly need more than one self-imposed ass kicking to learn a lesson. As I was rigging the jig rod for a trip down a local river for steelhead I glanced into the gear box to see what was lying around in the way of jigs. I had two, one big ass lead head with no paint and one quaint little pink headed jig, just what I was looking for since I would be tipping it with the ever legendary pink worm. The problem was the hook, it was a sickle hook, one of those stupid angular things notorius for straightening...it has happened to me once already this winter and I watched as it happened to someone else as well. So as I reached down and grabbed that stupid fucking jig, I thought...you really shouldn't put this stupid fucking jig on. But I did anyway. We launched the boat shortly thereafter and as soon as we cleared the bankies, Kari flipped the bobber out. About 15 seconds later the bobber went down, I was sure she was snagged but when I looked back the rod was bucking hard. Then there was a 10 pound CHROMER out of the water. I survey the surroundings, see there is no logical place to land the fish and drop the anchor. The fish came up real slow and calm like between the boat and the bank and I thought...we need to get the fish in the boat before that stupid fucking jig hook bends out. So I grab our net, useless from the boat with its 1 foot handle, and jump into the water. My fat ass does not slide smoothly into the water when I get in, its more like a small astroid impact. So about a half second after impact the fish screams straight downstream and then was gone. Instantly I thought, STUPID FUCKING JIG! I was really hoping the line broke, though I'm not sure if I would have felt any better, but then I saw the jig was still there, grabbed it and what I already knew was re-confirmed. Now, when shit like this happens you know its not the end of it. The image of that straight hook is pretty well singed on the minds eye and you can't really see or envision anything else. This is detrimental to ones mojo. We fished the rest of the day, mostly swinging flies, then we fished Saturday evening on a small coastal stream for steelhead with methods not to be disclosed, then we swung flies yesterday at the river where the stupid fucking jig incident occured, all the while taking the mental beatdown and knowing I brought all of it on by tying on that stupid fucking jig in the first place.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cacti Country

Howdy fellers! I been bravin the heat down in Tucson, AZ for the last 4 days. No fishing, not much of much at all. Kari had to come down here for the National Environmental Health Association conference and I got to play tag along since her place of emPLOYment couldn't spare any extras. We are in the Phoenix airport now, enjoying some nice tall Dos Equis before we board for the last leg. I can't fuckin wait to get back and outta this heat, broke a hundo every day, but the humidity was 15% tops, so it wasn't so bad...much better than I thought actually. The desert was pretty incredible, the number of plants and animals able to make it there was astounding, as were the Saguaro cacti...the largest one we saw was about 35 feet tall, with several in the 20-30 foot range. These things are apparently able to suck up over 200 gallons of water in a single day of rain, enough to sustain it for a year, thats strategy at its finest. I saw one little trickle of a stream, the only water...aside from the pool...that we saw in the whole of our stay. The conference, well, thats a whole'nother story all together...if I am feeling bored I will tell ya more about it, but don't hold your breath.

On a much brighter note, I fished a Portland area river last Saturday...swinging again, finally. Towards the end of the day (about hour 9 of 13) I hooked up and landed a little fuckin gomper steelhead, chrome as heyull and about 23 inches long, the smallest Oregon steel yet, but gotdamner he tasted fine! Probably going out again tomorrow, levels on area rivers are finally coming into shape and they've been kickin out fish...I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, June 20, 2008

lunch

The picture is terrible cause all I have is a cheap ass 1 pixel camera on my phone, but use your imagination and you'll get it. Bottom left: satueed morels and onions with parmesan, bottom right: sauteed king boletes with tomatoes and parmesan, top mid: boletes with fresh onion and mozzarella...all served on fresh local bread, quick broiled and consumed in rapid succession. try it!