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 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.

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'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.