Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trout, Trees, and Ice In The Guides.


A small stream can only be considered "small" if you end up catching more trees than trout. This type of classification becomes more difficult to achieve when you are catching trout left and right. However, I still believe Adam and I met this standard yesterday on one of the more productive winter outings in memory. We did not count how many trout we caught but if we had, I think we would have lost count.

Gearing Up.

It Was Cold.

Stones Are On The Menu.

Small rainbows and browns were the ticket of the day with the occasional "trophy" of 10 inches. We also witnessed the "behemoth" of the stream as we spooked probably a 14-16 inch brown trout in a section Adam prefers to call the chutes. The fish were all in great condition, especially the brown trout. Absent however, were the brook trout that are most likely gone from this stream as they have been overrun by the browns and bows.

"Trophy" Brown

BH Gold Ribbed Tan Caddis Pupa.

Compare the Colors Above and Below Water.

And Release...

The "spot" is always generous to us but it does not come easily. You still have to work for what you get and this was no exception. With the water nice and high from a decent snow fall, the currents were raging and achieving a dead drift with the limited positions available to us proved to be quite tricky. Adding to this dilemma was the ice that seemed to never stop forming on our guides, lines, and reels.

Young Lateral Line.

Gotta Love the Spots on These Browns.

Release...

I Don't Know Which Looks Better.

These were minor problems when faced with the real challenge of the stream, casting. The typical scenario requires a presentation under an overhanging alder, but over an overgrown thorn bush on the backcast, while being sure not spook the trout. In extremely tight spots, casting is not achievable so you perform a slingshot cast and pray for the best. Roll casting can be a succuss in limited situations but more often than not the height needed isn't there. Sidearm casting under all the branches is my prefered method of choice.

Be Careful When You Set The Hook.

Or Attempt To Cast Here.

The Reward For All The Hardwork.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Change of Plans.


The end of fall semester was capped off by one hellish week of papers, finals, and portfolios that seemed to never end. Awaiting me at the finish line was a planned 10 day excursion across New York and Pennsylvania sleeping in the car and living off pp&j while fly fishing for some steelhead. This would have been the capstone to our steelhead adventures for the year and our third long road trip. Unfortunately, I fractured my patella playing a little sport called Ultimate and combined with some snow storms the trip has pretty much been canceled. Maybe, my parents will change their minds and let me take their truck out for some fun but with another storm on the way it seems highly unlikely. This has left my buddy Adam and I with our home waters to toy around with providing us with an opportune time to take and edit some footage for some upcoming films.

Missing Out On Some More Steel We Are.

I Was Looking Forward To This.

One of these films, Rocky Mountain High, began the editing process today as I waited out the storm. In August, my brother Matt and I took our first fly fishing excursion together out to Colorado. There we picked up one of my best friends, Alex Edelman, who was stationed at Fort Carson and went on a six day trip across Colorado. We put over 1,000 miles on our brandnew Suburu Outback rental car and did some 4x4 high clearance only off-roading with it over some mountain passes. The trip was an absolute blast and we were able to catch cutthroat, cutbows, and even a greenback trout. Normally, I would have the film of the trip up in a matter of weeks but Alex was soon shipped to Iraq and the footage has escaped my grasp. Despite this, I finally decided to take a look at it all and sit down and get to work. It is all finished and awaits the pig rainbows Alex filmed before I get to share it.

Colorado Pig Bow.

Frying Pan Cutbow.

A Rocky Mountain High Brown.

Speaking of homewater we get to toy around with, I fished Indian Creek this morning in the first few hours of the snowstorm while Adam fished the Hokendaqua. These two streams were our play and testing grounds in our young years as fly fisherman. This is where we learned and honed our craft and caught our first wild trout on the fly. Both creeks hold good numbers of wild brown trout, especially the closer one gets to their headwaters. In 45 minutes of fishing in 30 degree weather, with a driving snow, I landed three of these wild browns all on a size 18 tan caddis pupa. They were beautiful little fish 8-12 inches and in great condition.

Brown Number One.

Fish of the Day.

Brown Number One About To Depart.

Homewater: The Indian

Brown Number Two Flashes Her Good Side.

And Shows Off Her Spots.

Number Three: The Outcast.

Over the next week, there is going to be a lot of fishing taking place despite the weather and the holidays. Adam and I are heading out to our "Spot" tomorrow to catch some more beautiful trout on a stream you can jump across. Look for some pictures from the "Spot" and some of our other local streams in the coming days.

Riley Striking Her Best Pose.

She Loves the Snow.

And Chasing Snow Balls.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Girlfriend.

Typical conversation with my mom:

mom (4:39:07 PM): o is there anyone in your life that i need to buy a christmas present for

mark (4:39:19 PM): yea

mark (4:39:22 PM): her name is steel

mom (4:39:30 PM): hahahahahahaha

mark (4:39:39 PM): shes a migratory rainbow trout

mark (4:39:45 PM): she wants a spey rod for xmas

mark (4:40:02 PM): if u get it for me

mark (4:40:05 PM): i can give it to her

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Not Always About The Fish.


It's not always about the fish, it's about the total experience of the journey. The company you keep, the experiences you have, the environment you fish in, and oh yea, the fish you catch all contribute to the cornucopia of feelings you have on fishing trips. For me, its an escape to another dimension where I am free from the rigors of daily life. It's just me, some friends, the weather, terrain, and the fish that call it home. For a few days I am able to forget about all the schoolwork I have due the day I get back, and just sit back and enjoy the moment. These are the days to cherish and remember forever, because they do not last. They exist only in memory to be recalled later on down the road. They take you back to specific moments frozen in time and space. These moments are what keep me going until the next time I get to escape reality and wet a line.

The Company You Keep.

Some Twenty Mile Panoramic Action.
(Pops Looks Like Frankenstein)

The Weather Was Perfect.

Rain, Sleet, and Snow.

Fighting Some Steel.

Twenty Mile.

Guiding the Pops.

Big Poppa Pump Hooks Up.

Some More Twenty Mile Action.

Hotel Room.

Tying Session.

Legion Hole Steel.

Hooking Up.

Nice Bend in the 8wt.

Nicest Fish of the Trip.

Elk Steel.

Fighting Steel @ Sunset, Elk Creek.

Nice Hen.

Legion Hole Panorama.

Under the Railroad Tressle, Elk Creek.

Best Picture of the Trip.

Nice Buck.

Adam Rocking Some Nice Elk Steel.

Walrus Sighting.

Release.

Elk Creek Landing Hand.

Sequence of the Trip.

And That's What It's All About.