Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Jaunt

A solo mission north for two days of swinging flies was met with unseasonably warm temperatures. With freedom from ice in the guides, I took advantage and fished a skagit line for a little more fun casting and some much needed practice. I kept the tips on the lighter side and flies in the 2-3 inch range hoping to entice a fresh winter chromer into taking a fly. In the shallower sections, I switched it up to a scandi and went with a mono leader and a small wet fly. The lower temps resulted in a few periods of snow intermixed with sleet and freezing rain. It had been awhile since I fished gloveless on a steelhead river, so I enjoyed the two "warm" days…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Carp Flies: Damsel in Distress

A few years ago, Adam Hope created the Carp Damsel, which is a hybridized version of a damsel and dragon nymph designed to target carp. The fly excelled across a wide range of conditions but made its name fishing mid-column to prowling carp and to bank feeders where the fly was delicately dapped in front of the fish. The fly was developed out of necessity due to the wariness and intelligence of the carp we target on our home waters. After learning of Adam's success, I developed a very similar version to call my own and fished it as successfully over the past few years. It has accounted for some of my best carp on fly, all of which took the fly in the middle of the water column, as it slowly parachutes down.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quality over Quantity

I had been looking forward to this trip for exactly a year. We've hit the tributaries on this weekend like clockwork for the past five years because it's the only time I'm on the continent when the fish are running. We'll do it again next year.

To step into a flowing river and to feel the pull of the water on your waders after thinking about it for so long is a funny experience.  I know what it feels like and I can call it to my imagination without hesitation but the coldness seeping into my boots always makes me feel extremely alive.

Familiarity with such processes probably leads to a dulling of the senses regarding the smallest things, or maybe not. Ice slowly accumulates in my beard and guides, chemical handwarmers wait for my hands in the pockets of my jacket and I try very hard to take note of everything, to install it in my memory so I can recall it when I'm sitting in my apartment, sweating from the African heat, to escape it.