Monday, September 17, 2012

Oh I could fish this spot a long time...

The spot I really liked yesterday....yes full of brookies, and I know everyone wants that big fish, but the brookies here thought they were rainbows....just a leaping flying after everything I threw in, but look at it, sure looks like a bug dinner table to me....caddis was the chefs fav....


Friday, September 14, 2012

The phone call came, new rod, reel are in....!

I ordered new rods and reels about ten days ago....I have done this before, four times.   It is a bit like learning to ski, buy the ones that will get you down the slop, and then out ski them, buy the next step up, learn the back bowls of Vail in the late '70's when Vail was $10 a day to ski and I could park in the front row of the parking lot, walk to the booth.   One set after another, taking one down the hills in a nicer way, equipment does make a difference.

So in 1989 my papa gave me his Sage graphite.   Class rod at the time.  SA reel.  I was smokin', but then got distracted with a Harley Davidson in my life.  But every time I rode past waters the feeling was there, jealousy.   I missed the waters.  But one can only be in one place at one time.

Then I sold the Harley, husband sold his.  Decade of riding, was time for quiet change.  So we bought Ross rods and reels, made in Colorado at the time.  Bought another Ross for me, for bigger fish.   Then my wonderful neighbor gave me her Orvis 2-1/4 rod and very nice reel, just because she loves me....

Then I went out with my guide friend, used an RLW, wonderful rod, so I bought one of those.  Bought a new little Orvis reel as the above one locked up, I was in tears...have to figure that one out, send it to England or something!  

Now after fishing my special place, with my special guide, I used a Baron IIt, my gosh I loved it for those types of waters. 

I fished so well with it, spot on.   As in skies, there is difference in equipment.   So put in an order four days after Wild Basin, there ya go!

Not only did I get the rod, but a Lamson Litespeed....and my husband a the same set up.  He has earned it.  Goes everywhere I send us, with a smile and does all the prep for a fishing weekend, have to love that.

So, Sunday I get the new rigs.  The way I look at it is I am not rich, a simple smart working woman, for over 40 years I have counted the beans for others, and well.   If I wait until someday, it may not come.  I want to live now, and out loud, and catch fish, and finely.  I am so excited I am up late typing this as I can't sleep, think of fishing.  Think of water sounds, think of Legands of the Fall and his casting.  Think of brookies leaping up water falls, think of the Greenback Cuttie that I have yet to trek for, and I know where I am going, maybe not this year, too high and too late.   But we will be in Steamboat last week of September, new territory, new waters, new tales, new adventures....and Walden over the hill.

Now I will have a greenstick....and this weekend....!

Also a flashlight down my waders to find that darn leak!

Life is good.  When I am too old to use this rod, it is nice enough I will had it to one of my four grandchildren, and step to the side of a stream and show them how it is done...maybe the seed will be planted for another generation.

I am glad these rods have warranties!   They have a story to start!

Tight lines, tight knots...


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Capture Nature, in the lens

Was off to the Botanical Gardens this summer, with camera in hand.  And found lovely sunflowers everywhere, cone flowers they are called.

I snapped this one and then came home and cropped it, and found this group of petals just begging for exposure.

I rather liked it.   I hope you do as well.

This is what I do when I am not fishing and hiking, I find gardens....

Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The disappearing act.....

This last early summer Mike and I were fishing up on Glacier Creek, but way down in the gorge.  As the Bear Lake road closes at 9 a.m. this summer for inbound traffic, we had the entire gorge and outflow to ourselves.  And it was Yellow Sally time, and PMD's were everywhere one early morning as I was fishing some foam by a large flat rock bathed in sunbeams.   Hundreds of tiny bugs were over the water and rock and foam, so it would be a good place to drop a dry fly, so that is what I did.  I feel a little strike and then I lift and it is a brookie, a small one, maybe five inches.  I just laugh at his jump in the air, and see all his colors, and say "oh you are a little guy, we will just let you go now" I bring him across the creek, with falling water over large rocks to the right of me, a bit like a washing machine.

As I am bringing him in, I look for him and line and I cannot find him.   I said "where did you go?"  And I look down to my left and I see something on my line and say "oh there you are, and oh my, you have moss all over you!  Let's get that off..."    Then I see that the moss is moving side to side at that back end, and that it is a fish!   A fish had taken my fish.  A big fish had taken my fish, out of a little creek!    I think, as he is at my feet and not at all afraid or letting go of his brunch, what do I do here?   This has never happened to me!   Fast on my feet I say out loud "net that fish!!"

Sweeping him up I see that he is a male brown, with a top jaw line of about four inches!  He fills my 20 inch net, just missing an inch on one side, so he is near 19 inches!   And out burbs the brookie, alive an well, and both are in net side by side.   I think no one will believe this, and grab my cell phone to snap a shot.  But big Willy is not having this easily, and while in the net on the ground, flips out to of it.  I needed two hands to get him back in so I could let him go helpfully, and right side up, but getting him back in the net is like arm wrestling a big man, he was so strong!   I snapped this shot of him, with pine needles on the guy and half of him out of the net, but he was OK.

When I showed this to my angler friend at the shop he said this was an old fish, by the glassy looking eye.   He was even more golden that my photo shows.   And most likely came out of the "washing machine" water fall.

In the meantime Mr. Brookie is at my feet in the water, still on the small hook.   I have some work to do.

I get this big guy back in the water, and boy he is super strong, and easily swims away, such stamina in this fish.

The little guy is saying "hey there, remember me, hello"....and yes, he is revived to a fast motion and swims away from my fingers on his tail, back to tell his sisters "guess what happened to me today"...

I named him Jonah.

What a fish story, hey?   And there he is, just for me to remember, as I could not believe it either.

Once in a lifetime on a creek, in the Rockies....!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

THE stream of choice this summer, the St Vrain....

Needless to say it has been many moons, and this last month a Blue Moon, since I had the time and space to update this blog.  Winter moved along...and spring followed, now late Summer is surrounding me...and today I have a bit of time to note that I have found a gem in Colorado, the St Vrain area at Wild Basin.

All summer I have been tracking up and down Glacier Creek in RMNP, and it has been a gem of a trek.  What has been nice is that Bear Lake road has closed after 9 a.m., and therefore very few fishermen are getting up there while the road is reconstructed.  So that means on Glacier Creek we have had very little company, except for the fish.

So that has gone along well.  But sometimes you want a change of stream, a different background you might say, and different waters.  So we took a day to the Upper Big Thompson, and lo and behold that is where all the people are, not able to get up to Sprague Lake and Bear Lake.  With their kids and rocks, their kids and dogs, their water dogs, their passion to fish even if it is right next to you, they are all there.  I shall not complain any longer, they give Colorado much needed revenue.  But really, baby stroller and three children along a fishing trail, screaming children at that, and stopping right next to a flyfisherperson?   Hmmm....

So it was time for my annual solo guide trip.   Just said, "let's change it up, take me to somewhere new, special, I am ready..."

So to Wild Basin we go....

This was taken by my trusty guide....after much bushwhacking and navigating...and what a day it was.   Lots of Brookies, lovely of all the fish in the high mountains of Colorado.  Pocket waters.  A day trip.  Few bruises on my legs, I am tiny person, so these trees are something to climb over...but we did fine.  Was terribly exciting.

Now I know what the Trout Bum was talking about.....I get it.

So that was a weekday.   The following weekend I took my husband to same trail and off we headed.  And what a day we had.  He owes me for being his guide.   These are not easy waters to navigate.  We found a falls where the Brookies were leaping out of the water....and children on a bridge were ecstatic.   Which I was too.   Those children I had not problem with.  Every fish that tried they cheered.

And I found a honey hole, my new word.  No one will find it again soon, it was just the right time of day, the right bugs on the water, a feeding lane, and the right dry fly on my line.  I could not believe how much fun this hole was, I called her the Unlimited.

Yesterday was a solo day for me, hubby wanted to stay home, I wanted to grab the fading summer one more time.   Next two weekends are all family, so no waters to my butt on those take Summer in my hand for one more day....

First the Big Thompson, low water and lazy fish.  Sipping my flies.  That just send my excitement level up, just to flatten it out when they say, "nope...changed my mind..."

Then Moraine Park, after everyone has taken any Brown and Brookie home for dinner, most likely still in their freezers...those few could not be inspired to bite hard.  And then the rutt is on, off the meadow at 5:00.

On the way home thought, Wild Basin, what, it is 5:20, why not?    I am sure that moose we heard about is far away now, the one we passed on the way out as I was fishing every little spot and husband was giving me "the look", and the hole I passed up on was the one with the moose.  Bull.  Whew.   Not the way I want to end the day, well sort of do, but sort of don't.  Rutt for them too.  They will charge a paper bag this time of year.

So I find my little safe area, the one where I put in Caddis emerger and Bam, and my husband says "damn" then my name.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?   Ha, I smile and say, want to see what is on here?

My best two words that day were "got one!"....

My little area does that same last night, in the dimming light, fish after fish take my fly.  No I did not bring any to the net, or to my hands, but it was fun just the same.  I was so nervous about it getting dark, about bear and moose, and I had taken off my waders, boots, just fishing in hiking sandals, no one was around at all, not one soul.  Not a car, not a sound.  Water can be quite noisy, causing you to not hear things near you.   Snap of a twig is about all it takes in fading sunlight to cause the face to turn around.  That to a suburban girl is intimidating!   But I love it the same.  It was so much fun.

The fish for me were not large this last three weeks, but fun and full of fight.  Few Browns I was able to get in those waters, but mostly Brookies.  When you look at the area it is a lot of work to get those guys, and I can see how it does not get fished out.

I would not want to be in this area in high winds!

Hidden gem in Colorado.   I will be back, hopefully.  I heard that it was good fishing this year as we have had low rainfall.  Under normal years this stream can kick butt.

All I know is I had a wonderful three weeks for the Wild Basin drainage area...

Inspired me to say " I am a flyfisherman, I am.  I am a good flyfisherman, I am." 

And I now have leaky waders.  My first badge.

And to reward myself, a new RLW flyrod and Lamson reel ordered and on the way, just for these type of waters, that ask for a delicate fly.

Off to Steamboat at the end of September, for more fish and maybe more moose.  I will be careful what I wish for!

Have a wonderful late summer and autumn....has been a wonderful year of fishing!

Tight knots!