Thursday, August 19, 2010

Streamer Season

Is fall really in the air. The kids went back to school the other day, the night time cooler temps only mean one thing. Streamer Season is just around the corner. Those who fish with me know I use streamers all year long. The bigger flies produce bigger fish at times. So the last few weeks I have been thinking up some new streamers for fall. So this past week I tied up a bunch of articulated streamer patterns to give a shot. I tied up my first prototype with out the articulation to get my proportions and all the bells and whistles right, before moving on to the articulated one. After a few tinkerings here and there I was able to make the articulated Apprentice. The Apprentice is an off shoot of my original bunker torpedo and the circus peanut dressings, but tinkered into my own fly of pure trout evil. Why do I call it pure trout evil, because this thing is pure evil. I don't know if it was dumb luck, stupid fish, or whatever, but I managed to get out this past weekend and hiked into Cheesman Canyon. I got to the canyon for an early start. I managed to make it down to the water by 6:20 am. I got to a spot where I like to start fishing and work a section of the river before hiking further back. I had the new rod put together, and tied on my new streamer the Apprentice. At this point I didn't tie any droppers on, just wanted to give this bad boy a few cast and see it flow through the water. Okay, I got my line out and made my first cast and was getting ready for the drift, but the thing didn't have any time to drift, because as soon as it hit the water, I nice very thick, 18" rainbow slammed it. The line went tight and the rod was bent. Since this was the first fish with this rod, I wanted to get the feeling of the rod and loosened up the drag and let the fish take off. I don't know if that was a good thing or not, because it ended taking me a while to get the fish back in. After about 10 minutes I landed, revived and released the fish back into the waters of the South Platte.

Getting ready for the next cast, I moved up a few feet from my first drift to work a nice piece of faster pocket water. The flows were beautifully at 356 cfs which is much better then the 96 cfs we usually see at this time of year, but with the work going on at the dam the water temps where much warmer then normal. Getting myself ready for the cast, made my decision on where I was going to put the fly. The fly hit the water, I made an upstream mend and the line went tight! After a few minutes landed a 21" bow. Two cast, two fish, on the new rod with the new fly. The stars must be aligned for me today I was thinking. Worked a few more pockets and runs that I like in this section and another 6 fish later I was ready to hike up stream a bit. All fish took this new articulated streamer I developed earlier this week.

Back to the fly itself, The Apprentice

Stinger Hook: Partridge CZ #12
Tail: Widow Flash, Marabou Olive, and dash of lite Bright Flash

Body: Bunker Torpedo Dubbing
Collar: Wood Duck Flank

Main Body: Streamer Hook Size 6
Tail: Widow Flash, Marabou Olive and dash of polar flash
Body: Bunker Torpedo Dubbing
Wings: Olive Ostrich Herl
Legs: Speckled Olive rubber legs.
Collar one: Wood duck flank, Colored olive
Collar two: Mottled Marabou
Hot Sport : Siman Peacock Red
Tungsten Cone Head

Underbody Weight: 7-10 wraps of .030 Lead

To articulate the streamer. I take a heavy mono filament and feed through the hook like you would be tying it normally. Then I take the two strands of the mono and tie to each side of the main hook shank and wrap it good and cement it and begin the second portion of the fly. Once the fly is completed, I snipe off the hook of the main fly and now you have a really great articulated fly.

Here is another color variation. I titled the Majestic, with some minor flash subsititutions.
But a great purple/black streamer for those overcast days that lie ahead in the coming months.

Tight Threads!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Rod

Today, I came home from work and my kidos greeted me at the door to say I received a box. I wasn't expecting anything so I was caught off guard. My son Quinn disappeared into the house and came out with a triangled box, which I knew contained a fly rod. But I wasn't expecting my fly rod back for another month due to repair noticed I received a few days earlier. I sent in a beat up Zero Gravity and got back a brand new ZG Helios. I am excited to hit the river and give it a shot. I am also wondering If Ill receive my T3 back or a new Hydros.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Glacier and beyond road trip

I just returned from a two week vacation with my family and some neighbors of ours. We traveled 3000 miles, 9 campgrounds, 12 campfires, 40+ miles hiked, 1 yurt, several fish species caught and returned to the water, US/Canada boarder crossing a few times, 3 bears, lots of deer, bald eagles, mountain goats and some very beautiful weather.

We started the journey off leaving Denver and traveling north to Billings, Mt, with a quick stay at the Yellowstone River Campground in Billings before making our way to Glacier. We arrived at Two Medicine in Glacier to find a full campground, so we made our way further north to the Cutbank campground in Glacier and got the very last spot. We spent two nights here tooling around two medicine side of glacier.

We then made our way into Waterton Lakes International Peace park for 3 days, we rented a canoe one day and paddled across Cameron Lake to a really neat mountain side made up of waterfalls and glacier. We did a ton of hiking in Waterton, traveled to Goat Haunt on the International Tug Boat, got our passports stamped here and returned to Waterton in Canada. And while in Waterton, we split from our neighbors who searched out some showers and we went up to the Prince of Wales of Hotel. Wow, what a beautiful place. Checked out a few more places inside the park and did a few more Hikes before leaving Canada and heading to the west side of Glacier. Made our way up to Bowman Lake in the upper northwest corner of Glacier, fished Bowman Creek caught a ton of little west slope cutts and cuttbows, fished the Flathead and got a Bull trout. Knocked that fish off my list. Did a few hikes and spent two nights here before leaving the park and headed to Kalispell for laundry day. The girls did laundry and we took the kids to a very crappy restaurant and meet back up with the girls. After we picked the girls up we headed into the Flathead valley to find a campsite, finally found one at Holland Lake, boy what a neat, yet weird campground.

After spending the night here, we woke up had breakfast and did a 3+ mile hike to a really cool waterfall, and returned to the cars to head out to Idaho, we made our way to Salmon Idaho, where we found a campground right on the Salmon river. Jason and I headed into town to get our fishing Licenses. After two stops finally found a place to sell us a license at 7:30 at night. Made our way back to the campground where the girls where putting dinner together. Got camp set up and got the rods strung up and fished the salmon river right at the campground, caught a few salmon, whitefish, a cutbow and a few rainbows. Woke up the next morning early, everyone else was sleeping, so I slipped into my waders and fished for two hours before everyone woke up. Managed to catch a couple salmon and rainbows. We had breakfast and broke down camp and started to make our way to the Galena Lodge, but we made a one stop along the salmon river to fish a few a few hours. Caught a few white fish and a ton of rainbows here, before hoping back into the Toyotas and headed towards Galena Lodge.

Got to Galena Lodge, had some dinner, made our way up to the yurts, which was cool, first time any of us stayed in a yurt. We woke up the next morning, had breakfast, meet our hosts for an afternoon hike, did the hike came back to the lodge for some lunch, ate lunch and the girls and kids hung out at the lodge for awhile while, Jason and I headed down the Big wood River for some fishing. We fished for about 3 hours catching a ton rainbows, nothing to big, but lots of fun. Headed back to the Galena got the kids and girls and headed down to Sun Valley for dinner.

Next day checked out of the yurts, Jason's family went horseback riding, and we headed to a our next campsite, we were supposed to head to the Tetons today, but decided to stay and extra day and camped on the Bigwood river, got camp set up and I went fishing, Jen hung out with the kids. I fished for a while, catching a ton of fish, the day was cloudy, so the fishing was a bit easier today and the fish seemed much bigger today then the day before. After a few hours, I headed back to the campsite, got Quinn and Miles in the waders and took them down to the river we only had about 45 minutes before we had to be back up at the lodge for Horseback Hay rides for the kids and BBQ. After dinner we headed back down to the campsite and Jason and I quickly hit the river for some evening fishing. Got into this hole where every cast would induce a strike or fish, which was awesome. Next morning we broke camp down and started to head home. Traveled through Idaho, and Utah before making our way to Fort Bridger for a quick night on the road, last camp night before making it home. Made it home the next day about 4 o clock. Today back at work.

What a great family vacation, the kids did awesome, the parents managed to drink a few handles of whiskey and couple cases of beer. Back to reality after two weeks and 3000 miles on the road.