Thursday, April 28, 2011

Damn you weatherman!

I am on my way out East for work next week, so I figured I may as well stop by my old haunts in the Denver area for the weekend.  I booked some flights a few weeks back with a two-day layover in Denver and the time is here tomorrow.  Yes, I will be doing some fishing while I'm there.  But I'm a little unhappy about how things are looking now.  For two reasons.

Reason number one is the weather.  Denver in May should be 60-80 degrees and sunny.  No such luck for me.  It is supposed to be nice all week then nosedive into some pretty crappy weather for the two days I'm there before jumping right back into the nice weather.  Thanks a lot weather pattern.

To make matters worse, it seems the crappy weather is going to climb in the plane with me on Sunday evening and follow me out to Baltimore.  It's nice there now and will be through the weekend....until I get there.  Then, of course, more rain.  As if I didn't get enough rain in Oregon!

That is reason number one.  Reason number two is that I was hoping to hit up my home waters, SBC, just outside Boulder.  This time of year river flows can be a bit of a crapshoot but I was thinking that it's early enough the runoff shouldn't be in full swing yet and should be fishable.  What I didn't expect is the flows to drop to near-zero! 

Fortunately, as you can see, the near-zero flow was only for part of a day.  Not sure what happened there, but the enormous drop is still very odd to me.  Why?  I'm expecting the flow to shoot back up to near 200cfs, about the biggest flow at which this river is fishable. 

I still sort of want to do it to it, but there is some pressure to go check out the Blue river.  I've been to the Blue river 4 times and I can count the number of fish I've caught on one hand.  You do the math.  My vote will probably stick with SBC.

And you will all find out what I/we did next week sometime.  Wish me luck!

Name that house

My sincere apologies for the non-fishing post, but I can't help it.  I took a short sightseeing trip with some friends a couple weeks ago.  I don't usually do the sightseeing or touristy things, but this one I couldn't pass up.  The house in the image below was the purpose of the trip.

Can anyone out there name how this house achieved its fame?  Anyone?  There is no reward other than your own ego and pride boost, but that's a great reward.

Yes, you should know it, although the yard has been changed and improved since you've seen it.

Let me give you a hint, it is in Astoria, Oregon.

I'll give you another hint.  It's from one of the best movies of all time.

Still no?


Well, here's your answer:

Congratulations if you

Monday, April 11, 2011

I love DST!

I meant to write a short post on this about a month ago, and am just finally getting around to it.  Why?  What's this about?  Because I'm sitting here watching the news online at 7:45 and I look outside and see the sun still out.  There will still be light at 8!  I vividly remember when the sun was gone by 5. 

There's nothing worse than when you go to work just after the sun goes up and leave work after the sun goes down.

On the flip side there's nothing better when you go to work in sunlight, then get to enjoy 3+ hours of daylight after work!

I will soon be hauling my fishing gear to work on my bike and hitting up the river that runs through town a couple times a week.  Can't wait!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Apparently fish can have Dickie-Do's too!

My apologies to whom I stole this photo from.  I couldn't help myself!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Bighorn Video

Here's another video of my trip to the Bighorn.  You know you want it.

This one is no joking around.  Enjoy.

Bighorn river fishing trip days 3-5

This post is sort of a continuation of a previous post regarding my recent trip to Montana to slay some trout.  I broke the trip up into two posts because the first two days were just myself and my friend Mike, whereas the next 3 days were with 16 additional people, yes, 16!  A bit of history for the trip: the first year was just me and my friend Brady, the second year was Brady, Eric, and myself, (later that year we also did Brady's bachelor party on the river with about 15 people), the third year we expanded the group to nine, and this year it was 18.  Extrapolating to next year I suppose we'll have 50-some odd people and we will take over the town of Fort Smith and hold it ransom!

But really 18 people wasn't bad.  We rented a big house near the river and the logistics were pretty simple: let a few dads buy all the food and rent enough boats for everyone.  After that everyone was on their own and it worked out ok.  In retrospect we probably should have smartly paired people who had fished with those who hadn't, but it's too late now.

After some quick muscle memory exercises of trying to avoid capsizing the boats or run into each other we were off and fishing.  I've never had much luck fishing from the boat unless with a guide and this trip was no different.  In 3 days I think we landed a handful of fish in the boat although we did hook at least a dozen.

Over the course of the first day 16 out of 18 people caught fish, which is pretty good since at best half the people actually do this whole trout fly fishing thing more than this one time a year.  And the two who got skunked had never done it before.  A quick message to those two:  in my first entire summer of fly fishing, here's how many fish I caught -- 0.  Yes, 0.  Seven years later I finally know what I'm doing, at least to some extent.

Clif at Lunker Hunt had a great first day and first fish and managed to lock up the Big Fish competition, which earned him some whisky and a ridiculous cigar.  Not bad for your very first fish on a trip and Clif's first wild trout caught on the fly (he's unfortunately a bass guy mainly).  Here's his evidence, which is good for him since no one witnessed the miracle.

We also had a competition for smallest fish, and to make it interesting and to force people to care, we had a punishment pot for catching whitefish.  $10 per fish.  Then after I caught six of those damn things in one day I instituted a $30 limit per person.  In the end the pot was something like $150, and again someone's very first fish of the trip (I think) won the pot.  But mind you, every smallish fish was measured for the rest of the trip but as Clif said, 8" was untouchable! In fact that's the smallest fish I've ever seen on the Bighorn.  In years past 14" or so was the smallest I've seen caught.  Not bad, huh?  Frank won the pot (not with this fish though):

Costly and shameful fish:

Normally for this trip which we have been doing in May, we camp on the riverside.  But this year since we moved it up to March it didn't seem like a good idea to camp in rain/snow/cold so we booked a house, which was great.  I brought up a bunch of fly fishing videos for entertainment at night and we didn't even use the pooltables or fussball table or other fun things.

But we did use the trap thrower one morning which was a ton of fun.  Most of us were hitting a couple when we got lucky until Jack showed us how to actually do it, then we started hitting most of them.  It was pretty amazing!

My dad managed to catch something I had never seen before, and was actually the biggest fish of the trip.  The biggest fish award was for trout only and my dad should be lucky I didn't make him pay the pot for this ugly thing (sucker):

And some of the other people who caught fish and who I have image of with fish are as follows.



Brady (left) and Me (right) with one of many daily doubles:



Jerry with one of his first fish on the fly ever:



John also brought along an old school cane pole that was left in the attic of his house and I strung it up on the last day to see if it was possible to catch fish with it.  I was a little surprised to find out that it was and it was pretty fun!  Here's a pic and there's some video content below:

And finally, a fun little video I threw together.  It nicely documents how the trip devolved every day from morning fishing into intoxicated fishing.  I intend to play around with some more videos (I have a ton of footage) that I'll post later, but here's what I have for now.

More pics to come.  Stay tuned....

And thanks for reading!

I love you Montana.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy birthday to me

That's right, yesterday was my birthday!  Sing with me... Happy birthday to me.  .....  Nevermind, you're a little tone deaf.

What did I do to celebrate my birthday?  I worked about a twelve hour day with some clients I had in from out of town.  On the plus side we did go out for drinks and to watch the Trailblazers after, which was fun.  But the good part came when I finally got home around 11.  I had a couple packages waiting at my door, and one of them I have had on my list for a while now and wish I would've had it a week ago to use in Montana.  In the future it will help me get a bunch of great material for this blog to entertain you all.  It's waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and idiotproof.  Or at least the first 3 of those.

Thanks Mom and Dad.  Great timing since my other camera is now totally kaputt.  Can't wait to get some great underwater video and fish pictures.

Montana fishing days 0, 1, and 2

For my first real post after the big Montana fishing trip that I recently returned from I will outline the first two days, plus the first evening (hence day 0).  So the trip got out to a pretty rocky start.   I booked a flight from Eugene to Portland to Denver to Billings and was understandably a little nervous about something being late.  Well, my flights were all fine but Mike, who I was fishing with for the first two days to catch some extra fish and hopefully figure out the river to some degree for all the newbies coming up, missed his connection in Minneapolis.  Billings being the major hub it is didn't have another inbound flight from MN for 10 Mike was a bit late.

Since I had 10 hours to blow and the river was only 1.5 hours away I figured I might as well go check in at the fly shop and throw my waders on and go toss a few.  I drove down to the river, got geared up, and began walking downstream to a couple places I have fished in years past.  There have often been fishing rising along a certain portion of the river and I headed there.

Once I got down to the spot I was heading for I took a look and was happy to see that just as I had hoped there were quite a few fish rising very frequently.  I pulled out my camera to get a couple shots and maybe some video and of course the camera wouldn't work.  This problem had occurred before: the camera turns on but the screen is blank and the pictures come out black.  I tried the old "hammer" fix by hitting it a few times to no avail.  Great, no camera for the next 5 days.  Ugh.  Thus the lack of pictures...

Anyways, I fished the pods of rising fish that were there.  I hooked two pretty quickly but lost them both.  That managed to spook most of the fish and only a few remained rising and they were too sparse to bother fishing, so I packed up my stuff and headed further downstream.  I spent the next hour or so tossing nymphs and hooked another couple fish and actually landed one.  There's something about this river that I find always requires me losing a bunch of fish before I get dialed in and start actually catching.  I'm not sure what it is or what I change but things do and did improve.

Once dusk was nearing I headed back to the car to go pick Mike up at the airport.  He got in around 11pm so we got back to our cabin at around 1am.  Plenty of time to get a little sleep!

Mike had previously convinced me to pull out my wallet to pay for a guide for two days.  It didn't take much convincing and was quite a lot of fun.  Our guide was Dave, who had been guiding on the Bighorn for nearly 20 years.  He supposedly was the guide (or one of them) who took out the veterans on the "healing waters" program that was highlighted at the fly fishing film tour a year or two or three ago.  Anyway, he definitely knew where all the fish were and was a bit of an entertainer to boot.  He's the one rowing the boat and making funny comments in the video in my previous post.

I wasn't sure going into it if I was going to be comfortable with a guide watching over my shoulder, netting all my fish, tying all my flies, etc.  But it was actually pretty nice.  After the first half day or so Dave figured out that we really only needed/wanted him to show us where to go, what to use, and to row the boat and have some fun with us.  We ended up taking 3 pictures the first day and decided we'd better get the camera out more on day two for some of the nicer fish.  But here's Mike and me holding some of our nicer fish on day 1.

Day two didn't yield all that many more pics either, but here's Mike with one nice fish:

To wrap up days 1 and 2 I want to give some props to Bighorn Dave our guide.  I suspect Mike and I would have each caught 10ish fish each day on our own and would probably have struggled to figure out where to fish productively the first day.  As it went, though, we estimated something like 60 fish between the two of us on the first day and the second day was a little slower and we guessed only 40-50 fish.  So we only manged to catch about 100 fish the first two days.  Thanks Dave!  If you want to hang out with Dave just call up the Bighorn Angler and ask for him as a guide!

That's it for days 0-2.  My apologies for the lack of pics here.  I have many many more for the next 3 days because I got everyone's pics before we left and have a couple hundred to choose from.  Come back and check out the blog soon for even more goodies.

I'm working on a bunch of videos too.  There are some good hook-ups caught on tape as well as some bloopers and maybe some drunk talk.  It will be good stuff.

Keep your eyes on Clif at Lunker Hunt because he was there too and will surely have some good material.

See you soon...

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm baaa-aaack

Hello all!  I am back from my annual trip to the lovely Bighorn river in big sky country.  I have tons of pics and videos, some in thanks to Clif at Lunker Hunt.  I have been playing with putting together some videos and will continue to do so for quite a while.

But I know you are all dying for some material to waste your time with, so here's a bit of a teaser video...

A big thanks to Bighorn Dave for rowing the boat for us.