Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Holidays...sorta

As you may be aware I spent the previous holiday weekend in sunny Colorado.  This is my post describing the hijinks that ensued!  Of course, you already knew that.

There was some fishing done, of course, but that comes later.  First there is turkey-day itself!  About five years ago my roomates at the time and I decided to venture away from the conventional Thanksgiving turkey for the more adventurous turducken.  And being adventurous guys we weren't about to go buy a prepared turducken.  Where's the fun in that?  Ever since Wednesday evening has been a Thanksgiving pre-party for turducken preparation and is often the more fun day.

This year it was not the more fun day.  At least not for me.  We were hanging out, smoking stuff in Brady's new smoker, we did some oyster shooters, and prepped the turducken.  Then I started feeling a bit off.  And quickly I started feeling really sick.  Within minutes I was headed for the bathroom to donate my supper to the toilet and continued to do so every hour on the hour for the next six or seven hours.  Obviously not fun.  I guess I'm wildly allergic to oysters, which is fine because they aren't that good anyway.

On Thanksgiving day itself there was cooking going on, football being watched, and people with hangovers trying to sleep them off.  As usual the after-dinner festivities were sluggish and ended relatively early as the tryptophan oozed through everyone's bodies.

Friday is when things picked up.  I had planned a fishing outing with Brady and John for Saturday, but with all of Friday open it would have been sacrilegious not to head out.  With my gear all packed up and ready to go I asked Brady what he was going to do with his day.  His fam was planning on being out and about most of the afternoon so he said he was just going to sit around the house.  I said "unacceptable, let's go fishing." He told asked the wife and we were off.  My intended destination was the South Boulder Creek, where Brady had been skunked the weekend before.  He was unable to shake my determination.

We didn't get on the water until noonish, but I wasn't concerned.  There are always fish there and they're always biting.  It was a typical day on the SBC.  The fish were in the normal spots as I expected, mostly in the winter holes but not exclusively.  I managed to catch a couple nice browns in addition to about five other smallish browns.  A reasonable half day on the SBC in winter.  But I have to admit, I miss this water during summer when I can expect catch rates in the teens per hour along certain super-secret stretches.

Part II covering Saturday's fishing drama to come later this week.

To better serve you

I just added an app to my phone that should have been added long ago.

Be prepared for more frequent and less relevant or interesting posts going forward.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trading spaces

Round one of the holidays is pretty much here, and I am fortunate enough to be going anywhere else.  Sure, tomorrow is a busy travel day, but all that means is you wait an extra 5 minutes to get groped and fondled by TSA and all the seats on your plane are taken.

In exchange, this year, I am getting a big upgrade in weather.

Portland forecast                                                                                     Colorado forecast


Yep, I'll take that trade.

And can't wait to get in some fishing, maybe on the old home turf of SBC.  But I'm already being pressured to get more adventurous.  We'll see.

Wow, gotta get up in 8 hours to catch a plane.  I'd better go pack!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The rain is here

After a couple days of more constant and harder rains this week, rivers are on the rise.  No, don't worry you silly Colorado people.  Rivers rising here in Oregon do not mean chocolate milk and unfishable conditions.  This is something I have had to learn over the past year.  Instead, what it means is that the steelhead or salmon, depending on the season, push up into the rivers.

This increase is a little late and normally (as if I would know having lived here for a whole 2 years) the fall salmon would already be in the rivers.  And late November would be when the winter steelhead begin their push upriver to spawn.

So the question that remains is what will be hidden in the dark depths of the rivers?  Will it be a nice Coho, or a Chinook, or perhaps a steelhead?  Does it even matter?  Probably not.  They are all big.  They are all serious fighters.  They are all hard to catch/land.  And I know little to nothing about chasing them.

So the final question remains, where do I fish this weekend???

FYI, the graphs on the right are of the levels of a few random rivers over the past month.  The blue is the actual level and the green is the historical average.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Colorado river, you suck

I have been putting off writing about this trip for some time.  The reason?  Because I really don't have much to say.  I do want to thank Erin and Howard for their tips.  The original idea for my recent trip to CO was to hit up some high mountain lakes in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  But being so late in the year there was a good chance significant amounts of ice would be involved, and I'm not talking about ice chilling beers in plastic coolers.  I'm talking about the glassy barrier between my fly and the fishs' mouths.  We called up the Ranger's office and they said the lakes were indeed freezing overnight and then thawing throughout the days, so that idea was tossed out the window.

Our contingency plans were either the Ark or the Colorado river with a possibility of hitting up the Yampa, but that was just a little too far to really make sense.  We settled for the Colorado because of some good reports both from the intarwebs and through the grapevine.  To be completely honest though, I maintain a nugget of hatred for the Colorado river in my heart.  I have had some good days there, but more often than not it seems I get massively frustrated by the hordes of rising fish all around me but not taking my offerings.  And it doesn't help when another guy in the group is slaying it and telling me that they're eating anything with a parachute!

But I agreed to the Colorado as a destination, carrying in the back of my mind significant hopes of big fish everywhere.  Yes, I know that's a terrible mindset to have.  It's like going to a movie expecting it to be the best film of the year, but I couldn't help it!

Well, the trip lived up to my historical view of the Colorado river.  I saw more dead fish than live ones, and between four people I could count the total number of fish caught in two full days of fishing on my two hands.  None were all that big either.  The best of the trip was a 14" rainbow.  One of the other guys claimed to have a really nice one on that popped off as he was netting it, but we all know how trustworthy anglers are.  It was probably a nice chunky 12 incher.

All the dead fish were a little perplexing and concerning to me.  I seriously saw at least ten dead fish in two days, a couple of them were PIGS.  Usually I'll see one or two per trip.  I suspect the fishing gods heard I was about to visit the river so they poisoned it just prior to my arrival.

Never again, Colorado river!  Until next time...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Man, I love bacon, and this must have been some incredible bacon!

Work was paying, but I still abstained out of principle.

"You yadda yadda'd over the best part!"
"No, I mentioned the bisque."
-- props to anyone who can cite my quote