Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spin guys: you are the problem

Now before you get all hot and bothered, let me explain my title. I decided on that title for two reasons. One was that it is controversial and will ruffle feathers and that's the way to get people's attention. I apologize for lowering myself to such low levels, but what's a blogger to do? The second reason was a number of experiences I have had on the rivers since moving to Oregon. And in Oregon there are zillions more spin guys than there were in Colorado.

Now the disclaimer. No, I don't think all spin guys are the problem. That would be unfair. Plus, I am sometimes one of you and I am not the problem. Even though I'm sure I occasionally drop something and leave it behind, I make a point to always pick up some riverside trash and take it home with me. That way even though I'm sure I sometimes accidentally litter, my net affect is to the good.

But I have noticed over the past 2 years how much trash there is here on Oregon rivers and what kind of trash it is. You might say "no, you can't say it's all the spin guys," but I'm fairly sure it is. Firstly, I can't remember the last time I picked up an empty tippet spool or any other sort of packing for fly gear. Secondly, sure, there are always beer cans which could come from anywhere. But I very often find things like bait containers, hook packaging, other random spin gear packaging, and worst of all gobs of tangled line. All spin gear, never fly gear.

After seeing all this trash I have come to the conclusion: spin guys are the problem.

Not all spin guys!!  So please don't go crazy on me. I'm sure most of the spin gear fishermen are just fine, tidy, and clean. But why is it that ALL of the trash I find is either beer cans (neutral origin) or spin gear packaging and line? Just last weekend I picked up what seemed like an entire rig of bright green line that someone had made a mess of and decided to leave right on the bank. It was not the sort of thing that maybe someone had in their pocket that snagged on a bush and was accidentally left behind. It was largely in a pile on the rocky bank and a lot of it had been cut into small pieces. And this weekend I picked up a couple of empty containers for some sort of tasty goo to coat bait with.

The moral of the story is not to say spin guys suck. Although they do! (joking)  And I hope I don't sound too pretentious in this post. I have no problem with spin guys because they're spin guys. I have a problem with anglers who dirty up the beautiful places we all share to enjoy our hobby/sport/pastime.

The other moral is that I should move back to Colorado because rivers are way cleaner there.

I am genuinely curious why it is that spin guys generate all the litter. I suspect it has something to do with the type of people that are attracted to spin fishing rather than fly. It's a little simpler than fly fishing (although really not much).  It's a little easier. And apparently it's dirtier.

There is a real moral to this post, though. I'm just not sure what it is.  I guess that's what the comment section is for.

I am leaving the comment section open for the enjoyment of all! But I will be deleting anything deemed too unruly or stupid.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Now I'm Ready

Just one month short of a full year. That's how long it took me to get my Loop rod fixed. Well, fixed isn't the right term.  I lost the top section while fishing the Bighorn river in Montana last year. I had broken the rod down as we were on our way back to the boat pull-out and stowed it in the back of the boat. Once it reached the car there were only 2 of the 3 sections. We looked for an hour or more all over the boat, between the boat and the car, in the river where we docked the boat, but it was nowhere to be seen. We even went back the next morning to see if we could find it in bright light. Nope. It was lost forever.

So I contacted Loop to see if losing a section was covered under warranty. I didn't do it right away, though. I have a few other rods I could use so there was no rush. Finally after more than a few months passed I figured I should try to get it fixed. It took quite a few calls and emails to reach someone, but finally I managed to find out that the warranty would cover the lost piece. After a little back and forth I received the details for sending the rod back, packaged it up, and shipped it to Idaho.

Then came the waiting game. It took the service center a couple shipments to get the section in, but less than two months later it was done and back in my hands. I should clarify, though, just in case everyone out there now thinks Loop's service blows. They did an OK job.  Eight of the eleven months involved the rod sitting in its tube in my living room. The only real complaint is they were a little hard to get a hold of.

In the end the rod came back just in time for the annual Bighorn river trip again. Except we moved the trip back to June so now I have plenty of time!  I might actually take her out this weekend to chase some steelhead around.  No, she's not really an ideal steelhead rig but it's been so long since she threw some line that it needs to be done.

It also makes a nice addition to my small stock of weapons.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Off to the Vise - Carp

I haven't tied flies in quite some time. Then again, I haven't fished in a while until this past weekend. No, I didn't blog about it and won't be. There's nothing to tell. Saw no fish, caught no fish. I did chat with a couple other people on the river who were singing the same sad tune I was. Thus, no post.

Back to what I was saying. I haven't tied flies in quite some time, and I feel a little guilty. Because of that I dropped by the fly shop over the weekend to pick up a couple things I don't have to tie a special fly. What to tie? I have plenty of typical trout patterns, and I still have a number of random steelhead flies. On the other hand I've been wanting to do a little more carp fishing this spring/summer, so a carp fly is my goal. What does a carp fly look like? If you ask me it looks like a bunch of garbage that you have strung around a hook. As long as the fly has a little weight to get it down and then swims through the water in front of a feeding carp, he will eat it. Carp are not picky like trout, possibly because pretty much no one fishes for them. Carp are also not small like trout.

The only carp specific fly I really know of is Jay Zimmerman's Backstabber carp fly. Does it work? I don't know, but I trust Jay. At the very least he knows way more than I do. And he can show me how to tie it via YouTube.

It's actually a surprisingly simply fly. It only takes a couple ingredients and ties in just a couple minutes. Even for the novice like myself.

Attempt #1 looked like this:

Like I said, garbage on a hook with some weight.  That's about it.  I don't know if I did a good job on this one, but as far as I can tell it looks just fine.

And 15 minutes later I had the following:

Enough to hook and lose four carp!  Now I just need to figure out where to go chase the carps around once I get frustrated with the impossibility of catching steelhead.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


An excellent parcel arrived in my mailbox today.

It's a little ridiculous that I have just now received my fishing license for this year.  But I have only myself to blame.  Fortunately I'm now ready to go.  Surely all kinds of excellent fishing posts are soon to follow.,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Before and After

On a recent ski trip to Mt. Bachelor in Bend, OR I bagged my first ever deer, car hunting.  I don't know how fast I was going when I hit her, but before I hit the brakes I was going 65mph.  And I didn't have much time to slow down.  Fortunately, good old "car car" got off quite well considering.  

The deer was not so well off.  All the better for the cop who we called to come put the poor deer out of its misery.  Here's the before and after: 

But the slight damage to "car car" made me start thinking more heavily about updating my automobile arsenal.  I've been considering doing this ever since getting out of school and getting a real job.  My thought process followed a series of considerations.  First was what I would love to drive.  I did some searching for a slightly used BMW 335xi.  Then after considering the price tag I revised to a more reasonable option.  And finally after realizing I'm a cheap bastard I made another modification to the plan.  It looks like this:

My cheapness stems from knowing what a before and after of my bank account would look like:

And here's the before and after of my decision to fix "car car:"

I'm sort of happy to have it fixed.  It's nice to watch the bank account number tick up each month rather than try to swim up out of the abyss.  But she's getting old.  84 in dog years in fact.  She has a number of minor inconveniences like the gas cap open button doesn't work anymore, the stereo has always been a little flaky, and it sure would be nice to be riding in style again.  Some day soon...

If anyone gets my reference "car car" I give you mad mad props!