Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking bare

My fishing wall is beginning to look pretty bare with a lot of my gear packed up. It looks so sad, but at the same time it stirs up some feelings of excitement. Next week is going to be good. Very good.

Great posts to follow I hope, but that's all from me for now. Plane leaves in a few hours.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A pair of firsts

Despite my need to prepare for the upcoming epic trip to Montana, I did go out this weekend for my third carping attempt since moving to Portland.  Is the third time a charm, or is it the fourth?  I don't remember.  But what I do remember was how damn high the water has been out there on Sauvie Island.  Here was my view from one of the small parking areas the first time I went out.

For the most of you who aren't in the know, that's not the lake. At least not normally. Nonetheless, there were actually some carp out in that mess, but they were few and far between and I never really saw any tailing. And obviously I didn't catch anything.  This past weekend, however, all that water was miraculously gone!

And in my very first approach to the water I saw a tail dancing around on the surface.  To all you non-carpers out there, that means the fish is rooting around in the muck looking for food.  This is the moment when they are incredibly vulnerable.  In fact in my experience once you find a fish in this situation, the chance of getting a bite is a near guarantee.

Anyway, I set up the camera on the tripod, hit record, and slowly approached.  As I neared the fish I tried to gather which direction he/she was facing, but only the very tip of the tail was showing and I couldn't tell so I guessed.  Cast, wait, strip, nothing.  Then the fish's tail came farther out of the water and showed me I had guessed wrong and he/she was facing the other direction.  Aha.  So recast, wait, strip, bite!  Fish on!

After a fairly brief fight and a couple failed attempts to gather the fish, albeit a small one, into my hands with no net, I picked him up and got a quick shot.

Not a bad start to the day.  But unfortunately that was the last tail I saw.  There were a couple other places where carp were slowly and mystically moving through the underwater grass.  All that was visible were bits of grass moving here, then there, then farther on, slowly tracing a random walk through the wetland presumably in search of food.  And too bad for me they didn't want my food and every time I tried to cast to them all I managed to do was spook them.

But this is my first carp since having moved to Portland and my first carp of the year so I was quite happy. Don't worry, I'll be back.

P.S., you have may have noticed that I recorded the ordeal but haven't posted the vid. Sorry. I'm having some trouble getting Windows Movie Maker to load .avi files and I don't have the time to figure it out right now. I'll post it sometime in the future and lie to you saying that it's a new second fish, and make up some super cool story to go along with it. I promise it will be good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Uh, waiter...

Yes it is a bug. No, it's not for catching fish. Yes I ate a few of them. And no, they weren't that good.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh Yeah

A sweet turn of fate just happened to drop me off mean the doorstep of nirvana. On the way to return a rental car at the San Jose airport I spied this place, and I just happen to be quite hungry.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bighorn River Recipe: Wonder Nymph

Yes, it's yet another post related to the looming trip to Montana. Apologies. But you know you want it. This is a baetis nymph pattern that I picked up from a guide last year. It's a fairly common pattern and can actually be tied about fifty different ways, but I am going to post on the version I think looks the nicest.  That's not to say this is the best and most effective version. Actually the version I got from the guide was different and had a much fluffier wing case. Nonetheless, here we go.

I like to start out with a sz14-18 scud hook and feel free to choose your color of thread. Here we're doing it with olive, but these can be tied gray, black, dun, or really any color of mayfly nymph you are trying to copy. Wrap the thread back to the curve in the hook.

Next tie in some wood duck flank for the tail and a copper wire for ribbing. The flank feathers should stick out roughly half the length of the hook.

Wrap the thread up the hook to form a thread body, and rib the wire up. Looking good so far.  Sorry this pic sort of sux.

We're almost done already, and here's my favorite part. Grab a piece of hackle, I'm using grizzly, cut off the fluffy butt section, trim off the hackle tines down to the last few millimeters, and tie it on upside down and pointing out the back to form a wingcase here in a bit. 

Next dub a nice thorax, not too big and not too small (and trim the hackle end). It sort of looks like crap here but bare with me it's about to be glorious.

Finally pull the hackle wingcase over and tie it in and your done!

The wingcase can be done more like an RS2 with more of a fluffy affect, but for some reason I like this look better. I just hope the fishes agree with me. I guess I'll let you know in a month.