Category Archives: fishing

Lighter, footsore and satiated, back to Red Staplers and Cubicle Horror

Got plenty of exploring done, fished 6 miles of river over the last 14 days. Fishing is a lot more than catching, and there’s nothing like the reward of nice surroundings and willing fish.

None were big, but all were enthusiastic and committed. I’m left satiated and 8 lbs lighter due to of liquids lost while humping trail in triple digit weather. The hip boots arrived none too soon, another week and I would have been a casualty.

About as close as I can get without spooking them

The Carp are still elusive, but I don’t feel so bad after reading the Day Tripper’s account of spotting carp, I felt their pain. Being solo all I can do is use stealth and foul language, usually one then the other…

Lots of free turkey tails, and they were as parched as I was, overcoming their fear of humans long enough to get water from the creek bottom. Something to ponder in November, us fly tiers are incorrigible – if it moves we are sure to kill it for the fur or feathers, with only beaks and feet to make the trash can.

I do need to find a better hydration system, as I sure can’t drink the local effluent, that will be a next season issue, as temperatures will likely start falling soon.

Satellite imagery was a new tool in my kit this year. Both Google Earth and the Microsoft Terra Server offer the ability to get imagery of the local landscape, although both are often dated. Unknown water is always a  challenge as the next bend always holds more promise than the last. Getting topological information ensures you always have a feel for what lies ahead, for us aging, lard butted solo fishermen, it’s a safety issue as well.

See you after work, on the foam line.

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Singlebarbed Maritime Products, We Pretend to be Aloof, but hock the Volvo Anyway

norsemanSo what is it about the Northern latitudes that prevents anglers from baiting their own hook? The proud Norse heritage, the blond invaders that held Europe in terror, discovered the New World, and invented Volvo, are suddenly squeamish?

Earlier we reported on the The Perfect Gift for the angler with everything, now another Icelandic beer guzzling couch potato entrepreneur wades in with the mini fish trawler. (MSN Video)

I have no idea what they cost, but this figures prominently in our plan for world domination.

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Mystery Fish, It Runs, It Jumps, It Eats Salmon

Mystery Solved, unfortunately they eat salmon

Update: It may be missing the yellow and black lateral line, but the Doctor was dead right. It puts me at a dilemma, as these critters have a bounty on their head in Oregon, $4 per fish for the first 1000, up to $8 per fish thereafter. They eat baby salmon, lots of them. The bounty is paid for a specific area, but the dollar totals some of those anglers put away is staggering. I guess they were here first, I will leave them be.

I also found a list of species for Cache Creek, among them were steelhead trout. So I have a new goal, catch a steelhead and a salmon from this little brownline treasure.

Mystery fish, slender, yellow and black center strip

Original Post: Last night’s foray into unknown waters yielded an equally unknown fish. Narrow, silver, and  a bottom feeder. I would classify it loosely as a “sucker” but it has a superior mouth, like a trout. Black and yellow lateral line, very distinctive.

Never seen these before, they fought well and ate anything thrown their way.

It’s what I got

The “Purple Mountains Majesty” missed my subdivision by a wide swath, but Getting Bit is just that, throw a fly in anger and hope that you get something with fins that’s receptive.

IMGP0035 This is what I got to work with and I’m approaching it with both caution and optimism.

Caution because with any stream in the rural-urban interface, you’re as likely to find a corpse as you are to find a pristine riffle of hungry steelhead. Both are equally remote, but you just never know.

Optimism, because I saw about 60 salmon here a couple of winters ago. Anything that can support a run of salmon can support something that bites flies year round.

This is your typical effluent enriched central valley farm creek. Access is spotty, but in casing what’s here I have managed to scare up carp, black bass, suckers, a couple of lawnmowers, and a chest of drawers. Gravity got the better of the drawers.

IMGP0021 Mid-August means the water is at it’s lowest, allowing me to see where the deep channels are, where the source of the dirty water is, and avoid the ambushes from the EPB (Eat Paintball, Biatch) guerrillas that live in the cane breaks all weekend.

The source of the dirty water was easy to find. It had been diverted through a  half dozen farms and a horse stable, so getting above that was the first step.

Midday is a poor time to inventory bug life, but it was what I had. I scanned the bridge abutments and any spider webs that I came across, to no effect. Saw the prerequisite damselflies and dragonflies buzzing about, but checking the underbrush yielded nothing.

Not wearing waders limited my access to underwater objects; a cursory check of submerged rocks and sticks revealed snails, minnows, and tadpoles. I found a wing from something in a web, but couldn’t tell whether it was a caddis or a termite.

Someone had been there before meIMGP0032 – another optimist. Found two discarded hook packages (snelled #8), one worm container, and half a clam shell. The clam shell would have been used for catfish or carp, the #8 hooks were consistent with the clam-as-bait theory.

Given the spent paintball rounds I saw, I might have been tempted to slide a red one on that #8 hook, even if I missed the strike – it’s likely that fish would’ve farted crimson for a week or two.

None of this is my idea, it is part of the perils of the Internet. Reading blogs like The Urban Flyfisher and Carp on the Fly is the fishing equivalent of luring underage school children across state lines.

With a two week vacation looming on the horizon, I will be returning with the appropriate armaments; crossed bandoliers of chilled beverage, and  a flyrod. At minimum, I will piss off the folks driving to work on the bridge above…

So what’ve you got in your backyard, Mister?

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You fish, Right

billfish.jpgIs 1500 lbs of dead fish like a wedding? …after all the good liquor is consumed and the guests start departing, you’re left with the bride – and the bill?

I am accosted in the hallway with a “you fish, right?” comment. The speaker points to the screen of his PC – displaying a grinning angler, 42 quarts of blood, and 1400 pounds of Black Marlin hanging from block and tackle.

I assume this is going to be another, “You fish therefore you’re a Beast” conversation, and as I prepare my rebuttal, I am thrust off balance by his follow up question. “What do you do with all that dead fish?”

I confess, I really don’t know.

60.jpgI had always assumed that part of the charter involved sending you 1400 cans of something-or-other, but the postage would bankrupt you. I have never fished “big game” before, and have even wondered what the guy holding the 60lb carp was going to do.

I figure a third of any fish is skin, cartilage, guts, and fins. Add another 10% to waste in the fillet process, and a 1500 lb fish is still a formidable 900lbs of dead flesh. Any “good” woman is going to prevent you from foisting that carcass on her – at the point of a shotgun, no less.

Being the traditional “Bwana, Great Hunter” type – you really dont care for eating fish, but occasionally do buy fish sticks, nicely sterile, breaded, and frozen. If we assume that 1lb of fish is a dinner serving (for one), then you and the spouse have 450 dinners in the freezer.

You’re the outdoors guy in your neighborhood, and the normal channels of “laundering” dead game, is to fob the fish on your neighbors. Assuming each package is approximately 5 lbs, you need 90 families (who still speak to you).

10 homes on my block, 20 – if you count both sides of the street. If we allow for the folks you have pissed off; revving your truck before 6AM, recipients of “freezer burned” fish, and those that you gave the “naturally stuffed” fish to… you just fed eight city blocks of people with that one corpse.

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and answer the door with ‘You killed it, you eat it.’ “

Like you, I am a fly fisherman and must answer for all the angling brotherhood.  Explaining to non anglers the secret rituals, the devil worship, and how to tell a good fib. Can anyone help?

In Defense of Jesus

nofishing1.jpgI was pondering the issue of fishing ethics and managed to stumble on the PETA site for angling. Moderates have been out of fashion for a number of years, while fanaticism is on the ascendancy…

“Yet it’s a fact that all fish flesh today is contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins. In fact, fish flesh is just about the most polluted thing that humans put into their bodies. On that basis alone, Christians should not be eating it.”

Whew, thankfully I have escaped their wrath – as I’ve been called many things while fishing but “Christian” ain’t one of them. On the lighter side of this pedantic message, I should reassure PETA that 90% of fly fishermen don’t eat their catch, rather – we go fishing with the intent of slamming chemically sharpened iron through a fish’s face, winching the SOB through the water, then suffocating the creature intentionally – all while we pose smiling for the camera.

Only partially satiated by this bloodcurdling act, we toe the carcass into the underbrush so we can catch more.

“…like every other animal, some people still think of fish as swimming vegetables…”

Nothing is further from the truth, angling literature is replete with references to how smart fish are using adjectives like; wiley, cagey, and discriminating. Only the fish-fowl brand of Vegans consider fish vegetables.

Fishermen know they’re going to Hell, what’s in doubt of is whether they’re already there or not. Fearing for your immortal soul? – $16.00 is cheap penance.

Fancy having a go at Match Fishing?

Guilty. After whistling softly at some photos of the fair sex on a vendor’s site, I ran across a link to these hotties “across the pond.”senior_dating.jpg

I’ve never been shy, but the idea of engaging the Duchess of Winterbotham in an in-stream singles scene was a tad chilling.

“So, Madam, do you go barbless on the first date?”

How do you deploy the conventional watering-hole pickup lines, whilst swatting mosquitoes? – and if you let her have first crack at a rising fish, are you a sexist boor?

I fear we’re woefully underequipped to round some bend and see the woman of our dreams midcurrent, despite out continual fantasy to the otherwise.

“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a hatch like this?” Should result in an icy stare, and after being largely ignored by the fish can the male angling-ego survive such a brushoff?

The Lessons of Fips-Mouche

FIPS Mouche LogoFor them as don’t know, the stalwart lads from the USA that participated in the 27th Annual Fly Fishing World Championships finished sixth overall, a pleasant uptick from years past, with teams from 22 countries participating.

It’s obvious what’s needed, armed with all that tackle, talent, and verve,  conspicuously absent was the lack of any nicknames for our guys. This is professional sports dammit, there has to be a guy named “Tank” or “Booger” in order for any team to be taken seriously!

Imitation of the Eurotrash contingent puts us years behind, and as they’ll testify, our only real contribution to Western Culture has been boorish manners and Sourmash whiskey. It’s time we give his Lordship a wakeup call, as this is a multi-venue, multi-day event, there is ample opportunity for Boom boxes, beercans, and a few thrown elbows.

We’ll see how the French do when their fillings start to rattle…