Fly-tying

My friend Chad has been tying a bunch this winter. My friend Bones and I sat down and he showed me some techniques a while back. I should have myself a decent sized collection of self tied flies between their inspiration but that’s not the case. Tonight however, I sat down at the vise and threw a couple ugly little fellers together and took stock of what materials I have. Excuse the horrid quality, I make no claims that they are beautiful. Mostly it was “experimental”(code for terrible).

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Probably the best looking of the night, not saying much.

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Dryer lint collar, semi-inside joke Chad and I have that fish on Kootenai Creek will take literally anything you show them.

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Why? Because I have some weird materials to use up. That’s why.

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UKB, if the U stood for ugly.

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Winter Fishing

Managed to get out for the second fishing trip of the year a week or so ago. Chad and I headed down to Warm Springs. It was really windy but getting out of the Missoula inversion was great. Sadly, the river had an “emergency closure” not far from our put in. No fish, lots of wind, limited amount of water, we bailed and stopped in Deer Lodge for some McDonalds before heading home.

I’ve been experimenting with my new Sony Action cam and threw together a pretty raw video of the day.

Fun time if not productive. Phil claims six more weeks of Winter but hopefully will have the chance to get into the first fish of 2015 soon.

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New Years Day Outing

We changed our location for this years January 1st trip. Three years of Rock Creek changed out for the Bitterroot this year.

It was cold. Chad saw some fish but we didn’t hook into any this year. Oh well, still a great start to 2015.

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December Fishing

Duncan and I got out on Rock Creek a few weeks back. Cold, crisp, and clear. No fish but still a fun time. Turns out it was my last outing of 2014. Many thanks to everyone who followed along. I had plenty of good times in the water this past year and I look forward to more of the same in 2015.

Hope your holidays were fantastic and I wish you all the best in the new year!

Happy angling!

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Only 166 days until the creeks reopen

Today was the final day of creek season for western Montana. I started my year on Rattlesnake back in May so I figured it was a good way to wrap things up. Thurston and I got out for a couple hours. No bites but we did see one trout scurry out from under an ice shelf as we approached. Lost a couple San Juan worms and a killer kebari to snags. All fingers and toes remained intact.

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Fun time on the water as always. I threw line from Thurstons “western” style rod and managed to not get it horribly tangled. Maybe I’ll have to give it another go when the guides and line aren’t freezing up…
Thurst was kind enough to bring some ’12 Abyss by Deschutes, great way to end creek season. See you in the Spring, small water.

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Fall on a creek

Went fishing. Fooled three into taking the hook, all three spit it. Broke my rod tip as I was finishing up. Still, a great late fall day on the water.

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Sport Fishing off the CA coast

I found out a few months ago I’d be headed to Colorado Springs for some work training. It’s been ten years since I visited my friends in California so, I figured I’d fly down there for a few days pre-training and hang out. I used some airline miles to go MSO>PDX>LAX and my Boss was cool enough to¬†fly me SNA(John Wayne Airport)>DEN>COS>DEN>MSO instead of MSO>DEN>COS>DEN>MSO. While in California, we headed out on the ocean for some sport fishing.

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We hit the docks bright and early. Loaded up and stopped at the bait barge to get filled up. Tons of sardines swimming along side the boat. Couple guys in kayaks and a few other huge boats at the bait barge.

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Absurdly beautiful morning. I can see why people are attracted to the ocean.

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Morning faces.

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We motored along for somewhere around four hours. A few guys got sea sick. We ate some breakfast burritos and had some terrible coffee from the galley.

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The Captain was 22 years old. Dustin made the joke that he had to skip school to be there that day. People on board were a pretty wide mix. The crew seemed chill. A couple clear cut d-bags out of the anglers. Three women that seemed a bit out of place. Early in the trip I claimed that they would win the jackpot (biggest fish). Sure enough… to be fair, one of the deck hands hooked it and handed the rod over to her.

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Captain Kid was on the hunt for skipjack tuna. The whole crew was looking for these kelp pads. Apparently, there is a lot going on below the surface when you see these things. This one popped up and all the anglers sprang to action.

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It was intense. Near the first pad, we all rigged up. We were “fly lining”, which is apparently when you skewer some live bait through the nose, drop it over the side and let it run your line out. The whole time there are three rods off the back of the boat trolling. Finally, a fish hooked up on a troller and this was the signal for the Captain to kill the motor and get the anglers to throw line in the water.

At the first stop, I ran down, found a spot on the rail and dropped bait. Rapid fire, people were hooking and pulling in these HUGE (to me) tuna. Rods bent in half, people running back and forth along the boat, it was insane. I didn’t hook into anything and rapidly realized I was perfectly ok with that.

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A gaffe is a long stick with a hook on the end. This is the preferred method for getting the fish in the boat. I’m so used to catch and release it didn’t even cross my mind that we’d be keeping fish. After seeing so many fish get pulled in the boat and left to bleed out on the deck, I just couldn’t bring myself to keep on fishing. I’m not judging the folks who did in the least. It’s just really not my jam. On the day, something like 110+ skipjack tuna came on board. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 people had line in the water. They could all take the meat home and eat it while I couldn’t. I decided I’d tried the fishing so, it was time to just get up out of everyone else’s way and watch the madness.

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While the fishing wasn’t my thing, the trip was still pretty damn cool. Dustin clearly had a great time and it was fun to watch him work his ass off for his fish. Plus, I got to see some awesome scenery and wildlife I don’t normally get to see. I dug the flying fish, pretty much impossible to get a pic of those things though. And the giant pod of dolphins was unreal.

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A fine haul of fish for Dustin. Me doing my best to hide from the sun. A bit of wind burn on my face and some color on my calves. I can deal with that.

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So, that’s my sport fishing adventure. While the fishing wasn’t my bag, I was happy to give Dustin an excuse to get out and do something he really enjoys. Hanging out with my buddies was one of the primary reasons I got into fishing in the first place so, that’s a win.

Happy angling all.

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