Friday, November 30, 2012

Pipe Dreams

So, I haven't written a blog post in a long time as I have been very busy with work just finishing up for the season a week or two ago. The majority of my free time however, has been spent fishing. I have also been working on getting my fishing career going. It has been a dream of mine for years now, so I'm just gonna run with it... You may think I'm crazy. But, I always say I'd rather be poor and enjoy life, than rich and miserable... On that note, I will continue to pursue a life and career in this crazy fly fishing game. The dry fly season came to an end weeks ago, and even the lake run season is beginning to slow down until Spring. This time of year is fly tying time for me. I have a few orders to get done. Then, its on to refilling my personal boxes and messing around with new patterns and ideas. All in all, this has been one of the best years I've ever fished in my life. My buddy's and I have visited many new streams and rivers. We camped, drank, laughed, lived, loved, and managed to make it back home in one piece. Its not about just fish, or fishing. Its about commraderie and sharing moments with friends while meeting new friends and sharing great moments with them as well. It can also be about solitude, and time to think. We still enjoy catching fish, but that's only part of the total package of fishing in my eyes. Some of you know what I'm talking about. Others will learn. There will also be some that could give a shit less and keep taking hero shots and nothing else. In the long run, if it were only about catching fish, I think it would get very boring and monotonous. We enjoy doing the leg work to find new streams, or new areas on familiar streams. Its funny when people want to know where we are in our pictures, like I'm just going to send them GPS coordinates. If you get out there, you can find these places just like us. I cannot tell you how much time I've spent staring at a gazetteer and various other maps, just to find new water to explore. It makes it even better to find your own beauty and solitude, than to have someone point you right to it. I'm not saying I've never told someone where to go. I'm also not saying that I haven't gone somewhere after someone told me to. Just put in a little time, and you will be greatly awarded. Another thing I advocate heavily is to not just fish when you go out. Check out your surroundings. We, as fisherpeople have the luxury of seeing some sights and meeting some folks that others may not in a lifetime. I can't tell you how many Bald Eagles I've seen this year alone! Along with the countless other wildlife and scenery that would just be a background to fishing if we didn't stop and slow down to take it all in. The beauty of nature is infinite, and it never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you've seen it all, she lights another firework to provoke your sight and mind. Unreal. Enjoy the pics, and keep on keepin' on, Joe

Monday, July 2, 2012


After the last trip, I had been jonesing to get back up to this beautiful area since the moment I returned home. I talked to my buddy Mark, and he was a go for 3 weeks later. We got the camping permit, and we were on our way... The closest town to where we fish is very quaint. It has a small store and gas station, and a few local watering holes and that's about it. Most of the locals are very friendly, especially at the store and fly shop. They will help you out any way they can to ensure you have a great experience there. Now lets get to the fishing. When I first arrived, it was very warm. There wasn't even a reason for me to go to the big stream. After stopping at the store and chatting it up with the fly shop folks, I headed to our campsite. I decided to fish up from there while waiting for Mark to arrive. The water in the small stream that we camp on was considerably cool for the air temps in the area which was promising as far as the fishing goes. Here's what I saw on my solo journey... The first day didn't treat me too bad with a few fish to hand on various dries. The next few days looked even better as far as weather. The temps were to drop from the high 80's, down to the low 70's and even upper 60's. This added a boost of confidence. Later that evening, Mark arrived and we began plotting out our morning trip. The first day we fished together we went to one of the local smaller tribs that neither of us had ever seen yet. A great decision it was, as there were plenty of willing Brookies, and Mark even landed a Brown all on top. There were a ton of fish, and they all were more than willing to play. We were smiling and giggling like little kids most of the time, as we had an amazing few hours there. On the second morning, we decided to venture to a nearby trib and fish a section that neither of us had ever been to. It turned out to be a very great stretch of water in the long run. We got into the section before 9 AM and started tossing flies. The action was slow for the first hour or so, pretty much nothing happening for us. After that first hour or so I put on a nymph dropper and popped a small Brown and lost another pretty promptly. After that, it seemed to really turn on. We got into some beautiful pools, as well as some nice finned friends as well. The dry action got good enough for me to take the dropper off, as we both had many takers for our dries. When we fish these small tribs, we usually play little games. We either go fish for fish taking turns, strike for strike, or pool for pool. This is a very fun, and effective way to fish small waters. The person fishing is always in front of the other(s) as we work upstream. This helps to not spook weary Trout, while the people not fishing can spot fish rising or scout ahead visually to help the person fishing. This was a great day for this type of fishing. We saw so many HUGE Trout, it was mind boggling. I'm not talking 15-16 inchers. I'm talking about 18+ inchers, with one going in upwards of 24". We weren't lucky enough to catch any of these beasts. But, we did both pull one in around the 14" range, which is very respectable for these streams. On the second to last day of the trip, we ventured to a small stream in the middle of the mountains. We were ready for a long walk, as the trail map showed the stream was over 2 miles from the trail head and the elevation dropped from 1900 ft to 800 ft at the bottom. We packed plenty of food and drinks, and went right at it. The trail began fairly decent. You could see the path, but the sides were very overgrown. As we got into the deep forest, the trail disappeared. Our only way of finding this hidden gem was to follow the valley down in until we reached water (hopefully). As we made our way down, the valley turned into rock. We were getting closer... The rock eventually had a little spring come out of it, only to disappear back underground. After more walking, the spring popped back up, and turned into a nice little stream. We then kept walking the main stem downstream but away from the stream enough not to spook fish on the trek down. We put in a few hundred yards below a tributary and began to fish. This stream immediately yeilded a couple nice Brookies, and a beautiful Brown. As we made our way up, it just got better. There were fish rising, which promptly took our dries. Every fish was so beautiful, with extreme purple markings all over them. Out of all the streams I've ever fished, I believe these Brook Trout could be actual natives. All in all, it was another great adventure. We saw new water, many new sights, met some great folks, had good food and drink with friends, and caught a bunch of fish along the way. One couldn't ask for much more. Until next trip...