Monday, June 10, 2013

A brick wall,but only temporarily

For the most part things have been great, weather has improved,school is out, i have a job, but there are a few things that seem to be blocking me. First the bad news i got yesterday was my camera broke (motor that works the lens sounds destroyed) and i wont be starting work for another 2 weeks or so which is too darn long! so i have to wait almost a month to replace it. My fishing buddy has a week left of school so i haven't been doing too much on the water, so all of these things have mixed together and created a temporary 2 week long brick wall in front of me. Still, i have a job so i can replace my camera luckily, and  i can finally afford my own fishing gear rather than having to borrow money from my parents or rely on others. I can be the guy that buys gas,the guys that offers to pay for the campsite and breakfast or dinner, i can spare flies and gear to others that struggle;i won't be the broke ass anymore! and it feels so good to say it.So even though i am at a stand still at the moment, things are looking up and this summer is going to be great.

Here are some recent pics from the past few weeks,the pond near my house has been keeping me busy when i have been able to fish. The bass are getting active and chasing stuff around,post spawn is over and they are spread out in the shade eating bluegill.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What happened to spring?

This past winter and what now should be spring has seemed to be absent this year.It was a let down to have such a lack of rain during the winter steelhad season, which i depended on for good fishing.The transition from winter to spring was seamless, and up to now we have had virtually no rain, and a handful for 70-80 degree days, it really feels like mid june! school is out in a few weeks and it will be all fishing (and hopefully work) until september

   Bass and bluegill have spawned,salmon flies are hatching on the deschutes, and my favorite small stream is 100cfs lower than it was at this time last year,with the fish that inhabit it already taking dry flies.It seems everything is a few weeks ahead of what it would normally be, but is it a good thing? to me, it is nothing more than a pain, since everything is "off schedule" now it makes it harder to fish a body of water at peak timing if it is an off year like we are experiencing right now. I guess i could also take it as a challenge though, nothing better than really grinding it out when the fishing may be difficult, those are the times when you learn more about a certain fishery rather than the days where you can't keep the fish off the hook.

   Despite very unusual conditions so far this year the fishing has been steady and it looks like we have a good but very hot summer ahead of us. Last month my favorite little gem opened for trout, me and Sam put the hammer on some wild cutties which were eating almost every fly we threw at them ,and the bass at the local pond were on the spawn recently providing me with plenty of action the past few weeks,while i wait for school to get out so i can start dragging my float tube to some stillwaters, my stillwater box is getting fuller every week and ready to head over the hills!

Sam's first trout of 2013

One of plenty from opening day-taken on a possie bugger

the water is in amazing shape for how early in the season it is

4lb largemouth  bass sight fished

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring is here/ update

    Things have really slowed down around here, i haven't been on the water in a while, though i am dying inside to get on the water i am surprisingly surviving.There have been a few rough patches with my health and family relations lately but i should have seen it coming, i had a 2 year or so stretch where i was anxiety free and i felt great; and nobody goes through life without a rough patch here and there, it is one of those "bothers you in the moment" type things that you seem to forget about when having a good time, which i have accomplished by staying concentrated in school and tying chironomid pupa for stillwater applications,which i plan to use alot this year.

experimental double rib chironomid pupa

      After having my float tube stabbed with a knife i had to order a patch that finally showed up, and it is less than 3 weeks until the opening of my favorite small trout stream so i have some positive things going on and to look forward to.I also got some new stillwater gear from a very generous friend, hopefully this time i can manage to keep this one for at least a year without it being stolen.

Cabela's Traditional 3 fly rod

I have a doctors appointment to straighten my health issues out and hopefully i can be at 100% in time for summer! i can fish as is but things will be much easier without the presence of anxiety.Things are looking up and ill hopefully be out to put a bend in the new 5wt and test my new clear camo intermediate fly line.With this bi polar oregon weather it makes things tough,especially when the lake fishery of choice is now out of shape because the random rain storm made the creek it is on wash out.This year is shaping up to be a great one and as always i look forward to learning more about the fish and how i can get better at catching them.Sunny days chasing trophies in the cascades are getting closer and closer

Fly Fishing a Central Oregon lake for trophy rainbow trout

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Twenty Four:Fly Fishing for oregon coast steel

Here it is folks! although the season isnt quite over we gave up a little early ( i might go one more time with this rain) the fishing is not like last year,and the small amount of rain and clear water has made it hard since this is only my second year,i am just now figuring out low water steelhead.We had bites,a few hookups,but not alot landed. Even with a lack of fish for this film sam put it together and really put in perspective why we chase steelhead in the small streams of the oregon coast range,it is just awesome.We will be back and more ready than ever next season. For more on sam's videos click the "lone wolf productions" tab
Twenty-Four: Fly Fishing for Oregon Coast Steel from Sam Brost-Turner on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

First trout of 2013

     Recently i was invited on a stillwater trip with a friend of mine, and without any second thought i said yes. Excited for the first stillwater trout trip of 2013 i packed my gear and we headed into the cold snowy hills.A few sausage egg McMuffins and fish stories later we arrived at the destination,a beautiful piece of water i have never been to.

          As we get out i surveyed the water and saw fish on the top right away; "Should have brought some dry flies" i said as i eagerly unpacked my float tube and gear.As we chat and start to unpack i casually glance at the water and notice the action steadily picking up on further exciting me to launch and get after them, but i knew it would not be quite that easy.

     About an hour in we had 3 fish total between us but according to my fishing partner it was quite slow; especially with how many fish were rising, but we later found out it was due to rising water levels.Eventually hope prevailed; after a while of rising the water began to drop back down and the bite picked for us;yielding a few strong whities, some beautiful rainbows, and a few special bull trout (a first for me).The bite was on and off the rest of the day bringing us a few more fish to hand; but there were quite a few missed opportunities i could not capitalize on.The trip was a success and we hit a sweet pizza joint on the way back and talked about the up and down type day that we had experienced.

What a way to start out trout season!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hidden farm ponds:an early spring gem

           Spring has sprung; much earlier this year than in years past, probably because of the very mild winter the Pacific Northwest has had. Steelhead season is slow; trout season hasn’t opened on most local streams, and it is 57 degrees and sunny for the weekend, but there is hope early this spring. I made my way to the locked rusty gate at the farm ready to roll; my fins, rod, and tube in tow; my 4wt rod rigged with a possie bugger nymph for some bluegill action. 

        After making my way downhill the small pond becomes visible,the sun above the trees beating down on it. Upon launching my tube I realized that fishing may be a bit tough, nighttime temps got down to the mid 30’s and chilled the pond making the fish lethargic and less willing to eat a fly. I worked my way to the northwest corner that had the most sunlight and began to slowly work my fly at a drop off; soon enough there was a wiggle of hope on the end of my rod, a bluegill splashing around on the surface signals the start of a good day on the water. After catching 4 gills I made another cast tight to the drop off and slowly worked the fly until it suddenly stopped and my line went tight “snag” I thought, though I set the hook and pulled up; only to have what I thought to be a snag start moving and shaking its head, I knew I had hooked a bass, but the question was, how big? For the next three minutes the fish pulled all over the place and bent my 4wt in two; then it finally surfaced, a large bass had somehow found my size 12 nymph appealing. I chuckled, took a few pictures and released the fish in hopes of catching another; and it so happens on the very next cast I hooked into another strong bass, but this time smaller.
Very healthy early spring bass

Small bass taken on a possie bugger nymph
After the bass bonanza I caught a few nice gills,then another one of those "I think I’m snagged on a log hits" but knowing there are no logs where i was fishing i assumed it was yet another bass, as this fish went wherever it wanted and bent my rod almost as much as the large bass I caught. I yell to my friend” I have another big bass”, only to have a huge bluegill come to the shock I grab the big gill and admired its size while taking a few pictures, then released the beast. Content with experience I caught a few more bluegill and headed home. It just goes to show you never know what Mother Nature will hand you on an early spring day.

Huge bluegill almost broke the pound mark

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Early warmwater fishing-figuring things out

       I have not been on the water much lately,admittedly from a lack of trying,but also because less than ideal steelhead conditions.So after taking a look at the 10 day forecast for here in town i noticed a very unusually warm 63 degree day.I had that thought in the back of my mind that maybe some bluegill will be taking advantage of the warm weather to come up into the shallows and feed; but i was unsure because in years past,i have never been successful targeting warm water species until the end of April.I was bored and caught up on school work;and i really wanted to give it a go so Friday evening after i had everything done i made the trip to a small local pond.I expected it to end in a skunk,but i still tried to remain confident.
     Upon arrival i noticed the sun did not break through the clouds,kind of scared me along with the very very murky water that seemed so was way over its banks but made for good wading opportunities
Searching for winter gills

I was rigged up with my go to spring setup for bluegill, my 8'6" 4wt rod with a 5wt line,and a 9ft 5x custom built leader with a size 12 possie bugger nymph tied to the end of it.Simple rig,easy to cast,and very effective.The technique is just a very slow pull type strip,just to keep tension on the line;this makes it easier to detect any small strikes that are common when warm water fish are not very active.After 15minutes of fishing it became obvious to me that the fish are up in the shallows feeding,and probably have been for some time now,this is probably due to the unusually dry and warm winter we have had this year.
Winter bluegill caught on a possie bugger

      I was successful at catching many fish,including a bass that didn't want his picture taken.I was shocked at how consistent the action was,even though the bites were lite.I fished for about 3 hours and ended on a high note with 24 gills and one bass landed.Most of the fish were pale and lean,but a few like the one below were starting to look more like the bluegill in flats/coves in april and may.Big,fat,and colorful.

One of  the many healthy gills that put a large bend in my 4wt

Though i hate picking weeds off of my gear and cleaning all of my stuff after getting home (which is common when fishing warm water ponds) i think the prize outweighs the time i sacrifice into cleaning my gear; in fact, i had so much fun i decided to bring my cousin down and meet a friend for another day of fishing to see if the fishing held up in colder conditions; how cold? about 7-9 degrees cooler than the previous day,enough to make me bite my nails and only hope it doesn't kill the bite.
Wading on a cool later winter day for pesky bluegill
Many things were different from the previous day besides the temp,we arrived 3.5 hours earlier than i had before,there was more cloud cover,and it had rained overnight;But soon after arrival the fish once again assured me they were in shallow water,they were hungry,and the cooler weather was not forcing them into deeper water,i even had a few fish take my fly like the water was above 60 degrees! there were a few less fish,and we had to work harder for them,but they were still active and shallow.
At one point we had made it all the way around the pond and returned to our starting point.We all hooked up at least twice;and once again i ended up with a small bass.This fish was about half the size of the one i had caught the day before,but in the same exact spot;this fish didn't mind being posted on my blog unlike the other one
Small bass on a possie bugger
It was an excellent two days;this fishery might keep me occupied for most of april,the time i call "down time" because it is in between steelhead and trout season..figuring things out has been easier than i thought.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

report and Season outlook

Although the season is not over yet,i feel like it is coming to a close quickly just like last years.Let me start off by saying i did expect to catch more this year,due to the fact that i have learned so much since my first season (last year).I figured i would hook fish regularly,but to my surprise it just hasn't been that easy.Last season there was ALOT of rain.This created good angling opportunities in the best conditions possible.By the end of the season i had gone 1/7 with many missed bites and such.But this year has been different.I do think the numbers are down,which is sad to say,but i think the two things getting in the way most have been the crappy conditions,there has been no rain up until about 3 days ago..driest winter ever,and the fact that we are making a film,so we are only fishing one stream.These variables are like a brick wall that i cant quite climb.Ive landed one steelhead this season,with another hooked today,and 3 or 4 hook sets that didn't stick.Ive been in the right place,int he right conditions,and what i have thought to be the right time,but the fish have thrown me another curve ball.Today i hit the favorite stream of choice knowing the water was up,and had a perfect green tint to it.I hit the usual spots,with not even a single sign of steelhead to show for it.Halfway through the day i hooked one fish which came unbuttoned,and never touched another steelhead the whole day despite near perfect conditions.I did however catch a very nice cutthroat,often a by-catch while fishing for steelhead on the coast.Another plus was testing my new shooting head and it worked flawlessly chucking my heavy indicator setup.It was a good day,but leaves me doubting whether we will finish the season on a high note like previously expected.All we can do is hope,and try our hardest to land some fish before march 31st hits.The month of march has been my favorite so im hoping it does not let me down.

Here are some pics from todays trip.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Moving forward and a report

The other day after some rain Sam and I headed to the river in hopes it had gone up, I say in hopes because it is hard to gauge water levels on this stream. we decided to hit the best producing spots on the lower/middle sections  with nothing to show for it  except for some tangles and my rod tip almost taking a plunge to the depths so we went up to the deadline and hiked a very remote and un fished section,...cougar and elk tracks were fresh everywhere and spruce trees lined the river. It was quite the beautiful area and the river was small with lots of pocket water and walking speed 3-7ft deep runs, perfect steelhead water, but super low and clear.
     One particular run we had a very aggressive chrome fish boil on Sam’s indicator as he was bring his rig back in, both of us look up in disbelief and start to chat about the fish and what it may have been. This river does have Coho into January, and Coho are known to be aggressive, at the beginning of the month about 3 miles downriver from this spot I had a dark Coho grab my indicator in a similar fashion, but now it is the end of the month, and the fish was further upriver, and chrome as can be, I am reluctant to say it was a steelhead because winter steelhead are not known for being that active. After the fish attacked Sam’s indicator I had the same fish grab my fly twice, but I was not able to make the hook stick. On the second take down I had a good hook set that didn't stick and the fish took off before I could get another shot at it. I usually overlook days that are low and clear but now I know to be confident even when things don't look good.
      On the plus side a fish reacted to our flies, and we explored a very nice piece of water for when the rain brings the river up. Sam has been working really hard on some awesome footage for an upcoming "masterpiece" showcasing the ultimate prize in northwest fly fishing, but I won’t spoil it any more than that. In other news to expand I have made a Facebook account for Pacific northwest fly fishing, for those who love Facebook, so make sure to check the page out and like it, there is a link below. The page is still in its baby stages and will be updated as often as I can work on it as well as this blog; I have some new things coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned!

Here are some pictures from yesterday's trip 

Friday, January 11, 2013

first of the season

With a small spike in river levels and no more rain and sight we took a chance and hi the river while it was fishable a short amount of time.The river was barely in shape and starting to clear,but as usual the "money hole" was a deep green and held a fish,after a short minute fight a snakey colored buck hatchery steelhead of about 5lbs comes to hand,i knew there was a possibility of stray hatchery fish in this un stocked wild steelhead stream,but this fish flat out looks like an old summer steelhead,this stream does not get returns of summer steelhead,however a few strays are caught every fall during salmon season,but it is the middle of january on an oregon coastal stream,msot floods have flushed out any nasty salmon and what very very small trace of stray summers are present,i firmly believe this fish is an old summer,who had not spawned yet despite he skinny appearance.TO prevent this fish from spawning with natives,and since i like smoked steelhead i did the stream and myself a favor by keeping the fish to smoke.All and all it was a decent day out,time to take a break until it rains again

snake-like male hatchery summer steelhead caught while winter steelheading