Sunday, November 18, 2012

Solitude is Enough

I woke up at 3:45 a.m. to the sound of whimpering. A western low pressure system brought us some very intense wind and torrential rains and Lucy, our German shorthaired pointer, did not like it one bit.

Our local trout, however, are loving the stormy weather. 

While a lot of people head over to the Salmon River in central Idaho this time of year in search of steelhead, I've been staying close to home to target some nice, healthy inland 'bows.

It's hard to justify the long drive over to the Salmon right now, with the high cost of gas and the lackluster fish counts this year.

Around here, there is a direct correlation between temperature and fishing pressure.  

As the temperatures drop, so do the numbers of fishermen on the river. 

This trend will continue and I expect the fishing to get better as the pressure abates. 

Catching large fish on small flies and light tippet is always rewarding.  Streamers are great fun, but they are big and bulky - and photographing a fish with a face full of marabou detracts from the whole aesthetic.

I was not expecting to find carp actively feeding in 34 degree weather, but it was a nice surprise when my black wooly bugger was inhaled by this guy.

The South Fork
Later in the week, I got out on the South Fork with Shane.  The fishing was a bit disappointing, but exploring remote feeder channels with good company made for a nice day overall.  Here are a few snapshots from our South Fork outing.

Get Adobe Flash player
Photo Gallery by  

DIY Dirtbag Fly Box:  A Three-Step Tutorial
If you are a cheap dirtbag like me, you may appreciate Oscar Meyer's new semi-waterproof lunch meat containers.

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

"To give thanks in solitude is enough. 
Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go."
Victor Hugo

Have a great holiday. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank God for Tailwaters

Well, it's official.  Winter has arrived and our delightful Indian summer is now but a memory. 

I don't mind.  The rivers will be more peaceful now, as only a handful of us diehards will be on the water braving the cold for the next three months.  

"Bring it on," I say.

I welcome the solitude.

The dog and I renew our bond each winter.  She loves the snow, along with the critters that hide beneath it.  There are cross-country ski trips to be had up Darby Canyon and South Leigh Creek.

For now, however, the barley farm behind our house is her kingdom.  She rules the roost and the local skunks, pheasants, ducks and field mice heed her call.

I managed to sneak away just before old man winter arrived for an outing with Shane on a gorgeous fall day.  Although the bright sun and cloudless bluebird skies kept the bugs down and killed the streamer bite, the nymphing was quite good.

Shane Thomas Photo
Is there anything in the world a flashback pheasant tail nymph can't accomplish?

As I sit here typing, I can hear snow flakes landing on our metal roof.  Winter is just beginning, but I am already thinking about a spring trip to the tropics.  Campeche for baby tarpon?  Punta Allen or Andros for bones?

Or maybe, given my budget (or lack thereof), I should just head over to Miami to visit the folks and hit the Biscayne flats.
My Attempt at a Split Screen Rainbow Release

Apparently a lot of people are thinking about spring trips to the tropics, as I've noticed a large spike in blog visits from folks searching the web for "DIY bonefishing Turks and Caicos."

It's that time of year.

No more warm, bluebird days with rolled up sleeves. Not around here at least.  Not for about six months.

I absolutely love our local rivers in the winter.  It's hard to imagine a more serene, peaceful and engaging setting than the Henry's Fork or the South Fork on a stormy winter's day.  

Imagine listening to snow flakes land while noses gently peek above the surface during a midge hatch. Imagine dark skies, tranquil water and slow-moving dorsal fins.

Some of the best dry fly fishing of the year will occur between now and Christmas, yet very few people will experience it.  

It has been a wonderful fall with some incredible fishing, but I am ready for winter and the change of pace. 

Thank God for tailwaters.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Bay of Pigs Invasion

On 1 November 2012, the joint chiefs of staff executed a covert operation at a top secret rendezvous point.

Code Name: the "Bay of Pigs Invasion"

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a successful action by a force of fly fishing commandos to invade CLASSIFIED, in an attempt to land fat bows, cuttbows and browns using stealth, weapons-grade fly munitions and hand-to-fin combat techniques.
Private First Class Shane Thomas and the Spoils of Victory
On 28 October 2012, President Obama was briefed, together with all the major departments, on the latest plan that involved the deployment of three (3) men to be landed in a shore-borne invasion at CLASSIFIED, about 270 km (170 mi) south-east of CLASSIFIED.

LOGISTICS:  CLASSIFIED had good port facilities, it was closer to many existing counter-revolutionary activities, it had an easily defensible beachhead, and it offered an escape route into the CLASSIFIED Mountains.

Torpedo vs. #16 PT Nymph
When that scheme was subsequently rejected by the State Department, however, the CIA went on to propose an alternative plan.

THE FINAL PLAN:  On 30 October 2012, President Obama then approved the Bay of Pigs plan (also known as Operation Hare's Ear), because it had an airfield that would not need to be extended to handle bomber operations, it was farther away from large groups of civilians than the prior plan, and it was less "noisy" militarily.

Consistent with former vice president Dick Cheney's policies on torture, the use of SEX DUNGEONS was authorized by the white house.

PFC Thomas - Doing His Part for the Nation

Combat Wounded Veteran
The president authorized the active departments to continue, and to report progress.

PFC Thomas in Action
From 07:30 to 19:30 hours, multiple fly sorties were thrown from shore and mid-river positions.

Commander Cutler, Providing Support to Our Ally

The invasion ended at approximately 19:45 hours.

The operation was deemed a complete success, with over 70 combatants brought to hand.