Thursday, December 19, 2013

I've Got This

I got out yesterday with Chris for some local fishing.  It felt great to be out on the river.

Rocket from the Crick

Chris the Fishin' Machine with a Nice Bow

Here's to a healthy and happy 2014.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Still Life: A Suburban Canal in Miami

Tens of thousands of motorists drive past this suburban Miami canal every day.  Busy people with busy lives never give this water a second glance.

They don't see anything of value - just weeds, water and trash.

When I was a kid, this canal was my saving grace.  It was a place where my friends and I encountered wild creatures and explored the natural world.  Some days we experienced the worst aspects of city life - like the time we found two bundled corpses in the weeds during Miami's drug war era - but most days we caught fish and created great memories.

I fished my old neighborhood canal again today for the first time in decades.  It felt great to see my childhood haunt still harbors a remarkable underwater world - a far more interesting place than the surrounding sanitized suburbs.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Kicking Summer Out On Its Treacherous Ass

I haven't been fishing much as of late.  I've got much bigger issues to contend with right now.
I reckon the month of September deserves at least one post, however, 'cause it brings some good things each year:

First, September ushers thousands of cars with Utah plates south again for at least six months.  The impact of this can not be overstated.

Now that our brutally hot summer is over, I am certainly enjoying the elbow room. 

September also turns those damn bluebird skies into dark, brooding cloudscapes.  When the big man upstairs drapes a chilly gray sky over gold and red leaves, it's 'go time.' 

Thus, I decided to put an end to the dry spell and got out on the Henry's Fork Sunday afternoon.  Despite the brutal wind gusts (30 m.p.h.+), I managed to land some decent fish without impaling myself.
Good Fish, Lousy GoPro Photo

Summer is a bummer. 

Thank you, September.

Then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
Stephen King - Salem's Lot

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Super Unison

Like red-cloaked pilgrims, our local kokanee salmon have begun their great journey once again.

Their mission is extraordinary:

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Livin' On Sleep Deprivation

www.uprisingblog.comOur lack of population density in east Idaho makes for some great fishing and, unfortunately, a pretty weak music scene.

Jay Farrar of Son Volt
Good bands rarely come through town, but one of the all-time greats showed up this month. 

I was stoked to watch Son Volt play at our local ski hill.  I've been a fan of Jay Farrar's music since Uncle Tupelo's early "No Depression" days.  The band did not disappoint, busting out classics like "Drown," "Grindstone," "Windfall" and "Chickamauga."

Son Volt's set will go down as the highlight of my summer. 

Trampled By Turtles
The Targhee Bluegrass Festival sweetened the pot this weekend with Trampled By Turtles, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Spirit Family Reunion and many others.

If this keeps up, I am going to be spoiled rotten.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dry Fly Nirvana

This was the view at the end of our very long and arduous hike.

Nearly two thousand vertical feet stood between the three of us and about ten thousand hungry cutthroat trout.

We'd just spent a total of four hours hiking to facilitate six hours of dry fly fishing.

Was it worth the effort? 

Well, it would be downright rude to mention the number of beautiful Yellowstone cutts that rose to our flies.

It would be considered uncouth, in certain circles, to mention we caught the tail end of the salmonfly and golden stone hatches.  

But with reward comes sacrifice.

Blisters, raw skin and aching bones are the price of admission.

You've got to get out of the car and pay your dues. 

You've got to walk among bears and wolves into a truly wild setting.

You've got to leave a world of relative safety behind for at least one day.

Shane and a Nice Cutty
Everything about this day was perfect.  The sun, the wind, the solitude, the company.

Trout after beautiful trout rose from the depths in clear water to slurp a skittering Turck's Tarantula.

It was one of those days I knew would haunt me forever.

I keep replaying it in my mind.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

High and Dirty

It's ninety-eleven in the shade over here.

If you're into carp fishing, that's a good thing.

The plan was to take the trailer up to the high country this week for some troutin', but the intense heat and delayed run-off stymied that idea. Instead, the forecast dictated a little time with some carp at Blackfoot Reservoir.

Life has been pretty hectic as of late and we are now officially in 'dog days' mode, but there's always time for getting away to camp with the family in the high country...

...and sneaking out with Shane (pre-heat wave) to a small creek for a few cutties.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bug Drunk

(c) Brent Wilson
Shane's Spring Creek Brown

We're stuck in the mid-June doldrums over here.  High pressure systems prevail, most of our rivers and creeks are blown out and the carp are busy spawning.

Getting into fish right now requires some recon, MPG  and tenacity. Shane and I spent all day searching for fishable water, zig-zagging across the state border.

No surprises here, but local spring creeks and lower-elevation rivers were the ticket. 

(c) Brent Wilson
Same fish - another shot

(c) Brent Wilson

We fished pocket water in pretty places and caught some nice trout.

On the way back to town, we pulled over along the lower Henry's Fork and observed the mother of all caddis hatches - with a PMD spinnerfall chaser to boot. There were bugs in our hair, inside our shirts and all over our faces. The water erupted for over an hour.   

Those fish were bug drunk.

Revive - A Fly Fishing Journal 

Heads up - the good people at Revive Fly Fishing have launched a new quarterly journal and it is very cool.

You'll find great photography, excellent writing, fly tying videos, a "redfish in the marsh" video and other good stuff in there.  It's a pretty exceptional journal.

If you look closely, you may even notice an article on carpin' from yours truly.

You can check it out here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fists of Legend 6: Carp Assassins

Spent the afternoon at Blackfoot Reservoir with Chris, Shane, a bunch of cows and some hungry carp. 

We took some pictures...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Metric Buttloads of Carp

Can You See the Mud Clouds?

No Shame in Shane's Game

This was a new spot I'd never fished before.  The quantity was certainly there.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of carp.  Commons and mirrors.

The fish weren't as large or rowdy as Blackfoot carp, but it was great to get back out on the water after weeks of non-stop rain and wind.  

Blackfoot carp still have their alarm clocks set on snooze, but - with the welcome break from our brutal storm pattern - I expect the big'uns over there will be on the prowl in the coming days.

Until next time...

Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Carp Classic Fly Tournament Re-Cap

Let's face it, if you're going to host a carp tournament in mid-May at Blackfoot Reservoir, you're rolling the dice. May is by far our wettest month of the year, with triple the average precip versus July or August.

This year, once again, the weather was nothing short of craptastic.

I get it - most of the participants will be guiding clients full-time starting this week, so the scheduling window is a small one. Still, you can bet dollars-to-donuts you'll get rain, wind and snow in the high country this time of year. When that happens, the carp don't eat. 

Day One 
Deja vu - 45 degrees with dark skies and increasing winds. We spent the first few hours of the tournament on the move, scanning the water for active fish. There were a few carp up in the shallows but they weren't buying what we were selling.

Cast after cast went unrewarded until Chris spotted some feeders from atop a small cliff. After scrambling down into range, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat and landed this 27.4-pound fatty.

His fish got our team on the board and it was the largest carp of the day for the tournament.

You'd think this glimmer of hope would be enough to keep us going, but the fishing went from bad to worse. After six hours of lousy carping, we decided to ditch the tourney and go trout fishing in the river below the reservoir.

It was a nice diversion and I was able to get the skunk off.

After a couple of hours of troutin', we returned to the tournament where Chris received a prize for his hog.

Day Two
The weather went from lousy to "even lousier" and I had a dilemma. The dirt roads surrounding the reservoir turned into pudding and I had an 18' camp trailer to haul back to town - plus a plane to catch in the morning. I decided to skip the rest of the tournament to head back to town before the situation got any worse.  This turned out to be a good call as the trailer barely made it up the hill above the Poison Creek boat ramp.

I made it home but missed the post-tournament after party, which was apparently 'off the hook.'  Most of the photos are not suitable for a PG-13 blog such as Uprising, but here is one Shane sent from his phone.  

East Idaho clearly knows how to party.