Friday, September 30, 2011

New Blog Address

As you might have noticed, I now have a domain for my blog, No worries if you reached this via the old address. It'll still work just fine.

As a heavily freckled person, I feel that this domain will fit my style perfectly. I hope you enjoy reading, and that this blog may continue to grow in features and other things down the road!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fishing the North Platte

So today, I decided to take the day off work, and take a 2 hour drive over to the North Platte river, since the flows have come down to their normal levels finally. It was worth the trip, I can tell you that much.

I hung around the house, until my wife was nearly ready for work (in case the baby woke up) then stopped off at McDonalds for coffee and breakfast. I headed out on the road with what was a quiet relaxing drive. Not much traffic out there today. I pulled up to the access area, and realized I wasn't alone. That was a bit of a bummer, but there was plenty of river. I watched the other angler for about 5 minutes, during that time he hooked up with at least 2 fish. I also noticed he was working downstream. So I decided to start 5 runs above him, that should give each run an hour rest minimum before I get to it.

Looking at the water, there was a light caddis hatch going on. I had prerigged up with a hopper dropper combination. I tried it for 10 minutes without much luck, so I cut them off, and switched over to a elk and cdc caddis that looked about right in size. I fished it to rising fish for quite a while, and had several attempts, but wasn't able to stick any trout. I eventually worked my way down without any hookups, so I decided I'd work my way back upstream with a hare's ear gold ribbed nymph under a thingamobber.

At the hole that I saw the guy ahead of me when I arrived, I put my line into the current and after a few seconds, the indicator dove under the surface. I set the hook and immediately felt the tug of a solid fish. I quickly got my line on the reel and started to play him. He made several long runs and during a few times I'd see the flash of gold and silver under the water. Once I saw his tail, and knew immediately that this was the biggest fish ever for me on the fly rod. He would handle my 6 weight rod with ease, and after several back and forths, I finally had him tired enough that he would stay in the slack water and was able to get my net under him. For the first time ever, my net was almost a bit to small. Afterwards, I admired my catch for a couple seconds in the water. The fish was solid large, and I realized that I wouldn't be able to get just one hand around him. I quickly set him out with my wading boot as a reference. (I wear size 13 boots... to give u an idea on the size of the fish.).

Wow look at that football!! Easily the largest fish I have taken on a fly rod ever. Even larger than my brown trout earlier this summer! After the picture, I held him in the water, while he regained his strength. Eventually, he swam off under his own power, into the current and slowly back into the bottom of the deep run.

After taking a small break (my arm was tired!!) I start throwing into the seams of the run again. A few short minutes later, I had a feisty brown trout on. He was a bit younger, and took to the air twice, before coming to net fairly easily.

He was an easy release quickly heading back into the deep.

Just a couple casts later, I had another solid hookup. This fish, was easily bigger than my first one. He made my reel sing as he took off halfway down the pool. When he came to a stop I started reeling him in. However, I was tired, or not thinking, and when he got close he started to take off, but I didn't let him have the reel. He gave 2 strong head shakes and the hook came flying back over my shoulder. What a bummer. But The fight was exciting. I've never had a fish take line like that before!

After a bit, I realized I forgot to put on suncreen. So I headed back to the truck. I decided at that point I'd head to another area. Unfortunately that area was closed. From there, I packed up my gear and headed to the N. Platte Fly shop to restock some tying materials and pick up a few more beadhead prince nymphs.

Until next time!


Friday, September 23, 2011

1 Wrong step... 1 Loud Ripping Noise

Yesterday afternoon, I took my wife out fly fishing for the first time (and I don't think it'll be the last). While we didn't catch anything is was nice, relaxing for us both, and fun. I wasn't paying close enough attention, and stepped off the bank into the river at one point into waist deep water. As I was catching myself, I heard this loud fabric ripping noise. I thought I had just blown out my waders. I did manage to catch myself and didn't get wet, though I was standing in the river when I did catch myself. My wife was laughing at me pretty good. I checked out my waders, and no holes, phew I didn't rip em out!

Anyways, the really interesting part, is that I redid my SA Wally World special reel to be retrieved for a righty (I'm lefty). It even had the SA line that came with the rod still on it. Though to help her out, I put it on my BPS Wind River 6wt rod. I also brought along my 3 wt rod, incase she found that easier to cast. About midway up through the first run she wanted to try out the 3 wt. So I switched up. For kicks, I wanted to see how this rod cast out. Wow! It was casting effortlessly a LONG ways for me. Better than with the Bass Pro fly line that came with that rod combo. I was truly amazed. I was casting a dry fly much farther than ever before and the water drops were as soft as could be. I truly found that to be amazing.

We didn't catch anything on the trip, but her casting improved quite a bit as we worked our ways upstream. Of course, towards the end, her arm was getting tired, her mechanics fell apart, and I spent the last 20 minutes undoing the worlds worst wind knots. heh Overall I think she'll go fly fishing again with me.

After we returned to the truck, I took off my waders, and found the source of the rip... my jeans had blown open and I had nice airconditioning down below. So long for that pair of jeans. We saw plenty of brown trout, but couldn't get them to go after anything nymph or dry fly wise.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gear Review: TFO Lefty Kreh Signature Series 3wt 7'6" Rod

Earlier this summer, I purchased a TFO Lefty Kreh Signature Series 3 weight rod, and paired it with a Cabelas Three Forks Reel. I'll review the reel later on.

TFO Rod with a wild small stream brookie

My first trip out with the rod was during my camping trip this past july. I fished a nearby feeder creek to first try it out and get used to the casting rhythm. I quickly found that the rod does well. As any 3 weight will do, if their is wind, you are going to struggle. But without the wind, the rod would lay out quite a bit of line, and drop it with the softest presentation. When paired up with the SA GPX fly line it performed great. It casts dries and nymphs with ease. However, if you are nymphing with an indicator, it doesn't do as well if the indicator is 7 or 8 feet above the fly. So keep that in mind. However, my first time out with the rod, I didn't have a tangle the entire time. A great sign that it casts fairly well.

In addition, I took it with me on a day hike where I had to cover almost 4 miles with a total elevation change of 800 feet each way. The rod was packed away for the trip, but it being so light felt good when I got to the stream. The stream I fished it on was loaded with brookies ranging from 6 to 10 inches. It did quite well each time, and was able to cast the line to the areas that I needed it to go. The only downside on this trip, is that the rod is a 2 piece rod, instead of 4 making it a bit more cumbersome to carry into the back country than a 4 piece rod, that would attach to my pack.

Most recently I took the rod to my favorite brown trout hunting ground. Here I found that the rod struggles some with large dries. It really does best with the more traditional small 12-16 size flies, compared to a large hopper. On this trip, I hooked into a very large 18" brown trout. Even on a 6 weight this trout would have been a trip to land. On the 3 weight though, I couldn't get any leverage on him. If he chose to head out, I basically let him take the line with pulling against the drag to wear him out. One thing I should note. Multiple times I had my fly line through the leader into my guides, and the guides allowed the line to go back out snag free each time it occurred. eventually the trout was worn out enough that he didn't dive for the depths when my net approached. Though it was difficult to net the fish, as the rod just doesn't have the lifting power to bring his head out of the water much to allow for an easy net job. Though again, that is to be expected with a 3 weight rod.

Overall, my impressions with the rod were excellent. TFO puts out a quality product, and their $25 no fault replacement policy makes this rod an excellent choice for somebody looking to get into fly fishing, or adding an additional rod to their collection.

Based on my impressions, I'm going to the give the rod a 4 out of 5 trouts.