Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Five

Each week I'm going to post 5 links that I came across that caught my attention and are definitely worth sharing with others.

Enjoy!

Unaccomplished Angler - Things Change Fast
A great reminder that tis the season for fires, and to please be extra cautious, along with some imagery of what it was like just a short month ago on the Firehole in YNP.

Mysteries Internal - On Playing Poker
Nice article that reminds people why they fish, it's not always about the fishing.

Outside Online - The Art of the Day Trip
Most important lesson... please get your children outside!

County10 - Lucky Dog
Yesterday a fire consumed Lander's community center. After the fire was out, and the dog owner, assumed his dog had perished in the fire, this guy emerged from the ashes. Unbelievable that he survived the fire, as nearly the entire building was consumed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Explore the world with a child


Our daughter is now 18 months old. As a result, I find myself more and more comfortable taking her into the mountains with me. On our first trip we went as a family on a nice short 1.5 mile round trip hike. It was a good hike to do, one getting me used to hauling 30 extra pounds on my back, and two, getting her used to riding in the pack. The trip was greatly successful as she rode on my back.

Our daughter on her maiden hiking trip
Some things I learned early on, is that she's not a fan of stopping. The most important thing I learned is that make sure they have a full stomach. Also, if you find yourself in a nice spot, take a break and let the kiddo out to burn some energy.

We stopped for a little to long here!
On our second trip, I added a new level. First it was just me taking her. She was much more receptive to climbing into the pack which looked like a good sign. I also wanted to see how she'd do if I want fishing. So we hiked up to one of my favorite streams. During the hike, I came across an older couple heading up the trail to fish a lake. We chatted on the hike, I'm sure they were a little curious about me fly fishing with a baby on my back.

After we reached the lake, I split off from them and went a ways down stream. Very quickly I came across my first fishing hole. Nikki was definitely more patient about being in  one spot for a longer time period. She'd chatter, periodically scream out, but rarely cried out. Even so, her making noise didn't seem to bother the fish. Upon getting the first fish on the line, she let out the best little laugh when the brookie took to the air. After bringing him to hand, her hand quickly shot out to the side of my head, wanting to touch the little guy. So I obliged, and quickly was given another laugh. First fishing trip was deemed a success from this point on. The other couple were just a ways upstream from me, and when I glanced back, they seemed mesmerized and watched up. It may have been that I was catching fish on just about every cast. For my part, I was happy, because almost every cast was to a specific fish. This was my first opportunity to do some sight fishing with dries this season. A total blast.

Eventually though, as kids do, she grew bored and would be a bit more vocal. So I'd moved along to a new spot, and she'd immediately be happy again, and then I'd get another 10 minutes or so to cast in the new hole before the process had to be repeated.

By the end, I think the stimulus got to be to much. Regardless of how much we moved, if I stopped she'd get upset. And judging by the time, it was time to head back to the truck for some lunch. Not 5 minutes into the hike out, she fell asleep on my back and slept all the way back down.

Post hike lunch
Judging by the smile on her face (and her cheeks stuffed with a cheese sandwich) I think it was a successful day. While packing up, I saw a couple other fisherman. It seems that they all struggled to bring in any fish. Meanwhile, I had about 6 to 8 fish to hand, and hooked several more. Who says kids need to stay quiet to catch fish?

We are already planning another trip for next weekend, with Mom joining the Mottled Fly Fisher! Should be a good time for all. Maybe this time, we'll have a picnic up on the trail.

Until next time!

Paul

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Stills: Summer Time Views

Father and daughter enjoying post hike lunch

Neighborhood visitor

Sunset on Lake Erie

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Featurette: Wyoming Tourism on the Wind

This week's video features Jack Dennis from Jackson Hole visiting my neck of the woods on behalf of Wyoming Tourism. Check it out. Unfortunately the video is low quality.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gear Review: Cabela's Dry-Plus G-II Stockingfoot Chest Waders - Regular

So I believe, after using the Cabela's Dry-Plus™ G-II Stockingfoot Chest Waders for 4 years, I can write that I have used them enough to give them a fair evaluation. When it comes to waders and fly fishing, these are one of the most important items as far as your equipment goes. If your waders leak, you're going to have a long day on the river. So with that said, let's talk about these waders.

Sporting my waders in their first year
Price wise, these waders come in at a very cheap price of under $130. Cabela's offers them in two varieties, regular and stout. The waders come with a mesh sack to pack them into and a wader belt. The suspenders are sewn into the fabric, so not really replaceable.

I must say, I have owned these waders for 4 years, and fished them in all sorts of weather over that time period. Admittedly I haven't used them in weather much lower than 35 degrees, or water much cooler than 45 degrees. During that span, I haven't really ever had a problem with these waders. The seams are taped and I did find that the tape on the bootie tends to wear the fastest, partially because it is centered on the heel area, thus it takes the brunt of the action while you are wearing them. At this point I feel that the tape is starting to lose its effectiveness and allow water into the bottom of my waders. I had used these waders without issue until a couple of weeks ago. When I came off the river, I realized that my right leg was soaked. When I got home, I filled that leg with water but didn't succeed in finding the culprit. So I'll keep a close eye and see if I can spot the problem area next time out.

These waders aren't Goretex, but they are breathable. I can wear them on 80-90 degree days without an issue. At the same time, they keep me warm enough in colder weather as long as I have something appropriate on under neath. (Ie. fleece pants or light weight fishing pants)

Looks wise, wearing these waders you aren't going to look stylish. Compared to Simms and the other pricier wader options they aren't nearly as fitting. However, because of this, I have found that I can wear jeans, fleece pants, track pants, or just shorts under them without them feeling overly tight. Also the waist area doesn't have any belt loops. It hasn't been an issue, but on a skinner person, I could easily see the belt moving up or down on a person throughout the day. However, these waders do have plenty of spare room in the crotch. Last summer, I slipped off the bank and heard a loud ripping noise. I thought my waders were done, but after looking them over, couldn't find a rip. It turns out, I had ripped my pants I was wearing under them. Phew!

Other features of these waders includes a small pouch on the inside of the chest area. I find this useful to store my small camera, or a small fly box if I'm fishing minimal gear. The velcro doesn't always stay closed so I don't recommend your keys in here! There is also a draw string at the top to help minimalize the water intake should you fall, or go over your waders following that 30" trout.

Starting at the knees and down there are extra layers just in case you get a snag while bush wacking. I never had this problem though. I got my first hole when I tried to navigate over a barb wire fence and didn't quite succeed. Down by the boot is a nice section that folds over the top of your boot keeping gravel and sand out of your boot. It also includes  a small metal clips that you can hook onto a lace. If you don't... be careful because that loop has caught my fly line once or twice when I'm standing in top of the shoe deep water.

A view of my largest trout ever on the fly... oh and the gravel guards in action!
The suspenders are adjustable and keyed so that you can't accidentally put your left suspender on the right side and vice versa. A nice feature for those who can't get things right the first time!

Lastly, I find that these waders back down small very nicely for back country hikes. I can easily pack them down wet or dry to 10" by 5" into their stuff sack. That's for a XXL set of waders. So for those of you who are normal weight, I can imagine you might shrink that down to 7"x4". Doing this they take very little room in my day pack. allowing me to carry more gear, water, and food.

So if you are just getting into wanting to try wade fishing I think you should seriously consider this pair of waders. They will last you many years, and at the price, won't force you to take out a second mortgage.

Just like any waders you have to hang them out to dry after a day on the river. Don't hang them by the suspenders, as you put stress on the seam where the suspenders are sewn into the material. Instead, I find it best to fold them over a couple of strings or a chair. I haven't had any issues with them not drying out. Also be sure to spray them down with water. Remove any mud that may harbor problems like whirling disease from one watershed to another.

Tight lines!

Paul

Thursday Featurette: Fly Fishing for Golden Trout

Each Thursday I will post an interesting video that I have come across on the Internet. I hope to find plenty of videos (or even make some of my own eventually) of Wyoming. This week's video comes from a fantastic artist who lives in the next town over, Lander Wyoming. This week's video is something that I am trying to gain enough mountain endurance to do myself... hike into a high country Golden Trout lake.




Enjoy the video.

Paul

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fly of the Week: Golden Bugmeister

This week's pattern is something that I came across from a vendor that I purchase flies from on a periodic basis. Yes, I do happen to buy some flies ,especially the more complex ones that just take to much time to tie on my own! This week's pattern is a great pattern that in my opinion imitates a Stone Fly, Hopper, or even a caddis fly. It can easily be modified by using slightly different hook styles. The original pattern uses a 2XL pattern for example. However this week I will be showing it tied on a standard dry fly hook.

Golden Bugmeister

Ingredients

Hook: Size 8-14 Dry fly hook or 2XL hook. (Size 10 standard dry fly shown)
Body: Orange Haretron
Tail: Natural Light colored Elk Hair
Wing: Natural light colored Elk Hair and crystal flash
Parachute: Grizzily Hackle (Magnum Grizzily Hackle seems to work a little easier
Post: White Poly Yarn
Thread: Danville Waxed 6/0 Black.

Instructions

Apply thread to midpoint of the hook.
Cut a small clump of elk hair and stack it. Then tie in elk hair, approximately half the hook length behind the tail. Trim off the base of the tail.

Tie in the poly yarn. Do not make it upright yet. Leaving it down will make it easier to apply the elk hair wing.

Apply dubbing from the rear tie in point and bring it forward to about midway.

Take a slighty larger clump of elk hair and stack it. Cut the bases short as it makes it easier to tie into the hook. Tie in the Elk hair wing. To get it to stand a slight bit more upright be sure to pull the hair upwards and make two-three wraps under the hair. Trim off as much of the base as possible.


Cut some flash that is the same length as the wing and tie in at the same point. 2 to 4 strands is all you need.

Apply dubbing here as well. Also now you want to stand the yarn upright.

Tie in a grizzily hackle (Magnum grizzly shown) at the base of the parachute post by the base of the feather.

Wrap the feather around the post 3 times and tie it off. Break off the tip of the feather. I like to save these feather tips, because they work perfect for  the Adams!

Apply for dubbing to make the head of the fly.

Whip finish and you're done!
Have an opinion on the step by step instructions?

Have a good one!

Paul

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Stills: Little girl hiking

Nikki playing on top of Blue Ridge Mountain

Our daughter hanging out on the back of Dad on our hike up to the lookout.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fly of the Week: CDC Suspending Midge

This week's fly is one of my goto flies when tiny flies are hatching on the streams in the Wind River area. The white CDC makes it easier to spot in low light conditions, though many times, I fish this fly behind a size 14 or so Adams.

CDC Suspending Midge

Ingredients

Hook: Standard Dry Fly Hook, Size 20.
Thread: Gray Uni-thread 6/0
Body: Silver Flashabou
Thorax: Gray Muskrat Dubbing
Wing: White CDC Feather

Instructions


  1. Wind on the thread at the mid point and tie in the Flashabou. Wind the thread to the rear, to right at the bend. Then bring the thread forward to between the barb and point of the fly.
  2. Apply the dubbing in a noodle to the thread and wrap forward to just within an eye length of the eye.
  3. Tie in the CDC feather and bring it backwards. Then bring your thread back to the front again.
  4. Bring the feather forward and tie it off leaving a small hump. Make sure plenty of fibers are going beyond that.
  5.  Bring the feather to the eye, build a head, and whip finish.
Feel free to tie with other color CDC feathers. Tying in the feathers this way, allows the midge to appear more vertical in the water column.