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Ramblings of an old cuss


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I guess I was lucky, as I got to meet some of the legends of fly fishing in the area. I took a class on

bamboo rod building from Dawn Holbrook a few years before he passed. I also would visit the shop

of Roy Patrick before he passed. His shop is still open but under new managment. His widow sold it

some years ago. I still have a book of fly patterns I got from him. I learned some neat tricks from him

for dressing flies. At one time, the local gentry was pretty famous for steelhead fishing with a fly. All that

is changing with the loss of fish and crowds of bait fishers on the rivers. There are jet sleds like a free way

on most of the rivers. Hard to fish on week ends and even during the week. Lots of pressure on the resource.

 

I am putting together a list of flies for stillwater fishing this summer. I hope to get out to do some summer run steelhead fishing after the first of June.

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CB and BMC,

 

Thanks for the info. Looks like it may be worth a little more than I thought, but not enough to retire for me to retire. Maybe I can try it out this summer.

 

Maybe I can bring it up and let Badger show me how to use it.

 

Hamley

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Yep, the Catskill water is getting more and more crowded with recreational type water craft too. It's only about 100 miles or so from New York City. As a matter of fact that watershed is the source of NYC's drinking water. It reminds of a late summer afternoon about 20 years ago. I was fishing a pool on the East Branch of the Delaware. An older guy waded up from downstream. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked if I minded that he fished the pool a little ways down from me. Told him not at all and we fished and bantered back and forth for about a half hour. Then I heard female voices and giggling coming from upstream. I looked and coming down was a bunch of women drifting in innertubes. As they got closer they saw us standing there in the river and I saw the were college age girls and most, if not all, were not wearing tops. As they went by me they said hello and remarked what a nice day it was. I replied that it was even nicer now! As they got to the older fellow they greeted him and he responded with "get goin...you're ruinin our fishin". I just shook my head.

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Would love to fish with you Hamley. But you have some great water in Wyoming. I would like to get over there and fish your waters. Even Yellowstone offers some great rainbow and cutthroat fishing.

 

Do you have a reel that goes with that rod? Also, how long is it?

The first thing you will need to do, is determine what length and then decide what size line you will need.

There are two types of line for the most part. Floating and sinking. The sinking lines come in a sink tip

and full sinking and each has a different sink rate. There are several different rates. It gets crazy.

 

Being bamboo, it will have a slower and softer action than the new plastic rods, which are almost all built on a fast design. This means that the loop in the line is smaller or tighter and will cast farther. Presentation suffers but distance is gained. Some very good fishers prefer the distance to the presentation. I do not. A lot of good fish have been caught almost at the feet of the caster. I believe that a good study of the entomology of the water, the lie of the fish and the water conditions are more important than the distance one might gain with a faster rod. Of course that leviathan that is eyeing you is always right over there, just beyond the reach of your cast. But that can happen with a fast action rod also. :lol:

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Yep, the Catskill water is getting more and more crowded with recreational type water craft too. It's only about 100 miles or so from New York City. As a matter of fact that watershed is the source of NYC's drinking water. It reminds of a late summer afternoon about 20 years ago. I was fishing a pool on the East Branch of the Delaware. An older guy waded up from downstream. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked if I minded that he fished the pool a little ways down from me. Told him not at all and we fished and bantered back and forth for about a half hour. Then I heard female voices and giggling coming from upstream. I looked and coming down was a bunch of women drifting in innertubes. As they got closer they saw us standing there in the river and I saw the were college age girls and most, if not all, were not wearing tops. As they went by me they said hello and remarked what a nice day it was. I replied that it was even nicer now! As they got to the older fellow they greeted him and he responded with "get goin...you're ruinin our fishin". I just shook my head.

 

Well, gee whiz, Willie. A fellow has got to get his priorities in order. It isn't every day that you can catch fish. Now sideline views are an everyday event in some circumstances. :o Besides, it is all in your head

anyway. I got this nagging idea of going for some steelhead down on the Grand Ronde or perhaps the Deschutes this year. I had thought about Vancouver Island, but I don't know.

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Well it wasn't like we were catching anything. We were killing time waitin on the evening hatch. I still get a laugh about that guy. I've heard of the Deshutes. That's legendary water for salmon isn't it? I haven't fished west of the Mississippi as yet. But our son moved to Alaska a couple of years ago and we plan to visit him this summer. I'm going to ship my fishing gear ahead. He's going to arrange a fly in trip for Grayling and Rainbow. Hope it all works out.

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Well, the Deschutes runs into the Columbia, but I don't believe that the salmon take a right turn there. It is more of a Steelhead and Rainbow Trout river. The trout are called redsides and run a couple of pounds at

maturity. I believe that the whole river is flyfishing only. The lower river has some good steelhead runs and the upper river has the redsides. Great fishing. The Big Salmon rivers are more along the coast and of course, the Mighty Columbia. I heard the other day that the sea lions, a gift from California, are all lined up below the Bonneville Dam awaiting the stacked up salmon. No wonder the fish runs are in jeopardy. They completely destroyed the steelhead runs in the Lake Washington water shed, and put a good size dent in the Sockeye salmon runs there also. A few more months and the fish ladders at the locks will be filling up and the sea lions will too.

 

I have never fished Alaska, but I understand that the fishing is wonderful, especially the Artic Char and the Rainbows. I don't believe that a four weight is enough rod for there, but I could be mistaken. I took my

8 wt to Northern BC and it was marginal.

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Dug out my copy of "Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams" and read up on the Deschutes. It sounds like a pretty challenging river. How is public access to the water you fish?

We're pretty lucky here in NYS as for as public access goes. The State negotiated a lot of easements back in the 1930s that have stood the test of time. They allow access only for fishing and one can usually walk along the banks for 30 feet on at least one side of the stream. The City of NY allows fishing access except near dams. All you have to do is complete a form for a free permit. They also allow hunting on some of their lands. Things got tighter after 9/11 but things could be worse. They control a hell of a lot of land and water.

I plan to ship 4, 6 and 8 weight rods and both floating and sinking lines for Alaska.

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The Deschutes has a regulation of no fishing from a boat. So you can drift the river but you must get out to fish. Most of the good fishing is on Indian land and you must purchase a boat pass and reservation pass

in addition to the State fees. But it keeps the tubers and non fishers out of the water.

 

Here in Washington state the rivers here have a lot of gravel bars and most can be walked for some distance. There are others that must be fished from a boat. They use a lot of jet boats now, so that they can go up and down the rivers. I am not sure how long the State will continue to allow that but as long as the dollars change hands I guess they will. Just about every boat on the river has a pump on it now. Before, with the drift boats, a fisher could only go one way, down stream. Now they can pass through a section several times, taking fish until the hole is empty. They call that progress.

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Any conflicts caused by the boats going through where the folks wading are fishing?

Also, If you had but one fly to fish with, what would it be?

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Any conflicts caused by the boats going through where the folks wading are fishing?

Also, If you had but one fly to fish with, what would it be?

 

There is some rock chucking, but most are considerate.

 

Wet or dry?

Only one, it would most likely be an olive or black bugger for rivers and streams, size 12.

Dry fly would be an Adams in a size 14 or 16.

 

That would be for small fish like trout. For the big boys like Steelhead or salmon, I would go with a big

bright egg pattern or something with a lot of flash on it.

 

You have some great Atlantic Salmon fishing up your way, don't you? I understand that they are a bomb

on a fly. Jump six feet out of the water. We have a few out here. Somebody decided to farm them and there was an escapement and now we have a few.

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BMC

 

do you want me to PM you a patteran for an olive and black wolly ?

 

CB

Chickasaw, I got a pattern for the black, brown and olive bugger that is SO DEADLY THAT I HAVE TO WEAR PROTECTIVE FISHING ATTIRE TO USE IT! Fish will jump in the boat if I am not careful. I thought at first that they were asian carp, but the red lateral line gave them away. They were RAINBOWS! KAMIKAZE RAINBOWS.

 

 

Badger, you should come down and shoot Hell on Wheels and we can go fishing before or after the shoot.

 

Hamley

 

I would like to do that but I fear that my travels will be limited for some time to come.You have some blue ribbon waters over there.

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Badger, I'm surprised you haven't fished Alaska yet. I've only fished it once, but it's definitely one of my life's fishing highlights. My oldest son and I took a bush plane out of Yakatat (sp?) and fished the Tsiu River for Silvers. My son had fished Alaska every year for about six years previously and kept after me to go with him. Finally, after I saved up my pennies, I went up there one fall. It was amazing!!! I used an 8-weight with a sink tip. I hope to be able to get up there at least one more time in my life. Would like to go up with my son and grandson when he's a little older.

 

After living in Northern California on the coast for 30 years, and seeing the hoards swarm down to the Klamath River, the Mad, the Trinity, the Eel, and the VanDuesen, and throw big balls of roe out there, I pretty much backed away from fly fishing those areas. I mostly used patterns like the Silver Hilton and the Brindle Bug.

 

Personally, though, I think I prefer seeing a fish take a dry fly off the top of the water. I know that sounds a little goofy, but I think I can honestly say I'd rather take a 12-incher with a dry than a 17-pound steelhead with a wet fly.

 

You're right about the yuppies taking up fly fishing. My first fly rod was given to me in the 60's...a big fiberglass job that's about as thick as a phone pole at the butt, along with a Shakespeare automatic reel. Looking back, I can't believe I stuck with fly fishing after starting out with a rig like that. :lol: I think that old rod is probably still lurking in the back of one of our closets somewhere. Started all of our kids fly fishing when they were about eight years old. They've all kept with it. Even got the son-in-law into it, but he's not quite the fanatic like the rest of them.

 

After that film, A River Runs Through It, a lot of yuppies got on the fly fishing bandwagon, but I think the newness wore off for a lot of them. As a result, occasionally you can pick up some good bargains of used stuff that a guy is getting rid of.

 

Have been doing a little scouting around our new area. We've got brookies, cutthroats, browns, and some rainbow...all within short driving distance. Looking forward to trying out the areas once we start getting better weather.

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Badger, I'm surprised you haven't fished Alaska yet. I've only fished it once, but it's definitely one of my life's fishing highlights. My oldest son and I took a bush plane out of Yakatat (sp?) and fished the Tsiu River for Silvers. My son had fished Alaska every year for about six years previously and kept after me to go with him. Finally, after I saved up my pennies, I went up there one fall. It was amazing!!! I used an 8-weight with a sink tip. I hope to be able to get up there at least one more time in my life. Would like to go up with my son and grandson when he's a little older.

 

After living in Northern California on the coast for 30 years, and seeing the hoards swarm down to the Klamath River, the Mad, the Trinity, the Eel, and the VanDuesen, and throw big balls of roe out there, I pretty much backed away from fly fishing those areas. I mostly used patterns like the Silver Hilton and the Brindle Bug.

 

Personally, though, I think I prefer seeing a fish take a dry fly off the top of the water. I know that sounds a little goofy, but I think I can honestly say I'd rather take a 12-incher with a dry than a 17-pound steelhead with a wet fly.

 

You're right about the yuppies taking up fly fishing. My first fly rod was given to me in the 60's...a big fiberglass job that's about as thick as a phone pole at the butt, along with a Shakespeare automatic reel. Looking back, I can't believe I stuck with fly fishing after starting out with a rig like that. :lol: I think that old rod is probably still lurking in the back of one of our closets somewhere. Started all of our kids fly fishing when they were about eight years old. They've all kept with it. Even got the son-in-law into it, but he's not quite the fanatic like the rest of them.

 

After that film, A River Runs Through It, a lot of yuppies got on the fly fishing bandwagon, but I think the newness wore off for a lot of them. As a result, occasionally you can pick up some good bargains of used stuff that a guy is getting rid of.

 

Have been doing a little scouting around our new area. We've got brookies, cutthroats, browns, and some rainbow...all within short driving distance. Looking forward to trying out the areas once we start getting better weather.

 

The closest I got to Alaska fishing was on the Babine river for a week. We flew into Smithers, BC and drove out to the river. Took a boat upstream about a mile and there was the lodge. It was the most exciting fishing this poor ole boy has ever had. Late season, around the first of October. It started to snow the last day there. The owner said that we would be the last vehicle out of the lodge until spring.

I get excited just thinking about it.

 

I agree that a big trout on a dry fly is exciting, but until you have felt the jolt, and I do mean jolt, of a

steelhead you have not lived. I love rainbows, but Ironjaw will bring you to your knees. I enjoy watching a trout sip a dry off the calm surface of the water, but I also enjoy the sudden surprise of a bent rod and a tugging fish, deep in some pocket of water in a fast running stream, or a flat lake. It always give a thrill.

 

I am no purist by any means. In fact when it comes to fishing I will prostitute myself to almost any degree to catch a fish. But running a fly line is poetry in motion in my book. So many things to like about it.

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About the same for the drift boats on the Delaware but some of them on the Great Lakes Tributaries that are floatable are another story.

I think I would choose size 14 Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear nymph.

The Atlantic Salmon guys like to fish the lakes especially Ontario at the mouths of the tribs. I've never caught one on a fly outfit. I have caught Chinook, lake run Browns and lake run Rainbows(called Steelhead). The Chinooks and Browns can attain phenomenal size when in the lakes. 20 to 30 pound fish are not uncommon. I believe the Salmon River, a tributary of Lake Ontario, holds the state record Chinook. Close to 48 pounds if I remember right. The Rainbows and Browns can get big as well. They'll run anywhere from 3 to 25 pounds, Browns a little bigger. They're a blast a fly gear.

Myself I like best to fish the smaller inland freestone streams for wild Brookies and Browns. Nice and peaceful.

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That solitude is golden. Some of those little brookies will put up a good scrap also. As do the browns although the rainbow and cutthroat are more acrobatic.

 

This summer I plan on some early morning trips with Captain Jack to the Sky for some fly fishing higher up around the forks.

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Hopefully the stream conditions locally will improve over the coming weeks. We've had a very mild and dry winter. The streams are low, clear and cold. I better be careful what I wish for.. we'll likely have a flood or blizzard to change things.

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Will be interesting to see what kind of weather we get between now and the opener of the rivers in June.

The lakes are pretty full right now and the May 1st opener is always crowded. I am thinking ahead between the opener and the Mother's day hatch. Probably roll some mayflies to take out.

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I, too, like The Quite Man. My Moms side of the Family came from Ireland, Dads came from Norway. Big Jake

 

 

hi Jake :) I won an award a few yrs ago for being Mary Margaret [with a red wig of course] when we had John Wayne birthday shoot and character contest from any of Duke's movies

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Our regular trout opening day, April 1st, is usually a carnival type affair, especially on the bigger streams. It'll be more so this year due it being a Sunday. Maybe it being Palm Sunday might slow things down for the morning anyway. I'll likely wait a bit and go out on the weekdays. Being retired gives me that option.

Do you have a big Green Drake hatch out there?

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Our regular trout opening day, April 1st, is usually a carnival type affair, especially on the bigger streams. It'll be more so this year due it being a Sunday. Maybe it being Palm Sunday might slow things down for the morning anyway. I'll likely wait a bit and go out on the weekdays. Being retired gives me that option.

Do you have a big Green Drake hatch out there?

 

Not a very large hatch, although the logo for the Northwest Fly Anglers, a club that I belonged to years ago, has one superimposed on a bamboo rod blank. Speaking of bamboo rods, I was scheduled to meet with a bamboo rod builder for coffee last Friday. I came down with this cold thing and I am sure he didn't want it or need it, not to mention the other folks in the restaurant. Anyway, we rescheduled and I am taking along my old fishing partner that is a skilled wood carver. I will, for once, shut my mouth and just sit and sip coffee and take in all their knowledge. I am a pirate that way. Harrrr.

 

In answer to your question, the March brown hatch will be mostly ending by opening day, and the Callibaetis will be just starting to appear. Our lowland lakes open on the last Saturday in April and it is still cool and damp at that time. At least around here. The bait chuckers will be out in force and you will

be able to walk across the lakes on the boats. It is the time of Spring Madness.

 

I will probably wait until mid week following to go out and then fish with a sub surface nymph or even a

chironomid. The dragon flies and damsel flies should be in the nymph state and a good bet.

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The Catskill area Eastern Green Drake hatch usually comes off during the end of May and the beginning of June. It lasts about a week or two at most. The hatch starts at about dusk and goes well into the night. The bug itself is huge and the imitations, sometimes called "Coffin Flies" are tied on size 8 or 10 2XL dry fly hooks. It's the largest Mayfly that hatches in the Catskills streams and really draws up some big fish. If you hit it right it's something you'll never forget.

For some reason March Browns aren't too prolific in the Catskills. They're there but it's not a large hatch.

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I suspect that the March Browns get way too much attention in the fly pattern books in relationship to

the hatch in the wild. Maybe because they hatch out early and feed the cabin fever syndrome of guys like me.

 

We here in Washington and Oregon have two different ecosystems. The eastern side of the Cascades is completely different from the western. Eastern side lives in the rain shadow of the mountains and has much dryer and warmer weather. The west side suffers from the moist air from the Pacific and the prevailing winds are from the west. Warm air mixes with cooler air and guess what. Rain. We get it. Less sun. We don't get it. Cooler temperatures. We got 'em. That is nice in the summer. Not so much in the winter.

 

Since the rivers do not open until the first of June and the year round rivers are mostly on the east side of the mountains, more subsurface flies are fished on this side of the mountains.

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The March Brown, also known hereabouts as Grey Fox, hatch usually occurs in mid May. About the same time as the Apple Caddis and Grannom. The "Magic Month of May" is a great time to fly fish in this part of the northeast. A lot of different bugs are hatching, Stoneflies, Mayflies and Caddis, that the water is like bug soup. It can also be a real PIA as there are so many bugs on the water the fish become highly selective. It's hard to determine what they're actually feeding on and then try to match it. Sometimes it drives one to indulge copious amounts of the "Hard Likker" of one's choice. :) :)

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The March Brown, also known hereabouts as Grey Fox, hatch usually occurs in mid May. About the same time as the Apple Caddis and Grannom. The "Magic Month of May" is a great time to fly fish in this part of the northeast. A lot of different bugs are hatching, Stoneflies, Mayflies and Caddis, that the water is like bug soup. It can also be a real PIA as there are so many bugs on the water the fish become highly selective. It's hard to determine what they're actually feeding on and then try to match it. Sometimes it drives one to indulge copious amounts of the "Hard Likker" of one's choice. :) :)

 

My word sir. That is exactly what a good hip flask is for. Medicinal purposes you know. Keeps the BP in line. :)

 

Here is something obscene for your visual entertainment.

 

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