Thursday, November 5, 2009


Time changes things.......Age changes things. It seems as you get older it becomes harder to wrap your tired hands around time. I would love more time. More time for family, more time for fun, more time for fishing. I know that at times life throws you curve balls and sometimes you have to "bear down" and work hard to get through it but.....I am haunted. HAUNTED
I have made a big move back to the place of my birth, the isolation of the central Oregon coast. This is the land where I spent my youth. Crashing through thick rainforest's and bushwhacking my way up small crystal-clear creeks so buried in the depths of mother natures lush bosom that at times could hardly muster the courage to drag myself home. HAUNTED
Driving by these rivers and creeks I am flooded with memories of water and fish. But alas TIME has caught me again. Time (among other things) has taken the fish. The rivers and creeks no longer holding the numbers of trout and sea-run fish that they once did. The fishing seasons have been shortened and the deadlines moved farther down stream. Do people not understand that fishing is my life? I need it. Of course the answer is they do not. HAUNTED
There is hope though. Hope that the crome bright, steelheaded beasts of winter will make a strong appearance in a few months. I will not hope for the time to pursue them. I will make the time. With the extension of my soul I will swing faith through frigid and twisted currents and with hope I will find freedom.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Salty Return of GlassyWaters

Well folks, it has been a long time coming. For reasons that would be to lengthy to go into, I have been without a fly rod in my hand. But the time has come. This is the return of Glassywaters!

This morning I was faced with the decision of were to go throw a line. After much thought I decided on fishing off of the jetty in Yaquina Bay. Yaquina Bay is located in Newport, Oregon. This is a fishery that I have fished on and off my entire life. It is also a 15 minute drive from my house so it will be the location of many future posts. While Yaquina Bay is home to many species of fish (Lingcod, Greenling, Flounder, Pile Perch, and many others) today's journey was in pursuit of Black Rock Bass.

High tide was at 2:30pm so naturally I was there before 1:00. You have to be rigged and ready if you are planning to fish the jetty because the tides wait for no one. Most times you fish hard and when the tide goes slack the bite turns on like a light switch. This is exactly what happened to me today. But as quickly as it turned on it switched off. I did, however, manage to land two hard fighting bass. Both of a respectable size.

Fly selection for this kind of fishing is easy. An 2-3" minnow pattern will work but I like a tan or blue Clouser Minnow. I also use custom cut shooting heads that get my fly down quickly and keep it there. The hard part about jetty fishing is "rock hopping". You have to cover alot of jetty sometimes to find the spot where the fish are actively feeding. When you find that spot fish it hard because there should be more than one fish there. More often than not I like to fish the jetty at night with lanterns. The light brings in invertebrates which bring in baitfish which bring in bigger fish. Fishing the jetty at night is a dangerous affair however and should be done in the company of a fishing buddy. Day time trips can be productive too and the jetty is a quick fix when you NEED to wet a line.

On a comedic note, I found this "vessel" washed up on the South Jetty. If you can't tell that is a motor at the lower left hand corner of the platform. It appears that someone needed a boat and decided to make their own. Not a big surprise I found it where I did. You might be a redneck if you..............

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meanwhile....back at the ranch....

The day was spent loading 60# bales of hay onto a flat bed truck in the searing heat. By the end of the day I had personally handled over 14 tons on hay. That was hard work but staring at the pond all day watching the hawks and eagles fish was unbearable at best. When the last load of bales was finally stored away in the hay barn Seth and I made for the nearest stock pond. This pond was not for fishing but for washing the days worth of dust, grass, and sweat from our aching bodies. After cooling down and having an icy cold beer we went over to the fishing pond. We strung up our rods with an electrified feeling, charged up with the knowing, not wondering, that we would catch fish. You don't get to experience that feeling often and it comes with mixed emotions. Should it be so easy or So what if it is easy I have a shot at a wild 10lbs trout are examples of these feelings. These fish are wild no doubt about it. The pond was stocked years ago and has not been stocked since. It has a small feeder creek coming into it that not only give the fish a spawning area but it also provides a steady supply of cold water through out the hot summer days. A healthy population of fish of all age classes and the fact that the spawn has been witnessed is all the proof I need to know that these fish are wild. Did I mention that the larger fish fight like Steelhead? Cartwheeling and ripping line across the still surface of the pond.
We started to catch fish right away and on my 2nd cast I caught my 2nd fish. It was the 10+lb "Bruiser" pictured below. Using 8wt rods and super stout leaders is a must on this pond. Not only to keep the fish out of the weeds but also to land the fish as quickly as possible. Once revived they can slither back into the weedy depths where they are cooler and safe from the many birds of prey that watch over them like ancient warlords. The "Bruiser" tested my tackle almost to it's limits. The take was savage. An eruption of water and weeds. Then came the run. It made it to the middle of the pond literally in the blink of an eye. I hit the breaks and leaned back on the fish as hard as I could without severing my leader. Thankfully it worked and I got her head turned back towards me. When the fish came to hand the size and beauty was shocking. Leaving Seth and I, jaws dropped and eyes wide, in awe.
The rest of the evening was spent steadily catching fish, some going to 20 inches, most measuring in at around 12-16". With each cast though, we wondered if this was the cast that would bring another "Bruiser" to hand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stonefly Series-Adults

Well the Stonefly season is but a distant memory here in Central Oregon. While I did not get out as much as I would have liked I did manage to get out a few times to spend the day with these incredibly large and intriguing bugs. These photos are from a trip some friends and I took to the Lower Deschutes River. Stonefly season is hard for me to let go of and I will think about it for the many months to come. Dreaming of stealthfully working my way through the tall grass along the river bank looking to slam my fly on the water below overhanging tree branches. Maybe bouncing my fly off of large rocks and into kitchen sink size eddies waiting for that eager oversized trout to engulf my offering. At least there are more bugs to chase and I am positive I can find a way to "distract" myself until the big bugs come back around.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Private Ponds

Oh, private ponds. How many of us have been driving down the road and seen a glimmer of water through the trees or over a fence? How many have thought, "I could be in and out of there in a flash under the cover of darkness" or "I wish I had a pond of my own". I am one of those people and have had a fascination with hidden waters since my youth. This post is about a recent trip to such a place but did not involve a night time mission or paying for it.

This pond is nestled in the foothills on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mt. Range. I am fishing the pond with my future brother-in-law, who was kind enough to extend the invitation to fish it. Folks that have been following Glassy Waters since the beginning may recognize this place as it was the topic of my very first post. Well it has been quite some time since my last trip to this pond and I was excited to get back on it. I have said before that the rainbows in this small body of water are not smart or picky but they are strong, hard fighting fish that can make you gasp and giggle simultaneously. On the last post I ended saying I would be back with an 8-weight and heavier tippet because these fish will take you straight to the weeds and bust you off before you can say, "@#$%!" Glad I did because we didn't break off a single fish this time. Seth and I fished the pond for about an hour and a half and had a fish bite, slash, or hammer our flies on virtually every cast.

Throwing poppers was the highlight of the evening. Watching twenty inch trout chasing down top water flies is about as thrilling as it gets. Except maybe when you see one appear out of no where right under your popper and then it sips it in like a size 12 Adams. I hope I am not haunted for long by this pond before I get to fish it again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

At it again

I said we would be hearing more from Scott Robertson. I recently got an email from Scott with pictures of his latest trophy catches. Boy can this guy catch some fish. The top 2 pictures are from a pay-to-play reservoir near Madras, Oregon and the bottom one is a great hold-over trout from South Twin Lake, also in Central Oregon. If you are interested in fishing with Scott you can book a trip with him through sunriver fly shop.

Monday, June 22, 2009

8th Annual Metolius Fly Fishing & Bamboo Rod Fair

On July 18th and 19th Camp Sherman will see one of the largest pilgrimages of Bamboo Rod fanatics this side of the Rocky Mountains. If talking/casting/collecting or just looking at Bamboo rods sparks your fire than this is the place to come. This is a great opportunity to visit with bamboo rodmakers, tackle dealers, graphite and fiberglass manufacturers, cast rods, buy tackle or order rods. There will also be casting demos, slide shows, and much more. Parking is free and there will be food and drinks to buy. I feel this is an event for the whole family and is a chance to show them some of the true beauty of our sport.
Examples of manufacturers that will be attending are Bellinger, Sweetgrass, Catherine Creek Rods and Left Coast Tackle. Rodmakers will include A.J. Thramer, Stephen Kiley, Chris McDowell and many others. Add to all of this tackle appraisals by Dan Brock, Morgan hand-mill demonstrations by Roger Fairchild and plenty of local fly tiers and you have a recipe for a dynamic weekend.
This years fair is extra exciting for me because I will be demoing a super sweet, custom fiberglass rod for Dan Dixon of Left Coast Tackle. These new "Glass" rods from LCT are sure to be amazing tools on the river. So look for future posts to hear more about these rods.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fly Fishing in the Heart of an Ancient Volcano

12,000 years ago a series of cataclysmic events unfolded 20 miles southeast of present day Bend, Oregon. In the wake of these events Newberry Caldera was born. At 4x5 miles in diameter, Newberry Caldera is massive. It boasts one of the world's largest collections of cinder cones, domes, lava flows and fissures in the world. It has also been a gathering place for humans for centuries. The earliest documented gatherings in Newberry Caldera were by Native Americans, some of them travelling very far, where they traded goods for arrowheads. These arrowheads were masterfully crafted from obsidian harvested from the vast lava flows that snake their way through the landscape of this area. Also left behind were two lakes, East and Paulina. Modern day gatherings within Newberry Caldera mostly revolve around these lakes. My story takes place on Paulina Lake.
Scott and I arrived at Paulina Lake before the sun had made is appearance over the rim of the caldera. The water's surface was glassy smooth and there was a calm in the air that charged the feeling that today could, indeed, be an epic day of fishing. The mind is awash with tactics and techniques as we rigged our rods. The engine sputters and coughs as it comes to life and warms. The anticipation is building. Today could be great.
As we idle our way out across the lake we go over our game plan. We will start by working the shoreline on the southern end of the lake. At the dock I had readied my rod with my "go to" lake system. Tandem Buggers. Keep it simple. It didn't take long before we found a willing pod of trout. Fat, feisty Rainbows eager to take our offerings and equally as eager to get away. Working the shore further, we encountered more hungery Rainbows. The count was starting to add up but we still had not found what we were hoping to find, a large yella bellied Brown Trout. It was time for a location change so we headed off for the opposite end of the lake. There are hot springs on this end of the lake and we were thinking the warmer water would bring in the smaller fish and, in turn, the larger bullies of Paulina Lake. More trout were caught but we still did not find the prize. This is how it goes on the lake that gave up the almost 30 pound state record brown trout. Don't get me wrong, we caught alot of fish and they were all great, beautiful fish but when you know there is a behemoth Brown Trout cruising through the weed beds you can't help but be a little sad that you didn't connect with one. It also can haunt you. Insuring that you will return. Standing on a dock on a calm morning thinking today could be the day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stonefly Series-Emergers

(click photo to enlarge)
This is a pretty cool shot I got the other evening while fishing a remote canyon stretch of river. The fishing was good and we had some take-downs that made us giggle like a couple of 12 year olds. This was also a pinnacle evening because Seth, a new fishing buddy, landed his first trouts on a fly. Large dry flies and a remote location for his first time? He is surely ruined.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lower Deschutes Float Trip

The following is a photo essay, of sorts, documenting a recent trip to the Lower Deschutes River. This was an amazing trip spent taking multiple floats a day down a stretch of river that has tons of good fishable water. The water was high and dirty and just a few fish were landed.(I lost a Redside that would have gone 24+ inches, OUCH) But this was truly a great trip spent with old friends, and a few new ones. Days were spent on the water and evenings consisted of eating outstanding food and drinking fine spirits around the camp fire. Paradise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flyfishing Team USA NW regional qualifier

Just a quick note. Bend, OR was recently the host site for the Team USA NW regional qualifier. Being that Scott Robertson is a team member and a friend of mine I got an invitation to compete. The competition consisted of 4 sessions at 3 venues. For me the first day was an A.M. session on Paulina Lake and an afternoon session at South Twin Lake. I did well on the lakes and placed 1st and 2nd. Then next day was on the Crooked River. My morning session was tough. Little bug activity and high flows made finding fish not easy for me and I placed 5th. The afternoon session on the Crooked went better and I found many large trout, placing 2nd. All this added up to taking 7th overall and I have qualified to go to the National Fly Fishing Championship in State College, PA in October. The other qualifiers were Alec Gerbec and Kurt Finlayson both extraordinary fisherman.
The Bend event was a super experience. I definitely enjoyed fishing amongst a large group of such accomplished fly fishers. Among the many people I meet are a few that I hope to get to fish with in a non-competitive atmosphere and a few I will see in PA this fall. I also have to say thanks to all the volunteers (Central Oregon Fly Fishers) without them this would not have happened. All involved were 100% professional and courteous. This is an amazing opportunity and I have alot of research, tying flies and fishing to do over the next several months. The limestone creeks of Central PA will be a true test of skills.

Monday, May 4, 2009

2 Dozen Crappy Trout Flies

(A dozen size 10 Killer Bees)

I was wading through some fishing blogs sometime ago and discovered a blog called Sweaty Waders. Sweaty Waders is the "blog-child" of Sweetwater Fly Shop in Livingston, Montana. If the name Sweetwater rings a bell that is because Sweetwater Travel (owners of the flyshop) has been the forerunners in destination flyfishing and also operates, what I feel to be, the best flyfishing guide school in the country. Being a 1999 graduate of this guide school, I can confirm the instruction and job placement is top-notch.
So I was reading Sweaty Waders and they had a caption contest going and I made my submission thinking there was no way I would win a thing. Low and behold I won and it wasn't long before Dave Goff had my winnings in the mail. It was said that I was getting "2 dozen crappy trout flies" so of course you got to be leery of what could be showing up in the mailbox. What I was thinking and what actually showed up turned out to be two totally different things and I have to say they are not crappy. In fact, with a little permanent marker work I can turn those Killer Bees into a Killer Golden Stone or maybe a hopper and those Micro Caddis will catch some trouts for sure. Maybe Dave meant Crappie & Trout flies?

(A dozen size 18 CDC Micro Caddis)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fishing and Family

Family and fishing. It is a fine combination. I now have a blended family which is made up of 2 girls and three boys and my Jenny. So needless to say when you think about having a day out at the lake fishing you need to make sure your ducks are in a row or you might loose your marbles. Well I did my preparations and made sure we had all the items that make for a pleasurable time on the water. In the morning I loaded the van with lots of fishing gear, chairs, cooler full of goodies for a picnic and children and we were off, headed for the lake.
The drive to this particular lake is a little lengthy and we got there at around 11:00. The sun was high and hot. The kind of spring weather that feels like the Smallmouth should be making babies in the shallows. But they were not. In fact the fishing was rather slow. But you find out what kind of children you have when fishing is slow. You also get a chance to show them all the other things that come with spending time on the water. The truth is Jenny and I have great children and my boys have been on enough wild goose chases with me to not think much of the words, "Don't worry your dad doesn't get lost" and "That's why they call it fishing and not catching".

We did catch a couple of fish that day but we also had a wonderful day playing in the water, throwing rocks and genuinely enjoying each others company. Come to think of it I don't recall much bickering either and no one got stuck with a hook. Well no one took a hook to the flesh. Ty got his brother on the backcast once. He insisted that I let him get it out and I, being a firm believer in "a lesson learned", let him. He removed it swiftly with no issues and he was proud of himself, as was I.

The day dwindled on and the air cooled as the sun lazied it's way towards the horizon. This is a time referred to as the Magic Hour. The time of day when, if there are fish to be had, you have a good shot at them. Since the kids fished most of the day and were now preoccupied, Jenny picked up a rod and proceeded to throw a gold spinner out. She fished long enough for me to think maybe the Magic Hour might not be so magical when all of a sudden I hear her say, " I have a fish!". Those words can be like a dinner bell and we all came running. You see this wasn't just any fish it was Jenny's' first fish, and a fine Smallmouth at that. Now she is hooked and is fired up to catch one on a fly rod. Like I said, "Family and fishing is a fine combination".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I have spent the last week and a half taking recon trips out to a few close to home streams. (Waiting) These trips have ranged from "Dash and Cast" hurried trips to half/full day excursions. (Waiting) These places are all alot of walking to get into. An average walk being 1.5 miles just getting in and out not to mention up and down the river. There is no real trail either, just boulder gardens and game trails. (Waiting alone) I am out there looking and waiting for............Stoneflies! The rivers' water levels have dropped and they are coming into shape. Fishing is picking up and while I am catching fish every time out, and better numbers with every trip, I know it will be at it's best when the big bugs come out to play. Now just more waiting and more "check-ups" on the river. But when it happens I will be there, rod in one hand and a large dryfly in the other. Ghastly Stoneflies crawling on the rocks, mating in the grass and shrubery, creeping around on my neck. And with any luck ,for me, they will be falling/flying clumsily into the water. Just writing about it gets my blood flowing and throws images and feelings into my head. Casting hard and working the river harder. Intentionally slapping the fly on the water. Popping, skate and twitching it. Waiting? No. When the adult Stones start crawling I will be catching.

It will happen. It has to. It will start any day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stonefly Series-Nymphs-So it begins

I will not start this story with tales of over sized trout. I will not tell you that I caught 100 fish in one day. What I will tell you is that while I was fishing the other day a Stonefly nymph was the hands down fish catcher. It worked so well that it made me think to myself, "Could these bugs really be making their annual migration into the shallows?". I started turning over rocks. I found them alright. Dozens of fat, pulsing Stoneflies clung to the bottom of volcanic stones. Waiting. Waiting for the water temperature to reach that magical number when they are triggered into emerging into the open air and the open mouths of trout.
Anyone that has fished over a heavy hatch of "Stones" knows once you have experienced it that it will haunt you for the rest of your days. I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I can take advantage of a long Stonefly season. There are stretches of river where the water is low and warm in the early season and they are triggered in the middle of April. In the end of April, beginning of May, other stretches warm up and turn on. By this time of year the Lower Deschutes River is firing up and I fish this famed hatch for all it is worth. After the Lower D it is off to another fabled water in pursuit of Golden Stones. In all I will get almost 3 months to immerse myself in the cult following that is the Stonefly Hatch.
Keep checking and drift away with me in this "Stonefly Series"!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring is here in Central Oregon!

Earlier this week I made it into a local river that flows at the bottom of a deep, high desert canyon. This is a little known spot so that is all I will say about the location. But I will tell you that the Blue-Winged Olives were out in full force and I will also tell you that the trout fishing was spectacular for Redsides in the 7-12" range. This particular stretch of river also has freakishly early Stonefly hatches and while I saw no signs of adults or emergers there was nymphs making their migration into shallower water and the trout eagerly gobbled up imitations of them. The walk into this section of rivers is like the walk I do into most of my favorite spots, grueling. The walk in is easy but the walk out is a 600 feet scramble, virtually straight up. The day was worth it though with over 2 dozen trout on nymphs and well over a dozen on dries. I even landed 2 trout on at the same time which is always something that makes me giggle.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Great Start

Scott Robertson started his year off good with this nice 8lb Rainbow that he caught out of a local reservoir. The weather around Central Oregon has been all over the map. Snow one day, the next day sunny. So Scott took advantage of one of the nicer days and headed out to a reservoir that usually fishes well early in the season. He found some trout eating midges in a cove and let the wind carry his boat into the shallows. Scott throw out a #14 Chironimid under a strike indicator into 4 feet of water and within a few seconds he was fast into his best Rainbow of the year. So far. It is only March and the lake fishing is just thinking of waking up. One thing is for certain though, Scott is a pro-caliber lake fisherman and we are sure to see more pics of trophy trout as the lakes ice-out and the season goes on.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smith Rocks

We had a nice break in the weather this week so I had to take advantage of it and went fishing. After some talking, my good friend Scott and I decided on Smith Rock. While it is not known for great trout fishing, it is still a beautiful place to fish. We caught several large whitefish and the weather was spectacular.

This is one of those places you go when you want to fish in awe of nature. The rock formations on this stretch of river are amazing and I would challenge anyone to try and look at just the water all day. You would fail. There is a feeling in the air when you are in the presence of natures finest work. It makes you feel small yet still part of something grand. It was a fine day with a great friend and great views.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Guardian of the Bull Trout

Nate Morgan with a 30" Metolius Bull Trout
I recently received some very inspiring news from my good friend and fishing buddy Nate Morgan. Nate manages a building supply store and is surrounded by fellow outdoorsman. Well years ago Nate, some other employees, and customers started a Bull Trout Derby. The derby has grown and now has 40-50 participants. While I have not been to one of the derbies I hear it is a really fun event. In the past this has been a contest won by bringing in the largest DEAD Bull Trout. The derby takes place on Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon and "LBC" is one of the only places in the United States where you can kill Bull Trout, as long as it is over 24". That adds up to a lot of dead Bulls just during the derby, not to mention the rest of the fishing season. Needless to say this is a massive hit to the Bull Trout and as a species listed under the ESA it should be illegal. Nate feels the exact same way and asked all the participants what they thought about changing the rules of the game and use other methods to declare a winner. A majority of them agreed and now the derby is CNR. Great Job Nate.
There are many tournaments like this on "LBC" all or most are catch and kill and show off. How does this happen to an endangered species? I don't know. But I know it shouldn't and I know thousands of others agree with me. Nate and I have decided that we have to do our best to protect these fish. So now the question is, "How do we get ODFW to change the regulates to a state wide ban on killing Bull Trout?" That will be our mission. I know it will be a long and hard battle but fish is our passion and we have to care for and watch over our passions. Even fight for them.

Look for up-coming posts on how you can help protect this amazing species of fish!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Of Happiness and Sorrow (or Agony of da Feet)

OK, maybe that title is a little dramatic but when you have been staring at an endless snowy road for two hours, like you and your buddy are on a death march into enemy territory, you start to question your sanity. I have done this walk before so this time I thought I was being smart and brought the bicycles. The weather was great and I figured it would cut my travel time by two-thirds. So my buddy Scott and I took off for the hills not knowing our day was going to take a grueling turn. As we made our way up the road we started to get into snow, which got deeper and deeper until riding the bikes felt like riding in the sand. Frozen, Slushy Sand! We ditched the bicycles and proceeded on foot and let me tell you walking in that crusty snow was no better. But we do what we do for the sake of catching fish.
Alas, we arrived at our destination. Pure Joy. I have been here before but it always feels like the first time. This area is wild and it is evident by all the game sign (not gang signs) we saw. I payed special attention to the direction of the numerous, fresh cougar tracks you could see on the road we were walking. We fished hard, we fished long and caught more than enough trout to forget the work it took to get into this wilderness and to put a smile on the face for the trip out. I will leave the details on what we fished and how we fished up to your imagination. The trout in this section are foolish and trusting so pattern choice is mostly personal preference. But I will tell you this, there are Bull Trout in these waters and I brought a rubber band to a gun fight. Last time I was on this section of river I saw no Bullies so I left the heavy stick at home so I could keep the load light. Big mistake. A 5 weight and 6# test are no match for a 30" Bull Trout. I put up a good fight but the swift water in the lower end of the hole proved to be too much. Oh well. If you have ever had your @#$ handed to you by a large fish you know all you can do is smile. I WAS!!!