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"!