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.