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Echo Micro Practice Rod

Posted by Mark Saturday, July 31, 2010 3 comments

 LAZER BEAM

 

What a cool tool! Saw one at the local fly shop and had to have it. The kids were already amped to start casting so this is a great starting point. Today was the first time either of them had a rod in their hands and it was cool to see they are naturally gifted.K2 is 3 and already he wants to double haul. The Bean is 4 and has the smooth stroke of her Mom. It's amazing to see how with a little time and effort these kids will be rocking the fly rod. Starting young like they are, by 8 or 10 it could be a little scary!

I would highly recommend this rod for a teaching aid for young and old alike. I was having a blast with it myself on the lawn!! Feels like a real casting stroke and the yarn is heavy enough to load it up. It roll casts, and will throw tight loops.

Super good practice to tune up your muscle memory for single handed casting....you guys still cast a single hand rod don't you?

The Gecko rod from Echo is on the list next.
 



  Wait for it Son (look at that stance, and the shades!)

Loading it up( hauling and double hauling is natural with these)


Loaded and ready for delivery, send her downtown boy!

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The Art of Fishing the Comeback Fly

Posted by Mark Monday, July 26, 2010 1 comments

Another trip to my favorite river proved to be educational(usually the case) as well as productive. I fished on my own Friday night and rose a fish to a skater in a favorite run. A run that is so very visual but not many fish. A little harder to get down to but right in front of everyone....go figure. People are funny that way. It works. Fished the top end starting a little higher than usual. After a smoking hot day I was wet wading and enjoying the coolness and shade of the coming night. I was in no hurry to get to the bucket in the tail. I fished along airing out some overhead casts in a rare instance where I had nothing at all behind me. I was enjoying the rhythm and feel of the single hander in my hand. Stripping in a bit I lift 50 ft or so of line from downstream and pick it up over my head in a change of direction/switch,cast double hauling and firing it out, shooting line to 80+ feet in one move. Fun stuff! I love that rod.I step down and continue with the rhythm and get closer to the "pay atention part of the pool. A rock makes a seam on the very far side and it goes into a little bay before hitting a pillow in front of two rocks and spilling into a class 3 chute. I send the skater over to the rock making the seam, let it dead drift a little before I do a slight pull back mend and tension the fly. The fly hits the little bay and gets held and then starts to swing ever so slowly towards the pillow formed by the rocks at the tail. The fish hold in this pillow,surfing the current in front of the rock. I always get twitchy as the fly swings and covers these last few feet in front of these rocks. It never ceases to amaze me that even though I am cocked and locked waiting for the fish, and I pretty much know where he is, he always surprises me. I am tuned and waiting the fly swings, I watch. Then off the right side of the pillow he comes, Whooosh, a full broadside swing and a miss. Heart pumping, I give the fish a minute and I strip in a little and send a cast on down town again. Same cast same mend....same slow swing right over the same spot.........nothing. I strip in and change to a little muddler that has been working well as a follow up fly. I reel in 10 feet or so and start the game again with the muddler. Finally I am in the zone again and getting keyed up. It arcs and dances across the pillow as the currents in the spill zone can actually pull it back across to the far bank briefly and hold it as it comes across. He's getting a GOOD look at it. Nothing doing, a one time Charley as we say. I don't bother putting a wet fly through as I have more runs to cover and I had some fun with that fish. And so it goes on the NU. Sometimes the change up works,sometimes not.



 The next day I fish by myself again and it is eerily quiet out with hardly anyone out. I fish everything I want and never cross a wet footprint....no fish show to the skater. I end up seeing a friend I haven't seen in a while and we get to talking. We rap for awhile and he says lets go fish a couple of pools. I say sure and I think I know of a couple that are shaded. We head out and he fishes a classic glassy tail out that usually hold fish. It looks killer and he fishes it perfectly. I love watching someone fish a surface fly in a glassy tail. If a fish even sniffs at it you will usually see some surface disturbance, anything from a little bulge or ripple behind the fly to full on pandemonium. On this occasion we see nothing and we move on to the next run. I fish a tricky little spot under the trees on my least favorite perch on the whole river. The water right in front of you is 10 feet deep and you stand on a pointy spine and neither of your feet are on a flat surface. I hate it but it kicks out fish so I have learned to tolerate it. You fish this run from a sideways approach, as in you are not fishing down and across in the traditional manner. You start out by pitching the fly straight out and even a little upstream to get across the near fast current and get to the slow seam on the far side.It's a weird drift to be sure. You try and hang your fly on the far side as long as you can until the fast water picks up your line and pulls it out. Sometimes they grab it just as the fly starts to accelerate. This day my buddy watches as a fish is spooked out of the tail by my fly and he goes upstream of the fly 15 feet and then drops back to his lie. He no come backy to take another look...he saw more than enough and he was gone.The next pool was in the shade as well and my friend fished it. Cool little run that you might drive right by, and most people do. He starts in above the structure and works his way down in, smoothly casting a new Beulah with little effort.He is in the river and has a great angle on keeping the fly swinging slowly through the pool. Two pieces of structure form a V and there is several boils from sub surface rocks in the narrowing V. He covers the rock and seam making the far leg of the V and is getting down to the mid V structure. I am talking to him and he turns his head to answer as we both see a fish boil on the fly.Whoa! There he was! He puts it back through once and no go. He changes to a smaller version of what he had on an shortens up and sends that through.A couple of drifts and it rises again, but no grab. He decides to go to his tried and true wet and he shortens up again and starts to work that through again. He passes where the fish rose and nothing so he continues to finish the run.He covered the fish perfectly and could do no more. He has his method of re-covering a fish after a rise and I have mine.Both of us have had results with multiple ways of doing it and that's what's cool. There are no rules in doing it just come up with a way that works for you.That's all you can do.Fish to a risen fish, cover it with a few different flies in a methodical way that you are comfortable with and have had success and move along. That's fishing.



 Now the last scenario I experienced this weekend was the best. Even sweeter because I was guiding. We came to a known producer at prime time Sunday morning and I put one guy in this very short run. The fish hold in a space the size of a two car garage. A very intimate spot for sure. A spot you don't just come crashing right up to the edge of the run on. Stealth is in order here. He starts in a the top and I tell him to start short. He does. As he is fishing I am talking to the other guy and explaing where the fish hold. They are down on that light rock blah blah blah. But, I say, they will hold in real close....like right in there where his fly is now.....Kaploooosh! Yeah right there! There she was! The guy, who I happen to know pretty good, is amped and shaking a bit after rising his first fish to a dry. I tell him to chill and let both him and the fish think about it for a minute. Put the skater back one time only I say at that same length line. He does and no fish shows. Ok, I say, put this fly on. He does. Now shorten up 10 ft and start swinging this fly through. Lengthen a foot and a half each drift till you get back down to her. About 5 pulls in( right where she first rose) his reel goes zzzrzrzr then nothing. Dang I say to myself, she's stung and gone. 2 second pass and zzzzzrzrzrzrzrz goes the reel again and he lifts the rod on a nice,slightly rosey 8lb hen. The reward of a perfect fish to end the cat and mouse game that had been going on for the last 5 minutes.



200 or so fish up at Lee's pool so far. Cool to see they made it! More on the way.






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Happy Fish(Long and Pic heavy)

Posted by Mark Friday, July 9, 2010 2 comments

 Just got back from a few days of dues payin on the NU.An awesome place as usual..... and the fish were willing to cooperate, some more willing than others. A couple notable encounters I will share. I showed up in the heat of the day Wednesday and it was 96 or so. I went and fished a few pools just to get wet more than anything. Yeah, put your waders away, it's summer boys and girls.( I wet waded every session morning and evening no problemo). Went by the guide shack and dropped off my gear and kicked it in the shade on the porch with a frosty malted adult beverage for awhile until the evening session. Went out and did my normal routine. Drive up or down the river and wait till the bell goes off(that's the 'Fish Here" bell in my head) Sometimes runs just jump up and slap ya telling you to fish them, other times you just drive right on by them looking for another. Every day is different. I have favorite runs for sure but I never fall into any kind of pattern on that river. You have a purpose but it's kind of a very haphazard approach.As you are driving around, one needs to be reading water,shade and sunlight,fishing pressure etc to help you decide where to go.Are fish moving or not? When fish are moving I don't mind seeing wet footprints in a run from someone that was just in there. I can't tell you how many times I have walked into a run that had just been pounded and got a fish...or two. If you know where those moving lies are, you fish them 2 or 3 times in a day... and it works.

So anyway,I get out for my evening session and start fishing some great water. A few people around but not to bad. I weave my way among them and find myself in one of my all time favorite spots at prime time. It appears not to have been fished for some time. It looks good, it feels good, water still just up a little but almost perfect. I start way high, even higher than normal and start to cover the upper structure. I am fishing a dry fly and it arcs and darts sweetly across the run catching the puffy swirls and currents from the submerged bedrock. I'm in the zone. I've made about 15 casts so far. I make one more before stepping to the next casting station. The fly lands, I hop a little mend in and send him on through. All of the sudden as I am watching the fly swing, almost to the hang down, a sweet fish explodes out of the water about 3ft(obviously a stunt fish),totally broadside to me......with my fly stuck in her grill. She comes down like a bag of rocks and proceeds to leave the park. Being at the very top of this particular run, she had a ways to go, and she went. Lets see, the rest of belly and running line from a Rio Steelhead taper....gone. Now the kite string comes out and gets taken for a ride, better follow this girl.I scramble down and get my line back pretty quick and land her in a little side bay. I always try to keep all my fish in the water and this year any pics( if I even take one) will look like this:

Sharpes of Aberdeen 11'3" 7wt single hand rod and 3 3/4 Bougle and the stunt fish
 



 There was some time to kick it and enjoy the scenery





Get Cooled off



 Back to the fishing. Thursday it was about 15 degrees cooler and we got some serious cloud formation. You could feel the pressure drop like a bomb yesterday as the thunder boomers built. About 3:30 I looked at Tony( neither of us had to work) and he looked at me and he said "Let's go fishing" We hopped in the car and bombed down the road. Tony's bell went off and he yarded the truck over and said,"Fish are moving, this is a moving run, I'm fishing it" OK man. We hop out and he starts in. He makes a dozen or so casts and starts to get into the zone of the upper fish............ KAPOW!SPLOOOSH! the fish missed it but it keeps swinging ZING!ZAP!ZOWIE! he comes full head and tail out and misses it again. Two sweet full body rises in the same swing. So awesome to watch it happen, it never gets old. Tony puts one more drift through with the dry and nothing. We both know this fish will eat for sure so he puts on a little closer number and shortens up and sends it through. He keeps fishing well past the original rises by 15 or so feet. We both know it's gonna happen, as these fish often back down this particular pool. Every careful cast I watch, probably more of a mess than he is. The anticipation just kills when you know something good is about to happen.......SLAM!YANK!RRRRRRRIP! the deal is finally closed and Tony watches his line go West in a hurry, like this:


Now where is my car keys?( Tony calmly fiddling around in his vest pocket for I don't know what in mid fight)


We both rose fish after that but no hook up. Love the pressure drops!


Went to Lee's pool on the way out today and saw maybe 50 fish, hard to tell kind of a glare but the passage is open and there were definitely dozens of fish in there. Like this big guy I estimated in the 36' range:


After fishing with Tony the last few days I once again realize that he is just one of the most amazing fisherman I have ever met. The whole package, casting, fish knowledge, river knowledge, people knowledge. A very soft spoken guy who stays out of the limelight. I greatly admire him and how after 25 years he still surprises the heck out me with the stuff he knows. His ability to know these fish and what they do and why they do it boarders on the mystical.

Parting cool down shot of the master doing what he does best




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I'm outta here

Posted by Mark Wednesday, July 7, 2010 1 comments

Looking forward to some wet wading on the river during this little hot spell/heat wave.I will be on the river the next few days. I will report back when I get home. Fish are starting to trickle in but as usual this time of year,there are not a ton of them around. When you find one it will be a hottie! As anyone that fishes the NU knows, we don't go fishing there to catch a bunch of fish. Pound some water and fish hard and you just might find one.

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Wounded Warriors

Posted by Mark Sunday, July 4, 2010 1 comments

This 4th of July, lets remember the guys that are in the trenches day in and day out fighting for our freedoms at home and overseas. No matter what your views are on the war, these guys are serving their country and are bad-ass.I am thankful that these guys are still fighting for our independence, freedom and safety each and everyday. Thanks to all the guys and gals out there that make doing something so leisurely as fly fishing even possible. Support these kind of programs, volunteer, whatever. These guys and gals have earned and deserve to have the healing of mind and body that fly fishing provides.......and we take for granted. There was a very successful Wounded Warrior weekend on our own Deschutes river a few weeks ago. A buddy of mine watched as his friend from high school and a wounded veteran, landed some slab redsides on a Chubby. Priceless moments people.Lets keep all the troops in our prayers.SALUTE!




Wounded Warriors Film - Royce Gorsuch from Royce Gorsuch on Vimeo.

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