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Legends of the Fall

Posted by Mark Thursday, August 30, 2012 1 comments

As fall looms on the horizon, I look forward to one of my favorite times of year. Cooler days, cooler water and a few more fish around. Fish are willing to hit skated and swung flies on floating lines with reckless abandon during this, the last gasps of summer. It has already frozen at my house several times and there is a feeling in the air that is thick with anticipation. Anticipation for exploration and fishing new waters, going back to old familiar places and spending time with good friends. The river songs call me from all over the west where steelhead swim.

My guiding calendar as of today has some openings in the middle of September and also October and November. Give me a holler if you want to experience the full Fall splendor of the North Umpqua in all it's history and beauty. There is so much more to this river than just catching fish.Come with me and you will see why I love it so much.


 In the meantime,enjoy this step by step of a killer fall fly, the Purple Spey:


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What it's all about

Posted by Mark Tuesday, August 21, 2012 4 comments

I had a great time last week fishing with some great friends, Mia and Marty Sheppard. They were on the river for the NFS river steward retreat and I kidnapped them for a few sessions of steelhead fishing with floating lines. We were skating flies,fishing traditional hair wings and muddlers mostly. Just covering good water well,and basically having a very relaxed time.We laughed a lot,there was no pressure. We shared and exchanged ideas on everything from casting styles,lines and equipment to steelhead behavior. We compared the behavior of the fish on the NU with the fish on the rivers that they are familiar with. We talked about life and kids,dogs and hunting.We had a great time of fellowship over those days. What a pleasure to watch such great casters and anglers cover the water like true pros.  I fished some but really wanted to get them into some good runs and let them try to make magic happen. Marty did on his 3 and 4th casts that first morning.

Some interesting results the first morning as Marty caught this Chinook on a stripped skater after raising the fish on his third cast. Yeah, he ate it goooooood!




The Sheppard's searching for the silver lining



Mia bombing one to the dark-side



 Marty winds up his 5120 for some distance of his own


The second morning brought clouds and a light rain early. The weather stayed cool until almost noon. I was fishing just above Mia, and she hooked and landed this beautiful buck. This fish did everything a fish could do starting with a full out of the water broadside take. The fish then proceeded to run straight at her and she had to wind line like crazy to get tight to him again. When she did get a tight line to him........pandemonium erupted as the fish sought to flip a pawl on her Marquis 2 with multiple reel melting runs.The fish fought hard and jumped several times but was quickly subdued in about 4 minutes of total fight time. That's how you do it people.



Mia with her first North Umpqua Fish and it was a worthy adversary


All in all it was a typical few days on the river. The fishing was pretty tough but we all had our chances. Some capitalized some did not. I rose a fish twice in one drift that finally ate the fly. When the fish did finally eat,I got a little jumpy and may have pulled the fly away from the fish. Sometimes they don't stick but it was fun trying. That's how it goes.Marty and Mia had ringside seats from a rock perch above the pool and saw all the action making it all pretty cool.

I hope to spend many more days with these two people on all the rivers we love. They are fellow guides, and they are mentors. I know they taught me some things and I hope they learned a few things from me as well.They are humble and skilled beyond words. They are mellow, and they are both funny as all get out.They are stewards,they are role models, they are parents, they are sons and daughters.  I am so blessed to now call them friends.

Thanks Marty and Mia for a great couple of days!

Mark

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