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On The Surface

Posted by Mark Saturday, July 28, 2012 0 comments


 
The dry fly skitters across the pool. Then a huge boil and full body rise of a large steelhead breaks the stillness of the glassy tail out. The fish fully missed the fly but he has now given away his precise location."Did you see that"? my dude says,hardly able to contain his excitement.  "Yes! That was the target species" I say jokingly. "I told ya it would stop your heart"    "You were not kidding! he says trying to regain his composure.

We rest the fish for a minute or two and he sends the skater back out for another drift through the same lie.Nothing doing. I tell him to shorten up his line and step a couple stems back up. I tie on a small purple wet fly and he starts through again slowly lengthening line to reach the lie of the fish that rose. He makes several great drifts in the zone and no fishy. I grab his line and change flies again tying on a tiny little skater and have him start in again, 20-25 feet higher than where the fish is laying. I want to make sure we are well above the fish and slowly work the little skater down to him. This extra distance also allows the fish to calm down and the fisherman also to settle down and make good casts. It allows the fisherman to get in the grove again working his way into the fish and not throwing the first cast out to the spot on a bad cast and blowing the fish out of there. Shortening up also allows for the possibility that the fish was actually holding up much higher than he showed himself at. Fish will sometimes turn and follow a fly down 10 or more feet and then rise on it. I want to make sure all our bases are covered. This process also allows for the fact that another fish may have moved into this area of holding water or that for some reason you did not get a drift that enticed the fish in that area. This  last scenario was what we found and was a good lesson for me to step back up and shorten up and recover old ground again when working a risen fish.

He starts back in with the baby skater and on the second cast another fish rises to the fly. This is well short of the first rise and is obviously another fish, it was easy to see this fish was smaller. He sends the baby skater out again and nada. I change the fly to a purple muddler and we replay the chess game. He casts,he swings, I change flies multiple times and he covers both lies and neither fish will commit to the eat. After 40 minutes or so and much excitement we wind up and go to another spot, knowing full well we gave the fish all we could.

You don't win them all,but seeing an angler that is new to the river light up when he see's a steelhead come to the surface after his dry fly offering was satisfying indeed.

This game we play with these fish is an obsession. Sometimes they get the upper hand but it's all about the process. What we see on the surface and what really goes on underneath can be two totally different things. True in fishing and true in life.

Joe Walsh says it well in the song The Confessor:
If you look at your reflection in the bottom of a well what you see is only on the surface If you try to see the meaning hidden underneath the measure of the depth can be deceiving
The bottom has a rocky reputation
 
You can feel it in the distance the deeper down you stare From up above it's hard to see, but you know it when you're there On the bottom words are shallow - on the surface talk is cheap You can only judge the distance by the company you keep


Good fishing

Mark

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Stay dry my friends!

Posted by Mark Tuesday, July 17, 2012 0 comments





Be safe out there this year!


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Umpqua Wild Winter Kill proposals are back

Posted by Mark Sunday, July 8, 2012 11 comments



Yes friends and neighbors, there are again multiple proposals for the killing of wild fish in the Umpqua drainage. So we had a good run of fish in 2012 and the powers that be are entertaining ideas on killing wild fish again. This is LUDICROUS and short sighted on so many levels. Hard to wrap my mind around the thinking of the state to even entertain these.
The last time there was a kill policy in place the census checkers figured that there were 4,000 wild winter fish killed in one season. In this day and age where wild fish are at an all time low, that kind of killing is not sustainable.This is a big deal people. We need to rally once again and get on the bus to save one of the last healthy populations of winter steelhead anywhere. We need to show up in force when the public forum in Salem is held. As was the case last time, advocates for catch and release showed up and the guys that made the proposals did not. The fish won that round but it's round two now. If we get signatures and pack the meeting hall at the public forum we will win again.

Tony Wratney has started this petition which opposes the many kill proposals on the docket and seeks to retain the current zero kill policy that is in place now.

Sign Here: UMPQUA WILD FISH NO KILL PETITION  Donate to the petition site if you choose but please note it is possible to sign the petition without donating.

To view the Southwest zone proposals and see what they are and who is proposing them go to :UMPQUA WILD FISH KILL PROPOSALS

The SW Zone is on page 36. Once again, the vocal minority is trying to put one over on the fish. By proposing many different scenarios they figure one will get through and the slaughter of wild fish will continue.


P.S.
The ODFW public meeting packet ( http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources...18-2012_dt.pdf ) states the best ways to get involved:

1. Write a letter. All letters will be forwarded to The Fish and Wildlife Commission as part of the public record.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Angling Regulations
3406 Cherry Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97303.

2.  Testify at a commission meeting.

 It looks like there will be two commission meetings before the rule changes become final. August 3rd in Salem and September 7th in Hermiston.

Please sign the petition above and pass it along to whoever you can.

Thanks

Mark

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America The Beautiful

Posted by Mark Monday, July 2, 2012 1 comments




















 
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

Amen

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