My first attempt at a fishing "short".

Monday, November 10, 2014

Frozen Eyelets and Chilly Toes

Yesterday it was around 50 degrees in Bozeman.  Now, it's 16 degrees and snowing.  I guess winter has finally arrived.  Soon I'll be out on the river with frozen eyelets and chilly toes, but before I am, I'd like to pass along a few little tips when fly fishing in subfreezing temps.

Avoid the Freeze
Frozen eyelets are a complete drag.  Two years ago I fished below Ennis Dam in 3 degrees and could only manage about 3 casts before my eyelets were locked down tight.  We were fishing pretty small water and I found that the less line I had sliding through the eyelets, the more fishing I got to do without a freeze up.  I roll cast nymphs with no slack in my line anywhere.  I didn't bother holding a loop in my free hand, and found that fishing this way kept the line from sliding through the eyelets much, hence, less water, and less ice.  Nice little tenkara type roll casts got the job done and when a fish was on the line I could let it run without worrying about frozen gear.

Join the Pack
I got a pair of alpaca wool socks for Christmas last year.  While they are bulky, they are the warmest sock I've ever had on.  If you're feet get cold this time of year, go get some alpaca... Trust me.

Stay Dry
If you're like me you can't stand a pair of leaky waders.  Patch them up and keep dry and warm.  I have found the the easiest way to do this is to turn your waders inside out and spray them with rubbing alcohol.  (No need to fill them up with water)  If there are pin holes in your waders they should show up as a small brown speck after spraying with the alcohol.  Then, mark the spot with a small marker.  Dry the area with the hole and simply place a dab of aquaseal where the hole is... No patches necessary for very small holes.  For the big holes use a patch, or just send them to the manufacturer for repair.  I think Simms charges $15 to repair and they get ALL the holes.

Towel Off
Stuff a hand towel in your fly bag or in the front of your waders.  Keeping your hands dry is imperative to keeping them warm.  Wipe your hands off every time they get wet, which hopefully, will be a lot from holding fish for the camera.

Hopefully this helps.  If you've got any cold weather tips pass them along this way!

Sharp Hooks!

Sky Jones

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A nice little trip.... until.....

The Dentist, the lawyer, and I took a little trip a couple of weeks ago down to Yellowstone National Park to chase a few fish.  The trip was great until I caught the norovirus that one of them had just gotten over.  The last day I slept...and was busy with other "things" while my friends merrily fished their little heads off.  Luckily, I had caught several nice fish the proceeding two days.

Nice little blue spot.

The dentist with another toothy brown.

Just after sunrise I was ready to get that pack off.

The lawyer with a spotted up brownie.

Not a bad fish there at all.

Pre-illness brownie.

Practicing my photography skills.

Ohhhhh.... Preeeettttyyyy.
As the days get shorter and colder my inclination to get to the vice increases exponentially.  The next post just might be tying related.... that is unless I can get out and wet a line between now and then.

Sharp Hooks!

Sky

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fishing Reports......of sorts.

When I first moved to Bozeman I found a valuable resource to help me begin the journey of "figuring out" the local waters.  That was Hatchopedia, a now defunct website where actual fishermen (and women) who were out on the water, guide or not, could post their own reports.  After reading it for the first time I walked a few hundred yards to the Gallatin and, armed with the info, slayed 'em.  That site is no longer updating reports and I'm not sure what is going on with it, but when I haven't been on the water in a few weeks (i.e. right now) I always like taking a glance at the local shop's fishing reports.

The shops around here do a great job of providing current, accurate information that is very helpful.  For instance, one now reads that a guide floated below Livingston and had a great streamer day.  That is great news.  I've got a box labeled "Yellowstone" that I'm going to have do dust off soon.  However, if I wasn't as prepared as I am, I would be a bit frustrated by the "flys to use" section of almost all of these reports.  A local report from this week provides this list:

Fly Pattern Suggestions

Dries| Elk Hair Caddis: 10-12, Chubby Chernobyl Golden: 8-10, Goofball Yellow: 10-12, Purple Haze: 14-16, Comparadun PMD: 14-16, Hi-Vis Adams: 18-20, CDC Thorax Sulphur: 16-18-20, Flag Dun Slate BWO: 16-18-20, Griffiths Nat: 18-20-22, Low Rider Midge: 18-20-22

Nymphs| Tungsten G6 Caddis: 14-16, Copper John red, yellow, lime: 12-16, Serendipity, Brassie Red, Black, Purple, Biot Midge Pupa, Rubberlegs Olive, Turd, Black, Rusty Orange, Charcoal: 4-6-8 Delektable Brown Stone: 6-8-10 Mr Rubberlegs Goldenstone: 6-8-10 Mega Prince: 4-6-8 Lightning Bug Gold, Pearl, Silver: 14-16-18 TB Bad Habit: 16-18-20 Purple Berger: 12-14-16 Tungsten Sunkist: 14-16-18 Clouser Crayfish Tan & Dark Brown: 8-10 Copper and Pearl Zonker: 4-6 GBRLKB Black, Olive: 6-8 Bush's Dad Crayfish 8-10

Streamers| Black Leach,Micro Streamers, Natural Copper Zonker, T&A Bunkers Olive/White, Rainbow & Whitefish: 2 Swimmin Jimmy Rainbow: 2 Sex Dungeon White, Yellow: 2 Fathead White, Yellow, Olive, Black: 2 Silvey's Sculpin Black, Olive/Black, Olive, White: 2 Buck Rogers Whitefish, Rainbow: 2 Home Invader Black, Yellow, White, Olive: 2 Flash Fry Whitefish, Black/Olive: 2
If I was new to the game this list would look completely Greek.  Further, it lists no less than 38 different patterns and with most lists several different sizes and colors.  To me the "suggestion" is to come into the shop, and buy one of everything.  If there was a "go-to" fly listed, I'd be impressed by the gamble the shop was taking.  "Throw this."  Put it out there.  Their take is a little like a weather man stating that the wind might blow, there is a chance of rain, the temperature should be between 40 and 78 degrees, and who knows, it might be sunny and nice.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the reports, but I consider myself lucky being from here, and having the ability to pick up the phone and finding someone to talk to who fished recently.... and getting a "Throw this."
So, I'm going to do it.  While I haven't been on the river in a while, I'm taking all of the "Fly Pattern Suggestions" listed above, and through reasoning that can only be described as throwing a dart at a spinning wheel of 38 different patterns, I give you:



Throw these.

Sunday, September 28, 2014