Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]
Five Truths About the Hatch By Brian McGeehan Montana's famed salmonfly hatch ranks as highly as Bigfoot with the number of myths and legends that it spawns. This massive insect is impossible to ignore and is most likely the only arthropod that produces an addiction within the fly fishing community that is stronger than caffeine and nicotine combined. The salmonfly is a large stone fly (Pteronarcys californica) with an orange hued abdomen that inhabits heavy riffles of large freestone rivers in across the Western United States. The large insect spends 3 years living as a nymph in boulder strewn heavy riffles before crawling to the banks just after run off has ended in the early summer. Salmonflies are huge insects and adults can reach three inches in length. The hatch is very short lived on a given reach of water but the timing of the hatch is varies by river. Early hatches occur in late May and late hatches on...[continue reading]
Beyond the Basics--Probing all the Depths Throughout the Season Part I A discourse on how to master fishing from the top to the bottom, this article examines the contributions of the experts in the field, seeks out common principles and practices, and endeavors to apply these concepts with detailed strategies along with a self-test to determine what a reader needs to review or learn. I have given a lot of thought on how I want to organize this material for on-line reading, and I decided that the easiest format would be a question and answer approach. To that end, I present information, raise questions, and then provide the answers right below a section of information. Hopefully this will reinforce new information, as well as challenge the reader who knows the information but may be a little slow on total recall. My goal is both instructional and a means to reinforce and learn new knowledge so that the knowledge may...[continue reading]
Let me begin by saying that after 15 years of being a fly-fishing guide in western Montana, I offended a party of fly fishermen on my first spring outing of the season. They had come to fish the Blackfoot River, a little early, I might add. After three days with this very large party, their complaint against me was awkwardly relayed to me by the guide in charge. I was shocked. I must be honest in telling you I was hurt and angry, but then I had to realistically appraise my guiding skills and etiquette. Had I become complacent and sloppy through the years? After much reflection, I had to shoulder most of the blame. We were fishing in coffee-colored water. Our Woolly Buggers, shackled and weighted down with lead, resembled some primordial serpent. The runoff was late and especially heavy. As a schoolteacher, I was unaccustomed to fishing in the manner that all of us were forced to...[continue reading]
To defy the rigid orthodoxy of contemporary fly fishing and eliminate fur, feather and hair from the artificial lure or "fly" brings to mind Hemingway's protagonist flipping live hoppers in his short story, Big, Two-Hearted River. My own father fished the Sierra-Nevada creeks and streams with a South Bend fly rod, but he never carried anything resembling a fly, preferring instead to head out to his favorite creek with live crickets, grasshoppers, grubs and, of course, worms. During the past decade many outdoor writers, searching for another writing angle to add to the plethora of expanding advice, have looked to the past. Guess what they have discovered? Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers thought of themselves as fishermen or anglers rather than rigidly identifying themselves as spin fishermen, bait casters or fly fishermen! The outdoor writers churn out mind-numbing challenges for greater fishing prowess and finesse. In fairness, however, some writers are rediscovering that a plastic creature dangling at...[continue reading]
After spending almost twenty-five years exploring and fishing Montana, my retirement in Oregon poses a singular challenge. I don't have the time or energy to fish all the waters of my new adopted state. I initially purchased a couple of Oregon fishing guide books and found them helpful. Craig Schuhman's book, Moon Outdoors - Oregon Fishing, however, is my go-to-bible on Oregon fishing. Having written a Montana fly fishing and camping guide a number of years ago, I am in awe of the expansive coverage Craig has included in his 470 page book. The content is rich in details, and he does not generalize or gloss over hard to reach watersheds. Having already explored a number of creeks and streams in southeast Oregon, I immediately went to the pages covering the upper Sprague River, the Sycan River, Thompson Reservoir, Dogg Lake and a number of other smaller fishing waters I had already covered. Two of the books I had...[continue reading]
Brookings, Oregon and Gold Beach (Rogue River) July 26, 2007 "I am not Worthy!" Creeks, streams, rivers and lakes beckon me, but of late the Pacific Ocean whispers promises of bigger water and bigger fish. My growing fascination for ocean fishing caught me by surprise. Bloody bait and endless trolling never appealed to me, but in truth, it is fishing that requires more patience than what I could have endured in my younger years. Had the label "Attention Deficit Disorder" been around during my school days, I certainly would have qualified. It is not that I elevate trout fishing or bass fishing above bottom fishing or salmon fishing, it is simply that the former both offer continuous casting and mobility. As I grow older, however, the appeal of trolling and catching a large salmon prompted me to head for the coast to investigate this logical extension of my angling experience. Living only four and a half hours from the coast,...[continue reading]
Basic Fly Patterns and Presentation I always drop by a fly shop if I am away from my home waters, especially when I am fishing in Montana. The price of bugs is generally the same, but the information is invaluable. Shop owners frequently buy regional and specialty flies from their guides. Keep in mind that each day shop outfitters send out their guides with the simple goal of getting their clients into fish, and everyday information is traded back and forth on what works, where it works and when it works. Shop owners and clerks readily pass on this information to first-time customers for half a dozen flies or less! Naturally, every shop has their killer flies that they use to expand the sale, but I don't believe that I have ever been duped. Fly shops have short seasons. In order to survive, they depend on customer loyalty, which in turn depends on their credibility. Regarding published hatch charts, take...[continue reading]
www.techvest.biz I recently purchased a high tech fishing vest that may be the organizational design that I have needed for over forty years of fly fishing. Designed by Les Zuck, a Montana native and ardent fly fisher, his Tech Vest accommodates all the gear you commonly need in a highly engineered compact vest. I especially like the rod holder and the custom designed tool box in the center with four retractors for tools such as nipper and clamps. I hope you will visit the Tech Vest site. You will note that on all three of my web sites I do not have product sponsors, and all the products that I endorse I paid cash for the product and enthusiastically endorse. I have been waiting for a cloth vest to wear out for over fifteen years, but I couldn't wait more years - I bought the Tech Vest. Check out all the well thought out features. www.techvest.biz...[continue reading]
Part I: Safety, Preparation and Rowing Techniques Part II: Advantages of Kick Boats and One-Man Rafts Part III: Float Fishing Strategies Note: The Waterstrider rafts depicted in this article are build by Dave Inks in Hamilton, Montana. When I moved to Wyoming in my twenties, I signed up for a hunter's safety course. At least thirty people of all ages shuffled into the Game and Fish meeting room and took their seats on the folding chairs. People talked quietly, as if they were in a church. Presently a uniformed spokesman, after some preliminary discourse, asked a profoundly simple question. "How many of you attending this Hunter's Safety Class have experienced an accident or a near accident involving firearms?" I was shocked with how quickly at least three-fourths of the attendees raised their hands. I was also struck with the honesty and quickness in raising their hands. My own hand had been slow to rise, in part from some deep...[continue reading]
What's wrong in these photographs? The answer, of course, is that I am the angler holding up the small largemouth caught on a plastic worm. My old friend, Bill DeWalt, proudly displays a hefty striper caught on a fly rod using a Clouser Minnow pattern that he had tied. While I doggedly preserved with my conventional gear hoping to catch a nice largemouth, Bill stayed the course with his fly rod. He caught a couple of small stripers and encouraged me to switch to fly fishing. I grumbled that I have fly fished my entire life, and I now wanted to fish with conventional gear. Besides, the fishing was slow, and I thought I had a better chance with my bait casting rig and a jig. Although I wished I was holding that big fish, I was thrilled that it was landed in my boat. I am now convinced that fly fishing for bass on the delta is a viable...[continue reading]