January 2010

Big Fish, Little Fish…Photo Envy

by Rebecca on January 30, 2010

in Fly Fishing

Big Fish

Does this count as a Big Fish Picture?

If one were to observe the fishing magazines, or stroll through all the profile portraits on Facebook or even visit various fishing blogs and websites, one might start to think the only fish to be caught were monsters that require a forklift to haul them out of the water. It’s almost enough to nudge those of us who cast our flies for the little fish into short-fish complex territory.

I’d love to claim I’ve caught loads of huge fish over the years, but truth be told, I catch more little fish than big fish. In my Idaho-ish fishing world, anything over 20 inches I consider an achievement. I guess that’s the limitations of enjoying the quiet streams, ordinary rivers and unpopular small time fisheries..(ok, and my blessed trout family)

I need to get back out, travel a little ways and catch a few big ass steelies or a knarly salmon so that I can get my very own big fish picture to flash during the moments I’m overcome with a small fish photo complex. This sense of photo envy (not to be mistaken for fish envy because I like my little fish just fine) rears it’s ugly head when I’m online. Doesn’t anyone proudly display pictures of little fish anymore?

Now, just to be clear, I’ve got nothing against the big fish. I appreciate the big fish as much as anyone. I’ve caught sturgeon, king salmon in Alaska, regular plain jane salmon and steelhead. I’m not immune to the thrill and spend a lot of my summer in pursuit of the big boys which I’m sure I’ll document for the first time via this medium….if I can convince someone to be a photographer.

I started this fishy blog 3 months ago. Until that point in time, I’d been lacking a certain ‘public’ incentive to take pictures of my adventures in fly swinging….I’m attempting to change that oversight by actively seeking individuals who would be willing to come fishing with me on the condition that they are to drop their pursuit of fish and take action shots of me when the moment calls for it. So far, within my own small group of fishing buddies, my requests have been met with resistance.

For example: A conversation with a roughneck fisherman I’ve nicknamed Huck:
Me: Huck, I need you to come fishing with me and be my designated photographer.
HUCK: Whatdayamean?
Me: Well, you’ll need to stay close to me and when I catch fish you’ll have to take pictures.
HUCK: Whatdayamean?
Me: Pictures. I need some damn pictures. I need you to stop fishing for 5 seconds and take my picture.
HUCK: You’re joking right? You want me to be your river bitch?
Me: See, this is why I have so few pictures of me holding fish. I have a blog now and a responsibility to visually represent my time on the water. I neeeeeeddddd a big fish picture!
HUCK: You want me to stop fishing when there’s big fish biting and take pictures of you? Sounds like a personal problem to me.
Me: I know….

Rebecca

{ 18 comments }

Forward Casting: Bite Worthy Words 2

by Rebecca on January 26, 2010

in Forward Casting

As I drift down the Internet River I frequently come across articles written in other blogs/websites that catch my eye, delight my reading senses or merit a second cast. My Mother always taught me to share in good things, so this is my way of being unselfish and sharing the great discoveries I come across. I hope others enjoy these as much as I have ~

Beginnings: Kentucky Jim’s: Fishing in the Gene Pool ~ A beautiful and well written piece on the history and art of fishing through the ages. In the present day world of grip and grins, it’s good to go back to our beginnings and remind ourselves of the many pleasures and gifts a life spent casting a line can offer.

New Fly Fishing Blog: A brand spanking new fly fishing blog, The Fly Fishing Monster, by Nerveracker. Now, I hope the advent of his new fly fishing blog doesn’t decrease the length of his comments around these parts. I’ve come to enjoy Daves stories and observations via the comment setting, it’s like reading a blog entry within a blog entry (which makes him a writer sort, we are never brief). It was only a matter of time before he settled into his own corner. He has wit, humor and a fresh outlook from the eyes of someone considered a ‘newbie’ to fly fishing. Give him a visit ~

Fly Fishing Directory: Have a lot of free time in your day? Is cabin fever getting the best of you? Than what you need is more online sites to visit! Take a peek at Deneki’s Ultimate Fly Fishing Directory. It’s like a smorgasbord of fish pellets for the person who can’t get enough. Have a fly fishing blog as well? Leave a comment and get yourself added. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the site because it’s guaranteed to make you want to quit your job, grab your fly rod and travel….asap.

The Hatchery Truck: I’ve just discovered this blog, but found myself reading quite a few entries (always a good sign!) When I stumbled across this entry I had to 1) Laugh 2) ponder what I would do in that situation & 3) agree at the very end, that sometimes, we all just want to catch a fish. Go check out Fat Guy Fly Fishing and the entry, When the Hatchery Man Cometh.  What would you do???

Seduction of Flies: I’ve heard the expression Fish Porn before, and maybe Fly Porn is already out there as well, but if I could pick one website that represents what I would consider ‘Fly Porn’ it would be SwittersB & Fly Fishing. Several times per day new entries are put up that usually depict a fly in various states of dressing. It’s the flashings, and beads, and hackle and feathers and hooks…oh my…The big bold centerfold Fly pictures are enough to get my heart beating faster and I can’t help but think if fish could peruse a website they would be addicted to SwittersB…(Like I am)

Rebecca

{ 4 comments }

The Tale of Two Frozen Skunk…Fish

by Rebecca on January 22, 2010

in Fly Fishing

~The Look of Determination~

Since the beginning of the year I have snuck off to fly fish the honorable ‘in town’ Boise River….twice. The first time was a desperate expedition in bone chilling weather that was inspired by a doom and gloom thought I had circulating in my mind. A fact so consuming it began repeating itself over and over as I tried to fall asleep, as I did the dishes, as I worked, and so on….the annoying thought went basically like this: “I haven’t fished in 2010 yet.” or “I haven’t fished at all this year!” or “It’s Jan 5th and I haven’t fished this whole entire year!”

Clearly, it was a serious issue that needed remedied pronto. So I did what anyone in such a condition would do: I donned my thermals, grabbed my gear, put some some shake and bake hot packets in my pockets and went to the river.

I lasted 1 hour.

I blame Fly Fishing Santa. He didn’t bring me the waders I so kindly requested for Christmas, so I was forced to use ones I had last season. I forgot about the holes until I took two steps into the river. The water quickly and without mercy, poured–not trickled–but flooded into my instantly shocked foot zone. Once I stopped gasping like a northern pike minnow experiencing the horror of a bank rock party, I mentally decided I could suck it up and still fish.

My Frozen Fly Rod

At the point (I’d say around minute 32 during my self imposed test of mind over frozen matter) the pain in my feet became all consuming and each step became a sledgehammer coming down on my toes situation, I started debating mentally whether I really needed toes or not, all thoughts of fish forgotten now. It was all about toes, toes, toes…I finally decided I had shed the shame of not fishing this year and my toes were indeed worth a trip to the E.R. for rescue. Regardless….mission accomplished! I had fished!

As I lay down to sleep that night with my feet wrapped in two electric heating pads, a new thought struck me. “It’s 2010 and I haven’t caught a fish yet this year!” or “I’ve been skunked fishing this whole year” or even better, “You kept all your toes, ya wimp, but now you are a skunked fisherman.” That my friends is the agony of an overactive thought process.

A new desperate situation materialized. I called my dad, explained my despair and planned a new brilliant tactic. Fish with non-leaking waders.

~Fish On, Fish Off~

Unless I can count (which I know I can’t) one hook up that bend thy rod, gave me a 30 second thrill and enough time for my dad to pull out the camera and capture the moment…then I lost said thrill via a deveastating snap of line. We were skunked. We both froze. Two for the price of one sort of misery deal. (Thanks for joining me Dad!)

This morning as I look longingly out my window at the snow falling, I wonder if I should call it a season. Give it up, embrace my cabin fever and wait until it’s decent enough outside that hypothermia isn’t part of the menu. Does that make me a fly fishing wimp or am I getting old enough to wise up to potential limitations winter brings?

Of course, I know myself, if someone told me that the X spot is full of hungry trout and the fishing is fabulous, I’d experience an instant fever that no wind factor could freeze and I’d be off parting the water, kissing it with my flies and blissfully oblivious to all forms of frozen pain.

Rebecca aka “she who is skunked, she who has not caught a fish this whole, entire, long, long, year

Ohhh ~ And All Hail Ye Ice Fisherman, I bow to your polar suits and tenacity!

{ 18 comments }

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Fly Shops…..

by Rebecca on January 15, 2010

in Fly Fishing

I can be……..

There is a level of trepidation that surrounds me each time I approach the doors of a Fly Fishing Shop….For awhile I wondered if it was just a ‘me’ thing, an individual nervousness that occurred without provocation or reason, but offhandedly, I’ve asked a few others about this peculiar neurosis and several of them also admitted the same pangs of Fly Shop shyness.

I’ve been in fly shops in many different states…a good cross section if I may. I feel like I’ve experienced the majority of levels an angler can feel of welcome, greetings and singe the hair off the back of your neck fun. Some fly shops I’ve left with a smile on my face, some fly shops I’ve left with a shrug of my shoulders, and some fly shops I’ve left running to the nearest bar for a few shots to calm thy nerves.  

When I approach a fly shop I’m typically from the invader, out of towner position. I’ve adopted a protective routine, one that gets me through the first few minutes while I taste the temperature of the air. I like to pull my fishing hat down low over my brow in an effort to appear inconspicuous and I’ll slip through the door with my arms extended out in front of me, palms up in a submissive pose. Basically the, I come in peace and just want to buy flies, posture. (ok, maybe I’m not that extreme, but close enough)

At this point, with years of fly fishing and holding my breath when I go into fly shops under my belt, I would have thought I’d be beyond the nerves. Maybe someday it will go away, but to this day I still hold back certain questions I may have just in case the fly shop has a 10 lashes with an 8 weight fly line policy for any inquires that may be deemed unacceptable.

Now, I can only imagine what it’s like for the people who run fly shops. The clientele that walks through the doors must be as varied as the fish in the ocean. In fact, they could probably name 50 different fly shop visitors by levels of fish. The smart dolphins, the cheeky blow fish, the arrogant sharks, the yap guppies, comical clown fish, serious trout, the silent eels and so on. So I’m sure they have seen it all, heard it all, dealt with it all and some of them may have built up the outer shell of say, a crustacean over time…..

I guess like all things in life, Fly Shops come in all shapes and sizes. I just wish there was a sign on the door that indicated the levels of expectation once I enter the premises. For example: 
1) All welcome, no intimidation or interogation tactics will be applied.
2) All welcome, only minor use of hot searing pokers will be utilized to the highly irritating.  
3) Equipment and creditials will be checked at the processing area. Liberal use of waterboarding and fly line lashings will be employed if you are found unworthy.

I hope someday I’ll move beyond my Fly Shop shyness because I do love them. If I’m not standing in water, a Fly Shop can be a whole ‘nother form of fishing nirvana. Standing amoung the new fly rods and surrounded by thousands of  crisp unused flies is a wonderful place to daydream (until someone jabs you with the end of a size 4 hook) and spend a great deal of money on things that make fishing all the more fun.

Rebecca

{ 15 comments }

Intentional log jams by the Damn Otter…..

January 14, 2010

On a political front, Idaho has had it’s fair share of embarrassing if not downright humiliating episodes in the last few years. Whether it’s toe tapping in the men’s bathroom (Craig) or joking about hunting our President (Rammell), we who live and dwell here have had to endure the disgrace of our politicians on more [...]

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The Twisted Sister Fly and Whippersnappers

January 11, 2010

I did it. I succumbed to the flame like a moth to an electric bug zapper. I tied flies. Full credit and blame for this second try at fly tying (aggravation, frustration &  the occasional cuss word) goes to Austin “the Otter” of the very good blog, 365 Flyfish.  He kept writing all these beautiful entries about [...]

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The Ponderings of a Wandering Fly Fisher

January 9, 2010

The Mini Refresher: “I know in my heart fly fishing is something I can learn in a lifetime. There’s a secret out there, a code I know nothing about–yet. Someday I’ll get to the point when I can slice a line through the air as quietly and involuntary as the act of breathing. Someday I will perform [...]

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Fly Fishing Starts with a Humble Beginning

January 2, 2010

While a pang of New Year nostalgia encompassed my thoughts yesterday, I sifted back through my old writings in an effort to reconnect with my former self. I came across a piece of paper I wrote describing my first outing with a fly rod that I thought I would share today. The way I see it, the beginning [...]

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