July 2010

Fly Fishing New Waters…

by Rebecca on July 28, 2010

in Fly Fishing

Choices On a River I can't Remember the Name

See that visual on the left there? The one of me holding my fly box open, hand running across possible fly choices? The look of intense concentration? As I went through the pictures taken on my trip to Oregon, there seems to be a lot of those same types of pictures. The, “well hell….now what” pose…

Let me back up: I went to Oregon to visit family (first priority) with the underlying possibility of experiencing some new fly fishing waters. My wonderful hosts, Dale and Barbara, provided safe shelter, a real bed (without the threat of mouse invasion) great food, skilled tour guide skills and a bonus—Dale took out his old fly rod, dusted it off and expressed he’d like to try his hand at fly fishing again with me.  Talk about a rare and unusual twist to my fly fishing. I had a fly fishing co-angler! That doesn’t happen very often in my little world.

Since Dale hadn’t been fly fishing in years, or eons, or something like that, he was unfamiliar with the fly fishing ins & outs of his area so we were both going on gut instinct rather than true & tried area river wisdom. That sort of unknown factor put us at the mercy of Fly Shops, rumors and general fly fishing hearsay.

I couldn’t help but notice that Dale held a general mistrust and overall theory about Fly Shop visits. As we would approach each new fly shop with our heads held high, Dale would remark, “Get prepared to be lied to and sold all the flies they haven’t been able to get rid of this year.” ….So either Dale was 1) kicked in the groin as a young boy by a Fly Shop owner or 2) he’s truly onto something with his theory.

That’s the problem with fly fishing in unfamiliar waters. Guess work.  So we asked the typical questions at the different Fly Shops and pulled out wads of cash to purchase flocks of flies we probably didn’t need. (That of course is part of the bargain you mentally, and financially, assume as you walk into a fly shop– the price of admission baby!) And then we waded off into the rivers with brand spankin’ new flies and hopeful attitudes.

Dale and I ~ The Wayward Fisherman on the Metolius River

We both caught fish over the week I was there. Of course, some of the fish had to be lined up head to tail to add up to one respectable fish, but we didn’t mind. Good times were had!

Here’s what I loved about fishing in Central Oregon. Everywhere you look there is a new lake or river to visit. I mean, bodies of water…just…everywhere…It’s like Central Oregon is the ultimate liquor store for anyone with an incurable fishing thirst.

The frustrating part, and I don’t blame Oregon, is not knowing all the nooks and crannies, hatches, quirks or secrets of new waters. Unfamiliar means forgoing that level of comfort felt when I approach a river I’ve previously hung out with.

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like visiting a new place to fish is a bit like going on a first date. Either there are sparks, or there isn’t. There’s a bit of fumbling around, unsure conversations and awkward pauses. Sometimes there’s just teasing, and sometimes everyone scores. My trip was a memorable sweet first date that I would gladly agree to a second round~ Oregon, I’ll be back ~

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Fly Fishing The Oregon View

by Rebecca on July 26, 2010

in Outdoor Photo Journal

~Just Your Typical Oregon View~

Fly Fishing in Oregon:
Oh the words I could use to describe it that have nothing to do with actual fish. For one, the rich beauty from every angle is awe inspiring. When Mother Nature was swirling her creative stick over the lands, I’m pretty sure she saved Oregon for last and gave it a few extra passes for special effect.

Now, if the whole mirror image/ pristine lake horizon doesn’t tweak your approval, how about this river? If one never tossed a fly on this water, or caught a Metolius fish, who wouldn’t consider the view alone worth the trip? That’s what I thought. See, extra swirls….

Worth the Trip in View Credits Alone ~ Metolius River

How about some raw beauty?

~ Stark ~

Oh all right, in case just a simple landscape didn’t impress any one….. How about one of these? Would this convince you of the beauty found in Oregon? Big ol’ largemouth Bass (that aren’t supposed to be in there) on a Fly Fishing only lake…

~ Hello Mr. Largemouth Bass ~

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FishCruiser

by Rebecca on July 24, 2010

in Forward Casting

~The official "Outdooress" Fishcruiser~

The Fishcruiser and I have been gone again, you know, off doing what we do. This time I was in Oregon for a week and I’ll share a bit of that adventure here next week.

Until then, I wanted to point you all in the direction of Kirk Werner, Author of a series of children fly fishing books, Olive the Woolly Bugger and blog writer of The Unaccomplished Angler.

He’s written a sticky sort of article about Fisherman and their penchant for decorating their vehicles with fishy flash. There’s a lot of stickery going on, and Kirks got the visuals to prove it.  Check it out here, Fly Fishing is a Stickery Business, and let us know if you have kept your fishcruiser clean and free of stickery or if you have succumbed to the dark side like many of us have…..

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As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been camping off and on for the past 2 months. Now, just for clarification, by camping I mean: In the Outdoors. In a tent. On the dirt. No modern anything. In all the years that I’ve camped, which is the whole of my life, I’d never invested in a decent sleeping bag. This means I had 5 cheap sleeping bags laying around which I would pack into the Fishcruiser and pile around myself in a fruitless effort to keep warm at night. In other words, the last few months my sleep has been cold, miserable and less than desirable.

The Elkhorn of Heat

A few weeks ago, I finally sucked it up and purchased a sleeping bag that promised toasty feet and heat radiating peace. I purchased The North Face® Elkhorn 0-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag.

Now, I had a few things to get used to with this new sleeping bag. For one, sliding into this new slim version of a sleeping mode lived up to the description of Mummy Bag. Insta-claustrophobia. I had no choice but to stretch out my legs, arms pinned to my sides, shoulders encased, with just my face peeking out.

The second obstacle: Conventional wisdom suggested that in order to let the bag ‘properly heat up’ one must strip down to bare skin. As in nadda in the line of clothing protection. With my previous sleeping bag arrangements, I’d crawl into my bags with wool socks, sweat pants, a sweatshirt, curl up into a newborn position and still freeze my arse off. So the idea of going into the confines of straight bodied claustrophobia without the additional clothing protection went against everything (me) rational. But I did it and the 8 seconds between strippin’ in the tent and diving into cold bag was pure icy agony.

However, I discovered after my first nervous night that I could survive the feeling of mummification and—this is a big AND—I stayed warm. In fact, I was so warm I’d even venture to express that I got HOT. As in camping, in the back country when it was 34 degrees at night and I didn’t experience any of my normal hypothermia related tortures! Each night I was a wee cooking butterfly in her cocoon who emerged each morning rested and ready to fish. It takes alittle wiggle dance to actually get out of my mummy bag, but I didn’t mind. I was warm all night! (Ok, there was the issue about leaving the cocoon in the buff and diving into clothes, but I’m not complaining)

It was after a week or so that I had been lulled into a false sense of sleeping utopia when I was instantly awoken around 5:00 a.m. For illustration purposes: I was sleeping on my stomach, mummy zipped up to my neck, arms down to my side when—and this is a big holy shit WHEN—-I woke up with an unmistakable feeling of something inside my sleeping bag, crawling over my ass. My bare ass mind you. I’m pretty sure my body did an involuntary jolt and I felt that something run up my bare back to my shoulder blades.

I tried to pull a Superman. You know, when he bursts out of his street clothes, shredding them to bits and  flies off into the sky. Cept’ it was me, mummified and trapped in a cozy warm tomb with SOMETHING that suddenly became just as alarmed as me running around on my back. I jolted, I twitched. I convulsed. I swirled and twirled. I may have even dropped a few vocal F-bombs……As the IT clawed me, I clawed for my mummy ripcord.

As soon as I escaped the tomb of terror, I fled to the corner of my tent, grabbed my flashlight and looked for the nasty little invader. And there, under the bright glare of my maglite, I spotted a mouse. Now, under normal circumstances I don’t have anything against mice, no irrational phobia, no heebie jeebies……but at 5 a.m. discovering one crawling over my bare ass in my sleeping bag flipped some sort of switch in my mind and it was GAME ON!.  I’ll just say, it became boot against one springy little mouse bastard. Those things can jump and spring and fling and run!

Score one for the Kenetrek boot.
Thank you very much.

I’ve heard the rumors before.
The Outdoor legends about snakes, animals, and bugs crawling inside a sleeping bag to shock an unsuspecting camper, but until last week I’d never had the pleasure of such a personal invasion. Surely something like this has happened to someone else??

(Un) Official Northface Elkhorn mummy bag review:
1) The feeling of claustraphobia goes away in one restful nights sleep
2) Keeps a bare body toasty and warm at night
3) Stuffs into a little sack without the irritations of ‘rolling’ it up
4) May attract little/big varmints seeking warm shelter or midnight action
5) Will not rip apart, burst or shred under extreme physical duress/panic/freak outs
6) Could use some work in the “mouse proofing” department (wisely added by Clif of Lunker Hunt)

And lastly: In case anyone is blown away by this killer gear review and runs out to buy a Mummy bag, please keep in mind Brett Colvins ( blog Fly To Water) sage advice:  “The mummy bag also poses a serious threat to those who do not bother to mentally prepare for all possible scenarios. As an example: What do you do if a bear enters your tent in the pitch blackness of eternal night? Do you lose the precious seconds needed to unzip, or do you set the land speed record for the gunnysack race? Personally, I recommend the gunnysack method followed by a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” exit at the 100-meter mark.”

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Cloud Bashful

July 13, 2010

I’m starting to have a thing for the combination of sunsets and clouds. As I spent the last couple of weeks up in the Mountains, each evening I would get excited to see if the day would end in a hushed blue to black tone or go out with a bold stroke of Mother Natures artistic [...]

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End of the Salmon Season

July 12, 2010

I know, it’s been awhile since I posted here. I have a legit excuse, really. I’ve been camping in the Mountains in a bubble where cell service is wishful thinking and the concept of Internet access is about as futuristic as the hovercraft car I thought I’d be driving by now when I was an 8 year old [...]

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