August 2010

And now we try Spey Fishing…

by Rebecca on August 31, 2010

in Spey Fishing

I knew better, I really did, but on Saturday I went to an event so loaded with temptations that I’m still having  visions of standing in a river, cutting a fly Line through the air with finesse and catching a steelie with a touch of Mackdaddy style.

When I received the Spey Clave flier via email from Michael Bantam of Dream Cast Idaho, I wrote back and asked if a non-Spey-ing, simple Fly Fishing gal could come and mingle around. Michael wrote back and said (exact words) “I think you would enjoy it. And you too will become a Spey caster, you just don’t know it yet.” So I added his Spey fishing prophecy to my growing list of ‘your doomed and know it‘ bag and left my credit card at home.

Steve Vance tying me a Spey Fly

When I arrived I was quickly greeted by Michael, so at least I didn’t feel like the ultimate party crasher. I also ran into someone I already knew in the Fly Fishing community, Steve Vance, maker of Scandalous Sticks Fly Rods. Steve was busy at a fly tying table whipping up what I learned was a special breed of fly. The Spey Fly.

I instantly wanted one, or two, or a whole box of fancy (not intended for Bass) fluff. Spey flies are beautiful and I could feel the Steelhead vibe radiating from them.  Lucky for me, Steve noticed my drooling and gave me two Spey Flies. Cha-ching– score one for the Spey prophecy.

Michael Bantam demonstration

Next I wandered down to the Boise River to watch Michael put on a Spey casting demonstration. For the purpose of disclosure, I should mention I had never watched anyone Spey cast before, so I was viewing the process through innocent eyes. And it was mesmerizing.

Following the movement of his Spey casting action was a bit like watching the Rhythmic Ribbon gymnastics in the Olympics, (but replace the leotard with waders) by the same flowing twists and curls, turns and swirls of the line. The more I watched, the more I could picture myself standing on the big Clearwater river doing the same thing. Score two for the Spey prophecy.

Mike Kinney Telling it Like it Is

After Michael was done dangling the Spey carrot over my head, he called in the ultimate secret weapon of sealing my Spey fate in the form of the legendary Fly Fishing Guide Mike Kinney. I knew I was watching and listening to fishing greatness the first time Mike said, “Common sense people!” as he was demonstrating the different techniques and possibilities Spey casting offers. I admire tell it like it is people, very much.

As Mike talked about things that sounded quite foreign to me, D-Loops, Snap-T’s, anchor points and the general physics of Spey casting, years of fishing wisdom mingled into his demonstration and I wholeheartedly sat at attention.

As he talked, I found myself reaching for my little notebook and quickly taking notes from time to time. Not necessarily about how to Spey cast, but the other pieces of wisdom he shared. For example, at one point he said something along the lines of “I don’t want to hear so & so is a bad caster. Instead look at the person and figure out why it works for them. Learn from other people.”

I admit I found comfort in his words because I’ve never been formally, officially or technically shown how to cast in Fly Fishing. I just do it and at times worry I may not be doing things ‘technically right’ however… my casting works for me. I’d like to believe most people share Mikes wisdom about casting, but something tells me that isn’t the case in the Fly Fishing world.

By the time Mike Kinney was done with his demonstration magic I had ate the carrot and was mentally adding up the pennies in my piggy bank and wondering if it really was necessary to buy groceries next month. The way I see it, I have two Spey Flies now. What choice do I have but to buy rod, reel and line to go with them?!! Besides, I’ve always wanted a good way to send a subtle message to fishermen that low hole me. I figure if I can learn to Spey cast, I could bull whip them from 100 feet away. A gentle Snap to the ear that says, “Hello, you’re a little too close for comfort darling.”

Only kidding…

Visit Mike Kinney at his website aptly named: Mike Kinney
Visit Michael Bantam at his website: Dream Cast Idaho

But be warned, interaction with either of them could lead to exciting new experiences
(and penniless bank accounts)


The Joy and Curse of the Magic Fly

by Rebecca on August 27, 2010

in Fly Fishing

Mr. Brownstone says Hello to a little Magic

Yesterday I felt the world pressing in on me from all angles and the intense feeling of  claustrophobia became so severe that the only thing I could think to do as an antidote was head immediately to the nearest fishery. No? Not buying an overly dramatic excuse? Ok fine. I just wanted to go Fly Fishing, so I did. Honestly, that’s how the drill normally works, want and do — but I thought maybe if I used some creative allowances it would make for a good first sentence hook.

Anyway, I went fly fishing. Same drill, different day. I’m not sure what everyone else uses for a ‘routine’ when they approach a river that they know fairly well, but being the creature of habit that I am, I typically put on the last fly I was successful with at the Fishcruiser and from there I make changes once I’m on the water. I suppose a better fisherman would run down to the river first, turn over some rocks, skim the top of the water and watch for specific hatches before they tie on their first fly. I’m just not that sort of fisherman-er-gal. I guess I’m more the must get on water immediately sort of angler.

Yesterday I knew I wanted to do a Hopper with a dropper. Hopper, easy, dropper…so MANY to choose from. I went with a sentimental value choice and tied on a tiny Mr. Zebra midge that ColoradoAngler had sent me in the mail a few weeks ago. I can’t remember how many I started with since I didn’t pay attention out the gate. But what I realized rather quickly is that I had a limited supply.

A good example of my Bad photography skills ~ This brown had a knarly jaw line

Within 3 casts my Hopper slipped beneath the surface of the water, not taken, but yanked under by a dropper take. Judging by the zing on my reel and the bend in my rod, I had a big old pig on. Within 20 seconds my 6x tippet snapped and I quickly plucked a matching Zebra from my Fly box and tied it on. It didn’t take long and once again I was ZING and BEND and SNAP. Repeat, rinse and shine. Fish Fiesta! I managed to bring in a few smaller browns without another snap off and the realization that I had picked the magic fly for the day spread a smile on my face from ear to ear.

The way I see it, some days you discover the magic fly that no fish can resist and some days you don’t. Yesterday was like walking up to a hay wired slot machine and as long as I had another dollar to put in, it paid off every time. The problem arose when I dove into my Fly Box once again to get another pay day of magic and realized I had two left.


Instantly my eyebrows tensed up and I analyzed the situation. I decided strategic maneuvers were in order and although I hated to tweak any manner of the magic, I decided a 5x tippet might help preserve the mojo of the afternoon.

Bringing in some of the Magic with the always helpful Bandon watching

It helped and I managed to bring in more decent to big fish. At one point a kindly gentleman came down the river bank to watch me bring in Mr. Brown (pictured above) and offered to take a few pictures of me. Cha-Ching ~ Visual proof since I had already given up on the prospect of taking pictures since, well, I truly suck at it. (see example of the knarly jawed brown)

Thank you Kindly Gentleman.

The problem with any sort of decent magic is that eventually it ends. My magic ended the moment I lost the last Zebra on a fish that barely fit into my net and when I tried to lift it out of the water the fish did an impressive back-flip back out: subsequently breaking my line.

Two Smiles

Since this is a PG website, I’ll just say the sounds of Mother Farfegnugen (or something like that) made an impressive echo down the canyon walls. If there had been a way to send a S.O.S. signal to ColoradoAngler, I would have and ordered another round of his Magic, pronto. Sadly, that wasn’t possible, so I tied on the closest thing I could find in my fly box to a Zebra and learned quickly that my fun was over with a capitol O ~

At least for several hours I was spot on, which in my world of Fly Fishing happens occasionally, but not nearly as often as I’d like. I hate losing flies, but if it’s going to happen, I’d rather my ship sink like it did yesterday than say…from tree branches and willow bushes.

Wishing you all a magic Fly kind of weekend…

(Ron! We need to talk Magic Flies!)


Bloodknot Magazine ~ The No Trout Issue

by Rebecca on August 27, 2010

in Fly Fishing

The No Trout Issue

Today the second issue of Bloodknot Magazine was released for publication. They went with a no trout allowed theme and believe it or not, this trout loving gal has an article in there about—-are you ready—-BASS.

(Pause for effect)

I know, I know.  I’m the one that’s been grappling with my Bass relationships that hover somewhere between hate/love/tolerate/enjoy/and learning to throw rabbit covered hooks for months. That’s probably why my articles is titled — “The Bass Skeptic” –

There’s a net full of interesting articles by fantastic writers and beautiful photography throughout. I hope everyone gets a chance to take a peek.

Click on this link (below) to go straight to the Magazine :
Bloodknot Magazine ~ The No Trout Issue



Fishing the Middle Fork

by Rebecca on August 25, 2010

in Outdoor Photo Journal

Joe and I ~ Middle Fork of the Boise River

 Joe and I spent a second day Fly Fishing up on the Middle Fork of the Boise River—A complete 180 from the big fish fiesta of the day before. I wasn’t worried about the lack of fish size or rod bending action since Joe had assured me that he liked little river, little fish adventures and the Middle Fork sings that tune quite nicely.

This is the area where I had high hopes for a bear sighting (run) but much to my disappointment, we didn’t see so much as Bambi the scrawny deer. However, Joe had the pleasure of squishing a snake like I did the day before, so at least he experienced some of wild Idaho.

Joe wrapped up day two so nicely with commentary and (lots of) photos that I doubt there is much I could add to the whole experience! Feel free to visit Joe’s blog for all the details : Day 2 – Middle Fork of the Boise River

So who’s coming to Fish with me Next? 
Please remember: Individual fishing results may vary and squished snakes are likely, but not guaranteed.


Just call me “Fly Fishing Tour Guide-ess”

August 23, 2010

I’m happy to report that Wolfy aka Joe, came to my stomping grounds here in Idaho, spent a few days fishing with me and I sent him back East not only ALIVE, but without snake bite nor bear attack wounds. I consider those facts an enormous bonus to the grading curve of my tour guide skills. We got the snake [...]

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When Internet and Rivers Converge

August 17, 2010

When I started 2010, I listed two goals in my Fly Fishing category of life. The first goal was to be nicer, or sweet, or at least cordial to any White Fish I might discover at the end of my fly line.  So far, I’m still rockin’  a 100% success rate of accomplishment in that [...]

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A Second Date with Oregon Fishing…

August 5, 2010

As pledged, I headed back into Oregon this last weekend to see if the fishing chemistry I felt the first time around was simply an infatuation or if it had the potential for a long term relationship. My first stop found me visiting the “River X”– Since I’m fairly certain all forms of communication (cell [...]

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It’s a Bug Thing

August 4, 2010

After I finished a much needed grease breakfast in the  ‘don’t blink’ town of Spray Oregon over the weekend, I noticed this bug on the inside of the Fishcruisers windshield. I couldn’t help but wonder what he was thinking from his drivers side view of all the dead splatters of perished cousins. Lucky perhaps? Normally I would be [...]

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