Big Fish

In Times of Fishing Need

by Rebecca on May 6, 2010

in Sturgeon Fishing

~A Helping Hand Sturgeon Fishing Last Summer~

This may come as a real surprise to all you, but I can be a stubborn little cuss when I’m engaged in Outdoor activities. I know, I know, thats hard to believe, but it’s true. Maybe it’s pride or maybe it’s a good old fashion Outdoor upbringing (as in, don’t be a pain in the ass) or maybe I’m just rough around the edges, but I like to hold my own out there. Period.

Which makes Sturgeon fishing a real hate/love/hate scenario for me. On one side of the experience, it’s exhilarating to hook into a fish that’s older than me, taller than me, and weighs more than I do. However, it’s the only fish I’ve ever hooked into that has the ability to make me want to cry Uncle! I give up!  Not that I would ever give up, hell no.  Stubborn totally supercedes pain and suffering. I’d rather let the fish rip my arms out of the socket and sacrifice them to the bottom feeders before I handed off the rod to another person.

But ~ The last time I went Sturgeon fishing I did discover I’m not opposed to someone reaching out (during a time of dire fishing need and snapping tendons) and with one hand hold the upper rod for a minute, or two, to give my weary arms a much needed break. That minor break in the order of all things stubborn annoys me, but as I head into a weekend with Sturgeon on the menu I think I’ll accept another helping hand if the mood strikes. I haven’t clarified the rules with anyone, but I don’t think that sort of help would negate my official Sturgeon catch.

A Score To Settle

The last sturgeon I suffered through and landed, thrashed me on the riverbank (mid-photo op) so I enter this weekend with a renewed stubborn mindset and a score to settle. If I never come back here and write another blog entry you all know why.

I ended up armless…..can’t type anymore.


p.s. thank you everyone for the Bass advice here and on Facebook! I’ve made a list, took out a bank loan to buy it all and will do my best to make you all proud. See, I’m not always stubborn. I asked for help here ~ See ya next week…..


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….



Dennis Miller aka Darth Bass

Dennis Miller aka Darth Bass

There is a dark and powerful influence out there trying to sway me to the big lure side of fishing. I’ve nicknamed this influence ”Darth Bass” because I’m certain he’s trying to convert me to the dark and warm water side of fishing. Now, in case anyone is worried, as I write this, I’m still holding strong to the fresh water world of fly fishing…I pledge allegiance to the trout………  

Darth Bass is actually Dennis Miller and he goes by the handle DTMSPINNER on twitter where the recuitment started. I would twitter something about trout and he would twitter back to me BASS, BASS, BASS. Evidence of such persuasive maneuvers can be found in his twitter stream, not to be mistaken for a trout stream………

For example: basstweet

Darth Bass didn’t stop at subliminal or blatant tweets either. I think he knew I would be a tough sell, a Luke Skywalker ambassador of the trout and fly fishing world. So he sent, via the snail mail, a package packed full of temptations and ‘whoa, what the hell do I do with these?’ that would motivate me to investigate the mysterious side of bass fishing.

Huddleston Deluxe Package of Enticement

Huddleston Deluxe Package of Enticement

Because I catch trout that are 8 inches long and one of the lures Darth Bass sent was an 8 inch long trout that looks amazingly real, I did what any trout purist would do…..I got on the phone with the only Bass Fishing Guru I know.

Terry Battisti is a bass fisherman and writer for several publications in the Bass arena. He’s also the only person I know with a bass boat, lives in Idaho and likes to talk fishing and writing at the same time with me.

When I explained my bewilderment over the lures and the attempt at bass fishing conversion by Dennis (Darth Bass) he assured me all would remain balanced in my world.

 Terry filled me in about  Huddleston Swimbaits (he likes them and has caught bass with them) and promised they were not likely, by touch alone, to possess my trout soul or corrupt my fly fishing heart, but instead might show me a new side of fishing in general. One that I might actually find fun and enjoyable…….(double gasp)

So plans are now made. Rebecca, the fly fishing, trout loving disciple will be going bass fishing with my new Huddleston Swimbaits (<~~link to their website) come April or May with Terry as my bass guide. I’ll go ahead and admit this now ~ Damnit Darth Bass, I think you got me, I’m excited to go Bass fishing now! Someone help me….

In the meantime, I did ask Terry one final and important question.

Me: “Umm, Terry, Dennis also sent me a Huddleston Shirt. I’m sure the symbol on the front is like the dark mark for bass fishing or something, but I really like the shirt. Do you think it would be blasphemy if I wore a Bass shirt while fly fishing for trout?”
Terry (laughing): “I have no doubt you could get away with it.”
Me: “Ok, good. I don’t want a pack of fly fisherman or bass fisherman after me for fuzzin up the lines.”




Guest Post: Salmon Fishing Showdown

by Rebecca on November 16, 2009

in Salmon Fishing

~”Salmon Fishing Showdown” is written by my 14 year old daughter Kaitlyn. Enjoy!~

~Kaitlyn Fish On~

~Kaitlyn Fish On~

This was my first time salmon fishing. Robert and my Mom, Rebecca, kept chuckling when they looked at me, for I hadn’t stopped grinning since the moment they told me we were going salmon fishing.

I was imagining a leisurely fishing trip with the family, but I had no idea what was to come. All I knew, as I headed far into the mountains of Idaho, was that salmon fishing wasn’t going to be like fly fishing for trout, or sturgeon, crappie, blue gills, or any fish I have fished before.

Getting there felt like an eternity, I had to ask, “So, just how far back in the mountains is this place?” Robert, seemingly unsurprised by me asking that, simply answered, “Only about 40 miles more. It just seems longer because you have to go unreasonably slow on these mountainous roads.”  We finally got there and the first thing I asked was  “So, when are we gonna go fishing?”  “After we unpack,” they answered in unison.

“Ugh,” the sound escaped my mouth before I could stop it, resulting in me earning two glares. I hate unpacking, I would absolutely love trips if there wasn’t the whole packing and unpacking part. Thankfully it didn’t take too long.

They had to be joking. I stood there staring at the torrent of white water in front of me. Eventually, I turned to them, with a look of disbelief on my face and said, “I’m supposed to fish in that? You must be kidding! I doubt you could catch a fish in that water.” But they just said, “Trust us.” I probably wouldn’t have listened to them if there hadn’t been a line of people casting lines into the rapids.

Before I could join the line of people trying their luck fishing, I had to learn the Salmon Fishing System. The rules are pretty simple, and as long as you follow them other fishermen and women won’t get angry at you.

Salmon Fishing System:
     1. 1st come 1st serve. If you want a spot you have to be the first person on the river to claim it.
     2. Just because you got a spot one day doesn’t mean you get it the next day.
     3. And whatever you do, if you have a desirable spot, don’t leave it or else it may be gone by the time you go back to it.
     4. Stay in turn. This is a major one. If you don’t pay attention and stay in turn most people will skip you after 5 seconds. DO NOT GO OUT OF TURN, this is the difference between life and death. When you go out of turn you are casting over other people’s lines and will get them in a giant birds nest (knot). This tends to make most fishermen extremely angry.
     5. Yell “Fish On!” at the top of your lungs if you have a fish on the line. For fish go up and down river trying to get off the line. If you don’t yell it may tangle with other lines, making the other fishermen angry and resulting in you losing the fish.
     6. If someone yells fish on, reel in your line like there is no tomorrow. You never want to be responsible for a person losing their fish.

After mom explained this to me, we started heading down river to practice. When we got down far enough that they wouldn’t count us into the group, I was shown the drift I wanted to catch. It took me awhile to get the hang of casting the new reel I had gotten just for this, but when I did, my mom and I started working our way back up to the group. Eventually we were a part of the action and I had been introduced to many of the people on the river.

Robert holding Kaitlyns Big Fish

Robert holding Kaitlyns Big Fish

They were all incredibly nice and patient for the newcomer, and were constantly giving me tips, even if some of them contradicted themselves. One even offered to let me use some of his pre-tied baits. Eventually I felt a sharp tug on my line. I yanked with all my might, the fish stayed on the line.

“Fish on!!!” I hollered to the people around me. Everyone started reeling as fast as their reels would let them. After a long tough fight, I got the fish to the shore. The disappointing part was that it was native wild salmon so we had to take it out of the net and let it go really fast. But I was still ecstatic. I was bursting with pride and joy that I had actually caught a fish. Many people had been fishing for days and not even had a bite. As we quickly set my beloved slimy salmon in the water to let it go, congratulations coming from all directions, I knew I was instantly hooked on salmon fishing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get another fish to the shore the rest of the trip. Though I still had loads of fun with my new fishing friends.

During this trip I learned many lessons, and was reminded of many, too.. The biggest lesson was to wait my turn. If you don’t wait while in the line you can infuriate many people by casting over and tangling their lines. Another lesson, is to pay attention and not slack off because if you do, you may miss your chance. You may never get another chance like it, and you‘ll never know what would have come out of it.



Murder of a Fly Rod: Till Death Did Us Part

November 13, 2009

My first Fly Rod was a Redington Redstart. I purchased it when I was in my twenties and at the time I was about as broke as a twenty year old could be. I knew I wanted to fly fish, I knew I didn’t want to buy my fly rod from K-mart and my soon to be full time Fly [...]

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Sturgeon Fishing, Mental Tenacity Required

October 21, 2009

I know what people think when I tell them I live in Idaho. Visions of potato farms and cow tipping swirl in a cloud of presumption above their heads. Outsider minds will probably throw in a four door diesel truck with a large rifle duct tapped to the back window along with a ‘I heart [...]

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Size Matters Not When Fishing

October 21, 2009

Several years ago I lost Robert to his pursuit of big fish. Leisure trips to the local river flyfishing for a standard 12 inch trout no longer impressed him. Although my arms have felt the difference between hauling in a 9 foot sturgeon (pain and torture, oh joy) to a 40 inch salmon (fantastic fight) and a 12 inch trout [...]

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