Wednesday, November 30, 2011

hats for fishing

over the years i've acquired a good number of hats and most of them make it to the water with me here or there. i thought i'd talk about some of my favorites. enjoy!

name: old school 4UR captain's hat
acquired: at the 4UR ranch two summers ago, a gift from head guide Andy
notes: a favorite hat to be worn by Dale Moon or Tony Champion, this hat was reserved for special afternoons or the bar
notable trip: Dale Moon's all-day video shoot on Goose Creek, catching numerous rainbow trout

name: 4UR guide hat
acquired: first season at 4UR
notes: my go-to guide hat for both seasons at 4UR. quite faded from high Colorado sun and visibly dirty from my left hand removing hat in frustration while on guide trips
notable trip: first and last guide trips in Colorado. netted a LOT of fishing wearing this one
name: Welcome to Colorful Colorado hat
acquired: at the welcome center in eastern Colorado on my first time entering the state
notable trips: great trips to Gunnison, Lake Fork and San Juan rivers, among others
name: Bates Fly Fishing hat
acquired: senior year at Bates from bookstore
notes: while not official BFC apparel, this hat has been a great friend
notable trips: worn during my New Zealand trip, 2010 road trip with Boone and pretty much every trip in between. love this one.
name: RIO hat
acquired: last month at RIO
notable trip: spent a day with this hat on the Henry's Fork by myself, landing numerous rainbow trout, including one stud
name: Patagonia fleece ear-flap-thing hat
acquired: at Patagucci outlet in Freeport during college
notable trips: first trip to Salmon River, NY where first ever steelhead was landed. first trip to XXXXXXXX pond in the Allagash, landing stud brookie
name: The Fish Hawk hat
acquired: at The Fish Hawk fly shop in Atlanta, GA
notable trips: worn on 2010 road trip with Boone from Georgia to Maine and also 2011 road trip from Maine to Colorado with Lucas. lots of fish
name: Garden & Gun hat
acquired: through a care package, courtesy of Jessica from G&G
notable trip: guided in this hat for the week that Jessica and Kathleen visited the 4UR. a great trip to the Lost Lakes and five other phenomenal days of fishing on the Creek

name: Carhartt fleece hat
acquired: Reny's, Belfast, Maine, 2008
notable trips: ice fishing trips, winters, 2008 - 2010
name: Dorfman Pacific hat
acquired: from Uncle Frank, summer 2000
notable trips: northern Quebec trip, New Zealand. Chappie Chapman wears the same hat

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

saw a bunch of wildlife on the Yakima River this weekend. it seemed like everyone was out and about, even though it was kind of cold. i was there because i wanted to go trout fishing. so was the eagle.
for the first time, i saw a herd of elk. i spotted them moving along the river's edge in the trees and then they came out of the trees into a small clearing. a few looked at me, but they didn't seem to pay much attention. i whistled to try and turn some heads, but it didn't work.
when i was leaving the water i came across a couple blacktail deer. we all stopped and looked at each other. i tried to be as quiet and un-dangerous as possible in an attempt to not make them run and it worked. they watched me come, and watched me go. i often wonder what goes through a deer's, or any other animal's mind when they encounter me.
this one was a bit of a surprise. i've been in rivers that salmon spawn in, and i've seen lots of dead, post-spawn salmon around, but usually where there's one, there's many. i saw a lone coho salmon on sunday. fairly fresh too.
the fishing was solid. on average, much larger fish than my last trip to the Yak. i didn't catch any fish on the nymphs i tied with the new variety of rubberlegs. that was a bit of a disappointment.
i've been missing trout fishing in rivers. the Yakima is 100 miles from Seattle. it feels like it's in a different state. once you get over the pass and out of the Cascades, it's the west. that's a nice feeling, that "the west", and trout fishing of "the west" is near.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


when i began my relocation to Bainbridge Island, a co-worker put me in touch with a couple who had a room for rent in the basement of their home. it was furnished, cheap, and available immediately, meaning it was perfect for a broke and homeless fishing guide who was about to re-enter the real world. in one of my last email correspondences with the landlord before arriving, she mentioned that there was a pond on the property that she thought had some trout in it too. i was intrigued by this statement but questioned the validity of it. i arrived, moved in and found the pond.
shortly thereafter, i found its inhabitants.
the pond is maybe half an acre in size. according to the landlords, the pond has never been stocked, which would mean the cutthroat living in it now came are of a coastal variety, becoming landlocked some time ago. very cool. there are even rumors of salmon reaching the pond on spawning runs of the past.

i've got to know a handful of waters pretty well by visiting them often and i'll add this one to the list. it's a pleasure to get to know a water, and this pond is no exception. on windy days, the leaves and duck weed flow across the pond and back, opening and closing areas to cast to. sometimes on windless days, rise rings dimple the pond all day long.
the fish aren't the most sophisticated i have dealt with. to use a phrase of Keith's, the fish are very agreeable to most fly presentations. any small mayfly will work. hoppers will rise fish, but the fish have a hard time getting their jaws around bigger bugs. small streamers work well also.

picky eaters or not, they are very beautiful.
when i first arrived i was fishing with my 490. it obviously over-gunned the fish, but it was fun to launch 70 foot casts across the pond to risers. at some point it occurred to me to size down my stick. i was able to find a perfect tool at work, and i've had it on loan for a while now.
what fun. a fiesty, 11" native coastal cutthroat will put a good bend in a double-aught!

from my seat at my computing/tying/dining table, i have a perfect view of the pond. ducks frequent the pond, as does a heron. last week while James and i sat outside on my patio eating breakfast sandwiches, a blacktail stag walked out of the woods, down to the pond for a look, then continued on his way.
when the rises become too frequent to ignore or when i just feel like fishing, i grab the double-aught from its perch and in 50 steps or less, i'm there. i'm lucky to have the pond there. hopefully i'll get lucky again someday.