As my Mom would say, “My heart is full!”. For years I have had a vision for teaching fly casting real-time via video conferencing! That vision became a reality during my stay at home with COVID 19. I have used this time to master my skills for Zoom Meetings and Hudl Technique. By now, I trust you know what a Zoom Meeting is. Hudl Technique is a software application that allows me to analyze your fly casting with notes and drawings to recommend changes to your cast.
In both the group sessions and private sessions I have conducted, the feedback is that the use of video and not having the distractions of being in a park, provide a fantastic and improved learning environment.
Over the past month, I had the pleasure of giving remote casting demonstrations to both Colorado Women Fly Fishers and Fly Fishing Women of Minnesota. I was very pleased with the rave reviews.
I have also given remote private castings sessions to anglers that want their cast to have more finesse. These sessions include a video analysis of their casts and then a one-on-one Zoom meeting to review the analysis and discuss drills to adjust their cast.
The best anglers – know how to control their loops to get the fly and line to land for best drift!
My Mantra – You can buy a fly, no one can fly cast for you!
In 2010 I took a Euro Nymphing class from Brett Bishop, a member of the US Fly Fishing Team. I recall catching a 16-inch fish in 6 inches of water on a nymph. That would not have happened with our American Indicator Techniques. I continued to play with and explore this technique. Gradually, I turned to Euro Nymphing techniques more and more. Today I Euro Nymphing for 95% of my subsurface fishing, and I have four Euro-Nymphing rods. Yes, the rod count alone, shows my commitment to Euro Nymphing. If you are interested, I urge you to watch my two videos. And if you are motivated – invest into a guided day of Euro Nymphing – you won’t regret the investment.
This video shows a few minutes of productive fishing.
This video demonstrates the core techniques of Euro Nymphing
It’s springtime – while the base ball teams are all at Training Camps – maybe us anglers should take the lead from them. Spend some time tuning up your cast for the upcoming trout season. As you know I have a crazy obsession with fly fishing education, not sure, where it come from, maybe from my personal pursuit and how lucky I was to have a mentor and realize others don’t. I think it comes more from the realization that fly fishing is an absolutely rewarding hobby – but it takes commitment and time to become efficient. And, I may sound sharp but I feel like the fly fishing industry really doesn’t have a effective education model. It’s either a free two hour class or a guided day. There has got to be a better solution for all of us anglers.
That being said – I pulled this short casting video together. I hope it’s short and simple and gives you motivation to go out and practice the cast.
Last week, Dave and got out on the Deschutes River to see how the Salmon Flies were doing. I chose to swing soft hackles – with a few grabs but not much action. Dave chose his 7′ 6″ 5 wt Freestone Series bamboo rod for the day. While there were lots of Salmon Flies and Golden Stoneflies on the bushes, and a few flying around, the fish seemed pretty disinterested in them during the sunny afternoon. Instead, he again caught several nice rainbows on a #18 Tan Lafontaine Caddis drifted towards the bottom. Dave may have been the only angler on the river during the day who was not throwing big ugly bugs. But, once the sun went down, the fish turned on to a #8 Clarks Stonefly on the surface. This pattern has proved to be the most effective adult stonefly for me lately. Even when the giant Salmon Flies are out, the trout have always seemed to prefer the smaller Golden Stonefly imitation. Here are a few photos of our day.
I have been guiding the last two days on the Salmon River. The Salmon and Golden Stones are abundant. Fish are starting to sporadically come up for either a Clarks Stonefly or a Chubby Chernobyl. I started to see a few bugs with eggs sacks – with the warm weather coming hoping we’ll get some better surface action. It’s odd but the best bet for subsurface is still small flies.
#16 Tan Lafontaine Caddis
#16 Tan Lafontaine Caddis
A nice rainbow putting a big bend in Dav’es 5 wt bamboo.
I remember my first fish I caught, over 20 years ago! I was so clueless of what to do and clueless on what I actually did to land it! I never had it to my hand as I set the hook to hard throwing it over my head and then repeating that motion forward. Needless to my dismay, I don’t think that fish made it! I never got the fish to the net, so technically it wasn’t my first landed fish – but it was the fish fish I set the hook on! As they say even a blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut!
After that experience I was totally hooked into fly fishing! Yes we have heard that before. From there I recall my goals were to land as many fish as I could, then I wanted to just land a big fish and then I started to chase certain species – the steelhead is always the most elusive – but I can say I have had the joy of losing a landing my fair share of steelhead. I also have the experience of chasing bone fish – too much fun – when one of those take your fly – as it a few seconds they can run 100 yards! So where am I going with this ramble!
Last week I snuck out to the Metolious for a few hours! I was reminded how renewing it is to have a fly rod in hand and to get on the water. I chose to Czech Nymph! I didn’t catch any lunkers – but I did catch enough small guys to add up to a big fish! Does that count!
This leads me to the point of rambling post – at some point fishing gets way beyond the numbers and the size.Fishing is about that connecting with nature and placing 100% of your attention to the present moment!
I hope you see the beauty I see in the small fish I enticed to my fly!
My first catch!
A Bull Trout! – hope to connect with him again in the future!
I just returned from a 3 day fishing trip to Northern California at Clear Water Lodge. I joined 16 other women anglers from the International Women Fly Fishers. Always a treat to hang out with women who have a passion for fly fishing. The service and accomodations at ClearWater were excellent. I recommend a visit if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and to be pampered.
It was a great get away for me. I caught up with old friends and met new friends. Lots of laughter I explored new waters for myself Hat Creek and the Fall River – very fun and challenging water – both are spring creeks – each with it’s own beauty and challenges.
On Wednesday it was float on the Fall River not much was happening on the surface so it was long long downstream drifts – up to 50 to 6o feet with stealth pheasants and two bit hookers. With that long lenght of line I missed my share of fish – but did hook up on a hand ful and able to bring a few to the net.
Nothing better than a nice sized rainbow on my 5 wt 8 foot Leonard taper bamboo.
First fish to the boat!
My second fish to the boat – moments after I lost a bigger one – famous last words!
On Thursday- it was a day of explored Hat Creek – with no success but a commitment to head back on Friday. Friday paid off – the morning was slow but in the afternoon I landed a good dozen fish and lost half as many – all with my Echo Czech Nymph set-up. All the fish were in the 6 to 12 inch range – but so fun to have a lot of action.
One of the many little guys
My trust little Purple Deschutes Fly – this fly has produced on every river I fish
First time I had success with the Stealth Pheasant Tail – sure to be part of my go to selection
In the last week I have had a blast crafting my own fishing net. When I saw that my Central Oregon Fly Fishing Club was conducting a net building class, I jumped on board immediately. Our instructors Cliff, Steve, and Dave (not my husband) did the work of constructing the net frame and then coached all of us on the remaining steps. While working on it in our workshop I received additional coaching from my husband, Dave! Would you expect less from the bamboo rod builder. The pictures & captions below capture the process from start to end. I have very happy with how the finished net looks. I can’t wait to net my first landed fish. Doing this project reminds me of how much I enjoy and how rewarding it is to work with your own hands – versus buying. While finishing the net Dave and I chatted about building another – this time utilizing bamboo as the main wood. However, my first goal next winter is be to build my very own custom crafted bamboo rod.
Cliff demonstrating how they constructed the frames for us.
Step 1 First phase of sanding on the drum sander to begin smoothing out the interior & exterior of the hoop.
Step 2 Use a file to rough out the edges for a curved surface
Step 3 Lots of sanding with a block and hands to get the smooth final finish of the net on all edges.
Step 4 & 5 Finishing the net with a Gun Stock Oil & Wax
Step 6 – Attaching the net
A finished net! Next Step land a fish
Going from right to left to right ! Mary, Anne, & Mary Ann – not too many times you get this combination of names together