Fishing Northern California

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.

Nothing better than a nice sized rainbow on my 5 wt 8 foot Leonard taper bamboo.

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First fish to the boat!

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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.

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One of the many little guys

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My trust little Purple Deschutes Fly – this fly has produced on every river I fish

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First time I had success with the Stealth Pheasant Tail – sure to be part of my go to selection

 

 

May Fishing in Central Oregon

Wow – my last post was at the April 28. My goal is to post weekly!  Today is May 29th!  What happened to May. I know what happened to May – I was busy scouting waters, teaching fly fishing classes , a few private casting lessons, and yes a good number of days guiding!  I feel as I have been behind the 8 ball all month. A few days at home this week – and my to do list is getting reasonable.  Key word reasonable – not necessarily done. But you don’t want to read about my scrambling to get my to do you done – you want to read about my fishing.

I will start with a great evening Dave and I had with the Wild Women of the Water. They came over for an overview of building bamboo rods and socializing, of course. You can check out Dave’s Blog to see all the photos – but Kari running a strip through the beveler is my favorite.

Kari Splitting

Getting a short hands on experience with building a bamboo rod. TOO FUN

 

Now back to fishing! I have spent a majority of my time on the Deschutes River – plenty of stone flies out and about! Love the aggressive takes of the big rainbows as they take them. Amazing experience – if you get a chance in the next week get on the water. The hatch will be winding down in a few weeks.  A few photos of the fish, flies, and amazing shots of the real bugs.

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Salmon Flies love grass! So of course they gravitate to bamboo!

 

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Check out the egg sack on the Salmon Fly

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The best part of the Salmon Fly Hatch – aggressive takes!

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And fish in the 16 plus range are common

 

I have also been on the Crooked River imitating the Mother Day’s Caddis hatch with success!

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Stream side on the Crooked. I will never tire of this view

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A tattered but effective fly – a tie of my own

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This rainbow was fooled by my tattered fly – A fly I have been successful with on lots of waters.

 

Great Article in the Sisters Nugget

Thanks to Craig Rullman for his fantastic write-up about my passion for fishing & teaching.

http://www.nuggetnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=7&SubSectionID=88&ArticleID=24734

Crafting a Fishing Net

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.

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Cliff demonstrating how they constructed the frames for us.



Drum Sanding

Step 1 First phase of sanding on the drum sander to begin smoothing out the interior & exterior of the hoop.

Filing

Step 2 Use a file to rough out the edges for a curved surface

Hand Sanding

Step 3 Lots of sanding with a block and hands to get the smooth final finish of the net on all edges.

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Step 4 & 5 Finishing the net with a Gun Stock Oil & Wax

Attaching the net

Step 6 – Attaching the net

finishing product

A finished net! Next Step land a fish

Mary Ann, Ann, and Mary

Going from right to left to right ! Mary, Anne, & Mary Ann – not too many times you get this combination of names together

 

 

 

Winter Fishing on the Crooked River

Our waters and weather have been cold this winter. However, last week the weather warmed up a little, which I hope would warm the waters on the Crooked River. I measured the temperature at 37 degrees. Still pretty cold for the fish. The good news was they increased the CFS to 56. This is still much lower than the average winter flows.

On Sunday – I headed to the Crooked River by myself. I enjoy fishing with others, but I forgot how renewing it can be to be alone on the river. I wouldn’t want to always fish alone – but good to make it a point occasionally.  It was one of those days where I picked the right spot and right flies. In the first hour  Euro-nymphing – I landed six and lost four white fish. No complaints on my part! I was using a #16 egg pattern and a #18 Brian Egan Frenchie.

I headed out on Wednesday with some friends. My goal was to introduce them to Euro-nymphing. They quickly caught on – even with the pesky wind that doesn’t help when Euro-Nymphing.

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Flies that worked – Egg Pattern and Brian Egan Frenchie

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Anne and her first fish Euro-Nymphing

Fishing the Metolius River 1-8-16

Dave and I got out on the Metolius River on Friday. Yes our first 2016 fly fishing outing. Fortunately, we are having a winter, as this bodes well for snow pack! This was our second outing on the Metolius River with snow on the ground.  We both remarked at how invigorating it was to fish in the cold and snow!  Temps were in the mid-twenties, it was a sunny day and no ice in the guides.  Dave was euro-nymphing with his 8’4” 5 wt bamboo, and forgive, me but I was fishing my graphite Echo Shadow Euro-Nymphing 10′ 3 wt. rod.  I prefer the action of bamboo, but I have to be honest the longer rod allowed me to cover more water.

As to fishing success – it was the Metolius! This time on our fishing pursuit, it was my turn to land a fish. I landed one small but beautiful wild rainbow on a orange/black rubber legs nymph.

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Of course the selfie to start the day! Notice my rosy cheeks from the chill in the air.

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Perfect timing – Dave clicked the shutter, just as I set the hook

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A beautiful wild rainbow – check the spots and red band

Fishing the Metolius on Christmas Day!

What Fun!!!!Christmas day….27 degrees….beautiful sunny day….8 inches of snow….and Dave and I went fly fishing on the Metolius River.  I used my 10′  6″  5 wt bamboo switch rod to swing streamers, and Dave used his  8′  3″  5 wt bamboo rod  to Euronymph small nymphs.  We tempted a few trout to our flies, and got one nice rainbow to the net.  Here are a few photos.

A selfie of Dave and I – dressed for the weather

Mary Ann with her Switch Rod.

Waiting for the elusive tug!

Concentrating on my nymphs.

Dave – nymphing – his favorite

A beautiful 13" rainbow that took a #18 Red Serendipity.

Dave’s catch on a red serendipity

Winter Fishing on the Crooked 12-11-15.

But back to the Crooked River. My last fishing pursuit was to the Crooked River on December 11th! Water levels are running really low – down to 36CFS. However, the white fish can still spawn. It too a few stops but my friend and I found some spawning white fish. And when you find them you will find rainbows. We had a flurry of doubles in the 30 minutes I was there. She stayed and caught some more. In addition to egg patterns – a orange Ray Charles was also the fly of choice.

 

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You will always find rainbow when you find spawning white fish.

My buddy and I with a double - tough to get a good photo when you have a fish on!

My buddy and I with a double – tough to get a good photo when you have a fish on!

Fall Fishing on the Deschutes

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Our Camp Site – early October

I love the fall in Central Oregon!  You can always count on an Indian Summer – warm days and there are always a few nights that are warm enough to camp.  Fishing usually picks up  from August as the water cools with the cooler temperatures. As we progress into the fall – all the brilliance of changing colors can be seen against some crystal clear blue skies. My favorites to fish are the Crooked River and the Deschutes River. The Crooked is smaller than the Deschutes – but unless it is a freaky day you can count on getting into some fish. The Deschutes is a challenging fishery – however when you do find a fish you have a chance at some nice sized rainbows and in a the 4000 plus CFS t give you a good play. You also have the chance at those elusive steelhead – they eluded me this  year. Well at least to the net – I hooked into a couple that took off like freight trains!  Still wondering what I could have done differently to keep them on!  The following are photos from a couple of trips that Dave and I took in October. Enjoy

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One of Dave’s red side rainbow trout

 

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Yes – another day – another trout! Checkout the progressive bend in his bamboo fly rod

 

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An early morning swinging for steelhead

 

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Yes – that’s me netting a nice red side rainbow trout

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A closer look!

 

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Swinging on my favorite run!

 

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Another glorious fall day on the Deschutes. Warm and Sunny

Fly Fishing the McKenzie River with a Bamboo Fly Rod

Dave and I floated the McKenzie River a few days ago. This is becoming our annual trip – as we celebrate our anniversary in early February. It was really great to get the drift boat out on the river again. We had a wonderful sunny day…not always the best for trout fishing. We didn’t see a single adult bug all day so we drifted nymphs under indicators. Dave took out a 7 1/2′ 5 wt bamboo rod that worked well in the drift boat and I did the rowing. Somehow, I think he got the better end of that deal! We didn’t have a tremendous amount of action, but we did wake up a few fish. As you watch the video – in addition to seeing a missed fish and then landing a trout, take notice of Dave’s presentation technique. The video does a great job of showing the technique of “fishing to the future” that is casting forward of the boat. And then as the line catches up, mending the line to keep the fly and indicator floating at the pace of the water. Enjoy!