Thursday, September 16, 2010

The jobsite.

A far cry from a day on the H2O. I dont have anything fishy to talk about these days. Not a bad day. Actually a pretty good day to be on a tower. A little sunlight,not too much wind and no major damage over the winter to the tower and antennas. Things here are going fine. Been working in the shop welding up some antenna mounts this week. Nice to have something to do that is out of the wind.
I am regretting not bringing a rod with me this year. Not to fish with. To simply cast would be nice. Only a few months more down here until I can get back on the H2O.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nothing but frozen H2O around here.

Well we made it back to the bottom of the world. I wish that I could tell you I was able to fish while I was in transit to Antarctica. Not the case. Late winter early spring in the land of the Kiwi. I am back at work as of two days ago. My time off the ice went quickly once I left the Bahamas and the Keys. I fished a few days out west before heading back to help out with some family issues. All is good on that front now. Felt fortunate to be able to help out and spend some time with the family.
Now back to work. Going to spend the next 6 months hanging from towers cussing the cold and wondering how I ended up down here. Not sure when I will get in the warm salt H2O again. I will devise a plan in the coming months. Ah the coming months. Sweet relief aint so close right now. I will no doubt end up on a tower thinking back to my time in shorts on a flat looking for bones. I will use the memories in an attempt to warm up my numb fingers and stave off the impulse to quit my job and go somewhere warm.
Make a cast for me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nice to meet you!!!

Not the biggest fish of all time but still spectacular. The last day in the Keys we went out for a few hours. Took a guy out for his first time and this is how he did. Not too bad at all. Got pretty lucky in my opinion. Late in the day and not the best conditions. 3 to 4 foot seas and not all that many fish rolling on the surface. They are such cool fish arent they? After you have watched a fish like this try to get back to his normal life with all of his might you are become overjoyed when you get him to the boat and then even more overjoyed when you watch him swim away.
I have more pics that I will post later. Now it is time for dinner.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chasing Tarpon in Key West.

Just a quick transmission from Key West.
Been here for a week so far. Have been able to get out on a boat 3 times so far. May be able to fish once more before leaving town. The tarpon are here in very large numbers. Hooked up with 4 fish today. Broke two off and had the other two spit the hook. Wanted to get one to the side of the boat and get some close up shots with my new H2Oproof camera. No luck though. Probably better for the fish to keep the contact with humans and fishing rods as short as possible.
Poked around on a few different flats so far. Saw some good sized schools of permit a couple of days ago. Had the flyrod involved and my spirits were high. Also I was trying to remain realistic about my chances of having everything come together for a shot at a fish. Had some quick fleeting chances at shots. Had a chance at everything coming together on one group of fish. Swimming right towards us. Not too much wind. And they did not seem to be spooked. We not any spookier than they normally seem to be when on a flat. Just as John turned the boat so that I could get a cast off, the fish blew up and took off. Really seemed like things were headed in the right direction. Sounds like my experience is pretty typical of flyfishing for permit. I still enjoyed the day.
On the flats today we did not see any bones or permit. I kind of suspect the recent full moon has something to do with it. I am wondering if bones,permit and tarpon feed all night during the full moon and then sleep it off during the daylight hours.The Tarpon we saw today did not seem to be too serious about feeding. The Tarpon are also keyed in on the Paololo worm hatch right now. I am hoping the worms keep doing their thing and we are able to play tug of war with a Tarpon as a result.
The flats fishing is almost over for me this year. I have been in or very near the saltwater for almost 2 months. Very pleased with the way things have worked out. I always hope for more fish but I am grateful for the fish I have caught. I hope that I am able to spend some more time down here next year. Actually many years to come is the ultimate goal.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lutra Bones.

So many things to write about the past 5 weeks. Where to start? I went to Eleuthera with the idea of staying for 2 weeks. Ended up staying for 5!! Not a bad run at all. Many reasons to pick this Bahamaian island. For me the main reason was the access to bonefish flats without the need or a guide or boat. Both of these would have most likely meant more fish for me to cast to. However, I did find fish to cast to on my own. Not as many as I would have liked to have seen. I hired a guide for one day. Kind of a unique situation. Due to the close proximity of the flats to the beach my guide drove me around the island from flat to flat looking for fish. I think we fished about 6 different spots. 3 of them I fished the day before and caught fish. I was not all that pleased with the guided day. I was hoping to learn a little more than I did. My guide seemed to like driving through the settlements honking and stopping to talk with everyone we saw more tan fishing. I guess it was part of the Bahamian "chevy flats boat" experience.Actually had pretty poor conditions. Not much sun and quite a bit of wind. Tides were not in our favor either.
So to the fish. This was my first time to flyfish for bones. I battled wind like never before. I walked and walked. I stared at the h2o for hours. I drove from spot to spot. I drank and ate on absolutely gorgeous beaches. I saw sharks,cuda,turtles, numerous birds,mangroves,and not too many fishermen. On top of all of that I saw bonefish. I am not going to paint too rosy of a picture here. Yes I did have great days of fishing. I also had days of no fish and wind that just kicked my ass. I still fished everyday regardless of the wind. I would look at the 20 knot days as a chance to practice my casting. In my opinion a 20 knot wind is almost too much trouble. Better to find a beer and a book or go snorkeling. Not to say that I would not walk out the door right now and fish a flat in a 20 knot wind if I could. I guess that brings me to the best thing about "Lutra". You can walk out the door,get in the car and be on a flat within minutes. I do not know of many places in the world where this is possible. If any of the 3 people reading this do, please let me know. I will keep looking too.
So now I am back in Colorado for another day. Then off to the Keys in the a.m. A couple of weeks in Key West will be good. Just talked to my friend who really lives the dream down there. He is a flats guide. A life that I am jealous of. The Tarpon fishing has been good the last couple of weeks. I am hoping that things stay good and I am able to hook up with a silverking on a flyrod. Also hoping that the BP trainwreck gets sorted out soon.
Time to pack my one bag and check my gear.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A full day of chasing ghosts.

Wake up start the coffee.
Make something to eat.
Pack the cooler.
Out the door by 7 or 7:30(hopefully)

The rest of the day consists of looking into the H2O trying to spot bonefish before they spot me. Have been getting some spots dialed in recently. Still learning with each fish.I am very pleased with what my life is based around right now. Fishing is the centerpiece of everything.
I am a little tired right now so I will keep this short.
Yesterday I encountered my first tailing fish. Fish that have their faces buried in the soft bottom of a flat rooting around for some little critter that is trying to avoid fullfillng their place in the food chain. When I see tails I get pretty excited. Just to be able to watch a fish in such shallow H2O root around is something that I think everyone should see. Also I am learning that if you can find tailers and get a cast at them you can pretty much drop it in on top of them. Of course a delicate presentation is still needed.Also something I am working on.
I am working on my technique everyday. I like the challenge of chasing bones. I have to say that catching a few has bolstered my spirits. I keep finding myself smiling at the fact that after all of the time on the ice thinking of flats fishing I am finally doing it.
O.K. time for bed. Maybe one more beer too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

O.K. So here we are in the rain. Well,this photo was taken a couple of days ago. I remember it well. First reel bone on a flyrod. I had picked up two bones the day before in a little trough between two sandbars. This fish was my first in a school of feeding/cruising bonefish.

I was growing a bit frustrated with the repeated denials from this giant school of fish that in my opinion just had to eat. In typical fashion I was throwing the box at them. "Should I have tied a different fly on?"" I think a non slip mono loop is the best knot." "Does it really give more likelike action to the fly?" "Does it really matter?" "What the fuck is the problem here?" Most importantly to this whole affair. Kind of like the questions we all asked at some silly dance. "Am I doing this right?" "I wonder if she really likes me?" "Shit man what if she kisses me?" "What to do then???!!!"

O.K. back to the fish. So like I said I was getting down on myself. I then tied on a little crab. A crab tied by a guy in Denver. Check out the Denver Angler if you are ever trapped in the concrete suburbs and need a little relief. After two casts with the little crab pattern a bonefish grabbed it and ran . I will never forget the feeling of the fish running towards me faster than I could recover line. I will also never forget the sight of my line ripping through the water at such an alarming rate. "Surely I will lose this fish."The fish had damn near beached itself before I could regain tension. I am having a hard time explaining it. I had my rod held high above my head. The fish was at 5 oclock. My rod was at 3 oclock. Between my line and the water there was a perfect crystal window of suspended water. Water stretched between my flyline and the carribean. I could see through the crystal window for just a minute. I was a little torn. Kind of a cool thing to look through. Also, I am here to try to learn about bonefishing and also to catch some bonefish. Luckily the window collapsed like a broken promise and I was able to concentrate on the fish again. I know that anyone who has caught bonefish knows from the picture that this is no lifetime fish. An average fish on an average day for most.Not for me though. First one is the deepest, as they say. So somehow I was able to compose myself and wrap my hands around this torpedo of a fish. I felt the fish and looked at it very briefly before releasing it back into the world it needed to be in. I wanted to look at it more but felt a sense of urgency in getting it out of my hands. Seems a little strange to me. I wanted to put a steel hook in this creatures mouth and then at the same time also did not want to "disturb" it too much. WTF??!! I felt that I needed to return this evolutionary marvel back to the watery world below as soon as possible. How should I wrap this up? Oh I know. I have been enjoying a bit o tequila with the Bahamian beer Kalik (sounds like it is spelled, really KALIK) Dont emphasize a thing just say it like it is spelled.When we first made it to Eleuthera we had a bottle of decent duty free tequila. The type that you can drink with ice and a little lime. Some sort of a super clean margarita. No salt, no sugary mixers etc. Just a little lime. Well the evolution of the tequila drinking along with the timeline of this trip has done two things. One has resulted in trying to buy the best tequila on the island. Sure,when you are here for 14 days you want the so-called best. Once you decided to spend another 3 weeks here and you realize that you are not going back to work until August you feel otherwise.Now that the trip has been extended by a few weeks the cheap tequila is a needed commodityA real coupon cutter of an idea. Buy cheap tequila and with the money you save you can buy a bushel of limes. You will also want to buy or farm a bunch of ice in your little freezer.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hooked up at last. Been here in Eleuthera for about a week. Thinking of sticking around for another 3 weeks. Still learning a boatload about fishing the flats. Man I have seen some spooky fish. Spooked some,blown some casts, broke a few off and have probably just not seen some while so intently looking for them.
I have had a good time and at the same time I have been frustrated too. I just feel like I have not had that many shots at fish. I am still trying to get the place dialed in. Lots of windshield time heading from one spot to another. Meeting people that keep saying "OH Man you have to go to this spot!!" So of course I do. Only feels like I am a day late and a dollar or two short by the time I get there. So now I am done with all of the driving and am going to stick closer to "home".
This whole trip may take a drastic change after a phone call to the airline in the morning. I am hoping that things go well and I am sloshing around in the Bahamas for another 3 weeks!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What is the problem with wealthy landowners? I get so fed up with people trying to lock up land/rivers because they either "bought" or in many cases inherited some piece of the planet. What fucking right do you have to tell me I can not wade "below the normal high water mark" and fish? What right do you have to tell someone that they can not float over top of "your" streambed? I am sorry for the angry tone of this. The state that I call home is Montana. In 1984 many of the state legislature had enough forsight to create the Montana Stream Access law. Pretty much keeping rivers open to all to enjoy and benefit from. I am grateful for this law. I am at the same time a little saddened by the fact that such a law needs to exist. This law has come under fire since its birth. Hopefully the pet lobby of whatever industry and the hefty donators will not be able to sway things the wrong way in the future. I believe we all have the right and in some cases the responsibility to explore the waterways of our home. Whitewater boating,fishing,hunting,float tubing are all extremely valuable to the well being of the people enjoying these activites as well as the river itself. If access is restricted good luck trying to convince people to give a shit about your blessed property.
The reason for this anger driven blog is due to the current situation in Utah. There has been a movement to change the access laws in Utah. The gov. can vote on this law and veto it or do nothing and let it become law!!! How can doing nothing be an option? Something that will affect such a large group of people should most certainly have to be voted on. In my opinion the people should vote on it. In Colorado there is a ballot initiative that will be voted on by the people this Nov. Stream access is already a mess in Co. but the rich are not satisfied yet. A rich out of state developer is trying to limit access even more on the Taylor river.I truly hope that the people of Colorado will do what is right for the people of Colorado.
In the words of Ed Abbey. "Pick up a rock and throw it through something big and glassy". I am paraphrasing but you get the point.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First one of the year.

So today was my first day back on the H2O. Snowing when I finally got out the door. I will admit that with the snow and 17 degree temp it was easy to linger over another cup of coffee. Finally made it to the river around 11am. As I was layering up the sun started to poke through the clouds and the wind started to lay down. My spirits were improving to say the least. The walk to the river was not bad at all. Kind of cool to be trudging through knee deep snow with a fly rod in my hand. The H2O level in the river is very low. Not too much deep H2O at all. I fished a little run of the deepest I could find with no success. Well I will admit it did feel great to cast a fly again. Even a double nymph rig with a cheater brought a smile to my face. I walked a little farther down and was basically enjoying the day. The sun was full on and the wind was non existent. Alright alright. I even stopped at the little hatchery pond and made a few casts. Picked up a little brown. I felt a little guilty about it. Pond fish next to a hatchery. Kind of lame. These ponds are usually getting hammered by the egg throwers and the worm dunkers. No disrespect but that just aint my thing. I moved on after that. Made it to a section that I figured would hold fish. Much to my suprise this little run had rising fish in it. I watched them for a few minutes. Realistically probably no more than 4 or 5 minutes until I could not take it anymore and had to take a shot.I tied on a dry to take a shot. I could not tell what the fish were rising to so I threw the box at them. Not one take. One or two looks but no contact. I then went back to the nymph rig. Sure enough I picked up the fish in the photo. Felt so good to feel a fish on the end of the line. Not the biggest fish but a fish all the same. I landed him quickly and pulled out the camera. I dont take too many pics of fish. I usually fish alone and dont want to stress the fish anymore than needed. This one was an exception due to the first fish of the season status. So thanks to the brown trout that made my opening day a success. I have to say that I would rather be on a flat but in the mountains casting at trout aint so bad.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So a little out of focus but you get the point. I think that the berg in the background helps to explain what is about to happen. Went something like this. I show up take off my shirt and think. Not long enough to come to my senses. I then jump in.BOOM!!!! I was duck hunting with a friend and his dog Moose. Cold Montana duck hunting weather. When we finally made it back to the boat ramp Moose was apparently ready to go home. With no hesitation he jumped out of the boat only to vanish beneath the icy water of the Flathead river. My friend and I kind of laughed and looked at each other and then back to the ring created by Moose. We waited. Well old Moose came up dog paddling with a look that said"What the hell was that about? I thought I could touch here".
SO when I hit the water I had a reaction similar to Moose.I came up to the top as quickly as I could. Trying not to hyperventilate and keep myself calm. I have never had such a "refreshing" event happen to me in all of my life. I would suggest that you all give it a shot if you are given the chance. I would advise caution to those with questionable heart conditions. To all of you with a sense of self preservation and the ability to think things through. you can go to hell. Just kidding. I am only mildly jealous of your superior mental ability.

Just a little reminder of what is to come. Going to hook up with a big poon on a fly-rod this year. May be a life changer. Quit fooling around with trout and the mountains for awhile. Standing on the casting platform of a flats boat looking for tails. Might be the way things go for me.

If its snowing I'm going???

That is an often heard saying in ski towns across the Rockies. Actually more of a lifestyle statement or a personal credo. At one point in my life not too long ago I adhered to this mantra. Right now as I sit here with a glass of scotch the only "going" I am concerned with is the upcoming trip to the Bahamas.

Well here we are again. Back in the Rockies in late March. I have been on a flat casting to tailing fish for the past few months. Soaking up the sun. Drinking rum. Enjoying not being at work and not cold. Sounds like a good time. All of this is a lie. I have been in Antarctica since August. I have only been on a flat in my mind. Pretty much used the images of blue water and the sound of line ripping through the water the same way a POW uses thoughts of apple pie and women to get through. I am back in the land of wind and snow. Actually kind of pretty but I am not into it. The Bahamas and bonefish are waiting for me. Just a couple of weeks until I am on a plane and then knee deep in warm salt H2O!!!
Last year at this time I was on a ski trip. Drove from Colorado to Montana stopping along the way to make some turns. Saw friends,found some good snow, and enjoyed the journey.Not this year. Ready to warm it up a bit. So alas. Here I am surfing the worldwideweb looking at pictures and reading about what is to come. Bring it on.