Monday, March 16, 2009

1st day out on the Missouri

After spending most of Sunday morning waiting to see if the wind was going to die down, I finally made my decision to take a trip to the upper Missouri below Holter Dam. It was now just after noon, the sun was covered by a haze of clouds and the temperature reached in the upper 40's to low 50's. Perfect fishing conditions in my mind, but lets not forget the wind! Gusts were reaching upwards of 40 mph and a relentless 25 mph wind kept my fly line from fluidly flowing back and forth. I was definitely displeased that I was unable to feel the full potential of my new rod and experience the full capability I know it owns. My first stop came mid way up the river to the Mid-Canon boat launch access near Dearborn. As I pulled into the lot, I saw one vehicle with an empty boat trailer. I thought to myself, this will be perfect, no distractions, I'll have the river all to myself. Little did I know, just down the road from the lot about 50 yards was a couple of guys with 3 or 4 youngsters with two black labs. As I was rigging my rod, I couldn't help but hear the screaming of the kids, the barking of the dogs, and the loud obnoxious music coming from the tailgaite of their Bronco. Didn't think much of it and thought I would just make my way downstream to get a little more peace and quiet. After finding a nice little run about 400 yards downstream, I tied on a size 14 pink scud, put a little weight on and an indicator. I only got a half a dozen or so casts before I was frustrated with the wind. With wind at my back, I couldn't even get a false cast in to start my dead drift upstream again. On top of the frustration, all I could hear (I'm 400 or so yards downstream mind you) was the sound of those dogs barking at each other and the sound of the owner obnoxiously barking back as loud as he could, imitating the annoyance of his dog. I respect the fact that these guys have the gumption to bring their dogs and kids down to the river on a windy Sunday afternoon, but to immaturely imitate the sound of your barking dog for 10 minutes is a little childish and should be done at home. Impassioned, I decided to make my way back to the car and head further towards the dam. Driving along, I decided to get off the Interstate at Craig, and take to frontage road all the way to dam. The last time I had driven that road was back in high school, and was surprised to find I never payed any attention to the numerous fishing access pullouts. I decided to go all the way to the dam to investigate the flow and to look for any possible areas to throw the rod at. I got out of the car and I immediately noticed the wind had picked up. Damn, I thought, I picked the wrong day to start out my season. I snapped a few shots of the dam on my camera, took a quick look at the river and its surface for any activity. I decided my day would just have to be more of a scouting event. I made my way back down the road and looked at all possible spots I would fish on a nicer day. Many exist and cannot wait to try them out! I stayed on the Old Highway and decided to pull over across my initial spot at Mid Canon. I saw a nice little riffle and decided the least I could do was to get out the seine net and check what aquatic life resides there. I waded out to the middle of the riffle, about a foot and a half in depth and kicked up the river bottom a bit and held my net downstream of it. I was surprised at my find! A fat ass olive colored grub, a couple little orange worms, a few 20-22 sized mayfly nymphs, and some small midge larvae. I noticed the wind had laid off a bit and couldn't resist tying on a red san jaun with a size 20 flashback pheasant tail dropper. I was able to dead drift the rig on the bottom about 12-18 times with no sign of a strike. I was sure I would hit something, but it just wasn't my lucky day. Conquered and ashamed, I made my way to my car. On the way up the bank I looked up and found myself staring at a startled billy goat who had just come over a rocky ridge just on the other side of the road. A moment later, I could tell he felt unthreatend and made a move as if to say "we're good". Just then I watched as not one, not two, but six more made their way over the rocks into my view. Turned out to be five billys and two nannys. Once again, I snapped some photos and thought it was a great way to end my day. I got back in the car and was on my way. I followed the highway all the down through the Prewitt Creek area scanning the river for runs, riffles, pools and eddies. Although my first outing this year resulted in no fish, I was pleased I made the attempt and for the most part, enjoyed the windy Sunday. Next time I post, I hope to tell you about to nice brown trout I expect to land!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Catch of the Day!

Here is a beautifully hand crafted Juniper Trout I won with a winning bid at the 2009 Wine and Food Festival silent auction. As soon as I laid my eyes on the hand whittled wooden trout, I knew it was fate that it must be mine! I was outbid three times before I laid my final bid of $55.00 ( tag retailed at $80.00) with about 4 minutes remaining in the auction. I waited patiently as my eyes stared relentlessly at the clock as the seconds ticked down to final call. Three...Two...One... Sold! I chuckled to myself feeling humbled by my victory. The trout was now under new ownership as ideas of where I would show off this masterpiece in my home. On the mantle, on the wall? Where the fish is to reside is yet to be determined, I am just overwhelmed with a feeling of joy by how this object at each glance stirs up the feeling of reminiscing the way of the river and how it can hypnotize the mind. I am proud of my new purchase and dedicate this post to the masterful artist who created this work of art. Wherever you are good sir, I applaud you with gratitude for achieving the success of your trade!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Beautiful Combination

Here is a pic of my new St. Croix Imperial 9' 5wt 4 piece fly rod with Ross Rhythm 1.5 Copper Reel. Can't wait to try it out!

New Fly Rod and Reel for 09 Season

After searching my heart out for the right priced and best overall amateur fly rod (turns out this rod is built for all levels) I finally felt content and overjoyed with purchasing the new 2009 model St. Croix Imperial 9' 5 wt 4 piece fly rod. With it's stunning glossy copper-like burgandy finish, lightweight, high-strain graphite fast action casting, hard chrome snake guides and a rosewood insert on the reel-seat, how could I have gone wrong with this beautiful American made work of art? Not only is this rod a marvel in it's own right, I feel it's the perfect fly rod for the beginning of a rekindled passion for fly fishing. And only to make things better, I have paired my rod with a discontinued 2008 Ross Rhythm 1.5 Copper reel. Not only does this reel have an exceptional anodized aluminum CNC milled finish, which compliments the glossy copper-like finish of the Imperial, but it's impeccable drag performace and gear aesthetics have all but gotten my reels spinning! Not a bad pairing for an amatuer who has a passion for the sport, for that much, the art of fly fishing. I am entralled for this year and the endeavers fly fishing has in store for me. I can't wait until that first cast, and the feeling of pure bliss the river gives back to me when I hook my first beautiful trout with with my newly purchased toy! Stay tuned as I take you along with me on my fly fishing adventures in 2009.

To view the beautiful rod and reel, use the links below:
Imperial Rod
Ross Rhythm Reel