Monday, November 29, 2010

The snow is very nice BUT !!

The snow is very nice but is seriously effecting our fishing and not because of the temperature , because we can not get to our marks . Most of the places we fish involve country roads which have not been treated . It is frustrating as we know the water temp is still good , the clarity is good and there are still a fish around as many people proved last week with some outstanding catch reports coming in . Anyway such is the way of life and I am sure will will get out soon enough .

Christmas is just around the corner and just to let ye all know there are gift vouchers available .

Also we can take any credit or debit card orders over the phone .



Pick Your Devil

Al Gore

.. Ignoramus, ostrich, liberal, conservative, reactionary, curmudgeon, rationalist, nationalist, politician, etc.: choose your position and blame the other.
.. Methane, carbon dioxide, CFC, fossil fuel, deforestation, nitrogen oxide, rice paddies, orbital wandering, natural cycle: all or something else is the cause.
.. Whatever the case, there is some sort of long-term climate change trend in Montana, (and elsewhere - we're told.) So what?
.. A note, yesterday, in the Billings Gazette  presents one bit of activity for "Conserving Montana's wildlife during climate change."

Montana's average air temperature has increased 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 through 2006, compared to a 1.25 degree increase for the entire United States. Our average winter snowpack has declined 17 percent over the same period, and spring rain has increased 5.9 percent. August precipitation has declined more than 20 percent in the 55-year period. Glacier National Park's storied glaciers are disappearing, with only 26 remaining of 150 that existed in 1850.

Reduced snowpack, more spring rain, lower streamflows and melting glaciers tell a story of environmental change that is beyond rational debate. People might argue about the cause, but the trends in air temperature, precipitation and recession of glaciers strongly suggest our state's climate is changing more rapidly and extremely than we predicted just 20 years ago.

These changes are forcing our big-game populations to adapt to changes in their forage base and shift migration patterns to accommodate the changing weather. Variations in water quality and quantity are transforming some of our native cutthroat trout rivers to smallmouth bass waters.
Wetland loss in the prairie pothole region in northeastern Montana could severely reduce waterfowl productivity in North America's duck-breeding “factory.” The loss of the insulation of prairie snow cover can kill young prairie grouse and pheasants in early spring when air temperatures are still low or freezing.
.. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is updating its comprehensive fish and wildlife conservation strategy to include adaptive measures to better protect and manage fish and wildlife across broad landscapes in a changing climate, using strategies presented in “Beyond Seasons' End,” and from the USFWS.
.. The newspaper article also paints a pretty bleak picture of the future for our native Bull Trout and Cutthroat Trout.
.. The "SEASON'S END" website points to changes and actions that can be taken to address these times and conditions.
.. They have published a book about the happenings. Request the Free book HERE. They have also made the book available, (online PDF download, Give it time it's large and full of pretty pictures.)
.. It's above zero by a degree or two and the snow flies are going to be dancing all day between the lakes at the Hebgen Tailwater. The snow is getting deep but the trail is keeping pace. Time for some bangers and mash.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pike fail

If catching a fish was just a bonus, you wouldn't work so hard trying.

You would be able to list at least one other reason for the drive, one other destination that wasn't a body of water, either flowing or still, that was actually a planned part of the trip.

I can say that the trip was a success because we got to the destination, fished and came back but the fishing was a failure and I got my ass handed to me by the wind. Throwing a 12wt warm water intermediate line is like throwing braided steel cable when it is below freezing and the gusts keep blowing your line out of the stripping net. I didn't really plan on using it, but it was the only thing I brought that could push into the cold wall of air.

We will be back for spring pike for sure and at least now I know what the lakes look like.

Ice Coffee
Frozen man-parts at Ashurst Lake
A little poon-ice
Upper Lake Mary
Getting ready in the parking lot
Black and red didn't work, and nothing else did either.
A little ice on the guides
It's my fathers left-handed Galvin... I don't reel backwards.
With a couple pointers Kyle handles a camera pretty well.

I would like to thank Paul and the guys at Babbitt's FlyFishing in Flagstaff for the hookup on the hats and the lake tips, "If it ain't chartreuse, it ain't no use."

Good to know.

-Alex who at least now has a huge box of flies ready for next year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ever So Humble


.. Snow is far easier to drive on than is black ice. We're home and there is still fishing to be done.
.. The trip was a brilliant success for the fish. We'll stick with our original plans next year. See you south coast folks in the spring.
.. A few of the neighborhood sports have reported giant whitefish and brown trout from the bits of open water available on Hebgen Reservoir. The Hebgen Tailwater is not too snowbound yet and the midge circus is in full flight.
.. The nice snowfall has provided the beginning of a base for the coming winter. Looks good, (but it's way early,) for this time of year. The neighborhood sledheads are getting a jump on the visitors.
.. We'll be enjoying a nap after some chores. More to follow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Z Fish Report (11/25/10)

By Tuesday of this week the 80° blue water had moved back in close to the beach with it now being only a short run of about 6 miles. And the game fish are responding. Francisco, on the super panga Huntress, with his client from France, was making long runs of 25 miles or more early in the week and has been able to follow the blue water back to the coast, making no more than 15 mile runs in the last couple of days. He is averaging a hooked striped or a blue marlin and 4 sailfish a day. All fish have been released.
Capt. Francisco on the Huntress about to release a sailfish

Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, is also averaging 4 to 5 sailfish a day, with Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II, getting 3 to 4 sailfish a day, but also had 3 consecutive days with a hooked blue marlin. Fighting a big blue marlin really cuts into the amount of trolling time to find more sailfish. Adolfo and Cheva’s fish were found between the 6.5 and 15 mile marks.

With Adolfo’s son as my deck hand, Argentine fly fishing client Enrique Amatore and I went down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero for 2 days of fly fishing. We fished an area new to me, and a long ways south of the Port. But, the boat ride was worth it.
Enrique Amatore with a nice fly caught sierra

The new spot, about 3/4 of a mile off the beach, has a couple of sea mounts coming to within 25 and 50 feet from the surface. It was incredible. I have never seen bait fish dimpling the surface here on this coast like I saw on our 1st day down there. Huge schools of green jacks, sierras, and pompano were busting bait everywhere. The jack crevalle were averaging 10 to 20 pounds and schools would cruise in and out. Huge roosters, to an estimated 50 pounds, were mixed with the jacks.

With Adolfo Jr. casting the hook-less popper, we brought about 20 jacks to the boat and 8 roosters. Plus, because we were dead in the water the whole time on a sea of glass, the dorado would come over and investigate. We had several legitimate shots at dorado.
Enrique Amatore with a very nice red snapper (barely
hooked) on the fly. He got this because we were very
 close to the 25 foot sea mount.

We also saw this small humpback whale down at Puerto Vicente Gro.
This photo gives you an idea on how glassed out the water was.
Unfortunately, when we went back the next day, the current changed and brought in dirty water. There was no bait, no nothing. We couldn't buy a fish. But, you bet I will going back.
Ed Kunze

Giving Thanks


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Early Out

Snow On Ice
pushing on

.. Decided to make an early dash for West Yellowstone. Discovered roads with a sheet of ice covered by light snow and some creative parking.
.. Not much to report on the fishy front. The snow trout are avoiding the record low temperatures and most of the water has entered a solid state.
.. We're currently confined to a comfy motel room in Pendleton, Oregon. The Pizza Hut is close and delivers: makes life tolerable. Electricity and heat seem luxurious.
.. May have to spend Thanksgiving here if the roads on either side of Boise, Idaho stay closed.
.. The views and scenic atmosphere of the Blue Mountains would certainly be spoiled by having to stare at the rutted roads and dodging rapidly sailing SUV's & RV's.
.. Roads into and out of West Yellowstone are intermittantly closed. The little town looks like a trucker's convention.
.. The broken down cattle truck is having trouble getting hay for the critters. Beef prices may hit a new low in our frigid little hamlet.
.. Yesterday's morning drive through Portland, Oregon saw traffic snarled  and our cruise down the shady side of the lower Columbia Gorge discovered lines of ice pounded into glacier-slick trails in the fresh snow.
.. The jackknifed semi on the grade leaving The Dalles killed two, (bags and gurneys visible in trailer - survivors left in the emergency vehicle,)  and held us prisoner for 3 hours as we snaked and slid through the maze of scattered vehicles, debris, and broken chains.
.. A light freezing fog blanketed the highway between The Dalles & Pendleton. By the time our brain leaped through our aching eyeballs we decided that sleep was the better part of valor.
.. It's morning now and time to scan the weather reports, call the state patrol, watch the parade on the Interstate, and decide just how valorous we feel for a sojourn through the slick roads between here and West Yellowstone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

last minute tune-ups

I heard the dryer running as I walked to the back of the house with a wet load of laundry in my arms. Kyle was kneeling down near the exhaust vent that pumps warm air into the walled back patio.

"You got much time on that load?" I asked as I approached.

"There is nothing in there," he said. "I am drying the heads on my flies."

I looked around the basket in my arms and saw he was holding something long and fuzzy up to the vent.

"That's kind of a waste, dontcha think?"

 "Well, we don't have a hair dryer."

"I have a heat gun."

"That will ruin the fibers," he said as he wiggled the flies in the hot air.

"You don't think that running the dryer on high with nothing in it to dry your flies is a waste of energy?"

He scratched his bald head and looked up, "Well, at least I am doing two at once."


vacuum dubbing
The truck is about half packed, and food items need to be bought but at least my floor is clean. I remembered to pack my ball warmers this time.

I feel ready, and the lakes wait about 5 hours away. I just hope the pike are still feisty enough to come out and play.

It has been years since I have been snowed on while fishing, and I am kinda looking forward to it.

Brookings Redux

The Fish Flip Us A Fin
waiting for visibility

.. As the rain and cold descend into the Chetco River Valley, the kings, (and a few steelhead,) are grabbing air without being stabbed in the lip.
.. Anglers are gathering for the break in the weather forecast for Thanksgiving. Bitter cold is also forecast for the Cascades and inland valleys. It's time to soldier-up and put some grease on the guides.
.. The returning Chinook population has a few below average intellects - but none so dumb as to get taken by us. Even the seals have abandoned the Chetco River this year, (except for the two residents asleep in the fishing fleet harbor.)
.. There have been no fly fishers under 60 years old spotted around Social Security Bar, (or elsewhere that we have been.)
.. There's not a single fly rod in the racks at the local tackle shop. This is gear heaven!
.. Fish are charging into the system and a few are getting caught down deep in the main channel. All that hardware must be worth it's weight in titanium.
.. Gear sales are up as is angler population. The Smith River is also sprouting a fine crop of elbows. We may add to the crowds in a few days.
.. We're about to pull on the silk undies, followed by long handles, followed by woollies, followed by something to delay cold rain. We may be able to walk to the river.
.. Stopped at the local tackle shop and found a lovely hollow-built salmon net from our old stomping grounds down in Queen Califia's Kingdom. Brought back memories of a different era. The price is right but our need is not. If you need it it's hanging from the ceiling and is beautiful to behold.
.. Well, a couple more days of torture among the catchers and others on the beautiful and chilly Chetco River. This is beautiful and strange country.
.. The deer are the size of doberman pincers and the fish are the size of watermelons.
.. The fog is everywhere and nowhere, while the trees hide the hills and mothers hide their children from the infrequent yellow orb that periodically appears in the sky. There's green of every imaginable shade and rain of every imaginable density.
.. Such a place. More later.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dropping Off Flat Tops

Driving north on I-10 in Alex's truck, dropping off some kitchen gear that was borrowed:

Kyle- Damn it's starting to get chilly, If we go on winter trips in the mountains and such it might be snowing, I think I better hit goodwill and other thrift stores to get some warm clothes.

Alex- Dude, you lived in Colorado for 2 years and spent time in the bone chilling winters, what happened to your warm clothes from Colorado?

Kyle- I got

November Rock Fishing.....

Plenty of action still to be had along the copper coast at the moment. There was a window of opportunity to get out early this week and although the tides weren't great conditions were spot on....nice onshore wind with reasonable water clarity.

Myself and Paul fished a rock mark on early this week which produced some nice fish. The lure of the day was once again the Zonk Gataride in a variety of colours and we are really starting to think that colour doesnt matter when it comes to this lure as one colour seems to be as good as the other, but wer always going to have our favourites.

Fishing into gullies on a flooding tide worked to great effect for us. Visiting your mark at low water and finding gullies and ambush points for the bass can be a great help when the tide floods in over these areas you have a much greater chance of connecting with a bass or two knowing where these areas are instead of casting blindly into the water.

When there is a big surf/swell rolling onto the rocks like in the picture above a lure which can really bite down into the water can be a great help, the Zonk 120 and sinking tide minnows can be a great help and can sometimes make a big difference giving the lure that extra bit of stability needed in such conditions.

So before you put away your bass gear for winter get out and give it another go as there seems to be good numbers of bass around the rock marks, if the water clarity isnt great try a xlayer or a shad type soft plastic as they can be very effective over rough ground fished nice and slowly which may entice a fish that may not come as easy to the plug.

Tight lines,