Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You get more whether you like it or not


Videoness edit by Rick Mikesell of Trouts.

-Alex who knows you know that the fish of 2:23 is pure awesomeness.

Fly Fishing....

We have had some inquiries into the possibility of opening a fly fishing section for the Irish Bass Festival this summer. We have no problem in opening a fly fishing section as long as there is enough interest. If you would like to fly fish during the festival please inform us and if we get enough numbers we will be happy to open a fly fishing section. 

Granted conditions are the key for fly fishing so if on the Friday of the festival we think that it will not be suitable for fly fishing you will have the option of entering the lure section...simple. However you cannot fish lures and fly you must decide on the opening day what it will be for you for the weekend. 

The fly section for the festival all depends on whether we get the interest, so please let us know so we can try to arrange it and publish it onto the website asap. 
_________________________________________________________________

The pictures below are of Nick Hart who last season out fished us lure guys spectacularly during an afternoon session. It was one of those days, the sun high in the sky and the sea was calm and clear. The bass simply refused to look at all manner of hard and soft lures we chucked at them. 

Nick fished in between us and was using one of his very subtle sandeel patterns. He proceeded to land some fine bass while us lure guys blanked. 

If conditions are right the fly is certainly a very effective method of catching bass and has to be up there as one of the best ways to catch bass through the sheer exhilaration of the fight.  





So let us know if you would like to see a fly section in the Festival this summer.

Tight lines,

James.

AV overloaded.


Three days =
Seventy-two hours =
Four thousand, three hundred and twenty minutes =
Two hundred and fifty-nine thousand, two hundred seconds of my life that I was not paying attention.

I don't know how much longer I can go on.

Baby Jesus help me.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Apropos Of Nothing

MIDWINTER ESCAPE
The Lowlands Beckon
we respond
Headed into the promised land.
Few folks fish up'ere in the winter.
-------
.. It's a fur piece of road between here and there. It's a bit of burned hydrocarbons and furry eyeballs to get there and back over a three-day weekend. In the winter with snow in the air and ice on the roads it's a bit over seven hours of safe and sane driving. That uses up most of one day.
.. Getting situated and scoping out the possibilities and contingencies finishes off the first day and demands a bit of well-won sustenance. So that's what we did.
Three Fly Arsenal.
.. Up at dawn to a great breakfast at Pourman's Cafe - chorizo con huevos and other gut bombs to get through a long day. Then to the river road.
.. It's possible to fish downtown but it's better up the road a piece. So we get going to a place where the neighbors know us and the water is clear and the snow ain't too deep.
.. There's ruts and mud and ice and mud and ruts and ice. We knock on the door and accept the invitation for coffee. We're on the water by 9:00 AM.
.. Just three flies are ever necessary here, (well four, if you count the size 8 elk hair caddis that serves as an indicator.) The fish are willing and hungry all year long. The water, in winter, is never colder than about 40° F. Sometimes it gets to over 50° F in the shallow and sunny spots.
The Place.
.. We fish all day and even take a few. Big rainbows of 14" with shoulders like Gibraltar. They look like lake fish with their small heads and substantial girth. The air is cold. It freezes our guides, and hands, and ears, and warms our epitome.
.. Dark comes a little later down in the lowlands. It still comes too early and we're back in town by 7:30 PM. At our age it means an early dinner and bed. We do it.
.. We get up on day three and have the same breakfast. We fish a bit closer to the highway and downstream from town for a few hours. Then back in the trusty horse and gas up.
.. It'll be dark as we enter the mountains at 4-corners. That's O.K., we know the road and it's treachery very well. We look forward to the vacant wheat fields and the company of monster trucks and the neighbors' pickumups.
.. Home at 9:00 PM. Crash shortly after eating a couple of racks of Baby-Back ribs from the deli, (got there just as they were locking up - perfect timing.)
.. We'll sleep-in tomorrow.  Don't have to be at the salt mine until 2:00 PM. Our stomach growls as we snooze on the couch - typing this is exhausting.
-------
Heading home. A view for Mark in Texas.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snow's Building Up -- Slowly

Our snow is building up in dribs and drabs.
It's a bit wetter than normal for this time of year.
We're still 40% below normal for this date.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yep. Still thinking about it.



-A

Z Fish Report (1/26/12)

Long line pangas confiscated!

The 80° blue water is still hanging close to the 100 fathom line between 5 and 6 miles off the beach. Early in the week, for sailfish, dorado and blue marlin, the fishing was fantastic. But, these last few days has seen a complete turnaround with few boats catching fish, and no reasonable explanation. The fishing shut off like there had been an earthquake or a major drop in the barometer…but neither of them happened, so we should be getting back to good fishing again soon.
A nice saifish about to be relesed by Francisco
on the super panga Huntress
Early in the week, Francisco on the super panga Huntress, went out about 9 miles, released 4 sailfish and a blue marlin, and was back at the dock by 10:30. A few days later, they released a couple of sails, and lost a huge dorado. Then went out yesterday and got zip. It was the same story for Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos. He did excellent early in the week, and then zip yesterday.
The biggest news is not about our current fishing, but about the future of sport fishing on this coast. After several current meetings with authorities and demanding action, the sport fishing captains finally got some results. This week the Mexican Navy went out and caught red handed 11 pangas illegally fishing with simbras (long lines). The boats and all gear were confiscated.
There is a lot of anger in the port right now. These long liners have been illegally fishing for years with impunity: They actually feel they are the victims of a corrupt society. More than one sport fishing captain is sleeping on his boat right now. The probability of retaliation is a reality.
Also remember, the fishing community here is basically only a few families. So we are taking about cousins Vs cousins, and brother-in-laws against compadres, etc. For more explanation on this, please review the following link, which is a chapter from my book about fishing here on the West Coast of Mexico…. http://conservationandthefuture.blogspot.com/2012/01/long-lines-and-gill-nets.html
Note the hook in the coner of the mouth on
Francisco's release

The inshore fishing for huge jack crevalle and large sierras is still holding and very good.
Ed Kunze  - IGFA Representative

To order a copy of my fishing book about fishing here on the West Coast of Mexico: http://www.mexperience.com/store/vuitem.php?itemid=13&sc=KUNZE-13
For a decent explaination to the seasons and best fishing for each species here in the Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo area check out this web site. http://calendarforfishing.blogspot.com/
  

We All Knew It

.
.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Festival Website....

The Irish Bass Festival Website is now live and hopefully you will find all the information you need on the following site.



 If you have any questions please contact us.


Tight lines.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Port Sulphur, In Some Particular Order of Epicness

Ziiiip. Push. Pause.

The sound of the wrapped push-pole reminded Alex of a guiro as it slid through the guide’s gloved hands.


Ziiiip. Push. Pause.


The boat crept along through stained water near the bank where birds and small creatures watched suspiciously. Alex removed his sunglasses and squinted into the glare as he wiped water spots from his lenses with the tail of his shirt. There were small faded purple stains on the yellow/green fabric. Fish blood. Why did it turn purple? He didn’t know. Those bonitos always seemed to bleed but he liked the stains. They added legitimacy to the garment. He snugged the glasses back on his face and looked back over his left shoulder at the man on the poling platform.


 Ziiiip. Push. Pause.


Shane Mayfield stood above the outboard and stared at the clouds. “Burn off, you mothers,” he said again. The sun’s rays snuck through the grey checkerboard, brightening the landscape and briefly illumination the muddy shallow bottom before being once again blocked by the hanging vapor.


Something unseen ran from the boat leaving little swirls of mud hanging in the water. Cody pointed.


“Sheepshead,” Shane said, and again turned his attention toward the sky. “C’mon you mothers. Burn off.”


Alex stood on the casting platform and stared at gray reflections on the brackish water.


Two days. How long is that? Can you build a relationship with a landscape in 48 hours? Is a three-night -stand getting serious? Will she expect you to call? Come on, baby. Let me see what you got under that blue dress in that stained water. We’re just gonna pole around your marsh for a while, take a little look-see. No harm in that, is there?




The end of the beginning.
Fueled by good whiskey, cheep beer and fried chicken the sextet tumbled out of the van and descended on Woodland Plantation like sieging Viking warriors. Bottles were passed in celebration of the end of the beginning. The Mississippi watched with quiet uninterest. The fog, having a hard time hearing, moved over the bank toward the old plantation house. Cold blooded things kept reasonably still in the dark.



“Who’s the little blind?”
“I am.”
“Four to call?”
“Yeah.”
“Wait, no. That’s not right becau-“
“Yeah it is. Cody was the big blind and he raised two.”
“Whatever. All in.”
“God dammit. Fold”
“Don’t splash the pot.”
“Shuddup and make a move.”
“Hand me the Jameson.”
“Burn and turn.”
“Go Fish.”
Goddammit.”
“You’re retarded.”


The sound of an alarm scratched through the wall and steam floated out from behind the shower curtain as Tony Montana yelled about pelicans in the back bedroom. Down in the church waited cheesy grits, eggs, toast and headaches. Outside there were men with boats who knew how to use them. The sun climbed the orange trees and shooed away the lingering fog. A truck cranked to life.





Rick Mikesell’s beard is a dirty girl.
Bobby zipped his camouflage jacket over the Bass Pro bibs and pulled a buff up to his nose and over the back of his Nike baseball cap. Rick sat to his left going through the same motions. I wiggled lower in the beanbag chair and pulled my hat low, facing the others. The Yamaha 50 burped and rumbled at the back of the boat. The world was blue, cut only by a thin brown horizon that gently swayed with the breeze. Bobby gently thunked the outboard into gear. We ran.

There is always a strange feeling when one first encounters a foreign fishing situation. A perplexity of shapes and colors awaiting mental translation. Is that a fish? A log? Do redfish look like logs? Is it moving? What about that? Just a clump of oysters. A push of baitfish… Mullet? Yeah? Okay. What was that? Sheepshead? Okay, they have the black and white stripes. There goes another one. What am I looking for? Lighter? Look for yellows, reds, golds, a white flash but more golden-white than gray-white. Longer, not plate shaped. Do those Sheepshead eat flies? Sometimes. Strip set, remember. Always strip set.

You are never really sure, until you are sure. It’s like driving down the highway when you think a passing car might have had it’s brights on… then you see a car coming and you know that fuckers brights are on. Redfish? No? Maybe… Wait, right there. Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for.

I remember the first eat. Rick and his beard watched quietly, seated in the back of the boat. I could feel the heat radiating from the red facial hair, giving me strength. The fish were stationary and clearly visible. My crab swam past and a white mouth flashed open and turned away as the line came tight. Stank shook off. I threw a high-five to Rick. His beard gave me a thumbs-up as he climbed onto the casting platform.

The sun made its way across the southern sky and it got fishy.


Rick Mikesell photo.




Surf and Turf.
The group sat with cocktails and spoke of eats and misses. You remember that fish in the back there? I put that fly right in his lap and he blew out. Couldn’t believe it. Like that one you had around the corner, remember that? Yeah, that looked like a good fish. They just look different, you know? The big ones?

Behind the bar Foster nodded and smiled and shucked another oyster which hardly made it to the tray before being whisked away and covered with horseradish and hot sauce. Frank bellied up to the bar and was tossed a piece of ice, the bullet-scar on the back of his head visible in the dull incandescence.

A plate of the fried variety arrived then was quickly gone. The tall ceiling of the church loomed overhead as we sat at the table and drew with crayons while a women asked me if I would like the char broiled red snapper or a sirloin. I took a sip of beer. “Yes.” I looked at Tucker who nodded in approval. “I like the way you think.”

Eats, drinks, poker. You know the story.

Stained water.
The clouds had listened, those mothers, and had burned off a few hours ago leaving clean blue above. Shane ran for clear water and we drifted on the edge, a visible line where the particulates ended and important things became visible. There were big fish here, but the brown water was closing like curtains from either side.

Cody’s hands trembled slightly as he stood up from the edge of the boat. You could have driven an 18-wheeler through his smile. “That’s the biggest fish I have ever caught.” He said, and looked around like he had forgotten where he was. “That was awesome.”

On the last drift I had caught a nice fish, and now it was Cody’s turn to smile big as he relived the catch. The big ones just look different, don’t they?

Sight fishing is the ultimate. If redfish jumped, oh boy. Ultimate.

My big red. Cody Hoeckelberg Photo.


Shane climbed behind the wheel of the boat. “Reel it up, let’s go check another spot.”

I slid the 8wt into the tube and settled plopped down on the cushion. The outboard rumbled and caught. We ran.

End Game.
They were engaged in some serious conversation, and Alex wasn’t a part. Business stuff, you know, talk that had nothing to do with his purpose in this place as an outsider. A hired gun. He got another beer from the bartender and took a walk out the double front doors into the darkness. The night was warm and smelled of water and wet plants. The owl’s cries were ceaseless from the roof of the plantation house as his shoes crunched across the gravel toward the big river. A large container ship was stopped on the bank near the house and millions of lumens from its crane lamps spilled out across the green/brown grass. He closed his eyes and breathed deep. Different air here. Heavy, thick, full. Not like the desert air from his home state.

He already missed it. One more night.


Voices rang out from the church. He opened his eyes and walked further out into the dark for one last feel.




Roll mouse over slideshow for controls or to visit gallery.

-Alex who would like the thank the good guys from Trouts, Shane  Mayfield, Bobby, Brian Carter, Foster Creppel, Frank, and the crew from Woodland Plantation.

Just like Alex, I too can be a winner

My post to Field and Stream, Has won me a "Little Red Fly Fishing Book" due to my non-fear of self exposure!

And this may hurt your eyes.

-Kyle

Blonds Have More Fun

WEIRD NEIGHBOR SCORES
Walmart Duster Rules
such a simple thing
Crazy kid used the wrong color !!

------
.. The catching on the Madison River between the lakes is picking up. There are packed trails in the snow rather than parallel rows of post-holes.
.. The fish are after the midges on occasion. And, on occasion, they will be taken on the top. But, truth be told, blonds have more fun.
.. Hereabouts there's a small, ambitious, energetic, and slightly off-center group of local residents that refuse to believe that fishing with a fly is only a 4-month proposition. These kids are not habitues of the dusty aisles in the local fly shops. They are hard working sons and daughters of folks that have lived here for a few decades, (or more.) They wear shorts and sometimes go barefooted through December.
.. They fish with worms and flies and spinners, and anything that catches fish at the moment. They cherish their time on the water, (or ice,) and don't fool around with the arcane minutia of proper fly fishing. Just can't be bothered!
.. On rare occasion they will travel to the glorious catastrophe that is Bozeman. Of course they head straight for Walmart. Prices are good, selection is extensive, and the produce in the grocery section makes the local fare look like . . . well, unmentionable poop.
.. On a recent trip Tommy, (his real name,) found himself near a trash bin and spied a genuine, ole-time feather duster.
.. He grabbed it and found a "sales associate" and asked if the duster was really being thrown out.
.. Long-story-short: through several levels of the store hierarchy he continued to ask the question untill it was determined that the bit of fluff on the stick was indeed used-up and being thrown out. He smiled and poked it in his rear pants pocket.
.. Being deeply inculcated in local lore, Tommy knew that he had secured a treasure beyond belief. This was the stuff of legends. A real feather feather duster. He had several years' supply of fly tying material.
.. Upon returning home, Tommy was assailed by his mates. You foolish dolt! The color is all wrong.
.. Our neighbor Wally, (his real name,) used the dark gray or black feathers when he invented the FEATHER DUSTER FLY.
.. Well, Tommy, being of the working class, was not going to let a bit of color stand in the way of his feather dusters. He tied up a few dozen and passed them out to his friends at the local pub.
.. Of course you know the outcome. The off-color flies worked just fine. In fact they are the current neighborhood rage. It will die down in a month or two - OR - a year or two, who knows?
.. But for now: BLONDS HAVE MORE FUN, sticking fish in their mandibular parts.
.. We bring this bit of information to you as a public service. There are too damn many hungry trout between the lakes. They are begging for blond beauties. Natural, of course!
-------
It's getting deep in town.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not The Typical Pair

THE LITERATI CRINGE
The Simple Approach
ice auger's getting workout

-------
.. There's only a week left before February smashes into West Yellowstone. We're using it to rest up before the onslaught begins.
..We have boxes and boxes of winter flies. We love them all, we cherish them, we even use most of them on occasion: but, time and again we return to just two for most of our winter fishing.
.. The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Wet Fly & the Sierra Bright Dot often suffice for every situation above or below the surface. Both can be fished either wet or dry. Both are easy to tie and both stab fish jaws with satisfying regularity.
-- These flies have the additional distinction of being rare today. Neither is sold at the local feather merchants, neither is the latest and greatest, neither is full of fancy hard-to-get synthetic materials, and neither will leave you fishless.
--The "neighbors-of-the-auger," usually have one of these tied to their rig along with maggots or meal worms or bulldog flashing blades. They are a secondary attractor beneath the ice but they are common and will take fish.
.. The NORTH AMERICAN ICE FISHING CIRCUIT is holding it's $21,000 Regional Qualifier on Hebgen Lake February 3-5. The neighbors are on the lake en-mass and dragging in the fish. Practice is essential in this sort of thing.
.. The current midge hatch Between The Lakes is drawing the faithful to the open water. Often times a twin rig with a Prince Nymph and GRHE-W is the weapon of choice.
.. The true and faithful dry fly fishers use a small Sierra Bright Dot. Correctly tied the fly presents the perfect attack: the fore & aft hackle combined with the dark tips of the pheasant seem to entice the starving fish into a frenzy of idiocy. There are three targets with three specular patterns and they are close together. The fish seem mesmerized by the little fly. The red is easy to see, (so too is orange or yellow.)
-------

Friday, January 20, 2012

Irish Bass Festival...

On the 20th-22nd of July this year the Irish Bass Festival will take place along the South East coast of Ireland. Anglers are free to roam around and fish wherever they please in search of bass. This is the first of its kind event running over 3 days with some great prizes up for grabs.


We will be running a fully "catch and release" concept and all the rules you need to know and how you can enter will be on the official festival page when it goes live early next week. 

There will be some great package deals available for visiting anglers which include ferry and accommodation deals. And Irish anglers will also be able to avail of the great accommodation deals available.

This will be a lure fishing event. All anglers will be welcome, whether you are a beginner or hardened lure angler. There will be people on hand to help and give tips and advice on any questions you may have.

So hold tight all the information will be on the official website which will be launched next week. 



Tight lines

Z Fish Report (1/20/12)

Frank Craig with his 2nd sailfish on the panga Ginta with Adan
The 81° blue water is still following the 100 fathom line, and about 6 miles off the beach. The fishing has improved again this week with each boat catching 2 to 3 sailfish a day and a very decent sized dorado or 2 (averaging about 22 pounds). Mecate, on the cruiser Aqua Azul released 4 sailfish in one day. Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II, released 5 and then the next day released 4, of which 2 were on the fly rod.
Petra Craig, from British Columbia, about to release her
 1st sailfish on the super panga Gitana
And, several large blue marlin have been taken this week, with many more breaking off due to the angler being under gunned with light sailfish tackle.
Frank about to relase his 2nd sailfish
The very large jack crevalle, averaging 18 to 25 pounds, and sierras to 9 pounds are giving the light line anglers all they can handle out in front of the White Rocks. This bite has been steady for two weeks now.

There are two large groups of anglers here for the week from Denmark, but other than that, there are very few people fishing. The captains all have been complaining there are just not many people this year.

Ed Kunze - IGFA Representative


To order a copy of my fishing book about fishing here on the West Coast of Mexico: http://www.mexperience.com/store/vuitem.php?itemid=13&sc=KUNZE-13

For a decent explaination to the seasons and best fishing for each species here in the Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo area check out this web site. http://calendarforfishing.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The First Aftermath

WIND + SNOW = AVALANCHE
We're In For It Now
..
-------
.. The neighbors are praising MOTHER for her blessed bit of snow. Some folks, (more frisky than most fly fishers,) are taking to the hills. Thrills come in all forms.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

AT LAST !!

SNOW !!! WARNING !!!
About Time
-------

-------
...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET... ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM MST FRIDAY.

* TIMING AND MAIN IMPACT: LIGHT SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD OVER THE AREA THIS MORNING AND INCREASE IN INTENSITY THIS AFTERNOON PARTICULARLY OVER ...THE MOUNTAINS. SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. SNOW COULD BE BRIEFLY HEAVY IN THE VALLEYS.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 7 INCHES AT LOWER ELEVATIONS BUT 7 TO 15 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS ARE LIKELY.

* WINDS AND VISIBILITY: EXPECT SOUTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH AT TIMES. VISIBILITIES WILL BE BELOW ONE-HALF MILE AT TIMES DUE TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MAINLY IN THE MOUNTAINS.

* OTHER IMPACTS: EXPECT ROADS TO BECOME SNOW COVERED AND ICY... CREATING HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE: BATTLE RIDGE PASS...BOZEMAN... BOZEMAN PASS...TARGHEE PASS...WEST YELLOWSTONE... BIG HOLE PASS...CHIEF JOSEPH PASS...DILLON...MONIDA PASS... ENNIS... NORRIS HILL...RAYNOLDS PASS...TWIN BRIDGES

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

FOR SPECIFIC ROAD AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS IN MONTANA...DIAL 5 1 1.

more teasage

Because I didn't do shit today, you will just have to wait longer. But here is a little something to tide you over.


 You can also look at this.

-A

Monday, January 16, 2012

BRING THE PAIN!



I know little of hunting, let alone Bow Hunting.

I know your basics;

-Be quiet
-Use your safety
-Bring Ammo
-Don't shoot your buddy
-Don't hunt with Cheney.

Rusty Ulmer (my soon to be father in law), along with his brother Randy, are both very well known bow hunters. Rusty, after many years of bow hunting has developed a new broad head that will be taking the market by storm. The new action from this broad head and his ideas have made this one of a kind and possibly the last way to make a fully functional broad head. Sometimes as Fly Fishermen we have to practice with the same line that we plan on fishing with for our next big trip, so why would you not practice with the same broad head? Well you wouldn't until now, now you don't have to damage your blades, or worry about not having a tuned head in your arrow due to the thoughts of a man who loves his hunting. But that is not all of it, the design to cause more damage to your target, whether the arrow gets pushed in deeper to the animal or it begins to come out this will make for a faster kill.
I cant go into too much detail, because I don't know enough about bow hunting to fully understand this new product that Rusty has decided to collaborate with the fellas at Trophy Taker .

More details please check out this video for Ulmer Edge, taken from the 2012 ATA show in Ohio.
This will explain more than I can.



It just looks meaner than hell. -Kyle