Friday, February 27, 2009

Trout Bum Deluxe

The longer I'm unemployed, the more I love it! I got to fish three times this week and am wanting even more action.

On Monday, Paddy and I had a lunchtime hour or so on the Wood for some "scouting." We really just pounded some rising fish on zebra midges. Our midges are not very prolific yet and the bugs are super small, but you can throw a dry/dropper and they'll eat the nymph.

On Tuesday, Paddy and i got to spend the whole day fishing--some more scouting. After the Bataan Death March into the river it was awesome. We literally post-holed through the melting snow for thirty minutes--totally awful. We tag teamed for about a mile up river and pounded fish on zebra midges and I even got a few to eat the size 12 Parawulff I was throwing, but never set the hook. Above is a pic of one of the standard winter bows--better than a sharp poke with a stick.

On Thursday, Paddy, Carl, and I went on an exploratory steelhead operation. It's been like 45 and sunny all week so when I got up at six in the morning, I looked outside and it was DUMPING. We had to go through the desert to get up to Challis because of the snow and all three of us, all of our clothes, and all of our rods got in the Silver Bullet for the long drive. (the Silver Bullet is Carl's 800 year-old two-door Audi--surprisingly roomy)

We managed to make it to the run we wanted before anyone else did, even though we had to stop at the Bent Rod to get the last black chenille within 100 miles of Ketchum, and Carl caught a steelhead on his second cast. I was in brief contact with one shortly after that. Paddy managed to dredge up all woody debris and a few whitefish and suckers on the Spey rod. We fished quite a few runs, both nymphing and throwing Spey and switch rods. Late in the afternoon, Paddy had a fish on shortly on the Spey rod and Carl pulled out two fish on his switch. It was a pretty awesome day considering it was about a month earlier than anyone usually goes fishing.

We had good company, good snacks, a few fish, and a chance to throw the Spey rods. Hellova lot better than going to work.

Monday, February 23, 2009


As I was getting dressed this morning to go fishing, like a lot of mornings in the winter, I was thinking about exactly how many items of Patagonia I was putting on. It really saves my life and that handy pro form makes it possible.

You can tell I'm out of work since I'm making a list:
Midweight wool socks
Capilene 3 top and bottoms
Capilene 4 hoodie
Synchilla fleece pants
some rat chewed light fleece
an old rhythm fleece
the best down vest ever
Stretch SST
and sometimes even underwear, a scarf, and hat

Wow--9-12 Patagonia items on any given winter day--I'm a walking ad. As Stephen Colbert would say, "Money, please," while holding out his hand for the endorsement.

No really, I do stay warm, and know I'm supporting a great company.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekly Fishing Report

Being unemployed isn't that bad, I now know. I've had lots of time to fish and even squeezed in a guide trip this week.

On Tuesday, Paddy, Keith, and I went over to the Lost for the first time this winter. I love nothing more than fishing the Lost in the winter. Huge numbers, huge fish, huge hatches. Of course it ended up being 20 degrees and the wind was blowing straight down the mountains from the Arctic. The fish weren't too stoked about the weather and neither were we. There were some fish and we had fun, though.

On Wednesday, I scouted for some fish on the Big Wood. After a slog to the river through melting snow, I got to the river and it looked awesome. I only saw one midge, but I managed to land the nice rainbow above on my first cast. A sure fire spot for my trip on Thursday.

On Thursday, I guided a nice couple from Seattle and I was feeling good about the fishing. It was sunny, calm, and warm. Midges showed up before noon and everything was looking good. It ended up being freakin' cold and windy and the fishing was awful. It was the first time I was ever skunked on a trip and I was horrified. I'm feeling a little better about it today since Paddy had a hard time on his trip too. Hopefully that will never happen again.

I'm working in the shop this weekend, but trying to make fishing plans for next week. Being a trout bum ain't that bad.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Zydeco and Zebra Midges

Working in Sun Valley is always interesting because I have to find things to keep myself occupied. After the daily cleaning an rearranging, I usually don't have much to do.

On Friday I brought my fly-tying supplies to get started on this season's bugs. Zebra Midges were first on the list because I use them every day and because they're so freakin' easy to tie. I had some cool new colored beads from Montana Fly that I created some really cool new color schemes with--I think they'll work really well.

What made fly-tying really enjoyable on friday was the music! I normally plug in the handy dandy iPod, but I opted for Pandora. I wanted to listen to something that I don't have on the iPod so I rocked out to Zydeco all day. I almost fell out of my chair a couple of times because I was rockin so hard.

It made me think of spring in Texas--the begining of wildflowers, driving with the windows down, and trying to go swimming one week before you really should have. It'll be quite some time before we get to drive with the windows down here, but the skiing and the fishing aren't too bad.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Depression Duck

It's taken a few days to accept this, but I was laid off at Wood River Land Trust on Thursday. It was a pretty bad situation, but I won't go into details--I'll just stay quiet and get to say that I'm the better person.

I've cut myself off from all spending and fortunately I have lots of good things to eat in the freezer. Vegetables from the garden, fruit from the summer, and a variety of meat gifted from friends. Tonight I decided to make a duck. You can never go wrong using the Le Creuset dutch oven--I added onion and apple to make it juicy.

The photo above was the sad result. It tasted great, but reminded Paddy of an Imogen Cunningham and I kinda agree. I'm not in a migrant camp yet, but being thrifty during a period of unemployment is a little funny sometimes. Hopefully it won't last for long.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Since I moved to Idaho I've been Telemarking. Telemarking is more about a lifestyle than an athletic activity and I'm totally awful at that activity. Everyone at Backwoods has broken down in the last month and started skiing AT gear. I finally tried it last Thursday on Dollar and made more improvements in one run than in 4 years of telemarking. Ugh. I feel like a loser now that I'm on the groomers and not dropping the knee, but it's REALLY awesome. I'm looking forward to going again on Thursday.