Monday, December 13, 2010
I’ve been very, very good this year, and I have something special to ask you for. I want a fishing partner. You might ask, “Morgan, didn’t I already give you a fishing partner?” Well, Santa, I guess technically I have a fishing partner, but I need another one.
My kick-ass man-friend has been my fishing partner for over five years; but since we both guide, we rarely get to fish together more than once a week. During the summer we’re just strangers in passing. I need a real, honest-to-god, full-time fishing partner.
I tried asking our mutual friends to go fishing with me, but it was just too weird. I once asked one of my man’s friends to go fishing and fortunately he quickly replied that he had to work. It’s not weird when we’re fishing as a group, but something just isn’t right fishing with each other. I think there was a Seinfield episode about that. You would think that there’s someone in my town who needs a fishing partner, but I haven’t found them yet. I guess meeting new people requires socializing, but I’d much rather fish by myself than have to talk to strangers.
My new partner can be young or old, male or female, but having a woman to share layers and layers of fishing clothes with would be awfully convenient. Someone strong and dumb enough to wade with me during run-off would be cool, too. Personal hygiene is key since there will be close quarters in the car and in a tent.
On the river, I want a partner who knows what they’re doing. Someone to compete with and heckle each other endlessly would be super rad. I think that’s probably one of my favorite things about fishing (when I’m not being paid). Call me a dork, but I’d like to be able to discuss the fine qualities of Frogs Fanny or compact Skagit heads while I’m fishing. Chit chatting on the river is absolutely mandatory. Oh, it’d be amazing if my new partner attracted more mosquitoes than I do, but I really don’t think that’s possible.
I often feel the need to run over to Yellowstone or somewhere to pop a steelie. So…I guess a fishing partner who still charges their gas to their parents would be the shiz-nit. Hopefully we could put beer on the card, too. On said road trips, my new partner should have the same enthusiasm I do for side trips for Blizzards, Bar-B-Que, and fly shops. I think I stopped at 13 fly shops one winter between Ketchum and Livingston—a few were even closed. It also takes a special person (or a Southerner) to appreciate the countless playlists of alternating Jerry Jeff Walker and Cypress Hill.
Please, please, please, Santa, I really want a full-time fishing partner. I ate all my veggies and released all my fish. If that doesn’t work out though, I’d like a new iPod.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Pop “wraps” Mom’s Christmas presents and delivers paper bags at the ranch
Mom prints coupons for free Whataburgers and Pop makes stranger take iPhoto of us with our coupons while at Whataburger
Caleb is embarrassed
Put on White Christmas or horrible Lifetime Christmas movie for napping
Pop or Andrea-Icebox blanket
Caleb-I’m not sure what blanket has been officially titled his
Used to be time to bathe, but Morgan and Andrea have revolted
They sing Christmas songs and then fight in the bathroom
Family photo in front of the Christmas tree, handguns optional
Church at St. Dennis, leading Sheriff to ranch hands optional
Sing in Spanish
Chit Chat after church
Stop at Moo-Moos for Dr. Peppers
Go-Go yells at us because we’re late—we tell her that we like to go to church at
Gorging on tamales, cheese dip, various pickled items like herring, shrimp, and pickles
Family photo—assigned seating
New tradition—Caleb gets everyone drunk
Drive home with the windows down
Santa comes early (only after 2004 snow)
Fire is lit even though it’s 85 degrees outside and we burn all trash whether appropriate or not
Morgan’s the last one to bed
Merry Christmas Y'all!
Monday, December 06, 2010
Steelhead still life
The second half of my trip to Oregon was pretty crazy. I floated the Kickitat River in Washington with Marcy Stone from the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. The river was absolutely gorgeous, there were salmon all over the river, and I got some awesome casting lessons. It was by far the best part of the trip. After my float, I drove to Portland to stay at some awesome clients' house. Unfortunately, they were out of town, but I'll definitely be back to Oregon to fish with them. The next morning I was so exhausted, I couldn't manage to get up to fish so I explored a little in Portland, including a trip to Powell's, of course. I headed out the next morning and hit the John Day and the Owyhee on my way back home over the next couple of days. Nothing exciting, but I got to see some more amazing country. I really look forward to going back.
Swinging on the Klickitat.
Some moldy chum action.
Quiet day on the Owyhee.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I've finally had a moment to put up some pics from my trip to Oregon. I went for nine days and it was absolutely amazing. I hooked a fish my first hour of fishing, but that was it for steelhead.
I started on the Deschutes and stopped in Maupin at the Deschutes Angler. John and Amy Hazel, as well as Bruce Berry, the Oregon rep for Montana Fly and Beulah Fly Rods, were absolutely wonderful to me and gave me more detailed information than I would have ever expected. Bruce said I should burn that map that John made for me, but I kinda wanted him to autograph it! I fished up and down the Deschutes for three days. There were a few people out, but it was easy to get in wherever I wanted. The weather was pretty pleasant--about 50 with some rain, but the water temperature was about a million degrees warmer than at home.
First afternoon on the Deschutes.
The road goes down river right and the railroad on river left. Supposedly, two competing railraods built on opposite sides of the river and the one who lost had theirs turned into the BLM road. I'm not used to Double Speys, so I had to work pretty hard on my casting, but that was really a good thing. I had never fished without a sink tip either--it's a whole new game with a floating line.
Dinner for one.
A beautiful Deschutes run. Lots of deer, but no tugs.
The river was so beautiful and there were so many colors--it was a nice change from Hailey, which is already pretty wintery. At the run above, I saw about ten whitetails swim across the river--I've never seen that in my life. I would have bet money I was going to catch a fish here, but I only lost a fly on a rock. I guess that's steelheading.
Can't beat a first cast trout.
One afternoon, I was swinging through a run and there were trout going crazy everywhere. I finally had to stop and pull out a trout rod and caught a fish on my first cast. I had to beat the trout and whiteys off my standard ParaWullf with Zebra Midge dropper. It's amazing how a few trout can lift your spirits on a slow day.
Part Two is coming soon...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Anyhoo, check out an awesome story by Peyton Baker on Blood Knot. It's a familiar story for a lot of ladies...
I hope to be back to normal after the holiday week.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
I'm heading to Oregon for 9 days of steelheading on Monday morning. I'm just rocking it by myself--camping in the car and keeping warm with a bottle of scotch. Last night I was reading about flies and I got so excited I was a little nauseous! I have no idea what I'm doing--I just had images of me walking in to the first shop in starched Orvis clothes, asking, "Excuse me, but is there anyone who can teach me how to Shadow Cast?" I guess it's not that bad--I have a pretty bomber Snap-T and an acceptable Double Spey, but the learning curve is pretty steep. My goal is to catch one fish--anything else will be icing on the cake. This will be a great learning experience and a grand adventure. I can't wait to see what I find...
If you haven't yet, check out the new issue of Blood Knot!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
In the last two weeks, Paddy and I have managed to blow $900 on fly-tying materials. That's $900 of guide prices--seriously. There are so many new kins of shiny dubbing to get stuck in the carpet now--I can barely contain myself.
Yesterday, we received our Hareline order and I finally got a new vise (my Renzetti has been rubber banded together for two years). I went for Griffin's Montana Mongoose. I had heard bomber things about it and I was not disappointed when I opened the box. I couldn't figure out why there was a pistol on the table when I got home, but my vise s so heavy duty it came in a gun box. It came with a pedestal and c-clamp and has one of the best roataries I've seen in a long time. The clamp to tighten hooks in is bomber and super fast to use. That will be super handy tying all of the 30 dozen zebra midges I'll look forward to this winter.
I'm really looking forward to tying a few steelhead flies tonight. I'm heading to Oregon on November 8 and I've already had two steelhead dreams. Last night, Brian O'Keefe guided me into a nice wild hen on the Deschutes.
My life is messed up.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I'm so excited about heading to Oregon I can barely contain myself! Only two weeks...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
I do hope we get a crappy weather day soon so I can start tying flies for some steelieboppers on my new Griffin Montana Mongoose vise!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Post fire with lots of white caps. Not so good for the carping.
All of the delicious choices of PowerBait. So many flavors and so much glitter!
Right after I found the fish bat. For $4.99 you can beat thousands of fish to death. Sounds fun...
The Perrine Bridge. The only place in the U.S. where BASE jumping is legal. It's also visible from the parking lot at Sportsman's Warehouse.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
What should I do?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I'm not sure that I've ever had a new net and definitely never a nice one. After Paddy lost TWO of my nets this year, I splurged for a Brodin MacKenzie and I'm in love. At 49", I can finally land all of the ginormous fish I'm used to catching. It even made it's way into my bed last night. I feel like a kid with a new toy. I love that sweet smell of varnish, the smooth handle, and the net with no holes in it (yet).
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I always knew Paddy loved Carl more than me.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Summer 2010: The season of the vole
Small rodents appearing, dying in large numbers south of BellevueBy KATHERINE WUTZ
Idaho Mountain Express
Driving south of Timmerman Hill? Look out for crossing voles.
Motorists driving along state Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 20 in southern Blaine County have reported an unusually large number of vole casualties on and along the roads.
Lauren Hunter, an extension educator with the University of Idaho, said that the number of voles has been especially high this year, even compared with last year's substantial numbers.
Voles—small burrowing rodents—have been reported overrunning fields and gardens, she said. Gary Wright, who works for the Shoshone Field Office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said there have been numerous reports of a major vole problem in the area.
Hunter said that voles tend to follow a three- to five-year population cycle, sometimes increasing 100-fold in a single year. The cycle is most likely due to resource limitation and other factors, according to Gary Witmer of the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo.
Populations are normally held in check by natural predators such as foxes, owls and hawks. However, Hunter said she has had reports that foxes have not been as active or as visible as they normally are.
Hunter said that no official control actions have been waged on the voles. Private landowners might be using zinc phosphide, a pesticide, to control the vole population.
Hunter advised caution to those who may find the use of this chemical an appealing method for dealing with the pests, as the chemical can also harm cats, dogs and horses.
Monday, August 02, 2010
The summer is finally busy! I've been guiding non stop and am trying to increase my inventory for The Brown Drake. I had a few minutes today to post some photos of some lovely ladies (sorry guys) I've had on the river in the past few weeks. I guess it's my ode to Rogue Angels and Fly Fisher Girl.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Some dude then saw me and walked in on me about twenty feet below where I was sitting (tricos are always a downstream or across cast). He rigged up and watched--I think he was waiting for me to get out of his way. He never got in the water, but waited for a looong time before he left. He then turned around and said, "Excuse me." "Yes," I said. "If you moved to the top of the island, you would be able to cast to the fish that are right where you are." I replied, "There aren't fish right here, but they are rising all around me." "Suit yourself," he retorted.
The dude not only walked in on me, but wanted me to move so he could fish to the BIG fish directly below me! I was so mad, it was all I could do to control myself. The tricos ended up not being that great and I was so mad, I just left the preserve and found much better fishing elsewhere.
Lessons of the day:
1. Follow the rules (sign in; don't guide illegally)--they may not be convenient, but they are there for a reason.
2. Get up early--I was on the preserve at 7 am--that's an hour and a half before you, old guy.
3. Be courteous--The guy who walked in on me slept in and took it out on me. I'm pretty sure he would have never walked in on or commented to a man.
Sorry about the rant, but I'm tired of being treated like a second class citizen by old dudes who don't know how to fish on Silver Creek.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I've fished the past couple of days with family friends from Corpus Christi, Texas. Clark is a huge redfisher and was telling me about the thing he fishes out of. I was really confused, but looked it up and am dying to get one. The Flatstalker looks like the perfect flats (including carp) rig. It also comes in more appropriate colors than yellow. I can't wait to try one out at Thanksgiving. Check them out here.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The fishing's finally awesome. We have some tricos in the morning on Silver Creek and PMDs and baetis in the evening. Other than the mosquitoes, it's pretty much perfect down there.
The Wood is highly fishable with lots of green drakes in the afternoons. Up in Copper Basin, the flavs are going insane in the late afternoon.
I couldn't ask for anything more.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I'm not sure where to begin.
Alaska was awesome beyond belief. Calving glaciers, bubblenetting humpback whales, tidepooling, bears, birds, seals, sea lions, waterfalls, hikes, kayaking, and every other cool thing you could imagine. We did miss the King salmon by a few weeks, though. We caught sea-run cutthroat and Dolly Varden, as well as a few small halibut. The yacht was amazing, as was the crew. It was sad having to get off the boat, but coming back to heat, blue skies, and a green garden made it worth it.
It's nice to be back and I'm ready for guide season!
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
We're bringing an arsenal and hope to break them all.
Winston 9' 6 wt.
CD 9' 6wt.
Echo 9' 8 wt.
Loomis 9' 8 wt.
Echo 9' 10 wt.
Reddington 9' 10 wt.
Echo 11' 7 wt. Switch
Thomas and Thomas 13' 8/9 Spey
Echo 13'6" 8/9 Spey
It's starting to look like we're sponsored by Echo! For the price, you definitely can't beat the rods and since we don't get to spend much time fishing for big fish they are perfect.
Packing was really easy since the weather's been almost the same as here. Lots of rain, but a little warmer.
I'm so freaking excited, I'm starting to shake a little. No phone, no internet, lots of water, lots of fish, lots of fun.
Check ya on June 26th!
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Of course, I went to Silver Creek to fight the crowds, but all of the people were concentrated in the S-Turns or within 100 yards of the Visitor's Center so I had a lot of the Preserve to myself. The fishing was awesome and beyond easy. Catching a fish on my first cast always makes for a nice season opener. I was throwing a PMD that was two sizes too small and a huge un-weighted pheasant tail and they ate both basically every cast. The fish were so easy it was like the fall on the Lower Lost. There were a few size 13 PMDs floating down the creek as well as a few baetis and lots of microscopic tan midges. Other than the rain (I'm tired of being wet and cold), I couldn't have asked for a better day. On my way out, I even stopped in for a burger and beer at the Visitor's Center and caught up on the gossip.
I took a quick pass through the Willows and Point of Rocks to check for Brown Drakes, but I don't think they're be around for a few more days.
I figured I might as well hit the Wood too since it's pretty rare that it's fishable on opening day. The water was running about 680 cfs so it wasn't crossable, but it was definitely clear and fishable. I fished just south of Ketchum and caught a nice bow on my first cast. I was throwing a small Montana Fly Juan Worm with a red bead and threw on a Bacon and Eggs for shits and giggles. They didn't like the Bacon and Eggs, but I didn't expect them to. The fish were also rising to some midges, but I didn't even bother.
I'm so excited to be back into trout and can't stop thinking about all the Kings I'll be catching in Alaska next week!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Monday, May 03, 2010
By TREVON MILLIARD
Idaho Mountain Express
April 30, 2010
Blaine County is officially experiencing a drought emergency, according to a declaration approved by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Gary Spackman, interim director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources.
The drought declaration authorizes Spackman to make temporary changes to water rights, including diversion of water and restricting place of use and the purpose of use.
"Temporary changes shall only be approved for the purpose of providing a replacement water supply to lands or other uses that normally have a full water supply," the declaration reads.
These changes cannot be done to provide water for new development.
Blaine County was one of five that have received the drought declaration so far. "Significant" drought conditions due to below-normal precipitation and snowpack levels are occurring throughout central and eastern Idaho.
As of April 1, the Big Wood and Little Wood River drainages had respective snowpack levels of 69 percent and 68 percent of normal.
The Department of Water Resources has forecast April-through-July streamflow volumes for the Big Wood River above Magic Reservoir to be only 38 percent of average. The Little Wood River near Carey is predicted to have 46 percent of its average volume.
Blaine's two adjacent neighbors to the north and east, Custer and Butte counties, have also been issued drought declarations. The three river drainages in that area are averaging 63 percent of normal snowpack. Summer river volumes are expected to be 47 percent of normal in the Big Lost River drainage, 61 percent in the Little Lost River drainage and 52 percent in the Salmon River drainage.
The eastern Idaho counties of Teton and Fremont are also officially experiencing drought. Snowpack and precipitation levels in the Henry Fork and Teton river basins is only 61 percent of normal. Summer river volumes there are forecast to be a little more than 50 percent of average.
Those five counties are it for Idaho, so far.
Trevon Milliard: email@example.com
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I thought about going capring today, but it was super windy on the Snake so I passed. Instead, I just received an e-mail from my dad with a photo of my mom with a carp she shot with a bow! I am so shocked--my mom's not much into fishing and I didn't think she had ever shot a bow before. I guess the family who carps together, stays together.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Last year the Steelhead Mafia was housed in a warm structure with running water. It was by no means nice, but you could come home and warm up, have a hot shower, and cook something warm at the end of the day. The Steelhead Palace was not available this year and after lots of looking, Paddy and Carl decided that they would be camping in Carl's new tent.
Made out of discarded Tyvek, this tent has advertisements for Idaho Lumber around it, but it is warm, dry, and has a camp stove. Needless to say, I have not fished as much as I should this year because I won't sleep in the homeless tent.
Monday, April 12, 2010
It was time for me to get some new luggage and I researched quite a bit in the last few weeks. Of all of the companies I get deals from, I chose Eagle Creek and got these two awesome bags. Some of the requirements I had for new luggage included:
1. To last as long as my King Ranch luggage without weighing as much;
2. To be long enough to stash rods,
3. To be able to keep my waders and boots separate from less gross items
4. To be pirate proof in the Seychelles,
Helicopter proof in Kamchatka,
Sheep proof in New Zealand,
Camel proof in Mongolia,
and to be able to weather less exotic locales like Alaska, Patagonia, Cuba, Christmas Island, Africa, Europe, and Texas, etc...
While I was picking up my luggage at Backwoods, I also scored some really rad Gore-Tex tennies that someone had thrown away after wearing like ten times. I'm pretty sure that made my week.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Spring storms have helped water supply
Summer outlook still guarded
By JON DUVAL
Idaho Mountain Express
April 7, 2010
A recent spate of storms has increased the snowpack in the Big Wood Basin, but not enough to assuage concerns about this summer's water supply.
Snowpack in the basin, which includes the Wood River Valley, is up to 72 percent of average, a significant increase from the 63 percent calculated at the beginning of March.
"Late March storms brought a glimmer of hope to Idaho's water supply outlook," stated the Idaho Water Supply Outlook Report, released on April 1 by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "If it weren't for the March precipitation, many more record low April 1 snow levels would have been set."
The report notes that the storms, which combined to drop more than 2 feet of snow in most of Idaho's mountain ranges, including those throughout the valley, increased precipitation to nearly 80 percent of normal for March.
Still, with the snow season almost over, forecasters are painting a less than perfect picture for this summer's water supply.
"The majority of streams in Idaho are forecast in the 40-65 percent of average range," the conservation service report stated. "A wet and cool spring would reduce and delay irrigation demand and extend our limited water supply."
The current forecast is dire enough to cause the Blaine County Commission to request that the state make an emergency drought declaration for the area.
At a meeting at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey on Tuesday, the commissioners authorized a drought declaration request, which needs approval from both Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the Idaho Department of Water Resources to be enacted.
If approved, the declaration would provide surface water irrigators with some relief during a difficult water year.
Kevin Lakey, water master for the Big Wood River Basin, said the declaration would allow irrigators to process requests to transfer water uses, such as switching irrigation rights from one field to another or even to a neighbor, much more quickly. He said that whereas it could normally take up to three months for a rancher to be able to make such a transfer, with the declaration it would take only days.
According to the report, the Mackay and Little Wood reservoirs are near capacity, while Magic Reservoir south of Bellevue is about half full.
"Water managers are storing as much water in Idaho reservoirs as they can because of the limited amount of snow in the mountains," the report stated. "Unfortunately, water supply shortages will likely still occur and some reservoirs that typically fill will be challenged to reach their capacity without abundant spring precipitation."
In an interview last month, Ron Abramovich, a water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said spring's impact on the water supply remains uncertain.
"We can't forecast spring precipitation like we can monitor the snowpack," he said. "Not all the cards are dealt yet, but we're going to need it. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees."
Jon Duval: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 05, 2010
I'm hoping to spend a day up there by myself this week and see if I can pop a fish on my Echo TR 13'6" 8/9 spey rod. I've really enjoyed fishing with it so far and it's definitely the right price since I don't get to fish spey water very often.