Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End of September

Low-water, cool, COLD, smokey,.............a weird and inconsistent summer (or was it a summer?) has ended. Following the calendar, it seems the fall has just begun. Let's see how the fall is going to unfold. Have you checked out the fall-mode slideshow on my official website? If you are looking for The ONE of the year or the lifetime, the fall is time to be here!!

I had a nice gentleman client. We went to Soda Butte Creek. It was some of the most enjoyable days on The Soda in my note.
We both liked to check stomach contents. It's always fun to observe.

 Another usual suspect..........

Next day, we plied some of the most challenging match-the-hatch situations at DePuy's Spring Creek.
 I noticed something swimming........
I tossed him to the land. With the cold wet weather forecast, this may be some of the last hoppers hopping around the creek..........
September was really busy! It was a good way to finish up!
Now into the fall mode..........

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Art of Dyeing

~ Dyeing is an art itself, requiring a great deal of care, time, and patience to do properly. ~
Dr. T.E. Pryce-Tannatt "How to Dress Salmon Flies" (1914)

I'm still fishing and actively guiding but also it's about time to think of and get ready for my winter projects. For both trout and Atlantic Salmon flies, my initial project, as well as the first and foremost challenge, is to learn dyeing feathers. I know a few people who can give me good advises. Also, nowadays, there are some good information on the internet. Then, I kind of know the initial cost to get started and achieve some successes wouldn't be so expensive. And I have plenty of feathers that I can use for practices and experiments.

So I started from bleaching. Materials and results I have here are NOT wrong but I have already learned the process was not smooth and can be improved by different agents.
Then I proceeded to dyeing. Purposes of experiments were: time to take and amount of dye. Let me show them to you: see two feathers dyed in blue were the first experiment. They weren't dyed properly yet were "overdone" = too long (see feathers are cooked!). I tried to shorten the time then I added more dyeing agents. Tried green then yellow. Finally the red piece in this pictures was the last one of my very first experimental batch.
Just like anything else, the more I practiced, the better results I got and the more comfortable & confident I felt. I also experimented mixing colors. With several trials, I achieved the olive dye!! And I like this marabou plume!!
I also dyed deer hair in black. This is the best black-dyed deer hair I have ever touched!! Perhaps some of you have experienced the same: deer hair dyed black has been very dissatisfying to work with, even those from well-known vendors. I've been suspecting it would be due to dyeing agents or processes. I still don't know why but I'm just happy with what I created.
Along with turkey biots dyed in PMD yellow and baetis olive, I tied: No Hackle Gnat - PMD, Unnamed Caddis - black wing, and No Hackle Gnat - baetis.

I have two major framing projects (and couple more along the way) with Atlantic salmon flies. I needed to do inventory of materials. One of materials that I'm sure I would run out for this season is Indian Crow (Red Ruffed Fruit Crow) substitution feathers. And this is one of the major "pushes" for me to pursue dyeing. Why don't I buy real ones? How much are real ones gonna cost? - Google it!!

After several practices shown above, I felt I can "dip dye" or perhaps I may call "tip dye". It turned out to be GOOD right off!! Eventually it became very tiring for me to stand over the stove and hold tweezers at certain distance over the steam. So I invented a device!! From then on, I started reading books during the process!! Results got even better!! they are!!, along with "Crimper"!!
I do like what I came up with!! With these, I can work on framing projects one by one!!

Over all, dyeing offers me new pleasure and motivations regarding fly-tying. I have just knocked on the door of this new subject. It's gonna be another exciting and learning season!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

September Guide Trip Photos

Long time no update! It's been such a long time since the last update, perhaps the longest blank in my blogging history, but here I am.

September has been booked with guide trips - good people, returning clients, good number of fish, some impressive trout, some other creatures, great scenery, nice & rough weather, and good foods!!

I've been on Yellowstone River, Madison River, and a couple of rivers in Yellowstone Park.
Let's look back with the photo gallery!

Thank you all for spending days with me!! Hope to see you again!!
Now the fall is approaching.............

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Terrestrial Time!!

I seem to be repeating but it's been an odd summer. One spell of hot summer, followed by a few freezing days, now smokes of wildfire from surrounding states/areas dominate the air!! Regardless of what we have to deal with, fishing has been good!! It's been hit and miss but now it's finally & officially The Terrestrial Time in Yellowstone Country!

As I introduced in the previous post, Jack Gartside's Pheasant Hopper has become my ultimate hopper pattern.
The best companion floatant, that I have just found out, is this one. In my area, Dan Bailey's supplies. Indeed this one works for any types of dry-flies. To me, it's perfect for deer-hair patterns (wings, heads, etc.) as I don't have to rub it among hairs, rather just dip it!! By the way, shown is the olive & small Pheasant Hopper - a perfect leaf-hopper imitation!!
With these items, I hit Gallatin River. It was one of "a few cold days" between hot spells......... Overall fishing was slow (I could have nymphed all day and I did for a short while in the morning and caught two massive Whitefish!!). Toward the end of the day, along the grassy cutbank, I finally got a quiet rise on my hopper. I thought it would be a so-so size brown, considering the way it took. Then it ran and fought like a rainbow in a nice size. I really couldn't tell till I net it.........
 It was some of the nicest Westslope Cutt I ever caught. You see it's Westslope once I drive over one hill to the west from Livingston. It's interesting, isn't it? Yet, in Gallatin, the seemingly very pure one in this size would be very rare nowadays.
Then I have so many sweet memories from my days in Eastern Washington (Yakima Valley). I just love Westslope as much as I do Yellowstone!!
The olive Pheasant Hopper was inhaled by Yellowstone Cutthroat at DePuy's Spring Creek!! This will tell you that Pheasant Hopper will work at many different types of water!

Back to Lamar River in YNP, it was somewhat smokey but not as bad as before or Bozeman area (including the part of Gallatin where I fished). It was not much going on (or I was lazy?) till mid-day. Before I took a break for lunch, I dropped a Green Drake nymph under a dun pattern, I got a nice one! - actually this dinosaur-looking one seems somewhat familiar..........
Then the real objective of my visit began. Do you remember this tiny cicada pumped out of a big Cutt? I've been thinking to imitate somehow........... It was rusty orange and very hard shell. I have noted it must have been crunchy.........
After some trials & errors, on the bench and rivers, Micro Crunchy Cicada was born!!
 Actually it was already tested on the Gallatin. In spite of slow fishing, I did get several rises and look-ups. That let me know I was on the right path.
Since then I improved a few more (reinforcement!).
This day on the Lamar, Yellowstone Cutt went nuts!! They were definitely looking up at my new cicada pattern!! It started with this one, plus a couple of near-misses before.
From the same spot where I caught a nice one on a Pheasant Hopper the other day, another great Cutt came up and aimed the new cicada!!
 A proud catch!

Actions went on. My laughter was echoing in the meadow as I was fishing all by myself. This one took it, fought hard, then kindly sat still underwater for the ultimate proof pic!!
Happily broken! A couple more were ruined by Cutt and the other one was broken off!!
There will be a tying instruction video at my YouTube channel sometime during this coming winter.

Though my cicada was all I needed, it's always important to check trout's stomachs!
See!! There's another cicada!!

Weather depending, terrestrial actions will continue for the couple more weeks!! Hit it while you can!!