Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tying a Variegated Sparrow

This is another my own fly-tying idea and pattern, based on my experience at Madison River.
Sparrow by Jack Gartiside is very famous and doesn't need much explanation (simply click the link). Because this is a large soft-hackle, I just thought about what if I use variegated chenille. And I was positive that would be a cross-dresser = chuck & duck up-stream as a nymph, swing & strip as a bugger, etc list of opportunity goes on.

It did work during the last trip. Please re-check one of my posts, "Sparrow on Fire!!".
Because of "on fire!!", I had to notice a problem and improvements later on.
My problem was that chenille on curved hook was not durable. It rolled as I tried to remove the fly from trout. And that caused front end corruption. I can't emphasize how big the pain is when whitefish take this fly of mine aggressively. (I'm still surprised that whitefish took this large soft-hackle on swing with solid hook-ups.)

I had to improve. Solution was simple. Apply a bit of Zap-A-Gap on body length of the hook!!

Here's a different coloration that I haven't posted before. Now the chenille body is rock-solid.

I hope some of you out there like my idea, especially if you are fellow soft-hackle addicts.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Declaration of Boredom..........

I am officially bored. I'm surrounded by cows and no time for fishing. Then here in eastern WA, we are having triple digits if not upper 90s. That shuts down fishing anyway even if I had a time or two. Trying to keep myself busy at my bench, I worked to fill summer box with my brandnew Blue Ribbon Flies 30th Anniversary box.

But it took me only a couple of nights to list and tie summer essentials............
Trying to be positive one more time, since I've got a brandnew computer, I started to work on my pictures. I cropped and resized most of all of my flies.
All along these, I relapsed in less than a month.......... I need to fish Madison right now......

Now I feel melancholy rather than day-dreaming. As of typing this, trout are rising and feeding subsurface for Epeorus duns/emergers/spinners and Hydropsyche caddis cripples/adults.

As I worked on this picture of Epeorus Rusty Spinner,

An idea hit me like a thunder along with my previous experience. I came up with a soft-hackle, my obsession that I don't have to emphasize any more. I meant it to be a drowned rusty spinner. Tied in a "Flymph" style, yet I kept the body thin, not as shaggy as Flymph. This can be fished as dry as a regular spinner on surface then swing as drowned just subsurface.

Need a proof? Two summers ago, I swung a Flymph right under the famous $3 Bridge about at 10pm before I went back to my motel room. This 18-incher took it on swing. This was just below the parking lot which would be one of noisiest for us and trout. Also, my fly-tying was way immature than now yet my soft-hackles were accepted.

This was actually my birthday two years ago.
This summer I spend my birthday with cows............
I've got all the reason to fish hard in the fall.
Yet till then, I have to face this melancholy feelings and Madison-withdraw-procedure.
That sounds torture to me...............

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Up & Running

I'm back with a brandnew laptop. I've been checking and collecting information. Modern laptops have as large capacity as desktops. Since I had reward points from my credit card spending, I really went to a decent one, TOSHIBA. Here's a look of it. I'm not a narcissist or that sort. I just used one of my "grip & grin" pictures quickly as a background for this shot because that's exactly how I feel about my brandnew gear!!
It's so smooth and fast like Johnny Cash's songs. It even has a web-camera!! Of course, it can run Google Earth just fine. I think what I'm gonna do next is to mark all of my favorite spots and stretches along Madison and other Yellowstone area rivers!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Computer

Last night, I finally decided to replace a computer. I go shopping right now. That was why I posted my camping so quickly and then I don't have internet maybe a day or two.
This piece of crap PC has been annoying me. When I wanted to see Google Earth, it got stuck. I finally got to the point to kick it and dump it in Yakima or Columbia River.
Practical reason is that my internet provider has updated their network and device, which my current PC probably can't catch up with. And also, I don't make a trip to Yellowstone this summer so I have some funding to spend.
I'll pretend that I don't have online because I am gone camping in mountains or on the road to Yellowstone. All good reasons to read books and tie lots of flies!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Unnamed Creek

Following morning was really cool at high in the mountain. I wished I brought a blanket or kept a winter coat in my truck. But once I was up, I was rested enough to start a day. I started to boil my "cowboy coffee".

I drove up to Ellensburg for another unnamed little creek to explore. It is surrounded by private properties but there are several accesses and it goes into National Forest eventually. I never expected to catch large fish but was willing to fish with dry-flies. My first choice was again Royal Wullf Cripple.

I was fishing for this kind of rainbow from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

In the afternoon, I tried a Mini Tiger Beetle.

A tiny one liked it!!

These are not stocked rainbows at all, I bet. Their coloration and spots are very gorgeous for their sizes. But I wanted some more colorful, either or both cutty or brookie..... As I went back to my truck, I finally met a nice little feisty cutty!!!

Regardless of the sizes, take a look the way Royal Wulff Cripple was torn down............(two on the left). I would try to salvage hooks and re-tie on them.

I decided to stop, though a bit too early, because my floatant and "deet" were out. So I treated myself after lots of hiking and wading in hot days....... The other kind of fuel bought at a gas station. I had to close my eyes at a pull-out for 30-minute as I was heading home though.......

I am planning several ideas to do during the summer around here in eastern WA. I really leave fishing in Yellowstone till the fall settles in. My ideas and information around here sound like to keep me busy for this August and September.
I will find more as times go by!!!

Westslope 2010 & Little Camping

Just came home from a little adventure right here in eastern WA. I drove up to mountains and fished little mountain streams. First of all, wet-wading is a good enough reason to get out. Then, I have some secret holes to catch fine native Westslope Cutthroat on dry-flies. This is my 4th summer to fish this lovely stream. Every year, the run-off changes the whole structure of the creek and habitats of trout. Yet, it does hold some decent size Westslope and Rainbows. No stocking in this stream so I love both.

I'd like to see what I would get this summer. My best fly to get started and search the water was a Royal Wulff Cripple. And it ended up as the only one I needed......... How about all of my fly assembles and tying efforts?? That's how great this pattern is.

I caught a small yet fat Westslope.

Keep fishing, I caught a hefty 13-incher!!! The rise was definitely of typical Cutts'. So deliberate.


In this stream, Westslope is larger than Rainbows. I don't mind catching bows regardless of its size.

In the afternoon, I started to try terrestrial patterns, trailed behind Royal Wulff Cripple. I thought this Flying Tiger Ant should work as I observed lots of ants.

Little yet hefty Cutty liked the ant over Royal Wulff Cripple!!

For the first time at this stream, I saw two people ahead of me. They didn't look like fishing, at least not fly-fisher men (t-shirts & shorts but no vests or packs). I didn't see any fresh foot-prints (dry or wet) at all so I wondered how they got ahead of me.......
I could have walked behind them without bothering each other but I'd rather have gone down and back. I got back to my truck and had enough time to look for a new camping site or two. And potentially new waters to wet my line. I ended up somewhere high in the mountain to secure my solitude. I made a camp. It's been two years that I did this kind of camping..........

I can't eat much in the evening after hard fishing. I just like to get rested. Especially on this day, I didn't hike or fish hard at all so I only had a plate of salad. All I needed was my camping essentials............. I carry my big knife for my camp to feel being a Mountain Man. As the level of Canadian goes down, I try not to hurt myself...........

After I wrote down on my diary and fishing log, I was deciding what to do on the next day with a WA Atlas and Ranger map. Probably "gotta make Laredo by dawn.................."

I lost reading lights and slept in the cab. There were lots of mosquitoes that annoyed me (yet not really bad ones).

I kept my knife and bear-spray in case of intruders but also I dropped my pair of glasses somewhere in the cab, so I was blind anyway instead slept very tight..............

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Flies - Good to Go!!

I think I go camping/hiking/fishing into mountains tomorrow. If I find myself getting soft, missing a cozy motel room, I might be back home by night and be updating a post or two...... So quickly, I'd like to post new flies tied with new materials that will be used tomorrow.

First, Tiger Beetle here is not new. But I'd like show this lovely striped foam.

I was using the tiger strip with regular width for smaller sizes and foam ant patterns but they hadn't come up with really nice looking. So in June, I finally purchased a bag of "Mini Tiger Strip" at Blue Ribbon Flies.

This is it. Width and thickness are perfect. Mini Tiger Beetle #19.

Pretty much with the same materials used for Mini Tiger Beetle above, this foam also makes a perfect skinny silhouette for ant patterns. Regular Tiger foam had been a bit too hard for all the wrapping and pressing. Shown here is a Flying Tiger Ant.

Right now I'm working on my summer box. So I'll tie several flies from now and then start packing. I'll find more tomorrow. Westslope Cutty will let me know.

But first of all, I hope I can make a camp without crying...........

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nice Little Boxes

Another quick post from my bench.

Though I tie my own flies with my best, there always are certain patterns I simply can't copy. I buy those flies at the shops. Oftentimes I pick them up in boxes that are unique to each shop. They can be very useful and practical afterwards.

Dai-Riki hook boxes are very useful too. I don't throw them away after I use up 50 of them or transfer to my storage boxes.

I use these nice little boxes to keep feathers that have come off from pelts and skins accidentally. I also stuff them with flies of the day. Later on, I would secure "memorable flies" (that I want to paste on my picture frames) and separate "salvage flies" (that have been broken or crushed by trout yet hooks seem OK to salvage).

I press my lust to go fishing to Yellowstone this summer. Instead I have tied and am still tying lots of flies for summer fishing around here and for fall in Yellowstone. Also I am assembling my gears and fly-boxes............ Meanwhile I have to get out to little mountain streams in my area for Westslope Cutty. Too many things going on, that keep me busy, without actually going fishing....

There will be more posts..........

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quick Post for Quick Fishing

Yesterday, I went to Ellensburg quickly after work. I dropped by Worley Bugger, said hi, bought some materials that I forgot to buy in Montana or shortly vanished during past 10 days or so. I had a bit of time to spend so I might as well fishing the Yakima. There are lots of rafters all over the river. I just heard that there are some little stoneflies and caddis activities going on, especially in the evening.

................I do not go to the detail of my flies and water-reading, etc this time. I broke my own record in Yakima. From the bottom.

This had been the smallest I ever caught (this March).

Yesterday, I caught a 3-inch rainbow on size 14 fly!!!! Has anyone done this??

Indeed there were too many of them right around my legs under-water. Well, I take this one then!!..............not really.... a bit larger for a consolation.

I was wet-wading and it was comfortable. But, but, but...............afterwards, the back of my left calf was itchy. I was scratching it for a while and finally I grabbed something. I was sucked by a leech!! Gross (no picture)!!!

What a nice little joke afternoon........... I don't get closer to Yakima till rafters gone, water level down, and cool enough to wear my wader.

Now is the time to wet-wade in mountain streams!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Gears & Gadgets from the Trip

As summer is settling in fully, my days in Yellowstone feel like way back when......... Along with plenty of memories and experience, I did bring some new gears and books. Of course, tying materials too. But that will be a near future post along with new flies.

My first buy was this Trout Bum net-release magnet at Blue Ribbon Flies as I checked into West Yellowstone. I had finally gotten tired of hanging a little reel with the net. It had been getting heavy on my back and squeaking. It also had been inconvenient by getting caught by brush and almost all firing back at me. But also, I was a bit skeptical about magnet types on the market. Prices vary. Some with a piece of rope, other without. My dilemma was solved by this new gizmo at once. Magnets are 5-lb resistance and the code is not as dangerous as a piece of elastic rope and a reel type. Stunningly it's only $15.

Another gear that I bought and started using right after was this Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch. When I fish while my truck is in my vicinity, I really don't carry my valuables because they can be extra weights and I don't want to fall in with them. Also, most of places where I fish are safe but who knows and I may want to be with my ID if I happen to wash away. So when I have to carry my valuables, I have been using a sandwich bag either in my back-pack or wader-pocket. Now I feel more secure and care less with this Tech Pouch. I tighten the strap on my belt-position which is just below the wader-belt. When I wet wade, I can simply toss the content in the back pocket of my vest.

Blue Ribbon Flies is offering their 30-year anniversary gears. I picked up this double-sided fly box. I think I want to assemble my fly assortments and grouping. That will be quite a project during the summer.

I have several places that I always drop by in West Yellowstone other than fly shops. One of them is a hide shop, Yellowstone Trader. I can't afford a whole buff hide for my couch, instead I bought a little pillow. Now I'm taking a nap on buff!!

This fox hat has a taste of mountain man. This was a present for my brother.

Book Peddler is full of good books. I look for one or two about Mountain Man, Native Americans, Outlaws, Cowboy, that sort. This one I'm reading now is very good!!

As I dropped by Slide Inn, I met Kelly Galloup and bought his new DVD. I'm watching it over and over now to target aggressive trout in the fall. There are lots to learn and study but also, I will have plenty of time till fall. I recall I took this picture along with my lunch.........

Finishing up this post, I feel I'm ready to get back to my tying bench. Yet, first I have to list up what I want to tie and what needed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

100th Post!! - Beer Give-Away!!??

I just noticed myself that I had posted 99 posts already. Thank you for dropping by.

To celebrate the 100th post, I decided to give away rare beer that I picked up in Missoula on my way home for anyone checking in my blog or knocking on my door until it's gone.........
Problem is they are cold in my fridge and it's getting hotter here in eastern WA so they can be gone any moment............


Sorry for this "April Fool" like post. I simply forgot to add this picture in my last post. I picked up another rare beer at a Conoco station in Missoula on my way home. Cold-Smoke from Kettlehouse is really a dark one and Dump-Truck, a seasonal ale, from Bayern is very unique.

Thank you for dropping by my blog. Some of my friends must have noticed that my emails are getting shorter because I'm putting all the stories here. I also thank some of you who happened to find my blog in the Blogspot community.

After all, Cheers!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

June Trip: On the Road/Off the Fishing

Fishing asides, there were lots of events going on during the trip.
Every spring when I visit Yellowstone and Madison Rivers, I am amazed how these ducks and chicks swim on the still high & turbid water.
To me, the most annoying and dangerous thing is nothing but sightseers to the Park step on brakes in the middle of road just to see something or when they think they see something. Oftentimes, they slow down when even one car is parked along the road, wondering "what's going on??", "what's there??" This is not because I am fishing oriented.
Even a regular coyote was a traffic-stopper. As I was drying my wader on 27th, a car pulled in next to me and a father and a son got out with a camera. I asked them sarcastically on purpose. "What's there?". They go "we don't know!! But something going on!!".................
Another traffic stopper, Buff...... I happened to take a combo of a bird and a buff. What's this bird again? Canadian Geese? Something like that?
The Surprising happening was a series of storms with or without hail. One of evenings toward midnight as I was finishing my journal and diary and catching up with World Cup Soccer results, I heard something like a heavily customised motor-cycle was accelerating right in front of my door. When I opened my door, it was a hail storm!! Next morning, the motel manager told me that the alarm system on my truck was beeping every now and then because the hail was so intense!!! Yet, my friends in Bozeman told me that they had tennis-ball sized!!! Here's a link for what happened to unlucky people in Bozeman.

Of course food is important too. When I am tired, I quickly grab my favorite whole wheat bread and a can of sardine along with Gatorade and make quick sandwiches. I just want to feel like when predatory trout bite on small preys, you see......

Here's a reappearance of the buff steak that I had with John at Old Town Cafe. This is the best steak I ever tasted either buff or beef. Done very right in medium-rare, fat portions came off easily and meat was very tender. When we sat, the restaurant was almost empty but right after that all the seats were taken. I really discovered a nice place to eat at slightly off the main street. While enjoying fly-fishing conversation with John, I chewed on each piece with some anger and curse on buff and buff people who interfered my driving................... I'm sure I will be protected more from buff encounters next year. I asked a waitress when they would close in the fall. She said they would close in the middle of October as the number of tourists fade away. That's sad.....since I'm heading there in the last week of October and the first week of November.

I am not sure if I can stay sane if I don't go back to Yellowstone in summer. But I'll wait till the fall comes in. I can hike and fish around here in Eastern WA. Meanwhile I will prepare everything for the fall.........including where I can find buff meat!!!! Probably in Livingston or Bozeman............

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 9: Last Day of the Trip

June 30th, another fine day after the huge storm during the night before. I didn't expect much about water condition at Madison. With the best hope to avoid people, I headed to Pine Butte. I encountered only a group of two, probably a guide and a client. I fished up-stream and passed them eventually.

My first catch was a so-so brown on a Rubber Leg.

I foul-hooked two whitefish on Beadhead Crystal Serendipity. Believe me both of them were 3-pounder. I was glad they were gone!!!

As scooting along rocks, a nice healthy rainbow came out.

This was the last trout of this trip.

I dropped by Kelly Galloup's Slide Inn. I met Kelly and talked with him.

Then I headed to Madison just out of the Park boundary. This is primarily fished in the fall. But I kind of wanted to try streamers to see if there were some huge ones left. It ended up OMG........ I didn't see any anglers instead too many recreational people who were floating and swimming and their dogs barking and swimming........ They must have been staying in motels without pool.

It was a bit of bad end but I forgot in a moment. I observed what I will do and where I will fish in the fall.