Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January Road Trip

My parents were visiting me. From Seattle to Livingston and all around Montana, I drove over 4,000 miles in 9 days!! No fishing but lots of scenery and great foods.

Museum of the Rockies (http://www.museumoftherockies.org/) is always fascinating with their collections of dinosaurs and the famous planetarium.

Little Bighorn Battle Field (http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm) is always a special place for me.

But also DO NOT forget to visit Custer Battle Files Museum in Garryowen (http://www.custermuseum.org/index.htm), which is merely several miles away on the frontage road. They actually have more numbers of rare and special exhibits (no pictures allowed) and a superb souvenir store.  

A hidden scenic pass in Montana, Kings Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kings_Hill_Pass)

Then perhaps the most impressive & educational museum I've ever been is Lewis & Clark National Historical Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls. I can't emphasize how amazing it is. All I can say is to visit when you pass the area!!

The "Portage".

Center stands along the Mighty Missouri.

We dropped by Melaque Mexican Restaurant in Helena. See my Google review here.

Of course I took my parents to my playground Yellowstone National Park too.

This bull elk seemed enjoying being seen by winter tourists.
I had heard tips of moose sighting from trusted sources. For the first time ever, I succeeded to take pictures of them!
I honestly couldn't tell bull or cow, pair or company, etc from this distance. But I am very happy with these pictures as moose are very reclusive animals in the Park!!
Wintering coyote......

I've lived in Montana off and on over a decade now but this is the first time I ever tried Joe's Pasty in Butte. This is truly Montana's own heart-warming and -filling dish!!
 With gravy!! Must-eat when you pass the area!!

Anaconda Smelter Stack from just at the entrance of Anaconda town on Highway 1.

Philipsburg is a nice little and historical community. Doe Brothers Restaurant is the must-visit for every ice-cream lover!!

We stopped by the "taproom" of Big Sky Brewery in Missoula for some tasting!

I did internet searches for a special dinner for us. Top Gun Seafood Restaurant in Bellevue, WA is simply great!! Real and authentic Chinese dishes!! Check their website and drop by if you are in the area!!
Need I say more?

Back to the normal winter life in Livingston........ fishing and fly-tying........

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mid Jan Fishing Report & Some Refinement

This week has been some of the nicest and the most friendly weather I ever recall in Paradise Valley. Don't worry it's cold and there are lots of snow-packs in Yellowstone Park, which is the head-water of our rivers around here. It's not "dry & sunny warm". Rather it's been a cold & brisk weather but without dangerous winds or snow storms.

I hit DePuy's Spring Creek on 15th (www.depuyspringcreek.com). There were couple more friendly days to go fishing but due to some other projects, I couldn't.

Some rainbows are already in spawning mode. See this beautiful color.

One of those fish.......... I go in!!

He was the one. Not super big but these guys can fight very hard by using current!!

Then I got the first trophy of the year!! See her (I think) belly!! Before she inhaled my fly, she must have swallowed a football or potentially muskrat!!??
 The first trophy shot of the year!! Thank you!!
Still amazed...........
OK, following may sound & look like that I'm repeating from the previous post. Right after I had posted the last post, I worked more and harder on the same project = converting regular loop-eye hooks to blind-eye hooks. I made some improvements. Seeing is easier than reading. If you are casually involved in fly-tying, can you tell the difference? Or do you care? Probably not. Unless I tie special ones for display or high-bid jobs, these will suffice.
Here's a 2/0 comparison.

Here are some larger sizes.

With those converted & refined blind-eye hooks, here's THE BARON, 2/0.

And 4/0 from the other side.

Here's a Red Spirit 4/0 that I finished last night.

So both fishing and Atlantic Salmon Fly tying are going well and keeping me busy.
Let me see what I may have for the next post (trout & flies)
Have a good weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flyz & Materialz Only

NEWS: In my fly sales site, http://leftytyer.blogspot.com, I have just started a gallery of my Atlantic Salmon Flies (along with purchase info for someone interested in). Please refer the page among the top tab "Atlantic Salmon Flies Gallery & Sales Info" (linked).
I will add more fly photos oftentimes.
So any fishing done this past week? No......... There were a few afternoons that could have been OK but I was busy with something. Friday afternoon could have been a good one. As of this weekend, it's actually warm but super windy. Dangerously, I would add.

I haven't tied many Atlantic salmon flies either. Just a few. The biggest reason was that I had been waiting for the new pair of glass, prescribed solely for FLY-TYING.
Meanwhile, I have done this remarkable work!!

For those who don't tie Salmon flies, it may look like "what's the significance of this?" but there is not much detailed online information about this simple matter. Someday when either one of you come to be interested in Atlantic salmon flies, I hope this will be useful to you.......

Now I figured out twisted-guts, I started pondering easiest and least expensive ways to attain blind-eye hooks....... Answer? I started to make them (make them look like) on my own!! I have just made this before lunch today! Sounds like getting crazy!?

This is the new assignment from my Master, Baron. This is my last night's work. Not bad but it will be improved more. Tonight, I may come with the better one. If it's not too late tonight, I may update with a new picture or two.

So, though I'm not fishing and that may sound lazy, I keep myself very busy.
I may even go out fishing with these flies (!?) when winds is cooperative.
Have a good one everybody!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Fishing Resolution (Don't take it so seriously....) & 1st Day Fishing

Happy Fishy New Year!!
Hope everyone had some good times over the end/start of the years. I was reading books, 3 books totaling over 1,600 pages, since the last post here. I could have gone fishing on 31st and/or 1st (nice weathers) but this period was one of a few times of year that I can concentrate of reading. I didn't tie many flies either.

Before I go on, not really meaning to re-cap the previous year (I did in the last post), but I'd like to show you two projects I could get done on the 31st = within the previous year.

Every year I usually have several memorable trout in mind. I usually pick one or two then I print out, frame, and hang them on the wall. Selecting for 2013 was really a tough call, as it was exceptionally a "BIG FISH" year to remember. That was why it took me so long.

Of course, this had to be the first an foremost. No doubt!!
But also, in other words, this massive & decisive catch over-shadowed other memorable catches. In regular years, each one could have made a single pick for the wall. I couldn't let them go out of my mind and they deserved to be on the "wall". That was why it took me so long. I finally came up with a solution = make a "quartet"!!

So total of 5 = now it's a "quintet"!!  So my new year resolution for fly-fishing in general is to surpass all!!..............no.........I honestly doubt it if I could repeat all by myself. Well, then friends and clients who will fish with me will do it with their combined efforts!! How does that sound?

Another project that I happily finished is as follows. If you readers recall, I posted this just a regular elk antler shed over a month ago. It was to display my Atlantic Salmon Flies. I'd been working on the board. I guess the pictures describe themselves. Anyway it was really a hard work solely dedicated for my own use!!

All letters are carved. Also the ply-wood I had was not the best product available but I came to like it immensely after the base-painting. It shows the real natural feeling of woods, almost all looks like intricate "flower" works on saddles and other leather products!!

Then I could finally made the first day fishing to DePuy's Spring Creek (www.depuyspringcreek.com) yesterday 4th. But the fact was I had to force myself to get out the house....... Another winter weather was approaching the area a bit earlier than I expected. Yet it was "cold" plus "snow". "Wind-chill Factors" wasn't there. That was how I made a call. Actually once I got to the creek, it wasn't bad at all. As of typing this now, I made a right decision as it's colder now than yesterday.

I got the first trout for 2014!!
 The second one was really a "leaper"!!

It was getting cold.............
This was another nice browny which was caught on Sparkle Crane Larva.
 Happy enough for the first day fishing of the new year!!

I guess Holiday season is over now. I go back to my regular days and routines.
Hopefully everyone starts the year with good fishing!! Have fun!!