Saturday, December 29, 2018

'Tis The Season

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year🎄🎅🎉🎊
I have sent out a newsletter from my main website. If you have not joined, sign up or you let me know so you don't miss any future news and announcements from me😉

Also this is the season to be deeply engaged with Atlantic salmon flies and arts. Nowadays these tend to be published on social media = Instagram & Facebook = so if you haven't registered or found me yet, please do so and you'll get the latest updates ASAP😉

Also #2, I just conducted some major changes on my website. You know my other blog = fly catalog site. I moved all of my Atlantic Salmon Fly contents to my main website. I made a short update on my catalog site. Then if you go to my main website, you'll see all the improvements❗❗ 

As I have been doing for the past few years, I submitted my works to Livingston Center for Art & Culture. Items for this exhibition have grown to be an opportunity for me to show slightly unconventional, compared to traditional Atlantic salmon flies and framing methods. This time, both flies and framing methods are free-style and I decided to "go country"😲

Queen of Silver Dollar - an inspirational & interpretive dressing of the song by Emmylou Harris.

The Man in Black - an inspirational & interpretive dressing for Johnny Cash.

For both flies, I attached a laminated "artist note" about the concept. Feel free to ask!

Gaudy Fly - tied on a gold broach pin. Pattern itself is a very classic but dressing on a broach pin was the very first attempt😳. I tried to dress as Gaudy as I could, and managed the features of the pin💪👏

Presented in a showcase style box❗

Then I resumed my winter project. I completed George M. Kelson's "The Salmon Fly" Plate 4.
Here's a Bluebell (Traherne's)

Also Traherne's is The Chatterer

 This is one elaborated fly ever😲🙌👏

The Dandy. This is rather a simple whole-feather pattern yet very graceful. This is perhaps the smallest head I ever achieved👏

And here's the frame😬

I'm glad to get one done with a good note just at the year end😁❗
I'll keep working on GMK flies but no rush. I may work on one or two flies of Plate 5 but then I also have several more patterns I want to work on. So let's keep the artist mode running till spring😀

Till next post👋
I hope you all have a good year end and start😉

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Seattle Foodie & Olympic National Park Fishing

We had a super fantastic family trip to West Coast😁.
Although I once lived in Washington for a certain period of my life (you can look back my posts from 2009 and 2010), it was eastern part and I had any businesses or opportunities to visit western counterpart such as Ocean and cities like Seattle.

Although we're very content with our life in Montana or Yellowstone Country, we'd also like to enjoy what we don't have or what we can't do in our area. Our top list is nothing but enjoy seafood🍣🍤🍥🐟😋Our special interest was Poke Bowl. We chose to dine at FOB Poke Bar. With so many options and combinations, what we can order is limitless😲and not to mention very tasty😋
We next headed to Uwajimaya - a well-known Japanese & Asian grocery store. The Seattle one is the largest. We wish we could have tried those but just watching many items was fun enough.
Then we ordered, well, Poke bowls again from the seafood department. Those were again fresh & tasty😋
From our hotel, we could easily walk, with Sage in a stroller👶, to Pike Place Market. This was another place that just watching stores and items was enjoyable enough.
Now we had to try the world famous Pike Place Chowder. As each item looked oh-so-wonderful, we went with the sample plate😋

After we enjoyed all kinds of dead fish, we headed to Olympic National Park to see if we could meet live ones😏 We stayed at beautiful Kalaloch Lodge within ONP right along the Pacific Ocean. From there, we explored the area.

Before our trip, like any fishermen would do nowadays, I looked for information online. I had some very fresh surprises. There are not many information out there😲 unlike Montana or Yellowstone, really. There are only some outfitters and a few fly-shops in the area and not many books seem on the market either. That got me really curious. It's been a very while that I became a visiting fisher myself.

We tried from small creeks nearby our lodge.

Sage's first day on the stream with us👶😎
Ocean is just a step away!

I bet salmon and steelhead would swim up even to these small creeks during their peak season.
Next we headed to the main body of ONP into Hoh River surrounded by rain-forest.

This was quite a river and I had quite an experience. The Hoh is, with this flow, just about the size of Yellowstone River at the lower end closer to the Ocean. Upper river where we were was just about the half of Yellowstone River. Water seemed to have some color in it but water was actually clear. I think color is due to water ingredients (glacier fed) and river bottom contents.

Well, I hooked something......ah..........very little............😓
Sunset was beautiful over and down the Pacific😲

Since the lodge was so comfortable and also as we immediately fell in love with the area, we decided to extend our trip one more day. Renee and Sage got retired from fishing and decided to stay cozy at the lodge😊so I was on my own. On this day, I checked the very lower end of the Hoh, near the mouth.
The lower end was larger than the upper section, which made it hard for gears I had. In the afternoon, I decided to head back to the upper section again. On the way, I saw the region's unique Roosevelt Elk.

I again hooked something............ah...........very little. As the sun started to set behind tall rain-forest trees, I walked along the bank and tried to read structures. Then I saw something............ A giant fish swam right by me..............It didn't look like a trout-shape I'm used to. I bet it was more like Chinook........BTW, I do have one Chinook experience - see my old post😏

I kept on, at the last light, I felt something and this time it was hanging onto my line and fly😬

As dada failed to catch proper trout, a trout aquarium in a gas station at St. Regis, MT was Sage's first trout experience👶😊

We quite enjoyed this trip and are already thinking about going back over there. Next time, more & serious fishing😬 and slightly less grocery shopping😅
Our quests for Steelhead and Pacific salmons will continue👍

Thursday, October 25, 2018

So Long..............

It's been Soooooooooo long..................  I have not forgotten this blog of mine or never meant to be lazy.............. For some reasons, my life hadn't been running as it was supposed to be for the past couple of weeks. Nothing serious or deleterious, such as accidents or sickness, it was just "off the rail"😞😩

I tried to remain productive. I started to use Firehole Sticks, produced right here in Bozeman, MT. These are some of very unique sets of hook styles that fit in my needs and patterns. I immediately like this one for my small dun/emerger patterns for spring creeks = curved & short with extra wide gap😆

On top of books I had bought but couldn't read through during the last winter and this spring, I just bought many more books📕📖📚👀
As you can see, I've been into history of fly-fishing and fly-tying. I buy from a couple of online stores within US. Also this time, I ordered from Medlar Press in England. Besides reading and learning history, I want to improve myself as a casting instructor with Jason Borger's new casting book.

Sage Skues is reading with me too 😉 This is Captain Hale's "How to Tie Salmon Flies".

I have just got back on track...........somewhat😑
Hopefully the next post won't be in such a long gap and be more colorful✌

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Late September Guide Trips

While my mind was flying somewhere over the Bighorn and then while I was physically there, Livingston's area rivers fished really well for what I heard from my contacts and what I saw on social medias. I think this average-to-cooler summer contributed a lot all through the season. At the turn of the fall, I had a series of trips around here.

YES!! Yellowstone River is still fishing well with dry-flies. Of course, nymphing is effective earlier in the day or all through the float. Baetis and some terrestrials that still roam river banks offer good dry-fly fishing.
 Ants worked for me but not hopper as I heard. But I'm sure it just happened to me and my people. I spotted this one at around my lunch spot.
I believe she was carrying the egg sack😍. She didn't hop, barely walking on the sand😊
Lower Madison has its own mood as always. One method may work better than the other and then some nice fish show themselves from nonchalant structures😶

 DePuy's Spring Creek has been fishing well all summer as insect hatches continue. Indeed this has been an incredible season on the creek👏. We guide team welcomed the annual big group to the creek. This morning I was able to show a couple of spots with rising trout for my clients.
But catching them was not easy😏
 Then in the afternoon, PMD still hatch😲 and baetis follow😆❗❗


Then we floated Yellowstone River. We shared our methods and catches as we go on. My people and I figured out what worked for us and so did others. All 5 boats had great times on the Yellowstone🙌

Of course I was shining among the rest of outstanding guides❗❓See what I can get my clients hooked up with😅 I seldom hold fish for clients just to take good looking pictures (I want clients to hold and be in pictures, not me!) but for this I sacrificed my hands 😖 and we had good Sushi lunch🍣😂

We caught many good looking trout and this was particularly memorable😆Of course this good looking trout itself, but also as we were going through the cascading riffle, I couldn't let my hands off of my oars. So this client performed tugging in this strong Cutt and then a one-man YOGA netting all by himself👏😉

Let's see what the fall offers us in Yellowstone Country😉
See you on the stream👏

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bighorn River Trico Hatches - Living The Dream Volume 2

Oh, what a great trip on the Bighorn River✌😁I just got home from another great Trico hatches on this legendary river with Mr. Chuck.

For two seasons in a row, due to heavy snow accumulations in Montana and Wyoming, the Bighorn has been experiencing unusual flows from the past. We can't deny some effects on the river, though we may not be able to how & what at this point. According to fishing reports, the river and fishers sounded experiencing some challenging conditions. However we were up for challenges and were willing to figure out what to do😏. Following visual materials will explain to you😎.Our theme for this year was Livings The Dream Volume 2

Before I go on, I'd like to go over Trico hatches and how the fishing goes during this period.

  • Size 18-24, female has olive/green abdomen, while male has almost all entirely black. 
  • Male Tricorythodes hatch at night. It can be 7pm to midnight. During the hatch, if one happens to be on the river, it's possible to fish for rising trout. Over night they molt into spinners and sit tight in the bush, grasses, or trees. 
  • Female Trico hatch right just around at the first light of dawn = 6:00 to 6:30am. Sometimes it can be 7:00 to 7:30am. During the hatch, like any other mayfly species at any other streams, trout will rise and we can fish with match-the-hatch flies (dry-flies, slightly subsurface, etc). 
  • Then immediately after the hatch, females molt into spinners😲
  • Male spinners, that have been waiting for this opportunity, start to fly and they mate to reproduce next generations.
  • Now the sky is buzzing with literally billions of spinner, as far as eyes can see😲
  • Right after mating, they start to fall into the river (and die or have died already). And trout gorge on them.
  • River will literally boil with rising trout😲
  • There are days when there's a gap between female hatch and spinner flight (rises pause), while there also are days when it overwraps and continues without a gap (rises keep going). 
  • Spinner flight can start at around 8am or 9am, that range. 
  • And can last till noon. Depending on winds and other factors, it can be longer or shorter.
  • And this can happen from August to October on the Bighorn😲

With all of these in mind, let's move over to our fishing reports😁
For the first time ever, I tried and learned how to edit and compile videos and photos into a documentary🎥😏I'm very pleased to what I came up with✌

Then below is the photo essay, as it has been the format of choice for the past couple of posts. 
I may narrate here and there, that is not done on the video above. 
For some of you who have fished from my boat, you know I always have a secret fly😆
One of the most beautiful dawns I ever see😇

I was able to fish some during the scouting. This rainbow was very satisfying😁
We caught up in the evening.
This is the MUST item for early rising fishers😋
Volume 2 has begun😬
Super good start✌

This has to be seen in the video😬
This was a very satisfying brown on the first day, which turned out to be the BEST👍

Always learning
This morning, trout were super selective or just doing whatever they wanted to do😑It was very technical and challenging but we did manage a few nice ones✌

Kind of a comic relief, as we saw a bird on the floating weed patch😊
On this morning, we were beaten on the race to Hot Dog Hole (long story😂) instead we had real hot dogs🌭😋
Afternoon hopper fishing was also good😏

Howdy stranger😉
Mr. Chuck is a serious amateur entomologist😲

I can do hot one too👍
This morning, brother John fished with us.

I was busy netting back and force😅
It was very interesting to see a fox popped out of the bush and wouldn't be frightened at us🦊

Again, I strongly suggest you to click & watch the video. Seeing is believing.
It was very intense😵😬As of this writing, I'm still recovering and reminiscing. And am already thinking of next year.............😉 As much as we enjoyed a lot, we learned a lot from the river and trout. I brought back some homework with me for next year.

This is all the reasons I've been promoting Bighorn Trips. Come and experience with your own eyes and hearts😆

Guide season goes on. It has just turned the corner into the fall season😏
I may still see you on the streams👋