Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back to the grind...

I'm back in New Jersey after two weeks in paradise.  The Montana trip was fantastic and I look forward to sharing the details over the next few weeks through these posts.  Now its time to unpack the bags, wash some very dirty laundry and start planning the next trip out west.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's no rumor...

The big bugs are on the Madison and the fish are on them. We had a stellar day today. We did a short float from Lyons to Palisades and put a mess of big fish in the boat, all on Salmon flies tight to the bank. Pictures and more details when I can dump them from the camera when I get home.

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Monday, July 18, 2011


Once we finally arrived in the West Yellowstone area and got settled in, we checked around to see what's been happening on the local rivers. Rumor has it that the big bugs are still around. All the high-water this year has postponed/prolonged the Salmon Fly hatch. Folks are saying that the bugs are still around and fish have been getting stupid over them. I have hit this hatch a few times but usually miss it because of the time if year I come out. Keeping my fingers crossed...

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reflections at 30,000 feet

A long day of travel is in store for me today as I make the journey from New Jersey to the promised land of trout fishing, Montana. The journey is required until the day comes when I can pick up the family and relocate to somewhere a little more in line with my passions. So for now, it is a tight airliner seat, on a crowded plane, next to a snoring stranger. As I struggle to hit the keys on this jostled, turbulence ridden aircraft I look forward with anticipation to 10 days of fishing in the promised land and already missing the wife and kids staying behind.

After four hours in the air there will be another five or six hours of traveling on the ground, but come sundown I will be casting to rising fish on the Henry's Fork.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Somewhere over middle America

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Packing for Montana

It won't be long now.  I am starting to get the gear together for two weeks in the West Yellowstone area.  The annual pilgrimage is less than a week away.  I am tying flies during every spare moment I have trying to get the fly boxes in shape, but I think I am going to come up short as usual.  Rod and reel selections need to be finalized, waders and boots need to be washed, and clothing has to be pared down to the absolute minimum to make room for more fishing gear.

This basically means I need to empty the back of the truck into a rolling duffle.  N o easy task!  As usual, I will pack to much, forget something important and I'll fish with the same six flies the whole trip.  It happens every year!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Swapping the waders for a kayak

Big gun at the ready
As the season changes from spring to summer, my fly fishing shifts from coldwater to warmwater, from trout to bass and panfish.  What I like the best about this transition is the switch from wading to kayaking.

I love fishing from a kayak.  Make no mistake about it,  it's a hell of a lot easier to fish from a boat where you can stand up or at least sit above the water line to cast, but fishing from a kayak does have its advantages.  Silently gliding over the water's surface with minimal disturbance allows me to get closer to the fish. I can carry a lot more gear with me as well, including an extra rod rigged and ready to go.   I can cast for panfish with a three weight, while my big gun lies in wait in the rod holder.  When I come up on that bassy looking spot or a larger fish shows himself, I can quickly change outfits and make the presentation.  Its a great way to fish!  The kayak gets me into smaller, more remote waters where my bigger boat can't go.  I can throw the boat on the roof of my truck and be on the water in minutes once I get to the water.  There's no rigging involved, no batteries to go dead and best of all no fuel to buy.

Fishing simplified...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Toothy Critters

I have been encountering quite a few of these fellows during my last few warmwater outings.  The larger specimans usually make short work of the 1x or 2x leaders I typically fish for bass.  They are causing me to spend a lot of hours, at the tying bench, replacing lost bass bugs.  Some of these pickeral have been real brutes getting close to typical northern pike size, but these smaller guys can usually brought to hand without the risk of a bite through. Even these little ones can make short work of 1x tippet if they get the chance. 

 I think the next time I visit this particular lake I am going to tie on a short flexible wire tippet and target some these  larger pickeral.  I am also experimenting with some  braided lines as tippet material.  So far they are holding up well but I have not hooked any big fish with this set up to really put it to the test.  On light tackle they are great sport, they often spend as much time out of the water as in.  

Rising Lippa 4 Life Special Blend with Leash
The Rising Lippa4Life tool  makes handling these fish a breeze.  Especially when fishing from a kayak.  In addition to being toothy there a bit on the slippery side and a writhing, snapping pike or pickeral thrashing around between your legs on the bottom of the kayak is an adrenaline filled experience to say the least.

Mono or flourocarbon tippets don't stand a chance!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime Fly Fishing

I enjoy warmwater flyfishing as much if not more than trout and saltwater fishing.  Though I have to travel about an hour from my front door to find a decent trout stream, I can walk out my front door and be casting over water in about 5 minutes.  The area I live in is peppered with lakes and ponds of all sizes.  Since New Jersey's trout fishing is a 3 season affair for me, I need something else to occupy my time during the summer months.  That means bass, panfish, carp, and the occasional trip to the beach for some salty action.

Panfish are probably my favorite.  Abundunt, scrappy and great fun on a three weight.  Early mornings and late evenings can often produce some great topwater action.  Probing the depths during the day will produce some of the biggest fish of the day.  They tend to school up by size class, so if you locate a good sized fish you bound to find some more in the same area.

You will find these little fish in all colors of the rainbow from drab to brilliant.  Not to mention that they are some of the finest eating on the planet.  No need to feel guilty about taken the occasional stringer of fish home either.  In most waters around here they are ignored and thereby abundant, sometimes too abundant and the population can certainly sustain a few meals a year.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday U.S.A.!

I hope everyone has a safe enjoyable holiday.  God Bless America!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

High water nymphing

My buddy Lou over at Fly and Fin recently posted a video on You Tube featuring yours truly involved in some spring time fishing.  These flows are what we have seen all spring and are still seeing now at least once a week when a string of thunderstorms roll through.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Its coming to an end...

until September that is.  Trout fishing in New Jersey is winding down for me until the fall.  I personally don't fish for trout in most waters around here during the summer months.  I give the trout a break once we start seeing daytime temperature spikes hiting the seventy degree mark.  Lately the trend here has been morning temps in the mid to high sixties and by mid day you could see some places hitting or exceeding the seventy degree mark.  So there will be some traveling involved when it comes to trout fishing over the next few months, which is not a bad thing.  There will be two weeks in Montana in July, a few day trips to Pennsylvania and maybe a long weekend in New England.  Local trips will be limited to warm and saltwater venues, again not a bad thing.

My last trip of the spring season found the river high and off colored which has been the norm this year.  So it was a nymphing game and the golden stone nymph continued to produce well.

It was a mixed bag of brookies, browns and rainbows.  A nice way to wrap things up until fall.

It is great to see these small native fish in the river.  If you encounter a fish smaller than 9 inches around here you looking at a native fish.  This little brook trout likely was flushed out of one of the tributaries that feed this river, but there are plenty of similar sized browns found throughout this section of water which is great to see.

Not all of the fish were small, these two rainbows stretched the tape past the 20 inch mark.  They were in prime shape.

The next trout you see on this blog will likey be from somewhere other than New Jersey...until September that is!