Sunday, December 30, 2012

Montana Fly Fishing: Tip of the Day


More and more these days it seems fishermen show up with a rod or, worse, rods not suited for the job at hand. In Montana, as well as, most of the west wind is almost a given. At least some time during nearly every day you can bet the farm the "wind will blow." Such wind you need three hands, one to hold onto your hat, the other two to manage the casting operation. Trust me, it only gets worse...usually. 

Three, four, even one and two weight, rods are all the rage these days. Day-in, day-out NONE are suited for fishing western rivers. In my opinion, based on years of observation, very few anglers can get the job done even under ideal conditions wielding one and two weights. Decent casters can get away with modern 9 feet, 3 and 4 weights pitching relatively non-air resistant dry flies and relatively small, light-weight nymphs in light to moderate breezes. But should the wind kick up and/or the need to pitch the big uglies arise best have a stouter rod along for back-up. Yes, I know guys like Ed Shenk pretty much blows this theory out the water until one considers how few of us can do it like Ed and friends...In my experience about as rare as white buffaloes...OK, maybe not that rare but... 

In gathering material for this rant I polled a few sources in the industry and found out pretty much as expected 5-weight rods and, of course, lines far out sell all the others. No surprise there since I can hardly remember reading or hearing anything but "five-weight" whenever the question arises. How long this has been gospel is more than I know...But I do know back in the day, say 30-40 years ago, 6-weights, even 7-weights, were the norm. Which brings us to the point of this discourse...That being of course if you ask me I say...9' feet, 6-weight rules...No contest, end of discussion. Why?

Better in the wind. Handles two nymphs/split shot/indicator rigs better. Better for chucking big air-resistant and/or heavy-weight flies--salmon flies, hoppers, big attractors, buggers, you name it. In other words anything a 9-feet #5 can do, a #6 can do better. And don't even bother with argument smaller line spooks less fish...I cut my eye-teeth fishing small "technical" spring creeks full of so-called "PHD trout" and any fish spooked was my fault, operator error, period...Really.

So there you have it...If nothing else I hope this gives you pause for thought, hell, it might even make your days astream more enjoyable...over and out...Chuck


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Smoked Turkey, Anyone?

I've roosted a bunch of turkeys in my time but got to admit this is a first. A bunch of his buddies were roosted on a rail fence, easily within reach of a marauding coyote, about 10 feet from the barn door. Interesting...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lightroom Rocks...

I'm continually amazed at what even an ol'boy like me, your basic computer illiterate, can do with just a few clicks of the mouse...awesome, at least to my way of thinkin'...enjoy.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Early Winter?

Sagebrush, snow, cold blue sky...
Sunset in snowy Tobacco Roots...
Slush ice and ice forming around the edges the Big Hole River... Signs of an early winter? I don't think so...after all tis mid-December and the winter solstice is just a week or so off.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Last couple rifle seasons about 1200 elk and an estimated 1500 mule, many bucks like this one, gather on farm and ranch land along Blacktail Creek, just outside Dillon. Obviously a safe haven or close enough (only a privileged few are allowed in to "shoot" (sorry "hunt" just doesn't fit). Sort a makes one wonder how few, if any, are still out there in the hills.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fish and Birds On Demand...

...as I've confessed many times are not my gig. But apparently Keith (Szafranski)noted photographer who makes his way shooting pics, just does-not-get-it. Back for a second go last week (recall busted sage hen hunt in Sept) well, to put it mildly I failed. A frigid couple hour session on the upper Beav produced not one take...although we did see a couple including one giant rainbow practically jumped over my rod tip...in haste to get the hell outta there? Who knows. Day before we attempted to fake shoot a sage hen or two (Note to Warden: Yes we know season closed but with no ammo in gun, on my person or in truck c'mon give us a break, eh?). Anyway we saw many, maybe a 100 or so but despite heroic efforts of man and dog not one within maybe a 100 yards...spoo-o-o-ky. To Annie's credit she did point two right out the truck but Keith and me fumbled the ball and...What can I say.
Day 3: Foiled again, this time chasing ghost Huns...lots a sign, not a single bird sighted...But, ever resourceful and not about to be denied wholly, after all takes money to drop everything and drive from Livingston to Dillon and hoping to make money at that...poor guy. Anyway as I say ever resourceful Keith proposed to make a few shots of your's truly tying flies...imagine! So he dressed me up and...while the fly is damn nice if I say so myself and a good example of Keith's masterful skills...the MODEL...sorry man, the model flat out sucks...