Posts Tagged ‘Fishing

16
Apr
14

Odd Ramblings: Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

photography-trout-rainbow-fish-fly fishing-Oregon-SwittersB

This, for me, is part of the fun with blogging. Discoveries beyond the sought after. This morning, I was going to post the above image of a beautiful Rainbow Trout my son Tony caught in Oregon. I noted the spotted, olive back and thought to myself I need to find a quote, poem, something about the beautiful topside of a spotted trout. A long shot I figured.

I started perusing the net for ideas and for some reason I repeatedly came upon links to one Richard Brautigan. Not being particularly well read, I wasn’t sure who this writer was but hey he had written something called Trout Fishing in America. I found a link to many of Brautigan’s writings and was beset with a curious assortment of quotes from what had to be the 60′s. A total throw back for my mind to the Tom Wolfe, Tom Robbins…the wildly poetic, fanciful, different way of saying things, imagining things. It certainly challenged my early morning mindset.

Then I came upon an interesting bio piece on Richard Brautigan on the writing process for Trout Fishing in America that involved fly fishing, camping, travel, writing on an old typewriter and found it most fascinating. Check out the links and explore a bit. The bio is particularly interesting regarding the writing process. More Tragic Brautigan

It is interesting how one thing leads to another and a discovery is made that at a minimum gives momentary delight or perhaps opens the door to something more exploratory in the future.

Aren’t those spots on the Trout’s olive back beautiful. Maybe that’s all I had to say.

08
Apr
14

The Catch & Release Obsession

photography-trout-release-chronomid-SwittersBQuite a few of you non-fly fishers, who primarily drop by SwittersB for my photographic efforts, write and ask why I kill such beautiful fish. A very few have picked up on my past notations about ‘the fish was released unharmed’ and wonder why I don’t harvest fish.

If one peruses fly fishing writing, you quickly surmise a fixation with the fish must be released unharmed. It is almost a given that we rarely kill a fish and we must pay particular attention to the preservation of wild trout so as to maintain the genetic stock of what may have been the original, wild residents of a stream.

Somewhere along the way, I have unquestionably bought into all this and never question it. It just seems the right thing to do. I have kept hatchery trout in numbers on camping trips only to waste them in a cooler sans ice. After that happened and I put that bag of trout in a garbage can and set the metal lid down with a clang, I have rarely killed a fish beyond hatchery salmon or wild salmon in Alaska. The real benefit is I really don’t appreciate the taste of most fish. An occasional piece of halibut, fish and chips or fish tacos are about it. A few pieces of smoked salmon, some red snapper, that’s it. So I have no desire to harvest beautiful trout to eat them. I have no need to kill something to satisfy a primal need to conquer. 

I am not judging those that harvest hatchery fish or plentiful wild fish. Decimating populations in fragile watersheds or lakes is unacceptable to me. The connection to the habitat and the vulnerability of the fish is missing for the fisher solely concerned for the kill.

So that is my answer for those that have written about my killing or not killing trout. Just at a very guttural level I think the fish I pursue are beautiful, whether barely covering the palm of the hand or taking two hands to hoist them. They give me a different kind of food that benefits my mind, my well being.

30
Mar
14

Poetic License: How Do I love Thee…………..

photography-rainbow trout-Oregon-SwittersB

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right…”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Nothing too profound here. Perhaps it is so blatantly self-evident to me that I cannot transfer the emotions  to you…my passion for the synergy of certain fish in certain environments? The combination of visuals and the physicality of it all. The perfect moments…the moment…when it all combines and one is momentarily reaffirming the love, the passion, the lust even for a darn fish…a beautiful fish.

On an even lighter note……..

“Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant, I wonder? I am half way through my fish burger when I realize “Oh my God, I could be eating a slow learner!”  Lynda Montgomery

“All cats love fish, but many fear to wet their paws”  Chinese Proverb

“To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch fish” Chinese Proverb

09
Mar
14

Sly Fishing: Presentation

“Sly Fishing” I like that. I didn’t ‘coin’ the phrase, but it works for today’s post. There are many competing concepts in fishing and fly fishing in particular: matching the hatch, proper gear, the appropriate realistic fly pattern, timing, weather, lighting, location, reading the water and finally presentation, which in some ways combines much of the above considerations.

photography-fly tying-sparse-pattern-macro-swittersbSometimes the above images are insulting, challenging to fly fishers and tiers. Such simplicity flies in the face of the necessarily complex make up of fly fishing. I suppose, at times, there are required, exacting patterns that must be used on well bred, snobby, elitist fish. But, come on now, you know it is true….often simple patterns, sparse patterns are quite effective. It is the presentation and location of the offering that are often more important than some exacting pattern. 

I like to tie overdressed concoctions as much as the next tier. But, I annually come back around to the reality that all that material on that hook may not be necessary. At a minimum, tie some minimums. Sparse patterns that are suggestive, have movement, but are a fraction in quantity of materials and focus on presentation/location. It doesn’t lessen the sport to experiment and possess a few minimalist patterns for the less refined fish.

Read this fine piece by Tim Rolston (The Fishing Gene) entitled “The C Word” re patterns and confidence.

Marc Fauvet wrote about pattern and presentation also in this piece.

04
Mar
14

Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing (Michael Gorman)

photo-Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing-Gorman-SwittersBI pointed to this new book a few weeks back. I obtained a copy and it is an excellent book. Beyond the basics, the book pays attention to the mental planning and presentation for the Stillwater Fly Fisher. I highly recommend the book and of course it has inspired me to start my planning for the months ahead until I can launch the vessel and enjoy the chase. Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing

04
Mar
14

River Gages: Become Familiar With One Near You

Photo-Image-NOAA Gage Stations-NW USA-SwittersB

NOAA Gage Stations in Pacific NW

Whether you are planning a float trip, a fishing guide, a kayaker, a bank bound fisherman or a property owner monitoring a rising river, a river gage is an important piece of information. It may be a large measuring stick affixed to a bridge support that measures the rising waters or more sophisticated gages that measure height and CFS (Cubic Feet per Second). NOAA has such gages across the U.S. I am sure other countries have similar systems as a means of monitory flows. Become familiar with these systems for safety or whether a planned trip should be canceled due to projected blow outs of a river system.  A helpful suggestion: keep a journal or note somehow the fishable/floatable levels. Note when the river is blown out and note those levels. Note the historic floods and what is considered flood stage. Home Page NOAA. There are other excellent NW resources too: USGS Gages & Westfly

27
Feb
14

Fishing: Non-slip Loop Knot

non-slip-mono-knot

 

25
Feb
14

Let There Be Light! Get off your ass…..

While Light Deprivation leads to Super Potent Pot, it leads to ever increasing inertia in my psyche. I start craving light and warmth about mid-February as the constant grey days close in and rob me of motivation and momentum. 

photography-macro-fly tying-woolly bugger-SwittersBI don’t think I am in the throes of SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder), but I surely need brightness and more exercise.  I have become too wussy to Winter Steelhead for very long and much too sedentary with a computer on my lap. I went hiking this past weekend to take photos…a simple hike…and felt muscle soreness the next day…a clear indication that more activity is in order and that this linkage with technology is askew. Let there be light & I need to get off my ass. Fly fishing, hiking, photography, wild flowers, gardening, fresh air! Get up…get out. 

24
Feb
14

Unrequited Love: GRHE

Photography-Macro-Fly Tying-Hares Ear-SwittersBIn the day, the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) was a must have, go to nymph pattern for the fly fisher along with the Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN). The two patterns covered the Clinger, Crawler, Swimmer, Burrower nymphs for mayflies. The gold bead head brightened up the pattern along the way, but one would be hard pressed to find this pattern today in most fly shops (or am I wrong?)

Synthetics (dubbings), wires and beads have allowed for smaller, denser patterns that are easier/faster to tie and seemingly as productive as the older fur/hair concoctions. I admit, I have not tied many of this pattern in the last ten or so years. I have about a couple dozen left, all on Mustad hooks of old.  Rabbit is still a part of many blended dubbings and worthy of use. So, is the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. I bet many new tiers have not used gold tinsel in their tying.

16
Feb
14

Photography: Lake Bottom Habitat

Lake Bottom SwittersBNothing ‘beautiful’ here. A jumbled lake bottom with silt, algae, woody debris, rocks and perfect habitat for insects and fish alike.




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