Archive for October, 2010


Nature Reclaims Some Kind of History

Nature Evolving

I was stumbling down a slick bottomed stream. Every step seemed to give this way and that. If I grabbed a branch or limb for stability it snapped off in hand. My route was leading to faster, deeper water and I had walked down into a steep sided little ravine. I decided to climb up and out of the creek’s gully via roots, ferns and rocks that might provide stability as I climbed.

When I reached the top, I was aware of several things: the usual, ‘shit you’re out of shape’, I should use a less expensive rod for bushwhacking explorations (I have broken my fair share), and my new route was surrounded by 4′ tall expanses of Devil’s Club and no discernible trail. Turn around and go back? I was leaving where I said I would be. If I fell and broke my leg, I was making it unnecessarily hard to extricate me. So, using sound judgment I ignored my inner, self check voice and pushed on.We all do this, knowing better…getting away with it most often…thank goodness. I have some essentials with me: whistle, compass, space blanket.

I moved through the Devil’s Club and spider webs and into a somewhat flat area. Visible were old, vertical planks that were the last remnants of some structure. The base of the structure could not be seen long since taken over by creeping vegetation. I moved toward it, but could feel the earth slope downward toward the structure, even though the ground cover seemed to extend more horizontally toward the timbers. I knew not to walk forward any further. I set my rod down and grabbed the camera and tried to safely get closer. What was this structure for? There were no roads or hints of a road near this structure. I was some distance from my own rig. I stood and wondered as we all do when we come upon some old homestead, abandoned mill or line cabin and wonder…Who walked there? Who died there? Who worked there? Who walked away from a dream, nightmare? Who looked back one last time?

No answers this day. Only the resolution…geeze man, do something to get into shape.


Fly Fishing: Winter Hatches & Hafele’s Advice

Rick Hafele @ Laughing Rivers has a concise piece here on Winter Fly Fishing: the consistent hatches (midges, winter stones, BWO”s) and the daily timing to maximize your frigid fun. I particularly liked the part about finding that last sunlight upon the water in the late afternoon for a flittering, final emergence…otherwise head back to the rig. A little cloud cover and drizzle can be a good thing.

Quicksilver Morning (Tony Muncy @ SB)


Fly Tying & Fishing: Turned Up Hook Point & Hookups

Paracaddis at The Fishing Gene raises the question of missed hookups because of a ‘turned up point’. He performed a study and came away with interesting findings: “All in all we estimated that the unmodified hook failed to catch around 9 out of every ten times. The modified one never missed.  So it would seem that there is something wrong with the design, but why make a hook that doesn’t work?”

Dohiku 301 Dry Fly Hook (upturned hook point)



Lost Male Drivers, Hangovers & Climate Change

The Brit’s conducted a study that revealed male drivers, on average, drive an additional 276 miles a year, because they delay in asking for directions. The news organizations were quick to play upon the male stereotype. Buried in some of the accounts was that women were a close second at 256 miles. The study didn’t touch upon which gender is more likely to get lost. Only that men are more ‘stubborn’ in asking for directions. Of course, the greenies seized upon the findings to calculate the possible fuel costs at $3000. and contributions toward climate change. I assume those costs were based upon the combined male/female miles times expensive fuel costs ($6.50+ per gal. UK)

In an additional study, based upon the first study, because men are so cavalier about waste and climate change, “…it’s women who have to spend muscle power gathering wood, dung, and charcoal—as is discussed, for instance, in this report on women’s empowerment in the Philippines (pdf). Moreover, when women, who do most of the cooking, have to burn wood or dung in their kitchens, they end up inhaling more pollutants. The health consequences are dire, as you can read in this World Bank report…”

And finally, in a separate study that perhaps explains the first two studies: “Excessive drinking by employees cost businesses and industries worldwide billions of dollars each year in absenteeism and lost productivity, but it is not the heavy drinkers or alcoholics who are mostly responsible.

New research shows that it is the light or light-to-moderate drinkers who cause the most problems. More than half of all alcohol-related problems in the workplace are caused by light drinkers, and 87 percent by light-to-moderate drinkers. The problems are mostly due to hangovers.”


Fly Tying: Vertical Hook Presentations (L’Ombra)

Very nice tutorial by Philip Bailey (Yorkshire) at FlyFishWithMe re the L’Ombra (Shadow) pattern. Nice pics to aid in the fly’s creation and how the hook is presented vertically as opposed to horizontally or perhaps diagonally (emergers). The L’Ombra, here, is tied on a Partridge hook. Also, of interest is an ‘umbrella hook‘ reportedly available at Swede’s Fly Shop (Spokane, Wa.) that appears to be suitable for this same vertical presentation.

L'Ombra (Shadow) by Philip Bailey (SB)


Fly Tying: Jig Heads to Dredge With?

I found these little jig head hooks (wt. 1/32 oz) at a big box sports shop (oh yes purist, I go to a few of them now and then; no shame here). I wondered if the angle of the presentation with the eye atop the ball would make for an interesting presentation of the heavy nymph and a trailing nymph from the bend of the hook. Will try this and see how it presents. Jigs beneath a bobber are a successful option for NW gear guys chasing Steelhead (no, I won’t use a mega-strike indicator/bobber). This is a much smaller option that may provide an interesting short line/dredging option while nymphing for trout or small mouth. Standard fair for much of the country for warm water species. I flatten down the spike at the neck, which secures tubes and skirts.

Eagle Claw 1/32 oz ball jig head (SB)

Eagle Claw 1/32 oz. jig head (SwittersB)

Simple Jig Head Fly (SwittersB)


IDK Fly Pattern (SwittersB)


Fly Fishing: Copper Swan~Steelhead Nymph Pattern


Copper Swan Relief (SwittersB)

A larger version of the original nymph pattern by John Barr (The Copper John). The Copper Swan is an equally heavy, dense chunk that will get down in a hurry when nymphing for steelhead, or as a point fly for trout fishing. This fly is adaptable to different colored hot beads, or a more neutral bead tone. The wire abdomen begs all the colors available, as do the rubber legs. I mucked up the wing case epoxy coating and got it on the hackle barbs, by not waiting for it (the epoxy) to dry before finishing with the hackle. Knapek hook & Large Wapsi wire. The pattern can be tied with two colors of wire. I experimented with black and copper/black and red/black and cream.

Copper Swan Steelhead Nymph Pattern (SwittersB)


Nothin’ Much to Do? Flight Fest


Vaux’s Swifts @ Chapman Grade School, Portland, Oregon

Interesting, to me, for two reasons: I went to this grade school for two years (1953-54) and I have thousands of Vaux’s Swifts that inhabit a holly tree orchard behind my house most of the winter. It is intriguing to watch their comings and goings each evening and morning. They go off somewhere for the day to forage and return at dusk, swarming by the thousands over head. Careful as the earth, cars, houses, you?  are bombarded with droppings. Quite the attraction to watch the birds return to the Chapman chimney. I read the birds are suppose to migrate to Central America…they didn’t last year. Stayed and pooped on everything all Winter long, then departed in Spring ’til August!

At another venue with equal fascination for flight..Austin, Tejas…the evening bat festival at the Congress Street Bridge.

Congress Street Bridge Bat Fest


ODFW Fish Management: Restore Salmon/Steelhead Upper Willy



Fly Tying: AP Nymph

Steve Schalla @ (Fly Fishing the Sierra) offered an interesting piece on the impressionistic All Purpose (AP) Nymph (by Andre Puyans). The basic design is seen slender (swimmer) and heavier (crawler), yet basically the same.  This is indeed a perfect all purpose pattern that can be tied in the range of colors and sizes to cover mayfly nymphs. The ubiquitous bead head is an option. Perfect beginner’s fly pattern that is very functional.

All Purpose Nymph (Westfly)

“He based the nymph design upon three main criteria: size, shape and color. The size and shape of the pattern was inspired by Frank Sawyer’s PT Nymph that Andre also made contributions to variations. The design of the nymph was based upon the knowledge that only certain nymphs were available to the the trout, the mobile types that swim and crawl within the trout’s environment.”

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October 2010

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