Posts Tagged ‘harry teel


Deep in the Recesses……………

of the recently flooded garage have been some worthy discoveries of items found tucked away and unused. I have spent days pulling soggy stuff out to dry off and to cull out stuff long since forgotten, untouched and unneeded (see my related post over at Hoarding Woes & You).

But, while prowling around, I came upon a couple fun finds that gave me fond recollections of less complicated times when my priorities were clear, simpler and fulfilling.

OreGeoNamesSBAlong with many maps, books on rocks, trees, birds and wildflowers, my wife and I always had this book along as we explored every remote corner of Oregon. We used it to help us understand the history of those remote blips on the map that we might have just whizzed on by moving from point A to point B. It made us slow down a bit to ask questions and learn.

Tucked inside the book was a hand drawn map my Harry Teel providing general instructions on how to find the Foley Water on the Deschutes River. This map was drawn 25 years ago when the access was simpler and the area less developed. The discovery of the map brought back many fond memories of Harry and Dee Teel while we visited them in their fly shop in Sisters, Oregon or shared dinner one evening on the Crooked River.

Teel Foley mapSB

Foley Fall SwittersB

Foley Water this past October

Tucked up atop the broken water heater was a wooden plaque. Years ago, Harry Teel offered a fun incentive for fly fishers. If you could catch and release a fish over 18″ with proof, he would construct a wooden fish plaque for you and attach a label commemorating the C & R on the plaque. The plaques were displayed all around the shop walls. I worked to get that plaque. My first fish was in 1988, and subsequent ones didn’t come until 1991. Eventually, Harry and Dee Teel sold the shop in order to retire. The new shop owner didn’t want the tradition to continue so I arranged to retrieve the plaque before it was discarded.

plaque fishPlaque2Plaque 1

Of course, many fish (small and larger) have been brought to hand since those times. But, those were wonderful times when Harry hoisted my plaque on the shop wall; and when hand drawn maps led the way to ‘secret’ spots in then remote canyons.


Photography Begs Questions: Foley Water’s Old Mine

The MIne Foley Waters SwittersB

What Was the Deal?

I have found zip about this old mind shaft I photographed this September along the Foley Water of the Deschutes River (Oregon).  I don’t believe I ever heard the story about it years ago when I first was pointed toward this spot by Harry Teel. Never thought to ask either later. Someone’s effort to mine and all that attendant work…wow… that must have been quite the task given the location. But, that’s mining. If someday, someone happens along here and is well versed in the history of who mined there on the Foley Water…please share. 


Foley Water’s Magic (Deschutes River)

Many, many years ago, Harry Teel drew me a map to the Foley Water off Lower Bridge Rd. via Sisters, Oregon. You turned off Lower Bridge Rd. by the big rock (he called it Steamboat Rock) and you wound your way on an old dirt road until you hit a gravel road and then made your way past a very few homes to a narrow opening between two trees and entered into a rugged little wonderland of Junipers, jagged rocks and sage. You could drive to the near edge of the canyon’s rim and take a short hike down into the Foley Water where many trout awaited.

This time, my wife and I were on a short jaunt to Central Oregon. We had, as promised, taken our time to stop and explore and photograph various highlights…not to rush. I had intended to work our way toward Maupin, on the Deschutes R. and spend a few hours there before making our way home.

However, my wife some how came up with ‘let’s go to the Foley Water’. A wonderful suggestion I thought. But, I also thought we hadn’t been there in  over 20 years. Would I find it; would the roads have changed?

Traffic was heavy on Hwy 97 as we made our way North from LaPine to Terrebone. Eventually we made the turn onto Lower Bridge Rd. (Lower Bridge Way now). I kept an eye out for the big rock, Steamboat Rock. And, after several miles and as we started to drop down toward the actual, small Lower Bridge, there was the large, protruding rock formation. I turned in and started moving down the undulating dirt tract. It had rained hard because there were many small lakes to drive through.

We got to an improved road and I turned left toward what I thought would be the canyon. From that point on, I could recall some features, but truth be told much had changed in 20 some years and it was the kind of change that saps the magic from many outdoor experiences…development. Yes, I know it comes…roads, damn kitchy named street signs, fences, and of course many homes.

But, I kept winding along and eventually there was the narrow opening between two trees leading into a the Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area and Folley Water Trail Head South Entrance.

I could soon see the handiwork of BLM stewards, fences and giant boulders to block access. Yes, the ‘we have to protect it’ at all costs and make access difficult for anyone but a gazelle mentality was in effect at some point. Yes, yes erosion control, vehicles, fires, horses, motorcycles…those rat bastards destroy so we do have to close it off to everyone else to protect the pristine experience….of course we will build homes to within a quarter mile of it too. Was that a necessary rant? No, just had to get it out. Sorry.

In short order, we came to a turnout and signage and a gap in the fence line and boulders…the start point. We got out and donned our gear. The sign said 3/4 of mile to Deschutes River. We commenced to hike in, it was late afternoon. I anticipated a few hours of fishing. It was much less.

We made our way to the point where the trail forks. To the Left is down to the Foley Water and straight ahead is further down to Steelhead Falls. Why the BLM felt it necessary to have you park a full half mile up the road and hike in to the point where the trail actually descends into the canyon is beyond me. The BLM ruined access/camping on the Crooked River decades ago trying to protect it and this effort seems even less thought out. Ok, I am done I promise. Because, of course, as I gazed down over the rim and saw the Deschutes River the agitation was muted.

The later afternoon was brisk, windy and private. We practiced casting and I gave a little tutorial on mending, seams, pocket water, roll casting. We saw a few nice fish. Caddis and a few BWO’s came off. I had a few hits but no hook ups. It was a very pretty place that Terrance Hardington Foley admired and cherished so long ago. 

Bucky working a seam on the lower end of the Foley Water.

Yes, a picture of me, but it was suppose to be with a fish. So, after several missed hookups at this same spot, I was the best we could come up with.

We hiked out and made our way back to the rig. By the time we stored the gear, and started driving out of the area it was dark. I would have liked to have had much more time here. I dare say it won’t be another 20 years until I return.  

I have to say, I didn’t know Harry Teel had passed away. He was one of the grandest, kindest men I ever had the pleasure of meeting. Harry and his wife Dee were always so kind and generous to my family and me. My wife and I and kids were the first customers in Harry and Dee’s shop the very first morning they opened the doors!

In the picture of my wife above, she is using the rod that Harry sold me many years ago. I could not afford the rods in his shop in Sisters, Oregon. No worries, he took me aside and produced that rod and made me a deal. Part down then and the rest later. I could take the rod with me and promise to pay the rest later. Who would do that today?

God Bless you Harry Teel.


Every Day in May Challenge: The Rod, The Wand, Devining

Every Day in May Outdoor Blogger’s Writing Challenge: Rod

The Rod. Bet you can’t buy just one. My original rod was a metal telescoping fly rod my Uncle gave me in the late 50’s. I never really used that, but by the early 60’s I had a Sears & Roebuck setup…a Ted Williams model rod and reel. A fiberglass rod, it had a sliding sleeve on the cork handle that allowed it to be a fly rod or a spinning rod. I still have it. The set up lasted me for many years. It was a magic wand, a devining rod more often than not.

“Some Sorcerers do boast they have a Rod, Gather’d with Vowes and Sacrifice, And (borne about) will strangely nod To hidden Treasure where it lies; Mankind is (sure) that Rod divine, For to the Wealthiest (ever) they incline.” Sam Sheppard

In my early twenties I ventured away to drift gear (level winds and spinning rods) and spent a majority of the time fishing the terminal gear. But, then providence struck in Sisters, Oregon. I walked into the Fly Fisher’s Place on the first day it opened. Harry and Dee Teel greeted my family, dirty and disheveled after a long camping trip. I looked about the shop and noticed the beautiful fly rods and reels. Most were way out of my price range and I said as much. I was use to inexpensive Lamiglas and Eagle Claw rods.

Harry took me aside and showed me a rod and reel that was tucked away. A loss leader of sorts, a rod that was a prototype from Japan. His kindness and easy style paved the way for me to buy the setup (rod, reel and line plus some leader materials, flies and a box) for $300.00  I used that set up for 13 years. It (I) caught a ton of fish on that prototype, 5 wt. rod. All was good and the beat rolled on.

Then one day I stopped by a fly shop and they were having a casting clinic and just coincidentally they had some Sage and St. Croix rods strung up. I played around with an Sage XP and a St. Croix Ultra Legend. Things changed that day. I still am not really certain it was for the best. The faster Sage and St. Croix rods were amazing to cast. My slower action prototype rod seemed flabby and tired. 

I sprung for both because of a rare windfall. The old, oddly blue colored, prototype rod became a backup to the newly purchased Sage XP 5 wt. and the St. Croix Ultra 3 wt. Both have caught a bunch of fish too. But, I have a sentimental attachment to the slower prototype rod.

Along the way three sons decided to try fly fishing. Orvis, TFO’s, St. Croix, Fetha Styx, Loomis, Echo and Sage rods came into the family rod vault. All have caught fish, all are acceptable rods and some for the price are an excellent value. More costly is not necessarily better. The industry has done better to provide rods at a much cheaper price that the ordinary fly fisher can afford. 

That old, prototype rod does deserve to come out of the rod tube for a tour now and then. I’m not a rod snob, but I do have one thing about poles and rods. It is probably the one underlying hitch in my giddy up that perhaps reveals: the rods and poles thing.

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Challenge Topic: Line


Old Fly Boxes Yield Gems

Today, I found an old fly box in an old gear bag in the garage. The box was empty save one row of about a dozen of these little tan Caddis. I honestly don’t remember tying them, but believe the gear bag has not been used in maybe 20 years. The fly box was from the Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, Oregon. I used to frequent the shop in the glory days of Harry & Dee Teel. I seem to recall fishing these on the Crooked River (Oregon).

It is a simple dubbed hare’s ear abdomen, a beard of Partridge feather fibers, perhaps duck or mallard from a primary feather and a dubbed thorax to cover the tie in points for the wings and beard. Tied to represent a Caddis pupa, it does not have any weight on the shank. Back then the ubiquitous bead head had not quite emerged.


Fly Fishing: Fly Wallets by Marc Crapo

When I look at leather fly wallets I think of a comment Harry and Dee Teel made to my wife and me once. We were staying at their home near Sisters, Oregon. We had been backpacking and car camping for several weeks and Harry and Dee felt our pitiful appearance required a respite at their beautiful home. My wife and I gazed upon their spacious motor home  setting on the property and remarked the usual ‘must be nice’ comment to Harry and Dee. They remarked back, ‘Just wait, someday you may just find yourself in one’. Ha, we thought. Well sleeping on the ground in the wilderness gave way to campgrounds sleeping in the back of the truck, which gave way to a nice tent trailer for the family. Although we have never made the jump to a motor home we did upgrade from the dirt. I’m getting to it…hold on.

So, the fly wallet has always seemed like an extravagant upgrade from usual plastic boxes. The boxes work fine. But, I think if someone wants that personal touch, that unique touch you have to agree the leather fly wallets by Marc’s Custom Hand Crafted Leather Fly Wallets would fill the need. Beautiful work and as they age and acquire your personal markings from life they will be as comfortable as all those gear pieces that age with the sought after ‘you been around look’. Check out Marc’s classy work.


Renegade (another old fly to resurrect)


Another old pattern, that I was introduced to by Harry Teel in the mid 80’s. A simple pattern that seems to not equate to any bug you have seen. I have used it with success on B.C. lakes and Oregon streams. Tie it in a size 20 Griffith’s Gnat style (midge cluster~no fore/aft hackle~palmered hackle) or a size 12 (caddis). The fore and aft hackle provide some movement and buginess and the peacock is magical. It is a fragile fly. After a dozen fish it will most likely come apart at the hackle. Just have enough on hand if traveling to have it available, should it be part of the solution to successfully solving the puzzle.   

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

Welcome to SwittersB & Exploring. Please Share, Comment & Like Away!

Please subscribe just below. Use the Search box to search topics.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the SwittersB blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,216 other followers

The Past

231!!! Countries Visiting SwittersB~Thank You!!!

free counters

Blog Stats: There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • 4,822,591 Visits/Views (WP Original Stat~Pre Flag Counter Stats)

%d bloggers like this: