Posts Tagged ‘wading


Sad to say……….

this is as close as I have been to wading and fly fishing of late. Went in for a few beverages with my friend Joe Berentsen and missed the downpour. Definitely time to wet a line.

photography-high water-SwittersB-Joe Berentsen-humor


Water Art: Images of Reflection & Displacement

With all outdoor pursuits one sees possibilities of creative angles, light, emotions, contrasts, textures, history etc. I have three sons, all competent outdoorsmen. One, in particular, has a keen eye for the more artistic side. Sometimes he just seems to be photographing more than fishing, but hey its his experience.

lake water clouds ™ SwittersB

Pushing Forward ™ SwittersB

Water Wheel ™ SwittersB


Less Wings and Beer…More O2

The above food and beverage(s) passed my lips many times this past year. Almost in a state of self-abuse, I consumed all manner of deep-fried this and that: chicken, fish, pickles, mushrooms, cheese sticks, jalapeno peppers and fries. Washed down with several bebidas, I was less than kind to my health. Now, I am not saying once in a while is not ok, but I was on a quest to clug up my innards while doing little to maintain fitness. 

I worked countless hours at the Hoarding House, but that was not really big muscle exercise. So, this past week after taking a short jaunt into a river’s canyon, I could sense I was terribly out of shape. There was not spring in my step, no feeling of fitness.

So, last night I decided to venture back to the gym. I went slow and easy. Getting a sense of where I was on the fitness scale. I soon found out and this morning I can feel it even more. It is going to be a long Winter. But, that hiking, wading, climbing over, stumbling about requires increased fitness. Less wings and beer…sigh.


Every Day in May Challenge: Safety First…Life’s a Blessing


A Warning Safety Sign in a bar’s restroom. The bar being in close proximity to the Light Rail System (passenger train of sorts) warns that walking while intoxicated near the tracks could be deadly. The sign was assaulted as most signs are in restrooms with spit marks, etchings and some felt markings by ‘artists’.

I have written here at SwittersB enough times about safety and forethought because I am an expert. I’m an expert because I have fallen, stumbled, submerged, tumbled, crashed, tripped….slipped….and smashed. I have broken numerous rods and I have broken bones. And, this is just the fishing outings. Throw in hiking, backpacking, working on ladders (very dangerous for men) and roofs and believe me when I say the old admonition of “be prepared” or Semper Paratus is sound advice, especially if you stumble about sober as I do. 

Let’s simplify it for the now youthful risk taker and the old wheezer like me….risk assessment, fitness assessment and as a Dirty Harry (Callahan) said “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

No, no..not that one..this one…”Well, you’re a good man, lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations…” Well, Harry said that in a sarcastic, condescending manner to Lt. Briggs, but the point is know your limitations. 

Life experiences, outings, mistakes, other’s experiences should teach you to size up the risks in a certain move. That two hundred foot descent down a hillside to the river will not happen these days. Too many injuries and tumbles. And my fitness level, despite my efforts to stay fit, has diminished with age. For me, that greatly influences wading safety through the course of a day. Stumbling about while wading or rock hopping the shoreline will eventually result in a broken something. Yes, know your limitations. It is not giving up the pursuit. It is looking before you leap. Eventually, even the young risk taker will learn this.


On a more somber note, I am attending a funeral this morning for a dear, departed friend. I worked beside him for many years. He was heroic to me. Older, fearless, tough. He repeatedly had my young ass covered. He saved my life on two occasions when “stay alert, stay alive” actually resonated with me nightly. God’s Speed Mac

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Challenge Topic is Memory


Mood Swings, Weather and Wet Wading

Just a week ago, I was wading wet on an early morning with daytime temps in the high 80’s. This morning, the pile is on and temps are in the low 50’s. My skinny legs would need the pile pants and waders this time around.


Every Day in May Challenge: ‘Runoff’


Leaves Up Into the Trees:

RUNOFF: I suppose I typically associate that with snow melt and the Spring time, early Summer runoff that scours out rivers and keeps bank anglers and river runners waiting for better fishing conditions. Of course, kayakers, rafters and thrill seekers are ecstatic.

I watch the river gages to see when some of my favorite rivers will drop into shape. Much of time, I am not dealing with the typical Spring time, snow melt, high water scenario. Rather, I more often am dealing with Winter time heavy rains and surface runoff that pushes rivers well up into the trees and makes wading forbidden. Then it is the waiting game. Which rivers drop into shape sooner than others. Do I know at what height the river is getting fishable and is the water clarity closer to “steelhead green” rather than chocolate latte? 

One learns the minimum levels to consider fishing on say the Deschutes River (Oregon). Risk takers will ignore this, of course, and some will perish. I am to risk avoidant to wade in waters that are like walking on bowling balls with less than a foot of clarity. “Flows can fluctuate in May. High but steady or decreasing flows are fishable, but once you get above 6500 cfs or so (Madras gage), it’s hard to find good spots to fish. When flows are high, you should look for the same TYPE of water that you usually fish, but it may be in a different place. And there won’t be as many places to fish as there are at lower flows.” (Westfly)

River gages, when available are a valuable resource in deciding whether the timing is right to drive an hour or more to a river to fish, especially in the Winter. I can drive a short distance and look at the Sandy River for color and flow and decide if it is worth driving up to Oxbow or higher, but gages help too. Watching weather predictions, river forecasts and dam releases will help in your decisions to travel or not travel. In the Spring, the ‘runoff’ is hopeful for the long term as snows melt and temperatures warm…hope springs eternal that months lie ahead of decent fishing. Not so predictable in the Winter. 

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Writing Challenge Topic: Safety First


Every Day in May Challenge: Waders (Old, Stained & Yellowed)


The best purchase I have ever made in all my years of fly fishing. No rod, no reel, no vest, no pack, nothing equals the purchase of my Gore Tex waders quite a few years ago. Closely associated are the best possible boots to go with them. Getting out of those old, foul, smelly, tight, ugly neoprene waders, a supposed improvement over the old rubberized wader of old, was the best thing I ever did.

 Dirtied, soiled, stained…’rode hard and put away wet’ my Simms waders (you can pick your own non-neoprene, Gore Tex brand of waders). Well worth the investment. Nothing worse than trying to shimmy out of those old, wet neo’s on a sub freezing Winter day. Did I mention I hated those old neoprene waders?

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Topic: ‘Something Completely Different’


Every Day in May Challenge: ‘Current’

Every Day in May Challenge: Today’s topic ‘Current’

Current? Current Events? Current in a river? Well it dove tails in a way. Currently, I am coming out of a dutiful stint for the last five years of tending to my mom and aunt (both massive hoarders; cancer, dementia, hospice, death, hoarding cleanup, which will continue on into next year; surgeries). All this has taken a toll on my outdoor pursuits with the necessary sacrifices we all have to eventually make for those we love and care for.

Fly fishing has been a passion for decades and this is the longest phase of such infrequent outings. Outings that are often disjointed and jumbled. One does become quite proficient in all the skill sets if one gets to engage in the pursuit often. It is kind of like riding a bike. It comes back after awhile. But at times I feel like a bumbler while fishing, fumbling for gear, stumbling while wading. Fitness plays a role in this. Surgeries and the attendant decline in strength contributes to the klutzy movements. Distractions that can intrude upon the zone, ‘the moment’. But, I believe in a better tomorrow. 

Markers in the Wild

 The currents of the rivers and streams are forces that we read. Seams and competing forces that effect our presentations and success. Part of the puzzle that we attempt to solve: where is the lie? what insects live in that type of water? Imagery, imagination, karma. Currents and the structures beneath are like life. They must be read and understood if we are to be successful.

Current Events + Currents of the River. A blend that is life.


Review: Patagonia Rock Grip Boots & Crampons


BEVERLY JOUBERT/National Geographic


Fly Fishing: ‘Oh what a relief it is……….’

Awhile back, I remarked that I was having a heck of a time with a pair of Simms G4 Guide Boots. They never did feel right and caused a lot of aggravation to the outer ankle bone. More than once I was hobbling back some distance to the rig. Because of the excellent customer service at The Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, Oregon, and Lou Verdugo, I made a trade of sorts for a new pair of Simms boots, the Guide Boot. Wow…what a relief. I ache enough with other maladies, so no pain in the feet is wonderful. (Best wishes to Lou!)

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