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Showing posts from October, 2013

Speywater Reprise

Can anything be too good to be true?  How about this?
Autumn Sunshine Daytime temps in the sixties  Nighttime temps upper thirties to forties New friends Old friends Smiles Sexy steelhead flies A big pull Steelhead Adipose fins A morning cup of camp coffee Incredible scenery Bright starry nights Full moon Sumac Bighorn sheep Bugling elk Canyon wrens Dippers October Caddis Campfires Dining by moonlight The last campout of the year A zillion things that I've forgot

My wife Jo and I floated and fished the Grande Ronde River with the crew from Speywater Guide Service last year.  Jo had such a good time that we decided to go back.  Hell, we had to, she bought herself a spey rod. She really had to twist my arm to go back.  Only kidding, I bought a new rod too! So, we re-booked the trip last December.  Flywater Travel arranges most of the trips.
The post from last years trip is here……so, I won't rehash the daily routine.
The why of the trip.  Of course, fishing is the primary reason…

Before The Float

I'll keep this brief while I continue to sort trip photos for a post.  We spent a night in Orofino, Idaho while en route to the Grande Ronde. While there, Jo and I had supper at a Chinese Restaurant.  After an ample meal, it was time to pay the bill.  The requisite fortune cookie also appeared. Mine said……

Boats and water are in your future.
Amazing!  How did they know that we were going on a float trip?
We hit the road early the next morning.  It's only a couple of hours from Orofino to the Ronde.  That left Jo and I with a full day to putter around on our own before heading out with the Speywater crew. We got in a few casts and practiced slipping around on the rocks.  Here are a few pre float photos.





While waiting in the exam room at the doctors office yesterday,  I found this in a book about laughter and medicine…….



The definition of confidence is going after Moby Dick…..
with a rowboat, harpoon, and….a jar of tartar sauce!





My back says …enough sitting for now…..I'll be ba…

Back….in more ways than one

We floated the Grande Ronde last year.  We had such a good time that we had to go back.  As per usual, it was an outstanding trip.  The weather was tremendous.  The country…magnificent.  Scott, Dax, Andy and the rest of the Speywater crew are the best.  I'll post about the trip once I sort photos.

Meanwhile, the drive from Lewiston, Idaho to Bozeman is …..well….pretty long.  Slow and windy along the Clearwater.  Then up along the Lochsa to Lolo Pass.  Then down along Lolo Creek and on to Missoula.  Two hundred miles or so of slow going.  We stopped frequently to stretch.

I hesitate to put labels on places.  But the Lochsa, in my opinion, may very well be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.  I never tire of the long, windy, scenic drive (well, maybe yesterday while fidgeting in the car seat).  It may be where my ashes spend eternity.

The post title?  Well, my back crapped out, big time.  I wonder when I'll next pick up a fly rod.

Today….doctoring.

Of Browns and Beetles

A few weeks back, I fished a small creek that wound lazily through a meadow.  Once in a great while a fish would rise.  It wasn't a feeding frenzy.  I had no clue as to what they were taking.  There were no winged insects.  Couldn't see much of anything drifting in stream either.  I remembered reading "When in doubt, use a beetle", courtesy of Mike Lawson.

So I stripped off some line, measured my cast and sent the beetle on it's way.  A couple of funky drifts and I figured out the current.  A fish rose again.  Out went another cast.  The fish took.  A nice little brown.  I got three more out of that little run.  Clearly, they liked the beetle.

It's a simple tie. I used whatever material was available.  In this case, a dubbed body of peacock ice dub, some black electronics foam packing, black flashabou for legs, orange post for visability.

This version is a low rider. Even with a short line, it was a $#%h? to see.  When a fish rose wherever I thought the fly …

Dumpling Day

It's a big job. Spread over a couple of days. Boil potatoes. Peel 'em. Rice 'em. Let them dry out. Next day make the dough. Pit a bunch of plums.  Roll out the dough, put a plum or half in each, with or without a sugar cube.  This is where a second person comes in handy.  Jo did the rolling, I did the cooking. Drop into a pot of boiling water.  When they float to the top, cook 'em for a while longer. Remove and put into a skillet with some bread crumbs that have been browned in a little butter.  Coat 'em real good.
Now the fun part.  Eating!!
Put a few on a plate (as if that's enough).  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar.  Poke 'em with a fork.  They make this indescribable sound as plum juice squirts out.  Oh yeah! 
Eat.   Savor.  Let your eyes roll back in your head. Man is that good.
This is a Hungarian delicacy.  Mom would slave away in the kitchen, one girl crew that she was, making a huge batch of dumplings. Dad would hock them down like there wa…

A Bird Hunter's Table

I hold in my hands a new cookbook that may be of interest to bird hunters.  Other than to say that it's nicely done, I'll not provide a review.  Why?  Well, I'm biased, the author is a family friend.  Sarah Davies, my wife Jo, and their pack of Brittanys have been hunting buddies for a long time. I've occasionally tagged along on their hunting forays as a cheerleader and photographer.


This summary is from Sarah's Facebook page……...
I have recently published a new cookbook, A Bird Hunter’s Table. A Bird Hunter’s Table is about cooking, eating, and sharing friendship. It is also about gundogs, gamebirds, and getting outside to enjoy the land. A Bird Hunter’s Table includes over 130 recipes, stories from the field, and smattering of natural history. To learn more, see a sample of the book, or to purchase….. www.birdhunterstable.com
The web link provides a good feel for the layout of the book.  Did I say it's nicely done?

A Ruff Day

We usually wait 'til October to chase ruffed grouse.  It gives them a chance to grow some, feather out too.  They're a bit wilier, having endured a month of hunting.  A few less leaves on the brush increases the chances of seeing, rather than just hearing the wingbeat of fleeing birds.

We slipped out one mid-week day.  The weatherman said that a storm was a coming (indeed it did). It was a gray, flat light day. Cool and damp, the previous nights rain clung to the brush.  It made for a nice comfortable day for a walk in the mountains. I toted a camera, looking for that one quintessential, elusive image that captures the essence of ruffed grouse hunting.

So, up the muddy trail we went.  A few deer tracks.  Moose tracks too.  Along the way, a wandering bear had torn apart some rotten logs while grubbing for a meal.


Birds?  Yes. The first couple flushed wild, then the dog settled in.  A point. Flush. Shot. Retrieve. One in the bag.  The first ruff of the year.  A mix of buff and…