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Butter Sandwiches.....

I've gotten to the point where fishing has become an increasingly less important part of fishing.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  There must be something to it as I keep going fishing without engaging in the act.  Indeed, I'd spent the previous four creek visits dawdling, reading, hiking and taking photos.  The trips weren't a complete loss, I may have dozed off a time or two as well.
However, this day I'd rig a rod and wet a fly.  It was time to justify the moniker of fisherman and use some of the accumulated dust gathering gear.  It was time to catch a fish.
Remarkably, the fishing rust hadn't settled too deeply.  I got a couple out of a sheltered run. Thinking that I could handle another fish or two, I meandered downstream on the snowy deer-tracked trail. The creek, here a straightaway, was considerably more exposed.  The wind had managed to gather the proverbial steam, albeit, without the requisite warmth.
Whitecaps rolled on the normally pla…

Hopper Time

It's time to take a break from shoveling snow.  Time to dream of green grass, warm breezes and summer sun.
So what if it's winter.  It's hopper time.
Time to tie them at least.  Also  time to take a break from tying midges.  Imagine that, something big enough to see without an electron microscope.
I don't fish terrestrials much, other than the occasional beetle.  But, as far as hoppers go, this is my favorite.  Excepting the rubber legs, its all natural.  Just elk hair and turkey.
The pattern goes by a couple of names.  Bullet  head hopper.  Mike Lawson's Henry's Fork hopper.
No need to reinvent the egg, so I won't.  Here are a few links which detail the tying steps excellently:
This site has animations of the tying steps.....bullethead hopper by a fellow named Derek Porter.
Al Campbell at Fly Anglers On Line offers a slightly different version of the Henry's Fork Hopper.
The main difference between the two versions is in how the abdomen is tied in.  …

Closer To Home

October.
A month of miles and road trips.
Montana.  Idaho.  Washington. 
Chasing trout, steelhead, bird hunting photos.
The last week was spent closer to home.














Getting reacquainted
with a few friends....








Completing The Picture...

There's a scene that I admire whenever I drive the road that winds along the Lochsa River.
A wooden bridge spans the river and connects to trails that lead to the Idaho backcountry.
There should be a string of packhorses lined out along the bridge.

All Together Now....

Mid-October on the prairie. Clouds and sky make a perfect backdrop.
This year, the birds, like steelhead, were scarce, but not nonexistent.
Here, the girls take a break.  Note the attentiveness (of the dogs). 
No food bribery involved.


Few Don't Mean None....

Not much of a steelhead run forecast for the Upper Columbia River tributaries this year.  Maybe the worst in forty years according to some.  But, I went anyway.  
Someone assumed that he'd packed the leader wallet containing tips for his spey rod. Alas, they were four hundred miles away.
I had a back-up.
This fish, the first morning, was caught while swinging a fly on a single handed eight weight.
Luck is a good thing.

It's A Long Way To The Top...If You Want To Catch A Fish

Hot.  Dry.  Smoky.  Summer.
I woke to a hint of frost the past two Sunday's, camped as I was high in the mountains.  It didn't last long.  The frost was gone with the first touch of sun. 
I backpacked both weekends just to see if I still could.  Just to see if I still enjoyed it.  And to be in the high country. 
I missed the simplicity of camp life. 
Wherein life is reduced to the barest of essentials.
Find a nice level spot.  Pitch the tent.  Fetch water.  Take in the view.  Just be.
I needed to check on the last of the flowers.  And catch a few fish.