fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

Leave a comment

what we saw last week… (2011-08-31)

  • Book nerds rejoice! 'Just My Type: A Book About Fonts,' think 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves' #
  • Amazing that the L.A. River opens to boating after Army Corp. enginneer was fired a few years ago for floating down it. #

Powered by Twitter Tools


Leave a comment

north to Alaska…

It’s not that we’re abandoning the six regular readers out there, but three-hundred and fifty-nine days have passed since plans were laid and, finally, we’ll be cruising to Alaska just about 14 hours from now. There’s no fishing in the plans, but that’s not to say it won’t come to pass. (The Wife’s never put the kibosh on fishing and is even encouraging I do so this trip.) Regardless, there will be thoughts of fishing…in the suitcase is what’s needed to tie the flies I lose in trees use most.

It’s been a crushing week lining up the ducks. Everything’s been done that could be done at work, and whatever’s undone at home will be left that way.

Relativity being a real thing, the next 10 days will likely fly by. And human nature being what it is, I’m selfishly looking upon this as an extension of the birthday that crept up on me today. (Feel free to send any fly fishing gear, a Ferrari or cash.)

It’s not that I’m truly selfish and don’t appreciate those who spend a few seconds minutes stopping by, but don’t expect much in the coming week and a half. It’s just that there’s no guarantee that there’ll be a connection to the Interwebs or willingness to step away from the buffet or bar long enough to write.

I do promise to wave from under the Golden Gate.

Leave a comment

what we saw last week… (2011-08-24)

  • Yes, Virginia, an abundance of parasites can affect the wild salmon population. #
  • Three hundred or so three pound or so hatchery trout that won't make it the stream or lake… #
  • All u need 2 find trout from #Orvis #FlyFishing Guide Podcast: Foam is Home, Rocks Rock, Wood is Good, Made in the Shade. #
  • A good thing: Now a blind hero can (more readily) become a hero to the blind. #Daredevil #Comic #
  • Trouble on day-ticket water in England: bogus bailiff about. #
  • Hackers lash out at riders, not BART, after shutdown of BART’s *OWN* cell network that’s offered as a courtesy. Huh? #

Powered by Twitter Tools


it boils down to confidence in the little things

If you’re looking to build self-confidence and have taken up fly fishing, there is no shortage of instructional books, DVDs, websites and podcasts. Some folks will proclaim that things like more expensive better rods, a specific brand of fly line and the one killer fly will be the keys to a better fly fishing experience. But the best thing any angler can do is to just keep casting; confidence comes with learning to do things on your own.

Building this necessary confidence took me a while. Those who’ve seen my fishing — specifically my casting — might agree that blind confidence is a much bigger part of the equation than skill.

In casting, confidence requires first believing that you won’t piece a body part and, second, that you’ll get the fly where it needs to go.

When it comes to flies, there’s a prevalent theory that anglers gravitate toward certain flies — and hook most fish with them — because they have confidence in those flies. Confidence or lack thereof can also apply to the landing of or losing those hooked fish. My “confidence flies” are the Zebra Midge, AP Nymph and something like a Copper Chromie, but with red thread and silver wire.

Confidence in flies can be challenged again when you tie your own. The flies that work, the ones in which an angler has the most confidence, will be the ones tied most often. That certainly applies to my tying. (See the list above.)

My confidence was called into question this year, once again, when I hooked that first fish on the rod I built during the winter. My confidence grew with each fish coaxed to the net.

Soon I’ll be testing the limits of that confidence. I’ll be working with knotted leaders.

Yeah, old school stuff. There are folks who eschew modern loop-to-loop connections and extruded knotless leaders and swear by knotted leaders. In my case, I’ll be duplicating a time-tested formula used for stillwater nymphing (3 feet of 1X, 3 feet of 3X and 7 to 10-plus feet of 5X to the depth fished).

It’s my knot-tying ability that’ll be tested…in a lake where 18-inch rainbow, brown or cutthroat trout aren’t uncommon, and often one might get into a 24 incher. It doesn’t help that I have an inherent mistrust of tippet. The formula works; at least when tied by guides I’ve hired.

This time I’ll be me tying the knots, and I’d daresay that any fish I land will be well deserved.

Leave a comment

what we saw last week… (2011-08-17)

Powered by Twitter Tools


late summer lament, wife on the motorcycle, and a reminder from Churchill

"Four Seasons-Fenner Nature Center" photo collage by Aunt Owwee, used under creative commons licenseHi, I’m Patrick and I’m a fly fisherman. I cast my last fly…

Late Summer Lament

It’d soften the blow to say that I fell off the wagon this summer. The truth is that I nearly missed the wagon entirely.

There are plenty of excuses for not fly fishing as much as I’d have liked this summer. Sure, high water on many of the rivers for much of the summer is another lame excuse. Thankfully, I’m gainfully employed, which while providing the funds for fishing, also limits the time in which to do so.

I did squeeze in some quality and numbers of fish on the few trips I did make, but it’s been too many days. I’m feeling the shakes. The hope is to get in a quick fix next weekend.

But here in California summer won’t wane until late September, although the high country where I prefer to chase trout will have a light dusting of fall colors by then. That’s when we’ll expect to make up for lost opportunities. It’s the annual club trip and my time there this year will be nearly doubled. The chance of larger fish will also be raised with the hope of spending many of those days on a favorite lake that’s lately been giving up some big brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout.

In between now and then, we’ll be heading to Alaska via a cruise ship, giving devoted attention to The Wife, and there will be no fishing. We’re saving up for a week-long fishing trip in The Last Frontier sometime in the coming year. Or the next.

More Adventure on Two Wheels

The Wife surprised me a while ago. “So, when are you going to take me on the motorcycle?”

There’s no telling if it’s the experience gained over a few years of riding or the miles, or maybe the idea of snuggling at speed, but it was clear she was serious after a little discussion. I knew she used to ride, back when rashness of youth focused on the “bad boys” with their Harleys motorcycles.

After buying a helmet last Saturday (not pink and no rhinestones, thank you), we rode on Sunday. Not too many miles, about 15, but enough for me to get the feel of having a passenger. All went well, no doubt helped along by The Wife’s previous riding experience.

Having a wife supporting her husband’s hobby is pretty near; to join in, definitely a bonus.

When Fly Fishing Wasn’t a Political Photo Op

During some general browsing of the web, I came across the article below from the Ottawa Citizen, dated August 28, 1943. It struck me as an illustration of the resolve of leaders not too many years ago. Despite the troubles of the world, time was taken to enjoy a favored pursuit (albeit during a secret meeting codename Quadrant). A reminder, despite the troubles of today, to slow down and savor that which we enjoy.

Churchill Goes Trout Fishing after Secret Confab, Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 28, 1943 (Google News Archive)

Churchill Goes Trout Fishing after Secret Conference in Quebec,
from the Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 28, 1943 (via the Google News Archive)

Leave a comment

what we saw the week before this Wednesday (2011-08-10)

  • Bummer…wish I got the World Fishing Network so I could watch the #Orvis Guide to #FlyFishing show…
  • #Fishing report from the good ol’ days used to illustrate “…decisions made then, and the present we have inherited.” #
  • Got good local trout water? An article on closest to me: Challenging #flyfishing venue that might improve in 10-15 years. #
  • Redington first #flyfishing manufacturer at Outdoor Retailer show. Good for industry outreach, but will it crowd waters? #
  • Is a man thing – or just me – to enjoy the smell of vulcanized rubber in the Costco tire shop? #


rooting for the little guy fly

There’s something so very American about rooting for the little guy who’s dreaming big.

Kirk Werner, aka Unaccomplished Angler and children’s book author, certainly seems to be one of those guys. [Insert joke about height here.] Ignoring what he might think of me, I consider him to be a shade more than a passing acquaintance, definitely a friend in the fly fishing fraternity, and now role model when it comes to unbridled ambition.

Olive the Woolly Bugger Hollywood Star

Maybe some day, Olive...

Kirk’s launched a campaign he hopes will lead to one or all of his books based on the character Olive the Woolly Bugger (also a little guy fly) being made into an animated movie. He might just have a shot. Just not for the obvious reasons.

It’s right there in his chosen moniker: Unaccomplished Angler.

Reading Kirk’s blog you’ll see that he’s certainly endured enough heartache at the fins of taunting trout. Though he doesn’t appear to display overt signs of depression, he’s suffered for his work like many a better-known author; possibly putting him in the company of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Clemens, Virginia Woolf, Robert Louis Stevenson and, fittingly for a children’s book author, Hans Christian Andersen.

And, in my humble opinion, the Olive books — to use industry buzzwords — offer nice pacing; quirky, likeable characters and interesting plot twists.

So, being sucked into Kirk’s delusion of grandeur, I’m not only dropping a little image into the side bar supporting Kirk’s efforts in the hope, but offering public words of encouragement.

It never entered my mind that there may be a commission if this all pans out.

Leave a comment

what we see (2011-08-04)

  • “There’s a great future in plastics.” Maybe not: Researchers find plastic in more than 9% of fish in northern Pacific. #
  • Supporters of open-water aquaculture take note: 117,500 triploid rainbow trout escape net pen on the Columbia River. #
  • Love the name of the “Shark Taco Hopper” fly, but sure does look like cotton candy for trout. #
  • A few senators too worried about the eating of genetically engineered salmon as to miss the larger environmental picture. #