Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Holiday Hangover

Ah the Holiday Hangover the colossal queen and mother of head-pounders. It’s like mixing vodka with pure sugar and adding a dash of more turkey and stuffing then anyone could stand, then ride out the high and crash with your family.

Yes my friends the Holiday Hangover is a blood sucking river wolf of a nightmare. You’ll feel like more cuss words then you want to hear and I’m sure you are all hearing them and I swear to god if old ant May what’s her name asks me one more time about those pretty little fish hooks I’m making I just might test out that new Mossberg uncle Charles got from Santa.

What a mess, the dogs are even lazily lying around the house fat as ticks from table scraps and refusing to move for anything. Bigfoot could walking in here, ransack the place and no one would bother getting up.

I would like to say that I’m going to head of to the river in an hour and get some fishing in but the truth is bleak. If I did you would all read the headline tomorrow, idiotic fisherman found dead in the river from over exposure to Christmas cheer.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nostalgia of Bamboo

I’ve been wrapped up in the nostalgia of bamboo lately. I suppose I’m drawn to the romance of that bygone era. An era when man made great functional objects that were meant to be used and stand the test of time while displaying the utmost beauty, which in the same hand displays true art through craftsmanship. Sure my graphite rods are great and very functionally even down right scientific, but there is just something about natural materials being fashioned into a tool which can be used to supply and or simple enjoy.

Now I’m no aficionado but I’m sure fiberglass and graphite came about like everything else in this world, from the necessity to make a lousy buck by going faster and cranking out more and more. Thank god we have those among us who have taking up the old ways and learned the trade and how to use knowledge and their hands to build instead of relying on some machine, which possesses no emotional bond or understanding of the material.

And thus we have a new obsession an a new hunt to begin.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Midges and Meditation

There is, has and always will be something to be said about dry fly fishing. It’s the purest form of catching trout by the fly and an art in it’s own right.

However, I look forward to this time of year when the midge is king. To fish with a midge you have to tune in and tune out all other distractions focusing only on the strike, which will be subtle. It can be as technical and as challenging as you make it and very rewarding to those who can read water.

To me midge fishing in size 18-22 is almost spiritual. If you have confidence in your fly, cast and location midge fishing becomes tangled in meditation, emptying your mind of all but one thought. The strike.

- H.L.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Claim Before the Storm

Tomorrow will be my first trip into the Blue's C&R in over a year. I hear the fishing is tough up there so the plan is to fish midges and try not to get skunked. I have Zebras, Discos, San Juans, RS2s, Griffith's Gnats, Ole Grays, and a new midge larvae pattern I have developed in the box and ready to go.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rebel Flags and Rusted Out Mercurys

If you head down Highway 3 far enough east past the Rebel flags and rusted out cars of a bygone era, which reminds you that cars aren’t as visually interesting as they used to be and even in a state of decay they still seem to present themselves with more class and beauty then any modern day tin can excuse of an automobile. Oh and don’t forget to turn left at the End Of The Trail sign, not too far from there you’ll find a fisherman’s stream hidden behind the pines, running between the tall hills left over from an ancient range of long ago.

The plan was to be on the water by 2:00pm but before that scouting had to be done. Which will be the best holes to fish? Where is the wind backing up the river? What spots are crowded? Where are the browns?

First stop is the fly shop.

This intel will be some of the most valuable. Pay attention to what areas they say are hot and more attention to which are not. Now here is the real trick, mill around the shop then ask that question. Then find something like a T-Shirt for your kid, strike up a non-fishing conversation try to find some common ground, when you’re checking out ask more questions about that area then ask about a map. Nine times out of 10 while drawing you a map another area will come to mind and now since you don’t seem like an outsider they will share that location, bingo.

The upper Spillway was hot, AKA crowded. The Evening Hole was dead, AKA less pressured and Zone 2 was the secret saved for Locals. You see a tourist trap fly shop attracts a certain kind of fisherman, I’m not going to say a lesser fisherman but defiantly not the kind that only shop these shops to gather crucial information and to buy T-shirts for their 2 year old.

Next stop the less pressured Evening Hole.

I’m going to keep this one simple, a tiny fly fished at a dead drift in a area that 30 minutes before was considered DEAD has now produced a 18 inch rainbow and 3 more after that.

Zone 2

I saved this area for Saturday morning. By walking the trail to the stream the day before in clothing that in no way resembled a fisherman I meet fisherman, many of which love to brag and share info with someone who looks to not be a threat I.E. a non-fisherman. In fact I learned that the day before a 21 inch brown was caught there and the guy showed me a picture of it on his phone. Now I know many of you are thinking this guy is some sort of fly fishing double agent, but all I’m saying is fish smarter not harder.

I entered the trail to the stream at about 7:30am and right off the bat met an interesting character, which is not that uncommon, It seems like I always meet colorful characters on the trail to a stream. This one, may however take the cake. He was a wild eyed man with more feathers in his hat then a Cheyenne war bonnet and more duct tape around his waders then I thought was even possible. He was super excided about this rainbow he had caught the day before and preceded to show me it’s head, which was now dripping blood on the tailgate of my truck. (This is the type of fisherman that I referenced as a Head Hunter in my previous blog titled “Sworn To Secrecy”)

Now, being the kind of guy that I am my first notion was to sock his lights out for killing what once was a 20 plus fish and ensuring that he would be the last man on earth to catch him, leaving the rest of the world to dabble with stockers. But, the teachings of the society we live in took hold and I refrained from fist to cuffs on the banks of a stream over a dead fish that was legal to harvest. And now that I sound like a 20 Plus Club elitist i should disclaim that I really don’t mind catching any size of fish and it is my personal policy to catch and release, especially in a stream that fish live in year round. It is also my personal pleasure to have a mental image of myself knocking this guys tooth out for violating my code of ethics, but enough about him and yes he had one tooth.

8:00am at the first set of falls

Down from the small spillway at the first set of falls I cast into the closest fall as the line began to drift in the current it suddenly stopped. A rock or limb this thing isn’t moving. Then all of a sudden Zing the line took off like a rocket down stream leaving the distance between the line and backing shrinking at an incredible rate. This is getting exciting I take off following, keeping the line tight trying to get into some slow shallow water where I can have the upper hand. Unfortunately here is where it went south with a slip and quick plunge into the water, but the line is still tight. Not long after that the fish breaks the surface and it’s yellow and my big Brown. What happened next is gone now and I have no idea how it happened but the line went dead and the fish was gone. My brown, all my intel, my hopes, my dreams, my strict code of ethics all gone with the only saving grace being a line I read in one of John Gierach’s books where he talks about the Long Distance Release. Not long after that the wind went from 0 to 18 MPH with gust up to 30 MPH and the fishing was over.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Best Month Ever

Days to be on the water as indicated by fly illustrations!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Change Up

With the seasons changing from autumn to winter I too have the overwhelming desire to turn a new leaf. So with that being said, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Dead Drift Media!

Now, we would love to tell you about the exciting ideas and projects that we have on the drawing board, but until things are a little more ironed out this site will continue to be an angler’s blog with writings of fly fishing adventure from yours truly.

See you on the water,


Co. Captain of Dead Drift Media

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Outside the Box

So, I've been working on a minimalist approach with my ultimate fly selection for about a year now. I wanted to get away from taking boxes of fly's that i'll never use. Here is what i've come up with! One box, two sides; one for drys, emergers, sowbugs and killers the other with streamers, worms, nymphs and midges plus spots for the strike indicators as well as spit shot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where The Trees Touch The Sky

There are those places in this world where our life’s little worries seem to disappear and for me that place is a stream nestled between the banks of rock and soil where the woods grow tall and the trout grow large. There is such a place not far from my home and once you are there and the first fly is cast you will never leave, for this place is forever with you, it grows on your mind and you will think of it often.


Written in reflection of my first trip to the Lower Mountain Fork.