Tag: weather

Destination charges not included

When engaged in fly-fishing travel off the beaten path, it is important to follow a rigorously tested set of guidelines, thereby ensuring a prosperous expedition. Thankfully, yours truly is a bonafide hack certified beta tester for adventure travel policies and procedures, and since I got stiffed on my retainer didn’t request compensation for the latest excursion, I am going to outline a few of the more important points fearing no copyright, trademark or other infringement …

  1. When your mothership runs a hundred-fifty nautical miles of ten-foot seas on one screw, the outfitter may proffer a liter of tequila as compensation for the suffering [of those who didn’t discover the magic of Sea-Bands when they were six years old]. When this happens, be sure to consume the entire bottle within a few short hours, then strategically place the empty bottle in a plainly visible location. This sends a clear message: you are tougher than nails and cannot be beat want more tequila. Lots more. An alternative approach is to get yourself some Sea-Bands, sell them to another in the group that is seasick, and then you will have money to buy more tequila for yourself.
  2. tequila bottle

    Message in a bottle

  3. If you are sharing an island with roughly 1010,000 … 10,000,000 migratory fowl that squawk in unison all hours of the day and night, carry earplugs (which just so happen to be equally effective on the wood-cutting noise that emanates from sleeping anglers). Further, if you are hunkering down in a partially blown out storm shelter, be sure to note the vertical height of crumbling plaster on the interior walls a.k.a. the flood line. If said measure exceeds two feet, as it did in this test case, sleep on an air mattress; if a hurricane sweeps through you can float to safety. Lastly, do not under any circumstances leave whatever windows that remain in this habitat open – at least half of those previously mentioned birds will swoop through and subsequently crash into a wall at breakneck speed. They usually recover, but it is nevertheless not a pretty sight to watch.
  4. (more…)

Which Way The Wind Blows

In the course of researching global wind patterns, yours truly tripped over this …

global weather

earth :: an animated map of global wind and weather (click to see it live)

Forecast by supercomputers. Updated every three hours. Ocean surface current estimates updated every five days. Free vector and raster map data compliments of Natural Earth.

MG signing off (who found what he was looking for, and then some)

“Three” becomes the charm

As of January 22nd, I had not caught a trout in the year 2010. It was not for lack of trying.

On January 1st I hit Cheesman Canyon. And despite decent weather and plenty of spottings I went home empty handed. Last weekend I could be found tromping around the Blue River. The temperature was bitter, but the fish were plentiful. From Spectator Bridge a buddy watched me bop resident pigs in the nose, time and time again. Not a single take. That makes two skunks.

Yesterday was different.

A wildly popular section of the South Platte River was the target. When we arrived arrived there were a half dozen cars per lot, and anglers in every imaginable hole. This particular section has never been an MG favorite, and the reason is abundantly clear: crowds, even in the dead of winter. The fish have seen every pattern a million times. Even the yearlings shift feeding lanes when they see beadheads coming their way.

They (and I’ll note that “they” seem to be omniscient, whomever “they” are) say that bad luck come in threes. “They” probably don’t know me, but I love pushing my luck. To the nth degree, just in case I get a chance to give bad luck the middle finger (back luck deserves it now and then). So on my third trout-ing this year, after two previous pummelings, I not only picked a spot I didn’t care for, but also a start time (in the water by 11:30am) that guaranteed a mob.

And then came the three. Two bad decisions deserves another – the weather service predicted decent wind for the afternoon, so I threw caution to it and carried a three-weight. Not just any three-weight, however, but a Sage 389-3 LL three-weight. I now call it my fly-fishing middle finger.

For those just joining, the Sage 389-3 LL is kind of like the Ferrari 250 GTO of fly rods. It’s precise, beautiful, and has won accolades far and wide. It’s nowhere near as quick as today’s fast-action drivetrains, but it sure is fun to take for a spin. I figured if the odds were already against me I had nothing to lose.

The end result: it was cold, moderately gloomy, crowded, and the midge hatch that appeared about an hour in lasted all of minutes. The breeze blew, not strong, but non-stop.

And I caught more than my fair share of fish. Plenty of littlies, and only a few of chunk. But no more skunk. Three becomes the charm.

MG signing off (to give bad luck the middle finger every chance I get)

How to burn a three day weekend chasing carp on the fly

The internet is full of instructions, but few will direct you how to successfully be a no-show at several backyard BBQs, miss two hometown basketball games, and yet maximize your alcohol consumption just the same. Fly fishing for carp can do that to a person.

Step 1

Find a local park pond teeming with carp. These carp should be in a post-spawn feeding mode, heads to the floorboard and tails held high.

duckfamilyIf you haven’t learned how to spot tailing carp yet, just remember that virtually every stillwater in suburbia has a high probability of holding carp. But if you think your chosen aquifer might be contaminated, don’t worry – carp are known to live in the nastiest places. If that’s not comfort enough then check for other wildlife. Ponds also hold ducks, and around this time of year there may be plenty of them. Ducks like bugs, and so do carp. This will all make sense soon, but for now spend your first day watching ducks while your friends catch big carp. Catch just one small one yourself to keep things interesting.

Step 2

Those carp that aren’t tailing might be milling around just sub-surface, sipping on something microscopic (or at least out of your eyesight range). Don’t worry about them for now – you’re going to strip small leeches. Make them like #8s, with a bit of black marabou up front and a little purple or red tail. You want to want long and steady strips. Now a lot of the carp are going to spook when those leeches swim by, but every once in a while one is going to decide to pound it. These are the carp you want. After a while, you will loose all your leeches – some will get snagged on the bottom, while others will just get pinged the moment you set the hook on some pig. Then the rain will come, and you will decide to go home.

Step 3

spasticbuggerGo to the fly shop and buy more leeches. Then call the folks you are planning on fishing with the following day and tell them leeches are the ticket. Make sure those peeps are fly tying fanatics. They’ll talk smack about all the whiz bang creations they’re about to come up with, when you know it’s going to be a few mods to the standard wooly bugger. They’ll show up ready to do battle, and certain of their superior firepower.

Pray for another front to roll through, slowing down the carps’ feeding habits just enough that all leeches become totally ineffective. Regardless of your initial inclination that your colleagues would arrive for the bank robbery with paintball guns, everyone is now on an even playing field.

Step 4

Dorsal flairGo back to the same pond, for the third day straight. Since that rain has been passing by each afternoon, the water is now a little cloudy. And you have all these leeches that seemed to be working on day one, but aren’t anymore. You should throw those for at least a few hours. This operation becomes more effective if you loan your go-to carp rig to a friend, and pull out an aging 9-weight RPLX strung with a fat GPX line. You can now throw that leech a country mile, which will give you ample fly fishing satisfaction right up to the point the line hits the water and the tip starts to sink. Sinking tips won’t help you recognize the subtle strike of the Carpio, and that has the added benefit of convincing you that it’s not your fly choice but your equipment that is preventing you from hooking fish.

Step 5

Back at step one I mentioned ducks. And bugs. Those carp lingering near the surface are very likely eating the same bugs the ducks are. All you have to do is kidnap one of those cute baby ducks and pump it’s stomach like you would a trout run a seine over the water surface, and find out what’s cooking. Chronomids!

Step 6

Go home, eat pizza, drink beer, and wait until next weekend. And don’t forget your nymph box.

Even the fishing set needs a little education

If there was any doubt in my mind that the constant vigilance against ad tracking I’ve employed was futile effort, it is now gone…


Maybe it’s just punishment for my persistent use of the interwebs to check the weather in Hartsel, CO (a.k.a. Redneck Disneyland), in hopes of seeing it scream TORNADO FORCE WINDS AND COLDER THAN SIBERIA since I’m not actually there.

Winter solace isn’t supposed to mean ‘cold, and sans fish’

Cold Rod

I spent roughly four hours today playing winter river commando. Ducking behind rocks and blending into tree shadows cast by a low sun. Slipping on ice, tucking hands into jacket, and repeatedly coming up short on casts when ice magically appeared on guides that moments before were clear as a summer day. You know the drill.

I expected there to be a few people out – we haven’t had a storm in what seems like weeks, and the temps were supposed to climb into the high 30’s. From the looks of the banks, the section I did icicle dancing on was well traveled. But I’d been there before when it was shoulder to shoulder, and was plenty fine with taking my fair share and moving on. Today, I not only didn’t get as much as a look, but the temperature was still lingering around 30f when I got back to the truck.

What did I throw today…Mysis, San Juans in red, pink, and purple, a tungsten-weighted golden stone, Black Beauties down to size 24, Discos in three colors (and in the same size range), Black and Red Jujubees (yep, tiny), and a few darker WD-40s that were so small I generally stuff two in each slot in my box. Zero, zip, nada for fish.

Frozen laces

By 2pm I had plenty of sun on my cheeks, and headed back to the truck for some grub. Thereafter three more vehicles pulled up, and out jump four humans apiece already donning waders. I decided I’d write the afternoon off (or what was left of it, since the glorious sun would be disappearing behind the mountaintops in another hour anyway). I broke down the gear and then reached for my bootlaces – they were still frozen stiff. So, I had to stand in the middle of the lot facing the sun for another ten minutes in order to thaw. I eat slow – high 30’s my ass.

Before I left I called a friend who’d being hunting out on the eastern plains, to see how they had done. He told me they’d bagged precisely nothing, and on account of the weather. Said it was too warm! Had we been forced to live off the land, the sign on the kitchen door would say ‘closed’ right about now.

Nevertheless, I’ve dodged cabin fever for another week or two – and frankly, I’m not really complaining about the cold as much as the lack of action – the latter just means I get to continue having nightmares (of popped tippets) and hallucinations (of angry browns attacking me with piranha-like frenzy) until the next try.