Tuesday, December 21, 2010

december trout picked up on le mouching

I couldn't figure out why the video "december trout" had received so many hits (relative to my other videos) in the past. I was browsing Le Mouching, a french fly fishing site, and happened upon my video, complete with the following description:

L’hiver au Montana… les matins où le soleil perçant les nuages vous ébloui, bercés par les cahots, excités par l’idée d’aller à la pêche, étrange mélange de sensations, l’odeur du café dans les mugs, le froids extérieur qui contrasta avec la chaleur de la voiture. L’hiver, pour tous ceux qui sont frustrés car la pêche et fermée et à qui il ne reste que les réservoirs et l’attente de l’ouverture en Mars, ce film est pour vous.

which apparently translates to:

Wintertime in Montana…mornings where the sun through the clouds make you blink, when rocked by the road curves, excited by the idea to go fishing, mixed feelings, the smell of coffee in the mugs, the cold outside contrasting with the warmth of the car. Wintertime, for all the frustrated anglers who have to go to reservoirs or wait untill open season in March, this film is for you.
I also found the trout of 2010 video on fishpornfix.com. I am blowing up like some random cable access show's big guest.

The second year under my wading belt - a review of 2010

The dreams and goals of 2010 gave me a nice framework to shape the path of my second year on the fly. Obviously some goals were more important than others. I am proudest that I was able to catch a fish in every month. I can assure you, that will be a goal in 2011. I have been lucky enough to fish a great deal of Montana's remarkable trout waters this year. I didn't hit all of the water that I listed in the beginning of the year, but I was able to hit a good deal of them. I made trips to the Big Hole, the Yellowstone, the Madison, and the Beaverhead. I fished Rock Creek, Georgetown Lake, Brown's Lake, Fish Creek, the Bitterroot, the Blackfoot, Poindexter Slough, and the Clark Fork. I made a trip to Yellowstone NP and fished the Soda Butte, Pebble Creek, and the Gibbon (admittedly the visible presence of more than a few Grizzlies changed my plans to fish the Lamar and Slough Creek). I caught brookies, cutthroats (westslopes and yellowstones), rainbows, cutbows, browns and bulls (also some whitefish and suckers). It has been a great year of fly fishing.

I have enjoyed making videos with my flip HD camera of some of my trips out on the water. Howeva (read like Stephen A Smith), I want to improve upon my videos. I would love to make a movie like Eastern Rises or some quality fish porn like RA Beattie puts out, I understand that they have superior equipment and they don't get to fish while they make those videos. I like making fishing videos, but not that much. So, I won't be taking a  trip out to the Beaverhead only to take video. While I don't have the resources to go out and acquire a canon 7d, I can still improve my videos. When my trout of 2010 video was posted on moldy chum earlier this month, I was....excited, to say the least. I knew that the moldy chummers would light me up if they didn't like it. Some of them did and some of them did not. Rodney Hsu of Fishing with Rod fame said:

"Excellent video! The underwater release shots are really well done."
Then I got some of the following:

"That got boring fast."
 "That has to be the least steady hand I have ever seen."
and my personal favorite

"I now feel like I should be treated for Parkinson's syndrome"
While I appreciate Rodney's support, I also see some elements of truth to what the critics had to say. My videos have a tendency to be shaky. Not Parkinson's shaky, but too much coffee shaky. Part of that is a function of me taking video of my own releases. Part of that is a function of the weight, or lack thereof, of the flip camera, which lends itself to an unsteady shot. But, with a little effort and some concentration, I can improve. So, in 2011, I am looking to improve my camera skills. I want to frame my subjects better, keep a steadier hand, capture more actual fishing shots, and of course catch more and larger fish.

For my three to five regular readers and those of you at OBN, I want you to help me make better fly fishing videos. By telling me why you don't like them and by voting on which one doesn't smell and/or look TURRABLE like the bathrooms at McCormick Park in the middle of the summer. My four favorite videos are located below. All 11 or 12 of the videos can be seen in the right sidebar. Please vote, and if you select other, leave a comment. If you have any suggestions or constructive criticism, leave a comment. Happy holidays and see you in 2011 with a new list of dreams and goals - which I can guarantee will involve the Mighty Mighty Mo (with a stop in at Headhunters) and a trip to the South Fork of the Flathead.

yukon goes to the madison from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

yukon goes to yellowstone from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Green Drakes in Paradise from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Montana SNOTEL Data Update - "It's a good thing"

Water is and will always be an issue in western Montana. There were worries in the fishing community that last year's relatively low snowpack would result in some seasonal closures due to low flows and high temperatures. Alas, we were saved by some spring and early summer rains that resulted in a 1.3 Recurrence Interval (RI) peak discharge of 9,980 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is below average, at the Clark Fork River above Missoula gage. While the peak discharge was below average there were multiple peaks and the higher flows were prolonged. As such, there were no fishing closures in western Montana last year. Such worries were not present during the two previous water years (2008 and 2009) when the recurrence interval of the peak discharge during spring runoff was a 2.8 with a discharge of 17,500 cfs. I have been lucky enough to have not been effected by any fishing closures during my short fly fishing career. This year, as those of you who live in western Montana know, we have had our fair share of snow and has resulted in healthy snowpack levels throughout the state. While there is plenty of time until the spring runoff of 2011 and there are other factors influencing the scale of runoff (namely timing and mechanisms that initiate it), it feels good to look at the numbers below and have a little confidence that this year's runoff will do good geomorphic and ecologic work. It is nice to see numbers above 100% and no where close to the 50%, 60%, and 70% seen last spring. Enjoy the recently updated SNOTEL data below. I am.

Snow Water Equivalent YTD Precip
Basin Site Name Percent of Average Percent of Average
UPPER CFR 114 107
LOWER CFR 107 105
ST. MARY and MILK 109 103
WIND RIVER (WY) 118 110

Sunday, December 12, 2010

december trout

Goal #2 has been completed. I went fishing on Rock Creek this Saturday to try to catch a december fish. Fully expecting it to be a whitefish, I was pleased to catch a small brown trout on a dead drifted streamer as the day began to warm up. I only caught two fish - both trout - one brown and one westslope cutthroat. I nymphed the entire day. Mostly with eggs, dead-drifted streamers, midges, black stoneflies, and brassies. While I had to work for the brown, it seemed as though the westie was waiting to be fished to. The moment my thing-a-ma-bobber hit the water, the cuttie slashed towards the surface. Confused, I cast my stonefly-brassie combo back into the same water. The cuttie took the black stonefly nymph with vigor. Enjoy the video. Watch in HD on vimeo.

december trout from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Soulfish 2 looks mighty expensive and mighty fantastic

This is my first post that does not contain original content, but I couldn't resist. I came across the trailer of Soulfish 2 on vimeo. Tell me this doesn't look like the most expensive fly fishing video (or fish porn) ever made. How many locations can one video include? Whatever the cost, some mighty purrty fish were caught while on their worldwide journey.

SOULFISH 2, FISH MODE from Mikey Wier on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

YGF on Skate the Fly's Hero Shots Gone Wrong

I have followed the website skate the fly for a while. One of their regular features is the fan submitted Hero Shots Gone Wrong or HSGW, where people submit pictures of them failing to capture the Hero Shot with their prize catch. (SIDE NOTE: Another great, but semi-regular feature is Skate the Fly TV.) From the moment I saw the feature, I knew what series of pictures I would submit to skate the fly. But, I was apparently bashful and put off submitting those pictures to Dylan. Prompted by OBN, I finally summoned up the courage to submit my Hero Shots Gone Wrong. I posted about them earlier this year on this very blog. (SIDE NOTE: you might be wondering, Ivan, if you were bashful and potentially embarrassed by these HSGWs, then why did you post about them on your blog? What is the difference between putting the pictures on your blog and submitting them to skate the fly? Answer: people actually read skate the fly.) Dylan has posted my Hero Shots Gone Wrong and it is glorious. The whole experience of having someone else post (in good humour) about your moment of glory gone awry is cathartic. Pardon my french, it is relieving to admit that your s#@t does indeed stink. Mine does. Can you smell it? So, I call on you, my few followers, if you have a HSGW, submit it to Dylan (dylan (at) skatethefly (dot) com).

Monday, December 6, 2010

secrets from my streamer box

I don't tie flies...yet. I have a thesis to write. I am intrigued by the act of tying flies. But, if I am to be honest, I am little worried about my fine motor skills. While, my Montessori education has maximized my fine motor skills, I think the apex of said skills is quite low (see ability to fold napkins for thanksgiving celebrations). I started fly fishing in April of 2009. Over the past year and a half(ish), I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the delicate art of presenting tiny dry flies to rising trout, the systematic approach of nymphing, and slapping large hoppers or stones next to the bank. But, I have fallen for streamer fishing. And I have fallen hard. I now prefer to throw gobs of weighted rabbit fur at browns, bows, cutties, and bulls. I particularly like double hooked articulated streamers. The aggression and size of the fish that a streamer attracts, attracts me to streamer fishing. It also attracts Alex at 40 Rivers to Freedom to streamer fishing. So in the spirit of the holiday season, I have decided to share some of the patterns that have had great success and some of the patterns that have not. Note: All of these patterns were skillfully purchased at fly shops.

Stars of the Great Bugger Barn of Glory (or the GBBG)
the assortment
Officially, the three streamers seen above are known as double screamers. My friend Bucko and I have devised our own names for each color variation. We refer to the pattern itself as "it". "it" is an articulated, approximately five-inch long conehead streamer available in a wide variety of colors.

The Original - black, olive, and silver
the original

the original
The Original killed the browns during the pre-pre-spawn period of a wide variety of in western and southwestern montana. This streamer has dark and flashy elements. I surmise these elements make it irresistible to large brown trout. I lost one of these in a card game. Quite possibly, the saddest night of my life.

The Modified - red, yellow, rainbowy gold
the modified

the modified

The Modified enjoyed success on the Big Hole during the brown trout pre-spawn period. At one point, when fishing it in some backwater, I had three 16 to 19 inch browns following it. The 17 incher won.

The Rasta - white, red, yellow, green, and seasonally shiny tinsel
the rasta

the rasta

Someone in the fly shop where this fly was purchased, referred to it as The Traffic Light (red, yellow, green). We dubbed it The Rasta. I think Jimmy Cliff or Marley was playing on the way to Ennis. This color scheme saw great success on the Madison in November (see yukon goes to the madison). It was only recently discovered by myself and has not been used during any other period of time.

Flies that havent made it out of the GBBG

officially known as the Clarke's Rat - known personally as the 5-weight destroyer
the rod breaker
Based on the amount of rabbit fur involved with this fly, I should love it. I secretly do. But, it shattered my 5 weight redington red2fly rod on the first cast. Not a clean break either. The rod suffered vertical stress fractures immediately above the cork handle around the entire circumference of the rod. Admittedly, I shouldn't have been trying to throw this massive fly with a five-weight. Probably a good-to-great fly for large trout, I suspect the bulls would love it, but it has not been used since it shattered my rod.

Globs of Green
globs of green
Never used it. Never will. Don't know why I bought it.

Kind of Brown
shades of brown
Like the great Miles Davis album, except brown, not sonically pleasing, and terrible at catching trout. I used it once on a late August morning. This late August morning turned into the day that the Original became the Original. This fly hasn't been used since.

Articulated Rubber Legs of Crap
articulated rubber legs of crap
As I have expressed, I am enthralled with articulated streamers. Not this one. This has to be fished with sinking tip or a full sinking line. I like a streamer that I can fish on both floating and sinking line. This is not one of them. It stays high in the water column, often breaking the surface. Like the rest of the streamers of doom, I haven't given it much of a chance.

Excluded from the list of greatness are Kelly Galloup's famous streamers like the sex dungeon, the boogie man, the heifer groomer, and the articulated butt monkey. This is not a function of the gobs of animal fur not working. I just haven't had a chance to purchase any. Missoula's local shops do not carry his streamers and his shop was closed when I went down to the Madison in November. One of these days....one of these days.

What about your streamer box? What are your go to patterns? What do you regret buying or tying?

Friday, November 26, 2010

the trout of 2010

I threw together a video of all of the trout that I caught and recorded this year. These fish were caught from late June through November. The video includes an ode to the this is fly t-shirt in the beginning of the video. I included some of my own music that I produced over the past couple years. Whats even better is that this video made the front page of moldy chum. An achievement that has boosted the views of this thrown-together video into the 300 1,298 views at the time of this post's publishing. Needless to say, I am thankful to moldy chum this holiday season. Enjoy the video.

the trout of 2010 from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the browns, bows, and a bull of fall

I have been sitting on this video for a while. It is a compilation of video that I have recorded since late August. It consists of fall fly fishing throughout western, southwestern, and central Montana on the Big Hole, the Beaverhead, the Marias, Rock Creek, and Fish Creek. The video includes shots of a 23" Big Hole brown trout that my friend Bucko caught (see at 4:53) and a 20" rock creek bull trout that I caught (seen starting at 1:09). Please excuse the poor camera work associated with both of these monsters. I think the excitement of both moments got the best of me. Watch in HD.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yukon Goes to the Madison

Went to the Madison River this weekend to fish for large, mean, hungry brown trout. Had some good success. Most of the fish were between 18 and 20 inches. Most of the fish were taken on streamers with a few coming on nymphs. My friend, Bucko, caught the largest fish of the trip with a 22" brown. Some seasonally appropriate snow made its presence known on Saturday and especially on Sunday. Enjoy the video. Watch it in HD on vimeo.

yukon goes to the madison from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Fish from Fall

18" beaverhead brown and the fishstache

24-25" beaverhead rainbow bucko caught on a size 20 midge nymph with 6x tippet.

24-25" beaverhead rainbow

typical beaverhead brown

24-25'' beaverhead rainbow

dreams and goals of 2010 - November update

The year is coming to an end and I have knocked off many of the dreams and goals that I set forth in the beginning/middle of the fishing year. While I have accomplished many of these goals, I am prouder of some more than others. Below is the list, I will highlight the three which I am proudest of.

  1. catch a fish on a nymph
  2. catch a fish in each month of the year (janfebmaraprmayjune, july, aug, sept, oct, nov, dec)
  3. catch a bull trout (not target, which is important distinction)
  4. catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat 
  5. catch 30 or more fish in a day from a river
  6. catch 40 or more fish in a day from a river
  7. catch 50 or more fish in a day from a river or lake
  8. catch 3 or more fish more than 20'' in length in a day
  9. catch a 20'' cutthroat, 24'' rainbow, 25'' brown
  10. catch fish out of the Clark ForkBlackfoot, and Bitterroot Rivers
  11. fish and catch fish out of the following bodies of water - Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River,Blackfoot River, Rock CreekFish Creek Georgetown Lake, Elk River (in BC/Alberta), Trout Creek, Lolo Creek, Lochsa River, Bighole River, Beaverhead River, Madison RiverGallatin RiverHebgen LakeMedicine Lake (near Skalkaho Pass)Skalkaho Creekupper Blackfoot RiverMonture CreekFlathead River, Blodgett Creek, Flint Creek, East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River, Lamar River, Firehole River, and Slough Creek
  12. catch all the trout of the this is fly shirt. 
  13. read "The River Why", "Trout Bum", "Nymphing"  

2. To date, I have successfully caught a fish in each month of the year. The most recent fish, a 17-18" brown I caught in a pond of little acclaim (seen below), was fooled during a 15 minute fishing session on my way back from visiting a friend in Bozeman. I have one more month to go. Could be difficult, but I see a visit to Poindexter Slough in my future.

17-18'' November brown

3. and 12. I have caught a whopping three bull trout this year. Two of them of the 12" variety (seen below). One of them of the 20" plus variety (to be seen in an upcoming video). All three of them were caught on Rock Creek. Each of them have there own accompanying story. The first bull trout was caught in the beginning of August. It took a small natural color sculpzilla streamer that it followed into the shallows. As it showed its small, but mighty body, I was at first amused. However, once I saw its coloration and distinctively large head, the excitement I felt could not be matched (until a couple of weeks ago). I had accomplished goal 9 and caught all the trout of the this is fly shirt. I had caught one of the majestic aggressive beasts of western Montana waters. A beast of epic 12" proportions. Afterwards I bragged to my girlfriend and friends about my catch. But, the thrill started to wear off. In reality, I had caught a small trout/char that happened to be of the bull trout variety. While it's aggression was impressive for such a small package, it was not the bull trout I had imagined. When I think bull trout, I think 20 to 35" of grumpy piscivorous muscle. While I may have caught a future beast, I felt like my bull trout experience was not complete.

The second bull trout of the year was caught in the middle of September. After slaying some browns and cutties on the upper portion of Rock Creek. I started heading downstream on Rock Creek Road. As I drove down the forest service road, I had a brief lapse of concentration and I hit a large rock with the sidewall of the right front tire of my mighty blue '01 Accord. An instant flat. I dejectedly exited the car and changed my tire. The sidewall had a 6 inch gash. I should have taken a picture. It was impressive. I started to head slowly downstream again. Sliding into a mini-depression about the state of my tire, I figured it couldn't get any worse. I stopped at one of my favorite holes, waded in and began slapping the water with a larger white sculpzilla. I got a couple follows and one hit from a larger Rock Creek brown, but I was unable to bring anything in. Feeling defeated, I looked down towards my feet. I realized that I was standing in the middle of Rock Creek (a place where many people would have loved to have been at that moment in time), I decided I must enjoy my surroundings. I looked downstream and saw the sunlight striking a hillslope. It was beautiful. The entire time my streamer was still in the water. At this point, it had swung downstream of me and was in the shallows. As I was admiring the view, I felt a tug at the end of my line. I was rewarded with another 12" bull trout. I nice end to my "terrible" day.

I caught the third bull trout of the year on a larger black sculpzilla streamer on Rock Creek. I had fished this water earlier in the day in search of larger pre-spawn Clark Fork brown trout. I caught a 14" inch brown out of this water earlier in the day. But, the reason for my return to this water was the fish that I had stung earlier on a piece of water just upstream. It felt like a large fish. I was unsuccessful in finding that earlier large fish. It was 4 o'clock and the fishing had seemed to slow down. But, I have a problem with giving up. So, I waded downstream and cast my black streamer into a short 3 foot deep run. A large shadow came from bed of the river and took the streamer. I set the hook and realized what was on the end of my line. The bull moved downstream into a shallow riffle and then into some pocket water bending my six-weight with ease. Wanting to avoid a break off and exhausting the fish (although I was using 1x tippet), I followed the fish with my net in hand. I scooped it and started to yell joyful expletives. Admittedly, I was too excited to get any quality video of the bull. I pointed the camera towards the sun and the colors of the bull trout were completely washed out as you will see in an upcoming video. While my video capturing skills were suffering then, I can still recall several mental snapshots from the fight and the release. However, my fish, which I estimated at about 20", is nothing compared to the humble fishermans.

rock creek bull trout (a whopping 12 incher)
1st Bull Trout

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Time in Montana

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, too busy working on my thesis or fishing, not enough blogging. I suppose I would rather be fishing than blogging though. I have been spending a great deal of time going down to the Big Hole, fishing Fish Creek, one trip to Yellowstone National Park, and one trip to Rock Creek (which produced a teeny tiny 12'' bull trout - or a steer trout, as one of my friends called it). Here are the videos from a trip to Fish Creek, a trip to Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park (the weekend after that bear attack), and a trip to Glacier National Park and Fish Creek (where I took a friend fly fishing for the first time).

yukon goes fishing for westslopes and cuttbows from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

yukon goes to yellowstone from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

green drakes in paradise

About two weeks ago, the rivers here in western Montana were still a little bit higher than normal due to rainy weather in May and June. I went to visit Fish Creek, located 40 miles west of Missoula, a favorite stomping ground of mine that I fished quite a bit last summer while learning the basics of fly fishing. Utilizing the creek's relative solitude and lack of heavy fishing pressure, I took my time fishing familiar holes throughout the past summer measuring my progress in fish and casting accuracy. While I have frequented the more famed Rock Creek quite a bit this year, I decided to give fish creek a go. I was rewarded handsomely. With a bevy of mayflies hatching throughout the course of the day (pale morning duns in the AM, green drakes in afternoon, and pale evening duns in the PM), I fished this familiar water with fantastic results. I caught a 21'' rainbow, a 19'' cutbow, two 18'' cutbows, and two 16'' cutbows, and a handful of smaller, less engorged fish. I found success primarily with green drake dry flies in the heat of the day and I pulled a couple more out with some huge streamers. In a repeat performance of last year, the largest trout I caught to date was in my net for a couple seconds only to escape and return to the creek without being photographed. I was searching for my camera when it bucked its way out of my brodin ghost net. Stay tuned to yukon goes fishing over the next couple weeks. I have a couple of trips planned that I hope will be quite productive including a trip up to Eureka this coming weekend, to Yellowstone National Park in two weekends, and a float trip down the Yellowstone in the foreseeable future. Enjoy the video from my banner day on Fish Creek.

Green Drakes in Paradise from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Day on the Rock

I went back up to fish upper Rock Creek yesterday. The morning fishing was spectacular. Of the ten fish I caught - ten of the fish were caught between 10 AM and 1 PM. That certainly does not mean the fish were not feeding from 1 PM to 4 PM. I hooked into several fish during the afternoon hours, but I was unable to reel them in. Additionally, I could not figure out the right combination to lure the feeding fish into taking my dry flies, nymphs, or streamers with much conviction. There were plenty of hits and misses. There were several highlights from the day and one massive low point. When pulling in an eight inch whitefish towards the bank, a massive fish flashed at it three or four times. I can only guess that it was a rock creek bull trout. It was exhilarating and confusing all at once. A part of my fishing mind was thinking, "don't lose the fish", the rest of my mind was thinking "let the beast take it." I saved the tiny whitey from doom, while hooting and hollering loud enough for neighboring anglers to take notice. At the end of the day, I was headed back to some water that I had successfully fished in the morning. While walking through willows and thick underbrush, my line caught on a branch. I stumbled shortly after it caught on the branch. Together, the stumble and the snag bent the upper piece of my rod until it shattered at the ferrule. So, without a useful rod, I hung my head and sulked back to my car. Cursing myself for getting greedy. On the bright side, I took some amazing video. Watch it in HD on vimeo. (Music: Kev Brown "Another Random Joint")

Another Day On The Rock from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Fishing Rock Creek on Me Birthday

I was lucky enough to receive a flip hd video camera and a waterproof case for said camera for my birthday. I promptly headed up to upper Rock Creek to fish with my friend Brian and his dog Wilma. While Rock Creek is still flowing high, as a result of spring runoff and the recent rains we experienced in western Montana, it was clear. We found some fishable water along the banks and in side channels. I caught 11 fish including two westslope cutthroat, two cutbows, one brown trout, and six whitefish on golden stone and green drake nymphs, streamers, and on golden stone and caddis dries. Brian also eclipsed the ten fish mark for the day. A sunny day on the rock. Enjoy the video. Watch the video on youtube to see the HD version. The underwater trout release shots were a little disappointing this time 'round, but I'll get them next time. (Music: Kings Go Forth "Now We're Gone")

45 fish in a day and 15 minutes

That's right. I pulled 45 fish out of Georgetown Lake in a day and 15 minutes worth of fishing. I caught most of the fish out of a boat trolling, but I also had some success from the shore. While on shore, I was amused by what appeared to be a muskrat. The muskrat curiously patrolled the shores coming to check out my fishing activities several times. Most of the fish I caught from shore were of the tiny variety. I had fun catching these 6 inchers on a beetle that I stripped towards shore. This action would produce five or more hits each time the beetle hit the water. I think these hatchery fish may have been reminded of the pellets they were most likely fed back in their youth. Another highlight of the day was getting Ms. Yukon onto her first trout on the fly. Enjoy the video and pictures from our day on Georgetown Lake in early June.

georgetown lake 6.7.10 from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

 georgetown lake brook trout

itty bitty georgetown lake rainbow

Ms. Yukon reeling in the big one

miss yukon's first trout on the fly (she refuses to hold it though)

miss yukon's first trout on the fly

Monday, June 21, 2010

dreams and goals for 2010 (original and revised)

In the beginning of the year, I made a list of ten things I would like to accomplish over the course of the year 2010. I wrote the original list in a fishing log that I started in a bound, pleather, lined notebook. When compiling the list, I intentionally included reasonable and completely unreasonable goals. The original list read as follows:
  1. catch a fish on a nymph
  2. catch a fish in each month of the year
  3. catch a bull trout (not target, which is important distinction)
  4. read "The River Why", "Trout Bum", "Nymphing"
  5. catch more than 10 fish in a day
  6. film and capture fishing trips
  7. catch a 20'' cutthroat, 24'' rainbow, 25'' brown
  8. catch fish out of the Clark Fork, Blackfoot, and Bitterroot Rivers (note: when writing the list I had only caught fish out of Rock Creek (near Missoula), Fish Creek, Rock Creek (near Deer Lodge), Flathead Lake, Avalanche Lake (in Glacier NP), and Greenough Lake (near Deer Lodge))
  9. fish the following bodies of water - Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River, Blackfoot River, Rock Creek, Fish Creek, Petty Creek, Ninemile Creek, Georgetown Lake, Elk River (in BC/Alberta), Trout Creek, Lolo Creek, Lochsa River, Bighole River, Lamar River, Firehole River, and Slough Creek
  10. Catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat
About halfway through the year I have completed the following goals:
  1. catch a fish on a nymph
  2. catch a fish in each month of the year (holds true to date - through june)
  3. catch a bull trout (not target, which is important distinction)
  4. read "The River Why", "Trout Bum", "Nymphing"
  5. catch more than 10 fish in a day
  6. film and capture fishing trips
  7. catch a 20'' cutthroat, 24'' rainbow, 25'' brown
  8. catch fish out of the Clark Fork, Blackfoot, and Bitterroot Rivers
  9. fish the following bodies of water - Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River, Blackfoot River, Rock Creek, Fish Creek, Petty Creek, Ninemile Creek, Georgetown Lake, Elk River (in BC/Alberta), Trout Creek, Lolo Creek, Lochsa River, Bighole River, Lamar River, Firehole River, and Slough Creek
  10. Catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat
With prime fishing season still to come, I am pretty proud of my accomplishments to date. But, I would like to add to and/or alter my fishing goals of 2010. Here is my altered list, which will now be managed on the sidebar of the blog.
  1. catch a fish on a nymph
  2. catch a fish in each month of the year (jan, feb, mar, apr, may, june, july, aug, sept, oct, nov, dec)
  3. catch a bull trout (not target, which is important distinction)
  4. catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat
  5. catch 30 or more fish in a day from a river
  6. catch 40 or more fish in a day from a river
  7. catch 50 or more fish in a day from a river or lake
  8. catch 3 or more fish more than 20'' in length in a day
  9. catch a 20'' cutthroat, 24'' rainbow, 25'' brown
  10. catch fish out of the Clark Fork, Blackfoot, and Bitterroot Rivers
  11. fish and catch fish out of the following bodies of water - Bitterroot River, Clark Fork River, Blackfoot River, Rock Creek, Fish Creek Georgetown Lake, Elk River (in BC/Alberta), Trout Creek, Lolo Creek, Lochsa River, Bighole River, Beaverhead River, Madison River, Gallatin River, Hebgen Lake, Medicine Lake (near Skalkaho Pass), Skalkaho Creek, upper Blackfoot River, Monture Creek. Flathead River, Blodgett Creek, Flint Creek, East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River, Lamar River, Firehole River, and Slough Creek
  12. catch all the trout of the this is fly shirt. (see below for more description)
  13. read "The River Why", "Trout Bum", "Nymphing"  
Re: Goal 12. I would like to catch and have a hero picture taken with each of the fish listed on the this is fly t-shirt that I purchased earlier this year.

When I catch a brook trout, I will position the trout in front of the species name on the shirt. This will be done for rainbow, brown, bull, and cutthroat trout in the same style. The plan is to have a five piece photographic journey through my year of fishing out here in Montana.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brown's Lake and the hogs

A friend from Team Cocktails has boasted about the monster rainbow trout that he regularly pulls out of Brown's Lake on the fly for quite some time. While not belittling the trout I have pulled out of the river, he certainly implied that the handshake a 12'' trout delivers is drastically different from the "hello sir, my name is monster trout" handshake a 20" football-shaped rainbow provides. So, this past weekend, with the area rivers flowing high and turbid, my friend took me out on his boat on Brown's Lake. We trolled the shoreline and structure with a seven-weight rods and a mystery fly. While not a standard fly fishing method, it certainly proved effective, as we pulled 2 to 3 pound 16 inchers with regularity. Both of us were able to land hogs in the form of 20'' Kamloops-strain rainbows stocked in Brown's Lake. According to my friend, our day was relatively average for Brown's Lake, if not below average. The highlight and lowlight of the day occurred when my friend hooked into a 30'' rainbow (that was extremely colorful for a lake rainbow - leading me to believe that it was a broodstock). On 5 pound test, my friend was able to bring the rainbow within arm's length of the boat. Using the ghost net (which can hold a 24'' fish), I tried to scoop the hog into the net. But, I was denied. Immediately following the net refusal, the potential 10 pounder snapped off the magic fly and returned to the depths of Brown's Lake. I sat with my hands overboard, afraid to look back at my friend for fear that he might toss me lakeward after missing a golden chance to net the monster. Afterwards, we decided that if he fails to catch a rainbow of equal or greater size in the next 20 years, he is free to contact me and give me a swift, vengeful punch. Seems to be fair.

the fight

the fish

the release

team cocktails goes fishing

evening on brown's lake

End of the semester...more fishing...less blogging

With the spring semester coming to a close a week and a half ago, I decided to use my free time to fish and blogging about fishing took a backseat. Since my last post, I have fished the Blackfoot twice (with mixed results), upper Rock Creek and the west fork of Rock Creek, and Brown's Lake. With the discharge of Rock Creek on the rise, my first trip took me to the Blackfoot with a Red Sox fan and his trusty dog. On our way up to the Johnsrud section of the Blackfoot, we shared stories of frustration regarding this fabled river. I had fished it a couple times with absolutely no luck. Not a fish. Not a nibble. Not a nothing. It seemed as though the Blackfoot had displayed a similar reluctance to produce fish for my friend. We threw everything into the river and caught three tiny rainbows between the two of us. Indeed, after a day of fishing the Blackfoot, I had a whopping six inches of rainbow trout to show for it. Even though it was my first trout from the Blackfoot, I neglected to take a picture of the monster. We returned to Missoula defeated, as I think we both expected.

the mighty mighty blackfoot

A couple weekends later, the tortured Red Sox fan, his friend, the same trusty dog, and I made a weekend trip up to upper Rock Creek. The first day was spent exploring the west fork of Rock Creek and upper Rock Creek. The west fork produced a single nibble and no fish. On upper Rock Creek, we camped out near several diversion dams and associated downstream pools. With a wooly and a san juan rig, the white David Ortiz pulled several upper Rock Creek westslope cuttie slabs (16 to 18 inches). I was unsuccessful. The next morning, we made our way down to Gillies Bridge and walked upstream from there. I caught three whitefish, a cutbow/westslope cuttie, and two brown trout. Youkilis (sans the goatee) caught a couple whitefish. Oh yeah, it snowed and it was May. In addition, during our time at the cabin, we completed a 100 piece puzzle of the United States and kindly left it completed for the next inhabitants. Clearly, we are gentleman and should be lauded for saving those poor souls a solid 15 minutes of their life. Nobel Peace prize please?

cutbow in the ghost net

brown trout release

upper rock creek brown

east fork of rock creek

ponderosa pine on upper rock creek

100-piece puzzle of the US of A. Enjoy.

The following weekend, Team Cocktails, a co-rec softball team I happen to play for, took a weekend camping trip up on the blackfoot at Thibodeau Campground. I fished the majority of the day on Saturday. While the river was up, it was not filled with suspended sediment and several hatches occurred throughout the day. I finally saw success on the Blackfoot. I took 11 cutbows (averaging around 11") on streamers and dries, one 20" whitefish on a caddis pupa, and a 22" sucker on a caddis pupa. I also discovered that my waders may have developed a leak in the neoprene bootie portion. Hopefully, I have successfully patched the leak or the waders may make a trip back to Orvis land because it is too soon for these new waders to be leaking.

blackfoot at thibodeau campground

morning fog at thibodeau

morning fog over the blackfoot

22" sucker

20'' whitefish

blackfoot cutbow

The visit to Brown's Lake occurred after the end of the semester and deserves a separate post. Post to follow shortly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

3 cutbows, 1 rainbow, 1 brown trout, 5 whitefish and bunch of dogs

Last Monday, I went up to upper Rock Creek with four friends and four dogs. It was the fly-fishing, "Bumpus Family" style. Enjoy the video with help from my friend Laura on the camera.

fly fishing and the bumpus dogs from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

23 and unmatching the hatch

I made my way back up to Upper Rock Creek again this week. I was rewarded handsomely with 23 fish: 14 cutbow, five cutthroat, one brown trout, and three whitefish. The first three hours of the day were spent nymphing - that accounted for 10 of the 23 fish. Most of the fish caught while nymphing were between 10'' and 13''. I caught them on black bead head midge nymphs, griffith's gnats fished subsurface, and double bead head black stonefly nymphs. Once one o'clock rolled around, the surface activity had picked up enough steam that I ended up fishing the surface for the rest of the day. I started out fishing a skwala dry with a griffith's gnat off of the back end with some success. But, after a couple of refusals (fish looking at the fly, but refusing to take the fly), I switched my tactics. With black stoneflies hatching in mass, midges lining the surface, and a couple of stray skwalas on the banks, I unmatched the hatch and fished a fat green drake mayfly dry. I took my three largest fish of the day on the green drake. Besides the fishing, nothing exciting happened. No moose, no dead bald eagles, no bears - all in all, a day a worried parent or girlfriend would be pleased with. Enjoy the pictures and the video. Side note: I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow a friend's waterproof camera, so enjoy the underwater shots.

Upper Rock Creek - 4.12 from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

 16'' Westslope Cutthroat/Cutbow

15'' Cuttie/Cutbow

Cutbow Release

14'' Brown Trout

Cutbow Release

Cuttie in the ghost net

Upper Rock Creek cutbow

12'' Cuttie

Gillies Bridge Cuttie

American Dipper

American Dipper

Cutbow Reflection

Cutbow in the Ghost net

American Kestrel

Cabin 4 Rent?

ygf sponsors

ygf videos


Silver and Gold from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

for more YGF videos