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?

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