Monday, January 24, 2011

Double Rainbow Trout on the Mo

Went to the Mighty Mighty Mo this weekend to fish for it's monster rainbows and browns. Stopped by Headhunters Fly Shop for some nice flies and good advice. Fished between Holter Dam and Craig. With party cloudy to mostly sunny weather in the mid- to high 30s, we were hoping to get into some midgy dry fly action. But, when 12:30 pm hit, the wind came with it and all hopes for dry fly fishing were dashed. There were some sporadic rises, but never enough to fish to risers. It was nice to see large trout feeding at the surface during these long winter months. While we didn't get into any monsters, Bucko and I caught some solid rainbows between 17 and 20 inches. I ended up with two rainbows, both around 19 inches. Bucko caught 7 trout, but he also caught two whitefish, so that hurts his overall score. I did have a shot at a 19 to 21 inch brown trout later in the day, but it's acrobatic run loosened the size 18 lightning bug out of it's mouth.

I spent all day with water up to my right thigh. I have some massive leak in my waders that I cannot find. My left leg feels left out of the water party. It can't wait until spring and summer when it will finally get a chance to feel the rush of cold water during the wet wading season.

The highlight of the trip was the wintery double we brought to the net. More than 3 feet of rainbow represented in two nice specimens. Yes, the famed Double Rainbow. In this video, I pay tribute to the double rainbow guy. If you haven't seen it yet, do it now. Then watch this (in HD on vimeo).

Double Rainbow Trout on the Mo from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Flathead Wilds

Another brilliant documentary from EP Films, The Flathead Wilds is about the unprotected headwaters of the Flathead River in British Columbia. The North Fork of the Flathead, which flows south into the United States was listed as one of the ten most endangered rivers in 2009 by American Rivers because of proposed coal mining in its headwaters. The film tells the story of the North Fork as it follows a group of outdoors photographers. It is well worth the 20 minutes or so and some of the pictures that they capture are absolutely ridiculous. I have spent time in Glacier National Park and have driven through Waterton Lakes National Park and I can honestly say, that this film captures the beauty of the landscape as well as it could be. An excellent watch.

Flathead Wild ReEdit from EP Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Discussion about banning felt in MT

A very interesting discussion about a recently proposed bill that would ban felt-soled boots on Montana waters is taking place over at Headhunters. Join in.

Here are the links:

Original Post


When is spring? I want to be

As prompted by OBN, here it is - my favorite outdoor place: The Big Hole River. For the past week or so, I have been going to bed reading about the the Mother's Day Caddis hatch in Greg Thomas' "Fly Fisher's Bible of Montana", reading chapter 11 in McGuane's "The Longest Silence", and watching my own videos of the mighty river. A fantastic brown trout fishery, it also is holds to rainbows, cutthroat, brook, and grayling. Prolific hatches, rising trout, hungry browns, and the "only western river with viable fluvial grayling populations in the lower 48". Here are some pictures.

Big Hole at the Salmon Fly access

rainbows rising to tricos in late August on the Big Hole

standard 18" big hole brown

Portions of my video "The Browns, Bows, and a Bull of Fall" featuring moving pictures of the fish, the river, and the surroundings of the Big Hole.

Also, after a day on the river, who doesn't want to wind down at quality watering holes like the Melrose Bar & Cafe with a High Life or Moscow Mule (which might be 1500 feet from Salmon Fly Access). Right next door to the bar is George Goody's Montana Fly Company, a ridiculously solid fly shop.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

another day on the rock revisited

I went casting on the Bitterroot just outside of town and down near Florence Bridge, this past saturday. Tried to catch fish, but i suspect (and secretly hope) that the cold weather and incoming cold front slowed the fish down. I saw a handful of rises, a little more than a handful of midges, one muskrat, a pooping dog, a couple homeless people's humble abodes, a deer with what appeared to be a huge gunshot hole around it's jaw, four bald eagles, three herons, and one dead four-point whitetail mid-channel.

I also realized that I have enough pinhole leaks in my waders to warrant a wash and patch session in the very near future. I could have filled a water bottle with the near freezing water in my waders and absorbed by my sock. No fish to net and as a result, there was very little useable video footage.

So, I revisited an old video from I made in late June 2010 titled "another day on the rock". It is exactly what the title suggests, a day of fly fishing on upper Rock Creek. I wanted to remix the video to a new song with a new look at the footage. I tried my hand at a little "stop-motion." I did my best to align the clips with the hi-hat in Guru's "Lifesaver" from the Jazzmatazz Volume II album.

If I am being honest with myself, the video has it's moments (both good and bad). This method highlights some details that might be lost in normal video including the fact that (at least in June 2010) I started backcast too early. Also highlighted by the stop-motion is a pale-morning dun in flight around 1:26. Do not adjust your computers - most of this video is supposed to be choppy. Tell me what you think. Should I use this technique for any of this year's upcoming videos? Or should I drop it as quickly as David Akers missed two important field goals this sunday?

another day on the rock revisited from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Watch in HD on vimeo.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Dreams and Goals

I think we can all agree, as fisherman, we want to catch more fish, catch bigger fish, catch different species, and most importantly fish more. With the winter doldrums kicking in and negative to mid-single digit temperatures blanketing the Missoula valley this week, I have cabin fever bad. While the snow has been fantastic here in western Montana, my funds are in such a condition that two expensive outdoor hobbies would be one too many expensive outdoor hobbies. So, I am stuck inside with dreams of spring, summer and fall flows, insect hatches, and hungry trout - planning the beginning of my upcoming fishing season. Here are my dreams and goals of 2011:

1. Finish my thesis.

So I can get a good job, make a difference in the world, not be a starving student, but a starving scientist, and do more awesome things both professionally and recreationally.

Amendment: Plus my parents (including the pater) would like it to be so.

2. catch a fish in every month of the year (bonus points for trout)

I enjoyed the pursuit of this goal last year and I think it is a goal that will always be a challenge to complete for a variety of reasons - mostly as a result of weather and temperature.

3. Catch a 20" cutthroat, 24" rainbow, and 24" brown trout

While I enjoy catching smaller fish, the thrill and skill it takes to fool and bring in a larger and more seasoned trout is something that I find myself increasingly intrigued by. I didn't reach all of these three subgoals last year. I would like to this year.

4. Catch 3 or more trout over 20" in a day of fishing

Got dangerously close to this goal twice this past season. Again, I like big fish. Optimally, I would like to catch a lot of them. So, repeating this goal this year only makes sense.

5. Catch a 20"+ brown trout out of the (name redacted) ponds

I don't want to let the secret out about this body of water until I successfully tame one of it's beasts. I caught a 18" brown trout out of it this year. There are bigger fish in there. Much bigger. And I would like to catch them.

6. Catch a 22"+ rainbow or brown trout out of the Warm Springs Ponds

A friend of mine did so last year. I was and am still jealous of his catch. I want to catch one. It is a goal.

7. Go fishing in Wyoming

The same friend that I refer to in goal 5, swears by Wyoming and the trout that live there. And, like other friends that have fished there, he will gladly take me there, but he won't give me specific details, unless I go with. I would name more specific waters, but he won't tell me. Tales of giant browns, bows, and cutties intrigue me. "I want to go to there."

8. Fish for bullies and cutties on the South Fork of the Flathead

I like bull trout. I like large bull trout. I want to catch large (25"+) bull trout. You can on the South Fork. Again, "I want to go to there"

9. Catch a fish on a mouse pattern

See goal 9.

10. Go night fishing, do more night fishing, and catch fish while night fishing.

Everytime I have gone into Montana Fly Company in Melrose, MT to buy streamers, George (the owner) has said, "Going after the big ones, huh?". During one of those visits, George regaled us with a story about night fishing on the Big Hole, saying something to the effect of "Yeah, I go out there (during the night time) hook big fish and let them take my flies." George Kesel of Kesel's Four Rivers tells a similar story about night fishing on the Beaverhead. The biggest fish he has caught in the past 10 years was on the Beaverhead in the middle of the night during one of his midnight bathroom breaks. I have heard that fishing under the moon is the best time to fish for large, piscivorous brown trout. Some people take these monsters on mouse patterns others on streamers. Either way, I can't think of a better place to do it than the Big Hole.

11. Catch fish on the following waters (with some left over or repeats from last year): the Missouri River, Elk River (in BC), Lochsa River, Selway River, Big Hole River, Beaverhead River, Madison River, Hebgen Lake, Skalkaho Creek, Fish Creek, Rock Creek, South Fork of Flathead River, Flint Creek, Lamar River, Firehole River, Poindexter Slough, Ruby River, Yellowstone River, Bitterroot River, Blackfoot River, Clark Fork River, and Slough Creek.

I think this is self-explanatory.

12. Make more videos. Make better videos. Make videos with less shaky elements. Make it on to Moldy Chum and the like.

Pipe dream - capture enough quality footage to submit a respectable, but most likely, the (pardon my french) shittiest fish porn at the 2012 F3T.


13. Catch fish on sub-surface/"nymphed?" grasshoppers

I want to throw the hopper-hopper rig. I have read of it's success. Plus, who doesn't love foam.

14. catch a northern pike on the fly

big, mean, and they like eating streamers. funny coincidence, i like throwing streamers.

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