Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hollywood Hole Rainbow Trout

I am not one for remembering the names of holes. I would rather describe waters by location, number of side channels, and hydraulics. Fluvial Geomorphologist NERD alert. But, the Hollywood Hole on the Clark Fork River, is one hole name that I remember and use in conversation. The Hollywood Hole is located adjacent to the south of the Doubletree Hotel and east of the Madison St. Bridge in downtown Missoula. The convergence of Rattlesnake Creek and the Clark Fork to the east signifies the beginning of what is known as the Hollywood Hole.

It is known as the Hollywood Hole because everyone and their mother can watch you fish. People walking to school. People eating brunch. People sitting on the porch outside their Doubletree room. People walking from school. People eating lunch. People walking downtown. People walking away from downtown. Everyone can watch you flail about or shoot precise casts to a pod of fish.

The rainbows seem to be stacking up in the Hollywood Hole preparing to spawn in the Clark Fork or up the Rattlesnake. As a result, some big fish can be had on worms, skwala nymphs, and flashback pheasant tails. Nothing on the surface, but I am willing to nymph this time of year, if there is promise of a size-able fish on the other end of my line. Watch the video in HD on vimeo and enjoy some "urban" trout fishing.

Music from Blockhead "Yesterday is Here (Tom Waits Remix)"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The YGF Bracket Challenge is over before the Final Four even starts

And Elena, a fellow geoscience graduate student at the University of Montana, has reigned victorious over myself and three fellow outdoor bloggers. Seeing as she was the only one who picked Kentucky to win it all and the rest of us picked OSU, her victory is not surprising. At least we were only doing this challenge for the pride (of lions). Congrats to Elena. This is her victory lap.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fly Skwala Fly

I hit the Bitterroot recently. The beginnings of the skwala hatch seem to be here. Apparently, the thing that people like about the skwala hatch is the fact that it brings up some of the bigger fish to the surface, as evidenced by the 17" cutbow that I caught on a skwala imitation. Not going to say too much more, just going to let the video speak for itself. Watch in HD on vimeo.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All talk, some fish

My friends Bucko, Laura, and I went to the Missouri River this weekend. The forecast for Saturday was supposed to be in the low 50s, partly cloudy/party sunny/cloudy with a 20% chance of precipitation. Great fishing weather. With everybody and their mother fishing the Bitterroot's skwala stonefly hatch, we had high hopes for some superb surface action and big Mo trout on streamers.

When we checked in with SOL and Scumliner at Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, they told us that the nymphing had been slower than usual and most people seemed to be having success swinging streamers. The surface action was patchy, but present. They also told us that it seemed like all of the Mo's rainbows had left the river and began to spawn, as evidenced by the majority of people's quarry being brown trout. By the way, if you ever go to the Missouri, I highly recommend Headhunters Fly Shop.

The weather seemed to be cooperating and an epic day of fishing was about to be had. I started out the day with a 14 inch brown trout - a small Missouri trout to say the least. I bumped my way into a pod of feeding browns and was able to swing the Original to them and elicited several strikes. Finally, I was able to wrangle a 19" brown to my net. Noon arrived and while it was snowing and the temperature had stayed in the 30s, the day was off to a solid start. I was catching fish.

Somewhere between noon and 3:00 pm, the productive fishing fell apart. The temperature never rose into the 50s. It seemed to stay in the low to mid 40s. There was more wind than expected and clouds dominated the sky. We left our original stretch of water and headed upstream only to find a gentleman in a boat fishing to rising fish. However, this guy was no more than a rod's length from the boat launch at the Silver Bridge. A frustrating sight to say the least. As a wade fisherman, it is more than annoying to see someone fishing "wader's water" in a boat. You have the advantage of the boat, use it and let those of us on foot to cover the water closer to the put-ins. We left the Silver Bridge and went upstream to Holter Dam. Fished below the dam for 15 or 20 minutes, then returned to the Silver Bridge, only to find the same guy in the same boat about 20 yards downstream from the put-in. Did I mention this guy missed three or four fish on the surface then at least two while nymphing?

At the end of the day, I brought three fish to hand. Bucko managed a tiny rainbow and Laura was skunked. Not the epic day we had hoped for.

I am trying something a little bit different with this video. Since, the fishing was slower than we hoped, I decided to include some of the conversations that were had on the way up to the Mo. Unfortunately, the microphone in the Flip doesn't capture sound that well, so my voice is the clearest. Bucko's comes and goes and Laura's is nearly non-existent. Topics included: the vaunted South-Weastern Conference (spelling intended), the Birthday Donut from The Donut Hole of Helena, the Belt Rock Supergroup, mica-rich environments, bleeping out swear words, the Chappelle Show, streamers, sarcastic encouragement, and heckling of the boat ramp fishing man in a boat. Topics not caught on camera: my domination over my fellow anglers and options for travel within Helena (did you know that it doesn't matter which direction you turn in Helena, you will end up at your intended destination. Left or Right? It doesn't matter.)

If you like your YGF without three idiots talking, I have provided the no-talking cut (see V2). If you want to venture into the black hole that is our conversations, check out the V1 cut. Let me know which one you prefer. I don't think I will do another video like this, with talking throughout, but I want to include some in the future.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thank you sir, may I have another - Miami Tarpon at Night

The guys from fishpornfix.com have provided some great support for my videos and have posted four of my videos on their popular site. Recently, they got into some ridiculous night time tarpon action down in Miami. While this has been posted on thisisflydaily.com, moldy chum, and le mouching, I figured I owe the fishpornfix.com guys a post. Keep them coming.

I've Got Work in the Morning But.... from Fish Porn on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Official YGF Bracket Challenge

It's tournament time. Here's my bracket. Beat it I dare you. I don't like it, but I never like it. Join in on ESPN if you wish. Password is ygf. This is for pride. No money, no rewards. Just internet pride.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fishing is picking up in Western Montana

Or at least it should be. With skwala hatch and it's associated low-holing and high-holing anglers on the horizon of the Bitterroot, this video will be the last re-imagined video for the remainder of the season. After this post, it is 2011 content. I am looking forward to the new year. Here is some re-imagined video from one of my favorite trips from 2010, the Madison River in November (see the original.) It is a little effects heavy, but I enjoyed putting it together. I played with the saturation. Desaturating the video completely in the beginning and slowly increasing the saturation until the trout started making an appearance. The music is from Butch Clancy. It is a remix of Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever." Enjoy.

yukon goes to the madison revisited from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do I look this idiotic while fly fishing?

Claritin has a new ad out. I know what you're thinking. Yes, I have been waiting for a new and exciting antihistamine ad campaign. This artistic gem of an ad features a whopping four seconds or so of an actor waving around a fly rod like the lightsaber kid on psychedelics. Is that what the general population of non-fly fisherman thinks of our chosen hobby? Indiana Jones with a lanyard, some LSD, and 9 feet of graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo?

Spawning in my streamer box

My streamers seem to be reproducing. I am having more and more trouble storing them (them being the set of primary streamers) in the cliff's bugger barn. On Monday, I picked up 14 gift-certificate funded streamers from the now defunct Kesel's Four Rivers Fly Shop. George tied five white/red double screamers (or the el blancos), five yellow/red double screamers (or the M&Ms), and four white Muddlers. George is a great fly tier and he will be sticking around Missoula and tying custom flies for those who are interested. We have been getting some warmer temperatures recently here and apparently the streamer bite is starting to improve. Hopefully, I can confirm that this weekend.

new streamers (from top to bottom: the M&M unweighted, the M&M weighted, the el blanco unweighted, the el blanco weighted, muddler)
The Double Screamer Lineup (from top to bottom: the original, the modified, the M&M, the el blanco, the rasta)
the streamer box stocked and ready for the upcoming season (note: the right side is all double screamers - I have a problem)

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Rock

With the recent warmer weather we have had in western Montana, I took an opportunity to fish Rock Creek on Sunday. It was a sunny day in the low-to-mid thirties and midges were plentiful on the surface. Nemouras (little black stoneflies) were also seen along the snowy banks of the rock. Unfortunately, that did not translate to any dry fly fishing. I spent most of the day with whitefish at the end of my line. Around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I finally found a pod of brown trout. It had been more than a month since I had caught a trout, so, I took the 12 to 15" browns seemed like giants when I brought them in. The magic combination for the browns seemed to be a skwala colored Pat's Stonefly with a brassie hanging off the back.

As a side note, I don't think it is terribly good for one's body to have the entire lower left leg soaked in 34 degree water for 5 hours at a time. As I have complained in previous posts, my primary waders are being repaired and every time I have gone out this winter, I am quickly reminded why I got a new pair. With leaks in both legs and crotch, there isn't much comfort or warmth to be found in my backup pair. I "Can't Wait" until my primary pair of waders return. It will be a third christmas of sorts. Enjoy the video (music by Vitamin String Quartet - "Flashing Lights" a Kanye West Tribute).

March Rock from Ivan Orsic on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Freshwater Fly Fish Fighter Mini Fly Clip or F4MFC for short - get it

Made of durable plastic and high density foam. Clips to your hat, waist pack, lanyard, sling, pocket, and so much more. Carries a days worth of dry flies, a medley of nymphs, streamers, and dries, a bunch of nymphs, a couple huge streamers, or whatever combo you can fit on it. Made by a fellow blogger. Made in AMERICA (North that is...specifically USA)

That is how I would describe the Freshwater Fly Fish Fighter Mini Fly Clip that I was lucky enough to win on the Freshwater Fly's Facebook page last week. I won the contest on Wednesday, Jeff put it in the mail by Thursday, and I had it by Saturday for my two hour outing on the Bitterroot on Sunday. I didn't manage to get into any fish, but the value of the Mini Fly Clip was extremely apparent. While on the water, I use a hip pack (i.e. fanny pack) and a lanyard. While this setup generally stays out of my way while actively fishing, there is one minor drawback. Ease of access to fly boxes. It is not a huge deal, but it can be slightly annoying to try to shuffle between colors of streamers or retie a double nymph rig after one of those oh so rare wind knots without losing a size 20 nymph in the process. With the Mini Fly Clip, I am able to select three different articulated streamers before hitting the water and easily switch between the three without the trouble of finding my fly box in the midst of some face paced streamer fishing. Additionally, the Mini Fly Clip is perfect for keeping a zebra midge or brassie in a safe place while retying my leader after a break off or a tangle. I would definitely recommend this to any angler who wants to streamline their experience on the water. Oh, yeah and it is 6 dollars.

Other, more distinguished bloggers have reviewed the mini-clip. See The Fiberglass Manifesto and Troutrageous for those more distinguished reviews.

Check out the mini fly clip on this obviously superior baseball teams hat. Fits perfectly.

The Freshwater Fly Fish Fight Mini-Clip & the "P"

two screamers and a sex dungeon (all articulated - both hooks fit on the mini-clip)

from the side - gobs of feathers and the clips

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Silver and Gold from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

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