All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Friday, July 31, 2009

An Oldie But Goodie!

Testament of a Fisherman
I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant - and not nearly so much fun. -John Voelker (Robert Traver )

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thanks for the props Kevin!

The following was posted on the UTOF web site. I used to frequent that site as RAW or Wildnative. This post is about the air-filled stonefly adults I have been tying. Kevin bought a couple dozen from me to try this year. Looks like they were a success. What more could a fly tyer ask for than a complimentary post such as this:

"Sweet Flies
I have been really jonesing on the flies I have received from UTOF fly tyers this summer.First in late May I got my order of 02 Salmon flies from RAW (WildNative). They have been the bomb for both the HF and SF hatches. Something about the silhouette of this fly and the way it sits in the water drives the fish crazy. It has moved fish that have ignored other patterns. I picked up over 20 fish on dry salmon flies last week on the upper stretch of the SF all on the O2 fly...... and there were no real adults to be seen. The fish just key on this pattern, and it will not sink. The trapped air make the fly so buoyant. Both the gray and the orange 02 salmon flies have been a huge success."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sneak Attack!

Give me a 3-weight rod, an imitation grasshopper and a hot summer afternoon on just about any small creek, and I'm going to guarantee a fun and productive time on the water. I usually fish these waters in total solitude. Today was different. My wife, Phyllis, decided she wanted to hang with me today and volunteered to be the photographer. She claims I take too many shots of just trout, and that it would be nice to see the man who actually catches the trout. I'm not much for having my picture taken, but she convinced me that the camera does not remove my spirit from my body so here I am.

I love summer. Even though there was a slight overcast when we started, the grasses were tall and green, the cedars and junipers had a green-blue hue and the sage was powder-coated gray. It was a beautiful day. The sun would peak out from the clouds bringing beads of sweat dripping off my forehead and and off my nose. I usually wear a ballcap when fishing but forgot it today. When I was younger, I used to wear a bandanna around my forehead to act as a sweatband. I may go back to that practice as it was difficult keeping the salt from entering my eyes.

This small creek is loaded with brown and cutthroat trout. The ratio today was higher for the browns. I'm just a little disheartened at this. Last two years I was catching more cutthroat. This water should be cutthroat water. I hope the browns are not forcing the cutts to slowly disappear.

Today was bragger's day. With my wife as a witness, I was able to show off my prowess. This is something that a lone, solitary fly fisher doesn't get to do often. Luckily for me, the trout cooperated and I was lifted to rock star status in her eyes.

I ponder a lot while hanging out with my friends the trout. I thought about pain and hurt today. I am reminded of a quote from a Barry Lopez essay: "The living of life, any life, involves great and private pain, much of which we share with no one. In such places (I'm inserting my own place here) as quiet trout streams the pain trails away from us. It is not so quiet there or so removed that you can hear yourself think, that you would even wish to; that comes later. You can hear your heart beat. That comes first."

Today, I could hear my heart beat.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day on the Weber

I spent the afternoon with my nephew Matt Eves who snapped the photos in this post. It was a slow day on the Weber but we were able to land some whitefish and this nice cutthroat. I'm not sure why the brown trout were hiding. There was a nice yellow sally hatch happening but no rising fish. Matt is becoming a great fly fisher. He is a better nymph fisher than I am and I noticed that he has a nice, smooth casting stroke.
This fish was about all I could handle with the three-weight rod. Luckily, the faster water below the hole I hooked it in was shallow enough for me to move down stream and land the fish on a small island.
I noticed the cutthroat's side was a little scratched up and surmised that it was probably caused from the spawn somehow. I don't know if the pictures do it justice. It was a heavy fish with some girth to it.
The whitefish we caught were good-sized too.
It was good to spend a few hours on a river.

Today's Quote

"The landscape conveys an impression of absolute permanence. It is not hostile. It is simply there---untouched , silent and complete. It is very lonely, yet the absence of all human traces gives you the feeling you understand this land and can take your place in it."

---Edmund Carpenter

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Soul of Steams Successful Adventure

My Saturday hike and fish was a success. Finally a day without thunderstorms, wind and rain. I must admit that hiking in alone and bushwacking, wet wading, slipping on the rocks, and wondering about lions, tigers and bears is weighing on my mind more the older I get. Here I was, however, 3 miles in on a creek with perfect flows, clarity, and numbers of pan-sized trout.

I don't think it would matter what fly is used. These fish as far as I can tell don't see a lot of pressure. They are easily spooked, but are not particular about the food they eat. I used a cicada pattern: black foam body, elk hair wing, orange foam head, and black rubber legs, tied on a size 12 Tiemco 5212 hook.

As stated in a previous post, I went to not only get out of town and into some wild country, but to also bring home dinner. I also wanted to see what type of trout I would catch and if any of them were rainbow/cuthroat hybrids (cuttbows). All fish caught were rainbows with the exception of two. One was a pure cutthroat and one was a cuttbow. This surprised me to a degree. It seems like last year when I went into this area, I caught more cutthroat. I didn't keep an accurate count but in the three hours I was fishing, I brought about fifteen or twenty fish to hand and missed hooking about ten or so. Most of the fish were in the eight to ten inch range with four or five pushing twelve or thirteen inches. I had a small pack on my back which I carried a frozen water bottle. When I was ready to leave, I cleaned the fish and put them in a palstic bag and placed it in the pack with the frozen water. The fish were then taken home, cooked and eaten. They were fresh and good. I offered to share them with my family and they declined. My family usually loves fish so it was a bit of a shock when they didn't want to share in the feast.

When I hike into and out of these areas, my mind almost always wanders. I think about the history of the area. I wonder about the early inhabitants of the area. I dream about being more knowledgeable about the plants, trees, and wildlife. I listen to the birds sing and only recognize a couple of the songs. Again, I think to myself, that I need to learn more. The view coming out was nice. Looking out through the opening of the canyon I could see part of the small mountain valley below and the backdrop of tall peaks with just a few specks of snow left in the highest cirques. My last thought was that I probably will not return to this water again this year. I give it one trip a year. Time to move to other waters that seem to call to me---come here and seek my trout, soul of streams!