• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    We Are Blessed

    Real Seasons Up Here
    good for neighbors
    .. We hear rumblings from some folks about how winter is dreary. We hear how they can't wait for Summer.
    .. We wonder why they stay in a place that they cry about. We wonder what overwhelming reasons cause winter anxiety. What is it that, in this mobile society, forces people to live where they have to complain about the weather?
    .. Is it economic entrapment? Are choices made in favor of money?
    .. Is it social imprisonment?  Are choices made in favor of neighborhood, friends and family?
    .. We do have real concerns for those rare folks that have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) It has to do with light and the hypothalamus. This happens to folks from Florida (1%,) to Alaska(12%.) Gray days can be debilitating. There are remedies other than sleeping late, craving sweets and starches, etc. We won't dare a remote diagnosis.
    .. Also, we have been told that there are some folks that are perversely happy when they are complaining. So be it. We wish that they wouldn't harangue us with their whining. We can do nothing about it.
    .. For us, the cold season is a blessing. It is full of beauty, majesty, opportunity, and - if we choose - solitude. Up here winter brings snow for our fish. Up here winter allows for recreational opportunities not available elsewhere.  It suits us. We chose it.
    .. Our snow is deep on the ground. The temperatures are manageable with the clothes that we own. We are still able to ski, snowshoe, or wander around with a camera. Or, just wander around. We are not trapped in a house or, apartment or, camper or, tent or, cardboard box.
    .. We have experienced the monotony of year 'round tepid temperatures. We have also experienced the vitality of change and capricious weather. We'll take caprice over tepid any day.
    NOT 4 US
    .. For some there is the malaise of cabin fever. We have been lulled into thinking that it even happened to us. It's just a lack of imagination or, activity or, creativity or, volition that engenders the cabin fever. It sneaks up on you if you let it.
    .. We send our thoughts and good wishes to those that believe winter is something to be avoided. We send blessings to those that abandon the high country for southern climes. We celebrate their choice that leaves the high country to those of us that relish it's vitality and presence.
    .. Time to decide what to do. So many things, so little time. There's always snow to shovel.

    Saturday, February 25, 2017

    We Hardly Knew Ya'

    Upstream And Gone
    more jobs for who ?
    courtesy:    POLITICO
    .. Quick; before it's pulled from the website. See if you need the EPA CLEAN WATER RULE.
    ..  Secretary Scott Pruitt has suggested that the recently enacted "Clean Water Rule" may be gone as soon as next week.
    .. After all, it has been claimed, the rule has stifled business and eliminated many jobs. So there!
    .. We're not sure what businesses or what jobs. We never hear these details.
    .. This is the rule that was enacted by the EPA and The United States Corps Of Engineers in 2015.
    .. The rule was enacted after consultation with millions of stakeholders in our country over a period of several years. Public meetings, legislative conferences, public comments, etc. You know how it worked.
    .. This is the rule that:
    1.) Defines and protects tributaries that impact the health of downstream waters,
    2.) Provides certainty in how far safeguards extend to nearby waters,
    3.) Protects regional water treasures,
    4.) Focuses on streams, not ditches,
    5.) Maintains the status of waters within municipal separate storage systems,
    6.) Reduces the use of case-specific analysis of waters.
    .. This is the rule that also protects upstream spawning gravels for fish such as trout. My My My.
    >> Pruitt Statement - [#1, #2,]
    >> EPA fact Sheet,
    >> Final Clean Water Rule, [PDF]
    >> POLITICO analysis, [05/27/15]
    .. So it begins. Do what you can. Let your fishing buddies know.
    .. This is bigger than local pooping in a waterway. This is bigger than cow flops in a pasture's spring. This is bigger than sluice boxes in the upland tributaries. This is bigger than spoil from coal mines in tributaries. This is bigger than arsenic from gold mines. This is bigger than mud pits from drilling rigs dumped into prairie upland drainages.
    .. This is all of these and more.

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Happy Birthday

    Jass Or Jazz ?
    100 year old recording
    .. Sunday, February 26, 1917 marks the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording.
    .. Of course the origin of this uniquely American musical form is shrouded in mystery and controversy - how usual!
    .. Certainly it wasn't invented in 1902 by Jelly Roll Morton, (Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe,)  as he often claimed.
    .. Whatever the case the music is dynamic, innovative and has a cultural longevity that cannot be matched by many other forms.
    ..  To coin a phrase 'take five' and enjoy the video above. Or Dave Brubeck below, (long version here.)
    .. For a brief time (1930's to 1960's,) Jazz was everywhere. It lost out to young button down's and some rock and rollers that carried bits of it forward. It's still a viable bit of Americana for aficionados and other parts of the American music scene.
    Composition pour Jazz
    .. In 1915 Albert Gleizes had his famous painting published in the Literary Digest. It is rendered on cardboard and currently hangs in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It was reportedly done in a rapid fashion for the article - hence the cardboard.
    .. What's that got to do with fly fishing?
    .. Well, we've got some jazzy flies from the benches of the neighbors. Bless their nimble hands and generous hearts.
    .. They need a workout and it's warm and bright outside. The Notellum Watershed is close to hand and the roads are free of snow, (mostly.)
    .. We'll get in a few hours before the fish win again. They are doing well lately. We should be home in time for some dinner and a movie.

    Field Trip


    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    Better Than Us

    A Local Pub Favorite
    from FlyAnglers OnLine
    Courtesy  FlyAnglers OnLine
    .. Last June, or thereabout, we posted a note and pictures of a couple of flies that the neighbors were tying.
    .. They were successful on both the Friehole River and the Madison River, (post - a.)
    .. Then a week ago during the tropical period we noted that the neighbors were using one of those flies on the lowland Madison River and, on the Gallatin River during the occasional, (though sparse,) gray day hatches, (post - b.)
    .. Shocked and, flattered we were to see an excellent note about one of the flies in FlyAnglers OnLine and The Drake. The post in The Drake is the more complete of the two.
    .. The note in either post is essentially the same but they are  notable for the exceptional clarity of illustration and tying technique. Should you choose to tie the Shuckster #1 click on over there. It's an easy fly and very effective.
    .. In the distant past we would post recipes or techniques in this epistle.
    .. They were sketchy and often flawed or incomplete. It's not our forté.
    .. We are pleased to see the two notes and more pleased that one of our neighbors clued us in to the fine work. It's far better than we could ever do.
    .. Thanks again folks !!
    .. Just got back from Notellum Slough. Had some flurries in the morning. Had some rain too. The melt continues up here at a pace that is wondrous to behold.
    .. We'll schedule this post for early tomorrow morning and sleep in before trekking out into the magnificent warmth. It may hit 39°F - and it's still the middle of February!

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    And Once Again

    Watch The Fracas
    it's a recurrent push

    ..  Our buddies in Bozeman are doing their best to plunder and remove protections from our public lands.
    .. We're not sure we could survive in this world if our legislature met every year.
    .. We learn from THE MONTANA COWGIRL of the latest assault on our public lands.
    .. A bill, (HJ 9,) sponsored by Kerry White,  [chairman of the Natural Resources Committee,] is being voted on in his committee today. We'll watch closely. So should you.
    .. It's a bill to remove state protection of Wilderness Study Areas,  this includes the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn area.
    .. Judging from the comments in response to the cowgirl post, there are quite a few folks in Bozeman that think the bill is a good idea.
    .. Greg Gianforte is a not so silent partner in this effort. Keep in mind that he was born in San Diego, California and lives in the wilds of New Jersey.
    .. In 2009, the Gianforte Family Foundation helped fund the $1.5 million creationist dinosaur museum. He's running, [with skill and skulduggery,] again in Montana.
    >> Montana Cowgirl,
    >> Bills Progress,
    >> Kerry White - Legislature Info. Page,
    >> Kerry White - Vote Smart Summary,
    >> Greg Gianforte in Wikipedia,
    >> Dinosaurs in Glendive Montana.
    .. Looks like a bit of snow mixed in with the rain outside.
    ..It's gray enough to fish a spell if we can find the special gray day flies the kids next door gave me.

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

    How's Your Left Lean ?

    We Are Responsible
    no problem at all
    .. Good ol' Twisty Kasterman grew up in the slovenly tenements of New York City. His family kept moving in an effort to avoid rent and find some hot running water. They also wanted their own bathroom.
    .. Twisty became adept at simplifying his life. He tried to keep things to a bare minimum: two pair of underwear, two pair of socks, one pair of shoes, one coat, one hat, stolen bicycles, pilfered candy bars, no real friends, lots of acquaintances for couch surfing, and other parsimonious behaviors and, certainly, the mindset that goes with them.
    .. He came to believe that a loud voice and, some pushing and, shoving and, punching and, kicking and, cheating and, lying and, cajoling were the best ways to get through life and school.
    .. He grew up and became known in the neighborhood as a success. He decided to become a truck driver. He badgered all his family and acquaintances for money to buy a truck. The "loans" were never repaid.
    .. He bought a ratty old pickup truck. He started to collect street-trash in his neighborhood. He coerced local residents to pay him for trash and debris collection. He used familiar strong-arm techniques. He prospered.
    .. He expanded. He hired local thugs and immigrants as employees. He appropriated more trucks by various means.
    .. Soon he had monopolized the street-trash collection business.
    .. He sued the City of New York for impinging on his business with their paid city trash collection service.
    .. He claimed that city employees and contractors were really just bogus hoods that were overpaid and that the city was wasting money on the unnecessary service.
    .. He won the case with an out of court settlement that was touted in the newspapers as a victory for the residents of the city.
    .. He loved the press reports from the reporters that he had taken to dinner in New Jersey.
    .. The citizens, that saw their trash collection become degraded to the point of criminality, were outraged.
    "I will clean up Mexico"
    .. Twisty ignored the outcry. He expanded to other cities, states, and even foreign countries. He vowed to clean up Mexico and all of Europe including Ukraine.
    .. As Twisty moved through life he gathered up all the accoutrements of success.
    .. He practiced serial monogamy with a series of conventionally 'pretty' baby-brides. He impregnated them and moved on. He coddled the various children from the unions with high paying pseudo jobs in his trashy organization.
    .. Twisty joined and bought country clubs. He acquired many cars, houses, airplanes, and a chorus of sycophants. All those who came in contact with Twisty begged for jobs and sought to bask in the radioactive glow of the trashy executive.
    .. As age crept into the bombast, Twisty decided to move into politics.
    .. He had exhausted the trashy avenues that got him to where he was.
    .. He bought Texas hunting preserves: he does not hunt.
    .. He bought large plots of western lands in Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. He even bought scenic golf courses. He had never been west of Philadelphia.
    .. He used these holdings to legitimize his political activity in each of the states. He placed loyal followers on committees, boards, and commissions.
    .. He contributed enormous sums of money to various political causes, individual trashy entrepreneurs, and campaigns.
    .. In Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana his camp followers included a disproportionate number of fly fishers. This caught the attention of the Twisty organization staff.
    .. Twisty then became interested in the commercial possibilities of this and, other outdoor pastimes. He jumped in with both feet - shod in shark skin Western boots.
    Courtesy Fishing For History
    .. He launched a clothing line. He bought water slides, shopping malls, sporting goods stores, and gun shops.
    .. However, Twisty had some problems with his attempted entry into the fly fishing world.
    .. He just couldn't comprehend the maze of fishing regulations, the various types of rods and reels, the different water types, the different fish species, and the multitude of fly patterns.
    .. His interest was piqued. Twisty decided to fix fly fishing. He would make it conform to his simple view of the world of trash.
    .. He saw the opportunity for both pecuniary advancement of his wealth and a chance to shine as the savior to the supposed millions of other befuddled fly fishers.
    .. After all if he was twisticated over the industry and pastime so would others be. He knew he was right.
    .. He entered political fly fishing by joining several trade organizations and a slew of trout and bass clubs. He waited and watched.
    .. He decided to enter the highest level of the industry. He ran for president of the "SYNDICATED FEDERATION OF AMALGAMATED FISHERS AND INDUSTRIAL MOGULS."
    .. Using his childhood tactics of shout and lie he won the presidency.  He had no experience whatsoever with fly fishing.
    .. He promised to get rid of all the fake flies and institute a single selection of just two flies.
    .. That was a promise that resonated with most of the common fly fishers. They cheered him!
    .. Twisty vowed to remove the taxes on fishing gear and return the market to the fishers. Fishers ignorant of where the taxes went just loved this possibility.
    .. One of his major promises was to remove the supposed unnecessary regulations about sizes, numbers, places, seasons,  and releases that plague 'real' fishers across the country.
    .. Fish fryers and smokers grinned with glee. Poachers shed their stealth and guilt.
    .. His campaign slogan that was most effective was: "MAKE FLY FISHING SIMPLE AGAIN."
    .. The major point that won the day in his election campaign centered on foreign fishers. Foreign fishers are viewed as interlopers that can make fishing hazardous and less productive for resident fishers.
    .. He promised to enact laws and regulations that would only allow fishing in the home state of the person doing the fishing.
    .. He promised to expand wardens in each state to guarantee that only locals could fish in their own waters.
    .. He even suggested that walls be built around all streams and rivers and lakes.
    .. He also thinks that all of the western states should build and pay for the walls to keep out foreign fishers.
    ..Twisty encountered some resistance from vested interests that he enumerated as: "Conservation Organizations," "Green Retailers," "Tackle Manufacturers," "Importers of Foreign Flies," and guided fishing trips.
    .. His staff suggested that it would be a good idea if Twisty went fly fishing. He tried to hire a guide to show him how.
    .. He never got to fish. He complained that he couldn't find a guide that lived all year in the state where he wanted to fish. He wouldn't pay for foreign guides.
    .. "Those foreign flies are also taking jobs away from American workers," railed Twisty. "We should put a 50% tax on them."
    "Why are they still selling hand tied flies? Can't American Technology overcome this?" He querried his cheering throngs.
    .. Twisty promised tax credits for development of machine tied flies - there will be just two of them. He intimated that it would behoove manufacturers to limit their rod and reel offerings. Reducing imported junk was his rationale for this suggestion.
    .. "Those 'green' retailers use foreign goods, made with sweatshop labor -tax them too  - more loss of American Jobs," Twisty pointed out.
    .. A major selling point for the election of Twisty Kasterman was his position that; so called conservation organizations hinder free choice in fly fishing. "Their mentality wants to stop all fishing," he says.
    .. He claimed that commercial fish processing plants adjacent to catching sites are more economical, profitable, and environmentally correct. He believes that the fish not needed by fishers could be sold to the plants for a profit.
    .. He noted that the industrial byproducts from the plants could easily be dumped in the rivers that the fish came from.
    .. Twisty thinks that commercial processing of Asian Carp in Alton, Illinois will be both economical, lucrative and, would add to the nutrient content of the Illinois River and the Mississippi River. He believes that it might even improve the air quality in Saint Louis, Missouri.
    .. So far, Kasterman has only started his reforms of the fly fishing milieu. His supporters are absolutely ebullient. They are already boycotting foreign flies and fishing wherever they choose. They have held rallies to protest all the fake flies beyond the two authorized flies. They are boycotting fly shops without full time year-round guides. The "SYNDICATED FEDERATION OF AMALGAMATED FISHERS AND INDUSTRIAL MOGULS" believe that they are the voice of all fly fishers. Twisty Kasterman believes this too.
    .. We are holding our opinion on this series of events, promises, and recreational impacts. Those people that voted for good ol' Twisty Kasterman are soiling their shorts with ecstatic glee. We wonder how they will feel in four years.
    .. It's overcast and warm with a few flakes if you look close. We should forego the nap, have some food, and fish a spell this afternoon.

    On The Edge

    Some Icebergs Present
    use big and small

    .. The recent warm has improved fishing, catching, and access down the canyon on the Gallatin River and on the lowland Madison River as well.
    .. Road conditions are less treacherous now than they have been over the past month. Down low the dry roads allow access to more water.
    .. There are icebergs on both rivers. Shelf ice, adjacent to the shore, is getting thin and should not be trusted for water access.  Find a place to sit down on the bank to enter the water.
    .. There is still an ice clog on the lowland Madison River just above Ennis and some other narrow shallow stretches. Fish at your own risk around the jams. They could shift rapidly and dangerously.
    .. Stoneflies are beginning their early Springtime wanderings on the lower sections of both rivers.
    .. Up here we tend to forget that there is a different riverine  rhythm than there is down below. Folks in Ennis and Bozeman are are thinking Spring.
    .. Your favorite Stonefly imitation should do wonders if fished in riffles and shallow runs. Not too deep, mind you, given the current water conditions. A bit of color creeps in the water as both anchor ice and shore ice enter the streams.
    .. The deep holes that were productive just last week probably still hold fish but catching will be easier and more productive in the two foot deep parts of the water column.
    .. Interestingly, reports from our neighbors suggest that both the large nymphs and small nymphs are excellent choices. Many of the neighbors used a giant rubber legs followed with either a stonefly or smaller nymph on the point.
    .. The current weather pattern is giving us mixed skies. A bit of clear then, some clouds than, gray overcast. Up here we've had some snow flurries. The snow blankets the ground and rapidly melts. We should get 3 or, 4 or, 5 inches in the next day or two.
    .. With mid day temperatures in the high 30's and low 40's it should produce some runoff and color the highland streams - lowland water might get some slight color as well.
    .. We're looking forward to a few more days of warm and snow. By the end of next week we should be back into winter. The skiers and sled heads will be happy.
    .. To cover all situations your arsenal should include some midges for the bright times and some surface charmers for the gray parts of the day.
    .. The local pub chatter is centered around fly shop visitations and foreign eateries.
    .. Visitors to our village are taking pictures of the roads. Why? The snow is gone from the roads and the skiers have to walk to the trails. Oh Well!
    .. Best prepare our head for gardening and lawn mowing. It'll be here in only two months.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Nothing You Can Do

    Oregon To Sell Forest
    150 miles of fish rivers going away
    ELLIOT STATE FOREST - [courtesy The Oregonian]
    .. A note in THE OREGONIAN details the latest maneuvers of Oregon State to sell a publicly accessible state forest to pay for schools.
    .. Although the state has responsibly logged in the forest for years it says it cannot make money. It believes that private logging will pay the price, (221 million dollars,) and make some money.
    .. No trespassing signs are already going up on public lands. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership suggest contacting a ranger about the signs. HUH?????
    .. A bid for the lands has been made by the  Lone Rock Timber Management company and several Native American tribes and 'The Conservation Fund.'
    .. The forest is home to two threatened birds, (Northern spotted owl, Marbled murrelet,) and watershed for Coastal coho salmon.
    .. This is a proposed state action taken by the Oregon State Land Board. The decision  to sell is in distinct and direct opposition to the plan for saving the forest proposed by the Governor of the State of Oregon, (Kate Brown.) The folks of Coos Bay are divided on the action.
    .. If you live in Oregon it's time to get involved before the sale is finalized. If you fish the Umpqua River it's time to get involved.

    >> The Oregonian
    >> The Elliot State Forest - fact sheet
    >> The Register-Guard
    >> Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
    .. Now that breakfast is over and, now that the clouds have rolled in and, now that the sun has warmed the air, it's time for a brief sojourn to the open water for some R & R.