Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tommorrow is the big day. Kelly and I head to the hospital in the morning, and will meet our son sometime tomorrow. We are both excited, and doing our best to be calm and "business as usual" for Elia's sake. It will be a big adjustment for all of us, but mostly for Elia who is used to dominating both of our time. She is a special little girl, and will be a wonderful big sister. I feel lucky to have 2 amazing women in my life. I'll update things here when I get a chance. Think good thoughts, I know Kelly will do another phenomenal job, and our son will be a welcome addition to the family!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I added a few links to the sidebar today. These are places that I check out frequently, and I probably should have put links up sooner but to be honest, I couldn't remember how! Problem solved tonight. Hopefully none of those guys mind me putting links up to their blogs, there is some really great stuff out there if you have time to look around a bit. Some of these guys are pretty close to Portland, and I hope to fish with them someday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

After Elia went to be tonight I found myself looking through some old pictures and videos. I focussed mainly on this spring's trip to MN to fish with Justin, and on his trip here to OR this year. We took some great pictures and videos, and I am already excited for next spring. I'm not sure what that trip will bring, but Justin and I always have a good time fishing together. Here is a link to a video taken on the Deschutes river in OR while fishing the salmonfly hatch. I had crawled into position for this fish, and after about 3-4 fly changes (picky sucker...and we are talking salmonflies here) I finally got a take. Chris O'donnell, a friend and guide was taken Justin and i down the river, and he actually carried enough salmonfly variations to get this fish to eat. It was a fun 20 minutes of fishing, and watching the fish dart, swirl and refuse was almost as good as the take.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Not much going on in the way of carp on the fly for me. I've had several fishless weekends in a row. I went out yesterday to River City Flyshop and bought a sweet carp setup. As usual, the boys at River City were top notch to deal with, I highly recommend this shop to anyone in OR. I cast a bunch of rods including some G Loomis, TFO, and Echo rods (the Echo was far and away my 2nd favorite choice. Tim Rajeff is one of the world's best casters, and knows how to put together a fly rod.) I ended up falling in love with an Albright EXS 9 ft 7 wt. These rods are designed by the former owner or rod maker for Reddington who was apparently let go when Sage bought them out. It is a high end casting machine, and while a little faster than I normally prefer, it is so smooth it felt slow! I'm not sure how much sense that makes, but it will be a carping machine. I paired it with a GLoomis Venture 7 reel, which is undoubtedly the best fly reel for under $100, and a silky smooth airflo line that is a nice peach color. I took the rod out with Elia this morning, and last night with Panga but didn't get much opportunity to put it through its paces. I also spent an hour at a local lake casting as some big carp today while Elia napped, but couldn't seem to hook up. I can tell that I am really going to like this rod from a casting standpoint and I'm anxious to see how it does with a fish on the end of it!

This place will likely be quiet for a while. Kelly's due date is July 31, so I'll be meeting my son soon. I don't know which I'm more excited for...meeting my son, or introducing him to Elia. She is such a loving little girl that I know she'll be a wonderful big sister.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

This is a good example of some of the tough conditions we've had. The fish have been in these tiny pockets. If you can get a fly in there, you can hook them, but it isn't easy to get them out of there!

Monday, July 10, 2006

This little sucker has been deadly of late. I have been fishing it mainly in a size 12.

Elia saw her first carp at about 4 months of age, and dunked her first basketball at about 17 months of age. Nothing like an early start!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Those of you that know me and not my wife correctly assume that she is a saint. She puts up with my fishing mania extremely well, especially when you consider that of late my fishing mania has turned into carp fishing is a rare disease, and much worse that people think.

My lovely wife was kind enough to send me out for one more full day trip before our second child is born (July 31! Can't wait to meet my son!) KB was kind enough to join me and we headed out for a marthon day of carping action!

The water level was great, the sun was high, and the wind...NONE AT ALL! Perfect conditions, and it turned out to be a great day. I hooked tons of fish, but lost many to straightened hooks and the big weed beds that you can't keep the carp from running to unless you put enough pressure on the to straighten the hook. Still, the best part about fishing for me is the strike. As Mr. P from CAG says: "The take is the premier moment!"

All in all, I landed right around 10 carp (and about 30 panfish. Frankly, the panfish were a bit of a problem. I'd be stalking a nice fish and make a great cast only to have a bluegill dart from the weed bed and take swip at my fly! As revenge, KB and I hammered a pod of bluegill for 20 minutes, catching fish as fast as we could release them. Great fun!) KB had a solid day as well, but I don't know where he ended on fish landed. Some of the takes were spectacular, and the fly of the day was my crayfish pattern on a size 10 hook, tied all in green for a change. The big fish of the day was a 14 lb monster that ran well into my backing, and managed to wrap me around the same stick twice! I had to pull the slack line trick on him both times to get him off the debris, and was surprised I managed to land him with an extra 3-5 lbs of salad on the fly line. To top the day off we spent an hour or so fishing to 4 of the biggest carp I have ever seen. My honest estimate of these fish...somewhere between 25-35lbs, and KB thinks I am underestimating. They were completey uninterested in eating anything, but when you see fish that big, you cast...and cast...and cast...truly big carp.

Thanks again KB for a great day!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Here is a picture of KB's monster carp. Living where we live, a 20 lb carp is a real trophy, especially on a flyrod. We see a lot of fish in the 5-10 lb range, and plenty of fish in the low teens, but the big boys are much tougher to find around Portland. Next spring I'll make a trip to Eastern Oregon to chase down rumors of 20lb AVERAGE size carp. I've seen the pictures to prove it, and hopefully the 30 lb barrier will be tested next spring. Something tells me I won't have trouble talking KB into joining me!

Great fish KB!
Breaking news! KB just called from a local spot, and he broke into the 20lb club! He just landed and released a monster carp that scaled out at 20.2 lbs on his digital scale. It sounds like it was an epic battle as he took the beast on a small, lightly weighted hare's ear and fairly light tippet. After numerous attempts at diving into the weeds, KB managed to corral the big fish despite only managing to fish 2/3 of the fish into his net! Congrats to KB and I will post the pictures as soon as I can!

After scaling his pig, KB now estimates Highway Cone at closer to 30 lbs, than 20 lbs. I can't wait to see the photos!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Another neat picture from my trip to MN with Justin back in May. I love chasing carp with a flyrod, and it is tough to beat the thrill of stalking a big carp in shallow water, but the delicate nature of trout, bamboo, and mayflies can be a lot of fun as well. They are completely different ways of fishing, and variety certainly has its place!