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9/30/09

updated hawaii bonefish report:

the nwff crew with guests ted and two dentists from no cal.

 

since i last checked in, i spent a bunch of days on the water fishing bonefish.  started the week at sand island trying out the new sage xi3.  just went out for about an hour.  hooked a good fish that managed to wreck me in the coral.

 

another fabulous rod from sage.  the first thing i noticed when i picked up the new xi3 was how light the rod is.  the xi3 is extra fast and generates ridiculous line speeds while retaining the feel which makes for easy and pleasurable casting.  i was surprised at the amount of feedback i got from it with only thirty feet of line out.  the rod made deadly accurate short casts and launched bombs with ease.  where this rod really shines is casting straight up into the wind, which those in the know know is critical to fly fishing success around here.

 

shtanky...

 

good.

 

spent three other days on the water with a good buddy of mine ted.  i didnít fish on those days just tried to keep ted in fish.  he ended up going 6 fish out of seven hook ups doing the oahu flats circuit.  e.t. came out with us on one of the days and conked three fish himself.

 

 

a happy ted.<

 

sean checked in with some photos of a nice fatty he got over at kbay on monday.  he fished a sage z-axis 9wt. and a hatch 7-plus reel.

 

 

sean reports, ďdespite the difficult weather, the fish are still here. You just need to make the most of the opportunities you're given.Ē

 

yesterday i ended the day at hickam with deano, diver dean, and two dentists here for the dental conference (jeff and garrett).  garrett got his first bonefish ever and we hooked a couple others.  the water was kind of weird possibly effects from the tsunami earlier in the day.  e.t. checked in and his clients for the day also hooked a bunch of fish.  jeff and garrett are out with e.t. today so we shall see what happens.  i also got the report from jay, heís also reporting fair numbers of fish although heís bummed because someone stole his outboard motor from his car.  címon man thatís so totally uncool... why gotta be like that?

 

jeff and garrett enjoying a chill hickam evening session.

 

i guess the long and short of it is that overall the ridicu-bite of summer is slowly dwindling as the fish start going into their fall habits.  all signs point to a really good fall season.  this is hawaii, and thereís always fish somewhere and as itís been all my life around here, youíll never really know unless you go.  good times.

 

clay.

 

 

 

9/23/09

fly fishing hawaii:

afternoon on the lake with e.t.

 

had to go get a filling from dr. harry pang dds this morning.  e.t. hadnít seen harry in a while so he came with.  the plan was to get all dental work out of the way then jet out to the lake for some busting tuc action... well that was the plan anyway.

 

we got to the lake a little after noon, i think.  i saw stanís trailer in the parking lot, so i gave him a call to get the report which turned out to be not too good.  they had caught some fish on bait but busting fish was just not happening.  e.t. and i got out on the water and it was as stan had advertised.  not much going on.  the lake was still and the overcast made the afternoon glare almost impossible to see through.  we fished for a while with not much success trying to piece together the puzzle in front of us.

 

as the afternoon rolled on we noticed some bait activity (nervous water) on the shore and also saw a kid conking fish with bait on the point near kemoo island, both very good signs that things were beginning to happen.  i love seeing kids cracking fish, it reminds me of how much fun i had fishing as a kid and gives me the feeling that the next generation of fishermen will be in good hands.

 

finally, e.t. got the stink off the day by hooking a red devil and a peacock by blue boat point and we began to see a few shore rushes by tucs here and there.  if we were lucky and quick enough to get a fly into the fast shore blitz weíd get a fish.  so we spent the rest of the afternoon cruising assorted shorlines taking shots at any red devils we were able to spot all the while being prepared for the occasional tuc that decided to chase some bait within casting range.

 

e.t. was fishing a 4wt. st. croix legend ultra and i was fishing my 5wt. sage z-axis.  we were both using the wilson streamer in assorted colors.  we caught a bunch of red devils, though sighting them and watching for the "gill flare" was challenging.  we also got some nice tucs whenever the fates allowed and we were able to make the presentation.  the busting never really happened but i think we played the hand we were dealt quite well.

 

success came today with much patience and making good casts and presentations... funny how often those things are the keys to fly fishing success on any given day (hint, hint).

 

e.t. hooked up under "omnibus" skies.

 

e.t. and clay make some good shots.

 

the wilson streamer.

 

another fatty caught while clobberhousing bait on shore.  good times.

 

clay.

 

 

 

09/20/09

fly fishing hawaii:

a lake, a bubble, and the wilson streamer

 

went out on the lake with stan for a few hours this morning.  i had heard that the peacock bass had begun their fall schooling and busting shad pattern so i was anxious to get out and see what all was what.

 

the water level on the lake was really low, as low as i remember it when i fished it as a kid.  launching the boat was not a problem though, as the boat launch appears to have been cleared of the silt and muck build up.  itís a long way down to the end of the ramp though.  for those without a boat, thereís lots of bank access now and all of the points are well out of the water.  the lakes pretty small now so many of the busting fish are well within casting range from shore.

 

stan had been mentioning to me that he wanted to do a show with ben wong using a bubble and a fly on the lake.  i had been working on a simple streamer for busting fish for a while now and had it just about the way that i wanted it.  i call the fly the wilson streamer.  i had been fishing it in various forms for quite some time with good results.  so i tied up a bunch and gave them to stan to try with his bubble and fly rig.

 

the morning turned out to be a pretty slow one with almost no signs of busting fish until mid morning.  even then the busting was very sporatic and the fish were pretty picky about presentation of the fly.  we managed to get into a couple of good busts and hooked some fat fish in the two pound range.  we also got some red devils (canít pass up those devils entirely).  the bubble and the wilson streamer worked great.  the fly does need some tweaking so that it will fish better with a spinning rod and bubble set up.  iím working on that right now.

 

stan makes the long trek down to the end of the ramp.

 

stan shows that the bubble and fly works on both peacocks as well as red devils.

 

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a stuffed fatty, good fun on a 5wt.

 

the wilson streamer.  fall is officially just a few days away and there have already been reports of crazy busting peacocks, so check it out.  it may be great or it may be slow, but youíll never know unless you go.  good times.

 

clay.

 

 

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09/13/09

fly fishing oregon:

the last three days.

 

not much to report from the last three days.  harold and i drove out to the deschutes to do some scouting of stretches on the river that neither of us had fished before.  we stopped by a couple of fly shops along the way to pick up last minute supplies and check out the shops.  the first was the fly fishing shop in welches and, next, the deschutes angler in maupin.  both shops were nice and helpful and iíd recommend stopping by at one or both of them next time youíre in the area.  thanks especially to the two guys at the deschutes angler for keeping the shop open a little late to cut my vision ace shooting head.

 

by the time we reached the river and found a campsite, it was nearly dark.  we camped the night and learned the hard lesson that when choosing a campsite make sure there are no trash dumpsters aroundÖ pretty shtanky.  the next day we swung flies through several runs below sherars falls.  the steelhead were in but we did not get any pulls (so far par for the course for my brief steelheading career).  the oregon department of fish and wildlife officer that we spoke to said the fishing had been slow that day but i think it probably also had a lot to do with poor swinging techniques (at least for me).  but we did scout some new sections and will go back and float it next time.  good spey casting practice and that many casts closer to the next pull.

 

the next day we ran a bunch of errands in the morning then jetted out to seaside to let harold's boys try to catch some dungeness crabs.  they used snares and squid for bait.  the boys caught a bunch of small crabs but no keepers.  the one keeper casey had on fell off while he was pulling it up.  so the dungeness crabs will have to wait until next trip boyz.

 

this morning i got on a plane heading for home and that is where i am writing this blog.  thanks to all the crew who made it all possible.  chris a., bert, nelson, gary, and mike in no cal.  jadd and joel (of kaufmanns), don, gary, and pete (of riverside angler) harold, hayley (sorry about the lamp), grant, and of course benny and casey in oregon.  it was super fun, educational, skill improving, and i managed to stick a fish or two in the process.  that my peeps is what fly fishing is all about.

 

the desert and harold "swinging" a run on the deschutes.

 

sherars falls and the native americans fishing it the traditional way.

 

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benny... the king of crab.

 

crabby.

 

more pics from the day with chris a. (08/27/09) through his lens:

small streams and the casting ponds.

 

the golden gate angling and casting club.

 

clay and the spey.  thanks for the pics chris... good times.

 

clay.

 

 

 

09/09/09

fly fishing oregon:

drifting the mckenzie.

 

got up at four this morning to go down to eugene and meet my buddy grant to fish with him today. grant had been down at reedsport fishing cohos and crabbing since i got up here so i hadnít had the the chance to fish with him. he was nice enough to cut his coast fishing short and come back to eugene to fish with me. harold and i rolled into eugene and got to grants house by seven. we discussed our options and decided to spend a day drifting a section of the mckenzie river. the mckenzie flows through springfield just outside of eugene. it is the river that i learned to fly fish on and i was very excited to get back on it. the last time i fished it was in 1996 so it was, for me, a fly fishing home coming of sorts. we took grantís drift boat (which he built with a friend) and put in just below leaburg dam. the plan was just to see what was up and maybe fish some steelhead and fish for trout. on the runs known to hold steelhead we swung flies, we nymphed, even skated some flies through but the steelhead, well, were being steelhead. harold accidently snagged one and he promptly pulled his fly from it not wanting to tire and land a fish not fair hooked. grant hooked one with an egg and jig combo. the egg and jig combo is not exactly fly fishing, at least in my book, but deadly effective on steelhead. we got into some decent trout fishing, nothing real big but we all got some nice fish and missed some bigger ones. i missed out on one hot bite during which grant was hooking fish one after the other. i spent the whole time trying to thread a size 18 elk hair caddis on a 6x tippet... a bit trickier than getting fifteen pound through the eye of a number two claymantisÖ amateur maneuver. i kind of enjoyed the situation, though, and actually found it rather humorous. it was just one of those many fishing moments that teach you life lessons in patience and humility and make it all worth while.

i did manage a few fish out of that run and missed many more due to a rusty, too much slack line, dry fly drift. at the take out point we horsed around a bit and i introduced grant to the wonderful world of spey casting. i think grant might have seen the light deano, or at least has glimpsed its potentialÖ weíll see. we ended the day at maple garden on alder street near the university of oregon. where chef kenny cooked us up some of the most wicked beef chow fun and shrimp fried rice that oregon or quite possibly the world has ever witnessed. this was probably the best day of my trip so far. fishing and hanging with good friends on waters that i love.  waters that will forever be special to me. how can you top that?

 

grants drift boat and his other boat.  he and his friend built both of them.  i've fished on them both and they are marvels of craftsmanship.

 

the mckenzie.

 

harold and a mckenzie redside.

 

grant and a whitey... they look kind of like bones.

 

a majestic blue heron surveys his river.

 

thanks grant for another memorable fishing trip.  good times.

 

clay.

 

 

 

09/08/09

fly fishing oregon:

sea run cutthroat on the wilson.

 

this afternoon we took a quick drive out to the wilson river to fish a few runs for sea run cutthroat trout. i fished a beulah 4/5 switch rod with a matching elixir line and some spider flies i tied up earlier. the sea run cutt spider fly is a funky looking fly consisting of a dubbed body some hackle and some amherst pheasant tied forward. the idea is very similar to the akule flies used by some local akule fishermen (iím no akule fisherman but i think they also call it a spider). anyway the forward tied fibers sweep back when stripped and kind of pulsate in the water. according to pete down at the river city fly shop, itís supposed to imitate the motions of the krill that i guess the cutthroat see and eat in the ocean. regardless of what they think it is these fish go bonkers over this fly. we got out to the river and fished as many runs as we could before dark. we found some good pools and slots where the cutts were holding and got a bunch of fish including a few nice cutthroat as well as some salmon smolt. the sea run cutts would hammer the spider fly and were quite strong for their size. some jumped like crazy when hooked. a great afternoon for this trout starved guy and something i definitely look forward to doing again.

 

the wilson river... how can you go wrong fishing this?

 

harold with the first sea run cutthroat of the day.

 

they love those spider flies.

 

harold gets one on a spruce fly.

 

cute little guy.

 

some little salmon smolts liked the spider as well.

 

nice chunky cutthroat.

 

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the view from down below.

 

last fish of a super afternoon on the water.

 

a well chewed spider fly.  sea run cutthroat fishing is cool and i had a most triumphant experience.  good times.

 

clay.

 

 

 

09/06/09

fly fishing oregon:

harriet lake with the young of the youngs.

 

spent the last two nights camping out with my buddy harold and his family up at harriet lake in oregon. harriet is stocked with rainbow trout and also has a population of brown trout. it is a very popular lake for conventional gear fishermen. because the lake had just been stocked a couple of days prior to us going up there, and because of the impending labor day weekend the lake was packed with guys mostly chucking power baits. we fished the lake in float tubes using intermediate lines and wooley buggers. i fished the beulah 4/5 switch lined up with a 7wt. intermediate cortland camo line.  this combination turned out to be a fantastic float tube outfit for trout. the fly of choice for me was the carey special. i also got some fish on seal buggers.

 

 

harriet lake was as close to combat fishing as i care to ever get. casting was sometimes a little tricky as you had to be aware of other guys in float tubes and pontoons as well as boats and a bank lined with fishermen. at times it was like being in a no holds barred fishing war zone as you would hear the plunk of lead hitting the water as close as three feet away from you. sometimes you'd make a long cast and as soon as your fly landed in the water some dude on the bank would cast his lead right over your line.

 

 

despite the madness of the kamakazee style of fishing that takes place up there, we did get quite a few rainbows (some pretty big) and browns. not exactly my scene. those who know me may be amazed that i even fished it, but iíll try anything once.  i gotta say, it was fun to get out with harold and his boys casey (17) and ben (14). i donít get to fish with them that often and we had a blast horsing around and fishing. we joked about the ďtrout berryĒ hatch, the term we gave to the fluorescent pink, chartreuse and yellow powerbait balls floating around in the water that fell off of the gear fishermenís lines. i saw how much caseyís cast had improved (like father like son i guess) and the boys also got some good fish which made it worth while for me. even hayley, haroldís wife, caught a trout throwing a wooley bugger from shore with a spinning rod. the people there were nice and it was a good family atmosphere all around. all in all apparently a better time than watching the ducks play boise state which sounded like a game this uo alum was better off not watching.

 

 

we found an awesome campsite and camped for two nights right next to a fast running section of the upper clackamas. we ate great food and had some relaxing nights sleeping to the sound of the river flowing. i taught benny and casey the first and second rule of camping in the woods. rule number one: always go into the woods with a camp buddy, preferably one that you can run faster than. rule number two: if you canít run faster than your camp buddy be sure to bring a big stick to whack your buddy with at the first sign of danger to at least give yourself a sporting chance.

 

 

today we tried to head out to the wilson river for some sea run cuts but a front came in the night before and the weather turned out to be a bit over the top for these two old guys so we decided to turn around and take a day off. weíll give it a go again tomorrow if the front clears, which it should. stay tuned all. my internet opportunities up here are spotty at best, but iíll continue to update as much as i can. until then here are some photos from a couple of days on harriet.

 

benny displays his nice rainbow while clay get's a pretty little brownie.

 

ben got the fish of the trip and became known by name by many of the campers at harriet.

 

little guy.

 


the carey special clay's style.

 

harold get's a nice brownie at the proverbial twilights last gleaming.

 

this guy fell for an olive seal bugger.

 

casey boy with a brownie and clay with a chunky bow.  look at how rip this kid is... not the one on the right (to clear up any confusion there may have been).

 

another cute little brownie.

 

seal buggered brownie.  look at the leopard spots... awesome.

 

another chunky monkey.  benny and casey boy, i had a blast camping and fishing with you guys.  as always with uncle clay... good times.

 

clay.


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