The Thrill of the Hunt

The past few weeks have seen a major shift in my usual sporting priorities. This season I decided to get serious about hunting, and therein I put the fly rod down and stopped fishing. 

Every day I have been dedicating a few hours to shooting well, as it is my worst fear to wound an animal. The backyard range came in handy, and I really focused on 20-50 yards.
 
Holding with the “aim small miss small” philosophy, I shot as much as I could and honed my skill and instinct.

 
The scouting was a blast, but also very challenging at times. It took us a while to find the animals, and many of the visuals were just glimpses. There is truly something special about walking in the woods and cutting sign.

  
    


    


After scouting around for quite a while, I found my spot and got my stand set up. I sat for 8 hours, and nothing came in. I was pretty surprised as we had animals coming in as we were getting setup a few days prior. I had an opportunity at a small black bear, but being it that it was opening day and it was small, I passed.

  
Me and my friends regrouped and talked our evening plan. There was a ridge line hike that I wanted to check out, so I broke off from the group and hit some high country. The ridge was covered in sign as well as fresh beds, but no one was home. There were about 50 big mountain quail around that we will meet again soon. 

  
I finished my hike and popped out at the spot I was going to be picked up at, found a nice spot to sit a waited for the truck. After 2 hours, I found myself a bit bummed as I was hoping to sit for a few hours in the stand before dark, and my guys were nowhere to be seen. 

A father and daughter roll through the area, and head on up the road out. Not 20 seconds later, I hear crashing in the brush up ahead, so I stand up and grab my bow, arrow already nocked. The buck comes out of the brush at about 35 yards, turns broadside and stops. I am ready and fully drawn, and I let fly. The arrow passed through the buck and flew another 15 or 20 feet, he runs less than 100 feet and falls over. A clean kill, this animal did not suffer. As I realize I just killed my first buck, and with a bow, a wave of emotion and reverence passes over me.

   

  

The father a daughter group walk over to the deer with me, and he offers to help me drag it to the road. I say thanks, but no, I need to do this on my own. Not 10 minutes after I have the deer down and am preparing my blade, here comes the truck with my partners. We field dress the buck, and head home to finish up. 

  

 

It was about 9:30 by the time we were done, and being that we live in a sportmans paradise, of course the local processor Siskiyou Distributing is open.

Now, it’s time to enjoy the harvest. Nothing like fresh tenderloin after a 24hr soak in some secret sauce.

 
I still have two more tags to fill, a C zone buck, and a bear tag. Here’s to two more months of hunting season!

In our group, first buck down gets a bottle of Pendleton. Man is that good stuff!

 

Good luck to  all the hunters out there!

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Siskiyou scrambling….

The last few months have really gone by in a blur. We have been living in Montague approaching two months, and are loving it so far. Being very close to so many interesting places has been a blast for us.

With fall approaching, my calendar has begun to fill and I very much look forward to the grind. 

I’ve gotten to explore the North Umpqua a bit, which was an incredible experience. Landing my first summer out of that water was something special.

  
Another place I have become enamored with is pit #3, a dead drifters dream. Hooked and lost one of the biggest trout of my life, and landed a few good ones.  

 
The last week or so my focus has shifted away from fishing, and towards putting meet in the freezer, in terms of blacktail deer and black bear. The season opens just over a month from now, and I am readying myself for the adventure. 

Been doing some whitewater trips on the middle klamath, a ton of fun and I get to look at the river in a totally different manner. Big whitewater is intimidating but a blast! 

Open dates as of now:
Nov 2-5, Dec 11-20 (pretty much all booked up)

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Fall 2015 And summer trout fishing 

Hey Guys,

I am filling pretty early this season, but still have some prime days open.

September: many openings

October: 17/18, 23-35. 

November: 2,30

December: 7-9, 13-23

Throughout September I will be fishing down river, targeting fish that are very fresh and we are swing only down there. These are trips where we wake up early and fish till high sun, and then take a long lunch and let the sun drop over the canyon walls. 

Rates for 2015 are $445 for a day, all inclusive. I have top of the line Spey rods from Gary Anderson and rio lines to match and love to spey cast. 

I picked up a new ride for this fall, a Clackcraft Superfly. Best boat to fish I have ever been in, come check it out at the Expo!

Throughout the summer starting in July I will be on the McCloud, upper sac and various other rivers.

Prime days available for summer fishing July-September 

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Keeping it Local! V.1/2015

Lately the Yuba River has been rewarding to fish. Flows have been hovering around 700 for a few weeks, and the condition of the river is great! The last storm a few weeks back bumped flows enough to clear some of the algae that can make wading tough. 



The amount of bug life has been consistently staggering. We have been seeing March Browns, gray drakes, golden stones, skwalas, bwo’s, pmd’s and many other bugs.



There has been a ton of anglers on the river, more than myself and many other guides have ever seen. This has made some of our fish quite educated, perfect drifts with the right bugs are key. 



I am fishing a good bit of dropper rigs, either putting a bead head nymph, or an emerger behind a larger fly.



Head hunting greatly increases your odds of success, and picking fish out to catch with a dry fly is what it’s all about.



Throw your cast, get your drift, and you may be rewarded with a rise.



See you around the bend,

TW

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Setting up for Small Water Success

Fly fishing small water for wild trout is my most favorite pursuit within the realm of fly fishing. I have been fortunate in my short span as a fly angler to be able to fish all over the world, and catch many species. Even with that, the allure of solitude and aggressive wild rainbows in the canyons holds my attention.

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So what is small water, and why is it more fun? Small water is not only defined by the size of the river system its self, but also by the size of fish, the ecological productivity of the water, as well as the biodiversity. I have focused my fishing time on the water of the Upper American, primarily the Middle and South Fork, and their tributaries.  One of the reasons small water is so much fun, is that it allows you to work with the utmost efficiency. You can dissect the water with your fly as a surgeon does with a scalpel, leaving no seam unfished. You can cast nearly anywhere you want to, and generally a roll cast will reach the distance. Another reason I love fishing small water, is the pure simplicity it lends itself to. So often in fly fishing we get way too complicated with our fishing. Keep it simple and it is so much more fun!

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This is not a “where to how to” type of thing. A large amount of the fun to fishing small water, is the adventure that goes along with finding your new fishing hole. Most of my days on the water are spent with one question in my mind, and that is “whats around the next bend?” I crave the sense of adventure and the satisfaction of discovery that fishing small waters provides. If you want to find some small water, just go out with some hiking boots and a fly rod, and adventure. Just in the area that I grew up fishing, there are more small waters than you could fish in a lifetime.

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Equipment related questions are something I hear very often, and the best advice I could lend again, would be to keep your fishing simple. I carry two rods when creekin, and a small double sided Umpqua Feather Merchants fly box with dries on one side, and various wets on the other side. I like a chest pack, mainly for the convenience of a camelback, and the room to store a light jacket, lunch, my first aid kit, and my Spot Emergency Beacon.

Setups:

1. Sage TXL-F 1wt, paired with any small reel, and a 1wt Rio DT line. This rod is the “workhorse” of my quiver while fishing small water. Even being a 1wt, this rod has enough pop to even turn over a small indicator and a few split shot. For the most part this rod acts as a dry dropper tool where I generally run a large foam fly, generally in the style of a chubby or something like that. Under this fly I will run two smaller tungsten bead head nymphs, simple flies like a flashback pheasant tail, birds nest or hairs ear. This setup is what is used for the “cleanup” after thoroughly fishing a run with a single dry fly and the best presentation possible. This rig will often pull another handful of fish out of a run you may have considered fished out. As for the terminal tackle, any 7′ tapered leader to 4 or 5x will do. Under my foam fly I prefer fluorocarbon.

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2. Echo Glass 2wt, with any small reel, and a 3wt Rio DT line. This is my single dry fly rod. Even though a weight heavier than the sage, the rod is quite a bit softer, and really lends its self well to casting single dries. It does not enjoy the dry dropper nor and indicator. Same as the other stick, I generally use a 7′ leader down to no smaller than 6x.

Safety:

In many of these places, you are a long ways from an easy rescue. These are the type of places that could make you pay for a broken ankle or bumped head with your life. I never recommend others fish alone, though i often do. Since I fish alone often, the Spot Emergency Beacon, and a solid first aid kid always come with me. To prevent incidents, ensure your ankles have support, wear long pants, and bring lots of snacks and water.

Get out there and look, because you just might find something.

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H M.

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New Ride, and Lower Yuba Fishing

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We recently picked up the new 2015 Clackacraft WF Superfly. While the Eddy is the best rowing drift boat I have ever had, the low sides got me into trouble a time or two. This new WF has all the same features that make the Eddy so nice to fish out of, with higher sides and a safer ride.

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The Lower Yuba is very low right now. With its flows sitting around 570-590, it makes the fishing a bit more demanding. Good drifts in the right places are key, as is stealth. If you make a poor presentation, chances are that fish won’t eat for a while. Even still, persistence can pay off. It’s a ton of fun to pick a fish and go at him for a while.

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My favorite bugs while dead drifting right now are small mayfly nymphs, no larger than 16, more often 18-20. Any of hogans various slim may’s will work. I’ve been running long and light rigs, 5-9 feet from my indo to the weight. 4/5/6x are my main tippet materials, but I will at times use 7x.

The Skwalla’s are up, and it seems like the bows are really starting to key in on them, but a lot of fish are keying in on the often day long BWO hatch that is popping.

Hope to see you out there!

–TW

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