Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Cool I got my first follower! Wow someone is actually reading this. I guess I am going to have to start getting serious about my writing now. This Memorial Day weekend was all about fishing. The Missouri river is my home water and the only fishable water in Montana right now as I understand. The Big Horn should be fishable since it is also a tail-water with a large reservoir to act as a settling pond. The Missouri (or MO as we affectionately call it) is running at just under 14,000 (yes 14 thousand) cfs right now. The weather was pretty good on Saturday, and the traffic on the river was heavier than I have seen it this year. I floated from Holter dam to the town of Craig. Saturday was the second voyage in the new boat, and she handled the high water like a champ. The fishing was good, but then as I always say fishing is always good. I am still learning the finer points of putting in and taking out a drift boat. Putting in below the dam was a bit of a challenge as the large amount of water being released caused a lot of wave action which bounced the boat against the rocks and boat ramp. I ended up blocking the ramp for a few minutes while I parked the truck and trailer then sprinted back to the boat. Sorry guys I will do better in the future. That must have been a sight watching this fat guy running in waders across the parking lot. I rigged my 5 weight Sage rod for deeeeep nymphing and my 8 wt Winston for streamers. Hooked 6 and lost 2 nymphing. Zip with the streamers. Sunday floated from Wolf Creek Bridge to Craig and just used the Sage 5wt and nymph setup. Hooked 5 and lost 2. Great time fishing, drinking beer, and smoking cigars on the river. Also enjoyed bourbon and cigar both evenings on the porch at my favorite fly shop in Craig (Headhunters). Headhunter’s porch and Yetti cooler have become legendary in Craig. If you are ever in Craig some evening and see a guy smoking a cigar and BSing with the guides stop and say hi. I am that guy! I guess that makes me that guy at the porch. Most evenings in Craig you can find several guides and an assortment of others, like me, hanging out, drinking an assortment of concoctions, and BSing on the porch at Headhunters. I highly recommend Headhunters for your fly-fishing needs whether it’s a guide or DIY trip. Anyway enough with the plug for Headhunters fly shop. Monday I was too tired to do anything. Just slept in and did some grocery shopping with the wife. I can’t wait until next weekend to get back to the MO and the porch. The weather is supposed to be nicer and hopefully I can get my wife to come along. I need someone to oar the boat.

See you on the porch with cigars, bourbon, and fly-fishing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My First Drift Boat

I have a raft that has been my fishing vessel of choice for many, many years and always thought I would like to someday have a drift boat. I hadn’t seriously considered buying a drift boat because the raft was more versatile. It allowed me to take family and occasionally friends out for a day of recreational floating, otherwise known as the splash and giggle crowd, as well as being a platform from which to fish. In my own defense I have to say that no one was wearing a two piece swim suit that shouldn’t be wearing a two piece swimsuit in my boat. That is unless you are the father of the young girl wearing the two piece swimsuit as I was at time. I was only concerned about the dangers of skin cancer, as any father would be. Honest! Then in later years after the kids grew up and moved out (and away) I didn’t seriously consider a drift boat because I didn’t have anyone to help oar the boat. My old fishing buddies either moved away and/or had kids of their own which lead to spending time going to soccer games and etc. instead of going fishing. I did purchase a watermaster inflatable which is a great way to fish because it allows you to controlling the boat with your lower extremities like the one person pontoon boats. Still I kept thinking that it would be nice to have a drift boat. A few months ago I decided to buy a drift boat and started doing researching. I talked to some local fishing guides/fly shop owners, and spent many hours on the web looking at boats and finally decided on the boat and features I wanted. Then I searched for just the right boat. I finally found it. It was a used boat for sale by a boat manufacturer in a town 100 miles away. I called and arranged to meet the seller one evening, and drove an hour and a half one way after work to look at it. The owner had been a fishing guide prior to becoming a boat builder. The boat was just what I wanted but had some minor damage which the owner agreed to fix and he agreed to make some slight modification. He said the work would be done a week later. Here is where the story gets interesting. I called the seller on a Thursday to verify that the boat would be ready for me to pick up Saturday and he assured me it would be. Beginning to get the picture aren’t you? My plan was to pick the boat up Saturday morning at 8am, and since this would mean driving past one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world I would have to incorporate some fishing time into the itinerary. Some things just can’t be helped. This meant I had to be on the road by 6:30am which meant I had to get up by 4:00am (I had to make lunch, pack fishing gear, cigars, and bourbon). On the way home with the boat I was going to stop and spend the day fishing. I arrived promptly at 8am, but as you have already guessed the boat was not ready. I didn’t even get a phone call to save me the hour and a half drive, one way, past a world famous trout fishery. Damn! Apparently the two owner/boat builders decided the day before that they should take some time off to go fishing and left an employee behind to finish the work on my boat. These guys arrived back at their place of business, as the story goes, about 3:30 am and found their, not so trusty, employee hadn’t finished the work as promised. When I arrived these same two where awaiting my arrival very sheepish looking (one very hung over looking hopefully not the designated driver) and apologized for not having the boat ready. I was quite disappointed and a little pissed about this as you can imagine. They offered to give me a loaner boat so I could at least still go fishing and switch boats later. I declined and told them that I would be back tomorrow to get the boat and we could adjust the price accordingly. Later, after a couple of bourbons and a cigar, I called the seller. We arranged to meet Sunday at mid point and I would pick up the boat. A significant reduction in price was agreed to along with a few smaller concessions. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get him to agree to throw in a bottle of bourbon and some cigars. I now am the proud and happy owner of my first drift boat. What I have learned from this experience is don’t plan on taking delivery Saturday morning from a couple of ex fishing guides that are likely to do on a Friday what I would have done if I would have thought of it. I should have made arrangements to meet them in the little trout town that was the halfway point and let them buy the drinks with the money I gave them for the boat. By the way anyone want to by a raft? Oar a boat?
If you’re on a river or in a bar on a river in Montana and see a guy smoking a cigar while drinking bourbon be sure to say hello and how’s the boat. You can ask about the fishing but the answer is always the same. It’s always a good day to go fishing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just getting started

Hi and thanks to anyone who happens to stumble onto this. This is my first attempt at creating a blog. I hope you will enjoy what I write and  be patient while I learn. I have used computers as a business tool however I am pretty new to using them as a social media. I enjoy writting and especially about fly fishing, and intend this to be a way to share my stories and adventures with others. Thanks for stopping by and come back from time to time and see how things progress.