Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fly Fishing for Wiper

Wiper are a temperate bass and a hybridization of white bass and striped bass. They are a very exciting, but often maddening fish to chase with a fly rod. They can move into an area one morning to ravish bait fish, then vanish like ghosts by the next day. Use a 6 weight or heavier rod, often a sink tip or intermediate fly line, 1x or 2x leaders and some two to four inch minnow-like streamers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gun to my head? Yeah, I'd fish Gray Reef!

Not many fishing stories begin with me in handcuffs with a gun pointed at my head. But, no shit...there I was. Midnight on Monday. Up late packing for a three-day fly fishing trip up to Alcova, Wyoming to fish the North Platte River for big rainbows. Leaving at 4am. Was getting to the point in the packing process where I mull over fly boxes. Should I bring just the one box of streamers? Where the hell did I put that little Dixie Cup of I.E.D.s Rob tied up special for this trip? Do I leave the pegged-bead rigs at home to avoid the temptation?

Then my cell phone rings. It's the boss and he tells me our fly shop is getting broken into! Alarm system is going ape shit. I jump into my boots, grab my keys and .45 and blow through three stop lights on the way. Skid to a halt in the parking lot and notice the entire front door is broken it. Glass everywhere. I'm first on scene, so I enter through the gaping hole in the door....hammer back on the Springfield 1911. Thinking, "Please still be here, you little punk!" But no luck. Bastard is gone. I clear the shop just in case. Nothing has been stolen. That's good. I make it back to the front of the shop and come face-to-face with the Boulder Police Department! The officer and I have an awkward 20 minutes...a stand off with a heap of broken glass between us. I'm reaching for the sky, he's got his side arm drawn and calling for back up over the radio. Good grief. Before long every on duty officer in the city is swarming the shop. I'm in cuffs out on Broadway. I had left the house without my I.D. Oooops. But, all ended well. The boss shows up and identifies me. Corroborates my story. Boulder PD takes a bunch of photos of the broken door. I slip my phone number to one of the cute female officers (call me!) and we proceed to sweep up the glass and tape cardboard over our violated fly shop.
Got back home with just enough time to finish packing and get on the road north. Had that old Beastie Boys track stuck in my head for the first couple hours; "No sleep 'till....Brooklyn!"
We get into Alcova and get checked into the cabins behind Sloans General Store, then gear up and get on the water 'bout mid-day. Sunny and nice, but blowin' like a sonovabitch! 45mph...gusting to 60mph! Whacked some good trout on the big red I.E.D.s Rob tied for us. Thanks, Rob!

Next morning we head up the canyon to get away from people and fish some smaller water. Found massive midge hatches. Plastering themselves all over the truck. But nothing but tiny rainbows. Salvaged the rest of the afternoon back on Gray Reef. More big rainbows. That night the snow came. Got back on on the road...barely beat the road closings between Casper and Cheyenne. Damn good trip...almost worth getting shot over.