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Some smaller patters for use up in the Eastern Sierras in May when I can get Ally, Hero and Nick rolling towards Bridgeport, CA and the flows increase in the East Walker River. Hopefully, we will experience some snow in the mountains before then. Right now it isn’t looking real good…

Bridgeport, CA in the early Spring…

Myran Box for small patterns…

BIG GULP Z-KRYSTAL SERENDIPITY (Brown/Black)… Firehole Stick 637, #18…

Materials BIG GULP Z-KRYSTAL SERENDIPITY (Brown/Black)…

BIG GULP Z-KRYSTAL SERENDIPITY(s)… #18’s…

SALSA VERDE MIDGE – Daiichi 1130, #18 – #20…

Materials SALSA VERDE MIDGE

SALSA VERDE MIDGE(s)…#18’s…

GREEN MACHINE MIDGE – Keefover / Variant, Firehole Stick 633, #18…

Materials GREEN MACHINE MIDGE…

GREEN MACHINE MIDGE(s)…#18’s…

UV2 PURPLE BOU BUG – Parrott / Variant – TMC 2499SPB-BL, # 18…or TMC 2488, #18 – #22…

 

 

PT/TB

 

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Well…after a four month break of not tying any fly patterns, I finally set up my vice and started making some wraps around a hook shank. This time out is the longest I have gone since 2004 and not tying flies. Many of the patterns below were very successful on my trip to Montana with my son Michael and needed to be replenished. Time to get back in the groove:

DEEP ANGLER’S IMAGE FLY BOX …Done…!!!

Hanak Hook heaven at Bob Marriott’s Fly Fishing Store…2.17.2018…

Econo – Masu Beads and Jig Hooks…

Not Econo Hanak Hooks…

TMC Hooks and Plummeting Tungsten Beads, Matte Black…

UV2 Collared Crystal Serendipity – Peacock…Matthews / Variant…

HOOK: Firehole Stick 316, #18

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0 White – Under Abdomen / Tiemco 16/0, Black – Thorax forward

ABDOMEN: Krystal Flash, Peacock – 2 strands wrapped flat

RIB: UTC Wire, Copper, x-sm

WING: Bleached Premium Yearling Elk Hair or Bleached Coastal Deer Hair

COLLAR: UV2 Dyed Peacock, Black

BEAD: Copper Tungsten, 5/64″

So…I tie a lot of these type of attractor midge patterns using various colors of Krystal Flash and UV2 Peacock. They work particularly well on the East Walker River from Springtime through the Fall…

Materials UV2 Collared Crystal Serendipity – Peacock

UV2 Collared Crystal Serendipities – Peacock…#18’s…

ANGLER’S IMAGE DEEP 6 COMPARTMENT FLY BOX...with some small stuff that will appear below…

OPAL Z-APPLE TWIST SERENDIPITY…Matthews / Variant…

HOOK: Firehole Stick 633, #16 – #18

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Black

ABDOMEN: 1 Strand Apple Caddis Zelon (BRF), 1 strand Black KF, 1 Strand Mirage Opal Accent – twisted and wrapped on the hook shank

WING: White Zelon, Kinky

This is a variant on Craig Matthew’s Guide Serendipity that I have been using for years when the Mother’ Day hatch ( Brachycentrus – Caddis ) begins on the Lower Owens River, in the Spring. In case one has not heard, the Lower Owens River , from Pleasant Valley Reservoir to just about Highway 6 near Laws, CA…burned extensively Feb. 18 – Feb. 19, 2018. It looked like this today (Feb. 19 ):

 

Early Sunday afternoon & Evening…

 Late Sunday, February 18…

Monday morning, February 19… 

Mid – Day Monday, Feb. 19… I will be going elsewhere in a couple of weeks with Ally & Nick…

Materials OPAL Z-APPLE TWIST SERENDIPITY…

I like to use these hackle pliers when twisting Zelon, Antron and Sparkle Emerger Yarn with Krystal Flash…they work well..

OPAL Z-APPLE TWIST SERENDIPITY(s)…#18…

SHUCKA KAHN… Emerging Midge,CREAM-ISH/TAN…Variant/Paul Freeman…

HOOK:Daiichi 1110, #18 -#24 – (Paul uses Daiichi 1100)

THREAD: Wapsi Ultra 70 denier, Cream – (Paul uses Gudebrod size A rod wrapping thread) – Good luck with that at the moment…

SHUCK: Amber Sparkle Emerger Yarn  or Amber Zelon – (Paul uses copper brown Antron)

ABDOMEN: Tying thread

LOOPED WING: White Sparkle Organza

RIB: Wapsi wire, Copper, x-sm – (Paul uses twisted white thread)…* NOW coat with SHAN or Loon UV Knotsense _ (Paul does not coat)

HEAD: Tiemco 16/0, Lt. Cahill…pull wing over and tie off at head when the coating dries…

This was a surprise pattern that just killed at $3.00 Bridge on a very cold and snowy morning in mid – September…

Materials SHUCKA KAHN… Emerging Midge

SHUCKA KAHN… Emerging Midges…#18’s…

SHOP VAC (Thread Version)…

HOOK: Daiichi 1130, #18 – #2o

THREAD: Danville #47, Tobacco Brown 6/0 – Abdomen / Tiemco 16/0 Black – Thorax forward

RIB: UTC gold wire, x-sm

WING: White Standard Zelon

BEAD: Gold Tungsten, sized to hook

This is the thread version of the Shop Vac. It has bee working for me and my guys just about everywhere since 2000. I always have a bunch of these in my boxes…

Materials SHOP VAC (Thread Version )…

SHOP VAC(s), #18 & #20…

UV BLUE WISP SH MIDGE …

HOOK: Daiichi 1110 – #18 – #22

THREAD: Under abdomen – Tiemco 16/0, White / Thorax forward – Tiemco 16/0, Black

ABDOMEN: Krystal Flash UV Blue

RIB: Lagartun, x-fine, Silver Wire – * Coat with HAH or SHAN

THORAX: Hare’s Ear Ice Dub, Harder’s Bloody Black

HACKLE: Starling feather, Blue (dyed) – White Fox Fur & Feather Co. or HERE

This was Michael’s favorite Montana Midge pattern …so, I tied more of them up for him…

Materials UV BLUE WISP SH MIDGE…

UV BLUE WISP SH MIDGE (s)…

UV2 RC MIDGE – Freeman / Variant…

HOOK:  Daiichi 1130, #18 – #24

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, White – Under Abdomen – Tiemco 16/0, Black – Thorax forward

ABDOMEN: Gold Micro Floss, Cascade Crest

THORAX: Iridescent Peacok Eyes, Black

This Midge pattern just smashed for me on the East Walker River in late September. I will be tying up a number of variants on this great little bug in my next post…

Materials UV2 RC MIDGE…

UV2 RC MIDGES, #18’s…

 

NEXT: More BUGS fo the Eastern Sierra…

 

PT/TB

So this came today…

“I am one of 245 fly fishers from throughout North America who have provided pro bono energies and original writings and images for America’s Favorite Flies: a 656-page, 1,700-image, 7 ½-pound amazing book that will be released on January, 2018. The 245 of us include notables such as President Jimmy Carter, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, and writer Tom McGuane; fly fishing icons such as Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, and Joan Wulff; and diverse others such as former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, writer/artist James Prosek, and GWAR lead singer Michael Bishop…

None of us – including the authors and editors and designers – is getting paid, and that allows for 100% of the book’s profits to go to two organizations that help make waters and fisheries healthier: the James River Association and the Native Fish Society.

Read about the book and order your copies at www.americasfavoriteflies.com. The book is a great gift for anyone, fly fisher or not…”

The BOOK …

The PAGE…

The Poster…

 

It is an honor to have been a part of this project !

 

 

PT/TB

I arrived in Bridgeport, CA around 6:30PM from West Yellowstone, MT on Tuesday September 26 and checked into my usual haunt, the Walker River Lodge…

Walker River Lodge in Bridgeport, CA…

After unpacking, I walked over to the Bridgeport Inn for a bite to eat and the best Virgin Bloody Mary in the Eastern Sierras…

On Wednesday morning, September 26th., I drove up to visit with my friend Carolyn Webb, who, along with her husband John, operates the Virginia Lakes Resort

It had snowed up there while I was in Montana and some remnants remained in the parking lot…Carolyn fixed me a great bacon breakfast and I reviewed a lot of the photos Michael and I had taken on our Montana trip with her…

As I made my way back down the mountain, I stopped to take some photos of the foliage that was just beginning to change with the colder weather…

This is a view looking East towards Nevada…

After a stop at the Walker River Lodge to get wadered-up, I headed on down to the meadow section of the East Walker River to finally fly fish in some warmer temps and wear a T-Shirt… the couple that had parked next to me were kind enough to take this photo … 🙂

This is the meadow section of the East Walker River just below Bridgeport Reservoir

Because of the drought here in California, the East Walker River has not sustained any heavy fishing pressure in the last five years. Subsequently, there has been an explosion of stream side vegetation growth over that period of time…which is great. The problem is the effect that the drought has had on the quality of fishing on this river. To put it mildly, it has suffered…particularly in it’s once legendary population of large Brown Trout…

There was once a small island in the middle of this run that disappeared after 1988 when the reservoir and river were de-watered. The die-off of Trout and other creatures in the biomass, affected the quality of fishing on the river for the following twelve years or so…the island disappeared after the silting was removed from the river in this stretch… Here & Here 

Back in the 1970’s, this meadow was like a giant sponge. Walking on it, a swishing sound could be heard…

The water was a bit off color, but the heavy flows through the Spring and Summer removed the weeds and moss that made fishing in here a disaster the previous year (2016)…

This is a few hundred years upstream and closer to the dam…I caught two Trout this afternoon, both were small Rainbows on Midge patterns. The couple that parked next to me got nada…

On Thursday morning, I decided to try the water closer to the dam and parked here. I was the first vehicle in that spot at about 8AM…

I used some caddis patterns from this box first…

…and decided to give the Winston BIIIX Super 10, 5wt. a work out…

I played around in here for awhile…Supposedly, the flows were running at 195cfs.

Uni no…watching this blow out of the pipe at the toilet bowl and checking the gauge confirmed something was way off…

So I moved down river to one of my favorite spots….

Tied one of these on as a dropper…

This pattern…

Over the next couple of days, I worked this general area over from bank to bank, using Midges for the most part. This anchor pattern produced a couple of nice fish too…

I also hooked a couple of larger Trout that I LDR’d and never saw once they got below me here…

Strangely, for the first time, I dredged a number of these guys off the bottom fishing in a couple of different sections. Time to tie some of these up in a couple of sizes for use next year. These were about 6″ long…

Snagged a couple in here…

I also used a lot of various deer hair wing Serendipities that proved productive…

I really didn’t need to trip over a concealed fire ring in the underbrush and fall flat on my face…

The colors in the fading sunlight were spectacular…

Ate a bunch of great meals…

In some great places…Virginia Creek Settlement

Fast food Gourmet…The Jolly Kone

Got to see a great sunset from the porch at the Bridgeport Inn…

A few memories with these guys…I had a discussion with the guys at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport about the ratio of Rainbows to Browns that I was eating ing the MM section of the East Walker River. They were of the opinion that a good number of Rainbow Trout were blown out of Bridgeport Reservoir during the heavy releases during the Spring and Summer. I would have to agree …some of those fish were really grotesque and distorted…

…and back down the grade into Bishop towards LA…

 

NEXT: … back to tying

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All good things gotta’ come to an end. Ten days of great times and unexpected weather…Saved the best for last…

Entering the parking lot at $3.00 Bridge with a hint of sun for the day…

First ones to arrive !!!

This rough water is loaded with nice Trout…

So are these areas around boulder…

A Rainbow first…

Michael found some small (#22) Baetis is the drift…

…while working this spot…

But it was this Blue Wisp Midge pattern that got him into fish…again…

A Brown for Michael…

Then it was the “old guy’s ” turn…

The “SHOP VAC ” version on the left, in size #20…worked it’s magic…

Michael holds the Brown for a close up…

It started to cloud up, get windy and a lot colder so I left Michael to wander around and take some parting shots…

A view down river with the foliage starting to change…

A wide picture of the Madison below Michael…

One last photo of $3.00 Bridge until the next time…

After breaking down our rods, we decided to take a ride up the road to visit Blue Ribbon Flies one last time…this is Hegben Lake on the way there…

This is now the only place…

…that I can find these Sports Tools Nippers. They are my favorite for hook eye cleaning and wind knots…I picked up several because it is the only place that has them in stock – anywhere…

Then we headed back to West Fork Cabins where Michael…

…whipped up a delicious steak dinner and packed up his gear to fly out of Bozeman the next morning…

Monday morning, September 25, we stopped in at the Ennis Pharmacy for a final breakfast…

…and the visited the Tackle Shop one last time…I first came to this shop in 1975 when it was the only fly shop in Ennis and the fly on top of the store was 10X larger…

Like this…

So we stopped at a couple of places in Bozeman before Michael boarded his flight to go back to NYC. I didn’t document that because I get really sad after spending a week or so with my kids and then they have to leave. I did take this picture of coming down the hill into Ennis on the way back from the airport…

Last Virgin Bloody Mary in Montana at the Driftwaters Resort just up the road from where we stayed…

I got up at 3:00 AM on Tuesday September 26 and headed back to Bridgeport, CA in the Eastern Sierras to spend a couple of days fishing in warmer weather and sunshine…

It took a bit longer than the time on the above map because of road repairs and flagmen in Nevada…I saw a lot of this…

Further along, but still in Nevada…

On the other side of this grade is the East Walker River and the cut off road to Rosaschi Ranch

Finally. at about 5;30 PM this came into view…Bridgeport Reservoir…

 

Next: A few days on the East Walker River…

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

Up there…OWENS VALLEY

Michael and Aimee came in from NYC for XMAS so we decided to take a trek up to the Owens Valley to do what we do. This year, Michael, Ally, Ally’s friend, Liz and Hero participated…

Ridgecrest, CA at 5:30 AM on Hwy. 14…

PT, Ally and Hero…at sunrise in the Alabama Hills below Mt. Whitney…

Liz soaking up some sunlight…

The Alabama Hills with Mt. Whitney in the background…

Ally and Hero ready for a hike…

Ally, Liz and Hero in panorama…

Looking South along the crest of the Sierras…

Doughnut Rock…

Looking East toward the White Mountains…

An expanded view of the Alabama Hill and the Sierra Nevada Mountains…

Hero, Michael and Ally…let’s go guys !!!

Destination ,,,Goose Lake…

Looks familiar…

Ally, PT & Hero…

Middle of nowhere…looking Southeast…

Looking Southwest…

Across Goose Lake towards the Sierras…

Northeast, towards the White Mountains…

On towards Tinemaha Reservoir…when wet, that alkali dust will sink a vehicle over the wheels…

What’s this ???

This guy ain’t sayin’…

A view of the White Mountains across the Owens River…

I used to see these two guys hanging around here in the mid – 90’s…

A lot more water in the Owens River this year…

But a lot of dry and dead vegetation along the banks…

Heading back South, Michael and Liz wanted to check out the CO-OP in Independence, CA

Cool wall art and good coffee…

Some book shopping at the EASTERN SIERRA INTERPRETIVE ASSOCIATION…Visitor’s Center in Lone Pine, CA…

 A further selection…

I bought this book at the smaller center( now abandoned next door), back in the 90’s, when Michael and Ally were little. Michael is now reading it…

Back out to trudging the sand and dry lake beds…Ally & Hero…

A view towards the Southern end of the White Mountains…

I have been walking around out here since 1950…

Back up to the Sierras…

Looking East and down toward the Mt. Whitney Portal Road…

The Ice Fall at the Portal…this is the first year in a number of years that the road has been open this late in the season…

The Portal Pond that is stocked with Rainbows…one year, there were a number of them frozen solid in here…

The guys posing..Michael, Liz Ally and Hero…

Heading back down the Portal Road to Lone Pine, CA…

Liz… almost hanging off a cliff…

Owens Lake at sunset…

Michael, Ally & Liz…

One last sunset shot…

Ally, Michael & PT…

Dinner at Seasons in Lone Pine…

 

NEXT: Last Day in Montana…

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday morning, September 23 was cold and overcast. Michael and I decided to take a drive over to Wade Lake  West of $3.00 Bridge. He had spent a warm July day there with Aimee a couple of years back and wanted me to check it out since I had never been there…

Heading towards $3.00 Bridge …

Further West on the road to Wade Lake…

Getting out to stretch and look around…

Wade Lake is down there…

There are some real trophy fish in this as well as nearby Cliff Lake but we didn’t come to fish and were the only people there on this day…

Nope, nothing rising…

A dock for launching watercraft…

It was a little frosty across the lake…

Heading back out towards $3.00 Bridge…

Big sky in Montana…

Look South on the Madison River from &3.00 Bridge…

A close up view upriver, on the Madison…

Quake Lake on the way to the Madison River between the lakes…looks like we may get some sunshine…

The Madison between Hebgen and Quake Lakes…yay sunshine !!!

The Madison towards Quake Lake…

A perched Osprey who was fishing the same water as we were…

The Osprey was checking out this stretch of river and could care less about out presence…

Another perspective…

Michael works a streamer…

While I roam around and take some additional photos…

The tree without the Osprey…he was fishing...:-)

Two “Old Loners” on the Madison…

More water that Michael worked his streamer through…Here…

…and Here…

So Michael catches a Whitefish…

…and gets his left arm soaking wet in the process…

We pack up and head back downriver to $3.oo Bridge…

…and see this fellow where all the scree and talus is located in the photo above…

Arriving back a the starting point above $3.00 Bridge in the late afternoon…

Michael wants to give my Winston BIIIX Super 10′, 5wt. a workout…

Going for it…

Well now…a skinny Rainbow…

My turn…

Then this guy…

On a #20 Shop Vac…the thread version on the left…

From this spot…

Throwin’ some shade on that guy…

$3.00 Bridge at sunset…

Looking West at sunset…

Last guys in the parking lot…as usual…

End of a good day !!!

 

NEXT: Last day on the Madison…

 

 

PT/TB