Fall fishing brings a close to the fishing season for many of us living in areas where winter is just around the corner. We move the gear bag back into the house for the winter, put the rods back in the closet, clean our waders, dry out our boots, and dream about next spring. Maybe we'll clean up the tying table that has been neglected and collecting dust, getting it ready for the long winter evenings that will have us restocking our fly boxes.
In addition, we should also take a close look at our fly rods, checking tip tops and guides that need to be replaced from either wear or accident. Line friction can wear sharp edges in the guides over time and these edges will cut into expensive fly lines ruining them quickly. A little steel wood or brillo will make worn dirty cork grips look like new and a Pledge wipe can clean and pretty up even the oldest dearest rods in our arsenal.
Fly reels and lines should be carefully examined and cleaned before putting away for winter. Back off the drags, touch any screw heads in the reel foot area with a bit of WD40 and use the Pledge wipe on the reels too. Discard the leaders and prepare to put on fresh next spring.
And thinking about reels, we came across an interesting article in The Fiberglass Manifesto awhile back about reviving old classic fly reels. Talk about bringing new life to an old reel, a classic. We hope you enjoy it. There may be an old reel in your closet from years passed - maybe you can bring it back to life again too.
We're gearing up for a month of fall fishing here on Fishing Creek. The stream is in great shape thanks to last week's rain, the leaves are beginning to turn color, and the fishing is good. We still have some days available for guiding if you'd like to get away for a day or two. Fall is our favorite time of year and the season is just too darn short! With fall comes swarms of flying ants and if you're lucky enough to be on the stream when the ants appear you'll enjoy some exceptional fishing – if you have flying ants in your fly box! So do get out and enjoy the season and don't leave home without flying ants!
One Room at San Huberto March 25 – April 3
We have one room available at San Huberto, Argentina. Patagonia is a favorite destination for us and the Rio Malleo is an all time favorite. With miles and miles of spring creek flowing through Estancia San Huberto, you may not want to go home! Private beats, super guides, great accommodations. Come with us for a week of beautiful fall fishing. View the itinerary and let us know!
Our friend and client, Art Rorex, is featured in our blog today with his thoughts and favorite memories of last year's safari.
When Barry and Cathy invited me to do a photo essay on East Africa I gladly accepted. Then (in a rare lucid moment) I realized that producing such an essay is akin to explaining the meaning of life in 100 words or less -- it can be explained but to be really appreciated it must be experienced. I've been fortunate enough to have visited East Africa three times -- I don't understand it but I certainly appreciate it.
An East African safari is more than the Serengeti. Before reaching the wildlife, you must travel through the countryside. While the major cities may seem familiar the countryside is a different and interesting world. Once there, you will find the safari camps more comfortable than expected. They may look like Teddy Roosevelt's camps but Teddy didn't have hot showers and flush toilets in his tents. Since wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk the safari day will start before sunrise. Although your attention will be focused on the large animals -- especially the 'Big Five' -- one of the first things you will notice is the birds. In addition to resident birds, thousands of migratory birds pass through the region. Birds are everywhere. As time passes you will encounter a wide range of wildlife -- large and small, far and near (sometimes very near). If you are lucky you will see some of the rarest animals in Africa. If you are really lucky, you may see some of them together. One thing is certain, you will see lions. Large and small, far and near. Usually interesting; always magnificent. You may also see the migration crossing the Mara River. Over two million animals are in the migration but since it's made up of widely dispersed small groups it can be hard to witness a crossing. On my third visit we finally saw one -- about 5,000 animals crossing the Mara River within 50 feet of our truck. Unbelievable. Unforgettable.
Sooner or later all things end. Each of my photo safaris was extremely enjoyable and all too brief. Nevertheless, the memories last.
Thinking about trips, here's what 2017 is starting to look like for us. Let us know if you'd like to see more information on any of these destinations. Most of them are up on our website or soon will be.
January - Chile, Coyhaique River Lodge (great trout fishing, 1 room left) February- Argentina, Jurassic Lake (huge trout, up to 16 lbs) and Estancia Tecka (lots of private water and great trout fishing we're told, first time for us) March/April- Argentina, San Huberto (one of our favorites, private beats, beautiful spring creek), add-ons: 3 days at Quemquemtreu and 3 days at the Limay (big river, big fish) May- Belize River Lodge (permit, tarpon, and bonefish) June- Ireland (trout and salmon fishing on private water) July- Africa Photo Safari pending, Kenya and Tanzania August- Alaska (silver salmon) August- Bighorn River, Montana (trout) October- Spain, Eastern Pyrenees (trout) December- Argentina, Estancia Tres Valles (trout)
Those of you who have traveled with us to Argentina and the San Martin area may remember meeting Jorge Trucco. Jorge was instrumental in the early years in establishing relationships between estancia owners, guides, outfitters, and Frontiers which resulted in the amazing network of fishing opportunities in Argentina today. Meanwhile the Limay River was pretty much out of reach for visiting anglers because of its remoteness and lack of guest facilities. Jorge has recently opened his own Limay River Lodge and even if you have not plans to visit Argentina, you will enjoy this video clip. It's a pleasure to watch and will remind us of why we fish.
Nikon 1 V3- My Favorite Walk Around Camera
As of yesterday afternoon parts of the Yellowstone River, the spring creeks, and the tributaries have been reopened for some activities including fishing. For up-to-date information, consult the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks Website.
The Becks are fishing The Bighorn as we speak and we all wanted to know what was happening out West with the parasite/water problems... Here's a little blurb from Cathy. She also sent a few photos for us as well.
Yellowstone River Closure
It's 10 day old news now about the Yellowstone and all tributaries being closed to all kinds of activities including boating, rafting, swimming, etc., but the latest news is that it may be a long time before the river system is open again to these activities. The tributaries include the Paradise Valley spring creeks, the Boulder River, the Shields, and others. This, of course is devastating news for lots of businesses along the waterways; hotels, guide services, fly shops, rafting companies, restaurants, and campgrounds. We hope they find a solution soon to exterminating this horrible parasite.
IRE X- From the Field with the Becks
We are also happy to share with you Barry's blog from Ireland published last month on the SAGE blog. You can read it here.
We just came off an amazing week of silver salmon fishing on the Kanektok River, Alaska. A stone's throw from the Bering Sea, Reel Action Camp is strategically located as all the pacific salmon make their migration from the sea, past the lodge, to their river of birth to spawn. Our trip was perfectly timed for silvers, our favorite of the salmon, because silvers love to eat flies, jump, run line, and fight. They're big, beautiful, and brutish.
Africa, July 28 - August 11, 2017 East Africa Safari & the Great Migration
As our 2017 Safari is taking shape, we still have several spaces available. Beginning with the lovely Kichwa Tembo Camp and continuing to Hemingway-esque Serengeti Under Canvas, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, and concluding with the luxuious Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, our safari encompasses the best that East Africa has to offer in the way of luxury camps, lodges, and game viewing. Timed for our best chance at seeing the annual Great Migration, one of nature's most amazing spectacles. This is going to be an incredible safari.
If you've been contemplating Africa, please review our itinerary, and give us or Kathy Schulz at Frontiers (800-245-1950), a call. This is a premier safari and we're excited about being in Africa next summer. We'd love to have you join us!
Internet & communication has been spotty with the Becks this week, but we were able to receive this email & as always, a few photos to hold us over til they return. Here's what they had to say....
We are at Reel Action camp this week on the Kanetok River in Alaska, chasing silvers, pinks, fresh chums, and rainbows. Weather has been rainy and mostly cloudy which has been very good for the fishing. We're about a mile from the Bering Sea and the salmon are fresh and hot. We are exhausted each night from fighting big fish. Camp is comfortable, food is simple but delicious, and fishing is off the charts. We'll have more next week when Barry gets the photos edited.
Where has summer gone? While the thermometer says that summer is still very much with us, the calendar says otherwise. In just a few more weeks we'll see the school bus stopping for our grandsons each morning. Summer vacations will be over and fall will be on the horizon. For us, it means fall fishing kicks in. This week we leave for Alaska and so we are thinking about rainbow trout and silver salmon, our favorite of the Pacific salmon species. After that it's Montana and more trout fishing. We won't have to worry about water on the Bighorn, there's plenty of it. Our home stream, Fishing Creek, has had a tough season. It fished well into June, we had just enough water and no days this year when it was too high to fish. But since the beginning of summer, we've had low water and drought conditions. We're looking forward to fresh fall rain and a good fall fishing season, perhaps the prettiest time to be on the stream.
Speaking of the fall season, it's always a good time of year to run a dropper behind a large dry, maybe a caddis, stimulator or super beetle. We learned of a new fly while in Ireland that is perfect for a dry/dropper set-up and a new trick that makes it easy work. Barry is going to tell us about it.
RIO Tippet Rings Reinvented
Andrew Ryan, fly shop owner and guide on Ireland's River Nire, asked if we used tippet rings. We have used them, they have been around for quite some time, and we even wrote about the rings in an earlier blog. We were aware that RIO was now offering them in different sizes and we even had a selection with us. The rings are most often used by attaching it with a clinch knot to the end of the leader. It then becomes easy to change your tippet. But Andrew wasn't talking about using the ring for tippets, instead he showed us a Klinkhammer fly tied with a hi viz wing and a RIO tippet ring attached at the rear of the hook shank. The tippet ring works great for attaching a tippet and fly for a dry dropper combination. Actually, it worked incredibly well.
They say you're never to old to learn a new trick and maybe I'm out of touch, but I have always attached my dropper tippet to the rear of the hook shank and have often had the clinch knot foul with the tail material on the fly. The tippet ring solves that issue and Andrew claims that the dropper fly moves more naturally through the water with this method. He made believers out of us. Give it a try. I think you'll be a believer too. RIO tippet rings are available from any RIO dealer.
Ireland was amazing - as everyone said it would be. The country is stunningly beautiful — green and lush. The trout were bigger than we expected going in, we thought the average would be 12-14" with few above, but we found lots of fish in the 16-20" range thanks to Andrew Ryan and his Clonanav guides. We fished dry flies on small to medium size rivers, stayed at the lovely Hotel Minella, and enjoyed the countryside each day. The second part of our trip took us to Ballynahinch Castle and the Owenmore River which flows through the property. Unfortunately, the river was high due to recent rains and the salmon fishing was off. We saw fish roll and jump and hooked a couple that got off, but it was enough to make us want to return for another try. The guides, who themselves were most delightful and entertaining, did everything they could to get us into fish but it was not to be.The castle stay was an extravagance in accommodation, and all the staff were warm and hospitable people, and we'd go back in a minute. There's nothing like meeting in an Irish pub after fishing to talk about the day. We will return.
We're including a few photos from the trip here in our blog, but if you'd like to see more, feel free to check out the Group's Gallery here