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Well my bologna and cheese on sour dough never made it to the river. All I could think about while sipping on my home brew Sumatra was making that sandwich ... the smell of the home-style bologna from a local butcher shop and the smoked cheese was all I could concentrate on ... I had to have it !!

It was hard to tell the level of the river by crossing over the bridge. The river is so wide and banks so deep with no landmarks it's a guessing game. But as I pulled into the parking lot I could tell conditions would not be favorable .... I was the only one there ....



My suspicions were correct. The river was high and slightly stained. I've seen worse conditions ... I've fished in worse.



Knowing that this time of year can bring high/cold water, I brought a rod with some horsepower and could handle some heavy grainage.



My 14' 7/8/9 EVE Highlander built by Bob Meiser is a favorite of mine for sunk line fishing. The extra length can control the swing and tame the running line. While the reserved power in the butt and tip section has excellent lifting power that makes short work of a deep sunk line. Maybe it's old age or just enjoying a relaxed momentum, I've migrated to the upper end of the grain window while swinging full sunk lines. I like the feel of the rod while swinging the heavier lines. So I asked Steve Godshall to build me a SGS Skagit full intermediate for the rod to my call out. A slightly longer belly than usual and slightly heavier, the head is 28' @ 635 grains. I must admit, this was odd for me, usually I favored lines in the mid-grain range for all my sticks up until this point. But as I made the first cast I knew my decision was correct :) The line proved to be smooth casting from 12' of Z-11, right up to 15' of Z-15. I felt in direct contact with the fly throughout the swing. From the time the line rolled out and the fly landed in the water to hanging on the dangle, I could feel every pulse and sway.

The flies used are not my usual style, however there is a time and place for everything. I felt a large profile would serve well, but bulk would only counter react the sink factor. So a sparse dressed flee with action and the illusion of bulk would be the ticket for what I had in mind.

Not quite an "Intruder" and not quite "Show-girl" style, more of a blend of sorts, something that was developed during a salar hunting tying session on the Margaree a few years back ... the Half-Ass.

Green Ass Cascade



Hot Ass Olive



I didn't have any Chartreuse marabou for the Cascade, so I substituted Silver Fox and picked out half of the under fur ... lots of movement !!
Basic pattern is marabou or fur tied at the rear of the shank and on top. Then a thin body, I use Holographic flat braid in a variety of colours to accent the colour scheme. I stop the braid about 3/4 shank and add a dubbing ball. The dubbing ball is made from the left over under fur from the chosen colour of the under wing. Usually it's fashioned from silver or arctic fox, but I have been known to use long black bear hair as well. Polar bear would be awesome too!! The under wing is tied in the round, meaning as if you were to spin deer hair on the shank. Center the hair/fur around the shank and apply two loose wraps of thread and then pull tight to flair the material around the shank. This gives a nice base for the wing and aids in the "umbrella" effect. Then it's time to add some under flash, usually matching the body tinsel. Over the flash is three wraps of long marabou as a hackle/wing. Not too much bulk, but enough to come alive when wet. Then more flash on top and on the sides. I like a contrast flash usually. Of course no shank is complete without the use of JC nails .... in the opinion of Henrik, the fly has to see it's prey.
This style has morphed so much since it's creation. I now omit all the lady Amherst tail fibers for accent and the hackle tip "feelers". I find it just adds bulk and stops the fly from sinking, kind of counter productive I figure. This stream-lined shank sure sinks fast and moves a ton on the swing. I add a twitch here and there during the swing while fishing these shanks to embellish the "umbrella" effect or pulse of the marabou. It can be deadly .... just not yesterday ....

I moved to some slightly thinner water further down stream and eased up on the tip a bit and had to just throw this tasty masterpiece that a very good friend sent me from the left coast. Look at that gorgeous profile of his flee he tied in hand for me :smokin:



His flee inspired me to choose other offerings of mine, and an Orange Heron made it to the end of my tippet after passing through the complete run with his flee.

It was a great day to feel the river rush against my waders, even though the only bite I got was that bologna sandwich ..... I should have taken a picture of that sandwich :chuckle:


Mike
 

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fishing sucks, you should have been there

I totally get it. Arriving at a popular fishing spot without a single vehicle parked in the lot generally indicates lousy fishing. Been that way hereabouts for the last few weeks - winters are mostly done, summers are just starting to arrive. The most likely pulls are smolts heading out. So what? I get to fish the whole run, alone. And there is that odd chance that I'll hook up. As regards that blown out river - try fishing close to shore. The fish get comfortable in slower currents of the edge when they can't be seen. Is that bologna I smell?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not bologna this morning ... I'm making poached eggs and home fries :D
The river that I fish , the angler cannot wade past 10' from shore during normal water conditions for the most part. Yesterday I was no more than 5' from shore at best and standing up to my waist. At 6'5", I'm guessing the water was 3', which makes for some decent holding water. At normal conditions, I admit to not paying too much attention with the fly on the dangle, but during high water, oh yeah, I like to swim and manipulate my fly on the dangle :hihi:

I had a conversation with Mr. Meiser a few years back about high water and flies on the dangle. He fishes the high water close to shore making short mid-river casts and letting the fly sink and swing into the holding water below. Ever since that conversation I've changed my feelings on swinging high/stained water.
It's nice to have the river all to yourself !!


Mike
 

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My Favorite

Sandwich

No joke.. Love the pics and report Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not even a sniff Todd :(:(
It happens all the time, I shouldn't be surprised :chuckle:

Thanks for the comments my friends ... I see everybody likes a good bologna sandwich, eh ??


Mike
 

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Everyone loves fishing ever-so slightly coloured water that's on the drop. That west coast "green" shade. However, I really like fishing water on the rise. Unless its chocolate milk, and has like 8" of vis, its fishable and generally, people are few and far between. Bigger contrasting flys and short casts do the trick. Always remember that just because the water is up and or off, doesn't mean the fish have evaporated. Step out of your "box" or "comfort" zone once and a while. You may be surprised!!!
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Wet waders and wet flies, nothing better. It would be no fun if they grabbed every time. Killer day.
 

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seaterspey
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It's been a long time for me and good to see someone plying the trade!

I'll just live through your stories for now.

Great pics and the flees off the chart thanks for sharing.

KC
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Marty it would be fun if they decided to play every once and a while though :hihi:
Stepping outside the box was what this day was all about. I rarely fish these style flies and rarely go with that heavy of a tip. It was fun !!


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah i'm in for pic's of the sandwich...:chuckle:
My kids ate all the sour dough and I just ate the last couple slices :chuckle:

Tim this river is my happy place ... thanks for sending the fly for me to swing :)
It swam beautifully and really came alive in the flow!!


Mike
 

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I'm more interested in the "home brew Sumatra" than the bologna, as yummy as the sandwich sounds. Are we talking Coffee Stout, or just a cup of coffee?

While you didn't get a take, it's still always great just to get out there!

The food fills our stomachs, the river fills our soul!

Thanks for sharing another great post, Mike.

-Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm more interested in the "home brew Sumatra" than the bologna, as yummy as the sandwich sounds. Are we talking Coffee Stout, or just a cup of coffee?
It's coffee Bill, I purchase the Sumatra beans from Starbucks and grind and brew in a French press at home. My morning beverage of choice. The earthy-peat flavor reminds me of another beverage of choice, 12yr Balvenie single malt :smokin:


Mike
 

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Is this Speypages or the food network!?!

It does all come together though, doesn't it?

Good food, good times, great friends! And no better place to share it all, than on the bank of a good run!!

Enjoy it all,

-Bill
 
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