Four days on the San Juan River

I recently joined fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers Kevin Carril, Steve Hedgstrom and Ron Carruthers for four days of trout fishing on the famous San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. We stayed at the Soaring Eagle Lodge where we enjoyed scrumptious buffet breakfasts and mouth-watering dinners.

After daylong guided fishing trips we lounged outside our riverside accommodations, tired but happy, sipping adult beverages, awaiting the 7PM dinner and watching the river flow past a few yards away.

The trout, a mixture of browns and rainbows, were taken on tiny #22 and #24 nymphs and emergers. Most were 12″ to 15″ but several approached or topped the 20″ mark.

It sounds like a commercial but it’s true. You can’t beat The Soaring Eagle for tasty food, comfortable, clean lodging, helpful, courteous employees, and knowledgeable guides.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a rank beginner Heart Of America Fly Fishers has something to offer.  Check us out at http://heartofamericaflyfishers.org.

Interested in learning more about Soaring Eagle Lodge? Take a look at their web site http://soaringeaglelodge.net .

 

Just for the halibut

My  Colorado friend John Norman caught a big halibut in Alaska recently. Actually I don’t know anything about halibut so maybe, relatively speaking,  this is a SMALL one.

I’ve seen John land 26″ rainbow trout on #22 flies. He’s a good fisherman. But I suspect he caught this monster while fishing from a charter boat using a block-and-tackle or maybe an amphibious fork lift.

I’ll bet it was a bitch to clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big ass Salmon

Any way you look at it this is a hell of a big fish. My buddy Carl Walter caught it near Sea Otter Sound off the northwest coast of Prince Of Wales Island. I think that’s in Alaska. But what the hell do I know?

I don’t think he caught it on a #22 emerger with a 3 wt. fly rod and 7X tippet. Anyway it’s a huge fish. Much bigger than any I’ve ever caught. It’s a 37 Pound king salmon and however he caught it, I hope he shares some of that nice pink meat with me.

Carl's big fish

Deer hunting in Scotland

Mt friend, photographer Jon Blumb, often goes to Scotland to hunt deer and fish for salmon.

Guided by head game keeper Bruce Cooper on Glenprosen Estate near Kirriemuir in The County of Angus, Jon recently bagged this beautiful 6+ point roebuck. Jon downed the buck at 160 yards with Cooper’s .25/06 Sauer rifle.They had been out since sunrise (4:30 AM ) and Jon shot the buck at 7:30 AM.

Jon sent me a photo of himself wearing kilts but his legs are almost as ugly as mine so I did not include it in this post.

 

 

Northwest Oklahoma

The sign on the highway claims you’re entering the Gloss Mountains. It’s a typo. This exotic area has always been referred to by locals as the GLASS Mountains. Located near the Cimarron River in Major County near Fairview, OK , Gloss Mountains State Park has hiking trails, picnic facilities and a gorgeous view of an unusual landscape. The glass (or gloss) moniker comes from the Selenite or isinglass that sparkles in the red dirt mesas.

 

Pike on a fly rod

What’s the old saying? Even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while? My long-time fishing buddy and fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers member Bill Lindley boated this 42.5″ northern pike on a 7 weight fly rod recently.

 

Where? Someplace between Nebraska and Canada. Wish I had been there to slap high fives with him … after he washed his hands of course. Pike are really slimy.Bills Pike_edited-1

 

Heart Of America Fly Fishers

I always look forward to our One Fly Tournament. The last few years it has been held at Lake Of The Forest in Bonner Springs, KS. This is a very old residential lake surrounded by homes and is full of fat, sassy bass and bluegill.

This year we were joined by some veterans from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

A light rain fell all morning with temperature hovering in the low seventies: a fisherman’s dream. As usual those who arrived early and fished from kick boats or float tubes were the most successful.

The idea is to use one fly all morning. Theoretically if you lose your fly you’re done for the day. Small prizes are awarded for the biggest fish and the most fish and it’s all done on the honor system. Yes, some fishermen are actually honorable. This year the biggest fish award went to a guy who caught a 21” bass (that turned out to be “only” 19” when measured). The award for the most fish went to someone who landed an astounding 63 bass and bluegill. All fish were released.

The morning was capped off with a delicious picnic lunch,  lots of bragging and probably some lying. But I didn’t hear ANY bitching.

My first banded duck

I don’t remember what year it was but it had to have been in the sixties. That’s a ’63 Ford Falcon in the background. Don’t remember where I shot it . Probably the Marais Des Cygnes Waterfowl Management Area near La Cygnes, KS. Could have been John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington, KS.

I’ve been duck hunting since 1964 and I have eight bands on my lanyard now. You see guys in magazine ads with duck and goose bands hanging down to their knees. Do they plink birds with pellet guns in parks? It might be believable if they were old geezers like me who have hunted for years, but they all look like they’re in their 20s and 30s.

No way!first banded duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tweener Time

Once again it’s “Tweener Time”. A Tweener is a cartoon too filthy and degenerate for outdoor publications yet too outdoorsy for Playboy.

For you non duck hunters…so-called dabbling ducks – mallards, pintails, teal and others -tip up to feed on edible stuff in the water like invertebrates, seeds and plants. When you see a dabbling duck doing this it is not mooning you, it is eating.

Diving ducks such as scaup, canvasbacks, and redheads dive completely  under the water to find their food. What we call “trash ducks” such as mergansers eat old tires, discarded condoms and oil that has leaked from drilling platforms.

 

 

In love