The tradition continues at Sweetgrass Rods;
crafting fine bamboo fly fishing rods

   
Thanks for the wonderful craftsmanship. You guys are amazing.
Frank D.


My magic canyon

Thanksgiving is usually a week-long adventure for me -- only a couple exceptions in the last 15 years. This year was no exception. I fished two rivers; didn't catch anything in the big one, though Sarah, my girlfriend, had a fish bust off her 1x tippet... It was the tributary, hundreds of miles from the big river, where we managed to land fish with Sweetgrass rods and bare hands.


I fish this river just about every time I drive by. This hole has been a special place since I was 16, and insisted on fishing year-round. It never ices up completely (thanks to the steep riffle above), and always holds fish. They don't always bite, though it is a majestic place most certainly.

However, it was a bit downstream where I found my first feeding fish.

The deep bend in my Sweetgrass quad 4/5 weight rod was thrilling enough to keep my hands warm in the shaded, icy canyon. I finished building this rod off a Sweetgrass blank. It turned out to be a great small-stream rod that reacts in close with some power in the butt, that enables me to use heavier flies and/or weight if needed. And it has the characteristic punchiness and accuracy Glenn's quad rods are known for.


This native beauty came to hand after a bit of a tussle. I don't care what anyone says, Whitefish are a favorite quarry on ice-ridden rivers, as they are often more active in colder temperatures. They need more oxygen, and metabolize a bit better than trout do in frigid water.


I also like their reflective bodies as they dart between boulders.

OK, for those of you who would rather look at trout, I can help you out.

This beautiful and feisty Brown tosser eventually came to hand. She took a tan rubber-leg pattern, but my photograph was out of focus, so you'll just have to imagine the orange-haloed spots and buttery-yellow belly of this Eleven-incher of GoodnessSmile.

A little while later, and upstream a couple casts, I found a slightly smaller albeit just as energetic Brown. Took the same Rubber-leg fly. Hmmm... Need to tie more of those.

This little specimen needs to find some real stoneflies and midges to feast on. It is likely still trying to recover from spawning a month ago. This photo and the rest below are a bit soft in focus. I think my camera was getting a bit frozen and wet from use, as the sun set behind limestone canyon walls. I think you'll enjoy the next bit, anyway....

I had Sarah fish the majestic hole, and she had a couple takes, but didn't get the hook-set. She used a Sweetgrass 4/5 weight pent. rod -- one I love to use for dries, but it is equally at home being frozen and tossing nymphs. Sarah eventually moved upstream and found an interestingly-scaled individual.


Yep, the Common Carp! While she was using a Sweetgrass pent. at the time she caught this brute, she used her bare hands to take hold of this sickly guy. It was barely holding alongside a large boulder, and didn't move when Sarah approached from above. She picked it up and smiled brightly. The sudden cold-snap that iced the canyon must have shocked it a bit too much, and it was not able to get to a lower and warmer river section. It is now likely food for insects and other scavengers that will soon enough be food for trout.

Too soon, we had to leave and continue westward -- home to mountain ranges closer to the setting sun.

In Wild Waters,

Zac Sexton

The Meandering Booboy
Ice-fly-fishin'
sometimes on some rivers
 

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