Holiday discount

 

 

 

 

JD24

May all your fish in 2017 be “this” big!

From now until January 1st, take 10% off any fly purchase of $25 or more. A thank you from Roughrider Guide Flies. May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2016 is almost in the books

JD with Paul15Sanjuan1JD24pmid41pmid4Every year around this time I tend to wax poetic, well, not really, but would like to think I do. 2016 was a busy year in La Casa de Freeman. We are in the process of building a home, should be another 6 weeks and it will be complete. There have a been a lot of challenges but I think we have made it. Once we move in, the real work starts. If given the choice of building or buying an existing home, I think next time I would choose not to build. Our biggest challenge has been picturing what everything will like and then seeing it is not really what we pictured. Our builder has been fantastic and so glad we went with them. Help around every corner.

School has been great this year. I have an amazing class with a bunch of really smart kids. Also a really fun class to teach. I coached volleyball and am now coaching basketball and I also assumed the duties of Asst. Athletic Director, so spare time has been at a premium.

Fishing has been sporadic at best. Had a great trip to Pyramid in March with a great group of guys. We landed 10 fish over 10lbs in our group which is by far my best trip to Pyramid. I have been 6 times now and I always say when I get home, “I am going to take a year or two off from fishing there.” But by September I am looking at going the following March. The pull of this lake is very strong. I fished Becker and Big lake twice this year with decent results. Also hit a couple of my favorite ponds in Northern Arizona several times this year. I did one short trip to the San Juan this summer and that was a good time. With only a month left in 2016 I am not sure I will get out again, but hope to do a day trip or two. We’ll see what happens.

My bride had a major wrist surgery right before Thanksgiving and healing has been slow. Hopefully rehab will begin soon and she can get all healed up in time for our move. We celebrated our 17th year anniversary on Veteran’s Day and we have never been happier than we are right now. I am blessed to have a wife that is so supportive of my school schedule and my fishing addiction. Life is good!!

 

 

Why do we do it?

I have not fished in what seems a coons age. I am sitting at the computer going through all the places I want to fish in the upcoming year and the list has doubled in the last five minutes. Some nights it interrupts my sleep. Sickness? Maybe! Obsession? Absolutely!! It’s funny, us fly fisherman have all kinds of sayings that to me sound trite, “A bad fishing is better than a good day at work”. At least with me, that is bologna! I love my job and I hate having bad days fishing. Do I make the best of bad day fishing? Of course I do, but when it comes down to it, I want, no, I need to catch fish. That is why I go fishing. I get rather testy if I go fishing and I get skunked. Another one I hear is, “I don’t care if I catch fish, I just like being on the water”. This again to me, is bologna! Same reason above.

Now let me backtrack a bit. I love fishing because I love catching fish, the bigger the better, but half of a fishing trip is the planning with friends. I enjoy sitting on my toon in the middle of the lake with a couple buddy’s talking and joking around. There is something cathartic about that. I enjoy sitting around the campfire jawing with my friends. I love sitting around the table tying flies and jawing with friends. I love driving to the lake and seeing elk and deer. I love watching an osprey hunting over the lake. I love the sending of fish pictures back and forth when we get back from the trip. I love driving to the lake and telling stories for the 100th and they act as if they either had never heard it or they were actually there even if they weren’t.

Like I said, fishing is obsession. As you can tell, I have a great time even if I don’t catch a fish, but I’ll tell you what, I have a way better time if I catch a fish, bigger the better.

Can you tell I need to go fishing?

San Juan Trip

San Juan Trip
Just made a quick trip to the San Juan with my buddy Steve. Fished on the 13th and 14th. The flows had just dropped from 4000cfs and got to 800cfs the day before we got there. I had a feeling the fishing would be decent but was not expecting lights out fishing. Unfortunately, I was correct. Still caught lots of fish but the fish were still pretty spread out. They are having some really good midge hatches around 10am and another in the late afternoon. I am not a fan of fishing single adult midges so I just tossed on an ant pattern. Had a blast both evenings catching fish on top.  We covered a good chunk of river over the two days we were there. We fished up at the cable hole the first morning, then around Texas Hole, up the main channel, into the braids then down around the kiddie hole.
The second day we fished around lunker alley, the lower flats and then below the Texas Hole. There really was not one pattern the fish were keying on. My best pattern, besides the ant was a size 20 CDC RS2. I caught one or two fish on 10 other patterns. I am expecting them to start keying on more specific pattern soon though.
I met a young man from Phoenix that is on one of the Arizona fly fishing forums and fished with him for a day and a half. It was a pleasure fishing with you Colton. For someone that that has been fishing for a relatively short time, you have some mad skillz. Thanks for hanging with us old dudes.
Colton getting it done a few days later. Caught this 22″ brown on a red larvae in the Baetis Bend area! Congrats buddy!
I also met up with my old friend Jude, that I knew back in my guiding days on the Juan. It was great catching up and retelling old stories and reminiscing. We have not fished together since 2005 but it was like we had been fishing together everyday. It was great meeting his friend Keith as well.
This trip, like most trips, will be remembered for the old and new friends that I was able to spend time with. Don’t get me wrong, the fishing is important, but a year from now, or five years from now, it won’t be the fishing that I remember, but the jokes and stories and time spent with friends that will be remembered. The fish are remembered by the photos, the time with friends will be deeply embedded in my memories and no one can take that away. Thanks gents for a great trip.

New Flies

P'mid flies1p'mid flies2P'mid flies3P'mid flies4P'mid flies5P'mid flies6P'mid flies8I am offering some new flies on my website. These flies are specifically designed for Pyramid lake Nevada, but have got some great results in Arizona in the last month or so. Just needed to go a size or two smaller. They worked like a charm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Week of Bigguns-Pyramid 2016

pmid30You know how sometimes you build up a trip with such high expectations that no matter what you do, you come home disappointed? Well this trip was not it. We had seen many reports in the prior month and we were expecting lights out fishing. We landed around noon on Friday and hit the beach. Weather reports for the next two days looked awful. Saturday was sustained winds of 40mph, gusting to 60mph, Sunday was sustained 50mph, gusting to 80mph. Of course we thought that was over-stated. Well…not really. I have fished in wind before, but this was absolutely nuts. We were getting pelted by sand 50 yards from the beach and with the wind at our backs, we were still getting wet from the vortex that built up in front of us and and the water drops would levitate up our ladders into our face! A motor home had it’s roof ripped off and all it’s cabinets with it, on Sunday night. They had official reports of a couple of gusts over 100mph. But we braved through it.

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I know, fishing from a ladder!! Whodda thunk it!

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Dana braving the elements

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Chris getting out of the elements for a few.

A little bit about our crew! From top to bottom, this crew was crazy! Period! Amen! Crazy! But that is a good thing. Our initial group consisted of Chris, Charles, Ken and myself. We were lucky enough that a couple buddy’s of mine were also going at the same time and they were in need of 4 guys to fill their unit at Crosby’s. So glad we found that out. Dana, Greg and JD filled out our group! It has been a long time since I laughed so much. Like I said these guys were crazy so it was a perfect fit.

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Hey JD, give that fish a drink of water!

Fishing on Saturday and Sunday was slow but we all managed to catch a few fish. Kind of funny, but those days we fished Windless Bay, so much for names eh? Spirits were still high as weather reports for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were much better. They predicted 15-25 on Monday and Tuesday, and basically calm on Wednesday.

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Ken with an average Pyramid trout (Awesome average fish)

We fished the North nets on Monday, were the first ones to the beach so got the prime location. The nets filled up quickly. Fishing was just stupid good. Chris landed the first big fish of the trip, a bruiser of Lahontan cutty, around 14 lbs or so. Charles was up to bat next with a tank of 13lber, followed by Charles again with a 10lber.

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Look at the shoulders on that fish!

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Chris getting in on the hawg catching!

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Paulito’s turn.

For those of you that are not familiar with Pyramid lake, double digit fish are what we all shoot for, what we dream of, what we obsess about. This was Chris’s first trip there and already in the double digit club. Ken has 3-4 as does Charles. Prior to this trip I had caught 4 over 10lbs. Is it because we are such astute fly fisherman? Is it because we have the perfect cast and presentation? or are just plain lucky? I believe it is the latter! I know some really good sticks that have several trips under their belt and have not cracked that magic 10lb mark. No good reason why a shlub like me catches a few and a great fisherman does not. I’ll take dumb luck anyday!

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Another big one

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And another

As I stated before, Monday and Tuesday were off the hook, (pardon the pun), more like on the hook. Now mind you, the fish congregate around the north nets like crazy, but when the smallest fish you catch over the course of 6 days of fishing is 18″, it gets darn tiring. It seemed like one of us was hooked up to a fish, non-stop, from 7am-5pm. We had a few quadruples and many doubles and triples throughout the day. It was just insane! A couple of us had 10 fish by 9am, so counting fish was a waste of time, usually is in my opinion.

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The color on some of these fish is amazing!

The last day was perfect conditions, that is if you want a calm, warm and sunny day. Terrible conditions or pyramid lake. We all scratched out a few fish. The highlight of my day was when I thought I hooked into one of the legendary Pilot Peak strain 20+lbers. It is rare you get pulled into your backing when lake fishing, but I was 100 yards into my backing real quick. The rest of the fight was reeling in 10 feet, fish takes 5 feet, reel in 10, fish takes 5. 20 minutes later I had a nice 10lb cutty in the net with a size 12 hook in his tail. It is not often a person is disappointed with a 10lb fish, but I kind of was. But the fact I landed it when he had all the leverage is awesome!

 

Pyramid lake 2016 was a trip for the books. We fished in some of the worst winds possible, had slow days, amazing days, and ate some amazing food, (Thank you Charles, Ken, Chris, Dana, Greg, and JD), and had a fantastic time. Until next time!!

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Going to Pyramid

Pyramid 2010 019As many of you know, Pyramid lake is one of my favorite places to fish. I know it is for many of you as well. Catching huge fish is always the goal, but over the years I come to the conclusion that what I look forward to is hanging out with good friends, letting my hair down and just relaxing and having a great time. Standing on a ladder fishing all day seems strange, but Pyramid is one of those places where you can fish 15 feet from a stranger all day and make a new friend. Crowding is never an issue, it is almost expected and accepted. This year I am going with Charles, Chris, Ken, Dana and Greg. It is going to be an exceptional trip. Hoping my buddy Merc and Iron Mike will be able to join us as well. Will be there for 6 nights and five days of fishing. Hoping at least one of us catches a 10+lber. There have been reports and many 20+lbers caught since October 1st, wouldn’t that be something if one of us caught one of them. Here are a few pics from past trips. Enjoy!

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Pile of flies need a good home

I have approximately 1200 flies that need a good home. I have broken them down by color and pattern, for the most part. Each group is bagged separately. Will sell flies for 75 cents apiece. Mix and match as you please. Email me for message me on facebook if interested. Thanks a bunch! Paul

  1. Gray Larvae- size 20-24       30 flies
  2. Tan and Sand Larvae- size 18-24       58 flies
  3. Brown Larvae -  size 20-24     15 flies
  4. Tan, Olive, Mahagony larvae (Midge and Baetis)- size 18-24  72 flies
  5. Black Zebra midge- size 18-24  80 flies
  6. Olive, brown Zebra midge- size 18-24  50 flies
  7. Orange larvae- size 18-24   60 flies
  8. Red larvae- size 18-24  72 flies
  9. Mercury bead in red, olive, gray- size 18-24  92 flies
  10. Disco midge emergers- size 20-24   40 flies
  11. KF emergers- size 20-24   64 flies
  12. Antron midge and baetis emergers- size 18-24  70 flies
  13. Foam emergers midge and baetis- size 18-24   36 flies
  14. Various colors and size, midge and baetis larvae and pupae- 220 flies
  15. Assorted pheasant tails, hares ears, scuds, scintilla midges, caddis larvae and worms- 120 flies
  16. Gold Larvae- size 20-24  36 flies
  17. Crème Larvae- size 20-24 32 flies

fly clean up1

A little off topic

I recently became one of the shotgun coaches at our school. Last Friday we did our first shoot. We loaded up the boys in the school van, 4 shotguns, and headed over to the range. I guess it is not really a range, it was an old dump that has been covered up but has a huge area that is surrounded by dirt mounds that is perfect for shooting. Aaron brought the thrower and we were set. A little background on our team. 3 of boys are 7th graders, the other a freshman. All have never shot a shotgun, nor a gun, in their lives except for a pellet gun and maybe a .22. To say the boys were excited and a little nervous would be an understatement. We have been going over safety and techniques for the last 3 weeks, 2-3 days a week so the boys were itching to do some live fire. Wish I had thought to take some picture, next time. Overall, the boys did fantastic, 3 of the 4 hit their first clay pigeon which I find amazing. I have seen adults miss 25 or 30 in row before hitting their first target. The oldest boy hit 7 in a row at one point. We are really excited to keep practicing and getting ready for our first official shoot in February. PULL!!!

Montana Trek

BIG SKY COUNTRY!!! Yep, they call it that for good reason. First off I want to thank my wife for giving me her blessing for going on this trip, second, I want to thank my good friend Steve, for setting up and making this voyage possible.

Having had a week to look back upon our trip, my view has changed several times. My feelings throughout the first few days of the trip was that of disappointment, well, a little. We started off on the Madison River. Having had a great fishing trip there once before, I went with high hopes of lots of fish. Well, it just didn’t happen. Over a day and a half, I was able to scratch out a whopping two fish. I was disappointed to say the least. I was still having a blast but the fishing was just off. Was it me, was I doing something wrong? or was it just the conditions. I talked to a lot of people on the river and the fishing was just not quite there. It was hot and crowded and the fish were pouting or something.

We decided to try something completely different and headed back into Idaho for some small stream fishing. It was so quiet and serene and hardly saw a soul out there. Water levels seemed to right on, so we were excited. We fished small streams over a large area of Idaho and landed a bunch of fish, some really quality fish. The first stream we fished, my first three fish were a cutthroat, a brookie and rainbow. A stream grand slam in the first 15 minutes. We fished several sections of 3 streams over the course of 4 days and did not pass another fisherman on the water the entire time. The solitude was amazing. Steve and I told a bunch of stories that we both had heard many times, but under the circumstances, it was like it was being told for the first time.

This summer has been a stressful summer, trying to build a house, my school closing down and trying to find another teaching position, made this a tough summer. This trip was the perfect elixir for what ailed me. On day two of my trip, I got a call and was offered a great teaching position at a school that is five minutes from my house. The stress inexplicably went away!!!!

I would have to say one of the highlights of the trip was on this nice stretch of a small stream. Water looked great, nice depth, perfect speed, easy casting, looked like the stars lined up perfectly. Steve was nice enough to give me first shot. I tossed an elk hair caddis into this riffle, a nose came out of the water, line went tight and the fish went nuts. It is not often that a fish in a small stream makes your reel scream, but this guy did. A couple minutes later, I was holding a nice 18 inch fine spotted cutthroat. Amazing fish! We did not catch a pile of fish out of any of the streams we fished, but certainly enough to keep us interested.

On our final day of fishing we went to the South Fork of the Boise River, one of my old haunts when I lived there. They had a huge fire and some horrendous flooding on the river a couple of years ago that changed the river a lot. I had not seen it since the fire and I was kind of nervous to see the effects. The flows were up due to irrigation needs and the water was big. I really was not sure we would find a place to fish from shore but we did. The main reason for the visit was so I could see the river from the dam to Danskin, but we decided to wader up and see if we could scratch out a few. I landed two nice rainbows and I was more than satisfied. We saw some fish and some really big fish so it appears to me the river is doing ok. It has changed a bunch and many of the old places we fished are no longer fishable. Steve and I had a favorite area we used to fish a lot, it is now a shadow of it’s previous self. Very disappointing as it was a beautiful area that held a lot of really nice. But I guess change is inevitable.

So that is my trip in a nutshell I came back to Cottonwood with a renewed vigor and I am now ready to tackle a new teaching opportunity. Thanks for reading and I hope my write up did our trip justice. Enjoy the pictures.

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cutty

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SFB bow