Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 in 2011

Last year we posted up our "favorite" shots of 2010.  Not the "best of", but our favorite images because of the stories they told.  This year we tried to find what we felt were the top 10 images of 2011.  We sure had fun putting ourselves in position to take these shots....and with more vacation time coming in 2012, there's more fun on the way...

 Sweets on the Green River.  She was having one of those days where everyone was into fish, but she was having to work her butt off.  Until this guy grabbed her Chronic and headed straight for the deep.  I love the colors and the bend her rod.

Sweets on our favorite winter fishery.  She worked this run to where the river forked.  No hits.  She changed flies and swung a Goldi Lox through the back end of the fork.  Bam!  It was the fish of the day.  After a couple of tail walks, Deke decided he was going to help Sweets land her fish.  He jumped in for the retrieve, promptly dislodging the fly from the fishes mouth and lodging the fly in his hide.  He didn't get near Sweets for the rest of the day.  He knew.

 This is one of those "accidents".  The fog was coming off the river as the sun began to warm the air.  I grabbed the camera to see if I could capture what I was seeing.  I didn't think the camera would meter the shot correctly.  I was pretty happy with what I saw when the images were downloaded.

 It was a one duck day and Deke made the best of it.

One of our favorite stillwaters.  I saw the sky turning orange from the dirt road leading to the ramp.  Not knowing how long it would last, I floored it, grabbed the camera and the tripod, and ran across the dam.  The sky was back to grey before I got back to the truck.

 The morning after a day of hopper fishing, I found this guy hanging out on our deck.  I grabbed the fly, set it down, took a pic, then moved the fly closer and closer.  This was as close as he'd let me get.  I love the "What the..." look on his face.

Gear Guide Wyatt and fall on the Logan River.  It was a damp cold morning.  I breathed hot air on the lens just before hitting the shutter.  Another one of those "accident" shots.

Does it look cold?  Please tell it me it looks cold, because it was dang cold this morning.  This is the same Logan River, after it has run its course through those mountains you see.  At this point, it has picked up the Blacksmith Fork (a great fishery in itself) and meets the Little Bear just down river from this location.  A little further down it meets the Bear River and together they all end their journey in the Great Salt Lake.

Deke (and Boomer did as well) thinks every bird flying in the air is a duck, and it's going to fly over to our decoys, and someones gonna shoot it, and he'll get to retrieve it.  Labs are more optimistic than  fly fishermen in the middle of a BWO hatch.  This is my favorite of the year.

The South Fork of the Snake River.  September.  PMD's.  Browns?  Gear Guide Wyatt caught five different species of fish this day (one being a nice Sucker).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blue Skies and Coooooold

Deke and I got out just before Christmas for some river hunting.  It's been cold and our flat water is stiff.  We have been hitting the rivers and finding birds.  It was single digits.  When it's this cold, ice dust rains down on you and anything that gets dipped in water, instantly freezes, including waders and Deke.

The signs of success? Ice on the ears and a little red spot on the forehead

 Single digit temps never keep Deke from attending to his duties

Friday, December 9, 2011

4 hours

My company has a use it or lose it policy in regards to vacation.  I decided to use 4 hours and find ducks.  I found "a" duck.

Staaaaaay Deke, staaaaaaaaaaay.....

Really?  Can I go now?

Like water off a "dogs" back

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Einstein Was No Fly Fisherman

Albert Einstein is credited with saying "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".  Apparently Alberto never stood in a river behind finicky midging fish.  As a fly fisherman, I will make the same cast, with the same fly, with the same drift, over the same fish until I finally match his feeding rhythm.  At that point, the results are much different.  Where as before it was skunk, the stink now comes off and I'm on the board.  The theory of relativity never comes into play with fly fisherman.  I can fish the same fly, with the same length leader, with the same size tippet, with the same drift, over the same fish as Sweets and never have success, while she picks up the fish and moves on.  I can switch rods with her and get the same results... now were talking insanity.

So Mr. Einstein, you can have your E=MC2, I'll take my F=MC93 (Fish=Midge x Cast to the 93 power). Pffft, Physicists.

Sweets on our very long hike to the watering hole

Ice, turning an ordinary rod into a Tenkara rod

Are you tired of us preaching Purple Power?  It works....

I'm not sure where he gets them done, but Gear Guide Wyatt has very nice nails

 Let's go fish...Genius!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday? Purple Friday!

Since wading icy rivers and slippery rocks seemed so much safer than braving our local Walmart, Deke and I set out to make a point.  Purple flies catch fish.  Since I have yet to train Deke with the ins and outs of a DSLR, you'll have to settle for self-fish-portraits.... but good enough to make the point.  Start tying.

 Purple Peanut...

 MK Midge

Purple Peanut, again.  I had consistent hits and hook ups using those two flies.  I even managed to hook Deke in the tongue..... yeah, we wrestled around on the ground and until I was able to get a hold of his tongue in one hand and the fly in the other, one strong pull and we had a clean release.  After taking a few drinks of river, he looked at me with a "Dude, WTF?" look.  Sorry buddy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Purple is the new Black

I've been wanting to post this up for a few weeks.  A couple of posts earlier I mentioned how purple is the latest rage in flies.  Below are some of the patterns that have been sticking fish in Northern Utah waters.  The Purple Peanut has been exceptional (Sweets witnessed its effectiveness on Saturday... but that's another post). PLEASE excuse the lousy photos, I am no macro photog.  If you'd like the recipe to any of these, cast an email to richsprague at yahoo.

Redneck pumpkin smashing.  Can you spot some of the steel shot? (upper right corner of the pumpkin)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

High Dynamic What?

You may never have heard of High Dynamic Range imaging, but I bet you've seen images that have run through an HDR process.  Essentially, you combine 3-5 images at different exposures and using software, combine the images to create dramatic effects.  There are some incredible artists online doing amazing things with HDR.  I am by no means an expert, but I thought I'd dabble.  Below is my dabbling. 

 In order for HDR to work well, you need high contrast images.  See how the sun is coming up over the mountains, but you can still see detail in mountains?  This is impossible to accomplish with normal metering.  Only in HDR.

Wellsville Mountains as seen from Cutler Marsh
Not HDR, but I had to throw in a Deke'r photo...

...and a fish photo

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Falling Up

There's a chill in the air, the thermostat is up, and the colors are popping in Logan Canyon.  One of our favorite times of year.  The Waterfowl season has begun, fish are hungry, and there isn't a bad view no matter where you look.  It's panic mode around the hatch house trying to determine how to spend a Saturday... fish? hunt? pics?.... all of the above?.... yep.

Want a "misty morning" look to an image?  Breathe hot air on your lens and then take the pic....

  My kind of fall colors

See the duck....

....get the duck

Have you heard?  Purple flies are all the rage.

Yep, that's my fly rod.  Logan Canyon beavers are a little more than eager.