The Sound of Silence….. or really quiet any way

A crisp cast coming cleanly off the water with as little noise as possible.

A crisp cast coming cleanly off the water with as little noise as possible.

I sometimes teach a bit of Spey casting technique, sometimes. I watch a lot of Spey casting. I also hear a lot of spey casting. The sounds produced by spey casts can and often tell me what the problem or casting situation might be. On the other hand a well performed cast makes the sweetest sounds of all.

The truth is most Spey casters are visual learners. I said MOST casters. I can say throughout my progressive and continued journey and education in the art of casting, that as I became more attuned with my other senses I learned more about the process of Spey casting. Simply by the sounds produced or not produced, can give insight into speed, tempo, power application, dips, and stops. Seems like a lot, well it is. Josh Lynn a friend of mine described the sounds of  casting in a way that the noises produced by casting should not effect the harmony of nature. Meaning if you can hear your casts over the sounds of the river (John Day excluded), the birds or the wind on some occasions, something’s not right.

Now I am going to do my best at to give a list of the noises made during casting and the reasons for the produced sounds…again doing my best, lol

One of my favorite photos showing the even removal of the skagit line from the water.

One of my favorite photos showing the even removal of the skagit line from the water.

In the lift and set up sound of a nice kiss a “mwah” as the line breaks the water in the setup of any cast is the sound we are looking for. a loud “GUP” is what i often hear when the line and fly are not under control or excessive power is used to early in the lift.

A loud “Whistle” in any aerialized  part of the cast means….,you have no fly. Better take a peek at the end of the line.

The samurai sound of “WHHHHIITHHH WHHHHITHH”The rod slicing through the air in a rhythmic but quick fashion, but never letting the line touch the water to anchor. The rod never really loads well, at the sametime I hot have seen some interesting casts performed in the manner, and every now and again a good one, lol

A slapping sound of “WHAck” the running line smacking the rod and coming tight to the reel with so much force that the line tends to recoil back toward the caster.

A slurping sound like “QUUUUUUUCKKKK”! is the unmistakable sound of way too much anchor.

The unmistakeable whipping of the line, due to to much accelerated speed will result in a thunderous “CRACK” and possibly the removal of your fly.

A weak crashing or puddling of the fly line in the forward cast can have a few meaning the sound ends up the same with a series of “Plop..plop..plop.plop.plop.pppppllllop”. This sounds is affiliated with the fact there was no based for the cast to load off of. Either you blew your anchor and the forward timing was WAY off or your anchor was so long it effected the trajectory of the line so that all the power was used getting the line off the water and  none left over to propel the line anywhere.

An over loud whisper “Wheech” is the soft but ever present sound made by a cast performed in the manner of proper power application and timing. The best sound a caster can hope to hear,….well maybe an old Hardy reel screaming against the pull of a good fish!

A loaded rod with smooth but deliberate power applied makes for quiet and powerful casts!!

A loaded rod with smooth but deliberate power applied makes for quiet and powerful casts!!

These are a few of the more common noises I get to hear in a day at work. I know some of you will relate to some of them. The great historian Herodotus quoted that “Men trust their ears less than their eyes”. In today’s world this was never more true. If the same sounds is made the same technique is being applied. A gregarious Scotsman once told me “Son a Spey cast should sound like the barely whispered sigh of a satisfied woman, if it makes more noise then that you used too much FN power!” As inappropriate as it sounds he in an odd way is correct. The whisper is what we are all after. Hope this helps some of you.

Classic Winter Steelhead!!! Are you ready??

Classic Winter Steelhead!!! Are you ready??

On another note winter trips are filling fast, so shot me those dates boys and girls so we can get you on the water this up coming Winter Steelhead season.

The Binary Language of Steelhead Fly Fishing

The long but anticipated connection.

The long but anticipated connection.

Steelhead, oh Steelhead….What a crazy fish. Might drive a person crazy, I know I already am. For the past two years thing is the Steelhead world have been a bit tough. Sometimes it has seemed luck was the only real way to find any success. Of course having fewer fish does not help, but there is more to it then that. The pursuit of a completely reactionary anadromas rainbow trout, who is turn off and or put down by any and seemingly everything. The water is too hot, the water is too cold, the sun is in there eyes, the water is off color, the water is too clear, the barometer is changing, full moon phase is in effect, too much angling pressure, you pick the one or common ones you hear or have used. To think any of us are deserving might be another pipe dream.

Even hatchery fish have their days where the stars align.

Even hatchery fish have their days where the stars align.

On the list of fish species that are difficult to catch on a fly, steelhead might not make the top ten. I would wager that Permit would be the top of most lists. Permit are even more crazy is that those fish are actually actively feeding. Now for the reality of the Steelhead picture to take hold, Steelhead are not really returning to the rivers to feed. The animal may not even have a clue other than hormonally or chemically they feel the call of ancestral past to push them to swim up river. Now  from the anglers view, The Steelhead needs to be in the taking mood the day I am going to be there, and be in the runs I fish, and find my fly and eat it because I drove here. Not be mean or break some peoples pride, but it seems like to fish are responsible for doing a lot of the needed work. As a guide my job is to facilitate the amount of variables and help to connect the angler to the fish, again I rely on the Steelheads reactive presents.

One of my favorite so called reasons for Steelhead not to eat flies.

One of my favorite so called reasons for Steelhead not to eat flies.

So with all this positive information I am writing down I have more to say. The only reason some of us know the past couple years have been off is because we have seen and fished in good years. We learn good from bad based on experience and after a couple days with the wonderful Peter Hayes. A fellow guide and great caster who told asked me if I knew what an experience was? Telling him maybe not his definition, he then told me “An experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”. After Steelhead fishing for the better part of my lifetime, I can tell you I have had a lot of experience.

A Steelhead hardened angler chooses a new from of ammunition.

A Steelhead hardened angler chooses a new from of ammunition.

Better years will come and great days to follow, but remember your only in control of a couple of things and the Steelhead no matter how many or few might take control of their end of the bargain some day. Until then we are left with days of 1’s and 0’s the binary language of these amazing and highly addictive fish.

As crazy as these creatures can drive us, their beauty and mystery will always bring us back for more.

As crazy as these creatures can drive us, their beauty and mystery will always bring us back for more.

As the season pushes on…

The smile tells the entire story!

The smile tells the entire story!

Big buck in full colors, what a stud!!

Big buck in full colors, what a stud!!

On the brink of one of the oddest elections in our nations history, all I can do is turn to fly fishing. Like a new season brought forth with excitement, and change, Also come uncertainty. The last couple of seasons on the Deschutes have been tough to say the least. A number of reasons and theories and wild ass guesses I have had bend my ear. The truth is not a single one of us knows why or what to do about it. Pontificating ideas that pushes no course of action seems to be what we do best, as anglers. The only other thing I know is that if you don’t fish your odds of getting any just went to zero.

Caleb helping to put a big wild fish to the beach.

Caleb helping to put a big wild fish to the beach.

Bright fish on a bright day!

Bright fish on a bright day!

Chase the steelhead they have seen hard times before I am sure. I once heard a wise angler say that he was amazed we even had the opportunity to fish for steelhead after the way we treated our resources in the past. I will continue to push forward swinging flies no matter how tough it gets and I suggest a few of you come along with me. We may all learn a few thing, have a few laughs, and yes we may even catch a couple steelhead, lol.

Not everything below the surface is a steelhead...

Not everything below the surface is a steelhead…

Our Winter Steelhead trips are starting to book and the 2017 calendar is open. Lets get you all back out on the water in 2017 for more great times and stories. hope to hear from you soon. I hope to have new information about the film project ASAP. thanks for your patients on this it has been a massive and expensive undertaking>