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Archive for September, 2010

29 Sep

Skagit River, Spey Style

Author: Travis 2 comments
A little mix down of hi lites from an afternoon of shooting Bull fighting for the film, featuring Nick Pace on the Skagit River with his favourite spey rod. More Later T>
28 Sep

New Spring Creek Film Promo

Author: Travis 0 comments
I've thrown together a few still frame grabs for this summer's shoots and packaged it into a little promo.Check it out. More Later T>
27 Sep

Bulls on the Skagit

Author: Travis 2 comments

That's a Big Thumb!

   Yesterday I spent the afternoon with one of my former loves. She is still as beautiful as I remembered her. It had been a long time since I had fished the Skagit and Sunday I found myself standing  on Chittenden bridge staring into her deep green pools.  The plan was for Nick Pace and I to gather some steelhead footage for the film. A special opening of the Coquihalla River in near Hope, B.C. presented Nick the chance to wake a few dry flies for some summer run steelhead, close to home. Reports were that the fishing was EASY for 5lb. to 8lb. steelhead, above the Othello tunnels on the Coq. Well, that was before the fall rains set in. In fact,  probably more like around the low, gin clear water of late August, while I was still shooting in Montana. Undaunted, because Nick  has been stung hard by the Steelhead bug and is willing to go anywhere anytime for a chance at steel on the dry, I was at his house at 4am Sunday and off we went over the Coquihalla pass. We arrived at Hope at around 7am to a full blown coast mountain, only in Hope B.C. can it rain this hard, torrential down fall. The Coq had good vis though but as we found some water and geared it up... the river found some water and blew out. It rose a foot in half and hour and dirtied to around a foot viz.  Nick, ever the optimistic steelheader said it was good and away he went. I was left trying to figure out whether not I should call Simms to make a proper rain coat for my camera.  Everything got soaked of course. We finally found a nice run and it stopped raining long enough to shoot a quick segment and Nick did hook up only for a moment.  I think he was so surprised that he didn't even get a chance to set the hook properly. At 9:30 I told Nick about a little steelhead stream I had fished nearly 10 years ago and hopefully it wouldn't be blown out. Off we went,when that didn't pan out we set our sites on one of my former haunts, Skagit river above Ross Lake Resevoir.  I used to love fishing the Skagit, it's an incredibly beautiful river, deep in the Cascade mountain range just north of the Washington state border. In the 60's, Seattle Light and Hydro impounded the Skagit on the American side of the border for hydro and Ross Lake Resevoir was formed, flooding into Canada. Ross is great habitat for Bull trout and it was the Bulls that I was hoping to target when we got to the Skagit. As soon as I stepped on to Chittenden bridge, the clouds broke, the sun came out and  I spotted 5 nice sized bulls. We were only a short distance up from the lake and these Bulls were fresh from Ross. They were ripe for the picking and Nick and I got some great footage and landed a few bulls before the clouds moved in and we had to head home. Even I got in on the action! That River's Edge hat has got some serious MOJO I took only one cast yesterday and landed this Bull.     More Later     T>    

T-Man gets in on the Action!

Check out the new Verizon ad featuring Jim Klug and Ian Davis from Yellowdog Flyfishing Adventures. I met Jim this summer at the Ennis "Tie On One" Fly Fishing Festival and he invited me down next summer to hang out at Yellowdog, so I roped him into participating in the film. A lot of the footage in the Verizon ad comes from  Confluence Films where Jim and Chris Patterson have created two of the most revered cinematic masterpieces of fly fishing adventure travel, Drift and Rise.  Jim explained to me how ecstatic the crew is at Yellowdog to be profiled but feels there's a benefit to fly fishing overall, "Obviously, Yellow Dog is excited to be a part of this Verizon campaign, as anything that showcases our company and our services on that level is bound to be good for us!  That said, I also believe that anything that showcases our sport and the beauty of fly fishing is something that's good for all of us in the industry. When something as simple as a quick ad or commercial for Verizon, Chevy Trucks, John Deere, etc. can profile the attractions of fly fishing to a large segment of people who may have never even thought about fly fishing, it a great thing." - Jim Klug. That's probably exactly why Jim has agreed to participate in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout. Congrats to everyone at Yellowdog! Now I'm only wondering, where exactly was Jim when I called him for that quote! More Later T>

James Fraser's Brown is all that and a bag of chips! Photo James Fraser

Word is the browns are on the move on the Madison. Just ask James Fraser who stuck this hog, while fishing Darlington Spring Creek last Thursday. James was fishing on his friend Fred Broling's ranch.  Fred's ranch and stretch of Darlington Spring Creek is featured in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout. Fred recently hired Jim Lovell and his company Confluence Consulting to undertake  a mile long restoration to his section of Darlington Spring Creek , a tributary to the Madison River. James caught both of the big browns on olive streamers, stripped fast through two of Darlington's small pools. "The big male took it on the second cast, at which point I was wishing I had retied a new knot in my 4x." James had just caught a nice female of 20" and was about to call it a day when he decided to return to a scour pool on the property that he had fished earlier and give it anothe try. "I felt the grab and then could harly budge the fish out from under me" . James says there are more big fish in the same pool as get got several hits there. I'm going to have a arrange a trip late in the fall for these massive spawning browns. Till then I'll see browns like this in my dreams. Thanks to James Fraser for sharing his photos and story. As well as a big thanks to Fred Broling who allowed Jim Lovell to show me his ranch and film the restoration work. Can I come back in the fall? More Later T>
14 Sep

7> Diamond Ranch

Author: Travis 0 comments

Dawn Breaks over Batstone Lake

"You don't  buy a ranch anymore and pay for it with cattle"  Jim O'Connor told me this afternoon. I met Jim after spending the day shooting at Batstone Lake, the jewel of  his  7 Half Diamond Ranch outside of Merritt, BC.  Jim and his wife Heather own and run the ranch, nestled in the rolling hills off of Hwy. 5A. Together they have diversified Ranch interest's into micro-tourism, including two beautiful hand buit log cabins, made from logs on the property. These cabins are available for rental along with an old western saloon for special occassions, such as group meetings, Christmas parties or corporate retreats. Jim and Heather encourage guests to bring their own horses for trail riding. Ducks Unlimited has worked with the O'Connor's to enhance wetland habitat reserves, resulting in great bird watching. In the winter they have snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. But the center piece of the ranch is Batstone Lake , stocked with Kamloops Rainbow trout that grow to 11lbs.  Batstone is a small lake only about 12 hectares but its numerous shallow bays are incredibly rich with feed and the fish grow FAT fast! Jim has also started stocking triploids as well and is waiting to see how they take hold in the lake.  It all makes for an INCREDIBLE fishery. The O'Connor's manage the lake for a exclusive trophy experience. Only 6 rods are allowed daily. Rod fees are only $50 a day.  Today I was the tagging along with the owners of  my local flyshop Trout Waters Fly and Tackle, Savas Koutsontonis and Nick Pace who agreed to take me up to the Ranch to film for Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout.  We arrived a daybreak and the fish were already rising.  Savass and Nick had action all morning long, even I got into a fish. Lake fishing is DEFINATELY not my thing. But I only had made about 6 casts before I had one Batstone's fatties on.  I was using a chironomid that Savas had gave me, 20" under a strike indicator (don't tell my friends). I just cast to where I had seen a rise and 20 seconds later I was tight to a big fish that took several long runs, jumped twice and then headed for the weeds. Once the fish tied me up in the weeds it was all over. What a great day.Thanks to the O'Connor's for hosting me and if you are a interior stillwater trout angler, I'd HIGHLY recommend a day at 7Half Diamon Ranch. I know I will be back.  More Later  T> 

Savas K. corrals a 7 Half Diamond Ranch Rainbow

13 Sep

Thanks Again!

Author: Travis 0 comments

Thanks Again!


I just wanted to thank everyone who participated in or helped with the shooting of Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout this summer. Here's a list and hopefully I haven't missed anyone. Of course my friend Pete Caron,  my angler for the first week  in Montana. Steve Bielenberg and Cliff Inge at McCoy Spring Creeks. Dave Ashcraft at the Big Hole C4 Lodge. Pay Byorth at Montana Trout Unlimited. Tom and Mary Kay Milesnick over at the MZ Bar Ranch in Belgrade.  Keith Comiso and Steve Gamble at the Gallatin River Lodge.  David Thompson at Brickhouse Creative, who's help was incredible... especially when he rowed me out into Circle 3's pond so I could fish! Steve Summerhill and all the great people at The River's Edge Flyshop. Poncho McCoy and everyone at Circle 3 Spring Creek.  Again David Thompson and Ben Winship for donating music from Fishing Music. Greg Fay at Fay Ranches . Jim Lovell and the crew at Confluence Consulting Inc. as well as the ranch owners of the stretch of Darlington Spring Creek we visited. Doug and Mary Hamilton at the Ponds. Tim Tollett and Frontier Anglers. Jeff Laszlo of Granger Ranches and driving force behind the award winning O'Dell Spring Creek Restoration project. Photographer Chris Stanford. Lori Pike and everyone at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. Meghan Yewell and the great folks at Tree Brewing and Cutthroat Pale Ale.  Mike Gettleman.  Jim and Heather O'Connor at the 7 Half Diamond Ranch. Nick and Savass and the crew at Troutwaters Fly and Tackle. Web designer and friend Stephen Hayes-McCoy. Jim Klug and the cool folks at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.  Brian at The Madison River Fishing Company.  Gerry and Susan Frederick.  The Montana Film Office. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Jon Summerland at the Okanagan Film Commission. Phil Epp. Dr. Murray A. Roed. And of course my wife Jessica Samuels.  There's still lots of shooting going on this year, including shoots on the Kettle River and the Adams River. As well a full summer and fall of  on location shooting in Montana is in the planning. Post production on Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout will begin late 2011. Till then, thanks to everyone.   

More Later    


13 Sep

New Video Clip

Author: Travis 0 comments
Pete Caron releases a beautiful Brown from McCoy Spring Creeks. Enjoy! More Later T>
13 Sep

7 Half Diamond Ranch

Author: Travis 0 comments

Getting Ready to Fish the 7> Diamond Ranch

After a couple of days off from shooting it's back at it early Wednesday morning.  At 5am Trout Waters Fly and Tackle owners Savas, Nick and myself are on our way to the 7 Half Diamond Ranch.  The 7 Half Diamond Ranch is a working ranch nestled in the rolling hills of southern British Columbia about an hour away from Kelowna. Jim and Heather O'Connor have turned to micro tourism and angling as a means of economic diversification, taking the 1400 acre ranch and infusing it with rentals cabins, exclusive stillwater fly fishing opportunities at Batstone Lake, cross country skiing and old western saloon available for special occassions.  7 Half Diamond Ranch is one of a few ranches here in B.C. that have embraced angling, even though it's stillwater and not spring creek angling I thought I'd check it out for the film. More Later T>
11 Sep

Back Home in B.C.

Author: Travis 0 comments

First Fish of the Day

For the last two days I've been fishing the Kettle River. No cameras, no filming, just fishing.  While the Kettle is no Spring Creek,  it is my homewaters and honestly its the only trout stream fishery within a two hour drive of my home. Lately the hopper fishing has been fantastic.  The Kettle's 2009 fish die off, due to extremely low water flows and high temperatures may have cleaned out a certain age class, the 16" to 18" fish are flourishing.  Yesterday my good friend Pete Caron and I hit the Kettle with the mountain bikes. We drove up the Christian Valley dropped the truck off and rode back down the road for about 6km, dumped the bikes, geared up and hiked in. The new River's Edge Simms hat (thanks Steve!) has got some MOJO in it. I was on fire all day. The fish gods were smiling on me. I stabbed everything that moved, including myself when a gust of wind picked up and blew an errant hopper right into my hand on the forward cast. Pete and I must have hiked about 8km by the river, definately a good work out. When the river only has about 90 per km, you have to do a lot of walking to find good fish.  We'll return to the best spots next week with the HD cameras and shoot where the above photo was taken for the film.   More Later   T>