Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paradigm fisht

I was pretty indifferent until I saw one on the water. I then quickly got my own Water Master one-man raft.

It has changed my mindset about fishing.
It's nice to have a friend with one. 
Water Masters are one-man rafts that are 8 or 9 feet long that have an open bottom so you can stand and fish where ever you are (except where it's too deep). You can also dangle your feet and control the boat with flippers so you have both hands free to fish. You might have seen them around, or in the Fish Bums movies. They pack into a backpack that weighs under 50 pounds, so they can go almost anywhere.

Now I can (legally) fish all those sections on private land with miles between bridges that are too small for drift boats or rafts. I hope it won't ruin clients' experiences to see a dashing angler floating through what they were told was exclusive (odds are that's when I'll get a windknot, so that water will probably remain relatively virgin...). It takes awfully small water to be too small, and nothing is too big. It can apparently handle Class IV rapids, although mine won't see that kind of action.

Water Masters are easy to row, even for novices. I read a review by an outfitter who said he puts greenhorns in them everyday. And learning to row has increased my overall confidence on the river. I no longer feel like a feeble 8-year-old who needs an uncle to take him floating. I've finally grown up.
Yee-haw. Photo courtesy Will Jordan. 
My 2012 must-fish list has been completely revised. Different sections of well-known rivers, overlooked reservoirs, and different remote creeks made the new list. I look at fishing a little differently now.

These boats are recommended if you can afford it (even better if you can talk a buddy into getting one). Outcast makes a similar model as does Scadden  and Water Strider and probably other companies. They appear on Craigslist from time to time if you are looking for a discount. I've never rowed a pontoon-style personal watercraft, but most of the reviews I've seen rank the Water Master slightly higher for a variety of reasons (portability being the most obvious).

So hopefully (for selfish reasons) you won't see much of me this summer. I'll be where riff-raff like me rarely gains access, slinging hoppers and throwing streamers at cutoff banks. Cuz things done changed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


There is a section of of a local river that has apparently 10.77 fish per mile while flowing at about 1,500 cfs. That's about 0.00718 fish per cfs volume unit. For some perspective, the Bighorn River tailwater has something like 6,000 fish per mile and flows at about 2,300 cfs for a total of 2.076 fish per volume unit, or about 300 times the fish density of this place.
But here's what one of the 11 per mile looks like:
More like Mont-Zealand. Photo courtesy Will Jordan.
Saturday's the small-stream opener - it only gets better from here. Cheers!