This week there were several groups making their annual return trek to Marble Mountain Ranch in pursuit of Steelhead.  These particular groups tend to be more self sufficient and do their own meals in the cabins and bank fish rather than hiring me or my guide staff to lead them to the fish.  However, the first questions put on the table on their arrival are usually some versions of “Where are the fish?”,  “What patterns are hot?”, and “Are their any changes in the river?”

The second question “What patterns are hot?” usually follows with an examination of my guests fly boxes to make recommendations on the most likely to succeed fly patterns in their arsenal.  Unfortunately, I tend to subscribe to the idea that the fly pattern is about 5th or 6th on the list of manageable factors that might affect your success in hooking-up with a fish.  But fortunately (for me at least), I am also the self proclaimed president of the “Somes Bar Liars Club.”

As a chief executive officer of the Somes Bar Liars Club, I am permitted to exceed the limiting “3% false-hood maximum ratio” of fabrication/truth.   Accordingly,  my suggestions as to the best fly pattern tend to be more aimed at my personal aesthetic choices and at my bettered chances of turning a profit.

“Have you got one of my daughter’s DRAMA QUEEN flies?”   follows with the natural response of “What is a DRAMA QUEEN?”

Ahem, how much money is in your pocket? and if it is under $20 then I will most likely only be able to show you one of her “Bear’s Breath” flies.  The BEAR’S BREATH is good on a dark day, but this week you will need the flash in a #6 DRAMA QUEEN if you have any hope of success.  Of course you might also use her weighted fly the “ROMAN” to get that fly down in front of the steelhead’s nose.  (The roman is a mass of drab dubbing with copper wire wound at the head to create the “helmet” of the warrior fly)

I love my job here!  I can usually put $20 into my daughter’s college fund after their 2nd or third slow day fishing in my suggested hot lie that I have not had any success in this year.   Sometimes, I can also get a paid guide day before they leave, and show them exactly where to cast their new Drama Queen, how much to stack mend while letting it sink, how fast the water should be for a good swinging presentation, and how long to fish the hang-down prior to fishing back on the retrieve.  It’s amazing how hot a drama queen can be when it is fished 5th or 6th behind all those other more difficult to manage parameters that are put in their proper position.   It’s a steal at only $20!  By the way, annual memberships in the Somes Bar Liars Club are only $75 and I promise I will send you the monthly newsletter.

Here are a picture my son  Adam took today at the creek behind our ranch:

We are in that winter pattern of regular rain events.  We are comming out of a rather short but intense rain and heading into a couple of days of “showers”.  The river flows are looking good for the moment though, here is a flow chart:

Ideally, I like to fish with flows in Orleans under 3000cfs, but my acceptable range for local fishing (near our ranch/lodge) is with flows under 4000cfs.

Finally, I would like to end with a cool shot of my wife Heidi’s boat.
This is a 25 year old classic Willie boat with retro-fitted level casting decks bow and stern, and with after-market Hyde stern casting braces added.  I am fishing Saturday and Sunday and will follow-up with a sales report on market trends for my daughter’s hand tied flies, and with a current fishing report that is truthful (I promise!   Trust me!)   Doug