the fishing life...
Yak Houses
My dad and I are a lot alike and I believe that is why spending more than a couple hours together is very difficult.  One Paul at a party is Paul-enough, two Paul’s anywhere is suicide.  This isn’t anything new.  Friends and family, have questioned this trip from its initial murmurs a year and a half ago.  “A fishing trip?  For how long?  Good luck.”  My mother told me that Brooks, a good buddy and old friend of mine, upon inquiring of my plans after graduation and the situation of the supposed 6-month fishing trip he had heard about remarked, “Oh yeah, they’re still thinking about that?  I give them two weeks.”

A week and a half of father, mother, son time in Bellingham and I believe we were all thinking the same thing…then we found sweet redemption on the Yakima.

Emotions were running pretty high, as we drifted into Cle Elum on the east side of the cascades.  Traveling east out of Seattle in less then 60 miles the landscape is transformed from a concoction of greens to a homogenous muted gray of winter weary grass,  Rolling foothills, blue skies, ponderosa pine, and lazy clear cobble streams, this is heaven.
Cle Elum
Big Paul insists it’s hell.  For the past week and a half he has managed to steer every conversation he has had towards the god-damn, no good, dirty sons of bitches that are Washington State troopers.  I swear to god I listened to him turn a conversation about the badgers center Jon Leuer’s poor play in the sweet sixteen into a rant on Washington Cops.
Jon Leuer
Scouting the Yakima on the trip out to see me in Bellingham big Paul lost control of his lead foot admiring the landscape.  Seconds later a cop in a deceiving dodge charger appeared out of nowhere and damn near collided with the bumper of my folks enclave.  It is a pretty bum deal really.  My folks were doing 57 on a road they thought was 55.  The cop wrote him for the full amount not budging an ounce, 12 over the 45 limit.

It wasn’t so much the ticket that frustrated my old man, but the manner of how he got.  Nobody likes to sideswiped and told they are wrong when they were doing what they thought was right.  It was a misunderstanding, not a criminal act.  For that misunderstanding big Paul was in fear of his insurance going up, and losing six points on his license.  So his fears and emotions snowballed a bit to the detriment of his enjoyment of the Yakima valley.  In reality, his insurance probably wouldn’t budge, the last time he got a ticket was 15 years ago, and the most points his lawyer said he would lose would be 3, the same amount Leuer finished his career off with verses Butler.  Not that he needs reminding.

The fishing was great.  I am not sure how to document this trip yet.  I have my big camera, but I don’t like to carry that with across the water and with the possibility of rain and that.  I will figure it out eventually. Bare with me.

We stopped in Cle Elum at the Troutwater Fly shop and got some tips for fishing and stream access.  I nymphed the Cle Elum for a bit the first day with no luck, it didn’t matter though it was just nice to be out on the water.
Paul and Randy with a bow
The next day we floated the Yakima through the canyon with Randy, a guide from the trout shop.  Towards the end of March and through the middle of April a handful of prominent western streams observe a famous stonefly hatch.  Skwala are stones about an inch and a half long that emerge in mass for about a month and become the trout’s favorite food.  When conditions are right, skwalas migrate from the cobble of the stream substrate to the banks of the stream where they shed their exoskeleton and wait for love.  Being cold blooded and somewhat lethargic in the springtime temperatures the slightest wind can blow them from their roost and send them careening back to the water’s surface where they are gobbled up by hungry trout.
Adult Skwala
Skwala imitation
We spent the day casting skwala imitations and waiting for the acoustic doip of fish breaching the surface to take our fly.  We landed some nice fish, got to see some beautiful country, and officially started the trip.  A good day of skwala fishing was good for the soul, and it even took big Paul’s mind off his ticket, at least for a bit.
Let it Rain...bow
The Yak was beautiful, but the weather coming in was not, we decided to head on the next day.  Montana bound, skwala bound again, and in route to the Bitterroot.

03/29/2011 17:52

Good stuff. And you made through all those paragraphs without quoting Norman, Paul, or even Rev. Maclean. I eagerly await your description of the bitteroots and fully expect it to include phrases like "the basement of time" and "timeless raindrops." Have fun buddy. Cheers.

Peter Goodwin
03/29/2011 18:14

Love the blog Paul and the stories of big Paul....hilarious! Have fun and keep the blog going!

Jacob Clymer
03/29/2011 19:46

Now that's a blog (Josh, take note).

Please keep the stories coming -- you know we all live vicariously through you.

03/29/2011 20:37

I'm totally writing about this blog in my blog...
Paul, this blog is fantastic.
Thanks for documenting and enjoy the journey.

03/29/2011 21:10

Tell MT I say hello!

03/29/2011 21:26

Paul- this is amazing. you are amazing. looking forward to seeing what all is in store for your journeys!

Heidi Link
03/30/2011 05:50

Your blog is wonderful. I love the descriptive and humorous stories. Forwarding the link onto the family as I know they will enjoy getting to follow your journey. Looking forward to the stories to come. Enjoy your adventure.

03/30/2011 06:38

I like the Yak Houses photo. I also love the fact that I am in this Blog. My prediction seems to be one that rivals Ohio State over Kansas for the championship.

Laura Madden
03/30/2011 07:52

Paul, I was laughing so hard I was crying at my people walked past...your descriptions of dad are so perfect! I think everyone could picture him as he ranted :) I know I sure could...I give you LOTS of credit for continuing to try to enlighten his soul! Enjoy your trip and keep helps those of us stuck in our hum-drum 9-5 jobs live a little! HAPPY FISHING!

Amy Brown
03/30/2011 09:39

Love the blog, Paul! Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming!

john Weidt
03/30/2011 13:45

Hey, YMP! Got your Dad's rant via phone today. Things really haven't changed all that much since he went out on the Pesheekee Grade, I guess. Keep up your blog, it's great! See you later this month (how about Ghost Lake early or late April?) and on the Bighorn in May.

Your pal,

JIm and Helga
03/31/2011 12:02

Sounds like you are having a ball. Enjoy and keep on writing!

Jim & Helga Jones

03/31/2011 15:23

Love it Paul. I knew you would find a good way to document this. I still think a book needs to come out of it though.

03/31/2011 16:23

this is great, glad we can follow along during your journey...also, brooks is starting his own blog:

the story of one man's journey through the trials and tribulations of 2011 golf season in golf sandals.

04/03/2011 08:40

Paul, it's great to read about your experience & see your awesome photos. Thank you

Jonathan Jacobs
04/03/2011 11:21

Great work. Keep it up. Charlie's correct; a book should come out of this. Here's my suggested title: Consanguinity Runs Through It

Greg Eagle Bluff
04/04/2011 11:54

When do we get a report on the equipment - new rod,reel etc.

Dee Dee
04/06/2011 04:08

I wanna be there! Ok, not for fishing, just to listen to the conversations!!

Pat (Bye) Gilane
05/29/2011 17:35

Hi young Paul,
Your Mom has led me to this blog of yours. What a fantastic writer and fishing adventurer you are - I am so enjoying keeping up with the young and the old Paul.


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