TEAM RUGGED: back from Chopaka

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Whitey, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. Where do I start. Left late on thursday do to truck issues, dead battery, power steering gear box leaking fluid. Not good. Rolled into Chopaka late thursday night just in time to set up camp and make a few casts. It got cold, really cold. Shivered in the tent all night only to wake up to a snow storm. Blowing snow sideways till about noon. Finally got out on the water, hooked a few fish, leech patterns seemed to do the trick. Stayed cold, got down right cold friday night, in the teens. We were the only people there dumb enough to have a nylon tent, everybody else(the hunters) had R.V.'s or heated canvas tents. Woke up saturday to meet a new friend, Sparse Grey Hackle, on his way back from B.C. fished most of the day, Me and SGH did pretty well, MacRowdy was slacking. :LOVEIT MacRowdy said, "Boys, I'm gonna match the hatch" We said, "are ya now?" He said, "five inch bunny leech" We laughed. Started wondering if anyone else would show up, finally at around 9 p.m. Chris shows up. Came over for just the one night, we stayed up till 2:30 a.m. yakking it up, consuming liquids by the fire. Cool dude, Great to finally meet the Master of this site. Had to head back early, left Sparse and Chris to hit it up in the morning. Great trip, made some new friends. damn Cold though. BBrrrrr!

    Team Rugged Members:
    Whitey-a.k.a. "the fat kid" nough said.
    MacRowdy-a.k.a. "the mountain man" whose missing a few chromozones. too many nights in the woods!(alone!)
    Sparse Grey Hackle-a.k.a. "the ultra rugged minimalist" this guy could spent a week in the woods with a knife, a roll of TP, and a can of Skoal.
    Chris-a.k.a. "Tuffy McTufferson" big guy, 6'2 about 220lbs. looks like he could break out cans of Whoop Ass at will. Super nice guy though. I won't be ruffling his feathers on this site anymore!

  2. Lest there be confusion, the ORIGINAL Sparse Gray Hackle, Alfred Miller, died a number of years ago. He was a great author! Like me, someone likely copped the name of a famous person. "Super Dave" Osborne was a famous TV stuntman.

    This report convinces me that I've ben to Chopaka for the last time this year. Thanks for sharing your pain and suffering here so that I don't have to experience it!
  3. Man, we must have picked the right weekend to go, the weather was beautiful, just a chill in the air at night, when we were there. Glad you had fun.

  4. No confusion dude. We had many conversations about the real Sparse Grey Hackle. The guy we were with is an avid fan of the real author. guess thats why he took the name on this website. Ya, Chopaka is a hunters camp now. Wish we went last week with Gary B. I probaly wouldn't do it again in October. But, then again, we are Team Rugged. :THUMBSUP YT
  5. Sounds like a great trip :)
  6. Cans of whoop ass? Yes, 12 of them. All of which whooped my ass. Oh me achy head.

    Chopaka came down with a case of lock jaw this morning. A few hits total, but nothing to hand. Headed out a little after noon and stopped to take a look at a creek finding it to be chalk full of some really nice trout. Unfortunately the land owner wasn't game, oh well.

    You guys left at the right time. When I came through Cle Elum, or approached it, it was stop and go starting 5 miles outside of town and they forced you to go through Cle Elum. Someone was a little busy with the zippo setting a few roadside brush fires.

    Had a fun time with you guys, we'll have to do it again.

    Off to the Grande Ronde.


  7. Nice report guys. Sorry I missed the trip. I was up at Blue a few weeks ago and there was a bit of nip in the air then, so I can imagine what it was like this past weekend. We've got three more trips east planned this fall so I'll pack the heavy bag.
    Tip: Don't leave insulated waders outside at night! They are impossible to get on when they freeze.

    I like the pics!
  8. The Ruggedness

    Why you gotta be diss'n on Bubba. Bubba is a super rugged pimp. Not everyone can have perfect teeth. I had forgot how good you were doing on saturday(skunked), sucker!! :LOVEIT :THUMBSUP YT
  9. The Ruggedness

    First of all, I am Sparse Grey Hackle! I am reborn in different souls from generation to generation. Didn't you know that? I could tell you the name of the body that I am living in right now, but being anonymous is what makes Sparse Grey Hackle who he is (reference: See "Who is Sparse Grey Hackle" from Fishless Days, Angling Nights.

    Regardless, team Ruggedness has an anthem, and that anthem is "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger----"YOUR MOTORIN'..."
    What's funny is this was the second time this year when a flyfishing lake has busted into full chorus of "Sister Christian." Night Ranger must be somewhat close to the pulse of flyfishing. Sort of like how when you watch one of those PBS Native American flicks and somebody beats on a deerskin drum the whole movie. Yeah, that's how Night Ranger is to fly fishing...

    These last 9 days of vacation were entertaining. Spent the first 3 up in the Foss Lakes near Skykomish freezing my nutz off and then I went up to Little Fort-100 Mile House-Kamloops and freezed them off some more. So it goes to figure that by the time a low pressure system from the north met up with Whitey, MacRowdy, Chris and myself, "I 'dun had no nutz to freeze," so officially I was a gelding and made out better than the others.

    I was fortunate to be in the presence of such a great group of guys. For example, Chris drove all the way to Chopaka simply to keep a promise to drink frosty beverages with Team Ruggedness and then proceeded to wake up, take out the poop the sinister "cat" had placed in his mouth after a night of drinking, and he toughed out a couple of fruitless hours with fickle fish the next morning. The purpose of this drive was merely to keep a promise he made to show (in leiu of the fact that late minute work essentially should have put the ka-bosh on his original plans to attend). You don't see many people these days of such character. Whitey and MacRowdy, the car-camping maximalists essentially brought their entire kitchen with them and they force-fed me like a dinner from your grandmother. Yeah, good people.

    By the way, on my way home I saw the north end of Lake Lenore all glassy with nobody on it. So you'll never guess what happened.. I proceeded to trick lahontan cutthroat into eating steel combined with essentially the contents of a dustpan. I then molested these trout for a period of 15 seconds before releasing them, confused and frightened into their home waters. It was an event not to miss!


    Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
    (Sir Izaak Walton)
  10. The Ruggedness

    You are Killing me Sparse! Hahahaha. So good to meet you. You freakin guru. I haven't finished the second half of my post yet.

    So Saturday morning Whitey and I wake up to none other than the pipe smokin, beard wearing, eloquent speaking, kokanee drinking, Kingpin Lake fishing Guru who is Sparse Gray Hackle. He was a smiling chap with teeth like Teddy Roosevelt. I made him drink some hot cocoa and then we hit the lake.

    Yes completely skunked on saturday. Had a few fish on, got broken off once (on a 5 inch black bunny leach) and basically had a crappy but hilarious fishing day with a little "Motorin" rolling of my tongue in harmony with the others. I think I must have hurt the fish's ears or something.

    I made Sparse finish off the roast I cooked for Whitey on friday(which he wouldn't touch). And then I pretty much force fed him a bunch of my mom's banana bread. I had two loafs.

    As has been mentioned Chris pulled up around 9 or so with 12 beers and a chair and that started a fabulous bull session. I thought that Old Man could swear. These guys can cuss like sailors and drink like Micks. I was busy trying to melt glass while these fellas pounded. Old Sparse was a machine. Chris in true indominatable form fished in the banks at 2am by the 2million candle power flashlight that Whitey brought from home. It was classic. Note to self: "Never try to unsnag Chris' line for him after he has had 12 beers."

    We left these guys snoring around 7am and headed home to meet prior obligations. Felt bad we couldn't stick around and kick it with these guys. I had a blast.

    The Icing on the cake for me was when Whitey and I went back to the Tonasket Texaco to gas up before leaving and I popped in my Bubba teeth and shopped around that mini mart acting all normal. The people didn't even stare it was great! hahahahah

  11. The Ruggedness

    Couldn't agree more about Chris, what a stud for showing up for only 16 hours. that's a long ass drive. Good to hear about Lenore, nice job. I forgot to mention ealier that MacRowdy bought a Potroast and cooked it a dutch oven. now thats "maximalist" camping! See ya soon! :THUMBSUP YT
  12. The Ruggedness

    Hey sparse,

    E-mail me your contact info at:

    Peace bro.

  13. The Ruggedness

    Here are some of the Highlights:
    Took a ride on the Short bus at Whitey's house before we left. :THUMBSUP
    When we pulled up to the Texaco in Tonasket there were these "Rough Toughs" in a pick up truck with pontoon boats in the back. They were eyeing Whitey and I like they: A) Wanted our autographs or B) Wanted to kick the trash out of us.
    Middle of the night all I could hear was Whitey's snoring, let's put it this way, I sleep with earplugs and he still woke me up, it was truly amazing. And then the SNOW. We left so much stuff outside it was ridiculous. Wood, Stoves, Dutch oven, basically everything. It blew blew and blew some more. Our tents, blanketed. My un-inflated float tube, stiff as a board.
    As we got ready to fish we met the most amazing person. We'll call him "Bubba". Now Whitey is a big boy but "Bubba"... Old Bubba made Whitey look like a Shrimp. He and his buddy were doing a little "Fishn" in preparation for opening day of "huntn" season. The coolest thing about Bubba was his teeth. I should have asked him if he would be willing to open some cans for me.
    Now I am not much of a lake fisherman. I kicked around and around working on my patented "zigzag" technique (works the wonders) and I threw everything in my fly box except one fly "The 5 inch Bunny Leech" I have tied up an assortment of these magic bunnies just in case of an emergency. And I was having one. Since Whitey is a "Zen Master" he had already had 3 fish on by the time I zigzagged up to him. I asked him what they were biting on and he said "Black Wooley Bugger". That's when I unveiled Mr. Peter Cotton Tail. No Sooner had Peter got wet than I had my first hookup. 4 casts later I brought 3 more fish to hand. I was "one punch like the champ". For barb less fishing it was pretty amazing. Can you imagine the gloating that took place? Hahaha!:LOVEIT :LOVEIT :LOVEIT Saturday was a different story but Friday was a great day!

    P.S. Here is a picture of what Bubba's "Can Opener" Grill looked like:

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