Monday, June 18, 2018

Walleye Are Delicious

The trip was the highlight of my early years.  The river would open up and it was game on. 

Quarter ounce jig heads.  Grub tails.  4 dozen nightcrawlers.  Not 2, not 3, 4 dozen boxes of worms

Running up and down from spot to spot, we caught our fair share.  In those days you couldnt keep any fish between 16 and 20 inches.  The slot it was called, and many 19 3/4 inch went back into the drink in the effort to find that one you could keep over 20 inches.

Those annual trips crystalized my fanaticism for fishing.

And as of 16 years later, I hadn't returned.

There's a million mitigating factors why we hadn't returned.  The river had drastically different flow regimes that for years made it impossible to fish properly

High School Athletics.  College.  My baseball odyssey.  Marriage, children and the like. 

An obsession with fly fishing and away from fishing gear was also firmly at the core of the change.  I had exchanged skirted jigs for cutthroats and 5 weights.

I loved fly fishing within my core.  It defined me and still does to this day.

But still, there was something missing.   Walleye are delicious.

Finally everything aligned and 3 generations of Mills boys ran from spot to spot, hooking fish and handing the rod off to my son to reel in.   It was an amazing day.

We laughed.  We threw gear.  The boat got dirty from worm dirt and fish slime.

And we piled up walleye filets.

There's quite a satisfaction with future meals vacuum packed away in the freezer, ready to share with friends and family.   We miss part of the equation unless you, at times, fish to eat.

Roll the filets in egg, coat in Panko and fry in olive oil.

Good lawd...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Candidate Lisa Brown Event

For anyone who lives in the 5th congressional district of Washington State and loves the outdoors, this event is a must attend.

The outdoor economy is massive and deserves to have it's voice heard.  From Walla Walla to Kettle Falls and all points in between, people who recreate in the wide open spaces and rivers are an economic driver who's voice Lisa Brown wants to hear from

Additionally, policies on public land, climate change, river recovery, salmon and steelhead issues need to be listed to and that's what's June 25th is all about

It's my personal opinion that our current representative is not the right choice for many of these reasons.  Cathy McMorris Rodger's bill HR3144 is decisively against salmon and steelhead recovery.  Her stated opinions on federal land transfer is scary for those who depend on public access to vast tracts of land to recreate it. 

It's high time that people who hunt, fish, hike, bike, raft, camp and any other outdoor recreational activity have a voice and I am excited to start this conversation with candidate Lisa Brown

I hope you can join us June 25th, Black Label Brewing Co in the Sarnac Commons, 19 W Main in downtown Spokane

Please RSVP to

See you there!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

High Country Cutthroat

Another beautiful piece by Todd Moen and Catch Magazine, "High Country Cutthroat" featuring my buddy Heather Hodson.   They share a beautiful place that's near and dear to my heart.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lets Not Take This So Seriously

When it gets heated, and people get pissy...

When instagram is making you thing everyone is catching hawgz and you havent caught shit

When fishing gets a tad too intense

Watch Goofy.  Laugh.  Repeat.

We're just trying to catch a fish.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

When in Yellowstone..

Headed to Yellowstone country in the near future, find your way to Big Sky Anglers

It all started with the legend Bud Lilly and the Trout Shop starting in 1950, transitioning in 2016 when local outfitters Joe Moore (Big Sky Anglers),  Justin Spence (West Yellowstone Fly Shop) and Jonathan Heames (Jonathan Heams Fly Fishing) took their 55 years of Yellowstone experience, purchased Bud Lilly's Trout Shop and formed the dream team and shop at Big Sky Anglers

There are choices upon choices when headed into the park and the surrounding waters, and it really pays to have boots on the ground intel that can make the difference between a lackluster trip and success

The amenities of this shop are next level.

Need a guided trip...boom, done.  There are 10 lifetimes of water to fish within the scope of Big Sky Anglers guiding and their guides can take you to the best of the best.  Names of rivers and lakes that live in dreams, and they'll take you there

The usual and hard to find fly tying items, taken care of.

Local patterns tied by local experts, yep.

An active blog with reams of timely knowledge dropped on the regular.  You bet.

Years and years of experience with hosted travel and other destinations across the globe, especially in Patagonia and Chile....totally

On, and on and on...

Look, it you need anything when in the Yellowstone region, this is your shop.

Couple of other key items to keep in mind

Follow BSA on Instagram , throw them a like on FB and sign up for their newsletter.  This will be the quickest way to get plugged in to their steady stream of updated content and information that the shop is known for.

I cant wait to get out there this year, and you can bet I'll be spending my time and money with Big Sky Anglers.  See you there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Historical Documents...

A window to the outdoor world in 1964 and 1965.  Yard sale gold, ready to come to my home after sitting untouched in an old tackle box for decades.

From the era of the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.  The time of Vietnam.

54 years ago.

Combination hunting and fishing licenses were $8.  Your deer tag was $2, Elk $7.50, and in case you were wondering you could pick up a beaver tag for just one American dollar.

The real find, the untouched 1964 steelhead "punch" card.  I remember my father always calling them a punch card but I personally had never seen one.  Catch a fish and punch the dot and take your fish home. 

On the back of the card...

"Your game department plants more than 2 million downstream migrant steelhead each year.  The information received from your punch card is vital in determining the success of these plants.  You will help your steelhead program by turning in your punch card"

Hilarious.   There are almost 2 million plants in the Columbia system alone now...

The window is an amazing look back.   May we learn from our history.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Bundyville Podcast...


I'm just up for air after taking in the whole 7 part podcast series "Bundyville" from award winning journalist Lean Sottile, Long Reads and Oregon Public Broadcasting

It's a full detail on the Bundy family saga and their attack on public lands in the west.  It's a beautiful example of in depth reporting that finds the nuances and clashes that go back a hundred years or more that boiled up and created what we saw in 2014 at the Bundy Ranch and eventually Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

If you're a public lands advocate, I hightly suggest spending some time and listening to this series.  Get to know the players saga.  See how the federal land transfer advocates are cozying up to this crazy family. Make your own conclusions on how this rogue family is trying to create their own set of rules and inciting violence all while giving the middle finger to public land owners in this country.

It's worth your time.

Click HERE to start your journey down this rabbit hole.  Enjoy.