Friday, July 3, 2015

Blast From Conservation's Past

Down in a dusty basement of a second hand book store, I found this gem of steelhead conservation's past

The book, Fly Fishing for Steelhead was written in 1982 by Bill Stinson, was more of a how to guide but you can see that even back then people understood that there was trouble on the horizon.

Asking around through the network of steelheaders I know, this poster was first used in the early 80's on the Washougal and Wind Rivers in SW Washington and created by Bill McMillian, Clark Skamania Fly Fishers and WDFW.

It must have been so counter culture to stick your neck out and promote conservation like this back then.    Good on them for starting the fight.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blocked By Concrete...

Mountains of concrete block their way.   No passage, no quarter, firm isolation.

The wild redband rainbows of Eastern Washington are steelhead of the landlocked variety.  I can feel it in every ounce of their power when we tussle for time to time.

So I dream about what could have been with adequate fish passage.   I have a feeling it could have been amazing.

Nothing's perfect.  It's a dream of a problem that has no good solution.  We've done a great job at screwing up perfection but who knows what the next 50 years brings.

It could be great.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fishing Industry Legend's Doppleganger....

Meet Rodney, one of our fishing buddies.

First time I met him, the thought came to me.

This is what you get when you cross angling literary legand John Gierach and Mr Walker's Cay Cronicles, Flip Pallot

The combined resemblance is uncanny.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It Will Be Cold Again....

104, 102, 103

The next three days expected high temps.   As hell's inferno is about to descend upon the Pacific Northwest, I find solace in that it will be cold again.

The blast furnace of summer will subside and the crisp mornings of fall are just around the corner.  Summer will hold on but Fall will always win.  It always does and we who love more than just tubing around on a lake will come alive at the bounty of September and October. 

Beyond that, what really keeps me going through the heat of hades is the thought of stepping into 40 degree water in December in a canyon so calm, so quiet that my soul resonates at it's highest frequency. 

It also helps that the fishing is damn good too.

So I smile at you triple digits, your days are numbered.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thanks Dad...

For being my role model throughout my life

also for.....

Telling me hunting fishing stories every night when I was very young.  I was spellbound and remember ever story from Shocktaw Ridge

Taking me on the Salmon River when I was 9.  That overnight rafting trip was special, I saw my first shooting star and I was convinced ever rock that my mepps spinner hit was a fish.

Being my chauffeur to a million and a half soccer, baseball and basketball practice, including the horrific 6am weight lifting classes my freshman year in high school.

Being there for all my outdoor firsts, including that great and special moment when those two mulies came running down the treeline and we tagged out together.  Buck fever be damned!

Not laughing as I missed about 400 grouse when I was 13 on Rodgers Peak.  Now that was a terrible display of shooting, considering I dont think I had ever seen you miss....ever.

For telling me before every one of my baseball games when I was the starting pitcher to have fun. Just have fun.  Also for talking shit to the opposing parents.  It was hard not to laugh from the mound

Walleye fishing on Lake Roosevelt, trolling for Macs at the cabin, running down pheasants on the Palouse, adventures in deer hunting

That trip to Fernie was amazing.  Catching that first fish on the fly rod and that was that.

Being ready to roll anytime.  Drive 22 hours to the Skeena, fish the Snake in 32 degree water temps, old age be damned.

For teaching me a few tricks in advertising, even if your the last human alive who survives via fax.

I take great pride in watching the faces of my friends as they are amazed at your ability to catch fish. Getting out-fished by OMR is just normal to me.

Most of all, thanks Dad....happy father's day!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wrapping Hairwings...

Lets temper ourselves with the realization that steelhead eat gobs of eggs, diver plugs, beads and oh bass worms.

But on the converse, they also eat some of the most beautiful hand tied creations that can pass as works of art.

Traditional steelhead hairwings are so damn cool, and so damn effective.

My work on the vice is far from that, but the journey of getting better gives me something to shoot for.    Like the junior high kid who plays pickup basketball with the high schoolers, I have been fortunate to become friends with some of the best bug wrappers who challenge me to up my game

I cant thank them enough.

You can only go so far on your own.    That's why I love this sport so much, the best are so willing to help.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Dont call it a comeback, I've been here for years

Fishing has always been there, always