Friday, February 5, 2016

Home Water....

I had not been back to this stretch of river in over 2 years.   It was where we cut our teeth learning to fly fish for steelhead and our default spot to go to.

The minute I stepped into the flow, I could tell I had missed it

Its just a little farther, takes a little bit more effort to get to.  Conditions can vary quickly and other rivers can be a safer and sometimes a more productive bet later in the season

Checking the weather and cfs predictions, we saw the window upcoming where it was all going to come together.

Wifey approval, check.  Vacation day submitted, check.   Crew assembled, check!

We dropped the boat in at the first launch I ever used on this river years ago and the fish cooperated, the weather cooperated, the river cooperated.  

It just felt right.  It felt like home.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Get Bent...

In the happy place, doing happy things, with pissed off fishes.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Tribute to Jerry...

The world lost a great sportsman this past weekend.  Gerald Mills, my father's brother and my eldest uncle, passed away after 85 big years

Father, husband, war veteran, many other titles to list, but I knew him best as Uncle Jerry.

The oldest brother in my father's siblings, he was directly responsible for my passion for the outdoors.  If it wasnt for him dragging his kid brother along with him deer hunting and salmon fishing, OMR would have never had the foundation to give to me.

All the stories that made up the outdoor theater of bedtime as a young boy, tales of deer hunting in Eastern Oregon. Fishing off Mills's rock on the Kalama, so on and so on.  They all had the reoccurring theme, Jerry was there to take my dad along and in turn light his outdoor fire.  To my grandfather, hunting and fishing was a take it or leave it proposition.  For Jerry it was a passion.

For me Uncle Jerry was such a welcome sight when our side of the family made it to Portland.  To know he wont be there when we go back is a tough pillow to swallow.

But the good thing is that his spirit lives on, every time we go outside to hunt or fish

Thanks Uncle Jer...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

F3T Spokane February 2nd

Holy shit, they're back.

I cant believe its been 10 years when the ragtag crew rolled into town and blew our collective minds with the inaugural Fly Fishing Film Tour.  I sat there in the theater with my mouth agape,  attitude growing worse by the second because OMR and my buddies were headed to Belize to do the very thing I was watching on the screen.

The next day when they left I fished the Spokane in 20 degree weather.  Let's say it wasn't the same experience they had.

This year's lineup looks interesting.  This is the film that's piqued my interest the most.  It's about Steelhead, shocker right?

Here's the hot tip.  Dont show up to the Bing Crosby Theater on the night of the show and expect there to be a mass amount of tickets available.  This event tends to sell out

Pick up your tickets at The Silver Bow Fly Shop, Swedes, Castaway Fly Shop and Northwest Outfitters.  A trip to your local fly shop never hurt anyone.  You know you need more flashabou and size 2 Owner SSW stinger hooks.  Duh.

Get more info on the full tour and when it's coming to your town at the Film Tour's interwebz site.

See you February 2nd!

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Streak Unbroken...

The dogs worked the cover, but the hours were draining away.  It wasn't looking likely

I can still remember my first pheasant when I was 13 years old.   From then to now, it's been an unbroken line of at least one successful hunt a year.

21 years completed, the 22nd year was hanging in the balance.  

Normally streaks and records are for the birds and only serve to measure the ego but for some reason, it meant a lot for me.  My first pheasant was my first big outdoor accomplishment, I loved pheasant hunting more than anything before steelhead came along.

The only other day this season was a fruitless endeavor with nary a shot fired.   Birds scattered into the air as we pulled up to our spots, wild as wild can get.  This does nothing to also mention the bird numbers were low after a brutal summer drought.

But the streak was given a last shot reprieve on the last day of the season.

Working through the last bit of cover on the last piece of ground we had access to, the dogs snapped into gear.  The scent drove them to a new speed, nose to the ground....checking every piece of dirt because a pheasant was near.  Their noses said so, so it must be.

Both dogs dove into a particular clump of grass and the bird thundered away.

The first shot was a complete wiff.  It's amazing how time slows and you can adjust between shots.

The second shot hit the mark.

The streak continues.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Blogging Aint Dead...

Nope, blogging isnt dead.  You just have to find great content

I'll admit it, there's been a couple of times over the past year that I've really been bummed out as some of my favorite outdoor blogs have gone the way of the wooly mammoth.

Buster's Wants To Fish.  Dead.  So many others, withering at the vine without posts for months and months.

Writing this stuff, I begin to wonder.  Why are these great creative and well written blogs dead or dying?

The truth is.....some are gone, but many others step up with amazing content to fill the void.  Running a blog can be a time consuming proposition, and there can be a finite life cycle to any project on the intewebz.  Life changes, evolves and moves on.  Great sites come up daily to fill the void.

You just have to find them.

Case in point,  if you're about fly fishing, upland and waterfowl hunting, mountain biking and a lot more, go check out THIS LONG HAUL.   This project is founded by two buddies who have their own style and voice, which brings great diversity to the content.  The photography is excellent as well

Couple other great blogs that I have recently found and love....

Dawn Patrol --  This dude's got soul.  Connectivity to the land and his family and the ever present wanderlust to find out what's in the next run around the bend

Illcentrifugal-   Photography that makes me think and laugh all the time.  So much is captured in just a photo, they do truly represent a thousand words.

Stalking the Seam-  Bursting with content, 2 guys that are extremely on point with consistent writing that I love.  The guys are family men just like me, balancing their passions for the outdoors

The point is, the content is there.  If you find one you love, spread the word about it.   We who write these blogs can say its only about a creative outlet, but it's awesome to know when people like what you put out there.

Blogging isn't dead folks.  The content is there, go find it.