Monday, January 16, 2017

The Final Bell

One more time before the season ended.

One more time to follow the dogs as they followed their noses.  To call them off only to regret the decision as the bird rocketed up....out of range

Another time to miss an easy shot but follow it up with what felt like an impossible make.

To get stuck in a 4 foot drift and wallow out.  To listen to the impossible silence and follow all the evidence of animals past travels.  To have ice crystals form on your beard and wind burn on your face.....

One more time to follow a hunch, devise a plan and watch it come together.

We can only be so lucky to be intentional and own every day we live.

I choose to hunt the last day.

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Son's Fly...

Most of the time, he sits behind me content to watch his cartoons and eat cereal.

You never know how much they're watching you.

Today he came over and asked, "Daddy, can i fly ties with you"

Most certainly young man, you bet.

He had a great time wrapping the thread and picking out the materials.  All his choices.

In the end, the fly is a monstrosity of materials but to me, it's art.

For now forward, that fly will always be on my tying desk.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Conservationist of the Year...

To initiate change in the world of steelhead conservation is no easy task.  It takes resolve and sticking to your guns through the many ups and downs that come when trying to do what's best for the the fish and the environment

In 2001, Rich Simms and a small group of like minded anglers founded the Wild Steelhead Coalition with the goal of reversing the trend of what was happening state and coast wide to wild steelhead stocks.  For 15 years, he's kept his head down working to do what's right with little fanfare of accolades.

Well that's anonymity is gone now,  as Rich has been named the 2017 Fly Fisherman Magazine's Conservationist of the Year.  You can see the full article in January's edition of the print magazine.

I couldn't be more prouder of a man I consider a mentor in the world of conservation.  His steadfast dedication is the model of how you fight the good fight, take in the small victories as you push to real wins like finally getting Washington State to ban the retention of wild steelhead.
The challenges and opposition are always there, but Rich is there to meet them all head on with his customary smile.

Here here Mr Simms, congrats.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Know It's Cold When...

When ice instantly forms on your legs as you get out of the water...

you know it's cold.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Paying Your Gear Forward...

The box arrived at my door in 2009 and I couldn't believe what it contained

A gentlemen that I had spoken to via a fly fishing forum found out that I was headed to Belize in a couple weeks but didn't have a suitable 10 wt set up for the bigger quarry that I would be encountering.

So without me asking, he paid his gear forward.

Inside that box was a top shelf set up that I could have never afforded at that time in my life.  It was one of the first big lessons in how giving our community is and what role karma can have on a trip.

Over the years other boxes have shown up at my doorstep with fly fishing gear to accompany me on trips abroad, without much of a stipulation or question of when I'd return it.  10 and 12 weight rods, gigantic large arbored reels to put the brakes on thuggish fish, flies tied with the utmost precision, pre tied leaders to corral the biggest of oversized gigantic herring, so on and so forth.

Finally it's my turn to return the favor.  A buddy called and said he's going to Talum, Mexico and asked if there were fishing opportunities there.

Yes my friend, yes.   Lots and lots of Bonefish

My bonefish box and associative big flies for big fish aren't getting used any time soon.   The 10 wt is currently collecting dust in the closet.  I have warranties on the reels.

Time to pay my gear forward

I'm getting excited for him with his trip approaching, almost like a part of me is going with him on that trip.  It's fun to be on the other side of the karmic equation and cant wait to see him grinning ear to ear with his first bonefish to hand.

If you get the chance to put your gear in someone else's hand.  Give it a shot.  It may bring you great luck when your time comes to chase exotic fish in some beautiful exotic place.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Wild Trout: A Montana Fish Story

Wild Trout: A Montana Fish Story from Trout Unlimited on Vimeo.

Dick Vincent stepped away from the normal policy of his day and advocated for wild fish management in Montana decades ago.  Now, most say that fishing is better today than it was when they stocked rivers and streams in Montana.

Maybe a lesson to be learned within the Steelhead arena.....

Monday, December 19, 2016


The mall parking lots will be jammed packed this week in anticipation of the big day.  Stress levels are as raised as they get as folks clammer around to find and give the best gifts they possibly can for their loved ones

Here's an idea.

Maybe stay out of the mall and contact a few of the artisan craftsmen or women you follow on social media.

Give a gift with soul, that might come alive on a river and connect them with something that breathes life into the person who's using it.

Maybe find a gift from a company that gives back to your favorite conservation organizations,..or a print from an artist who's work is stamped with the soul of British Columbia....

How about a hat or a shirt from a guy who's taking care of disadvantaged youths and returning war veterans?

Or a guy that makes ridiculous fish art, 

Or give a book that can awaken the soul of river stewards around the world

Want to go big and really make an impression?

What about a bench made classic reel, or perhaps the gift of experience with a guided trip...?

Perhaps a subscription to one of the best magazines out there that captures the essence of steelhead and atlantic salmon craziness?

Even better, donate in the name of someone to a cause worth fighting for.

You see, there's so many options out there that keeps you out of the stores that end in Mart or rhymes with  Bacy's.  I bet there's even time and shipping options to make it happen before December 25th.