Sunday, January 31, 2010

Take that Crowds....Powwww! Snap! Bammm!

Up and down the holy water all day, and what did we see....truck after car after truck after car. One of my favorite, favorite runs had SEVEN cars parked in the take out. Yeeesh

All day long we were five minutes late to every hole. Literally. We'd pull up and some guy was just walking into the spot. It was starting to get frustrating.

OMR did break the ice and his previous skunk streak with a nice buck

Wear the bunny ears dad, wear it!

Finally, we THOUGHT we had the hole shot on my favorite place on this section of water. Walking in, we were again aced by two gentlemen with gear that is opposite of fly. I say gentlemen because that's what they were. Nice stream-side conversation, and they had fantastic attitudes. They invited us to follow us down. There was no bullshit dividing line. In truth, a gear slinger and a fly thrower should be able to work the run back to back. You're working two different sections of water. No harm, no foul...there's enough to go around.

No problem, we'll wait our turn.

As the gear guy worked their way down the run....that's when the baloney macaroni happened.

3 guys came walking up from the run way below us and posted up in the BOTTOM of the run, effectively cutting us off, including the baitcasters. Part of me wanted to rip a new you know what in their butts, but I had a feeling they just didnt know what proper steelhead ettiquite is and or was. Later on, this was confirmed. Now they have no excuse for that BS.

OMR, dropping bombs amongst the peanut gallery

So feeling a little dejected and fed up with crowds in JANUARY (of all times!!!), I made this remark to OMR

"Well, I might as well work on my spey casting, because with these crowds, I wont be catching anything"

Wrong.. So very wrong

Cold water. January. Crowds. To hell with them.

Second snap T and into the swing, paydirt was found

It was probably the most rewarding yank yank yank pullllllllllllllll that I have had this entire season. This lovely little player went into the air 3 times instantly, and peeled off a considerable amount of line before coming to hand. What a fight for 38 degree water temps. Honesty it was the type of yank the rod out of your hand pull you'd expect in September, not in mid winter.

Yep....a grati "fly" ing moment.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Images that stick on the brain...

Some of the best pictures don't fall into the grip and grin mode, but in capturing the moment of motion. Each photo has the ability to showcase what was going on at that exact time, and that's what I love out documenting our trips a field with my camera.

Munny's first steel.

Pidgeon Hole...GR

Scotty Dub and Jergens...Methowsers.

Murph Dog... home on the river

Some images from trips just stay with you...long after the trip is done

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brian, you're in dire need of reset expectations...

Because Steelheading will never be this easy ever again!

What a joy it is to watch someone have success on their first stay of fishing for steel. But really, four in your first day?....Jesus Christe, you need to go buy a lottery ticket Brian!

The first cast of the day produced a nice hatchery buck, and one hour later he had 3 on the bank.

Murph Dog...getting her fish licks in....

It goes to show you a little bit of luck is always involved in fishing. Veteran fish wrangler OMR was blanked for the day, and I pulled out an eleventh hour buck just before the closing bell.

Brian on the other hand....he just kept putting in work. As OMR and I reeled up to end the day, literally 2 seconds from telling Brian it was time to go, he set the hook on his 4th hatchery steelhead.

It was an unreal display. Good for you Brian, but now you owe about five fish-less days to the Steelhead gods

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Going Fishing Tomorrow

No PBR will be violated.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conflicts, interweb tough guys, and my bad taste

Hello interweb followers

I have a confession to make. I posted a controversial picture. It set off an interwebs shit storm.

Dont worry about the back story, just read the comments here

Its just amazing the voracity that people come at you without getting to know you first. I especially love the posts from the "Anonymous" guy....way to man up there!

Thank you internet tough guys...

I have learned my lesson. I understand that by posting the picture, it gives people the opportunity to mislabel, to judge, to make me into who I am not. For that, I am sorry to have given them that opportunity

In respect to the fish in the picture, I understand why people were offended. In truth, I ran out of plastic bags that I usually put it in. That fish was quickly dispatched, gutted and layed out on the river rocks to await transport. It was immediately smoked and is now being enjoyed by my family and my clients

The old guard vs the new guard, the tweed vs's all a bullshit dividing line that shouldnt be there. Steelhead face a complex future and we all know that. I just want to be part of the solution and again....if my picture took away from the betterment of the bad

I struggle to adequately express my angst here about the offending parties. Most tell me to let it blow over, and the people that KNOW me and Steelie Mike for that matter, all agree these guys are completely misguided.

But now I know.....don't slip up, because the internets is going to get you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A January Gift

When your day starts like this

And you get to fish like this

On the big river

and you get willing playaaa's like this

and this...(nice fish for Bo)

Its a gift in January....

Special Offer from PBR

Besides winning a ribbon in 1892.....PBR has a new offer out in all of it's 12 pack of cans

One Hatcherty Steelhead in every box. It's been test marketed on the Columbia River System here this fall, soon coming to the coast and the Great Lake Tribs here this winter

Friday, January 15, 2010

This dude knows photo's

Rick Willauer....he's pretty damn good with the lenses

Rick Willauer is the younger brother of buddy Joe, of Evolution Anglers. Grad student, guide, photog, etc....

As Joe wrote previously wrote on his blog, you might not know Rick's work yet....but put a heavy emphasis on the key word, "yet"

I admire Ricks shot's for the laser clear focus and the ability to find the shots outside of the hero grip and grins...but even those ones are awesome

Steelface...pre bonk

View Rick's up and coming work here

Remember Rick...when The Drake Magazine calls you to go shoot a trip in Alaska, tell them you need some guys to fill out the fishing roster....that's all I'm saying.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Big Top's Coming Down

"The Circus is falling down on it's knees, big top is crumbling down"
--Adam Duritz, Counting Crows, "Raining in Baltimore"

Besides being the opening lyrics on one of my favorite songs, the above mention quote aptly put an end to the first edition of Steelhead Camp this year on the Grande Ronde

We had grand aspirations to leave it up through the end of February, but the reality becomes that less and less of our tribe will make the crazy three hour drive (one way) down to the Ronde to chase fish that entered the Columbia in June.

This summer and fall season chasing steelhead was flat out amazing. A big thanks to all my boys out there who helped fill it with memories and fish...and possibly a few empty beers. More and more I am drawn away from nymphing for the pull of my spey rod and this fall was especially accommodating to a rookie two hander.

We still will do our job at reducing hatchery fish through February and reveling in the glory that is everything steelhead...including leaking waders, busted tippet, mouth-breathing gear slingers and fishless days

Why? Because when it comes together, there's nothing better. Here's to the hope that next year's run comes back to us with the eagerness that this years did.

Look for the 2010 edition of Steelface camp in September.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I dont know where this luck is coming from

When I see other's pictures from the outdoors and fly fishing....then I see mine, I get the feeling that I am a total hack

Every once in a while, I kick out a good photo. Apparently the good people at
thought enough of my shot from the Owyhee that they awarded me third place a little contest they had.

Here's the shot that gots me some winnings

Big ups to Fly and midwestcustomflyrods for providing the loot.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Of Dogs, Dekes and Ducks

New Years in Wenatchee, two days on the river, two opportunities to duck hunt.

Murphy made me a proud owner. Her first duck hunt was a success.

El Murph-o went nuts each time we hit the calls. It only took her a little while to get the hang of it. Go out on the ledge, wait till we touched off the 12 gages, retrieve the dead ones...

Kevin dropped a little duck knowledge on me.....

Day two's duck getter.....Kota.

Hunkered down in a blind, watching Widgeon circle your spread....the anticipation is just amazing. I don't think there's a more exciting phrase in hunting than