Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fly Fishing helps you find some classy joints

On a post work fishing exploratory mission, I found the greatest named dive bar of all time. 

The Dirty Shame Saloon.


Maybe it's the proximity to backwoods places or maybe a fly rod in your hand that serves as a magnet to theses places, but we always find them.  They're always filled with a cast of bar characters and quirky proprietor who don't really care if your boots are still wet and give you the "well come on in, stop letting the AC out" look on their faces

Here's the funny thing too about these little dive bars.  All of them have some sort of menu specialty they hang their hat on.  At the Dirty Shame, the make a mean pie....loaded to the 9's.  I had two pieces of this beast and I feel like I ate a pillow...A delicious pillow

And the last indicator of how cool this place is.....

You never have that pesky question of "how much does that cost"  No no no, they've solved that problem already.  Magic markered on ever bottle, the price of a shot.  

My buddy Brian and I had a great time after fishing at the Dirty Shame.  It belongs in the dive bar hall of fame.

Lastly, the name on this place really begs the question, do you feel "Dirty Shame" when you go in...or when you come out?

Monday, June 28, 2010

When you want to reaffirm why fly fishing is fun

Take a friend out, spend a few minutes on basics of fly casting mechanics

Find a pond full of ravenous bluegills. 

And let the fun happen.  I have never been so excited at catching the 4-6 inch bruisers, or more importantly, excited about someone else having fun learning to toss a little fly line. 

A coule hours on a pond in Upstate New York reaffirmed a lot of the reasons why I fish.  My buddy Joe is now hooked, and hopefully his lovely wife will understand all the new transactions on his debit card that have the name "Fly Shop" associated with it

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the land of Chicken Wings

Out East for a wedding.  Great fun, great people and a great number of beers. 

Found the local fly shop.  Nice dudes, nice to see so many two handers. 

Taught a guy the basics of fly fishing.  Nailed some bluegills to get him fully hooked. 

A few write ups on the trip soon...but I have learned a few new things

1.  Always travel with a fly rod and associative gear

2.  Bluegills are a ravenous beast of a fish

Thanks Buffalo for a great trip

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keep your fingers crossed....

Sunday marked the first day of the upcoming Steelhead season where Bonneville Damn counts broke the 1,000 fish per day mark.  Monday continued that trend.

With the deliriously amazing year last year, we can only hope to see a repeat.  So keep your fingers crossed, stare at the fish ladder cams and dream of when a steelhead greets you with one ass kicking grab.

Also, I'm hearing whispers of beeeeg (aka 2-3 salts) fish in this run

I am now working on crossing my toes....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mancrafting....Father's Day Edition

Every once in a while, I get a little bit crafty.   No, not like Jaime Moyer's 80 mph heater...but like I should be doing demo's at Jo Ann Fabric

Ok...maybe not that far.  Back to the point. 

On my inagural sojurn to the Olympic Penninsula last March with OMR, I found this really cool chunk of Cedar on the banks of the Hoh River.  I threw it in the truck, and figured I would find something cool to do with it. 

And snap...the lightbulb came on with a killer idea for Fathers Day.   A bit of sanding, some rattle-can satin finish, a few eye bolts, wire and keychain rings.....OMR's 2010 Father's Day present was born. 

The 2009/2010 Steelhead season was remarkable for many, and we were right there expriencing it as much as possible.   Steelhead Camp on the Ronde, finding our way in Speyland, the OP....good gawd it was amazing.

Taking the best shots from the season, the wood piece became a flip chart of memories...steelhead style

Thanks Dad...AKA, Old Man river for another great year afield .  You're a great fishing partner

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finally....that's the right direction Mr USGS Graph!

I've just about had it with lakes.  I am ready to feel  the rush of water running.  The surge of a bigger than expected runoff is about over.  The Grande Ronde for instance hit 27,000 CFS (flows we fish at are under 3,000) At  one point and all the rivers in Washington were damn near bank full for a long, long time.

Provided no more torrential rain (yep, we had that too, thanks La Nina), the blue line's march down the graph will have us in the fishing zone soon 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh Cantwell and Murray....Hello?????

Oregon's in......

Idaho's in........

Washington's Not...really???

What in god's name is preventing Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray from even acknowledging the request to come to the table with all other stakeholders in a round table forum to put it all out there for the sake of salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin.

The Working Snake River Project in coordination with Save our Wild Salmon again submitted, along with 120 business, commercial and scientific leaders in our region, asking the two Washington Senators from joining the conversation about a change in salmon restoration policy.  Its time to listen to all stake holders like farmers to find out what their main concerns are in how we go about saving the backbone of the Columbia and Snake River Ecosystem...salmon and steelhead


Seattle, Wash. – On Tuesday, 120 Western Washington business owners and community leaders wrote to U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell urging their leadership in solving the Northwest salmon crisis. The open letter to the senators also appears as a full-page ad in today’s Puget Sound based weekly the Stranger.

These leaders want the senators to bring together all interests —farmers, fishermen, energy users, business owners and local communities—to craft a durable science-based and economically viable salmon restoration plan. They acknowledge past tensions surrounding the salmon issue, but note the enormous economic opportunity if Washington can forge an effective long-term solution.

Click HERE to learn more and  to view the Western and Eastern Washington letters to the two senators

Fisherman want fish.  Farmers want their products delivered to market in a cost effective manner. Everyone wants a healthy, sustainable ecosystem and every stakeholder has an iron in the fire. 

Finally we have most everyone involved ready to sit down and talk.  Why is Washington the only state in the region not coming to the table.  More importantly, why cant we bypass the Senators and send the message that their not getting the job done

Hey...Helloooooooo Senator Cantwell and Murray.  Can you hear that?  It's pissed off voters, wondering what the hell is going on.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OK Mr Cutthroat...When you see ths,


As soon as the torrents of spring runoff subside and before I turn again to a full fledged steelhead nut, I will turn North and East in persuit of wild Westslope Cutthroat.  These Chubby Chernobyls dont really imitate anything specific, but they get crushed without abandon by the ever rising cutties.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Umm, Yes Please Skagit Master 2.0

Ummmm, ok...where do I send the money

big ups to Evo Anglers for bringing this to light for me to drool over

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Admit it...this is where you spend your work day

Time to throw the spotlight at the great fly fishing info aggregator...

When I found this site in January of 2007....I was like a man standing at the edge of a cliff.  I was coming closer and closer to falling off and into the rabbit's hole of fly fishing.  It was taking over my life's interests (besides my lovely wife).  I was on the cusp.

Washington Fly Fishing pushed me off the ledge. Really I dove in, happily.

Of course there's the constant posts like this

Where can I find trout in Washington?

What weight rod for a steelhead?

Etc, etc, etc.....BUT

I have found that this site has been a great gateway to me to some stellar info.  Newbs dont get burned at the stake, usually everyone's pretty coo with everyone else and info passed along.

I've met some of my best fishing friends like Steelie Mike and Jergens and Chou Dog.  I've been assisted at great lenghths in my rookie spey inquiries....and generally,  I love wasting a bit of time on this great site.

Never been on? Jump on in...the waters are just fine.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swanging Sasquatch

When I first saw this sweatshirt from Joey Macomber and Later Line Media....

I think I made the fastest purchasing decision of my life.  A little bit of postal service love and it arrived today.  It's awesomeness is unparalleled.  This Hoodie was born after a trip the Olympic Penninsula, where every bend you go down the river saying...."Yep, I think if I was Sasquatch, I'd live here, and I'd swang for steel with a two hander"

Also, check out Joey's site for some legit photog and video skills.  He teams up with RA Beattie to absolutely kill it on the camera.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If Dry Flies and Big Rainbows Are Cool.....

Then consider Chopaka Lake.....Miles Davis

Just back from our annual Memorial Day Trip to Chopaka Lake in North Central Washington and I must say, the lake did not dissapoint. 

There's something beautiful about falling into a rhythm of an extended trip.  Gone are the hurried motions and actions of a one day, get it all in and have fun marathon.  You calmly move into a pace that allows you to enjoy each little moment, try new bugs and techniques and in this case, revel in 4 days of kick ass fishing

Up the nasty Chopaka Grade on early Friday morning, finding the crowds much less than last year at the same time.  Maybe the threat of constant rain kept people away...sounds great to me.  We nailed a choice camp site, and within an hour the rain stopped and we embarked on our pontoons to do battle on the lake

Along this year was good buddy Brian and OMR himself.   Could there be much better than a trip with one of your best friends and your dad, who's really my best friend of all. 

Soon a routine was developed.  Up around 7, and OMR's show began with killer pre fishing breakfast.

Out on the lake by 9am, and back around 4:30pm for cocktail hour and dinner at 6.  Finish dinner, tell tall fish tales and back on the lake for another hour of trolling buggers for savage strikes

Fishing was a shade under ridiculous.  Only one day out of the 4 did we not have our way with the hard fighting, jumping and big rainbows of Chopaka.   Fish were picked up a consistent rate on Chronomids in the mornings and trolling a full sink in the after dinner fishing session, but the star of the show was what this lake is known for

Mr and Mrs Mayfly came on every day like clockwork after lunch to almost mid afternoon.  Keying in on cripples who just spent too much time trying to shed their nymphal shuck in the surface film, the cruising bows of Chopaka crushed Callibettis Cripples without a hint of wariness. 

During the height of the hatch, an audible "slurp" could be heard all around you.  It was like the dinner bell rang and you were serving filet.  The only frusterating thing was that mayfly cripples tend to be not the most durrable bug, but thankfully OMR saved the last 2 days by a bit of bench time at camp

Our final day we had to pull ourselves off the water at the tail end of the hatch.  Brian and I both looked at each other and in unison said...."Oh my god, that was rediculous"

Honestly, it was the best 4 days of lake fishing I have ever had.  Chopaka Round 3 is already scheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2011.  See you there

Graffiti Salmon

Found Fish Volume 3, courtesy of Jerry White of the Working Snake River Project

Found in Spokane near an's sadly been painted over but the message is stark and to the point

Send your "Found Fish" submissions to