Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending with a Bang, November and December


No greater gift to me could be given to me on November 3rd.  All else is pale in comparison.

Deneki Outdoors gave me the opportunity to write for them and this post came out when he was 2 days old...what timing it was.  If you haven't read "letter to my son"  take a read here

FYI, he's already throwing 60 ft with a single hander.  Two handers come next

OMR and I ended the month by sneaking away after thanksgiving for our traditional day a field.

While he might or might not have backed over his gun, the action was eventful on this snowy day.  His gun still worked fine


As my son continued to grow like a tank, my outdoor time is and was limited.  That's completely ok and expected, but it does make a days gift of fishing that much sweeter.  Thanks go to my completely understanding wife for a hall pass to the Big River, where our year outside began

Time again to break out the big rod, the big tips and the big bugs like this one above.

And fish with this dude...odd huh?

Put on your woolies, cause this shit's not for the light of heart.  Stand all day in a river that's near freezing and people think your crazy.

Nope...not us. 

For our boys on the Fly Fishing Degenerate's just normal.

Here's to a mind blowing 2010 and to looking forward to an even better 2011

Thanks for reading and coming back to Chucking Line and Chasing Tail

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fall Draws Near, September and October

If you have summer in one hand and fall in another, I am always going to choose fall.  The weather's still good, football is on and steelhead begin pouring into our area.   Thank goodness

September brought OMR's 70th birthday and the long planned and long awaited Fay Clave.  We had anglers from 3 states and  yes, a few beers were drank and whiskey was consumed. Along the way, this also happened...

 When I turn 70, I sure hope I can catch a steelhead on my birthday.

Even Steelie Mike showed up and showed us how to do it. 

The morning gave us great sunrises and the fish were willing participants. Mark your calendars for OMR's 2nd annual Fay Clave mid September 2011 on the Clearwater River


My favorite month of the year.   Time to uncase the guns of fall, steelhead is in full swing and everything to me is in it's height of beauty.

How about having this guy as your fishing partner.

Good buddy Marques made the local quail population a little smaller.

And as the sun set on our last trip to the Cleawater, I knew that greater things were ahead.

Life changing things if you know what I mean.

My life gets flipped turned upside down in November with my greatest gift ever, and we  return to swing the Big River in December

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, its a doozy....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

July and August, White Unicorns and Weddings


The annual trip to the Smallmouth Who Eat Mice River was a smashing success.   Now its dry fly action that I really get excited about.  They eat like they've never seen food before

On a whim, we decided to "take a look" at the Clearwater and hope against hope that the far leading edge of the summer run Steelhead were in town.

You see, white unicorns DO exist.

Do yourself a favor and skip fishing for Steelhead over here in July.  Because if you do and you luck into a fish like this silver rocket, it makes you forget all else.  Wait till September or something sensible.

Yeah right.  Wish I could say I followed that advice but as you can see, the pictures from July are done because no other Steelhead were caught and that's all I went for.


I put the two hander away for a bit for a trip to Montana's holy land of Twin Bridges.  Good buddy and fishing guide Joe of Evolution Anglers was getting married and of course, there were some fish to be caught.

A beautiful day in the valley floating with Liz and Kevin  followed by a beautiful day on the Big Hole at Joe and Ke'lah's wedding.  We might or might not have fished the morning of their wedding.....just maybe

Also, I caught another white unicorn.

Tune in tomorrow for The Fay Clave of September an October's guns of fall

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And the Year Continues, May and June

Our would be winter released itself and transitioned into Spring that looked more like winter than spring.  Nesting conditions for our upland birds sucked the big one and it wasnt till mid June that it felt like we might actually have a summer.

But the fishing continued to be good


Rivers in full what, time to go find the closest thing we have to bonefish.  I have grown to love these ugly bastards

And apparently carp sex isnt the kind where sweet nothings are uttered...

Next, or annual trip to Chopaka Lake

You know what sucks, 3 days of catching fish after fish on dries.  Oh, and they jump a lot.


Finally, our rivers are shaping up to go towards the middle of the month, and it affords us the ability to saddle up the drift boat and throw these to willing cutthroat

Notice the teeth marks on this one? 

These guys might or might not have caused it.

And lastly, is there anything better than this....

For Murph dog to fall asleep like this, you know it was a good day on the river

Tomorrow....the white unicorn of July and a tall dudes wedding in August

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Year in Pictures, March and April....

And so the year continues.


We made the pilgrimage that ever steelheader must do to feel whole.  Fishing the rain forest is a transcendent experience, that is for sure.  Besides my saltwater trips, this trip was looked forward to more than anything and it did  not disappoint.

I thought I knew what steelhead where like before this trip.....

Nope, I was wrong.  I didnt but now I do.  Cant wait to go back.

We finished the month in Portland with family.  OMR version 2.0 (Uncle Larry) showed us a thing or two about Columbia River Springers.  Yes, they taste amazing.


Things were a bit quite for us our steelhead were months off, rivers were starting to crest a bit in the spring runoff and lakes began to be our only options.

Our spring finally had come and the carp flats of our local lakes had begun to fill with fish with nasty thoughts on their minds.  A few still wanted to eat.

One more trip to Portland allowed us the opportunity to cross another river off my list, the Sandy.  That river looks like it was made for Steelhead.

Next up, May and June

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Year in Pictures, Jan and Feb Edition

To me, a year is defined not by what you acquire but by the experiences you have.

Screw the new cars, jet skis, mega houses and other, give me a trip I can remember for the rest of my life and I call that a win.

So with that, over the next 6 days, we will be taking a look back at the pictures that defined our year here at Chucking Line and Chasing Tail.

Today, I offer my favorites from January and February 2010


 The 2009 summer run of Steelhead kept paying off for us on the  Grande Ronde.

Normally, water temps preclude us from swinging up a lot of fish.  With a non existent winter and higher than normal water temps, fish kept taking our swinging bugs.

As the month progressed, I was introduced to swinging the big river in the dead of winter.  I love it


Playing a little hooky from work gave us this beautiful sight and cooperative fish at the bottom

Our annual night of fly fishing geekdom came to town, and we were all impressed

Winter flows on the GR stayed in shape and we were given gift of floating the canyon many times.  OMR of course rocked a few fish to sleep, as exemplified here.

Up tomorrow...March and April

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ahh, I'll just make one more cast...

Sure you will OMR, sure you will.

Along with Sean V of the Silver Bow Fly Shop, Dad made sure to announce his presence with authority, or at least leave it there with this last cast of the day fish

Get the smoker ready....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Down the Abyss of Reformatting the Blog...

I'm in reformatting hell....stay tuned as I get the bugs worked out on the new site design.

How come there isnt an "undo" button in blogger.  FML.......

Steelhead Restoration in So Cal....yes, So Cal...

Brought to my attention by the good peeps at Moldy Chum, this video chronicles steelhead habitat restoration in Southern California by Matt Stoecker and was filmed by Patagonia.

How many of you thought that  that So Cal is part of the Steelehead's historic range?  Well it is

Hopefully the trend of an estimated 50,000 returning fish to 500 returning fish can be reversed

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gear Review--Badlands Super Day Pack

Recently,  Badlands Packs and the Outdoor Blogger Network gave me the opportunity to review the Badlands "Superday" Pack. 

I have one word to describe this killer piece of outdoor gear....


Right now, with family needs keeping me closer to home than in the field, this review demonstrates how impressive this pack is even sitting in my computer room.  Two of my buddies who are archers flat out drooled at this thing, their jealously wasn't to be denied

The people who designed this pack must really spend a ton of time outdoors.  They seem to have addressed just about ever shortcoming that backpacks have had that I've dealt with.

I've broken this pack down into the 6 most impressive areas  to me.

1. Comfort
There's nothing worse than a pack that is uncomfortable.  Mismanaged loads in a crappy backpack makes a days hunting pretty miserable.  I loaded up this pack and strapped it on and it fit me like a glove.

The padding on the back and the lumbar straps displace weight well and I am sure you can put a pretty big pack load into this guy and go for a long time.  There are so many adjustable straps that it should fit anyone well

2. Fabric
Ever been in the woods and caught your pack on a branch and it makes a ton of noise that is completely unnatural?  Well, dont worry about that here.  I dont know the technical term of it but this fabric is quiet.  Helps you get your stalk on!

3.  Compartments
How many do you want?  This pack, according to it's packaging, has "one zillion" and I dont think they're lying.  Multiple sizes and many are expandable to fit your needs.

4.  Straps
Again, they're everywhere.  There's a sidearm holser, straps to hold a rifle or a bow and if your successful, I think you could put a quarter of a deer somewhere on this thing.  The accompanying clips look pretty rugged too

5.  Zippers
A big pet peeve of are bad zippers.  I've thrown more than one pack away because broken zippers or ones that consistently dont work right.  The zippers here are big, they dont hide and work great.  Hopefully they hold up over time

6.  Sweet Extras
Look at the upper right strap....a spot for a camelback/water system.  Now I can bring water and dont have to worry about the bottle making the slooshing noise as I walk.  Bonus

There's a lot more to this pack and I will post a report on it as soon as I get the chance to use it in the woods.  Turkey season's going to be a lot more comfortable this year

Find more information on this pack at

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sharp Lids from Sharp Cheddah..

Christmas came a little early to the Chuckling Line and Chasing Tail household in the form of this killer lid from Joey at Lateral Line Media.

Need a last minute gift for the fisherman or woman on your you go, click here

Want to know why Joey's nickname might or might not be Sharp Cheddah, then click here

Wow....the hat also made me better looking....ehhh, whatevah....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Synergistic Worlds of Beer and Fly Fishing Collide, Silver Bow's Hooks and Hops Night

Put together my favorite topic, my favorite drink and my favorite bar in town

Jack. Pot.

January 19th, come join the crew for Silver Bow Fly Shop's second annual Hooks and Hops Night here in Spokane.  Last year was a blast, and we're anticipating another great event

Why venture out on a Wednesday in ass cold January?  Here are my top 5 reasons

1.  The generous folks at the Bow are buying your first beer.  Mmmmm, beer.

2.  The beer selection at Far West is legit. 

3.  With this many fly fishermen in a room, the level of bullshit being thrown around is unparalleled

4.  Take a peek at the giveaways.  Umm, yes please

5.  Beers....damn, that's a repeat

See you there!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not a rocking horse, but....

A Rocking Fish.

When people know your interests, they give baby gifts accordingly.

If I was to guess, I'd say it's a Chinook

Time to saddle up

Monday, December 13, 2010 have some explaining to do..

Starting the morning with hope and a spey rod, I hit the water ready to go.

Ten minutes into the step down session, the line pauses and I drop the loop....rear back and let the fish have it

"Fish on , Fish on, Fish on"

But, something's not right.  It's not your typical steelhead fight.

Nope, its a sucker, hooked right in the pooper. Literally

How in the hell did that happen.  Suckers eat nymphs and all sorts of bottom dwelling stuff, but not swinging bugs.. gots some splaining to do...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

There's fishy dudes, and then there's....


There aren't many times when he goes out that he doesn't snake charm a steelhead onto his line.  Right after I lost a monster that took me farther into my backing than I have ever been on a spey rod, Dad lassos this beast of a 2 salt hen yesterday.  .

Atta boy Dad....