Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Alternate Use For Your Fishing Buff...

So you've invested in a 20 dollar neck cover, and your wondering...hey, where else can I use this thing. 

You cant fish all the time, right?  So put that piece o' fabric to good use to the weekly domestic chores there gentlemen and women. 

Yep, it still breaths while mowing the lawn...

Hey Buff...there's a new product outlet for you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hey Dad, Take Me To The River...

Well, he didnt actually say that, but I could tell that's what he was saying while he was "talking" to me.

After a long weekend of pretty intense teething pain, Big C's first trip the the river was great.

The wife saddled up the kiddo in the backpack, Murph Dog bounded around and I threw a few casts into some great water.

One thing's for sure...

I'm a pretty lucky dude...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spokane River Poachers, You Suck Ass

Not an elusive creature, the Spokane River Poacher is easily found.    In a highly visible, highly trafficked area on the Spokane (Peaceful Valley), you continued to fish even after Wayne from Maine told you that:

1.  It's illegal to fish with bait

2.  It's illegal to fish with barbed hooks

and here's the kicker

3.  It's illegal to retain wild redband rainbows in this part of the river. 

Also, double points for teaching your family a good angling ethic.  Dont think you'll do a good job in releasing the fish, if you planned to do so as you wrench them up the 20 feet from the water to the deck of the bridge.

And lastly, good luck explaining the the sheriff as Wayne did a fantastic job documenting the offense as well as your license plate number.

Good gawd, get a clue folks.

If you're out on the Spokane and notice poaching activity, please call this number and hopefully one of our good crime fighters will respond in a prompt manner.  Our offending party left before the law arrived.

Spokane Poaching Hotline-- 509-227-6560

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Generosity of New Friends...

For a dude who only occasionally visits the salt, it's highly unlikely you run into salmon like this without a little help.

You have to rely on generosity of your friends.   Sometimes they're friends you've only met while connecting up to the increasingly small world of the fly fishing community.

Our world is small friends, brought increasingly smaller and tighter with social media, FB, Twitter and blogs like this.   At the same time, it can open the world up to experiences that weave you tighter within the fishing community and fishing as a part of your life.

And to this point, family brought my family across the state of Washington to Seattle for a little family event.  What might be happened at that very same time, the possible apex of the every odd year pink salmon run of an estimated 6-8 million fish to the Puget Sound.

A quick phone call a few weeks prior to Dylan Rose of Skate the Fly had our agenda set. As our day came closer, I learned that we would also be joined by photog and guide Dave McCoy of Emerald Water Anglers.   Anyone paying attention lately would know that these guys hit in the big leagues, and I felt honored to have them open up and bring a salt rookie along. 

Oh yeah, I had never actually met these guys.  Just guest blog posts for Dylan and a bit of FB talking with Dave.  Sure Josh, come on down and we'll go find the fish.  Holy shit.

Lets just say I was so excited about fishing the next day, I probably slept about 3 hours.  I still woke up like I was shot out of a cannon.

Morning came up on the South Puget Sound with high expectations and a boat launch that was nothing short of a goat show rodeo.   There's a level of energy and anxiety at a salmon season boat launch you just have to see for yourself to understand it fully.

Storming out of the gate, we charged out to Dylan's honey holes to scan for nervous water and breaking pods of Pinks.  And for a long time, nothing happened.

It allowed us to get acquainted, to tell fish stories and find commonality.   Pretty funny on how similar we all are in the fly fishing community.  Funny stories on top of funny stories, places we've fished and you never would have believed it moments were exchanged.  I'd have to say we got along beautifully, but I dont think dude are supposed say things like this.   But what the hell, I was having a hell of a time even if we weren't finding the fish

Back and forth from spot to spot, we pulled into a bay we had been at earlier.  For no reason that seasonal patterns of these fish, it was a spot that had produced hansomely time after time and most importantly we weren't amongst a throng of people blasting the water with buzz bombs.  We had it to ourselves

And then it happened.

The fish found us.  A lot of them.

Dave got us first on the board, and we were soon into fish after fish as they encircled us with constant activity.  The fishless first 3 hours were all but a blip on the radar.  It was a blazing hot 2 hours of consistent hook ups and visual takes as the salmon chased and hammered our flies.

(photo courtesy of Dave McCoy, EWA)

Most remarkably to me as I said before, we had the bay almost to ourselves.  One homeowner saw our activity and hoped into his zodiac to join the action.  He joined the craziness and at one point was hooked up at the same time as our double.

Putting it all together, it was amazing experience.  It was one of the most fun I've had fly fishing in a long time.  All of us on the boat were giggling like 5 year old girls when the action was rolling and it brought me back to why I love our sport. 

I owe the day to Dylan and Dave, thanks so much for a hell of a day.  I hope to pay your openness and generosity forward in the near future. 

Soon, Dylan will be moving to Ashland, OR to join the crew at Fly Water Travel and Dave will move into a busy schedule of guiding and shooting some amazing photos.  Want to see his work?  Pick up the most recently Fly Fishing Journal....about half the shots are his. 

Until next time gentlemen.  Thanks for a hell of a day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fruits of Our Labor...Puget Sound Protein

With the full story coming tomorrow about our day in the Sound, I thought I'd showcase the net result of our efforts.  

That there's some good eats!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Doing Work....

Out in the Puget Sound today with Dave McCoy of Emerald  Water Anglers and Dylan Rose of Skate the Fly. 

Lets say we did some work on some chrome Pink salmon.  More into to follow

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

These Guys Are Nuts....


I don't think I have the stones to make this kind of trip, thankfully they boys at Motiv Fly Fishing do. 

Can't wait till the full length movie comes out.


Monday, August 15, 2011

This Dog Should Hunt...Steelhead Caddis Edition

Taking a peek into my traditionals box, I realized I had nothing "October Caddis" like. 

So I said to myself, "self, lets get bizzzzy"


Hook--#4 Alec Jackson style
Back and front dubbing--olive ice dubbing
Shank--gold diamond flat braid
First wing-pheasant
Second wing--Orange guinea

Let me know what you think.  See any improvements I can make, etc.  Send them my way and I will post updates on the recipe.

Now get fishing!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Crazy Spokane River "Occurances"...

A.K.A.....weird ass shit you see while fishing the Spokane River.

Yesterday I took the opportunity to head down to my home waters for a quick jaunt through the pocket water of the Bowl and Pitcher.  Part of Riverside State Park, it's full of mountain bike and hiking trails...it's truly a great place to escape the city and at times can make you forget you're amongst 500,000 other humanoids.    So yes, its a gorgeous place and I feel lucky to have it 5 minutes from my house.

To get to the other side of the river, there is an iconic hanging bridge that goes over the river and allows access to the best wade fishing for about a mile stretch of the river. 

Now here's where it gets weird.  Across the bridge I go, up the trail to where it connects to a network of main trails.  Taking a right, I damn near ran smack into a car just like this.  A 1992 Ford Tempo

Knowing the history of our river, I always feel like I am on the cusp of finding a body....in the water or not.  I know it's going to happen.  Staring back at me is this car on a trail, I thought it was my time to smell the stench. 

Now a bit of background to where this car is.  To get to this location, it would have had to access this particular access road from about 3 miles away, break 3 gates to get through, drive on the Centennial Trail for quite a ways and then past the night patrols of the park rangers.  All in all, it took some work and gumption to pull this one off.  If someone was stole it and was joy riding...I can think of about 400 other places to dump a car that wouldnt have taken near as much work.

Needless to say, I approached the car with a serious degree of trepidation.   I could already see one window busted out.  Was someone hiding in the bushes ready to ambush?  Was Sasquatch behind this?

Turns out nothing of interest was in the car, just some kids toys thank god.   I jumped on the phone to the ranger

Me--"um, do you guys know you have a early 90's Ford Tempo parked up here above the hanging bridge?"

Ranger--in disbelief..."WHAT?"

Me--"Yep, just parked here...might want to come check it out"

Ranger--"Well holy sh&*t, we'll be right there"

Off I went to fish, still in disbelief of where this prime example of American automobile engineering had made it to.

Thankfully, these guys were all I found for the rest of the day.

Any other great Spokane River stories you'd like shared here....send them my way via email and I will post it up.  Thanks!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Things You Hear While Fishing the Spokane...

Plain and simple...The Spokane River attracts weirdos.  It's an urban river fishery, but good gawd do you see and hear some funny shit.

Case in point:  After finishing a particularly successful post work session on the 'Can...my buddies and I were walking from the river towards the car on a pathway when we walked by a mother and her two little kids.  As we get by her, she says "Hey, you guys remind me"

Us..."really, what of?'

Lady " you remind me of A River Runs Through"

Us  ---staring back blankly....not sure what to say

We waited for her to finish the full title of the movie. 

"It" never happened.

So we walked away......thanked the lady for the compliment and filed under crazy shit you hear while fishing the Spokane.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Steelhead Numerology

Numbers.  Steelhead fishermen and women watch the counts about as much as a day trader looks at the markets.  So here's a little bit of steelhead numerology with three corresponding sets of digits

Number set 1--7747, 6972, 6518, 5975, 6229

Number set 2--2258, 2828, 3678, 3514, 3731

and lastly--221, 197, 376, 430, 601

Beautiful, oh beautiful numbers to the steelhead tribe. 

Set 1--The daily passage of returning fish over Bonneville Dam, hurdle #1.

Set 2--The middle ground of the gauntlet, daily passage over McNary Dam

Set 3--The daily totals over Lower Granite Dam, the most important figures to us inland fishermen.

Notice the big spike in the past 2 days at Lower Granite.  The fun has just begun kiddos so warm up your scandi lines, get your skaters ready as the greatest and most demanding part of steelhead season is upon us for the Clearwater, Snake and Grande Ronde fishermen....


Good luck to all in this 2011 summer steelhead season!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Other Briefcase...

Too bad it isnt my only briefcase. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Beer Bandit...40oz edition

Watch out, this man will steal your beer. 

Notice the advance tactics of the fishing buff and life jacket.  He's highly effective.

He also catches the shit out of fish.