Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Church...

There's not a more spiritual place on earth that a flowing river....

The massive scale of our earth and the intricate detail of each pebble, bug, stick and fish just amaze me.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Eating Streamers Like A Boss...

One of the most restraint filled things in fly fishing is when a dark shape materializes out of a rock garden and begins following your streamer..

Is to not yoink it away out of it's mouth prematurely.  Big guys like this tend to hover, inspect and think it through before committing.  

Others eat it with rocket ship speed. 

None the less, its a pretty special situation when you're casting from the bow of a raft and from 10 feet away, you see a monster cutty hunt down the sparkle minnow like a boss.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vedavoo and Recycled Waders Give Back...

One of the most impressive companies that I got a chance to meet last summer at IFTD in Reno was Vedavoo.

New, innovative and hungry....I love seeing companies like this kick ass.  And Scott and his team are doing just that.

Vedavoo makes some of the most unique packs for many different fly fishing applications.

 Now they've teamed up with equally impressive Recycled Waders for a benefit project that is raising funds for different conservation organizations like Project Healing Waters and The Wild Steelhead Coalition,

Added to that, each bag they're auctioning off is adorned with the killer art of Jeff Currier

Take a peek at the items soon headed to auction and the groups it's going to benefit by visiting the Vedavoo site HERE.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When Sticks Attack....

You know all those video's you've seen when a hook is embedded in someone's face?

Kind of makes you queasy?

Imagine that with a 2 inch piece of wood in your buddies face, and it wont let go.

Thankfully after a bit of teeth gritting we extracted the shank and with a bit of pressure, the blood that was pouring out of the open wound shut off and we were back to fishing.

He was lucky as the attacking stick didn't go horizontally through the cheek, but up and thus not in.

We shook our head at his misfortunate fall and ultimately the luck he had that it didnt inflict more damage.

Be safe out there, and when sticks ready.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Solitude On A Metro Steelhead River...

Just so you know, it doesn't exist.

I suppose I had my own mismanaged expectations on fishing a Oregon metro river on a Saturday on the nicest day of the year so far, but holy hell was it busy.  I cant fault folks for coming out and enjoying the resource.  Matter of fact, most were very nice and willing to share a run or two.  We had 4 guys ourselves and you're nuts if you think you're going to get a run to yourselves on a day like we had.

Did I mention 12 boats went through this run while we were fishing it?

To the jughead out there I had an altercation with, you're a swell feller.  Effectively cutting off 3 other guys in behind you working their way down the run by jumping into the gut of the run was a classy move.

Then your smoothness was showcased even more when I politely asked you to join us by following us down the you know...classic stream etiquette, you erupted like a nutbag telling us that

"hey, this is the #$%% River man, get used to it"

Ahh, the joy and reverence of fishing on a Saturday around a couple million people. Give or take a few.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sage Quest Soft Shell Hoody Review...

Im going to get this out of the way quickly in this review.

This jacket gets a grade A stamp of approval from this humble blogger.

Want a few reasons to like it, how about 9 of them.  9 out of the probably 50 reasons why.

1.  Keeps your core warm--The insulation around the body fits you like a vest and keeps you rolling through the cold day.  At the same time it doesn't bulk up around the arms and keeps good freedom of movement.

2.  Outside of the River Approval--Even wore this piece to the office, and got compliments on it.  Duel threat baby!

3.  Pockets upon Pockets--6 with lots of room, including a pocket on your left bicep that I am not quite sure what it's for, but it's there.

4.  Wind Cutter--There's nothing worse than a top layer that doesnt stop the wind.  No worries here

5.  Rain blocker--We spent a day on the river this February that started with a light drizzle.  By the end of the day, it was a constant driving rain.  While not my normal rain jacket, this jacket kept me almost 100% dry (almost) but the amount of water it took and the amount that got through kept the day very comfortable

6.  Solid Hood--Syncs up well with the dome and the brim on the hat helps to push the rain away.

7.  Quick Drying--I fall in a lot.  A lot.  My arm usually gets drenched.  Give the sleeves a bit and they dry out quickly.  That's big in my clumsy book

8.  The Double Bubba Fits--For you Double Bubba's out there, you know...XXL, dont worry, lots of arm length and torso length to fit you as it did for me

9.  It's Fishy--Sage embeds fish karma in all it's garments.  You already knew that, didnt you?

Truthfully, this piece is my go to jacket from the river to town.  In the market for a jacket?  Check this one out.

Get more info about the Sage Quest Soft Shell Hoody by clicking HERE

Friday, March 15, 2013

IF4 in Coeur D'Alene with NW Outfitters...

2013 International Fly Fishing Film Festival Trailer from IF4 on Vimeo.

Lots and lots of boooooom with this one ladies and gents.

Northwest Outfitters in Coeur D'Alene is hosting this year's edition of the IF4 Film Festival on April 6th at the Kroc Center in CDA.

Some amazing work is in this year's crop of films, highlighted in my opinion by this film by Ian of Detonation Studios

"The Last Salmon Forest" (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4 2013 from IF4 on Vimeo.

Tickets $12 smackers in advance at the shop, $15 at the door.

Give Pat and Mike a call and reserve your tickets and join us for a great night and amazing fly fishing cinematography.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Whiskey For Wild Steelhead...

Want more of these guys swimming around for year's to come?

and do you dig top shelf food from on of the top restaurants in the Northwest?

and love some of the finest spirits in all the land?

Then you belong at what I think is the most unique culinary event this spring in Spokane.

The Dry Fly Dinner at Sante Restaurant to benefit The Wild Steelhead Coalition. April 21st and 22nd in Spokane.

Chef Jeremy Hansen and crew are producing on hell of an event, taking their spin on "bar food done better"

From the event web site:

Dry Fly Distillery and Sante Restaurant are proud to announce an event dinner benefitting the Wild Steelhead Coalition.  Come enjoy an evening of Bar Food Done Better, while supporting on of the great conservation grous in our state

The two night event will feature a four-course dinner prepared by Sante’s Chef/Owner Jeremy Hansen and the entire crew at Sante.  Each course will be paired with a custom Dry Fly cocktail

This event will take place on Sunday April 21st and Monday, April 22nd.  Each night has a limited number of tickets available, so purchase yours today to ensure your seat.  Tickets are $60


Grab your seat at this much talked about event by clicking HERE and buying your tickets today.

A portion of the proceeds of this dinner will go directly to help wild steelhead conservation efforts through the good work of the Wild Steelhead Coalition

See you there!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Yes, Portage is The Right Answer...

The collective, "um yeah, we better get out and scope this looks a little rough" went through the boat.  No reason to be a stick jockey, we all have kiddos and people expecting our return.

I think we made the right choice in dragging our water chariot along the dry, safe route

Be safe out there ladies and gents.  Error on the side of caution and live to float and fish another day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Picking At The Bones...

Another box store falls.

And I felt like I was picking at the bones of a dear friend.

I now have more leader 3 packs then I'll need in 2 years of trout fishing

20 different sizes and shapes of bead heads and a gazillion other odds and ends

15 different styles of ostrich plumes that are so damn sexy for steelhead, I had to break them out tonight on the bench.

And still, I feel a weird mixture of getting a good deal and seeing a lot of good people now without a job.

I wandered about the store saying hello to the people I know in different departments and having that weird conversation where you try to give them some kind words and rays of hope.  My bet is they're about up to it with that exact exchange.  Alrighty, yep...we're done.  I'll be ok.  Dont worry, there's opportunities out there

Give me break, it's a shit sandwich for a lot of really good people.

I've worked with these people in my day job for over 9 years and through 2 buyouts and multiple corporate restructurings.  Through the worst economic downturn in our lives, to store site changes and a lot more.

I've sat with them at conservation banquets like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation and watch them give from their hearts and the companies pocketbook as well

They were my first really big account.  They trusted in me and gave me a lot.

The powers that be sealed their fates with pen strokes and bottom lines in mind


Life will continue.  Jobs will be found and another retailer will take their place

My fly tying bench is now well stocked and I cant decide how to feel about it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Extending The Season...

You spend most of the spring and summer waiting and watching.

Is it time yet?   Rumblings come from down river on a few fish here and few fish there being caught, just enough to stoke the fire and get you rolling on the vice.

And then it's time.  Drylines.  Skaters.  Wet flies on the tight swing.  Yes, the takes are savage and subtle just the same

The leaves fall and the snap of cold creeps in daily.  Out come the tips and cold weather and you're in the heart of steelhead season.  

Trip after trip, fish after fish, skunk after skunk.  The season just .....happens

Then all of a sudden, it's time to let the summer fish be and do their job.  You can still catch them, but each time  you feel just a bit dirtier.  Just slightly

Inland steelheaders are then forced to make a choice.

Start tying tiny little bugs, or find one more trip to extend the season where the fish are chrome and the rivers are just a little less familiar.

Saddle up for a long drive, bring the good rain gear and be prepared to get wrecked.

Winter Steelhead are an amazing thang.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vice Time With Ol' Hank...

A bit late in posting this, but hilarious non the less.

Now to go find some Elmer's glue...

Friday, March 1, 2013

OMR's River Taxi

A little assistance never hurt anyone in a tricky river crossing.  Even OMR.