Friday, July 21, 2017

The 24 Inch Native...

The skated mouse pattern fluttered across the frog water, and right before it hit the fast seam a violent slash took it down

Fish On!!

OMR's 6 wt taco'd over and we thought we had the fish of the trip.  Target species that is.

Through a set of bolder gardens he kept up the fight until I was able to find a bank to pull over and allow him to put the screws to the fish.

As it came closer, we knew something was up.  It was target un-aquired.

Still it was the biggest northern pikeminnow we had ever seen on this river.  Native, it should be there unlike the interlopers we were after

So we put away the initial disappointment,  hooted, hollered and celebrated the 24 inch native brought to the net.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Heber Valley Fly Fishing Festival August 11th and 12th

August 11th and 12th, if your in the vicinity of Midway, Utah I highly suggest you find your way to the Heber Valley Fly Fishing Festival.

Run and hosted by Jason and Julie Zicha of Fall River Fly Rods, it's an annual event that does an amazing job of getting new folks into the sport, helping kids along their fly fishing journey and giving a ton of people a chance to hob nob with a great number of businesses and non profits in the sport.

It's a project built on the passion of Julie and Jason, and it's 100% free to the public to attend.  There are classes, demos, giveaways and lots of prizes.

Visit the Heber Valley Fly Fishing's site and check them out on FB as well


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Horrible Bill For Salmon and Steelhead

The big question is why?

Why would state representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Don Newhouse and others stare into the face of the worst predicted run of fall chinook, sockeye and summer steelhead on the Columbia and say..... "meh, screw em"

While that's hyperbole, they are in effect doing that by introducing a new bill that flies against science and judicial review on how we are managing the lower 4 Snake River Dams.

It's the definition of insanity.  They want to return to the invalidated 2014 federal Columbia River Bi-Op and hold it in place through 2022.  They want to hold water back that facilitates smolt outmigration in the spring.  They want to take the notion of breaching the lower 4 Snake River dams completely off the table

They want to circumvent the entire NEPA process that hundreds of thousands of comments were registered by the public this past fall in meetings around the Northwest as state, federal and Bonneville power were ordered to consider all options in the process of a new Biological Opinion

So in other words.  Screw the public process. Screw the science.

And oh, lets keep pouring billions of dollars at salmon and steelhead mitigation that isnt working.

They want to keep a bandaid on a hemorrhaging wound.

The special interests that keep these representatives have done a fantastic job of keeping the wool over their eyes.

It's up to us to let them know we oppose this legislation.

Contact McMorris Rodgers at 202-225-2006 and Newhouse at 202-225-5816

Also, find more ways to contact them via their websites

Speak up ladies and gentlemen.  Now.

Friday, June 30, 2017


I remember a time I had zero confidence with a skittering, shaking and churning skater.

Now if there's any chance, that's what I am throwing.   There's nothing like a 10 pound fish trying to kill the fly that has entered it's zone

Find me something else in fly fishing that makes your heart literally stop like a skater eat.

For me, it's the top of the mountain.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Muddler Magic

Muddler's are awesome.

They're one of those bugs that when they come off the vice, they always look like they have the juice

The thing is that I dont have the greatest success on them.  I put them on the end of the line and wonder if I am making the right choice.

Then I bring it up near me in the water and check it out.  The darn thing looks like a fish Snickers laying in the water and I continue on and fish it.

So enjoy Monday's muddler offering.  What are you're thoughts on the muddler?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Have A Good Trip Dad....

I was in the midst of the semi chaos of the getting ready dance that happens in the we hours of the morning when I noticed it.

A small, subtle drawing from my boys on the raft trailer.

It gave me pause, and brought a ear to ear smile to my face.  They were still fast asleep in their bunk beds but the message was loud and clear.

It was like they were saying "have a great trip dad" without saying a word.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You Own The River

And Oregon, and Washington, and Idaho and every other darn state in the Union.

Last week a gentleman made his presence known at a public scoping meeting for the proposed Tintina mine that will impact the world famous Smith River in Montana.

While not the most pc in delivery the man's message was clear.

The public owns the river

While the mining company made up of a consortium of Australian and Canadian interests wants to put a mine into a super sensitive area, we need to remind ourselves that pubic waterways like the Smith are part of the public trust.

It scares me when companies promise that their mine will be safe, considering that just one mess up will scare the resource into perpituity.  We need mining, but there are places like Bristol Bay and the Smith that if lost, will never be able to be mitigated back into health

I bet that the mining company behind the Mt Polly disaster also promised that nothing would ever happen there.

So back to the guy who threw a world class rant at the meeting.

While the language isnt the best, understand this man's passion.

Back's against the wall, he went to the nuclear option. The best part of the whole deal, the PR person for the mining company posted the video thinking it would cause a bad reaction for the people that are against the mine


It brought more attention to the bad idea of having a mine in this special place.  Thousands shared and commented and whoops, the video was removed from social media.

Thanks to the intrepid folks who are anti mine, the video was saved and reposted

Take a look HERE

It's your fucking river.

and while you're at it, give some love to the Save Our Smith group dedicated to keeping this mine off the river.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great Advances in Hyperrealistic Fly Tying...

A trip to Chucky Cheese renders a leap in bass fly development.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Full Circle Fly Fishing Apparel Goes Live

Passion for the sport breads great new products in the fly fishing realm, and that's the story behind hte new apparel line from Full Circle Fishing.

I was fortunate to get to know the husband and wife team of Kali and Chris Pezel when they lived in the Northwest and loved them from the moment we first fished together.  They've had a dream to create an apparel line that matched their love of the outdoors and fly fishing for a long time. and now it's finally come to fruition

You'll notice a strong commitment to conservation, public land preservation good angling ethic and a bit time sense of humor in their initial offerings

Additionally, Full Circle is donating 5% of each sale to the conservation group or non profit of your choosing.  

It's exciting to see someone's dream come to fruition.  Hopefully one of their pieces makes its way into your wardrobe soon.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Farmpond Thug....

I'd driven by it hundreds of times, and yet it never occurred to me that I should probably fish it.

First casts were rewarded by bluegill after bluegill that made me laugh like a boy again.  There's joy in those super aggressive fish that make you feel like you really know what you are doing.

With all the bait around, I had a feeling there were a few big kids running around that pond, having their way and inflicting terror whenever they pleased.

This bucketmouth confirmed it.  It engulfed their popper and dove for the weeds and if I've ever been sure my leader was going to pop, it was then.

Somehow he came to hand and after a quick picture, back into the swampy abyss that he calls home

I cant wait to tangle again.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Signs of Life on the Skagit

Take the next 20 minutes and check out the beautiful new piece from the great folks at the Fly Fish Journal, Signs of Life

The story, video and pictures really encapsulates the soul of steelhead fly fishing and at the same time, show's some of the hope that the Skagit and it's tributaries have for wild steelhead recovery


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Like a Dog On Point....

After a few hours of staring at the bobber and catching the occasional fish,  when you finally see the first smattering of bugs that make the fish loose their minds you get a bit excited.

Then the callibaetis come off in waves and it's on.   The rises come at a steady pace but with no predicability as to where so you sit on the pontoon poised and ready to strike.

Some sessions are better than others.  Over the years it's as wild as it gets with a fish every cast and others like this year are a bit different.  The bugs were there, the fish gave a lackluster effort and really didnt show like normal.   The why or why not is the part of the mystery that keeps me going, as if I am trying to solve a riddle who's answer is always a moving target.

I get a feeling that I know what it's like to be a bird dog and catch that first scent of a pheasant, and work it all the way through to the point.

Still 2 hours pass in what feels like 10 minutes.  All of a sudden you realize that you havent seen a bug in 15 minutes and the last rise was just as long ago.  I finally uncoil the tension and sit back and relax, like I just came up for air after a long deep dive into fishing mania.

After being hyper focused for that time, it's great to look up and see what's around you.  In this case, it's a beautiful lake surrounded by miles and miles of public land.

That fact gives me hope that this interaction will continue as long as I keep coming back to this place.

Till the next time when I deliver the cast in a state of bird dog like focus.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Flying T-Bones

If you found this bug in your house, you'd be calling an exterminator.

On the river, I think they make fishermen and women just as excited as the fish that eat them.

Last week I got the opportunity to fish the legendary salmonfly hatch on the Deschutes and the biomass that crawled around on the banks and grasses were as advertised.

If you've never had a 2-3 inch double winged crawling bug land on your neck mid cast, you'd bet your life it makes the hair on your neck stand at attention.

They're so damn big, lumbering around on everything and blasting through the air.

As a joke I ate one.   It had oak overtones with a hint of cherry and spices.

Not really.

They taste like shit, with just the right crunch to really make you question your decision.  It's not like the fish gave me any points for solidarity and jumped on my fake offerings at a faster rate.

But to the fish, I'm sure they're the piscatorial equivalent to medium rare T-bones rolling down the river.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Postcards From The Crapper....

One of the most stunning places to heed nature's call...

Deschutes River,  chasing down the salmon fly hatch in the canyon.

Enjoy the view...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lost River Film Co.


Man, that video has got all the feels that you want.

The demo reel is from Lost River Film Co., 3 man team that flat out produces amazing work.

To me, great work behind the camera brings out the emotion and finds it outside of the grip and grins and normal go to shots.   From their ethos on their site:


Here here!  Cant wait to see  more work from Drew, Bobby and Ivan in the near future

For more of their films and work, check out Lost River Film Co. Vimeo page.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Water to Wine For The Spokane River

May 19th is a big night for the Spokane River

The Spokane River Forum is hosting their annual benefit and auction to raise funds and create more advocates for the amazing asset to our town, the Spokane River

Rare is a river that cuts through the middle of hundreds of thousands of people that also can provide an amazing resource of recreation, civic pride, fishing opportunities, whitewater rafting and so much more.  The story of the Spokane River is one of restoration and recovery.  Decades of abuse followed by decades of resiliency and now hopefully a strong legacy is being laid down of advocacy.

The issues still facing the river and it's watershed are numerous.  Toxic runoff, excess sediment coming in from it's tributaries, remaining issues from a bygone era of hard rock mining in it's headwaters and more.  

But to me, the biggest challenge is apathy from it's surrounding residents.

What the river needs to be honest is more people on it and understanding what a asset we really have.  I've personally taken people on my raft who are just blown away at what they see on the river less than 10 minutes outside of downtown.  Moose, Beaver, Osprey, Deer on the land and hard fighting native Redband Rainbows and Whitefish below in the water.

More people using the river = more advocates = a healthier river in the future.

Take it from Sean Visintainer, owner of the Silver Bow Fly Shop.  The river means a lot to him, his business and our community.

Register for the event HERE  and more information can be found on their FB EVENT PAGE

So on May 19th, I highly encourage you to be a part of this great benefit for the Spokane River.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wild Game Feed Saturday with BHA

Another great event is on the docket for lovers of the outdoors, hunting, fishing and public lands.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is hosting a Wild Game Feed  at Big Barn Brewery in Greenbluff just north of Spokane this Saturday evening.   As the poster says, bring a wild dish or side if your able to share and engage in some of the best conversation on conservation around

I am so proud to be a member of BHA, and the people I've gotten to know over the past 2 years in the organization are the real deal in the fight to preserve public lands.

If you're looking for a group that stands up for everyone's right to public land access and preservation, BHA is it.

Join them/us this Saturday night at this great event.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Thank You--Our Two Hands Wrap Up


The Spokane showing of Bloodknot's movie Our Two Hands was a smashing success.

Months and months of planning came to fruition last Thursday and the community rallied to support the event to benefit the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

At the end of the night, I felt so proud.

Proud to be a part of a conservation community that comes out to support events like this.  You cant have the film showing without people who fill the seats.

Proud to be have great relationships with businesses and guides in the fly fishing industry that brought the noise with donations, with hardly a question asked.  There's no way to raise the kind of money we did that night

Proud that other conservation groups like Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited, Spokane Women on the Fly,  Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Spokane Riverkeeper, Spokane River Forum and Spokane Fly Fishers cam out to man booths and promote the event.  We're part of a community that gets the job done and I cant thank them enough.

Proud to have the volunteers and family step up to put on a showing that went about as well as I could have asked for.

In the end,  attendee's wallets were wide open and helped us gross over $7400 dollars.  In the end after expenses, $6000 will go to the Wild Steelhead Coalition to help continue our mission of recovery for wild steelhead across their range.

When I sat down near the end of the film in the back of the room to observe the crowd watching the film and it's great message, all I saw were backs of people's heads locked into the movie.   Nary a conversation,  people were spellbound and hopefully absorbing the information that Our Two Hands presented them with.

I believe we created more advocates that night.

And that's worth more to me than anything else.

Thank you.

Look for a summer tour of Our Two Hands, more info to come via the Bloodknots FB page

Monday, April 24, 2017

Swimming and Turkey Hunting Dont Mix

As we approached the property we had permission on, I noticed the telltale form of a gobbler in the corner of the field.  

It's on.

With OMR waiting in the truck, I began my stalk on the unsuspecting turkey

The field had not been hunted in the opening week because of the normal gently flowing creek that bisected the farmers field was a raging torrent.  Upon further inspection I found one way to cross it, shielded by a rise in the field so the turkey wouldn't event know I was there

A few hen calls and that baby should be rolling in on a string to meet it's end.  A perfect plan it was going to be


As I popped my head over the rise in the field, 10 whitetail deer which were unseen on the road busted me and ran right at the turkey.  As I'm watching this happen, I hear the truck's engine roar to life about 200 yards behind me.

"What in the hell is he doing" I think to myself as I stand up and begin to try and signal OMR that the hunt is over at that point.  He continues to back out of the old barnyard, to the pavement and then zooms away leaving me stranded frantically waving at him trying to figure out what in the hell he was doing.  

Now I know my father would never leave me, but it was such a strange move.  In all the years we've traipsed about the woods, I've never seen him up and drive off unannounced and off plan.

Did the landowner about face and come yell at him with out me knowing?

Was he having some medical emergency?

Was he possessed by Sasquatch's alpha brainwaves, rendering him certifiably nuts?

Hell if I knew.

Dejected at the failed stalk and somewhat nervous about why he left,  I began the walk back to the road thinking he may have just repositioned up on the road.  Now I was about 100 yards downstream of my initial creek crossing and in some strange line of thinking I thought I could just beeline it for the road and not go back to where I had crossed.

I gingerly began walking into the flooded portion of the field, taking time to asses each step and make sure I was taking a safe route through the creek's path

Then it happened.  One step I was fine, next step I fell off a cliff into a rushing hole of 10 foot deep water.

The rush of full submersion in icy water is no joke. Clutching my gun, I grabbed the opposite shore and drug myself out of the channel that wasn't more than 6 feet wide.  As I stood up, there was OMR returning to the barnyard.  He watched the whole folly in realtime himself

Scary, yes.  Stupid, yes.  

We met in the barnyard both yelling at each other at the same time

"What in the hell were you doing"

"Why in *&&^% did you drive off"

"Why didnt you cross where you crossed earlier"

"When have you ever just DRIVEN OFF"

Dad and I often yell at each other like brothers.  In this case, it was nervous energy on both sides of our predicament coming out in a colorful vocal display of displeasure.  

As I stripped off the drenched ice cold clothes, he explained to me he had just driven down the road a bit to get a better look at the field to see if the bird was coming in.  

Oh, so it wasnt Sasquatch's fault....

Assessing the damages, I had a wet gun, drenched clothing and ego.  

I always have extra clothing in my fishing bag.  Turkey hunting, nope. 

Thus, I had the misfortune of riding home in a old pair of camo hunting bibs and nothing else

That is a hot look. 

After the anger and confusion wore off 10 minutes down the road, I just started laughing.  Dad started smiled and then laughing as well.   There would be no turkey on this foray afield.  We got something better.  

A story for life. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Final Countdown....

6 days till showtime!

Next Thursday the doors will open at 6 to the Spokane premier of Our Two Hands from Bloodknots, and to say that I am excited is an understatement

The raffle and auction are set up to be the best we've ever had at our Spokane events.

In summary

5 guided fishing trips
2 rods
2 hand crafted nets
Dozens of hand tied flies
fly tying accessories
Lots of hats
Many, many many t-shirts

And amazing artwork like this from local Spokane artist Marcell Scott

There's more schwag coming every day, it's like Christmas daily here at Millsfly HQ.

Here's more info on the venue, the Lincoln Center,  for directional purposes

So see you next Thursday, it's going to be quite the party with the end goal of raising a lot of money for The Wild Steelhead Coalition.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Steelhead Country...Episode 4

Steelhead Country - Episode 4: Maximum Sustained Yield from Wild Steelhead Coalition on Vimeo.

Maximum Sustained Yield.

It might as well be a string of 4 letter words.

I have to hand it to the fish managers in Washington State.  They myriad of conflicts and stakeholders make their job next to near impossible, but the continued practice of MSY is cray zeeee.

Join the fight and sign the petition to bring them back at Steelhead Country today

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Weekend of Conservation

Nothing like meeting up with 1000 plus rabid public land advocates to get you fired up about keeping public lands in public hands.

The 2017 Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Rendezvous is in the books and what a weekend it was.  Fast track networking, seminars, fundraising  for 3 days brought the noise.

I was given the opportunity to be a featured speaker for BHA Storytellers event at the Wilma Theater.

I can tell you there's nothing like hitting the stage with 800 or so folks looking back at you.  The nerves go next level when you realize you're about the only one without a TV show of your own.

What a weekend.  What a night.  What an organization to be a part of.

You know that feeling when you're in the right place, with the right people at the right time.  It was this past Saturday night.  The stories were hilarious, the mood was electric and the community was awesome.

Cant wait for Rendezvous 2018, slated to be in Boise, Idaho.

Join us in the public lands advocacy fight.  Join BHA today

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Steelhead Country Episode 3, The Hatchery Fix

Steelhead Country - Episode 3: The Hatchery Fix from Wild Steelhead Coalition on Vimeo.

Now we're getting juicy

Get more info, join the coalition of supporting businesses and organizationas and help us bring them back at the Steelhead Country web site

Monday, April 3, 2017

Free Spikes Or Soles From Korkers...

Korkers has a little something special for your upcoming set of boots

Pick up a pair of wading boots or wading cleats from any Korkers retailer and you'll receive a free sole or spike pack.

I have been exceedingly impressed with Korker's Darkhorse Boot.  Time and time again, my 6'8 and 280 pound frame puts outdoor gear to the test and this boot hasnt shown any signs of wear yet Additionally the Darkhorse is the most comfortable out of the box boot I've ever fished in

Get more details about Korkers April limited time offer HERE.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our Two Hands Spokane Poster

Hope you can join us on April 27th at the Lincoln Center.  It's going to be one special night

Monday, March 20, 2017

Knowledge From Old to Young...

Keep the rod tip up.

When the fish goes to run, swim away....let him run.  Stop reeling

Keep the rod tip up

Keep the line tight, good job.

Let the fish run, dont horse him now.

Are you having fun, whoa that's a big fish!

No, you're reeling backwards, reel forwards.  No, the other forwards.

Ha,'re doing great

Keep the rod tip up!


If I've ever had a flashback in my life,  here it was.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

IF4 March 21st In Spokane

 March 21st in Spokane the Silver Bow Fly Shop is hosting the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) at the Garland Theatre in Northwest Spokane

It's that time of year when the lakes are still frozen, the rivers are blown out and you're just about willing to fish in a puddle so a night of killer fish porn just might be the medicine you need to get through a few more weeks of the dreaded shacknasty season

Pick up your tickets online or at the Silver Bow

See you there!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hey Seafood Watch, Why The Change?

Sure makes you cringe when you get text messages from a friend from the restaurant they're eating at in Portland.

Wild Steelhead on the menu.

Wild Steelhead from rivers that have lost a great deal of their run since 1980 and are worth 100 times more when they stay in the river

Wild Steelhead on the menu because Seafood Watch changed their designation for Olympic Peninsula Steelhead to a "good alternative"

Restaurant's and Chefs around the country depend on the industry watchdog to give recommendations on what stocks of fish to avoid, that are good to serve and which are from non sustainable sources

Seafood Watch has failed them in their designation change.  Flat out failed them.

And the seafood brokers who sell these fish and the restaurants and retailers like Whole Foods find it acceptable to aid and abide in putting these fish on the menu and on the shelves.

It's horse shit.

Watch the video for full details on why Wild Steelhead should never be a commercial food source.  Especially from rivers who have missed their minimum escapement goals year after year after year.

So back to Seafood Watch.   In the face of mountains of data that plead the case that these fish shouldnt be ok to serve and sell....they said it was ok.

The big question remains.  WHY?

If you agree that this designation change shouldnt be, join the Wild Steelhead Coalition in letting the good folks at Seafood Watch and the Monterey Bay Aquarium that this change should be rescinded.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Whole Video With Only 3 Fish?

Way of The Fish | Chromer Sport Fishing from Chromer Fishing on Vimeo.

And I think that's the point.

So much of what comes out fails to tell a story, relying on fish porn to make the impact.  While I am no prude when it comes to ogling at a fish or does dampen the feeling when it's non stop grip and grins.

Check out the soulful video from Chromer Sportfishing from their time in Steelhead Valhalla last fall. You're only going to see three fish the entire video but hey, it tells a hell of a story

While you're at it, take a peek at what Yos and his crew are doing with their additional expanded trips in and around Vancouver, BC all year round

Friday, March 3, 2017

FFC Explains Their Mission...

Fly Fishing Collaborative from Adventure Well on Vimeo.

Life's passion plus life's purpose equals a far reaching incredible impact

That's the best way that I can describe what the Fly Fishing Collaborative has been doing the past couple years.  By creating self sustaining fish and produce farms in conjunction with orphanages in the third world, over 1500 children have food to eat and are shielded from the devastating effects of human trafficking

Handy at the vice?  Maybe you too can be an instrument of change for people that need it.

Hats off to the FFC.  May there be more organizations like that use their passions to develop community that rallies together to bring more good into the world

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Struggle For The Snake, 1971 Edition

Originally posted on the Chum it appears that the lower 4 Snake River dams have been in question since the beginning

What strikes me is the exact same attitude that the builders of the dam had then mirrors what it is now.  In the face of opposition and science, they do what they want to do.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spokane Premier of Our Two Hands

Our Two Hands Kickstarter Campaign Teaser from BLOODKNOTS on Vimeo.

Man alive, I am fired up!

Join the Wild Steelhead Coalition April 27th for the World Premier of OUR TWO HANDS in Spokane at the Lincoln Center

Filmed and produced by Bloodknots, it's a film 3 years in the making that examines what's really going on in salmon and steelhead management

Here's the film description from the makers themselves

Society has an intimately complex and perilous relationship with salmon and steelhead. The current management paradigm has failed, and the status quo solutions for restoring impoverished wild populations have proven elusive. "Our Two Hands" is an examination of the underlying cause of this decline, as well as the innovative voices in the angling community and general public fighting for a wild fish future in the Pacific Northwest.

The event is going to be amazing.  We already have companies, craftsmen and guides lining up to donate to what's going to be a very robust raffle and auction all with the goal of raising a pile of cash for the Wild Steelhead Coalition.   If anyone has come to our events in the past when we've shown films the likes of Low and Clear and Waypoints you know it's going to be a great community building event that has everyone leaving smiling.

We are also partnering with other great conservation and community non profits like Save Our Wild Salmon, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited, Spokane Women On The Fly and more to give you ample groups to get to know and see how you can help them as well

Stayed tuned with the event by joining the Facebook Event Page as we will be updating it continually with added raffle items and groups joining in on the fun

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TBT...Bobber Ninja

Facebook and it's reminders of the past.  This one took me right back to river.

The indicator, errr....bobber slammed down as we were about to drop into a pretty good rapid. Fighting a fish through the frothing mess is nothing short of a rodeo.

We eddied out and brought the fish to hand.  The hatchery hen inhaled the egg pattern and into the box she went for a later date with the smoker.  Dad and I shared a happy moment, a pull off the flask in celebration of success in our favorite place in the world

What a world away that was.

Before I was seduced by 2 handed casting.  Before diapers, soccer practice and Kindergarden.. Before my 30's, management,  grey overtaking my beard.  Before down and across, scandis and scagits and 1307's.  Before conservation and public land fights.

Before all that, I was a bobber ninja.....and I loved every minute of it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Big Problems With The Deschutes

The Rapid Decline of the Lower Deschutes River from Deschutes River Alliance on Vimeo.

The Lower Deschutes is facing some serious problems

Elevated summer temps, algae, loss of bug life, dirty water and much more all caused by the change in how the river is supplied with water from the Pelton Dam selective water withdrawal tower

Looks like the experiment is failing.

Get more information on this problem and join the Deschutes River Alliance who is working to fix this issue and return the river to it's former glory.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Advanced Level Spey Casting Video


All that comes to mind is all the times I've had a fly whoosh past my face and somehow not imbed itself in my skull while spey casting.

You havent lived until you've buried a hairwing into the palm of your hand or almost pass out when a dumbbell eye intruder hits the soft spot in the back of your head.

Just a small reminder to go out there and have fun.  Laugh a little even.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Public Lands Victory In The Midst Of A Public Lands War...

After Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz bowed to the pressure that public land advocates and sportsman's groups put on him for House Bill 621 and killed his bill, a friend called me and asked if the threat to public lands was now over.....

Oh no, no it's not.

Republican lawmakers, especially the anti public lands contingent from Utah including the aforementioned Chaffetz and Rob Bishop have only begun their assault on the America's heritage of public land ownership.

TRCP has identified the top 10 threats to public land that are on the table right now.   The legislation is coming down so fast that it's hard to keep your head straight but the formula to beat HB 621 is a roadmap to letting your elected officials that this horseshit will not stand.

Listen up congressmen, women and senators....take our public land and we'll take your jobs.

Keep the pressure on them, let them know how you feel about this violation of the public trust.  

Stay #publiclandsproud

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Swing The Fly- "Mentors"

The Winter edition of Swing The Fly Magazine is out and available at your local fly shops....

And with that, I am honored to have been chosen to share a few words in print with an article I have titled "Mentors, Sharing The Wealth"

If you havent picked up Swing The Fly yet, and you love 2 handed casting, salmon, steelhead or just fly fishing in general you really owe it to yourself to subscribe.

It's not a standard mag, the best way to describe it is as a coffee table quarterly.  It's full of killer photography, great articles and information about our sport

In short, it's got the juice.  It's full of soul.

Subscribe either in print or with digital downloads.

If you read my article, let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fishing and Politics Belong Together

Politics and fishing don't belong together


If you hold clean water, public lands, public access, wild spaces, salmon and steelhead, trout, cold water fisheries and or the thousand other items being threatened right now under the current have to start blending your politics and your outdoor passions

You want your kids to be able to enjoy what we have now and improve it for them, the same goes for this.

You cannot stand on the sidelines any more.  You cant burry your head in the sand and expect things to work out and be ok.

It's time to grab a bucket, fill it with water and throw it on the encroaching flames.

Spending 3 days in the nations capital lobbying for the Land and Water Conservation Fund really solidified this with me.  We have the power in the collective to make change happen.

Take the death of House Bill 621, which was set to instruct the disposal of 3.3 million acres of public land.  The bill's sponsor announced yesterday that in an overwhelming response in opposition has convinced him to "kill the bill"

Days before thousands of people flooded the Montana Capital Building in Helena to take their constitutional right to let their elected officials know what they were mad about.

Which brings me to a brilliant piece from the Chum written yesterday.  Read it, absorb it and then look inside yourself and find a way to get involved.  Wild lands need you.  Public Lands need you.

Dont sit on the sideline and watch Rome burn.

From Moldy Chum, 2/1/17

Whether we like it or not, fishing and politics are inextricably intertwined. That may be an anathema to you. It might boil your blood that our favorite pastime is immersed in politics these days. Fishing is supposed to be an escape from the troubles of our world, not something that sucks us deeper into its turbulent waters. Trust me, I’m just as angry and disappointed as you are.

When I started fly fishing, I was an emotionally burned-out senior political aid working in Congress. Fly fishing was my escape from the frustrations that enveloped me on a daily basis – frustrations that hit me like a ton of bricks the moment I set foot on the marble floors of our nation’s capitol. Every day, I would sit at my desk with an insatiable itch in my feet to rip off my cognac-colored dress shoes, replace them with felt-soled wading boots, and wander with a peaceful heart and carefree mind through the wild waters and woods of Virginia.

Regularly escaping the insanity of our crazy world is something we owe ourselves and is something we desperately need for our wellbeing. We need to find solace on vast public lands. We need to delight in the sheer ecstasy of tarpon jumps and the blistering runs of chrome steelhead. And we need to cleanse our souls with the cold, clean waters of a mountain stream. But these days, it is not enough to just enjoy these resources. It is even more important to fight for them.

I wish it were not the case, but our public lands, waters, and fish are experiencing unprecedented partisan political attacks that threaten the future of these shared and cherished American resources. That is not an alternative fact or my opinion. It’s the God’s honest truth. And if we are going to enjoy these resources in the future, we need to join together today and get political, no matter how distasteful that may be to you.

You may believe that politics and fishing should stay separate, but politics does not stop at the water’s edge. It shapes the very foundation of our sport. It determines if our rivers are clean enough to support the fish we chase. It determines what lands we can fish on and whether we can access them. And it even determines how expensive our gear is.

So to suggest that our industry needs to bury its head in the sand is shortsighted. To threaten to boycott any company, organization, or media outlet that takes a political stance is self-defeating. Even worse, to demand that our industry stops publicly engaging in the political process that shapes the bedrock of fly fishing is to be complicit in our collective demise.

Yes, this is politics, but it does not have to be partisan politics. What we’re talking about is protecting our shared values as sportsmen. These values do not divide along party lines, but rather are fundamental American values we all share. When we put those values first and speak up for them, we can become a powerful force that has a real impact on our political system.

That means that we need to be willing to call out any politician that threatens these values and to support any politician that strengthens them, regardless of party. Equally important, we need to celebrate and support companies, conservation organizations, and media outlets that have the character to speak up on behalf of our collective interests and that have the courage to wade into murky political waters. Last but not least, we need to encourage and empower our fellow anglers to get involved, speak up, and fight tirelessly for these values.

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Those are profound words that still ring true today. If we stay silent and refuse to speak up, if we stay angry and divided, and if we do not hold our politicians’ feet to the fire and demand they fight to protect our resources, the things that matter most to us will die, and we will be the ones to blame. Silence and division are no longer options. We need to pave a new path forward

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fishing History...

Certain rivers ooze history.

The development of our sport from a steelhead fishing perspective really hit a major stride here.

Book upon book, article upon article and speeches galore have detailed this history

The fish are big and brawling, racing up the river to fulfill their mission.

Many signs point to this river is moving into a solid stage of recovery and I take solace that we've removed many of the reasons of decline and the fish are responding.

I didnt tough a fish on the trip....but I didnt care

What I received goes well beyond that.

I got to connect with history, new and old friends as well

I observed a legend in our sport hold court on his bar in front of his house, and tell stories of the river, fish biology and the river's ongoing recovery.  I got to give him a fly or two.  He lit up like a Christmas tree and said he'd fish it for sure

We listened to that man and fished the spot he told us to.   It was like they were on a string upon his command.

Our group is tight knit but very accepting and giving.  Over beers and whiskey some amazing tales were told and our belly's ached with laughter for hours.

I got to take it all in.  It was mental and sensory overload

I cant wait to go back

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Bugs, New River

I've needed like this trip like no other.

With an administration hell bent on dividing our country, censoring government agencies and enacting policies guaranteed to harm our environment, time at the vice has been a centering point as the trip approached

The river in sight is one that is at the bedrock of our sport.  The names of yesteryear are all associated with it's former greatness and hopefully with continued recovery, new names will be attached to it's resurgence.

The fish are big.  The water is in perfect shape.  The crew assembling is one for the ages

So the vice has become my center point in these strange times.  Boiling things down to color patterns and fly construction has a welcome focal point aside the political environment in daily turmoil.

I hope to catch a fish on this new river.    Beyond that, I want the mental clarity that putting a new fly into a new river followed by hours of swing, step and repeat will bring

The troubles of our country can wait a couple days.  I'm going fishing.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Film Tour is Back!!!

2017 F3T Stoke Reel from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

It's back baby!

The 11th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour is about to descend upon us with it's massive criss crossing of the nation caravan of fly fishing goodness.

Thank god.

This year's lineup of films looks great, with unique offerings that give a woman's perspective as well as the crazy travels of the Motiv Fly Fishing crew as they explore the unexplored in the South Pacific

Other interesting films include a piece on the good and bad of Kamchatka, another piece on the legendary Sandflea and many others that will get the blood pumping in the middle of winter.

Spokane is graced with it's presence on January 31st at the Bing Crosby Theatre.  

A little pro tip for you.....dont expect to show up and buy a ticket on the day of show.   This event typically sells out so go get your ticket at your local fly shop or online at the link above

I think what I love most about F3T is the community aspect that it brings.  How often do you get 300+ fish crazed people in one location excited as hell, all talking it up, exchanging stories and having fun.

The answer....once a year, when the film tour rolls into town

See you there!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Final Bell

One more time before the season ended.

One more time to follow the dogs as they followed their noses.  To call them off only to regret the decision as the bird rocketed up....out of range

Another time to miss an easy shot but follow it up with what felt like an impossible make.

To get stuck in a 4 foot drift and wallow out.  To listen to the impossible silence and follow all the evidence of animals past travels.  To have ice crystals form on your beard and wind burn on your face.....

One more time to follow a hunch, devise a plan and watch it come together.

We can only be so lucky to be intentional and own every day we live.

I choose to hunt the last day.

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Son's Fly...

Most of the time, he sits behind me content to watch his cartoons and eat cereal.

You never know how much they're watching you.

Today he came over and asked, "Daddy, can i fly ties with you"

Most certainly young man, you bet.

He had a great time wrapping the thread and picking out the materials.  All his choices.

In the end, the fly is a monstrosity of materials but to me, it's art.

For now forward, that fly will always be on my tying desk.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Conservationist of the Year...

To initiate change in the world of steelhead conservation is no easy task.  It takes resolve and sticking to your guns through the many ups and downs that come when trying to do what's best for the the fish and the environment

In 2001, Rich Simms and a small group of like minded anglers founded the Wild Steelhead Coalition with the goal of reversing the trend of what was happening state and coast wide to wild steelhead stocks.  For 15 years, he's kept his head down working to do what's right with little fanfare of accolades.

Well that's anonymity is gone now,  as Rich has been named the 2017 Fly Fisherman Magazine's Conservationist of the Year.  You can see the full article in January's edition of the print magazine.

I couldn't be more prouder of a man I consider a mentor in the world of conservation.  His steadfast dedication is the model of how you fight the good fight, take in the small victories as you push to real wins like finally getting Washington State to ban the retention of wild steelhead.
The challenges and opposition are always there, but Rich is there to meet them all head on with his customary smile.

Here here Mr Simms, congrats.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Know It's Cold When...

When ice instantly forms on your legs as you get out of the water...

you know it's cold.