Thursday, December 29, 2011
2010 (Chrome Chasers Promo) steelhead fishing in SE AK from Detonation Studios on Vimeo.
Here at Chucking Line and Chasing Tail, we endeavor to keep you apprised of some amazing opportunities in the fly fishing world.
Case in Point--Chrome Chasers has a bit of room for you.
May 6th-11th, Rick Matney and his crew have space available. Access some of the most remote streams on SE Alaska, eat like kings, and get humbled by some bad ass chrome.
$3950 per person for the week, plus the cost of your booze, airfare and tips.
Visit the website HERE and or email Rick via firstname.lastname@example.org
Go get some!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
4am. Yes, really...4am
You look at the alarm clock for a second to realize this isnt joke, you've got a purpose for getting up at this crazy hour.
Creep through the house doing your damnedest to be "quite". Rod tubes slamming on the ground from their perch on the wall arent exactly what your aiming for. Utter a quick prayer to god that you havent woke up your 1 year old son cause if you do, you know there's hell to pay.
Strike up some fresh coffee, load up the truck, check your gear 13 times (dont worry, forgetting something is just part of the process) and hit the road.
When the streetlights are still flashing yellow on the way to pick up your fishing partner, you know you're officially on the edge of the day.
I find that there's something really special to the routine to the beginning and end of a day out. Everyone's got their process before the step a boot into a field or a river. Gear set out the night before and obsessively check for missing items. Roll out and go pick up your fishing buddy and speak monosyllabically untill the coffee kicks in.
Finally the day is cresting into view and the conversation grows in the anticipation.
"Remember the time when" stories build in a crescendo till you finally throw the truck in park and go about the business of assembling gear into battle mode.
Finally, you're day has begun
For every yin, there's the yang. After the last cast begins the second edge of the day. Rod breakdown and a collective declaration of the day's success, good or bad. You go through the routine of the last beer and it's windshield time. Usually, a lot of windshield time.
The where and what gut-bomb are you going to eat begin to be the big questions of the return trip. Push the limit a bit on the speed to try and get home at a respectable hour. Make sure to call the loved ones to let them know that it's time for the boyfriend to get out of the house by such and such time. You know, got to keep it on the up and up with the better half right, haha.
There's nothing better than the satisfied feeling of a great day out and countless hours are spent rehashing the glory and defeat of the day. It's the stories and pictures that will stay with us the longest.
Then most of the time your fishing partner gets quiet and starts snoring. Lucky bastard you think to yourself. The mind drifts to what you've left behind and what's upcoming but everything's alright because the day was awesome
Finally, you're back in the same place you left. Starring at the windshield, a very happy person on the edge of a day afield.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Today was a gift. A winter day solo mission to The Big River. By myself.
Tired and happy. That's what I am now. Expect a full write up soon.
As a bit of foreshadowing, let's just say there's hatchery fish marinating for dinner tomorrow.
Friday, December 23, 2011
The big difference between wading out there and…uh, wading out there is one thing
We’ve all been there. Can’t wade out there because you know when you hit that certain point, you’re going to be wet. Wet waders especially outside of summer really make for a miserable day.
After rolling through a few sets in the past five years, I was excited to be given the opportunity to test drive the new Sonic Pro Waders by Redington.
No seams eh? I dig the concept considering my frame has a strong tendency to blow out anything with a seam or a stitch. I’m not kidding, from waders to work clothes I am a terror on seams.
When they arrived on my doorstep, I went right into lining up my first opportunity to test these beasts out. Hey I’m opportunistic, don’t hate…
For me there are some key areas to think about and to offer my opinion in regards to these waders
1. The Fit
3. Bells and Whistles
4. Cold Weather Test
5. What would I change
If you’re a big dude, you know what kind of problem you can have in finding off the shelf gear that remotely fits. At 6’8 260, I am just flat used to ill-fitting gear. The Sonic Pros in the XXL fit really well and allowed for a normal stride while wearing them. There’s enough room in the legs to feel comfortable and without giving you that fun “front wedgie” that the wrong size waders give you. Not a hot look, and thankfully these help you avoid it
Two words that feel apt descriptors of these waders. Beefy. Thick.
And yes, these are good things. Dropping off a road to get to a run I skidded a bit down a bank and across some logs. Checking the waders, everything was fine. Multi layer construction especially throughout the legs and knees give me a notion of confidence when I am bushwhacking through the stickers and brush that I won’t have wet feet after a few minutes in the water.
Bells and Whistles
You want to know what’s nice. Extra pockets, and lots of them. There’s hand warming pockets. There’s a wallet pocket. There’s a camera pocket and if you’re into it, a pocket to put a flask for those cold winter days.
Sometimes the smallest things also make a big impression. The wader belt is NICE. They didn’t skip out on this one, and also they added belt loops around your waist instead of just in the back. Small item, but it showcases quality.
Cold Weather Test
In the Northwest the majority of the time, the water is cold. Like sub 45 degrees cold. People look at you funny when you say you’re going fishing in the cold. It’s absolutely essential to have a pair of waders that assist with staying out there in the midst of freezing guides and numb finders. With my normal winter fishing set up of fleece wading pants, I was noticeably warmer than usual. A big thumbs up in this category. Get on out there, kick the icebergs away and fish away. I have a feeling you’ll be warmer in these waders.
What Would I Change…
Whether a rod, a fly or a set of waders…aren’t we all looking at our gear saying “if I could I would change it by doing (x)
There’s always something.
For me, the first thing I would do would be to swap out the material on the gravel guards from wader material to neoprene.
Spending a lot of time chasing steelhead, I greatly appreciate the hand pockets on waders where you put your off hand. On these waders I would include a great deal more fleece to improve the warmth of the hand pocket.
Other than that, through 4 trips out fishing in the freezing cold of winter, these are a bomber set of waders.
There are a few remaining questions like what’s going to happen when I send them back for repair? (Its only a matter of fishing time till it happens, I promise) but beyond that, I don’t have a problem putting on a Chucking Line Chasing Tail stamp of approval on them.
Want more info on these waders, here's the LINK
Now go get fishin....
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Native Fish Society has a pretty sweet offer (see-limited time, hurry your ass's up) for those who join up with this great organzation
Be one of the first 50 fish crazed nuts to sign up under the Adipossesed Membership (1 year member) and they'll send you one of these killer dome covers.
Click HERE to take advantage of this offer and join an organization that's working it's butt off for our native feesh.
Or you can just pony up and buy one by clicking HERE
I was also told that they help increase your winter steelhead juju if worn while steelheading. At least that's the rumor...
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
The loudest customer in a fly shop is probably the last guy you should go fishing with...
I dont care how many countries you've fished in...
I'm so happy for you for catching 57 bonefish in one day....
You're just a dry fly fisherman, have fun with that.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
We're on a mission to get a little more snazzy here at Chucking Line and Chasing Tail and thanks to our friend Deanna Camp of Elusive Trout, we're getting there.
This talented lady took my jumbled vision and turned it into a finished product that I am very, very proud of.
I will be setting up a run of stickers here shortly, please leave a comment with contact info if you would like one. First 20 comments will get one for free-99.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I just got a note from Jeff Brazda saying he just had a cancellation during absolute prime time in the winter steelhead window of the Olympic Peninsula.
March 10th-17th. These dates are usually never open because of repeat customers
His operation is top notch, and if you are considering heading to the land of Sasquatch in search of ghosts this winter/early spring, I would call him today and snatch up those dates
His guides have the heart of teachers and work their asses off. The respect the resource and work hard to provide the correct experience.
Contact him HERE
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Millsfy and The Silver Bow Fly Shop are teaming up to host the Spokane premier of Confluence Film's newest project "Connect" Wednesday February 22nd at The Lincoln Center
Filmed across the world, this film looks like an absolute ripper
All money raised at this event will go to benefit the Wild Steelhead Coalition.
More info to come shortly about tickets, and if you're a business that would like to help via donation of product or service for our raffles and door prizes, please let me know. Shoot me an email at
jmills81 at hotmail dot com
Speaking of raffles and door prizes, we have already been very fortunate to have a lot donated in the first week of gathering items.
So far, we have 2 guided trips with top level steelhead and trout guides, several rods, dvds, lines, hats, t-shirts, and lots of other misc. gear. It's our goal to have a killer raffle so lots and lots of cheddah is raised for the WSC and for everyone who comes to have a great shot at winning something nice.
A couple items of note
1. The Lincoln Center has a gazillion free parking spaces, so you cant use a lack of parking excuse
2. If you know Sean from the Silver Bow and I, you are personally responsible for bringing 5 friends to the event
3. If you don't come, I will personally hunt you down and give you a atomic wedgie.
So with that, I hope to see everyone who can come, come out and join us.
Stay in tune with the ongoing developments and gear added to the raffle by viewing the Facebook Event Page HERE
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
We here at CLCT are about to extend on past the comfort zone and do something a little special just after the new year begins. No, I didnt get all the blog followers a free trip to somewhere cool like Alaska West or something....but it's still big for us.
Some small details have to be ironed out in the next couple of days, but I hope to be able to Connect all the dots here very, very shortly
Friday, December 2, 2011
Deanna Camp, the author behind the Elusive Trout Series Calendars has produced a fantastic poster ready in time for Christmas. While you wont find these crazy trout in the water, I bet any fisherman would sport it on the walls of their mancave.
Visit The Elusive Trout web site HERE
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
A big congratulations to Fly Fishing Degenerate Council Member BJ on his recent success on The Big Water. A hell of a way to get on the board with your first swung fish, on a fly he tied himself.
BJ is a hell of an angler, but fall pulls him in multiple directions with hunting and dock dogs, where one of his retrievers is nationally ranked. Finally he was able to uncase his spey rod and chuck some bugs.
Not bad at all, not bad at all.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Next time your staring at some dreaded "mall time", do the polite thing and drop your better half at the mall and proceed to your nearest fly shop.
Also, as Carson and I demonstrated here, it's easier to enjoy your beverage of choice than in, lets say, the hell hole that is Target.
Thanks to the Silver Bow Fly Shop for letting us boys get away from the madness.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
There are about 475 reasons why I love this picture.
What a fall it's been. Winter has blown the door open here in the Northwest and it's time to add another layer of fleece. Soon we will devote our time to the big rods and big water.
Usually to big success.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Season 4 of a bird dog's life can be a beautiful thing to witness.
Last Friday, I watched it all come together for Murph Dog.
Gone are the wild escapes of birds sent up by an overzealous pup with nostrils full of a running ditch parrot. Gone are the continued sprint with head cocked to the sky waiting for that hen to drop out of the sky. Almost gone is the constant trailing and mirroring of the other dogs in the effort to learn
Murph has graduated, she gets it.
After we hunted the first piece of cover d in the morning to alleviate the nervous energy, the dogs shifted into their hunting pace. Back and forth their worked the ground in unison between gunners, and soon roosters were on the ground to showcase their hard work.
Murphy has shown great promise since her first season in the field. Generally she stays tight and works hard, but most of the attention we gave to the dogs focused in on Dakota, OMR's veteran pheasant sniffer. She's a machine that works at a methodical pace and you absolutely know when you better be ready because her birdy clues rairly, if ever fail to produce. You can read her like a book
This particular day afield, halfway into the canyon stretch of property we have access on, I watched it all click as well for Murphy.
Both dogs instantly got hot in the normal spot and birds rocked out of the cover. More weight was added my bird vest and we continued on. A few hundred yards later I separated from OMR and Kevin, taking Murphy up a draw ourselves.
From that moment, her nose alternately went from ground and into the light breeze and I knew she was on a bird. The pace picked up and we swung back up to meet Kevin and OMR in the main path of the canyon. At that very moment, Murphy dove into a patch of native grass and up rocked up a cackling rooster giving me the classic going away shot that all pheasant hunters dream of.
One report of the Ruger Red Label 12 gauge and Murphy was soon hovering over her prize.
50 yards later a rooster surprised Kevin and I with a wild flush. Over the top of a basalt column chased by two quick shots the bird roared. A possible hit sent Murphy and I up over the top to a piece of cover that might hold the wounded bird.
After a quick approximation to the landing zone, Murphy locked into the birds sent. Following it for about 200 feet, a quick shot and retrieve gave me my limit.
The day continued with success. Kevin got his first ever rooster and plenty of prime pheasant dinners were added to three families dinner table.
A beer at the end of the day at the truck and we all came to this conclusion;
It was a hell of a day.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
I dont care, it's a limit.
What a great day out, a perfect excuse to skip work and share time outside with OMR and Kevin from
Ducks, Dogs and Downriggers.
More info to follow, but we had a hell of a day.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
A great thing about this blog is that affords me the opportunity to meet great people, whether in person or online and collaborate on issues that are big for all of us.
Recently, Sam Snyder from the Headwaters of History blog and I had an idea to draw the potential parallels of what we have done to the Columbia River system and what could happen to the Bristol Bay Watershed if we don't prevent the proposed Pebble Mine.
Out of this collaboration came an article that we are very proud of and we were honored to have
The Drake Magazine publish it today on their online site
Click HERE to read the article, and do something today to prevent Pebble.
Monday, November 7, 2011
What you say? This is no camera trickeration. The guy in the front of the picture is 6'2, so my math has the Vanilla Guerrilla at about 38 feet tall.
Damn guy is a stealthy Steelhead fisherman too, even if he can cast clear across the Snake River.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hey, Carson here. Today's my first birthday and I hijacked Dad's computer and I wanted to tell you thanks for my birthday present, the artist series river camo fly box.
Looks like I can put about a bazillion flies into this thing, and impress my fellow fly fisherman as well.
Pops tells me he's going to test it out this weekend on the Grande Ronde. I think he has plans to load it up with a bunch of swing bugs in his quest for swanging up a steelhead. God bless America that dude is obsessed!
He also wanted me to tell you that he owes a big thank you to the Outdoor Blogger Network for setting up the giveaway that he won for this box. I dont know anyone else who wins more swag on the internet. Next time he tries to put me down for a nap before I am ready, I'm calling the IRS or something.
Anyone who's down for a river play date..hit me up on Pop's blog here. I can already cast 60 ft with a single hander and am working on my snake roll with the Spey rod. I'm just kind of advanced for a one year old. No big deal or anything.
See you soon on the river!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Gentlemen, we live in a dudes dominated sport. Just about everything about it is geared for us. Waders, Rods, Jackets, the drinking, dick and fart jokes....sounding familiar anyone?
Breaking into this crazy bunch isnt easy thing, but imagine being a girl who's never fished before.
Recently I asked Lisa Rice, a newly devout fisher-lady to write a guest post about the transition from stiletto's to spey rods. What a gigantic jump?
With help from her helpful fiance Andrew, the candle burns bright for this lady angler.
It’s hard for me to remember what life was like before casting a spey rod and fishing for steelhead. Although, I am pretty sure it was less exciting, more expensive, and a lot less rewarding.
Growing up, I had horses, so it wasn’t like I never was outdoors or had an outdoor hobby as a kid. I loved digging up clams and getting fresh crab with my family at our cabin in the San Juan Islands. I was a part of Campfire girls. I was a part of Pony Club. I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty. I guess fishing just never was introduced to me in a way that caught on, or was as intriguing as it was when I was shown how to cast a fly rod for the first time.
In college—mostly in the earlier years, I did what a lot of girls my age did. I played volleyball, went on dates, liked to shop, and of course, did my share of partying. So, the outdoors just stayed- well- outdoors. I found myself working retail and buying the retail I was selling. Shopping was definitely not a foreign idea, and I rarely left the house without makeup on. At the time, it didn’t seem like I was missing out on anything, but now that am in a place where I would rather find myself wading in a river swinging flies for steelhead than in a bar having superficial conversations with people that I can barely hear over loud music, I can definitely say that I wish I had discovered this other world a lot sooner.
Thankfully, almost three years ago, I was united with an amazing man who not only loved to fish, but who also loved to teach people how to fish. It is one thing to date someone who fishes, and they just go do their thing and you go to yours, but it is quite another to date someone who actually wants to show you what they love to do and share it with you. I am grateful to be with the latter. After only dating for a couple weeks, Andrew asked me if I wanted to go with him to a fly-fishing event in Monroe (the Jimmy Green Memorial Fly Expo), so that I could check it all out and he could show me what it was that took up his spare time. It was at this expo that I picked up my first single hand rod, and even tried casting a spey rod for the first time too. I guess I just killed a couple birds with one stone (or a rod in this case…). Shortly after that, we went to his parent’s cabin in the Methow Valley and he took me trout fishing. It was there that I hooked my first small trout and that was it. Pun very much intended—I was HOOKED. Seeing that mouth come up and grab the fly and then watching the line go straight to a shiny silver fish jumping out of the river… it was unbelievable. Not to mention the whole adrenaline rush of fighting a fish on a fly rod with a single action reel, making it that much more of a challenge and a thrill.
Steelhead, were a foreign species to me when Andrew took me to the Grande Ronde for my first attempt at catching one. He told me that trout fishing was fun and difficult in its own way, but steelhead fishing was what he was really passionate about. He said it was like nothing else, to fight a steelhead on a fly rod. The way they ran and jumped… how you had to work to get these fish to your fly and then, if you were lucky, to your feet. Right away, I was gung-ho and couldn’t wait to get out there and try it for myself. On that trip, I hooked and landed not just one, but four, wild steelhead on a single-handed 9 wt. rod. I was elated. I also was quickly made aware that I was extremely lucky to hook and land that number of amazing fish for my first time out, even for an experienced fisherman. But, I knew that from that point on, I would have a relentless passion for the challenge nonetheless. I was more than just “hooked”, I was obsessed.
Nearly three years later, I find myself looking for any excuse to get out on the river and cast a spey rod to find more steelhead. Ten years ago, I never would have guessed that I would be in this place-- one of pure enjoyment, unpredictability, excitement, disappointment, unbelievable experiences, memorable adventures and-- most importantly-- a life-long endeavor.
I love everything about steelhead fishing. I love learning new casts and ways to improve on my casting. I watch videos of well-respected spey casters to learn new techniques. I read articles and blogs written by other women who fly-fish for steelhead and even some that have made it their career. I admire what they have accomplished, and how they have turned what has been traditionally known as a male dominated sport into one where women are now guiding, teaching and even running fishing lodges all over the world. It is truly spectacular. It makes me hungry for more. I may have only started fishing a couple years ago, but I know now that it is something that I will pursue and embrace from now until I die. It’s knowing that, that makes me realize how lucky I am.
You can find more of Lisa's work at Hoof Prints and Fish Tales, as she too is a blogger.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
If you are Blake, you won my contest. I have flies for you that help you catch these things.
Please respond promptly. Then go fish them, report back with your success.
email me at jmills81 at hotmail dot com
Thank you, that is all...
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The White Salmon River is running as nature intended. Thank god!
Think about this, it's the first time in damn near 100 years that the White Salmon runs free and soon in the future, to it's connection with the Columbia.
Give the fish and nature a chance, and it will rebound. I am terribly excited to be a part of a generation to have a front seat to watch it come back.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Murph dog about lost her gourd when I started assembling the gear. I might or might not have washed my brush pants from last year's last trip and the scent blast of dried pheasant blood must have been a sensory overload for her.
Tis the night before pheasant season, and all of us in this house are just slightly excited. Fingers are crossed for a decent second hatch of wild roosters as the first hatch was basically lost in our spring rain barrage that just kept coming.
Tomorrow is a day I haven't missed since I was 11 years old. It is a part of me as much as any part of my life. Some first days are over quickly, other are an excursion in perseverance. Either way, it's a day that I look forward to all year.
It's also a day that bring the fair weather hunters out to crowd the grounds. Through time and developed relationships, we are afforded the opportunity to hunt territory that others do not. Even that said, the season is long and with good numbers, we will enjoy the chase deep into winter when the fair weather gunners are sitting in front of a fire.
So tomorrow, may the dogs work close, may the birds hold tight and good luck to the trigger fingers that culminate the activities of opening day of pheasant season.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I have changed my opinion, wholeheartedly. I doth stand corrected.
With an hour of daylight left yesterday, I threw out caution, clipped off my wet fly and went skating. That hour was a glimpse into true Steelhead Nirvana.
Our group had already had a great day with a consistent bite and fish landed. OMR landed a massive hatchery hen on the Snake and the end of the day put us at the mouth of the home river.
The light began to flatten out and with a Skopper attached, I saw my first actual skated dry take by a steelhead. I promptly trout set it out of it's mouth.
Wow, it actually happened. Couldn't believe it. Ok, back at it.
Two casts later, a massive slashing rise and we were connected.
Holy holy holy shit (my inner monologue)
I said that phrase 5 more times in that hour and landed two fish. This is the type of stuff that makes Steelhead nuts like me a bit weak in the knees.
So back to that picture. That's what happens when 7 different fish try to destroy a skater.
Oh hell yes. Oh, hell yes!
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Alaska Natives, commercial fishermen, sportsmen and seafood processors are heading south on the Save Bristol Bay Road Show to raise awareness and build support for protecting Bristol Bay Alaska, which is threatened by the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine.
The mine, potentially three times as large as the largest current mine in North America, would threaten the headwaters of Bristol Bay, putting thousands of fishing jobs at risk, along with a Native way of life that has existed for centuries. The real gold in Bristol Bay is the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, a sustainable resource that returns year after year.
In six cities, commercial fishermen, Alaska Natives, sportsmen and seafood processors will highlight the economic risks posed by the mine. The Road Show will also feature a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Red Gold,” delicious Bristol Bay sockeye prepared by local chefs, and locally produced beers.
Melanie Brown, an Alaska Native and commercial fisherwoman, and Ben Blakey, of family-run seafood company, Snopac Products, will travel to all of the cities as featured speakers, sharing the importance of the region as an economic engine, source of jobs, and resource for food.
In each city, the program will also feature sportsmen, fishing guides or commercial fishermen, whose livelihoods depend on the clean waters and sustainable fish runs of Bristol Bay. More than 12,000 jobs depend on the commercial salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, along with more than 1,000 jobs related to sport fishing and countless other businesses.
The Save Bristol Bay Road Show visits the following six cities:
Seattle: Monday, October 17, Leif Erikson Lodge, 7 p.m.
Portland: Wednesday, October 19, Bagdad Theater, 7 p.m.
Corvallis: Friday, October 21, The Arts Center, 7 p.m.
San Francisco: Monday, October 24, Temple Nightclub, 7 p.m.
Santa Fe: Tuesday, October 25, Center For Contemporary Arts Cinematheque, 7 p.m.
Denver: Thursday, October 27, Oriental Theater, 7 p.m.
For information, please visit: www.savebristolbay.org/roadshow
If you're in any of these cities, you need to go to this event. Mark it NOW on your calendar.
Make your stand now for Bristol Bay.