Monday, February 28, 2011

Dispatches from The Wild Steelhead Coalition.....Check this Map Out!

Friends and fans of Wild Steelhead, please take a peek at this map, a status of steelhead populations across their historic range.

For me personally, my journey into advocacy for steelhead is about acquiring information to make me a more learn-ed fellow.  Basically I am hoping to learn enough to not sound like an idiot when I get all fired up and want to tell others why I am so passionate. 

What I am learning now about are the 15 different "Distinct Population Segments" of West Coast Steelhead.

A Snake River Basin Fish are not completely the same as a Oregon Coastal Fish.  Just looking at the separate journeys that these two distinct strains of fish have to make to get to their spawning grounds leads one to believe that these fish behave least a little...from the other. 

Ever hear of a one strain of steelhead being more "trouty" than others.  Another strain being renowned for being great fighters.  Yet another for distinct body shapes.  There you go, they've evolved to meet the challenges that their separate and distinct river systems have.

Right now, 12 of the 15 Distinct Population Segments are listed in bad shape.  Not good news eh?

Yes, the news isn't great, but join me in learning more by joining the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

It's a paltry $20 to join, and you gain an incredible bank of knowledge to help you help these fish.  

I just joined, it's time for you to do so as well

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Discovery or Intimacy....What Drives you?

There's a run on my favorite river that I look forward to fishing more than any place in the world.  The subsurface structure coupled with correct flows usually end with a tight line.  It's a run I dream of when I have been away from the river for a long time.  There is comfort in knowing where to cast to, when to mend, even when to set the hook.  To say I know it intimately would be an understatement. 

At the same time, there is a drive of discovery.  The run around the bend and a river unfished will always hold the biggest fish of our minds.  From small brooks to imposing rivers, wonderlust gets us all. 

I think often of this when laying out an upcoming trip.  Do we return to the stage of former glory, or do we go on a trip  to new found lands and rivers on accord of a trip we overheard at the fly shop?

The place you know well means you know what fly to cast.  The place you dont dont know where to cast in the first place.  Of course you know what productive water looks like but you lack the experience to know where it should all come together.

So it comes down to what drives you.  The thrill of a new spot, or the feeling of an old baseball glove on your hand of an old haunt.

For me, its a little bit of both depending on my mood and how long it's been since I've connected and felt a fish on the other end of the line.   If I am jonesing, it's a good bet I find my way to somewhere where I know what the game is about.  Other times, it's time to go down the road less traveled.

But what's it like for you.  What gets you excited on a Monday for a Saturday trip afield? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OMR 2.0....Grinding out a beauty

Why Uncle Larry,  AKA OMR 2.0, you look cold. 

Well, I am sure your warming up now.   Holding onto lightening will do that to you.

Jack-Pot.  Congratulations OMR 2.0 on your first fly caught steelhead.  Princess nymphs are irresistable, at least to this beautiful wild hen.  The weather was uncooperative, but the Brothers Mills found success on a certain steelhead river in North Central Washington.

A quick photo op and back in the water asap to go along and fulfill her duty. 

Strong work Uncle Larry, strong work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wild Steelhead....Stop Eating it!

Pikes Street Fish Market.  Ray's Boathouse.  It's off their menus, and now it's time for all of us to continue to stand up and help get Wild Steelhead off the menu and offerings of any establishment

There is one place in the lower 48 where Wild Steelhead are taken and sold to market, and that's from the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The wild stock of these rivers while not listed on the Endangered Species Act, are severely depressed and taking of these fish is part of a an unsustainable

practice.  The tribes have a right to harvest the fish, but we can do our best to make it known how much impact it's having.

Add to the mix the confusion the difference between hatchery fish, farmed fish, unclipped hatchery fish and wild fish themselves....its no wonder why people dont know how to fight this issue.  It's hard to know where to start.

So right now, it's about information.  It's about education.  It's about raising some fundage to help the fight to protect these fish

Ladies and Gentlemen, I urge you to find your way to facebook and join the group by clicking here

Next, go here...

and pick up a few stickers to show your support.  All profits will be to wild steelhead conservation efforts.

Allen Fly Fishing volunteered to fund this sticker effort to get it off the ground.  Kudos to then and their company.  They're not just a site sponsor for this blog, but they're good people.  Check them out.

Time to draw your own personal line in the sand....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Texts You Dont Want Receive While Sitting in Cubicle-land

It's Monday, 9am and I am knee deep in getting the work week rolling.

Emails are being shot out, faxes are coming in.  New shit is coming to light and my desk rumbles with the report of a text received. 

Its my buddy Joe, AKA, Chewbacca, AKA Toby Keith of the OP, AKA Mr Evolution Anglers

"(Angler Name Omitted) just released some lower Hoh chrome at (specific run name omitted) "

And so begins a series of texts that I'd rather not get again.  Never.  Ever. 

Then this comes in

"Hooked 3 so far"

Oh really,  thanks for the update and my tie becomes a little more tight. 

And then the clincher.  If this was mortal combat, this would be the kill shot and the game would proclaim "flawless victory"

"Just swung the best steelhead of my life"

Oh really, great.  Good for you.  Thanks for ruining my day

3 weeks to go till our sojourn to the Holy Land of Steelhead and Team Jacob.   Mid March can't come fast enough.

Still considering coming out to the OP, I highly, highly suggest you book a trip with Joe from Evolution Anglers.  Joe and the Brazda Crew work hard, fish hard and plain do it right.   They might or might not have a couple of select openings before the season is done.  If I were you, I'd jump on it brosef.  

You wont regret it

I fully anticipate 3 weeks of texts to continue to come until I am sitting in Joe's boat. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Life Well Lived--The Clay Steelhead Clan

A Steelhead Family - Official HD video 3.1 from Andrew Hardingham on Vimeo.

An exceptional film that chronicles the good life lived by the Clay family on the Kispiox River in BC.

This is a must watch video

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thanks Skate the Fly...I feel so honored

See, all you have to do is ass hook a sucker while fishing for steelhead and you too can win big prizes.

At about the 10 minute mark, you'll see what I am talking about.

Episode #5 from Dyland and Dave at Skate the Fly TV

Good Sheet Mang...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Film Tour Returnith to Spokane on Thursday

Time to lay waste to 2 hours of fly fishing film geekdom. It hath returned for it's forth reincarnation in Spokane

If you're coming to the Spokane edition this Thursday, come join us for a pre funk at Far West Billiards, First and Monroe in downtown Spokane.  Great food, great boozies and micros...and if you can tell me what fly OMR has tattooed on his right bicep, I will buy you a beer of your choice

Good luck, and see you at the film tour!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Truck Lasers On the Big River

A day on the Big River gave us these opportunities......

The ability to fish on a 60 degree day in February

Get the feel of a pair of demo rods from Red Truck Fly Rods.  Review coming shortly

And to giggle my ass off as this bachelor herd of sheep charge and whiz by within 4 feet of my buddy Wayne. 

It was a beautiful day but alas no fish to hand.  When you step into the river in the morning and loose sight of your boots after a foot of water, you know catching goes down on the probability list.  But hell...neither is being trampled by bighorn sheep

All photo's courtesy of my bud Wayne from Maine.  Soon he will be joining the blogisphere and we here at Chucking Line and Chasing Tail fully endorse any of his work.   Expert fly tier, great fisherman, not bad on the camera as you can see...and what I am most excited about--he know's how to catch Striiiii-pahs.  Knowledge I hope to put to use some day if I ever get out there to New England

Thanks Wayne!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things I Suck At .....

We all have our wheel house.

Throw the pitch, down the middle it comes.....and we park it. 

Proficiency is one thing, but on the dark side of that, we all have the things we just plain suck at.

In the fly fishing arena, there is a dark side of my moon.

Case in point....

1.  Nail Knots, and it's bastard tool.

Lets just say that loop to loop connections saved me in fly fishing.   The feeling of inadequacy that this little piece of metal gives me makes me feel like a newborn looking at a screwdriver.   I suppose I need to sit down and freaking learn this, but good gawd, I HATE the NAIL KNOT.   Long live loop to loop connections!

 2.  Tying Little Dry Flies

Give me a Alec Jackson Hook or a Waddington Shank, and I am at home on the vice.  Present me with a size 18 and tell me to tie a Trico, and I've reached my limits.   Really, I can do it, but I hate it.

3.  Rowing Big Ass Rapids...

May I say this right now.  These guys in the picture above which I found on google...are better than me.  I'd rather pull over and line a boat through craziness than to row it and flip it like an idiot.  Last year on the Olympic Penninsula each time we'd set up for some big rapids on the Sol Duc, invariably our guide would take us down the opposite line I would think we should go.  Fook me

We all have items that we dont do well.  It's cool, we all have limitations.  Face them, embrace them and we can then look to get better at them.

Shoot me a comment, lets see what you struggle with.  Trust me, it's ok to admit it.

Now to go find my nail knot tool....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello There Shacknasties, We've Been Expecting You...

Yes, it's that time of year again. 

It's not Fall, it's not Spring, and winter is almost done.

Fishing sucks, hunting is done till April, the weather is at its most gray.

Flows of our steelhead rivers are as unpredictable as a manic-depressive who's forgotten their Zoloft.

The trip to Rocky Ford to fish for pond monkeys begins to sound appealing.

Our pilgrimage to the holy land of the Olympic Peninsula to chase wild winter steel rockets is close enough, yet far enough out to seem a long way away.

A 60 degree seems almost laughable and snow is a real possibility for a long time to come.

Yes folks, its Shacknasty season.  The worst season of the year.  You can only tie so many flies, go over your gear so many times, and so on.  Internet message boards are full of posts where grown men chastise each other like middle school girls over trival topics like the perfect stonefly nymph and what line is best for what rod.  Ahh, to be honest....that message board stuff is pretty funny.

We gots to just get through it.....the sun will soon crest over the horizon and full blown spring and summer will be upon us.  Hold on, it's coming. 

Now, go tell the Shacknasties to go fark themselves.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Cooler Sticker Doesnt Exist....

Now to find a suitable place to rock this bad boy.

Thanks to Mikey G in Portland for throwing this my way.  I feel honored.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When Geese Fall From the Sky

The text rolled in during a long day at work, and instantly, I knew it was game on.

"Can you go goose hunting tomorrow?"

A quick peek at the mid week work schedule showcased that this opportunity couldn't be missed. An it was a client and he was asking me to go hunting.  It's business you know, business.  When it's business, you cant say no.

Spending the majority of my bird hunting life chasing ditch parrots and other upland quarry, I am near infantile about my knowledge of waterfowl.  Thankfully I have good friends who are helping me learn. 

My friend, my client is a hardcore waterfowler.  With what I saw during this day afield, that's the understatement of the year.  Trailers, ATV's, more decoys you could think of.  I considered myself very lucky to be invited.  It was if I had been handed the golden ticket.

After set up, we positioned ourselves in our layout blinds and waited for the show to begin.  4 guns laid in wait for the flight progression of the hundreds of birds that were known to work the area.  Within 5 minutes, the noise in the air signaled the presence of what we were looking for.  Game on.

If you've never sat and watched expert callers go to work on a flock of geese, I hope you have that opportunity someday.  My hosts hit their calls and I sat back and watched it happen.  From hundreds of yards out the first flock came into us on a string.  3 circles around the spread and we all early awaited the call to rise and report with our guns. 

2 flocks into the morning and 7 birds were down.  The action was amazing to say the least.  I had a feeling it wasnt going to last long.

Out of the west the black speck on the horizon materialized into a gigantic flock that was headed right for us.  This group of geese came at us, circled once and came down cupping right in the middle of the spread.  Up we sprang and 12 shots completed the round.  We had geese down and as many know who shoot waterfowl, steel is a wounder, not a killer. 

2 were quickly dispatch and as the new guy I volunteered to go after a bird that already was 200 yards out and getting away rapidly.  Trucking through the muddy field, I finally caught up and did my job by ending the suffering. 

On the way back, I see the guys lining up the geese.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot......

The reason, out of that flock, 9 geese fell from the sky. 

Translation, 16 geese limit reached for 4 guys hunting.

I almost was bummed we were done so soon.  The time was 9am.

By Noon I was back at work in a suit. 

What a morning client "meeting" it was.