Monday, December 30, 2013

Unabated Thievery...

I hooked and landed the first fish of the day.

Decorum gives OMR the jump on each new piece of water until his line goes tight.

Of course, that takes about 2 casts in the next run....

Returning the favor, OMR jumped back in line

The rest of the day, he picked my pocket 4 times.

I'd like to say I was mad about it.....but the truth is, I couldnt be happier.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ridiculous Sunset...

A great day on the big river ended with a bang....

with one of the most brilliant sunsets I've ever seen.

It's winter.  So what.  Get out there, now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Choices Inside Your Dog's Head...

While I am standing thigh deep in the flow, Murph Dog is left to her own demise.

Passing the time between casts and the occasional hookup, I start to think about what in gods name is going through the dog's brain while she watches me fish....

It's all about choices

Eat and roll in the dead, rank and rotting salmon, or.......Hang out on the beach

Find the deer carcass, ripe a leg off of it and chew it to bits and in turn, smell like decaying flesh for two days or.......swim out to me, anchor in the current and perform the doggy treadmill (see below)

Jump into the run first and spook the fish, or.....fall asleep standing mid river

She's a dam fine lab with a good enough bird nose to boot, but there's always a a bit of hijinks involved when all she has is time on her hands.

Of course, when a fish is hooked...she's right there as inspector general.

What's your best story of dogs on the bank?  We'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Felt and Snow...

Sometimes, you just have to get out of the freaking house

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dropping Hammers with the Method...

Time for another test drive, and this time the Sage Method 12'6 8wt

Before we dive into anything,

The elephant in the room....

A year after the "One", what's Sage doing releasing another $1,000 rod?

It's my belief you cant stay stale in anything.  Sit on the same lineup forever and you're going to get passed and surpassed.   In any business you can go from industry leader to also ran in a second.    Our little fly fishing community tends to get stuck in a baseball like position where we have a terrible time letting go of established dogma and accepting new items.  I myself love vintage reels, but on the same hand wouldnt know what to do if I had to nail knot everything.

For that, I have no problem with Sage pushing for a little bit more, another edge, another innovation.

For that, the Sage Method is the shit.

My test drive for the Method was primarily in the part of my steelhead season that focuses on Clearwater River in Idaho.   The set up was made complete with the new Evoke series reel and the Rio Short Head Spey

The Clearwater is big, in both runs and the size of the steelhead that return.  It's one of those rivers that begs for the long dryline and that's why this set up excited as we focused on the Clearwater August through the beginning of October

Here are my top 5 reasons why I dug this set up.

1.  Extra Crispy--The Method is all types of fast action.  If you like a progressive flex, this isnt your stick.  I tend to cast better with a faster action spey rod

2.  It's Purdy-- Finally a fly rod that's not muted grey/black/blue/green.  The wife has shoes, I have fly rods.

3.  Beautiful Cork--I used it for a solid 7 days on the river and it continued to feel like I just unpacked it for the first time

4.  The Line Combo-- Having only cast shorter Scandi and Skagit style heads, the transition to the 10ft longer Short Head Spey by Rio was made a lot easier by this rod.  It was forgiving and powerful enough to get it going.  Once I got the anchor placement down, it all came together nicely

5.  Lightness--ALthough it's really powerful....after a day of spey casting you'll love the lightness of the stick

Yes, it's a lot of money.  If it's part of your budget, have at it with out any reservations because if you like spey rods for the same reasons I like them, you're going to love the Sage Method Series

Fly fishing will always hold onto traditions and traditional gear.  Every now and then, it's ok to check out what's on the forefront of development of our sport

Monday, December 16, 2013

#Infernoflies Round 2

With Eastern Washington crushing Jacksonville St 35-24 in last weekend's FCS playoff, that gives us two things

1.  Another killer home game this Saturday versus Towson at Roos Field in Cheney


2.  Round of Inferno Flies.

Last week's winner comes from Laura Jenkins, who snapped this shot of boyfriend Eric Speer's recent catch, which so happened to have an all red #infernofly in it's grill.  We're suckers for great fish pictures, and having the fly in the mouth of our favorite fish pushed this entry over the top to win. Flies are in the mail Eric and Laura

Onward to this week's competition....

It runs the same as last week.  Hit the vice and create your own #infernoflies or do what week one winners did and find a shot of the red bug in action.

Make sure to either share the pic with Evolution Anglers or the Millsfly FB pages, or on either instagram or twitter use the hashtag #infernoflies and tag both @evoanglers and @millsfly33 in the post

Joe and I will be posting our week's prize fly up shortly this week and after this weekend's game, we'll pic the winner and award the bugs.

Good luck and GO EAGS!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Steelhead Staredown...

Nothing like landing a fish with Labs putting their two cents in.

But really, we wouldn't have it any other way

Pate Williams survey's the hatchery buck that has since found it's way into the brine, destined  for the smoker.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I'm A Sucker For a Killer T Shirt

If you're looking for a gift for the steelhead fisher man or woman on your list.....may I suggest this killer shirt  from H and H Outfitters

You can bet your arse it's on my list

Big Ups to H and H Outfitters for making some really cool gear and apparel that strays from the norm.  Always great to see a cool upstart begin to get noticed and hit their stride.

Learn more about H and H by clicking  HERE.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

EWU Inferno Flies Contest...

Time for a little hometown pride today on the this internet outpost

Eastern Washington University is basically in my backyard but it's always been a little under appreciated in the athletic realm.  Over the past 10 or so years, they've put an impressive run together culminating  2010 FCS national championship

This year, the team looks especially hot so in coordination with the Vanilla Gorilla of Evolution Anglers, we've dusted off a great idea he rolled with as the Eags marched to their championship in 2010

Each week that EWU is in the playoffs, Joe and I will be tying a special steelhead swing bug and giving away a 3 apiece to someone who also creates their own bugs categorized with the hashtag


Drop us a picture at either of our facebook pages, via instagram and or twitter by tagging @millsfly and @evoanglers

After each game, we'll determine and winner and that Monday the bugs go in the mail.  Following each victory, our new weekly #infernoflies will start the contest anew.

Gets to tying, and GO EAGS!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Very Glassy Christmas....

The gold standard in fishing blogs THE FIBERGLASS MANIFESTO is about to hook you all up with one hell of a contest

Starting Monday the 9th for 12 days, you have the opportunity to enter to win great items from some of the heavyweights of the industry, as well as innovative gear from stellar upstarts that are making names for themselves like Bozeman Reel Co.

Head on over to the FIBERGLASS MANIFESTO and get all the details for the contest.

Good luck!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Soul River Conservation

Conservation - Consciousness Runs Deep from Soul River on Vimeo.

This aint your average fishing video, and that's exactly why I dig it so much

Soul River is a Portland, OR based group you really should get to know, combining elements of inner city/riverscape/art/fashion/fishing/therapy for people like wounded vets and at risk youth of our urban jungles.  

They're definitely a company to keep your eye on.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Point. Flush. Miss....

It's never the shots you make that you remember, it's the ones you screw up that rattle around in your brain forever.

We approached the small patch of cover without much hope of it having a bird or two in it.  The quick stroll to the end of the tall blonde grass and the little german shorthair locked on point. With two guns into position, the crazy lab came and and combined with the pointer, up came a monster ditch parrot.

Veering to the right and into my shot lane, I gave it the two shot salute from my under over and away it kept flying.

How in the hell.....?

It was one of those shots you have no idea how you missed.  Going up and away, I've made that shot so many times it feels routine.

But alas, it wasnt.

Late season roosters are no joke.  Combine that with a bad hatch this year, easy shots are few and far between.

Misses are the shots that get you back up early for redemption.    Missed shots are the ones that keep things interesting.

If you made all your shots, birds on the ground and in the waiting mouth of your dog wouldnt be as special.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bell to Bell.....

Bell to bell.  First cast to last.  A day's worth of hope in between.

One fish for the dinner table.  Another lost and left us wondering.

What a great day on the big water.  We'll be back soon.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Conflict on the Dean

Question--How long does the average commercial fisherman in this fleet think that fish can live out of water?

Answer--A long ass time.

This is one sad video.

Read more at Adipose Newsletter from the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sleeping Mid River...

A little bit of warm sun and a tired dog can make for a strange sight to see.

Ol' Murph Dog, asleep in the river waiting for me to connect.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Redington Dually Spey--Lots of Rod for Little Cheddah.

So Redington comes out with a $249 spey rod.....and the first thought through my mind

Yeah Right....

Then I spent 3 days pushing line with the spray pole.....and the next thought is....

I think I found my go to dryline rod.....

In my case, I tested the 12'6 6wt model which turned out to be just about perfect for the smaller/medium sized river like the Grande Ronde where I am magnetically drawn to in the fall.

Here are the top 7 reasons why I loved this little stick, and 1 reason why I didnt.  Each rod has it's sweet spot in terms of what application you put it to and in this case, pushing a fly just under the surface or even on top is where this model shines

The Goods....

1.  The Price-- Looking to dip your toes in the spey game to see if it's for you?  Here's your token to get on the ride.  Seriously, this rod casts like it should be sold at a $400-$500 price point

2.  The Cork-- The full cork on the handle is very unique, all the way through the reel seat.  I think it's a pretty darn cool touch

3.  The Color--Distinctive in a black/green/blue dominated market, the maroon outside the norm.

4.  Up-locking Full Metal Reel Seat--Classy, very.

5.  Handle Options--3 of them for the choosey folks out there.

6.   Chrome Magnet--See exhibit B

7.  The Sweet Spot--I found this rod to be exceedingly fun to cast scandi lines on.  I settled in on a 420 grain head and it felt as if it was matched perfectly.  This particular 6wt model is made for rivers like the Grande Ronde and the Methow where you dont have to make 100 foot casts.  Working 60-80 feet is fully effective on those rivers and I will tell you this rod lets you feel every tick tick tick of a dryline take but has the nuts to crank the fish in at the appropriate time.  I sat in one run and threw my rudimentary snake roll time after time after time and loved every second of it.  Zero fatigue, ready to roll for more time on the river.

The "Ehhh" part of this model

1.  Throwing tips-- the vast majority of time I spent with the Dually was without sink tips.  When I did....I wasnt throwing the greatest loops.  I cant blame the rod, more than likely it doesnt suit me when dredging is in order.  A lighter tip than I was throwing would suit the rod better and then this gripe can be thrown away.  Farther up in line weight models and I dont think it would be or is an issue.

All in all, the Dually gets the Chucking Line and Chasing Tail stamp of approval and I will be adding this stick to the quiver quite soon.

Get more info here on the entire line of Dually Spey and Switch Rods.

The Dually by Redington from Far Bank on Vimeo.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pheasant Fields of Contrast...

What a beautiful day.  A long walk with working dogs that helped us make the most of our limited chances.  Wild birds are no joke.  They make you earn every bit of it.

Makes you smile when the dogs do their job to perfection and the shot rings true.  

Dinner tastes that much better.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Angling Community Is A Giving Bunch--Waypoints Conclusion

We had people waiting at the door 25 minutes before opening.  From that point on I knew we were in for a great evening.

The Spokane premier of Waypoints to benefit the Wild Steelhead Coalition is in the books, and watching folks generously open their wallets for conservation is a really special thing to see.

And they kept doing it to the tune of over $4300.

A big thanks to the Kalispel Tribe of Indians for their major donation of the banquet room at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.   The substantial room fee was donated free of charge and allowed us to net a much greater sum of money.

The event wouldn't have had the draw without the guides who donated their trips and the companies that freely gave product donations.  They substantially add the event's draw and in turn the money raised.

(Yours truly trying to sound coherent)

The three city benefit for the WSC went off without a hitch.   So a gigantic thank you from this humble blogger who is just a small part in the conservation machine of anglers, guides and companies that made Spokane premier of Waypoints a gigantic success.

We'll be at it again this spring.  Stay tuned

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Companies Supporting Waypoints Spokane

A big reason for the success of the past two film benefits for the Wild Steelhead Coalition is the companies that gracefully line up to help with raffle items and donated trips

This Friday's showing of Waypoints from Confluence Films is no different.  The support came pouring in again, so here's a list of companies that have helped so far.

Remember folks, these are the companies who are supporting wild fish conservation and conservation in general.  Support them with your dollars when you can

Guide Services
Anglers Obsession--Aaron O'Leary
Evolution Anglers--Joe Willauer
Chromer Sportfishing-Yos Gladstone

Apparel/Rods/Reels/Lines/Fly Shops/Artists
Rio Products
Sage Fly Fishing
Promont Outdoors
RST Fly Fishing
Allen Fly Fishing
Derek DeYong Artworks
Felt Soul Media
Lateral Line Media
Goat Head Gear Spikes
Big R Fly Shops
Northwest Outfitters
Silver Bow Fly Shop
Dry Fly Distillery
In the Depths
The Flying Goat
Hatch Fly Fishing
FreeFly Apparel
Guideline Eyewear
Deneki Outdoors
Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Non Profit Booths
Peak 7 Adventures
The Lands Council
Spokane Riverkeeper
In the Depths Artworks
Project Healing Waters
Spokane Fly Fishers
Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited
Clearwater Steelhead Syndicate

Cant wait to see you all this Friday.  Lets raise a lot of money for the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Karma of Other People's Flies....

There's a whole lot of mojo in other people's flies.

Often times I find myself midstream staring at my fly box in the typical mental battle of what next to try. Truth be told, steelhead dont give a shit.  They're either going to eat, or they're not.  Simple as that but we as fishermen or women, especially those to tie, elevate the decision far beyond the mental capacity of our swimming quarry.

So back to the starring contest with a couple dozen flies.   I decide yes, then no to about a half dozen varietals, then settle into a fly that was given to me by a steelhead Jedi a couple years past

Turns out that I was fishing with that dude that very day.

Cinching the knot, I just had the feeling.  The fly had the juice.  Stuff was about to go down.  Planets were aligning at that very moment.

The best part of that crazy line ripping three hours?  The back story on that fly.  How it's predecessor was given to my friend and in turn, gave him a great amount of success.  Moving forward, he put his touches on the fly and then gave some to me.  The line of connectivity of three anglers through giving, not hoarding success, brought special meaning to that day on the water.

Often times, through commitments of life I have more bench time then fishing time and in turn wind up with a bunch of extra flies.  Giving those extras away and then hearing about fish caught on them is a pretty awesome thing and I believe it adds to the experience of chasing steelhead around this great Pacific Northwest riverscape.    It keeps me connected to the flow and the fish even when I cant get away.

So give away your extra flies, fish others given to you.   My bet is that the karma train will make a stop at the end of your line soon thereafter.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nov 8th.....It's Your Duty To Join Us

Just a gentle reminder that your Friday Nov. 8th plans have been taken care of.

Come join us watch beasts like this tamed at the Spokane premier of Waypoints at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.  Doors at 6, film at 7pm

The schwag pile continues to grow, highlighted by some pretty sweet pieces of gear and guided trips around the west.

All money raised will be donated to the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

Keep yourself apprised of any ongoings by joining the FB GROUP for the Spokane Showing.  We will be detailing the raffle gear as well as the trips that are being committed by some top flight guides

So if you're within 75 miles, you have no excuses.  See you there!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Letting the Hardy Sing

When the reel arrived, it was easy to see....this little beauty hadn't seen water in the decades.

Last week, we corrected that problem.

Matched with the 6 wt Redington Dually on loan for review,  the reel balanced the rod and in perfect dryline conditions....the rest of the river knew what was up when a fish was hooked up.

The beauty of an older reel is the noise.  Some love it, some loath it.  I fall well within the love, as a piece of machinery made 30-40 years ago and sat for decades in a drawer worked like it should off the factory floor is an amazing thing.

Now I find myself constantly on Ebay for the next loud reel edition.    Until then, know when you hear that loud reel sing, someone out there is happy and tight to a fish

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Paddle...

Every part of these fish is amazing.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wild Steelhead Coalition Benefit Nov 8th In Spokane

We're at it again!

Nov 8th, in coordination with other cities around the US and Canada, we are hosting the Spokane premier of Confluence Films newest offering WAYPOINTS to benefit the Wild Steelhead Coaliton

In 2011, we screened Connect and it was a blast with about 175 attendees

Last year in showing Low and Clear, we broke over 270.

This year we upgraded our venue to Northern Quest Resort and Casino and with your help, we'll break 300.

The industry is coming through with awesome donations for our raffle.  Reels, lines, bags, hats, sunglasses, shirts...on and on.

So far we have a few guide trips lined up to give away to some spectacular water.

The film is top notch.  The cause is next level.  You and all your friends should be there.

RSVP on our FACEBOOK EVENT SITE.....and we look forward to sharing a beer and watching WAYPOINTS on Nov 8th.

Trailer: Waypoints from Confluence Films from The Fly Fishing Guide Directory on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

She's a Screamer

The Ebay listing went a little something like this....

"We know nothing about fishing, let alone fly fishing.  This reel was under some papers in a bin that we bid on at an estate sale auction.  Looks like it's never been used.  Hope someone can find some use and joy from it"

Ah hem...what?

So after some serious last second bidding and a week in between, she arrived at my house. The Hardy Sunbeam 8/9.   I don't think this reel has ever seen water.

Pull a little line of the reel and she screams the classic hardy click.  It sounds beautiful.  

I think I'll introduce her to a steelhead this weekend.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Redington Trask Flannel

Flannels arent just for hipsters.  Oh no no...

Nor do fishing shirts have to be singular in color with no personality.   We all have a few of those, right?

Enter the Trask  Long Sleeve Flannel by Redington

Here are my top 5 reasons why I dig this shirt

1.  Wife Approved--Not a lot of what I sport on the river makes the grade on date night.  This one does.

2.  Vintage Look--And I dont even have to step foot into a vintage clothing store and deal with the people that work there.    Sorry Macklemore, but  6'8 dudes usually don't find clothing in stores with names like the Eclectic Rabbit.

 buttons and everything

3.  The Collar --It stays put.  I've had this piece for 6 months and have washed it countless times.  Boom, the line in the collar is unwavering.  No ironing needed

4.  Double Bubba means Double Bubba--Long enough to the waist, long enough in the arms.  They tech speak term that Redington uses is CastCut, allowing for more freedom of movement.

5.  Long and short sleeve options.....because not all of us experience winter, or the converse of that.

The Redington Trask Flannel passes the Chucking Line and Chasing Tail test.   Anything that lasts 8 months in my closet in both a fishing and general living adaptation has me smiling...and this shirt does for me.

Good luck this fall, go out and get some.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

River Beer....

Never kick a gift horse in the mouth.

Not all beverage containers you find on the river are drained of their contents.  On a hot day on a river, these little gems of sweet relief are to be taken as omens of good luck to come.

Whilst I despise....let me repeat DESPISE anything in an "Ice" variety, I wasn't about to let this karma nugget float on by.    My guess is this beer had been in the river a while and had begun its journey much farther upriver.  Notice the heavy scarring on the can.....more character if you ask me.

In this particular case, this beer was sweet reward for one of the most savage dryline grabs a steelhead has ever given to me.

Then, that Ice bullshit tasted pretty damn good.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Issue of Swing the Fly

Nothing gets me more excited about steelhead and salmon fishing than this magazine does

Luckily, yours truly placed third in the cover shot photo contest.  I have no idea how it made the cut, considering the quality of photos in the contest but I will take it non the less

Great work and words from the likes of Joe Willauer, Mark Stangeland, and Marty and Mia Shepard to name a few, take a few minutes and dive in

Click HERE for your link

Happy swanging.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Take That Butterball...

We'll go ahead and eschew the farm raised bird for the wild stuff this upcoming thanksgiving.

Fall is the shit.  Really, is there any time better in the entire year?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Too Bad Buck...

An errant shot and a hell of a stink on the riverbank, this muley just couldn't escape his fate.  Too bad, considering how big he was even after the state of decomposition.

Either by bow or muzzloader, this buck was returning to the biomass.  Maybe even feeding some steelhead smolt along the way

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I've Got Plans For Your Nov. 8th

Trailer: Waypoints from Confluence Films from The Fly Fishing Guide Directory on Vimeo.

We'll call this a bit of foreshadowing.....maybe what they call in the biz..."a teaser"

But here's the deal.  Let the Misses know that you and her have plans that night.

As for now, just remember I and the Wild Steelhead Coalition call dibs on November 8th in your calendar

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Getting Bent On Your Birthday....

For the 4th year in a row, OMR got bent for his birthday at the Fay Clave

Perfect Water.  Dryline.  Blown up.

No more than 2 casts before the hook up, I say to my buddy Ryan..."damn, I hope he gets his fish and keeps his birthday streak alive"

And it happened.

We all should be so lucky.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Destined For A Fish's Mouth

A couple midget intruders hot off the tying bench.  Hopefully, steelhead or two will find them delicious this weekend.

Fall's here ladies and gents.  Go get some.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Just About A Year Ago...

We began our journey to Steelhead Valhalla.   The steelhead water of Northwest BC is a place to be seen in person, and I can't wait till go back again.

Here's to the next trip and the excitement to make that happen in the future.