Monday, July 29, 2013

The Interloper...

That aint no redband....

The Spokane is a notoriously bad dry fly river.  Plumes of caddis will hover over great water with nary a break in the surface.  The native Redband Rainbows of have a strange adaptation to give the middle finger to most dry flies.  Every once and a while you get one or two to loose their mind and break from tradition, but it's rare to the point that usually, I dont even bring dry flies with me

With the dog days of summer in full swing, I too eschewed my traditional routine and brought a dry fly rod rigged with a Chubby to see if the fish were looking up, at the hopes of intercepting a hopper.

Well the faux hopper was blown up, violently by this interloper to the Spokane system

It makes sense why this rarity rose up to smash the fly.  Westslope Cutthroat tend to do that

Occasionally one of these is found in the Spokane River.  High water events push them from the North Idaho streams,  past dams and into the lower river, but it's a journey that doesn't happen often

Big and healthy, my guess is this guy had been in the river a while.  God, I wish there were more of them.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Dotting the sky with the loop.

From a few years back on the Clearwater, this is that little reminder that Steelhead season is but a few short weeks away.  Dam counts are on the rise, but it remains to be seen if this run's early component was late, or just isn't coming.

The GRAPH that measures this year's return has it between the 10 year average and last year's return.  Last year wasnt the greatest, but results dont happen unless you have a fly in the water.

Keep your fingers crossed.  The Chinook runs were late this year, so hopefully the same story for Steelhead.

On the good news front, the wild component to this run is over 50% so far.

All in all, I'll still be swinging a fly this fall and winter.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rigging Up...

These days, fishing video's are a dime a dozen.  I remember the first fly fishing film tour's first edition and it blew my mind.  Now fly fishing videos are criticized if this or that is off.  Too much this, too much that, not enough of on and so forth

It's like the effect of watching too much porn.  You get all types of desensitized.

Lets get it straight, there's not much else that can be filmed that hasnt been shown.

Catching a tarpon in a float tube, done.

Tigerfish in Africa.  Check

Epic adventures in Mongolia, yep.

I'll still go see every single one that comes out and probably buy the DVD.

What I really appreciate are the films that take normal and show it in a way that displays what our sport is all about.

Case in point, this short from one of my favorite blogs out there, Dawn Patrol Fly Fishing



Monday, July 22, 2013

Selfish Time...

There's extra special sweetness in selfish time.

Fatherhood learns you up quick, and with two boys, my time has been squeezed down to where it should be.  Not much. 

I'm happy with that, I'm good with it.  It's what I asked for and dearly love the sound of "daddy".  Isn't weird how quiet life was before children fill your life?

But the burning desire to get out still stays stoked.  That's why an alarm goes off around 430am and I tiptoe through the house and pray to god nobody wakes up.  I do a little happy dance when my clumsiness is momentarily curtailed and the door shuts and no crying is heard.  That crying is a trip ender.

The selfish hours of pre sunrise mornings on the local river cleanse my mind.  2 hours is all I need to feel refreshed and ready for the real commitments of life.  

The beautiful thing here is that I usually get home before the family knows I was gone

Soon, I hope to make my selfish time "our" selfish time when the boys are old enough to join me. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wild Steelhead Coalition Membership Meeting July 31st..

Interested in seeing what we're working on?  Come join us on July 31st for the Wild Steelhead Coalition Membership Meeting.  Great BBQ, a few adult beverages of the malted kind and see the presentation by Dave Pflug on the effects of hatchery steelhead on the Skagit River Basin.

There's a lot of great things coming down the pipe in the near future, and this is our first volley over the way to get you excited and involved.  Be on the lookout for a 2 hosted events and're going to have a great time.

Get more info at our web site, by clicking HERE

Have you joined the WSC yet?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tying Bench Steelhead Haiku

Swing.  Slide. Skate.  Slurp.  Set.

Steelhead smash violently

Yes, the time is near

Monday, July 15, 2013

The LeSage's First Family Outing...

My buddy Quinn is carrying some extra special cargo on his first trip to the river.

Quinn and Mary LeSage welcomed their first, a baby boy named Sawyer to their family around 5 weeks ago.  They spending a lot of time on the Missouri outside of Craig, so it was inevitable that they introduce Sawyer to the sport they love so much.  So I'll do my best to shut up here and let the pictures speak for themselves.  Enjoy!

A teacher and baseball coach, Quinn and his wife Mary are also damn good behind the video camera.

Check this OUT.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Filled the Raft....

Couldnt be happier right now.  And nervous at the same time.  Big C has taught us a lot, but what's 2 munchkins going to be like?

I suspect craziness will ensue, but what I do know is that I now have a full raft for years to come.

Mason Mills joined us a day and a half ago.  My wife was heroic and we had no idea what the sex of the baby was going to be until mantackle was spotted.  Big time booya!

The Millsfly tip of the day....if you can stand it, wait to find out.  It's a complete rush.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Big C Rocks The Fish Face...

The boy likes his fish, and showcases the fish face to prove it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Super Scientific Hydro Flask Review

This aint your parents water bottle.

Normally, I dont get excited about things like water bottles, but when I was given the opportunity to try out the 21oz edition from the Hydro Flask line, I have to admit.....I was a little geeked out it.

Hydro Flask claims that this little beauty keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12.

And I must say, that claim is no bullshit.

Anecdotally, the flask was left in my truck on numerous locations with cold water for hours on end throughout my normal business day and at the end of it all....the water was as if I just poured it.  Sometimes, the 3 measly ice cubes I put in it to get the tap water colder were still clanging around

But to be a bit more concrete, I conducted a super scientific review last week on a day when temps were butting up near the triple digits.

2 hours outside.  Direct blazing sun.

Initial water temperature--44 degrees F.  Outside temperature--98

After first hour outside

Water temp--44 degrees.  Outside temp--97

Second hour outside

Water temp-45 degrees.  Outside temp- 96

The only reason I think that the temp went up the degree because I was fooling around with the lid off trying to get our fishing thermometer to read correctly.    Again, my testing protocols were of the highest order.

Totally scientific.  Totally peer review eligible.  Maybe not.

The conclusion is that this water bottle meets it's claims.  The double wall vacuum insulation does it's job, very well.  While I havent tried hot liquids in it (it's summer!) but I will be putting it through the test come steelhead season when hot coffee will be needed.

Another great item about the Hydro Flask company, they donate 5% of gross profits to the charity/non profit of your choosing.  The company actually started a non profit to facilitate the giving, visit them at Five Percent Back.

Lastly, these flasks will do a number on reducing the amount of crappy plastic water bottles you and I dispose of.   Ever hear of the North Pacific Garbage Patch, well feel better about yourself when you're doing your part of not contributing to it.

In conclusion, the Hydro Flask has the Millsfly stamp of approval.  It's great to get behind a company that's making great products, fulfilling on it's claims and giving back where they can.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Down on the Banks of the Spokane

Hey Lady, I found yer bra.

The Spokane River always surprises you.  It's banks are littered with the remnants of the metropolis it flows through and always, always I am ready to go around a bend or to the next run and find a body

Two years ago a friend on a guide trip he was running found a body taco'd around a log.  The only logical thing we could say wasnt about finding the body, it was when we were going back to throw flesh flies after they recovered the body

Joking, just joking.

That aside, the stuff you find is unreal.  Years back I found a stack of death certificates.  Another fisherman found an antique pistol in the water near downtown.  Maybe that's the one that will solve the  timber barron mystery of decades past.  That shit's evidence mang!

You can always find the lone shoe

They never come in pairs.  Flip flops are the most prevalent but if your lucky, a basketball shoe.

Beer can after beer can.  Blankets swept high in the trees by the spring floods.  Tampon applicators, 40 oz malt liquor bottles, clothing, random bags of chips, hair spray bottles, golf name it, construction name it, it's there

But the amazing thing, the trout dont care.   They still eat, jump and live a wild life amongst the trash of city