Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pink Clouds...

Pink clouds breed excitement.

The dropping sun throws their last bit of energy upon the clouds and rushes in the golden hour of steelhead fishing

You want the whole concept of time movement to go the hell away as every cast feels like it has the juice

Night is barreling down on the day and in that clash, those pink, fluffy clouds make me happy.

Very happy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bring The Kids...

Bring the kids when you can, because if you're not doing it right

There's a infinite higher amount of excitement in a child's eye when rolling down a river, looking for hawks, otters, ducks, herons and anything else that is not a video game or tv show.

Turning over a rock and finding giant stonefly nymphs will always create a better memory than that shitty plastic toy that now sits in the corner or his or her room

Learning how to row a boat, cast a rod, pick out a fly and sleep under the stars cement a bond that sometimes cant be broken by teenage angst.

When my buddy Ryan told me that instead of bringing another fishing buddy for our float on the Deschutes, he was bringing his 7 year old son, I was pumped.   It reminded me so much of floats with OMR on the Salmon River when I was about Ryan's little guys age.  Talk about impact, being outside with my dad is a foundational element to my life and having Jack in the boat that day was awesome.   It allowed me to relax, watch the day unfold through the eyes of a 7 year old and not worry about finding the next run to fish.

At the end of the first day, one of the best runs in the river was before us.  I waded out and began working down cast by cast as the light of the golden hour hung beautifully on the river before us.  The wade to the spot was tricky and as much as I know Ryan was dying inside (just a little), he stayed on the bank and spent that hour with his son.   Jack wouldnt have been able to wade to the spot but Ryan selflessly stayed back and watched the golden hour go into the night.

I'd say that was a great choice.  Fish come and go, but that's some quality time spent

Jack even spent a good amount of time on the oars, learning how to read the river (in the safe spots of course) and adding skills to his game for a life outdoors

You're doing it right Ryan, you're doing it very right

So as a father of 2 boys who are 3 and 1, I cant wait to get them into the boat and on the river so that the question of going fishing never competes with things like tv, video games and the internet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wild Reverence Fall Tour

Wild Reverence is hitting the road this fall.

Join the Wild Steelhead Coalition in showing the amazing film by filmmaker Shane Anderson

Two years in the making, this feature film chronicles the state of steelhead across their entire historic west coast range.

Steelhead are not just fish, but emblematic of so much more. The rivers they swim in, the people who fish for them, and everything in between is wrapped up into Wild Reverence.

Check out the trailer here

7 cities deep, here are are the links the different city's event pages on FB

Spokane Sept 12th

Bozeman Sept 16th

Boise Sept 17th

Reno Sept 18th

Tahoe Sept 20th

Portland Sept 28th

Seattle Oct 2nd

Please if you can come out and see this film.  It does a tremendous job at explainig the state of wild steelhead throughout their west coast range and offers great ideas and solutions for recovery.

And while you're at it, bring your friends, and bring your kids

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bass On A String..

Hey, OMR caught you a delicious bass....

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Smell of Fall

After the two weeks of 95 plus degree heat, it finally happened.

Up early with the kids and the dog, the sun was coming up to the East and an nice overnight thunderstorm calmed the air for first time in weeks.  It was the first time in a long time that the smoke from wildfires wasnt the first thing your senses perked to.

Folks lament the passing of summer and the upcoming fall.  Kids rue the day when back to school ads hit mass media.  Most hustle to get their last taste of summer in.

Sportsmen on the other hand, cant make fall come fast enough

Opening the door to the deck after the kids were squared away with Thomas the Train, the smell of fall smacked me in the face.

All I could do was smile.  We're on the doorstep of the sweet spot of the year

Get out and enjoy it

Monday, August 11, 2014

Redington SonicDry Fly Wader Review

Redesigned and redeveloped, the Redington SonicDry Waders are up for review

At $499 retail, these waders are no joke and are nudging right up there in cost and performance to the rest of the entries in the super premium wader market.   Having worn and abused the previous edition of these waders, I was super interested to see what has changed.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had my issues with the previous edition.  Two zipper fails and one de-lamination,  my main interest here was to see if they had listened to what the fishing market was telling them with this new release

So without further avail, here's the top 5 things I was impressed with in my testing phase of these waders

1.  The Zipper

The full zipper front of these seem to finally have it figured out.  The previous wader's zipper was a big problem and it's been addressed by switching to a YKK Aquaseal Slim Zipper that is easier to slide long the tracks and doesnt feel like it's about to hang up.  Nice work there

2. Continued Pocket Proliferation

They're everywhere, and the continued use of solid waterproof zippers is awesome.

3.  The Little Things

It's the little attention to detail that I've noticed.   Ever had a pair of waders that straps are always falling off your shoulders?  It's horrible, and with these there's a continued detail with the ability to adjust your back straps in multiple places (see the above picture) and the simple red plastic triangle keeps everything locked in place.  Kudos to that

4.  Solid Construction

The touch and feel test tells me that they've put more beef into these babies.  Whether intended or not, I think they will be able to stand up to the beating I tend to give my waders for longer than most have in the past.   With that said, the rock solid warranty these come with give you assurance that spending the better portion of five hundred dollars will be a good investment

5.  Comfortable as hell

I spent a solid 4 days in a pontoon in these, and several other river trips in these bad boys and they fit so well,  even in XXL.  Us big guys know that correct fitting is so inconsistent in outdoor gear, that it's great to find something that does fit

There's a bunch of other factors that I could continue to rave about.  These waders a great....'s the disclaimer.  A BIG one.

The initial release of these waders had one big change.  They completely redesigned the bootie to more of a "performance and athletic fit"

Meaning, they fit a hell of a lot tighter.  The previous edition had ample room for my size 14 to fit comfortably, along with up to many layers of socks (winter steelheading, duh) and it was never an issue

From the moment I put these ones on, I knew it was going to be an issue.  I know that my shoe size is an outlier,  and for 90% of the fishing public out there, this wont be a problem in the slightest.

I can at present get away with a light sock under these waders, but beyond that I cannot currently wear the socks that I will need for the upcoming fall and winter fishing seasons.

In speaking to Redington, their designers are aware of the issue and are working on a quickly coming out revision to the problem for the big footed folks out there

Again, the vast majority of people out there can consult their SIZING CHART and should find zero issue.

The best thing you can do is go to your local fly shop, try them on and buy them there.  If you're in Spokane check out The Silver Bow Fly Shop, as they carry the full line of Redington Waders   They'll take care of you there so you can see right away if they're going to work for you.

Foot issues aside, give these waders a look and hopefully they'll work for you as you get out there and get after it.  We will update this review as soon as the solution to the bootie issue has been resolved.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sunrise Over Steel

There's not many more prettier sights than a sunrise like this one over a steelhead river.

Makes the time between fish a lot more palatable.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fill a Fly Wallet for FFC

16 flies can make a world of difference.

The Fly Fishing Collaborative is continuing their mission to take their passion of fly fishing and turning it into something with global impact.

Human trafficking is something we dont see here in America often, but it's there, alive and well across the 2nd and 3rd world.  Most of the time, it's children who are the victims.

For every 10,000 raised through the sale of donated fly trips and the beautiful fly wallets they are offering on their web site, this is what the FFC does

"Every $10,000 we raise will provide a totally sustainable tilapia farm that will be built for an orphanage in order to provide them with food, income, water, and fresh produce. Additionally, this will empower their leaders to care for more children that would otherwise be sold into slavery."

Side note--they've already reached that first financial milestone

So here's what we're going to do.

I want to fill at least 2 of these wallets with steelhead flies from the talented bug wrappers that are out there.  Im looking for things you cant find in stores and will make the fulfilled wallet a piece of art from the start

I will donate 6 flies to each wallet, and I need 2 more tiers on each wallet to provide variety

Send me an email with a picture of the fly you'd like to submit and we'll arrange the specifics from then on

I can be reached at jmills81 at (haha web bots!) and I cant wait to see what we can do for children a world away.

The FFC impact is going to be big.  Jump on the train now