Monday, January 30, 2017

Fishing History...

Certain rivers ooze history.

The development of our sport from a steelhead fishing perspective really hit a major stride here.

Book upon book, article upon article and speeches galore have detailed this history

The fish are big and brawling, racing up the river to fulfill their mission.

Many signs point to this river is moving into a solid stage of recovery and I take solace that we've removed many of the reasons of decline and the fish are responding.

I didnt tough a fish on the trip....but I didnt care

What I received goes well beyond that.

I got to connect with history, new and old friends as well

I observed a legend in our sport hold court on his bar in front of his house, and tell stories of the river, fish biology and the river's ongoing recovery.  I got to give him a fly or two.  He lit up like a Christmas tree and said he'd fish it for sure

We listened to that man and fished the spot he told us to.   It was like they were on a string upon his command.

Our group is tight knit but very accepting and giving.  Over beers and whiskey some amazing tales were told and our belly's ached with laughter for hours.

I got to take it all in.  It was mental and sensory overload

I cant wait to go back

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Bugs, New River

I've needed like this trip like no other.

With an administration hell bent on dividing our country, censoring government agencies and enacting policies guaranteed to harm our environment, time at the vice has been a centering point as the trip approached

The river in sight is one that is at the bedrock of our sport.  The names of yesteryear are all associated with it's former greatness and hopefully with continued recovery, new names will be attached to it's resurgence.

The fish are big.  The water is in perfect shape.  The crew assembling is one for the ages

So the vice has become my center point in these strange times.  Boiling things down to color patterns and fly construction has a welcome focal point aside the political environment in daily turmoil.

I hope to catch a fish on this new river.    Beyond that, I want the mental clarity that putting a new fly into a new river followed by hours of swing, step and repeat will bring

The troubles of our country can wait a couple days.  I'm going fishing.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Film Tour is Back!!!

2017 F3T Stoke Reel from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

It's back baby!

The 11th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour is about to descend upon us with it's massive criss crossing of the nation caravan of fly fishing goodness.

Thank god.

This year's lineup of films looks great, with unique offerings that give a woman's perspective as well as the crazy travels of the Motiv Fly Fishing crew as they explore the unexplored in the South Pacific

Other interesting films include a piece on the good and bad of Kamchatka, another piece on the legendary Sandflea and many others that will get the blood pumping in the middle of winter.

Spokane is graced with it's presence on January 31st at the Bing Crosby Theatre.  

A little pro tip for you.....dont expect to show up and buy a ticket on the day of show.   This event typically sells out so go get your ticket at your local fly shop or online at the link above

I think what I love most about F3T is the community aspect that it brings.  How often do you get 300+ fish crazed people in one location excited as hell, all talking it up, exchanging stories and having fun.

The answer....once a year, when the film tour rolls into town

See you there!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Final Bell

One more time before the season ended.

One more time to follow the dogs as they followed their noses.  To call them off only to regret the decision as the bird rocketed up....out of range

Another time to miss an easy shot but follow it up with what felt like an impossible make.

To get stuck in a 4 foot drift and wallow out.  To listen to the impossible silence and follow all the evidence of animals past travels.  To have ice crystals form on your beard and wind burn on your face.....

One more time to follow a hunch, devise a plan and watch it come together.

We can only be so lucky to be intentional and own every day we live.

I choose to hunt the last day.

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Son's Fly...

Most of the time, he sits behind me content to watch his cartoons and eat cereal.

You never know how much they're watching you.

Today he came over and asked, "Daddy, can i fly ties with you"

Most certainly young man, you bet.

He had a great time wrapping the thread and picking out the materials.  All his choices.

In the end, the fly is a monstrosity of materials but to me, it's art.

For now forward, that fly will always be on my tying desk.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Conservationist of the Year...

To initiate change in the world of steelhead conservation is no easy task.  It takes resolve and sticking to your guns through the many ups and downs that come when trying to do what's best for the the fish and the environment

In 2001, Rich Simms and a small group of like minded anglers founded the Wild Steelhead Coalition with the goal of reversing the trend of what was happening state and coast wide to wild steelhead stocks.  For 15 years, he's kept his head down working to do what's right with little fanfare of accolades.

Well that's anonymity is gone now,  as Rich has been named the 2017 Fly Fisherman Magazine's Conservationist of the Year.  You can see the full article in January's edition of the print magazine.

I couldn't be more prouder of a man I consider a mentor in the world of conservation.  His steadfast dedication is the model of how you fight the good fight, take in the small victories as you push to real wins like finally getting Washington State to ban the retention of wild steelhead.
The challenges and opposition are always there, but Rich is there to meet them all head on with his customary smile.

Here here Mr Simms, congrats.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Know It's Cold When...

When ice instantly forms on your legs as you get out of the water...

you know it's cold.