Sunday, February 25, 2018

Silver Bow Presents IF4 Spokane, March 8th

The 2018 IF4 Sizzle Reel

March 8th, The Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane is hosting the annual return of International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) to town to benifit Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited.

From the FB event page...

Enjoy a night of fun fly fishing films and fundraising. Silver Bow Fly Shop is partnering with Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited to raise money for improved signage along the banks of the Spokane River. New and more signage is needed to help to help educate anglers to the regulations and help protect wild trout in the Spokane River. All raffle proceeds from the nights fundraiser will go towards this project.

Personally I am very excited about this film

Hope to see you there

Pick up more information via the EVENT FB PAGE or at The Silver Bow

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

To Have Tangled With Them....

As my boys and I sat on the crumbling bridge and the water thundered down the dam's side and falls, I had such a feeling of melancholy. 

This beautiful site was once traversed by 5 species of Pacific Salmon and Steelhead.  The power they had to posses to get past this barrier must have been a sight to have seen. 

Little Falls on the Spokane River once had fish passage at this dam that was the first on the Spokane System, albeit poor at that.   Grand Coulee took that all away in 1939.

Like a part of a story taken away before it ever should have, it just feels eery.  This section of the Spokane feels haunted, the ghosts of what was hangs over the area.

Little Falls on the Spokane was a place of extreme cultural significance to the native tribes of our area.  Upwards of 300,000 fish were estimated to have been harvested annually on the Spokane system, and Little Falls was one of 8 significant encampment and harvest sites on the river

The angler in me wishes deeply to have had a chance to have seen and experienced it first hand.

All the other parts of me thinks, and hopes that we find a way to appease the ghosts of yesteryear that hang like a blanket of heavy fog over this place.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Real Star of the Field...

The third volley of birds dropped into the spread and the 5 of us rose up and let em have it

3 dropped and as is the course with steel shot, not all were an easy pick up

She sprang out and nailed the first mallard. 

And the second....

And about 25 of the birds that hit the flooded field that day

With the dog preoccupied chasing down a wounded duck, I struck off across the water to pick up another stray mallard

100 yards of slogging through the knee deep water, it was plain to see how the star of the show was that day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dont Be Satisfied...

I hope to god you're not satisfied with the 2017 Columbia River steelhead run

For a while, I've been hearing mentions of good fishing....outstanding fishing and seeing the hashtag #bestworstyearever and it's really begun to piss me off. 

If your in the camp of being happily sedated with "good" fishing this're crazy.

Back in mid summer when we all stared at the projections of the worst run on record, we had to come to grips that it was our turn on the Columbia, Snake and assorted tributaries to really see what it was like when a fishery collapsed before our eyes.  Thankfully, as I have told people before,  it went from apocalyptic to shitty.  The run didnt go fully down the drain....more  like a car who's gas gage was about 3 clicks above E.

The raw numbers tell the story.

117,878 total fish over Bonneville Dam

The worst year since 1979. 

76,798 over Lower Granite, the last major hurdle for the bulk of the run

The worst year since 1999

Yes, I am thankful that there was enough of a return to facilitate a season this year, but really are we happy to chase the scraps?  We cant buy into the shifting baseline syndrome where this becomes normal and accepted.

Dont fall into that trap, because we and the fish deserve more.

We cant control a lot of things, changing ocean conditions being one of them but we sure as hell can control what we can control

It's crazy we have to fight off the horrible bill HR 3144 that Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced that is the worst salmon and steelhead bill ever.  EVER.

It's crazy we have to go to court to let a river behave like a river in spring and flush smolt out to sea.

It's crazy that we have guiding operations who tout 19 fish days on the Clearwater when they had the lowest recorded return of wild B runs on record.  Seriously....

It's crazy that Idaho is going to let people fish into April in places like the South Fork of the Clearwater

And it's crazy we've spent the better half of 15-16 billion in salmon and steelhead mitigation costs and we dont have a system that better responds to climate change, low and hot water years and so on.

Maybe it's time to really consider freeing the Snake River.

In conclusion....let this season sit with you for a while. 

Remember this summers soul searching and hand wringing.

Remember that Idaho almost didnt open their rivers in response to the low B return.

Remember watching the fish counts and praying that they'd miraculously come up

So, is/was this really good fishing?  We've got to expect more.

The fish deserve it.