Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WSC and Darby WInery's Native Wine Series

The Wild Steelhead Coalition is excited to announce that they have teamed up with Darby Winery, an award-winning winery based in Woodinville, Washington, to launch the Native Wine Collection. To celebrate this thrilling collaboration and the release of these delicious wines, the Darby Winery will be hosting a release party on July 28th, which will feature a fly casting competition hosted by Emerald Water Anglers, live music, a food truck, and of course great wine!

The Native Wine Collection is a fusion of Darby English’s two greatest passions – meticulously crafting premium wines and pursuing and protecting wild steelhead. For each bottle sold, Darby has generously agreed to donate 20 percent of the proceeds to the Wild Steelhead Coalition, thereby offering avid steelheaders the chance to enjoy a glass of some of Washington’s finest wine while supporting imperiled steelhead populations.

The Native Wine Collection, a celebration of Washington’s iconic fish and fine wines, features three delicious wines:

The 2014 Native Red Wine is a stunner of a first vintage. A blend of Cabernet Sauv, Malbec, Merlot, and Petite Verdot that is seamless with notes of dark cherry, blackberry, sage, and cedar.

The 2016 Native White Wine will impress with old world characteristics of crushed stone, violets, and Provincial herbs. Sip this beauty all summer and enjoy the silky texture and crisp finish.

The 2017 Native Rose is a serious rose that you should stock up on for the warm months. Layers of firm peaches, citrus, strawberry, and bright mineral notes are impressively long with resonating floral and spice notes.

Pick up your tickets to the release party by clicking HERE.  

Additionally, check out that killer artwork provided by Northwest artist Casey Underwood

Hope to see you at the release party!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Walleye Are Delicious

The trip was the highlight of my early years.  The river would open up and it was game on. 

Quarter ounce jig heads.  Grub tails.  4 dozen nightcrawlers.  Not 2, not 3, 4 dozen boxes of worms

Running up and down from spot to spot, we caught our fair share.  In those days you couldnt keep any fish between 16 and 20 inches.  The slot it was called, and many 19 3/4 inch went back into the drink in the effort to find that one you could keep over 20 inches.

Those annual trips crystalized my fanaticism for fishing.

And as of 16 years later, I hadn't returned.

There's a million mitigating factors why we hadn't returned.  The river had drastically different flow regimes that for years made it impossible to fish properly

High School Athletics.  College.  My baseball odyssey.  Marriage, children and the like. 

An obsession with fly fishing and away from fishing gear was also firmly at the core of the change.  I had exchanged skirted jigs for cutthroats and 5 weights.

I loved fly fishing within my core.  It defined me and still does to this day.

But still, there was something missing.   Walleye are delicious.

Finally everything aligned and 3 generations of Mills boys ran from spot to spot, hooking fish and handing the rod off to my son to reel in.   It was an amazing day.

We laughed.  We threw gear.  The boat got dirty from worm dirt and fish slime.

And we piled up walleye filets.

There's quite a satisfaction with future meals vacuum packed away in the freezer, ready to share with friends and family.   We miss part of the equation unless you, at times, fish to eat.

Roll the filets in egg, coat in Panko and fry in olive oil.

Good lawd...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Candidate Lisa Brown Event

For anyone who lives in the 5th congressional district of Washington State and loves the outdoors, this event is a must attend.

The outdoor economy is massive and deserves to have it's voice heard.  From Walla Walla to Kettle Falls and all points in between, people who recreate in the wide open spaces and rivers are an economic driver who's voice Lisa Brown wants to hear from

Additionally, policies on public land, climate change, river recovery, salmon and steelhead issues need to be listed to and that's what's June 25th is all about

It's my personal opinion that our current representative is not the right choice for many of these reasons.  Cathy McMorris Rodger's bill HR3144 is decisively against salmon and steelhead recovery.  Her stated opinions on federal land transfer is scary for those who depend on public access to vast tracts of land to recreate it. 

It's high time that people who hunt, fish, hike, bike, raft, camp and any other outdoor recreational activity have a voice and I am excited to start this conversation with candidate Lisa Brown

I hope you can join us June 25th, Black Label Brewing Co in the Sarnac Commons, 19 W Main in downtown Spokane

Please RSVP to

See you there!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

High Country Cutthroat

Another beautiful piece by Todd Moen and Catch Magazine, "High Country Cutthroat" featuring my buddy Heather Hodson.   They share a beautiful place that's near and dear to my heart.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lets Not Take This So Seriously

When it gets heated, and people get pissy...

When instagram is making you thing everyone is catching hawgz and you havent caught shit

When fishing gets a tad too intense

Watch Goofy.  Laugh.  Repeat.

We're just trying to catch a fish.....