Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Favorite Type of Rest Stop

Long days of travel across the state mean a few things...

Lots of coffee or soda (bad).

Little sleep.

Getting irritated with people leaving their brights on while driving in the opposite lane.

Taking time to see new water or throw a line in if there is time.

All of those things applied today as I literally drove across the great state of Washington. A short respite from emails and phone calls allowed me to take a few hours and throw my line into the beautiful Yakima River canyon.

A quick hookup and landing of a nice feisty Rainbow brightened the mood and several aggressive takes (but no lands) on the streamer left me wishing I had more time to fish.

As I left the canyon I stopped to look back, both figuratively and literally. Those few hours on the water refreshed my mind and for that (and the scrappy trout) I am thankful.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Take Your Brother Fishing Day...

Okay. So lately, life has been crazy.

I think I've traveled more for work in the past month than I did all summer while exploring western Montana.

I needed a break. And so did my brother.

We used to fish together as kids and teenagers. Canyon Creek trout, Battle Ground lake exploration, and even some random trips up the the North Fork Lewis River to attempt to catch steelhead from shore.

Today, we floated a local river instead... my brother held a fishing rod for the first time in nearly a decade. I prospected with nymphs, the spey rod, and even had some fun with a spinning rod again. The fishing was good early, but the catching was poor...

And then this happened.

My brother hooked his first steelhead. And right from the start, we could tell that it was special.

The fish took run after run. My brother took his time though, listened to the sound advice of our fishing partner, and after nearly ten minutes we had the fish to shore.

Well into the teens as far as weight goes, this native Winter Steelhead is the fish of a lifetime for many. But for my brother, it's just his first. We told him that this fish is as good as it gets. After taking a few respectful pictures, the fish was ready to go. Fully recovered from the long fight, it darted back to its holding spot, hopefully destined to spawn another generation of impressive native Steelhead.

That same day, I hooked and lost a nice chromer, but I left the river full of joy. Seeing him fight and land, then release such a special fish means more than catching my own. At least that's how I see it.

Now to get him tuned to fishing on the fly...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dirty Gear Hucking...

Thousands of spey casts this winter have produced nary a legitimate tug, let alone a fish to hand.

My spey casting has gone from awful to okay, and my knowledge of the swing game is limited... the odds are stacked against me and all I want is to catch a Winter Steelhead. Truth is, I had never caught one up until this week.

In the past month, taking my friends to different locales has gotten them into fish and left me, well... perplexed, frustrated, and fish-less. 

That all changed this past week.

First cast. Spinning rod. And an "egg pattern." Bobber. Down.

I feel dirty, but I just don't care. Because this hatchery brat tasted good.

28 years in and I finally got my Winter Steelhead. Now that it's off the list, I'll just have to further dedicate myself to getting one on the swing... 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

To my friends in Eastern Washington...

My job is a fantastic one...

I work my tail off to save fish. I meet tons of fishy people. On occasion, I get to fish.


I get to attend the Spokane premier of Low and Clear presented by the wonderful Millsfly blog and Silver Bow Fly Shop (my favorite shop, hands down). I may in fact be more excited for this film than F3T next Saturday in PDX.

The showing will be held on Tuesday, February 19th at the Lincoln Center in Spokane. $5 gets you in the door and there will be a bar, countless raffle items (7 guided trips I believe?!?), and some wonderful conservation groups will have displays on hand... hint. hint.

Doors open at 6 PM and the show starts at 7 PM. I'm sure looking forward to the show, meeting other conservation minded anglers, and hopefully signing them up for CCA Washington.

On that same day, I will be hosting a CCA Inland Empire lunch meeting in Spokane that you're welcome to join, starting at noon. Leave a comment for more information on that..

For more information on the film showing, check out the Millsfly blog.