Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gansta Rap Mad Me Do It

April has been a great month. The seasons finally changed and I was able to do a little fishing and yard work that I have putting off for a while. Steelheading in April to me is always a crapshoot and we do not have the great runs of Spring fish that Bill McMillian once wrote about. I would rather spend the time fishing for a few other species that I only try and tackle this time of year. While I would rather go to Mexico and risk getting the Swing Flu, I ended up risking amebic dysentery and my waders rotting off chasing some carp as well as fishing some of the most beautiful water in Oregon for bull trout. These two species are badass and I always look forward to this downtime to go in search of them. I can't explain it, I think that music I grew up listening to made me do it. After all my folks told me that gangsa rap would rot my brain. Gangsta rap made me do it!

Courtesy of You Tube and the Prophet Doughboy, aka Ice Cube.

Brad Smith with a secret Southwest Washington backwater carp. Right behind Tim Rajeff's house.

Matt Klara from Sexyloops with an Oregon carp.

Oregon stillwater bull trout.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wind River Rescue

The Wind River Spring steelhead fishery was one of legend. Unfortunately, it is one you more or less read about or hear stories about the glory year. However there is now hope for this river rich in Northwest’s fishing history. This dam located on Trout Creek, a major spawning tributary to the Wind River has an outdated fish ladder built in the 1930’s. This obsolete structure makes it difficult for adult steelhead and salmon to reach their spawning grounds. It put a smile on my face today when I heard this good news. Check out more information on this brought to you by the Columbian. Now if fishermen fishing the Wind just did not need to worry about getting shot.

(Photo courtesy of the US Department of the Interior.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rod Power Vs. Action

Here is a little article that Tim Rajeff wrote regarding rod action and power. He makes this sometimes confusing topic easy to understand.

One Small Victory for the Hoh

The Western Rivers Conservancy just obtained 2000 acres of real estate on the Hoh River with a total of 7000 acres of habitat. Stewardship of this land will be managed by the Hoh River Trust. Check out the story.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Greetings

So here I am swinging a favorite run on a river that has never been that good to me when suddenly the two foot loop in my fingers slowly pulls away. Then it dawns on me that my Echo 8136 TR must be broken because it starts to bend back and forth in the air. Now if that isn't weird enough, my new Vosseler S3 starts to make a bunch of noise. Now I am no rocket scientist or reel maker, but something had to be wrong. After a few moments of bewilderment I realize the culprit must be that devilish shinny fish that was jumping up and down. It must have jumped up and bit my poor spey rod and was trying to break it's reel mate. After a longer then expected argument, I was able to corral this minion of the river. My anger took hold and I smote her with a dull rock on the forehead. How dare this bright summer steelhead interrupt my day of spey casting.

About an hour later, while attempting to fish beautifully, it happened again. This time the loop started to pull then the TR shook just once. Full of anger I casted again in the same place. Nothing, nothing then I felt some tension. I then proceeded to drop the loop then I started to hear that damn noise again from my Vosseler. Then like a batter sitting on a hanging curve ball, I swung hard for the fences. How dare another fish get in the way of me fishing beautifully. A few minutes later I had another fish on the bank. Knowing that anger, chaos and destruction got a hold of me the last time, I gave a more charitable greeting and let this dark winter fish return to the depths of the river.

Monday, April 6, 2009

River of a Lost Coast in Seattle

I very interested in seeing this documentary, but alas I got to work this weekend. You Seattlites should check it out. You can purchase tickets through the Wild Steelhead Coalition here. You might even get to shake hands with Ton Skerritt from A River Runs Through It and Top Gun as well as the producers, Justin Coupe and Palmer Taylor. I wish I could make it.

Check out Rivers of a Lost Coast blog.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


A Hoh river hen with some battle scars from tribal netting.

After a long drive my buddy Jarrod and I reached the banks of the Hoh River. Wet up with The Rick and the Montana Metal Militia for a few days of fishing Olympic Peninsula style. We got our gear straight and then sat down with the boys for a few beverages. With the rain pounding the tarp above us and hearing the river that was on the up behind us, Jarrod turns to us and says, "I think this is what they call a rain forest." This pretty much sums up the end of March. Our dry winter with spotty fishing suddenly turned into a wet winter with spotty fishing.

Jarrod Black with a swung steeltrout on the leech. Sorta!

Sunshine on the Sol Duc

March is one of those months that drive the steelheader crazy. Native grabby steelhead, the possibility of mid teens to twenty pound fish, the possibility of an early summer steelhead, springer salmon, sea run cutthroat or dolly varden keep the angler on the water. Despite poor escapement on the West Coast, the possibility of catching one of these elusive fish brings the angler back and allows the persistent ones the rewards of their work.

Spruce Creek put-in on the Hoh

Rick Matney swinging the 101 Hole on the Bogachiel.

We covered a lot of water fishing the Hoh, Sol Duc and Bogachiel Rivers. A few flies were tied, a few fish were caught, a lot of food was eaten and a lot of alcohol was consumed. Overall a success despite the fact we had to deal with on and off showers and a river that was constantly on the up and down and water clarity that was good one minute then bad the next.

After returning home my thoughts turned to the Oregon Coast and rivers that have one less thing to deal with. No tribal netting!!!! Covering three different systems in two days and dealing with the same conditions we had in the Olympic Peninsula, my buddy Brian and I found a few fish. Covering water from Lincoln City, Oregon to Forks, Washington, March was a great month.

There is nothing more odd then loosing a fish after a great fight and then having your buddy hook up exactly in the same place where you lost the fish. I think Mr Chou got lucky.

Doing a little big water swinging, I ended up hooking up a couple of times with this little hen to drool over.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

State of the Steelhead

If you live and fish for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest then this is a must read. There are no excuses. And for god's sakes, do not follow the road of English Pete. All we have is each other in this battle to maintain healthy runs of native steelhead.