Friday, May 29, 2009

Chad 09

You read that right, Chad, not shad. That is what we call the American Shad that we have swimming up the Columbia River in my household. These damn herring that were brought to the West Coast from some dumb ass from the East Coast many decades ago are returning for their annual orgy in the Pacific Northwest. Many rivers including the Umpqua, Feather, American and Columbia Rivers are starting to see them and my mid June, they will be everywhere.

Oh and you might hook one of those on the bottom right. Landing them is a different story though.

I took the opportunity after yard work to join the locals at Bonneville Dam for some catching not fishing. Well really, it was fishing. The numbers going over the dam are not that great yet and since the weather and water levels have not been good for the old steelfaces, I took this opportunity to give my new Echo 61010 Switch Rod a try.

Now you guys that have fished for Shad at the Dam know it is an interesting heterogeneous mixture of cultures that pursue them. I took it upon myself to try and fit in, especially because I was the weird one with one of them two handed fly rods.

Here is a good article regarding Fly Fishing for Shad in the Columbia River, written by the great spey sensei Steve Buckner

GI Joes is Gone!

Joes, the store formerly known as GI Joe's is now almost gone. With the current state of the economy many of our local fly shops and even box stores have been hit by hard times. Years ago when GI Joe's, a local chain of sporting goods stores was bought and renamed to the more politically correct Joe's in 2007. I think this was the beginning of the end for a local favorite that I frequented before any big camping, fishing or hiking trip. I spent a lot of money there over the years and though shopping at a big box store, I always new I was supporting a Pacific Northwest chain that has been around since 1952.

Originally based out of a station wagon, Edward Orkney built this business based off army surplus after World War II. This store grew and spread throughout Oregon and Washington until now. Over the last few months Joe's has gone through the painful tasks of liquidating its merchandise. It is a sad day for the Pacific Northwest to see this business disappear. I want to thank every employee that has helped me over the years for such great service. You and GI Joe's will be missed.

At $34.00 a bag and 70% off, these came to a total of $10.20 a bag.

My last visit to my local Joe's was a sad event. The once filled shelves were bare and everything was 60-70% off their marked price. I ended up picking up three bags of flies with random patterns in them. I thought there was three dozen flies in each bag. When I got home I realized I was wrong, there was about a hundred flies in each bag. They ended coming out to about ten cents per fly. It is going to take a decade for me to loose all of those bugs. Thanks again Joe's.

The rumor around the block is Dick's Sporting goods is going to take over some of these stores. Great, all we need is another dick!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You Want to Win a Reddington Reel?

All you have to do is release a fish. Check this out from the Fly Fisher Girl Hannah Belford.

This contest is all about proper care and handling of fish, with an emphasis on releasing the trophy ones UNSCATHED. Face it, we have all seen the grip-n-grin hero shots of our lifetimes. Are those large gamefish still out there? Yes, but certainly not in the numbers of the old days. Why? Well, the majority of people did not have the amount of education available in the past as we do today to be able to properly understand the benefits of catch and release and ramifications of angling as a whole.

Angling kills fish. However, with proper care and attention one can minimize the impact. In fact, if one chooses to fish strictly catch and release barbless hook angling - you are going to give the fish the best possible chance for survival…well next to not using a hook. My vegan dad and stepmom woulda called me on that. :)

Of course, there are many learned skills and many common sense rules when it comes to care and handling of fish that applies when landing them. Please share yours with us and win a Redington Rise Reel available in Dark Charcoal, Burnt Orange or Moss with four models to choose from, courtesy of Redington Fly Fishing

Rules are:

The contest will run for one week exactly, and the winner will be chosen by flyfishergirl (Hannah Belford) and Pete McDonald of

Parts of this contest are going to be based on honesty. Yep, not a rule…but it needs to be said. Hopefully you submit pics of your fish, not someone else’s.

Contest is open to both sexes and all ages.

Emphasis is on fly caught fish, but the contest is open to all methods of angling for those 16 and under.

You must register on to be able to participate, and your entry needs to be submitted here.

We want to see a minimum of 3 photos and a maximum of 6 per posting.

We also want to see some written information about how you practice proper releasing techniques.

Images can be a maximum of 450 pixels wide and/or 338 high.

You are limited to ONE posting - so make it count!

Points to know are…

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

I want to thank all the current and former servicemen in our armed forces for all they have done for this country. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. We do not always get to agree on what we are fighting for, but we owe you everything for what you stand for.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2009 Sandy River Spey Clave

Wait a second, that isn't a spey rod.

Mathias Lilleheim
discussing rod plane and angle assisted by Henrik Mortenson and Brian Styskal.

Adrienne Comeau discussing fly presentation during the first ever ladies day at the Sandy River Spey Clave.

This years Sandy River Spey Clave was a blast. The weather was perfect, the river was in great shape and the casting demonstrations were very informative. I got to hang out and share a few beverages with some old and new friends. The three day weekend went by fast and I found myself casting a lot of different sticks.

Marty Sheppard discussing skagit casting and winter fishing tactics for our local waters. He fishes a loop with tips and Skagit lines fellas.

I got to cast a lot of rods this year and there were many highlights. Casting a Sage 000 weight nine foot spey rod built by Anderson Custom Rods and having Bob Clay work on my casting while trying out one of his grass bamboo rods were high on that list. I also got to play with several Loop, Guideline, Thomas & Thomas, Echo, Sage and Winston Rods. The new Guideline LeCie 7137, Echo TR 7130 and Thomas & Thomas switch 1107 were my favorites of the bunch.

Matt Klara after getting just a little too much sun.

The conversations and arguments you get when you get a bunch of dysfunctionally festive steelheaders together are funny. Rooster fish on the spey, why the hell not. SPEY RODS, GET ONE! One side of Wagonblast versus the other. Really? Estimating size of fish was a funny one as well. You never know what is going to come out of ones mouth after a few drinks. Good thing they only discourage martinis at Oxbow. Beware of what happens to you if you fall asleep at the campfire Brian (photo for a later time).

Dawn Fisher Chou getting an overhead casting lesion from Al Buhr. I think she has Roosterfish on her mind.

I was also able so take some time and check out both the Sierra Club and Native Fish Society booths. I finally got off my ass and joined the Native Fish Society. I also met Jeff Hickman, a guide working with the Sierra Club. We discussed the current plan for increased logging in the Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests (See Rally For our State Forests) and its implications on watersheds that the increased runoff will drain into. It will be a sad day if House Bill 3072 passes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rally for Oregon's Tillamook State Forest

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Heaven sometimes hedges a rare character ungainliness and odium, as the burr that protects the fruit.” Now I do not have a degree in literature and I had to look up odium, but I know that Ralphie here is describing ugliness. Ugliness like the barren hillsides that we all see driving up highway 26 on the way to the Oregon Coast is only beautiful to a few, and we all know who they are. Now I am not against logging, but I am against unsustainable harvest and the implications that it has to the local ecosystem.

On June 3rd, the Oregon State Board of Forestry is going to meet to decide on a current management plan for out state forest land. This is occuring simultaneously while the Oregon Senate is going to be deciding on two house bills. HB 3072 basically abolishes the current practice of sustainable harvest in both the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, increasing deforestation by thousands of acres and giving logging the sole purpose of our state forests. HB 3249 on the other hand allows the Board of Forestry to designate areas for conservation purposes as well as limited logging. This bill will represent all the users of the state forests by maintaining clean water, and provide camping, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and maintain a healthy ecosystem.

With the current decline of our fisheries, keeping these rivers clean and healthy is the only way to prevent the extinction of our native runs of salmon, steelhead and trout. On June 3rd there will be a rally taken outside the State Forestry Headquarters in Salem, Oregon. This rally will be in support of the clean water needed to maintain and with luck improve the local ecosystems. Please join the fight and support your state forests. You can find out more from the river writes, from the Wild Salmon Center and Pacific Rivers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sandy Spey Clave

This years Sandy River Spey Clave is almost here. This year it is going to be a three day venue with an additional day for our women of fly fishing on friday. This is a great opportunity to get your spouses addicted to casting the two hander as well as introducing you children to fly fishing. There will be many big names in the two handed game present to learn from and you will get ample opportunities to try out more toys.

If you decide to stick around and camp this year, expect a crowd and rowdy groups at night. The clave is a lot of fun and I suggest you all check it out. You can find out all the details from the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches. It looks like the river will be in descent shape and look for a few summers and maybe a springer. Remember if you catch a springer to take a few photos and bring them in. You have a chance to win a Winston BIIX if you do.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sex Heta Metatips

So next time you run into Chris Owens, ask him what the hell? Seriously, who, when, where, why and how? Sex Heta Metatips? WTF?