Monday, January 21, 2013

The Pebble Pledge

The Pebble Mine is expected to sit astride the headwaters of the two major river systems feeding Bristol Bay.  Bristol Bay’s enormous salmon population spawns throughout the rivers which intersect at the proposed mine site.  Lake Iliamna, the largest incubator of salmon in the world, lies directly below the mine site and is being considered by the Pebble Partnership as a possible site for disposing of mine waste. 

Thirty to forty million salmon spawn in the waters at and below the proposed mine site. This habitat fuels the largest wild salmon fishery left on earth – employing over 7000 Alaskans, is home to the largest bears in the world, world record sport fishing streams and a Native population that has been documented as subsistence users going back almost 10,000 years.

Northern Dynasty has described the proposed Pebble Mine to shareholders as the largest gold mine and 5th largest copper mine in the world. All of the 20 largest copper mines in the world have destroyed the waters around them and no such mine has ever been developed in a location as ecologically sensitive as Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

Recent studies on the effects of copper on salmon have shown that as little as 3 parts per billion disrupt salmons’ natural homing mechanisms. Because the Pebble Mine site is located directly above Bristol Bay in an environment known for high winds and heavy rains, the likelihood of contaminating the salmon’s habitat is significant.   Additionally, five of the largest dams ever constructed must be erected to hold the 10 billion tons of mine waste the mine’s ore would generate - forever.  That equates to 3,000 pounds of mine waste for every person alive on the planet today.

The facts point to certain environmental disasters if Pebble Mine were to proceed – from the construction of roads and infrastructure crossing hundreds of salmon streams, from human error, from wind and rain blowing or flooding contaminants into the water system, or from dramatic seismic activity.  If Pebble proceeds, another 1000 square miles of land in the Bristol Bay region – an area the size of the State of Rhode Island - have been claimed by other mining companies.

The Pebble Mine would have devastating consequences for Alaska’s salmon population and would destroy the region’s world class sport fishing opportunities, local subsistence fishing with a 10,000 year history, and a commercial fishing industry that employs 7,000 workers and generates $300 million a year. (Direct from the Pebble Pledge)

Please take the time to sign the Pebble Pledge and voice your opinion against this open pit mine that risks our last salmon stronghold in the world. Sign here

PNW Steelhead Gathering on the Skagit this Weekend

If any of you plan on swinging a fly on the last weekend of the season on the Skagit this weekend, you might want to check out the grass roots gathering that is getting together. The gathering will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park on the Skagit River near Rockport, Washington. 

On display will be a host of killer custom tackle from:
J.M. Reid Bamboo Fly Rods
Confluence Rod Company
Cadno Silk Lines (modern shooting head tapers made in traditional materials)
Tim Anderson Bamboo Rods
as well as others.

Howard Miller Steelhead Park is located at near the junction of state route 20 and state route 530 in Rockport. There are tent and RV sites available as well as roofed, 3 walled, 8 bunked "Adirondacks" available at the park for very reasonable costs with power outlets as well as a few cabins and a boat launch. For details/reservations please contact:

Howard Miller Steelhead Park
Park Manager: Rusty Regan

52804 Rockport Park Rd.
P.O. Box 127
Rockport, WA 98283
email -

Approx. drive times to the H.M.S. Park 
Seattle, WA - 1.7-2 hours
Vancouver, BC - 2-2.5 hours (plus border wait times)
Portland, OR - 4.5-5 hours

Thursday, January 17, 2013

30 Second Chum with Primal Angler

Ryan Davey, Primal Angler, 30 second chum and dinner.

Promont Outdoors

With the outdoor industry chocked full of different brands that sell their sole to the masses for profit,  it is nice to see something original and genuine when it comes to apparel or design. I own a lot of gear and clothing from the large based fly fishing companies out there, but what makes that any different from the guy swinging through the run downstream or hiking up a trail up there in those hills is minimal. Sure I love Simms and Patagonia products, there is not doubt, I own lots of the above, but the character behind the design or name is sometimes lacking and representing the masses promotes nothing more then the company and not the individual. It seems as if the brand or stamp from these companies are the trend setters and now selling the name and not the design. Originality sometimes takes the back-burner and progressive thought may be left to the wayside. This is the same in areas outside of fly fishing and why big companies rule the marketplace.

Sure in the big scheme of things, this is not a big deal, but when you break it down, individuality is who we are. This is why when I see companies like Promont Outdoors and Soul River I see a future in the outdoor industry. Promont Outdoors, based in Bozeman, Montana is a family based company that brings a rich heritage of the love of the outdoors to the individual and family. Weston Paul the owner of the company met his wife many yeas ago while in college, resides in Montana and now raises his two year old son Bozeman. Together they share their love of the outdoors and adventures with his son, much like I do with my family. Their focus is not only on the outdoors, but the true meaning of bringing family and people together both by sharing the experience and helping preserve it.

In January of 2012, Weston launched Promont Outdoors as a way to bring more unique lifestyle wear to the outdoor industry. Based out of his garage like most start up companies, his goal is to bring new unique and innovative products to the mainstream. As we all know in today's economy, starting a company and living the dream of creating something from scratch and bringing it to the people is difficult, but dedicated to educating and promoting the outdoors for the family, Promont's focus is in the right place. There is nothing more American then creating something from scratch and companies like this are the building blocks to our countries future.

Check out Promont Outdoors.

Adrian Cortes and the Classic Salmon Fly

For those of you that are interested in Classic hand tied Atlantic Salmon flies and in the Eugene area on January 26th, check out Adrian Cortes at the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene. Adrian is a local Portland area steelheader that has mastered the techniques of the likes of Harry Lemire and will be doing a tying demonstration at the shop.

Adrian with a Dechutes Summer Steelhead. Photo: Steve Turner

Adrian is a great guy and has mastered the ability to be a great family man, fishermen, fly dresser and nurse. It will be well worth the visit and picking his brain on taking winter steelhead on a dryline can be interesting. Check him out at the shop.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Old Wading Grounds

The other day I found myself fishing one of my old stomping grounds that I have not fished in years. With life changes, work, responsibilities and many other excuses, it took me eight years to get back to this river. I honestly cannot say why I stopped fishing this one, especially so because the last time I fished it many years ago, I landed a nice steelhead. I can still remember like it was yesterday, casting into a far seam beneath some overhanging trees deep in a tailout and having my rod almost yanked from my arm as the fish took a purple leech. Hell that was the winter before I got my first spey rod.

So with vivid memories of that last day on the river, a good buddy of mine headed out to swing some water. After fishing for only a few minutes and half way through a run my line stopped,  stalled and a slow pull was missed on a half hazard hook set.  Having the river at 40 degrees and heading into the tailout, I thought it could have been a rock. No matter what I did I could not get the rock or fish to grab again. Then suddenly upstream my buddy connected. A few minutes later he landed a large dark hatchery buck.

Fishing with this vacuum cleaner, I figured he not only picked my pocket, but also picked up the fish I missed. Something I get used to and learned not to mind over the years. Not too long after and while talking to a creel surveyor that was checking our score, I started to swing the run again and it happened. Right where I missed the first fish, wading slightly deeper and almost on the hangdown my line stopped again. This time I set and at first thought I got the rock, then set harder and the rock started head shaking.  I literally was staring at my rod bend for several second before the fish started to move. Then the fish decided to take off.

After a long fight in some fast water in the tail of the run I brought her into the shallows below me. After arguing with this chrome hen, she ran off exposing her body as she darted back into the faster, deeper water.  A beautiful hen probably just under ten pounds and bright as day. Minutes later and close to the end of the battle she was again in the shallows and about to get tailed when my fly flew back at me. A loss yet again this season but the beginning of a win in other ways. I regained some knowledge and confidence in an old familiar stream that I will venture to again in the future. Next time I hope it only takes ten days and not ten years to make it back.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Distance Casting in the Wind With Tim Rajeff

Many moons ago I was standing on some rocks jetty fishing with a few buddies and some dude named Tim Rajeff. We had an ungodly wind blowing right as us and while we were casting weighted shooting heads 30 feet, Tim was doing way Tim does and showing us how to do it right. Tim also pulled me out of the rocks when I fell through part of the jetty, but that's another story. Check out the Master.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Spoken Word of Soul River

“Spoken Word” is a new conceptual approach to Poetry recently adopted by Soul River to communicate the fashion forward artistic brand drawing inspiration from the outdoors to the urban streets.The term “spoken word” was first originated from the Harlem Renaissance to explain the new artistic expression coming out of the postmodern art movement. This type of performance art is word based and often mixed experimentally with other art forms such as music, theater, and dance. For many years, culture has been communicated by great writers and storytellers, sharing legends, myths, and fables around campfires. While history is no longer communicated this way, the art of storytelling is still very much alive from educational institutions to underground cafes and hidden lounges. Storytelling has also evolved from simple stories to expressive art influenced by their environment speaking to politics, crime, race, religion, culture, and in many circles, fly fishing. Throughout history, many of the world’s greatest literary artists wrote and spoke about fly fishing. Mark Twain, Jim Harrison, Pam Houston, Thomas McGuane, Ron Cordes, Gary LaFontaine, John Gierach, and many others tell their stories in the context of fly fishing.

Like the sport, fly fishing story telling has evolved past twill jackets and creels, modern urban dwelling anglers, inspired by our new culture music, individualism, and expressionism, have embraced spoken word poetry to tell their tales. Talented minds now converge to share their stories and pay respect to the sport and fellow anglers. Today, in the mist of the outdoors and urban streets you can hear and feel the rhythms of words slammed in to paragraphs with style and passion. Using well-articulated words, these artists turn words in to vivid visual images with no barriers or rules to convey their passion for the sport of flyfishing. By resurrecting an older art form in a new setting and juxtaposing with urban culture, spoken word poetry is breathing new life into fly fishing story telling.

The NAIAD mermaid is an Icon representing Soul River brand image. In Greek mythology, the Naiads are nymphs that preside over rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. They are most commonly associated with fresh water. It is said that their essence is bound to their particular body of water and if the water dried the naiad would die. The naiad is the perfect embodiment of Soul River. Like the Soul River brand, the naiad is the protector of the river and its life, like the communities on the river, is dependent on the river. If the river is unheathly and distressed so is the naiad. She is the living embodiment of the river and represents the river’s life and vitality. Like the naiad, Soul River is heavily vested on the rivers, the surrounding communities, and all who embrace the river for its healing properties.

Check out Soul River.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Trees for Smolts

For those of you in the Portland metro area that want to help juvenile anadramous fish and dispose of your Christmas tree, here is your chance. The Tualatan Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is collecting Christmas Trees clear of ornaments and tinsel for smolt habitat.

This is a great idea that benefits both you and juvenile fish. Please stop by the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Lynn, Oregon on January 12th or 19th where volunteers will be able to assist you. There is a suggested donation of $10.00 for the process.

On January 12th you will also find Marty and Mia Sheppard from Little Creek Outfitters present at the shop. They will be discussing winter steelheading on the Sandy River and tying a few flies.

Stop by, put juvenile salmon under your Christmas tree and learn a few things at the shop, then head over to the Clack for some fishing time.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Here they come again to a town near you. Check out there showing here.