Smolt and Rathbun just got back from the annual post Bellevue fly show boondoggle. We took everything Mother Nature threw and with the help of Raincoast Guides Jim Kerr, we had another ridiculously good time.
It started out unseasonably delicious.
Jim Kerr - the Olympic Peninsula's premier source of fishingenuity and the most entertaining drift jockey we know. Note to self - never swig whiskey during a Kerr'ism. It's not nearly as smooth when it shoots out your nose.
Before surrender, this dime induced a pleasant 100 yard shuffle up the MIDDLE of the Duc.
Which inspired some flask attention.
Just in time to prepare us for a climactic slap to the face.
From yesterday's inbox.
The Fly Shop is excited to announce that we will again be hosting Dec Hogan’s Spey Casting and Fishing Clinics on the Sacramento River in Redding in April.
Each daily clinic is held on-the-water on the Sacramento River near Redding, and will be split into a morning and an afternoon session, with lunch provided in between. The morning session will focus on the fundamentals of two-handed casting techniques, while the afternoon session is dedicated to actual fishing applications that anglers encounter when fishing with Spey rods. This is a great opportunity for any student of spey casting, or anglers interested in targeting steelhead, sea-trout, or Atlantic Salmon on the fly, to learn from one of the true masters of fly fishing with the two-handed rod.
The cost for the full-day casting and fishing clinic is $250 per person, which includes lunch. The clinics will be held on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. There will be a maximum of 6 rods per class, so sign up now to guarantee yourself a spot.
If you are interested in signing up for either of the two full-day casting and fishing clinics, contact Michael Caranci at The Fly Shop at 800-669-3474, or email@example.com.
Now it's possible. Just got this note from good friend and incredible Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Guide, Jim Kerr.
My good friend and fellow fishing guide Sam Kennedy has been very sick with cancer for some time, and despite good health insurance it has predictably put his family on the ropes financially. There is a benefit dinner for him here in Forks on the 7th and lots of guides including myself have offered to donate trips for auction. I have decided instead of donating a trip I will be donating a fly caught steelhead, no matter how many trips it takes, whether or not you have ever cast a fly rod before, post your bid on the blog and if you are the highest bidder I will take you fishing until you hook and land a fresh run adult steelhead.
The details are simple, book the day you want, if you don’t land a steelhead, we will book another day and so on. If there are two of you well then, we will have to get you each one.
You can bid on the trip on my blog, Raincoastguides.com or by phone and I will post your bid, or you can bid in person on the night of the 7th in forks
Having fished with Jim before, accomplishing this first time out is very doable.
Hook up occurs at approx 3:25.
The 2009 edition of the Healdsburg Wild Steelhead festival is this weekend. LINK
Setting a great example for the kids.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Monterey Bay Area Council operated a summer dam on a pristine river and - despite official warnings - allegedly killed federally protected steelhead trout downstream. And when state and federal regulators sought to have the council stop using the dam, Scout executives turned to politicians to whom they had given campaign contributions or with whom they had personal ties.
LINK (Via: Aquafornia)
Other councils are offering clear cutting merit badges.
Scout councils nationwide have hired loggers to carry out clear-cutting and salvage harvests in ecosystems that provided habitat for a host of protected species, including salmon, timber wolves, bald eagles and spotted owls, records show.
LINK (Via: SF Gate)
“Lani Waller has drawn on long experience and a deep love of steelhead to write a book that few steelheaders will want to be without.” --Thomas McGuane
“Lani Waller has a passion for these beautiful creatures that comes across on every page. And Bob Hooton brings a thorough approach to the science.” ---Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia, Inc.
“Waller . . . sees, feels, and writes about [steelhead] more deeply and colorfully than any person I know. Beginner or expert, you will not be able to put this book down until you’ve read every single word.” --Dave Whitlock
Steelhead legend Lani Waller covers the essential elements of fishing for trophy steelhead with prose as beautiful and surprising as the fish themselves. The blend of how-to and why-to not only captures the essence of these elusive fish but also uncovers what it takes to consistently bring them to hand. Waller shares his techniques for swinging wets and waking dry flies, including proper approach, presentation, and his favorite fly patterns, both classic and contemporary. Chapters on hunting trophies, equipment, casting, and conservation provide readers with a life’s worth of wisdom learned from his time on the water.
Waller brings along some of his friends to help contribute to the book. Steelhead expert Bob Hooton’s chapter on steelhead biology is a concise overview of the steelhead’s life cycle, biology, and behavior; artist Dave Hall illustrates Waller’s swinging techniques; and photographer Ken Morrish’s stunning images capture the magic of the fish and the rivers they ascend each year. This all-star cast of steelhead fanatics has created a classic book that honors the fish as well as those who chase them, whether in the Pacific Northwest of United States, the wilderness streams of British Columbia, or the hundreds of tributaries that run into the Great Lakes.
The Forest Pracrices Board board investigated 1,100 road crossings in 19 watersheds and found that only 42 per cent were designed and built in a way that allow fish to pass through. Even in streams considered "important or critical" fish habitat, more than one in four road crossings blocked fish movement.
In the Campbell-Memekay watershed north of Campbell River, the board found that almost one-third of road crossings of important or critical streams blocked fish migration.
LINK (Via: The Times Colonist)
Justin Crump had a pretty good weekend on this "Secret River" which according to him is located someplace in the Florida Keys. 39.5" x 21", so using the “Keelin Estimator” that's a whopping 26 pounds of steel. K8 did pretty well too and you check her fish HERE.
Sent to us from John Ruberto at Whiskey Creek Fly Fishing Blog. April Vokey is looking for your flies, your steelhead flies. This is a fundraiser for the Steelhead Society, for habitat restoration and other projects. Send your flies to April and she will distribute to several fly shops across BC. Your flies will be purchased by anglers and all of the proceeds going to the Steelhead Society. If you tie, tie some extras up and send them in. If you are a steeheader, look into your boxes and see what you can donate. Put those flies in an envelope and send to:
8505 Norman Cres.
The Chum has a few Lewd Contuct (pictured above) strapped to a northbound pigeon.
...we're getting it done in 2 days and 2 nights.
There was hope of trying out a new BIIx on local steel. We're gonna have to wait. The pic above shows the mainstem of the Snoqualmie River about 7 miles from my house.
The back up plan would normally be the Skykomish - which has shit the bed just as nicely.
This opinion piece from the Ventura County Star has particular meaning for Patagonia. The Ventura River runs right behind Patagonia HQ and Friends of the Ventura River was one of the first enviro groups to get funding from Patagonia back in 1973.
There used to be a thriving steelhead run on the Ventura River, and there can be again. The question is whether the Casitas Municipal Water District, which has a dam that blocks steelhead migration on the river, is going to keep standing in the way, demanding public dollars in exchange for protecting the public's resources.
The steelhead run on the Ventura River is estimated to have numbered over 4,000 returning adults prior to the construction of Matilija Dam in 1948. LINK (Via: Ventura River Ecosystem)
Jake Haas not only demonstrates his ability to come strong to the SOTM hole, but also shows how to effectively preserve the deliciousness of his whereabouts. His mastery of Photoshop reeks of gsmolt discipleship.
Three reports from the Bozeman Save Wild Steelhead Festival that took place in on November 5th. This fund raising event was conceived, organized and flawlessly executed by the Fly Boys and featured their film Raising the Ghost. Along with other film clips and steelhead media one of the highlights of the evening was Patagonia presenting a check for five thousand dollars to the Wild Steelhead Coalition.
Fly-fishing fanatic and Patagonia field report writer, Dylan Tomine, shares his experience at a recent steelhead-conservation fundraiser in Bozeman, Montana.
Just back from the Bozeman Save Wild Steelhead Festival and thought I’d report in. I know what you’re thinking – I thought it too: What the heck is a steelhead event doing in Montana, of all places? A fundraiser for a species that doesn’t even live there, on a school night in November, during a severely spiraling economy? No way.
LINK (Via: The Cleanest Line)
Wild Steelhead Coalition is proud to have been a part of the Save Wild Steelhead Festival in Bozeman, Montana. Despite a tough economy, weeknight schedule and a geographic location that has never even seen a steelhead, the Bozeman angling, arts and conservation community turned out in droves to support the event created by the FlyBoys, Paul Tarantino and Josh Brandner.
LINK (Via: The Wild Steelhead Coalition)
The first ever Save Wild Steelhead Festival went off Nov. 5th 2008 with an overwhelming response from audience members, sponsors, and advocates. The overall consensus was that it was a huge success. Team Fly Boys with the help of presenting sponsors Patagonia and RL Winston organized a multimedia fundraising event to save wild steelhead. Fly Fishing community members came from all over to support the cause.
LINK (Via: Fly Boys)
While Rathbun was off on location in B.C. we took advantage of a break in the Pineapple Express to hit an OP trib with our old pal and Asheville native Lance Goodgion. Despite being a lifelong angler and Harker's Albie master, Lance had never fished for steelhead until our excursion last week.
Things did not look promising when we first arrived but the river was on the drop and we had our first steelhead to hand within 10 minutes. We went on to hook 7 or 8 more, landed four, including 2 for our rookie steelheader.
In between steelhead and Lance's 15 minute tussle with a fair hooked 20 plus pound King, we also landed a ton of beautiful Dollies
Nothing in the world quite like your first steelhead.
After 6 years on the Sky, the 7th annual Spey Days NW will be moving to Howard Miller Steelhead Park on the Skagit. Some of the best Spey casters on the planet will be on hand for casting instruction. The lineup includes, Mike McCune, Scott O'Donnell, Ed Ward, George Cook, Al Buhr, Dana Sturn, Tim Rajeff, Way Yin, Trey Combs, Kerry Burkheimer and Dec Hogan.
The latest destination report from Ryan over at the BIG Pull. LINK
A classic Sumatra Mandheling coffee with heavy body, a hint of earthiness, with a buttery flavor and texture.
Coffee sales benefit Long Live The Kings.
Two other B.C. rivers share the same chemistry as the Brohm, the Dean and the Blackwater.
A classic fish-versus-development battle is heating up in Squamish at the proposed site of a multibillion-dollar ski resort and housing development.
Proponents of the Garibaldi At Squamish project at Brohm Ridge north of town are pitching their development as a financial boon for the economy of the community and the province, offering thousands of jobs, tourism activity and an estimated $8 billion in construction activity and spinoffs.
However a new environmental study obtained by The Vancouver Sun indicates that the project would devastate the Brohm River -- one of the most productive wild steelhead and salmon streams in B.C.
Via: The Vancouver Sun LINK
The beauty of the B.C. landscape was more than matched by the beauty of the fish.
I love this shot.
A picture perfect hen!
Let's here it for the boys.
Just had to have the dry.
The yellow leading edge of the pectoral fin on this fish was striking.
The week's largest fish landed.
Tomorrow man and fish.
Last week's trip to the Bulkley in B.C. generated over a couple of hundred photos so we're going to do a three day series of posts starting with some of the landscape shots. Clicking on the photo will enlarge them to full size.
The first day Case walks the tracks to the boat stashed up river.
Bennett throws one of the week's couple thousand casts.
One of the highlights of the trip was a float down the Bulkley Canyon where we did not see another soul.
The mornings were cold and foggy but things would quickly clear as the sun burned through.
The Bulkley has miles and miles of beautiful steelhead holding water.
I caught a 34 inch hen in this run just after this picture was taken.
Tomorrow we'll post some shots of the fish.
This is the 5 min dead drift dry fly steelhead cut seen at The Drake film awards.
The Flyboys have also launched a new website LINK
Set for release in spring of 09, Metalhead is the latest offering from AEG media.
We've thrown a couple of posts your way about the Angling Management plan being drafted for the Skeena watershed but now is the time for all of us to take action. Tim Pask sent us the following e-mail outliing what the impact this proposed plan will have on local businneses and the future of wild steelhead. Please take a moment and add your voice to the fight against the draft plan by filling out the survey, a link to which can be found below.
For any of you who are "Do it yourself" anglers, or perhaps someday want to visit the Skeena system on your own, you should be aware that by 2010 you might be out of luck. Lottery based 8 day licenses will be in place if a hand full of local guides get their way. When the dust settles they will have a short term win, the local businesses that are supported by traveling anglers loose and long term the fish loose, which is the real crime here. Right now we face enemies from all sides, with issues like Shell Oil wanting to develop the Sacred Headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine. The resource is rich with opportunities and short term greed is at the door and the fight will continue for decades to come. If we are removed from the equation they have lost a large % of the people who care about and support these fights. Mining, Oil exploration, gas lines easements, coal bed methane and fish farms are all current issues. I know many of you are actively involved in these issues today, but I doubt many of you will continue to be involved if you can no longer fish the great rivers of the Skeena.
I received this email (below) from Kathy Larson. Many of you know Kathy and also know how involved she has been to save Wild Fish. I have the utmost respect for her and Dave, and hope that they will survive to continue to stand on the front line and fight for Wild Fish and against the short term greed that is coming at every angle. We need them!!!
Please read the email below and then follow the link and fill out the survey. And forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.
The Draft recommendations of the Quality Waters Committee will, if implemented, put our B&B out of business, hugely devalue our property, and has the potential to devastate the economies of Houston, Smithers, Hazelton & Terrace by killing the steelhead industry for all but the guides.
If passed, they will also prevent non resident property owners, who contribute greatly to the local economy, from fishing from their own property unless they win a lottery spot, and then only for 8 days.
Please take a few moments to look at the following website and fill out the survey. It is made for the Bulkley River but applies to the Kispiox and Skeena as well.
All your friends and neighbours who welcome the influx of steelheaders and the tourism dollars brought in each fall by the steelhead fishermen will thank you as well as anyone who owns property along the rivers.
Please pass this on to all non guided steelheaders and anyone who is concerned about the economies of the Skeena Watershed
Thanks for your help!
Poplar Park Farm and B&B
Fill out the survey at the Buckley River Steelhead Anglers Community LINK
"If you're a responsible, dedicated angler, you have to think about bagging everything and hitting the lower Rogue."
Via: The Seattle PI LINK
The lower Rogue River is currently experiencing the largest run of steelhead half-pounders since 2000. As of Aug. 15, 179,364 fish have entered the river. Via:The ODFW LINK
Burling “conservatively estimated” he spent 35 minutes in the cold current before being rescued by a passing angler. He was flown to Duluth’s St. Luke’s hospital by helicopter that evening. Doctors were treating him for hypothermia when he suffered a mild heart attack, said Dr. David Sproat of Duluth Internal Medicine Associates.
“I’m too ornery to die,” Burling said.
Understand, the man knows adversity. Since his early 50s, according to his family’s accounts, he has had two triple-bypass heart surgeries, six heart attacks (including Tuesday’s), three strokes, carotid artery surgery and surgery for colon cancer.
Via: Duluth News Tribune LINK
We did a post late in February about the Canadian Ministry of the Environment's, "Quality Waters Strategy" for the Skeena watershed. The strategy basically to limits access for non-resident fisherman and does nothing to address the quality of the fishery. As we pointed out it won't matter who gets to fish the steelhead rivers of BC if all the fish are gone.
Since that post we were copied on a letter by Dr. James Adams who has some serious credentials when it comes to fisheries and fishing for steelhead in BC. His personal experience and observations regarding the decline of these fisheries should inspire you to raise your voice in protest.
Dr. Adams has been kind enough to allow us to reprint his letter in its entirety.
February 27, 2008
Re: SKEENA REGIONAL QUALITY WATERS STRATEGY
My name is Dr. James R. Adams. I have worked as a Fishery Biologist for the State of California, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and private industry for all of my adult life. I received my BS and MS in Fisheries from Humboldt State University, California, and my PhD in Fisheries from University of Washington.
I took my first steelhead in California in 1948, and took my first fly-caught steelhead in 1951. By 1952, I was releasing most of the steelhead and salmon that I caught on the fly.
I first fished the Kispiox River in 1960, when I spent the months of October and November staying in a cabin at Drew Wookey’s in the Kispiox Valley. I took First Place Fly Division in the FIELD & STREAM Fishing Contest that year with a 20 lb. 4 oz. Steelhead. I returned to the Kispiox in 1962 and 1964 for several weeks. In 1978, I started to return to BC for several weeks to a month or so each year. I have done this nearly every year since 1978. I have fished the Kispiox, Morice, Bulkley, Babine, Copper, Skeena, and other rivers, plus many trips to the Dean River. I fell in love with British Columbia, its people, wildlife, scenery, and the fishery.
I have also kept a diary of my fishing dating back to the 1950’s. My diary records for my trips to BC date back 47 years.