Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Fall has arrived in the Northwest! It's been significantly colder, and the vast kaleidoscope of foliage has been blown off their branches around Portland. Over the past few weeks, I was able to escape Portland to the East a few times in order to chase the illusive Steelhead. I joined my good buddy John Holland at Jack Mitchell's Steelhead Ranch. Jack started the Evening Hatch fly shop and guide service on the banks of the Yakima River in Washington. He now runs trips on the famed Olympic Peninsula and the Upper Columbia River near the US-Canada border. We spent the day with one of his top guides looking for chrome on the great Klickitat River. In Steelhead terms, it was a very successful outing. A few fish landed, and another half-dozen hooked and then dropped. I'm still learning the ropes on fishing for these beautiful, anadromous fish. Casting and swinging the fly is a big part of it, but it's all about reading the water. I'm still in the habit of looking at the river with "trout eyes". Steelhead tend to hold in much faster water, and in other spots that my trout trained brain is still trying to decipher. Enjoy a few images here from our day at the ranch...including this prime shot of John holding an 11 pound wild buck. It sounds like Winter has arrived in Jackson Hole right on time. Grand Targhee is open to powder skiing, and it looks like more snow is on the way. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Friday, November 1, 2013
Grand Teton Fly Fishing for such a successful 2013...we couldn't have done it without you! Despite some wild weather and high water conditions on the Snake, fishing was pretty darn good. I did not get back to Jackson as much as I had hoped, but was very excited to get continuous reports from friends and clients on their fishing. I've been getting out as much as possible with the my "two-hander" (read: Spey Rod), and am finally getting the "swing" of it. (Traditional techniques for Steelhead involve swinging flies in suspicious water, looking for native Chrome).
Monday, July 8, 2013
So, what's happening around Western Wyoming lately? Thanks to the internet and social media (as well as the old fashioned telephone), I've been able to stay exceptionally informed on local fishing conditions, even though I'm now in the Pacific Northwest. The short answer around Jackson is this: fishing has been red hot, especially with dry flies. Despite some thunderstorm activity and a last runoff push recently on some rivers, the dry fly action on the Green and South Fork has been top notch. Snake River tributaries have also been red hot. The mainstem of the Snake through Jackson sounds like it is just starting to fish well also. The flows being released from Jackson Lake Dam right now are higher than we'd like to see (almost 5,000 cfs), so make sure to concentrate on the numerous sidechannels that this river offers. Summer Steelhead fishing around Oregon is ramping up, and the Trout fishing continues to satisfy the anglers around here too. I'm still getting used the fact that I get to fish for Rainbow Trout that are all native. We spent this past holiday weekend in the Opal Creek Wilderness area, in the Central Oregon Cascades. It was an incredibly beautiful area, known for it's old growth stands and remoteness. It's also the Santiam River headwaters, and home to some very pretty native Rainbow Trout. Curious? Check out this link on Opal Creek. More soon!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Orvis Link to learn more about this fish. I also just ran across another great article from Hatch Magazine that goes hand in hand with this fish photo: 10 tips to successfully releasing fish. Check it out!
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sorry it's been so long since my last blog post! Moving into a new Portland home and managing a remodel puts everything fishing on the backburner. It's time for the big dries around Oregon right now. Although I've not been out on the Deschutes yet, the reports are very, very good. I'm planning on a weekend to the dry side soon to see if I can find some Redsides on dry flies. The Deschutes is relatively close to Portland, but sits on the dry side of the Cascades. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were fishing in Wyoming...dry hills and sagebrush surrounding spectacular water. The river is full of native Rainbow Trout...aka Redsides.I made a last minute trip back to Wyoming about a week ago to check in on Grand Teton Fly Fishing, visit some friends, and of course, go fishing. Our fly shop at 225 West Broadway is proudly up and running. Make sure to say hello if you are in town! We've got a great fly selection and plenty of accessories with our new logo on them. Our preseason bookings are up significantly compared to the past few years at this point, so don't delay...give us a call to inquire about a fishing trip this summer. Although the Snake is still in runoff mode, the Green and South Fork are fishing well. The Green is still actually hanging in there at under 600 cfs...a great June level. The South Fork is under 11,000 cfs at Irwin, and the reports are good. Stay tuned for lower river Salmonflies...should be soon! Many thanks to my old fishing buddies Scott Smith and Stan Czarnaik for a great day on the water. We found some clear water to float and the streamer bite was on!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
It sounds like Winter has returned to Wyoming this week, with more people now chasing springtime powder skiing than rising trout. Most of my buddies have been reporting excellent spring fishing conditions this year on the Snake, South Fork and Henry's Fork. We've been doing more skiing lately than anything else around the Pacific Northwest. I've have not been out for any Steelhead angling in recent weeks, but did sneak out for a morning of Salmon fishing last Saturday on the Willamette River. It's the beginning of "Springer" season here...a strong annual run of Spring Chinook Salmon are heading up the Columbia River and it's tributaries right now and it's getting better by the day. Thanks again to my buddy Michigan Mike for showing me the ropes last weekend! I attended the annual Native Fish Society fundraising auction in Portland last night. It was a blast! This non-profit is doing incredible work in the Pacific Northwest ensuring that Wild Steelhead and Salmon will have a better chance of survival in our future. I was able to meet many local legends around my new fly fishing community here. Check out their website. I'm not always fond of posting too many "grip and grin" pictures, but I couldn't resist these two shots that I came across recently. First, here's a mammoth 14 pound Argentine Brown Trout that my co-worker Trey Scharpe had the pleasure of guiding this happy angler to over the winter. And lastly, but not least, is my good buddy Dave Decker hoisting a 20 pound Belizean Permit that he bumped into while fishing at the Belcampo Lodge, in Punta Gorda, Belize. Nice job Dave!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Last week, my good friend Scott Smith and I finally closed our deal with Jack Dennis...100%! Through literally years of hard work on both sides, we have reached the finish line. For those readers who don't know, we had been slowly maneuvering with legendary angler Jack Dennis over the past few years to purchase and take over his beloved Jack Dennis Fishing Trips. Jack started his guide service over 40 years ago, and it matured into a very well known outfitting business with a first-rate reputation. We now own some of the most coveted outfitting permits in the area, which allow us unparalleled access to the great rivers in and around Jackson Hole. We are very fortunate to be able to carry the torch for Jack down the rivers in Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Green River and in Yellowstone. We have officially launched Grand Teton Fly Fishing, and can't wait to see you on the river under our new name! Despite the fact that I'm now in Oregon nearly full-time, I'm eagerly continuing to be a part of this fun business, while chasing new pursuits here. Thanks to all of our friends, colleagues and clients alike for all of the support! Like our page on Facebook (by clicking on the badge on right side of the journal here), and stay in touch!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
It's usually about this time of year that anglers living around the 45th parallel either start seriously thinking about Spring Trout fishing, or better yet a Saltwater flats getaway. There's nothing better than escaping a cold, wet winter to a barefoot paradise comprised of sightfishing. It's been a number of years since I've had the chance to get down to the flats to chase things like Bonefish, Permit or Tarpon. I know my buddies back in Jackson are just starting to get on the Snake, and from the reports I've received, it's fishing nicely. Winter Steelhead is in "full swing" right now in my neck of the woods on most area rivers. My good buddy Brian Hodges, owner of Doublehaul Travel, just recently returned from the infamous Bair's Lodge on the island of Andros, in the Bahamas. He passed along a suite of photos to me today that made me incredibly jealous! He hosted a trip down there with some local (Portland) boys from Nike, including my friend Bill Farnum. Bill's passion for Fly-Fishing and fundraising led him to start Casting 4 A Cure, a non-profit charged with finding a cure for Rett Syndrome. Make sure to check out this link to learn more! I've been doing more skiing than fishing lately, exploring the runs and backcountry around Mt. Hood. I did get the chance to fish a few weeks ago, though, on the river "X" with my buddy Michigan Mike. He grabbed me blindfolded at 5 am to do a 6 mile float of this under the radar Steelhead mecca. We sighted a few fish, but didn't get any to grab the fly. I learned a ton though, thanks Mike! (Here's a shot of Mike waiting for the grab...) More soon!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Fly Fishing Film Tour here in Portland last weekend. It really exceeded my expectations in terms of quality of films and just the overall message that the films projected. There were certainly plenty of scenes of exceptional fish being held by accomplished anglers, and exciting stories of adventure travel and exploration in search of elusive fish. It was even more exciting for me to see some faces of people I know personally in the industry, such as Mike Dawes, Paul Puckett, Matt Hansen and Adam Trina. The most satisfying part of the festival was that all of the films had some underlying message being conveyed about conservation. It's very easy to get wrapped up in our busy lives and then head out for a day on our favorite rivers without thinking about the bigger picture. Many of these rivers and watersheds that we love so much are in peril, and we should not take them for granted. I've always tried to stay involved with Trout Unlimited, and have been active around our new home in Oregon with the Native Fish Society. In addition to annual dues, I try to do as much volunteering each year as I can. I truly wish I had more money to contribute and more time to spend on the ground with these guys, but I just don't...having two young kids will do that. When I can, I like to use this journal to spread the word though. As you know from previous blog posts, I've discussed some concerns with the ludicrous plan to pump Green River water some 500 miles to the Front Range of Colorado. Fortunately, for now, it looks like this idea is quickly losing steam. This does not mean, though, that the Colorado system does not need our help. My good buddy Tom Sadler (who is the "Key Grip" at the Middle River Group , as well as an ace Tenkara Angler , passed along a link introducing me to Protect the Flows. Protect the Flows is a coalition of over 700 businesses that depend on a healthy Colorado River system. These businesses are from communities up and down the Colorado River and its tributaries. Even if you are not a business owner along the Colorado or its tributaries, please click on this link to learn much more about the state of this watershed. Check these guys out, it's important stuff!
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Snowpack Data For Wyoming to see how things are shaping up for water. Western Wyoming is looking pretty good from here. Summit County Citizens Voice to learn more. I've been doing more skiing lately than fishing, so I'm not able to supply any first-hand Steelhead photos. Instead, check out this beauty that my good buddy John Holland netted last week on a secret Washington State stream. John asked me to join him on this trip, and I had to unfortunately decline. Days went by after the trip, and I got no report from him. I finally sent him a text to ask how the trip went...all I got was this photo. Nice one Holland!
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Native Fish Society, check them out! I also want to give a shout out to my buddy Chuck Ledgerwood, of Butte, Montana. Check out Prize Catch, Inc. for some really cool stuff. Just came across this video below, as well...Brown Trout fever on Alberta's Bow river...great footage!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig. For lodging, the best gig in the area are the cabins and motel in Wolf Creek run by Montana River Outfitters. These guys will take care of you. Enjoy a few photos from the trip.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Headhunters Fly Shop, in Craig, Montana). Putting on today in a fresh blanket of snow. I imagine the Olive hatch was superb (along with the streamer bite). For those of you that have not seen the series of videos on YouTube, starring Hank Patterson...Fishing Guide...check this out! Hilarious!
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Spotted Tail Outdoors , a very unique reservation and management system for fishing guides. Check it out!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Native Fish Society ), taken recently from a local Steelhead stream. Amazing picture. More soon!