Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mustache month

We'll be your guides today!
Every summer Bubba and I do a little throwback month and rock the mustache.  This year because of a lack of preparation we had to push it back to august from July.  This was good in that the mustaches seemed to kick off hopper season.  The down side of August mustaches is Fair weekend, which brought in a substantial amount of new talent for Bubba (who is single ladies!) but had to play handicapped with the 'stache.  Overall mustache power won out, and the last week of 'stache month produced some giant browns, like the one bubba found pictured below.
Mustache power prevails!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday fishing report: They are finally here!

Dick gets rewarded for hitting the spots.

My clients today and I laughed about how every fishing report in the west for the last month starts with "They're Finally..." as in "The salmonflies are finally here!" or "The yellowstone is finally dropping" or "It's finally hopper time".  And now that "It's finally here" it feels like it's almost over.  Mornings are starting to get cold, days are getting shorter, and the September regulars are just around the corner.  This past week gave up some interesting fishing, with fish looking up for hoppers all over the place, and some of the most consistent nymphing all year.  Apparently the big ones are moving around as well, because the Mel and Bob group got three browns over 22" within 2 days.

23" of hopper destruction.
After waking up this morning and seeing overcast skies and warm temps, we all thought today was going to be the day of days, but apparently the trout forgot what shade was, because the sunny days have been better.  Oh well, couple more weeks of what should continue to be solid dry fly fishing, and then time to chase steel!
Life is good.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What day is it again? fishing report.

Oh yeah, there are spruce moths in the upper Big Hole.

It's getting to be that time of year where everything starts to blur.  After having two days off in the last 50 or so days, life becomes a blur of fish, bobbers, hoppers, beer, caffeine, rodeo, water, sun, wind and fun.  Last week saw me out with two of my favorite clients, Brett who was pictured earlier this week and Paul and his son Owen.  Three days with each was enough for them to truly understand how good fishing is when we have a summer of high water. Any day that I've seen enough fish caught about lunch time that I don't care if we catch another one is a good thing.  Travis from The Tailout stopped by this week as well and got some local intel from the shop, as well as a sticker for the back of the trusty 4-runner.  On another note, you might want to tie up some chubbies and foamies if your headed this way soon, having the big bugs in a color other than what your local shop deals is a good thing.  Hopefully I can catch enough trout the next few weeks to keep my mind off of the steelhead reports I start to get.  Thankfully fishing has been good enough it shouldn't be too hard.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't forget the skinny

Don't forget the skinny water this summer.  The brown that Brett is holding above came out of about a foot of water to eat a homebrew chubby.  Plus, shallow water takes are the best, as long as you can wait long enough to let it happen.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday Fishing Report: Saturday Style

Jeffery Lee, Cowboy, with the first fish of the day.

Yesterday found me with an unexpected day off, so the wife and bubba and I went for an afternoon hopper run on the Big Hole.  It was a nice change to not even put the bobber rods in the truck and watch various colored chubbies get swallowed.  This week I got to spend 3 days with two boys from the Bronx, a father son combo who know how to fish and have fun. Each day the bobber is on less and less, with foam and fast water being the name of the game.  I'm back to work today with the half dozen custom chubbies that just popped out of the vise, and a brain that is going to melt if much time is spent watching a pink bobber.
Pete getting it done, Chapman style.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I've got nipples Gaylord, can you milk me?

Like a marathon runner!
Just in case your looking at fishing shirts in the near future and are going to save a couple bucks by not buying a Simms or Patagonia think about this, nipple chaffing.  The angler above chose an inferior shirt brand, and had to deal with casting arm nipple chaffing all day.  Fortunately I was able to put my first aid kit to work for the second time in it's life (the other a JMills sensitive-computer-hands booboo).  In exchange for the band-aid a picture had to be taken, and good laughs were had by all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WDFW, Thank you very little

Native Steelhead are going to cost a little more to be guided for this year, to bad they are protected more.

So I just got a letter from WDFW stating that commercial guide licenses were getting a price hike this year, a 12% increase for non-residents, and  a 25% increase for residents.  I don't even care about the price increases, especially if the money goes to something worthwhile, but what gets to me about this is the underfunding of the WDFW.  As a non resident guide license purchaser (after 25 years as a WA resident) I am also amazed that the state would have the balls to increase the fee at a higher rate for residents over non-residents.  On top of that, Washington has to have the highest non-resident guide fee in the country, and one of the lowest non-resident fishing license rates.  Aside from the WA/OR border, out of state fishing guides are few and far between.

  I have floated in Washington waters well over 1,000 times, commercially and non, and have been checked by enforcement 4 times.  4 TIMES!  This is not because the WDFW agents are lazy, they bust their asses covering huge territories.  I ran into the local enforcement officer in Forks this year, and after he showed me the poached wild steelhead filets he had confiscated, we chatted a bit and I was stunned to see how large of an area he had to cover.  It was clear that there was very little funding going to his area, and although he didn't say it, I can't imagine another officer wouldn't help.

In Montana, where I spend the rest of the year, guide license fees are the same for resident and non-resident, out of state fishing licenses are expensive but not over the top, and enforcement is funded.  I get checked on a weekly basis while working, and several times a week if I go to the popular spots.  MT also has an outfitter system implemented that creates more responsible outfitters.  Unlike WA where once you buy a guide license you can guide as much as you want wherever you want, in MT an outfitter must have guided for a licensed outfitter for 100 days, take a test, pay fee's, and maintain his/her certification.  This creates a better product for guests by weeding out many sketchy or unqualified guides.  You certainly don't see the "outfitters" who were real estate agents last year and just started guiding because they live within an hour of a river.  On top of that, with your WA "guide license" you can guide for endangered species, some of the finest rivers on earth, as much as you want!  Montana trout don't even belong here and they receive better protection!

So thank you WA state for taxing us more and giving us less.  But at least I get emails about every 6 months about the new fucking hatcheries you want to build on some of the worlds finest steelhead streams.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Been slacking on the blogging, which is pretty much typical for this time of year.  Been fishing everywhere still which is a good thing.  Cloudy days the hopper fishing has been rocking, and they are taking a little note of them on sunny days, as pictured above.  The brown that Scott from Wenatchee is holding defintely came from a Scott Wilson inspired fly.  Oh yeah, yesterday was my first day off since the middle of June, last one till September, and I spent the day picking out a new washing machine with the wife, had a nice little sunday planned.