Monday, November 28, 2011

Non-traditional fishing dogs: steelhead edition

Cold steel
Check out this weeks non-traditional fishing dog, Annie.  That's her over Keven's right shoulder, just behind that big-ass Central Washington steelhead.  Keven swung this fish up a little over a week ago, and clearly Annie brings some serious fish mojo with her, helping Keven find this steelhead that's as fine as any fish you'll find outside of B.C.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Summer steelhead short

Check out this short teaser from T. Mitchell featuring Jim Kerr during this past summer.  Hopefully some more to come, because just this short segment looks sweet, and if can include some of Jim's comedy even better!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Winter Wrapping: Intruder

I'm currently in the process of wrapping bugs for this winter season,  and I ran across this post by Mojo over at skagitmaster and figured I'd tie something a little more challenging than flash on a hook.  I rarely fish intruders, but love tying them because of the attention to detail required to make them look good and they are a great way to hone the skills after tying chubbies all summer.  Can't wait to dunk this thing on the coast in a couple of months.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tying the Prom Dress

Cool video courtesy of Fly Fish USA on tying the prom dress.  There are definitely a couple different techniques in there than how I tie them.  Always good to learn new tricks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

EvoAnglers New Steelhead Video: "Home"

This video footage comes from the trip I chronicled last week here. As stated in the writeup, a great trip spent swinging flies and an awesome time hanging with a bunch of my buddies I don't get to see near enough.  Although not in the video, I want to say thanks to Keven S. and "The Theory" who floated my ass around so that I didn't have to tow my raft out.  I've always liked the snowboard type videos that focus on one rider, rather than a location, and thought I would try to incorporate a little bit of that into this video.

As I wrote in the video description, any fish that is completely out of the water is a hatchery fish that was dispatched of either before or after their cameo, per the state law for the water we were fishing.  Any fish that remains in the water (the last one that I am holding and the last one Shawn is holding) were wild fish, and were quickly released unharmed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steelhead Flies at Skagitmaster

Tying session.

Check out this awesome article by Jeff Mishler at Skagitmaster.  All sorts of good info and pictures, and tons of good thoughts about confidence, fly selection and color.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Non-traditional fishing dog: Dexter

Dexter and his owner looking for risers.
So I threw up an article "Non-traditional fishing dogs" last winter some time, and asked for submissions, and Kate in B.C. was nice enough to submit, and I completely forgot about it until this fall.  Here is here husband and dog Dexter, a pitbull mix who I'm assuming is pretty pumped to see the river in the above picture.  Thanks for the submission Kate, sorry about the delay, your stickers are on the way, and if you have a non-traditional fishing dog (pretty much anything aside from a Lab, Golden or GSP) shoot me an email at, and I'll get you some stickers and throw your fishing buddy on the blog within one year (likely sooner, sorry again Kate)!
Life is good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friday Fishing Report: No Guiding Edition

Fishing my namesake run on the Ronde.  Photo by Mills.

After trout season, I typically head back to Eastern Washington and guide a couple more weeks for fall steelhead before calling it a year.  This year I mixed it up, and decided that going back and catching them myself would be more fun than guiding, so loaded up the toyota and headed east a week after guide season was over.  This trip was going to be great not just in the fact that I was going to be able to spend a week throwing the spey pole and relaxing, but it worked out that my bff Shawn was going to be home from Maui and staying at his cabin.  A cabin in the true sense of things (not a 5,000 square foot log cabin) this would be the perfect location for a week of fishing and chaos.
Keven swinging.  Pounce on it.
The first day we launched the boat with our good friend Keven and outside temps hovering just below 20 degrees.  After a couple quick hookups that weren't expected (while smashing ice out of the guides, really?) we spent the day practice casting and wondering when it was going to get above freezing.  Still a success because the three of us hadn't seen each other for well over a year.

The next three days led to a more consistent fishing.  Shawn struck first on day 2, landing a nice hatchery fish, watching me lose one, then walking right back in to the run and sticking a 2nd.  Finding 4 fish in one run on the swing was pretty exceptional, and we found one more towards the very end of our float to cap off the day.  Day 3 we had a more relaxed approach than the two prior, swung one fish in a run I have caught a fish out of every year for as long as I can remember, and made it to the Twisp River Pub before sunset to sample brew and enjoy their exceptional grub (try the oglio y olio).
Shawn whapping

Day 4 found me and Brazda in a raft swinging flies together on our annual day of fishing.  Braz and I work together the entire year, and only get to fish together about 2-3 times a year if that.  Having already caught a ton of steelhead this fall, Jeff let lead through the first run, which resulted in a nearly instant fish on the beach.  As Jeff swung through, we noticed a couple of steelhead sitting about a rod length in front of us, apparently sunning them selves.  A few casts later and one of the spotted fish was hooked up then spitting my fly right back at me.  We swung about 4 more runs, half of which produced a couple more fish, and ended up going 4-5 on the day, including swinging up some fish in new spots for both of us.
"I think it's a snag"

After a stop by my parents house for dinner I made my way to Spokane and casa Mills.  After changing his mind about 10 times as to where we should fish on the Ronde the next day, we headed for the bottom, and spent the day swinging both big and small water, with success on both.  Josh was even nice enough to let me pick his pocket for my last fish of the trip, in the last run we were fishing.  He is very generous like that!
Thanks Josh!
A week of steelhead fishing and seeing old friends was absolutely as great as it sounds, and I can't wait to do it again next year.  When you are guiding all of the time it is easy to forget how much fun it is to just fish, and sit on the bank and bullshit and not care if you catch anything.  Being able to do all of this as well as share time with great friends is about as good as it gets.

Winter Steelhead Video

Check out the short video that Joey Macomber shot this past winter steelhead season.  Joey hosts a trip with us every winter, and if you are interested shoot me an email, or follow this link

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Casting pictures

Keven casting.  Some spey days are better for casting photos than fish catching.
Got back from Whapfest '11 which was an absolute blast.  Great to see old friends, throw spey rods and relax after a long guide season.  More to come this week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Movember 2011 Craft and Pride Series Episode 01 from Urchin Associates on Vimeo.

why aren't their videos like this done with people that know what they are doing, rather then "blake who likes to fly fish."

Seriously though it is Movember. If you start your 'stache now you'll only be three days behind everyone else. Benefits of growing a mustache include: A. supporting prostate cancer research. B. catching more fish.