Monday, February 28, 2011

Olympic Peninsula film roll- the scenic shots

I finally had time to sit down and process images from earlier in the week. If anyone is interested in the specifics or if you are interested in a post with more photo tips please leave a comment.






Friday, February 25, 2011

Backyard Flow



"The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother" -Chief Seattle

Monday, February 14, 2011

Non-traditional fishing dogs: Autumn

Autumn, in the Yakima Canyon.

My buddy Wayne sent in a pic after the Non-traditional fishing dog post of his dog Autumn, a Shib Inu.  A  Shiba Inu to those who do not know (like me, until Wayne emailed me) is a Japanese hunting dog bred to hunt wild boar in packs. and according to Wikipedia, is one of the few ancient dog breeds still around today.  Thanks for the pics Wayne, stickers are on there way!
"Smells like a bull trout, but maybe it's a dolly?"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Backyard Flow

Fall run on a columbia trib.

"What saves money, alas, kills salmon."- Blaine Harden, A River Lost.

Todays Backyard Flow photo comes from Ian at Detonation Studios.  Ian runs a photography/videography business out of Bozeman, MT and takes some awesome outdoor shots.  His website is having some work done, so you can check his other work out here on his facebook page.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Don't F#&$ with The Silver Bow Fly Shop

Behind that smile is a crime stopping machine.


Once was strange enough, but twice is amazing.  Sean Visintainer at The Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Spokmpton , WA recently recovered two Meiser spey rods that were lost on the Spokane, and picked up by some tweakers in the couple of hours it took for the owner to realize they were lost.  This is the second time in the last 3 years that Sean has busted fly rod thieves in the spokane area.  The first time was similar to the recent account, where rods were stolen, and the thieves called Silverbow to try and pawn them.  Both time Sean and his staff recovered the rods, and busted the criminals.  Here is a link to the new story, which is just getting told on speypages.  The first post is the story of the lost rods, and the good news is on the second page.

The Silver Bow is a great fly shop in the Spokane Valley, and if you live in Spokane you probably already know about it.  But, if you are passing through on your way from Seattle to the cuttie filled rivers of North Idaho or the giant browns of Southwest Montana it is worth your time to stop in.

Here is a copy of the first story from 2008. 

Repost from the Silverbow Shop site news.

Local business does a Fabio job for fly fisherman
Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review August 28, 2008

The next time the seduction of the Internet tries to lure you away from buying outdoor gear locally, consider this story of home-grown customer service beyond the call of duty.

The event unfolded at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley, where owner Sean Visintainer and co-worker Jon Allan were having a routine day until a new face came through the door.

"He wanted to know where would be the best place to sell some fly rods," Visintainer said. "You can't judge a person quickly because legitimate people do sell their rods now and then."

Visintainer told the man the shop didn't deal in used rods and that he'd probably have to go to a pawn shop or sell them through classified ads.

"But we were curious and we asked him what he had and he started listing them off," Visintainer said. "He said he had a couple of Sage rods, St. Croix and a real nice Fabio Gonzalez rod."

That's when the alarms went off simultaneously in the shopkeepers' minds.

The visitor apparently was bright enough to know that many top-quality rod makers use their names as trademarks on their products.

But his luck ran out when he tried to pawn off the very fine Fabio Gonzalez rod to reputable dealers.

"Jon and I were both thinking, wait, there's no rod maker named (Fabio Gonzalez). But we have a customer by that name."

Visintainer played along while Allan pretended to take out the garbage so he could copy the man's vehicle license number.

When the man left, the Silver Bow staff contacted Fabio Gonzalez and let him know that a man with one of his rods, inscribed with his name by a local custom rod maker, had shown up in their shop.

"He didn't even know yet that the rods had been stolen," Visintainer said.

But equipped with the vehicle license number and the man's description, police were able to troll through the backwaters of Spokane, net the thief and recover thousands of dollars of fly fishing gear that had been bagged in one quick heist.

Fabio Gonzalez is grateful for the service from Silver Bow, as well as being thankful that his name is not something more common like R.L. Winston or Gary Loomis.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Non-traditional fishing dogs

Ruby soaking it up on the Upper Big Hole
It might as well be Montana state law that when you live here with a drift boat, you have a lab named after a river, fly rod company, insect or some other more obscure fishing term.  I have one, Rooster has half a dozen, and there is no shortage of labs running around the banks of every Montana trout stream.  Occasionally though you see a dog that looks a little out of place in the back seat of a Clack, but still having the time of their life.  I'm talking about the small, fuzzy and just plain different fishing dogs out there.  I know that Matt at The Crippled Herring  has a Chihuahua that gets in the boat, and the guys at Moldy Chum have a terrier named pirate following them around as well. We have a rat terrier (lives up to the breed name) named Ruby who loves a sunny day in the skiff.  At 5lbs she is about the size of a nice brown trout, but much more aggressive than a brown of her poundage.  Small dogs certainly have their place, and here are 5 of the benefits of bring a purse dog on the boat.
5lbr in the net
1.  No interest in swimming.  While my lab jumps around like a foul hooked whitey in the water, Ruby much prefers the comfort of a sun baked boat seat, and might not even jump in if we were capsizing.
2.  Less broken rods:  The number of rods broken by clumsy big dogs sent in to Scott, Sage, and Winston each year is probably equal to triple the amount of labs named after those companies. And about half of the fly shops I have been to have a dog named Sage.
3.  Balance:  A five pound rat dog leaning on your gunnel does not affect rowing, a 60 pound lab does.
4. Space:  At 5 pounds, Ruby is easy to hide under the bow, and her kennel fits in the boat.
5.  Happiness:  While my lab often time has the energy of a 5 year old on Mt. Dew, Ruby is so happy scared to just be with us instead of left at home, that she lounges around the boat like she owns the thing.
Eye to eye
If you've got a non-traditional dog you fish with, shoot me a pic (joewillauer@gmail.com) and I'll throw it on here and send you some stickers.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Growth in Fly Fishing?

Sadly, this was not photoshopped. Idaho Falls, ID.
At the beginning of the year there was a lot of talk about how our sport needs to grow to survive.  I tried to write a post about growth in the industry, but everything just came out cynical and jaded (1 part cold winter + 2 parts no steelhead around), so all I can say is; If this is the future of our sport, how much growth do we really want or need?  Support your local fly shop!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Backyard Flow

Sunset last week
Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. -Aldo Leopold

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Simple steelhead bugs

Silvey's tandem tubes, simple and crazy effective.
Like most every other steelheader these days, I dig tying weird intruders and trying to see how many pieces of ostrich herl and lady ameherst I can put on a hook.  But, when I think about what I catch fish on every year, it is not often these complex patterns, and typically not much more than a bunny strip leech or a marabou spider.  I still love to tie and fish more complex stuff, but it is great to have a box dedicated to simple patterns that are known producers, that I can crank out of the vice in quick fashion, and don't have a break down when I bust them off on the bottom of a river.

The pattern in the box above is a bunch of Silvey's tandem tubes, a fly I have caught a ton of fish on that is simple, easy to tie, light to cast and super fishy. The right two patterns have tung cones for slot fishing, the others have normal cones for more gentle gliding runs.  Simple is good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Messin' with Steve

A couple weeks ago I threw up this post about one of my favorite trout streamers, Sculpin Steve.  Last week I signed in to the faceyspacey and my buddy Wayne had tagged me in a couple of pictures of Steve renditions he had tied up.  Wayne lives over in the 509 and ties some of the cleanest, fishiest flies around.  Thanks for the great variations Wayne!
Love that red lateral line

I don't know what wouldn't eat this?