Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Third day of guiding a beautiful couple from Florida (Diane and Dan Halleman) and it's been dreamy!!! After some epic scenery floats it was time to get down to some 'serious' business and get busy with some Cutthroats. So I decided we'd go butcher the Sparwood run and let me tell ya...the meat was on sale!!!

The day started with some blue winged olive duns pushing through some faster seams so we changed to a tilt wing bwo and dropped down to the softer ends of the seams and begin pounding some really nice fish out of the foam lines. Foam, soft water and buckets all held nice fish but the real gems of the day came out of the lumber tight to the bank in some really sllllllloooooooow water, nothing like watching an 18" fish saunter out of his lair to slow sip a size 18 bug, truly magical.

I woke up with a smile today reliving the dream that was yesterday....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Back to the Columbia for round four....again I had my ass handed to me but at least it was black and blue from getting beaten by these trout. Lots of BIG rainbows eating on top; they were definitely in their feeding lanes and easy to find. Any colour (depth) change on a shallow run held a big feeding rainbow, the riffles also held a few really keen fish, it was a refreshing day of angling.

One thing I have noticed on the Columbia and it certainly proved true yesterday was that the fish were feeding when the fly was twitched, swung, sunk and in general moved around. Many of the eats were at the very end of a long drift when the fly would plunge as the fly line tightened, so much for mending the fly. Hard to set hooks without snapping off in these situations so here's my tip of the day when you find fish are feeding in this manner as they often are especially during mayfly spinner falls.

When fish are reacting well to a sunken fly at the end of a drift when your line is straightened take a little pressure off the set by holding a loop between your rod hand and reel. When the fish eats set as you normally would and allow the loop to slide gently through your rod hand to relieve some tension from the set. (photo of slip strike loop on side panel)

This was one of those "one fly" days and I'd show you a picture of it but.....it was tooooo good!!! Spencer and Joel in town today for some angling PUMPED!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The River "Y"

AHHHHH!!!!! Ants, rainbows, big dries all day must have pinned at least a hundred today....bless their little gills!! It was cool to watch fish position themselves so prominantly in the feeding lanes as they sucked back flying ants all day. Still fished a big bug through the hatch (Doug Swishers's Orange PMX) to limit our impact on the fish. Trout suck ants down deep and ant days can lead to heavy hook mortality from their
overly aggressive feeding.

It was nice to take a break from the Columbia River and get some consistent action on the dry fly. Thanks to all trout who participated in the last two days events, may your wounds heal quickly.

Beautiful day today.....more tommorrow and "Y" the hell not!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

....We SUCK!!!

There's those days when fish are coming up out of nowhere for your fly for no apparent reason and you feel much like a magician yarding bunnies out of a hat. At the end of those days you feel like nothing can knock you down; like you've conquered the puzzles of nature like an ardent scientist, almost Godlike if your ego is really out of check. At the end of these days you say to yourself "fuck ya!! I've got it dialed now, never havin' a slow day again."

Then there's the days like the last 4 I've fished on the Columbia with one of my guides. It sucked, we sucked, the weather sucked it all just sucked!!!! In these moments you begin to wonder if all that lording you did while you were KING OF THE ELK is catching up to you as you stand there dumbfounded in the front knee brace holding onto what remains of your ass that was just handed to you.

The Columbia River tailwater can be tough, like any good rainbow fishery it has it's moments. All of us who fish it know this and many people who come here to fish it encounter those dead days and leave never to return. Probably why I see such an amazingly low number of anglers on such a vast and productive piece of water.

When faced with such angling adversity there is much pre and post fishing time tying up new bugs, thinking of different water or trying different techniques and for what it's worth it's our time as anglers to be creative with what we do and step beyond our limitations and find a way to put trout lips onto FLY!!! So for the last few nights and mornings I have sat at the vice wrapping up the ingredients to what will be called "The Answer" if it so proves itself during this cold snap.

So far all that remains is the question and keeps me reloading the vice. River "Y" re opens today which will be a welcome change phhhhhhhewww!!!