Saturday, December 27, 2008

Did You Build Your Ark?

The melt is on. Now that we're finally able to drive around on pavement again get ready for some nasty flooding on the "S" rivers. So go fish a lake, that doesn't have ice on it. Or, better yet, go snowboarding.-BW

More rain, snowmelt; look for rising streams, water pooling in streets
An inch of rain a day is expected for the next few days in the Seattle area, and a flood watch remains in effect for most of Western Washington through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
By Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times staff reporter

Leaving her car behind, a woman carries her groceries up 53rd Avenue Northeast in Lake Forest Park on Friday afternoon. Heavy, wet snow and slush made maneuvering a vehicle on the street nearly impossible.

An inch of rain a day is expected for the next few days in the Seattle area, and a flood watch remains in effect for most of Western Washington through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
A strong, warm and wet Pacific storm will produce lowland showers into next week, meteorologist Johnny Burg said.
"An inch of rain a day isn't too outlandish," he said. "Getting a quarter-inch every six hours is kind of the typical, wet winter system we get."
The potential remains for small streams to flood and for water to pool on streets as the last of our snow is melted by the rain and warming temperatures -- a bigger concern for urban areas. Today's high is expected to reach 44 degrees, a welcome change from recently frigid temperatures and the more than 12 inches of snowfall reported at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between Dec. 13 and Christmas Eve.
In anticipation of the predicted rain and resulting snowmelt, Seattle Public Utilities has put in motion its Urban Flood Response Plan, with extra crews on duty and observers in place at sections of the city where flooding is likely. To report an emergency drainage problem in Seattle, call 206-386-1800.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Victory for The Public

This article was recently published in Angling Trade, an industry magazine many of you probably don't see but it's important to share the good news. What this artilce doesn't tell you is that the force trying to restrict access to Mitchell Slough was Huey Lewis (of the News) who owns a large ranch next to the Slough.-BW

Montana Supreme Court Rules Mitchell Slough Open

The Montana Supreme Court recently ruled that Mitchell Slough is open to recreation under the state's stream access law. This decision will have statewide ramifications in the ongoing stream access debate. In a 54 page decision, the court said that the 16 miles of this waterway (between Hamilton and Stevensville, Montana) follows the historical course of a waterway mapped 130 years ago, and therefore is subject to the same public accessand permitting standards as other natural waterways. This ruling overtunred two earlier rulings by state district courts that found the slough was no a "natural, perennial-flowing stream."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Direction?

This happened a couple weeks ago now but it it could mark a significant change in the way WDFW goes about it's business. Lets hope so at least. This is the official WDFW news release.-BW

December 01, 2008 Contact: Jeff Koenings, (360) 902-2225 or Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408
WDFW director resigns to pursue new challenges
OLYMPIA— After a decade of leadership in fostering scientific and collaborative management of state natural resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Jeff Koenings, Ph.D., has announced his resignation, effective Dec. 11.
“In collaboration with many other resource managers and Washington citizens, I’ve accomplished much of what I said I would do when I became director 10 years ago,” Koenings said. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in creating a comprehensive, gravel-to-gravel system of stewardship for wild salmon, re-building relationships based on mutual trust with tribal resource co-managers, bringing a scientific focus to state fish and wildlife management and improving the department’s business practices.”
Most recently, Koenings chaired negotiations on a new, 10-year chinook-harvest agreement under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, requiring British Columbia and Alaska to reduce harvest of Washington chinook by a million fish over the next 10 years. When implemented in 2009, the agreement will return many more wild salmon to state spawning grounds to take advantage of numerous estuary and freshwater habitat-restoration projects throughout the state.
Under Koenings’ leadership, WDFW established many new sustainable fisheries that allow harvest of hatchery-produced fish while sparing wild salmon listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. He also led the department’s participation in a broad effort to reform state hatchery operations to support wild-fish recovery.
Over the past decade, WDFW has acquired more than 109,000 acres of land for the protection of fish and wildlife habitats, ensuring their place in the public lands portfolio for future generations of Washingtonians.
Koenings said he plans to use his knowledge, experience and collaborative approach in ways that benefit national and international fisheries programs that are crucial for sustaining Washington’s fishing industry and its many economic benefits to the state.
“Change is everywhere, and I anticipate opportunities to use these skills in a number of forums,” said Koenings. “Washington lies at the center of the Pacific Coast and, as such, our interests range from southern California to the Bering Sea. In this global economy, the Pacific Rim countries are cooperating to conserve our marine resources as never before, and Washington state is a huge player in those discussions.”
Koenings’ 10-year career as WDFW director was the longest in the department’s history.
"Jeff has admirably served the department and successfully navigated it through some challenging times in the last ten years," stated Gov. Chris Gregoire. "His service is appreciated."
As director, Koenings brought stability to the 1,500-plus employee agency, fostered partnerships with stakeholders, promoted a good-neighbor policy in managing state wildlife lands and secured millions of dollars in federal funding for state fish and wildlife management.
Koenings was appointed WDFW director in January 1999, after working as an Alaska fisheries manager and a special assistant to the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He holds a doctorate in natural resources, a master’s degree in water resources and a bachelor’s degree in fisheries, all from the University of Michigan.
“The past 10 years have been extraordinary in terms of the diversity of challenges presented to WDFW and its leadership,” Koenings said. “But through it all, conservation of the resource through science-based decision-making has been our standard. I’ve been fortunate to lead an incredible group of talented professionals and they will always have my respect and admiration.”

Saturday, November 29, 2008

After a long delay...

We are back to tell you that your local rivers are on a sharp rise today after the rain and warm temps. Not much snow in the mountains that's staying yet.

There are some early winter steelies and still chums to be had around but it'll have to wait a few days. Lake fishing is hot right now and you can't go wrong in the South Sound. Get some.

Also, there is a new DVD out now called Drift. It's one of the very best pieces of flyfishing production we've seen. Not flashy and hip just well filmed and edited fishing and refelctions. We have several copies in stock. It's worth a look, I promise.- BW

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Red Gold

The outstanding doumentary film Red Gold will be screened at the Seattle Art Museum on Wednesday Nov. 19th @ 6pm.

This film chonicles the lives of Alaskan salmon, fishermen and natives and the potentially devastating impact of the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. It's an excellent film and will give you an excuse to go see some art too.-BW

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Better Fishing to Come?

Agency releases Puget Sound cleanup proposal

SEATTLE -- The Washington state agency charged with cleaning up Puget Sound released an ambitious list of fix-its Thursday that includes buying up critical land, restoring estuaries and promoting low-impact development.
The Puget Sound Partnership's draft action agenda outlines steps the state should take to meet the goal of restoring and protecting the sound by 2020.
David Dicks, the agency's executive director, said the total bill for improvements won't be known until the draft is adopted later this month and presented to lawmakers by Dec. 1.
The agency plans to ask for $200 million to $300 million in the state's 2009-11 biennium budget for initial projects. That's on top of $570 million the state now spends per biennium on cleanup efforts.
Karina Shagren, a spokeswoman for Gov. Chris Gregoire, said cleaning up the sound is a top priority but "it's way too early to say" whether she'll include that amount in her budget.
The state is facing a projected $3.2 billion budget deficit.
Gregoire and lawmakers created the agency last year to figure out what threatens the sound and how to fix it.
One of the biggest threats is stormwater runoff. Two state Department of Ecology reports released Thursday blame people's everyday activities - not industrial pollution or municipal wastewater discharges - as the main sources of the 52 million pounds of toxic chemicals, such as oil, PCBs and heavy metals, that end up in the sound each year.
"We've got to stop the bleeding," Dicks said. "We've got to deal with the onslaught ... of toxic chemicals still getting into the sound."
He said the most pressing goals are to protect remaining ecologically sensitive lands and curb the stormwater pollution through low-impact development.
The draft agenda for cleaning Washington's inland marine waters and the surrounding land includes proposals to advocate for more wilderness designation, require conditional use permits for bulkheads and docks and set up no-discharge zones for vessel sewage.
Among the more immediate fixes, the agency plans to use one-fourth of the $12 million in federal money it already has secured to finish removing dikes and restoring 762 acres of the Nisqually River Estuary between Tacoma and Olympia. It also wants to find state money to speed up the removal of two dams on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula to allow fish passage.
The agency will refine the plan and develop a list of priorities after taking public comments through Nov. 20, Dicks said.
"We know we need to control storm water, stop destroying habitat, restore dams, get toxics out of waters," said Kathy Fletcher, executive director of People for the Puget Sound.
"What's been impeding progress over the years is lack of funding and accountability."
Dicks said his agency will look for ways to redirect existing resources. The agency is also considering creating an improvement district for Puget Sound to raise money.
On the Net:
Puget Sound Partnership:

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Contrary to popular belief and even what I have told people recently the local rivers at this moment, are coming down. Yes, that's right, there's no snow in the mountains to melt at the moment so the rain alone can't make it flood. Tons of chums are pouring into the Sky and Snoqualmie as well as Skagit. The Skagit turned into catch and release for chums too so don't keep any. Not that you would really want to anyway but you know... Things are still out of shape at the moment but dropping so keep your eyes open.

Beaver Lake is in full bloated, broodstock swing. Hare's ears and white wooley buggers, or, really any wooley buggers. Be prepared for company.-BW

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Election Meltdown

Oh wait, nothing has exploded yet. Things might turn out ok... and at least with Sarah Palin not in office there still might be a chance to stop the Pebble Mine. Well the chums don't care who won the election they just want to spawn. Their thick in the Wallace right now and they have to swim up the Sky to get there so try to intercept them.

The Snoqualmie, Green and Skagit also have chummies and plenty of anglers to go around too. Bring lots of flies. Comets, marabous, glo bugs, chum candy and switch it up until you find one they want.

Also, for those that still think steelhead are a myth, get onto Washington Flyfishing and look at the recent photos. There's a 45.25" x 25" fish caught recently on the Skeena system. Yup, that mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 40lbs. That's bigger than your 8 year old. -BW

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tie Flies

We have a new fly tying class on the books. If you want to get into tying winter is the best time as you are probably fishing less and have more time to create bugs that fish will reject next spring.

December 1st, 4th & 5th @ the Issaquah shop from 7-9pm. Cost is $80 and everything is included. 5 students max so sign up soon to assure a spot. 425-392-3800.

PS-Scratch your dryfly itch on the Yakim right now before it's over. BWO's Mahogany Duns, October Caddis and more are all a flutter. Get some!-BW

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Personal Fishing Report

The Yakima is on fire. Just go, don't ask questions, just fill er up with the reasonably affordable gas right now and drive. I fished it for the first time in several months yesterday and I'd heard a lot of good things lately and it's all true. I'd post a picture or two but my lap top decided to check out the other day. Instead here's a picture of what you should expect to catch. Get it now before the gettin's gone!-BW

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wish you were here...

You could be here soon. Here being the Wenatchee River. Rumor is it will open again soon for steelhead madness. Albeit a little late for dry line fishing the Wenatchee promises to make a few lucky fishermen's dreams come true. Keep up with the WDFW news releases for an exact date.-BW (Photo: Ken Witlits)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Live the Fly Fishing Life in Magazine Form

If you haven't heard by now there's another newish, quality magazine on the proverbial fly fishing block. Flyfishing Life Magazine is run by a friend of ours and is packed with non recycled articles, honest gear reviews and lots of media, pictures and video that is not adds. Though there are some of those of course. Click here to check it out. Give it a rip, subscription is free, you can't lose!-BW

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Columbia and Snake drainages are fishing pretty well for steelhead right now. Though the weather is a bit chilly there are plenty of fish out there and plenty of anglers trying to capture one. The Methow is open now, albeit might cold and the Wenatchee will open soon. Keep an eye out for the exact date. The Ronde and Clearwater are putting out as well as the Deschutes. The Klick got dirty but apparently has cleaned up so get some!-BW

Wow, it's been a while

Sorry for the big gap between posts. I can at least partly blame it on being gone fishing. Anyway, for those that have been following the Snoqualmie hatchery crisis instead of the international credit crisis, apparently the WDFW has reversed it's recommendation and will continue to plant summer and winter fish in the mainstem Snoqualmie. The Tolt and Raging rivers will no longer be planted but summer and winter hatchery steelhead will run all the way to the falls on the Snoqualmie for the forseeable future. For more specific information contact WDFW directly -BW

Saturday, October 4, 2008

WDFW Slap in the Face

I case you did hear about this, there's been an update. Instead of shutting down the Tokul Creek hatchery entirely they want to eliminate all but a paltry 50,000 winter smolts, which sounds like a load but amounts to maybe 500 returning adults if we're lucky. This means no more summer run steelhead at all on the Snoqualmie. Creeky is all about wild and native fish but this is not the river to pull this garbage on. The few wild steelhead returning to the system will see basically no benefit to this action. There have been no scientific studies to back up this move. Only saving money. Thought these specific meetings are over, please write to WDFW and your state congressional leaders and let them know you are not happy about this. If this goes through there won't be much to fish for during the summer on the Snoqualmie. Not Cool.-BW

Public meetings scheduled to discuss proposed operation changes at Tokul Creek Hatchery
– Proposed operation changes at the Tokul Creek Hatchery designed to support naturally spawning steelhead in the Snoqualmie watershed will be discussed at two public meetings in early September.
The public meetings are scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Mill Creek office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd.; and Sept. 11 at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 West Sunset Way.
Both meetings will be held from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
During the meetings, WDFW staff will outline proposed changes to operations at the Tokul Creek Hatchery that meet requirements under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), and are consistent with the 2008 Statewide Steelhead Management Plan and recommendations from the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG).
The HSRG is an independent panel of scientists established by Congress to evaluate fish hatchery operations in Puget Sound, where wild steelhead and two salmon species are listed for protection under the federal ESA.
“We are improving hatchery operations statewide to help support naturally spawning fish populations,” said Heather Bartlett, salmon and steelhead division manager for WDFW. “The proposed changes at Tokul Creek are part of that broad conservation effort aimed at restoring wild salmon and steelhead stocks while continuing to provide sustainable fishing opportunities on hatchery fish.”
Under the proposed operation changes, currently under discussion with tribal co-managers, the department could:
Reduce Tokul Creek Hatchery steelhead production by 10-20 percent and shift the remaining production – 150,000 winter steelhead – to another state hatchery in the watershed.
Eliminate about 20,000 steelhead plants annually in the Tolt River.
Eliminate about 20,000 steelhead plants annually in the Raging River.
Relocate some or all of the 30,000 trout produced each year at Tokul Creek to other nearby facilities. Those trout are produced for the lowland and high lakes fish-stocking programs.
These changes could allow for all or part of the Snoqualmie watershed to be designated as a “wild steelhead management zone” that would be managed exclusively for wild fish populations. The management zone is intended to help increase production of the river system’s wild steelhead populations by minimizing the number of competing hatchery-produced fish on the spawning grounds.

Friday, October 3, 2008

No More Felt Please

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I'd like to say I've been really busy but more just lazy. I have been fishing though so that's constructive at least. More news on the constructive front from Simms. Hope you brought a wading staff...-BW

Simms to Sopt Using Felt by 2010: Vibram to be the "Sole Sole" of Wading Boot Line

Simms president KC Walsh announced that Simms would stop using felt as a material for soles on on its wading boots effective with the launch of the 2010 line. Walsh made the announcement at a news conference held as the Flyfishing Retailer Expo. He said Simms' decision to do away with felt is a result of the material being implicated in the spread of aquatic nuisance species and fish-killing disease. Walsh noted that anglers have always been among the nation's first wave of conservationists, and with options to felt now on the market anglers had a responsibility to both the resource and the tradition of angling to cease their use of felt.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thanks Guys!

This happened while I was out of town, hence no posts in the last week. Thank your local poacher (including plenty of flyfishermen) for this one. Don't fish an 8 weight in water where steelhead fishing is closed.

You can also thank WDFW for not doing their job. It's much easier to just close it down than enforce the regulations, write some tickets and confiscate some gear. Poaching would all but stop if WDFW enforced their own regulations once in a while. Oh wait, they can't do that without a budget, I forgot... Hopefully they'll open it back up in October.-BW


September 17, 2008

Contact: Contact: Bob Leland, (360) 902-2817

Methow River to close Sept. 18 to all fishing

OLYMPIA – The Methow River will close to fishing Thursday (Sept. 18), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The early closure of the catch-and-release fishery, which was originally scheduled to run through Sept. 30, is necessary to avoid additional incidental catch of protected wild steelhead, said Bob Leland, WDFW steelhead program manager.
The fishery, which is directed at resident trout, is allowed under a federal permit that prescribes strict limits on the incidental catch of wild steelhead, listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a rise in the number of steelhead in the river, as well as a significant increase in anglers participating in the fishery,” Leland said. “With that combination, we quickly reached the catch-and-release fishery’s ESA limit for incidentally caught wild steelhead, necessitating the closure.”
Leland said fishery managers are assessing the steelhead return to the region and, based upon wild and hatchery returns, could open a fishery in the next few weeks for hatchery steelhead on portions of the upper Columbia River and some tributaries, including the Methow River. That hatchery steelhead fishery would be allowed under a separate federal permit. Anglers should check for updates on fishing seasons on WDFW's website.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Victory in Belize

The Belizian government recently approved nationwide catch and release regulations for all bonefish, permit and tarpon. No one is allowed to possess any of these species except in the act of catch and release. I wish our own government would be this forward thinking, we might have a steelhead or two left in 5 years.

I'm booking my ticket tomorrow. Oh, no, wait I'm going to Mexico. Maybe Belize next year.-BW

PS-I'm going fishing for the next 6 days so no posts until next Thursday. New fishing report too. I'll let you know...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Ticket to Salt lake City Please

From the Denver Post. This is an epic decision in favor of anglers. Though it is already being attacked in Utah it sets a precedent and provides more ammunition to anglers in other states. Fish it all.-BW

Utah Supreme Court Delivers Some Clarity on River Access

by Jason Blevins on July 23, 2008

Last week, Colorado’s river access law was as murky as Utah’s. According to both Colorado and Utah laws, if a river through private property was navigable, you could float through. But you could not touch the river bottom or the banks, which was part of the landowner’s property. The water is public, the dirt and rocks beneath it is private.
Those unclear access laws created lots of arguing. What if a boater needed to get out and scout a rapid? What if their boat scraped a rock in the river? Is that trespassing?
While Colorado lawmakers have shied away from sculpting regulations or rules that could end the uncertainty, Utah’s Supreme Court this week weighed in, delivering some much-needed clarity to Utah’s river-access law. And it’s not going to make landowners happy.
The Court on Tuesday ruled that the public could walk on stream beds flanked by private property.

From the ruling:
“We hold that the scope of the easement provides the public the right to float, hunt, fish, and participate in all lawful activities that utilize the water. We further hold that the public has the right to touch privately owned beds of state waters in ways incidental to all recreational rights provided for in the easement, so long as they do so reasonably and cause no unnecessary injury to the landowner.”

That means anyone can wade through a river bordered by private property, so long as they do not leave the bed of the river and gained access to the river through a public right-of-way, like a bridge or defined access point. Yeah, landowners with pristine fishing habitat are gonna love that.
What the Utah Court did not define was where a stream bed begins and ends. In Montana, the definition as the stream’s “high water mark” has essentially opened all streams to strolling fishermen and hikers, irking private property owners to no end.
But at least they are doing something in Utah.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin & Pebbles

Before you check that box make sure you know what you're supporting. This is an interesting article but the most important part to us flyfishers is the all to brief paragraph on the Pebble Mine. We cannot let this happen and if Palin makes it to the white house it will most certainly go through and you can kiss Bristol Bay goodbye.-BW

Seattle Post Intelligencer
Sunday, September 7, 2008Last updated September 9, 2008 3:54 p.m. PT
Sarah Palin's record on environment is abysmal


While I disagree with many of Sen. John McCain's policies, I was willing to concede that he may at least make a wise, rational president and represent a step in the right direction for the nation. No longer. With his pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, he has shown a spectacular, even dangerous lack of judgment.

In addition to her frightening lack of qualification to be vice president (much less president) of the United States, Palin is an evangelical, anti-choice, pro-gun, right-wing conservative who wants creationism taught in schools. She is currently under investigation by the Alaska Legislature for alleged abuse of office. Many of us in Alaska simply cannot imagine Palin having anything to do with U.S. foreign policy, domestic policy, national defense or the countless other affairs of federal governance.

A particularly worrisome aspect of the Palin candidacy is her abysmal record on the environment during her two years as Alaska governor, and how that would translate into national environmental policy if she became vice president. Her environmental record as governor of the nation's "last frontier" deserves close examination.

Climate change. Although Alaska is ground zero in the crisis of global warming, Palin has done virtually nothing to address the problem except hold meetings and appoint a "climate sub-cabinet" that likewise has done little. Lots of talk, no action. Although in the past two years the Arctic summer sea ice shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded, Palin apparently does not believe it is human-induced or cause for alarm. She was asked to establish an Alaska Office on Climate Change, an Alaska Climate Response Fund (based on a tax on Alaska oil production) and emissions reduction targets for Alaska, but has taken no action on those requests.

Polar bears. This summer, Palin filed suit against the Bush administration over the federal listing of polar bears as threatened, saying that her opposition was based on a "comprehensive scientific review." But when asked to release the scientific review, she refused. The document, later obtained by the public (from the federal government), clearly shows that, contrary to Palin's assertions, the state of Alaska's marine mammal scientists agreed with the federal conclusions that the polar bears are in serious trouble because of global warming and loss of their sea ice habitat, and that they would be gone from Alaska by 2050. Palin clearly decided to oppose the listing in order to protect Arctic oil and gas development, then publicly misrepresented the basis for her decision, and then tried to conceal all of that. Having run for office on a platform of honesty and transparency, this behavior was neither. Her extreme position here puts her to the political right of the Bush /Cheney administration.

Endangered species. Earlier this year, Palin approved a $2 million state appropriation for a conference on the "economic impacts" of the Endangered Species Act, designed to persuade the public that ESA listings were too costly and unwarranted. Recently she agreed to use the money instead to fund the state's lawsuit against the Bush administration over the polar bear listing -- a likely violation of the state constitutional provisions on appropriation. She opposes additional species listings and other protections in Alaska, where many species are at risk because of climate change and other threats.

Predator control. Palin approved and expanded the state's aerial predator control program, where wolves are shot from aircraft and bears hunted from aircraft and killed upon landing. This year, her state biologists even dragged 14 newborn wolf pups from their den and, having already shot their parents, then shot each of the pups in the head at close range. Last year, her administration offered a $150 bounty for each wolf killed until the bounty was ruled illegal by the courts. Hundreds of wolves are killed each year by this antiquated state program that has no scientific justification whatsoever, but rather is designed to appease Palin's urban sport hunter supporters.

Pebble mine. Palin aggressively opposed the "clean water initiative" on the August ballot in Alaska (which then failed), favoring instead foreign mining company desires for fewer government regulations controlling their toxic effluent into salmon streams. She has supported virtually any and all mining proposals that have come her way, even likely the enormous Pebble gold and copper mine proposed in the Bristol Bay watershed. That plan put at risk the largest runs of sockeye salmon in the world, where this summer fishermen caught more than 27 million salmon.

Oil and gas drilling. Palin has supported oil and gas drilling plans anywhere in Alaska, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the central Arctic, the entire Arctic Ocean, and in fish-rich Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet. On her watch, regulation and government oversight of Alaska oil facilities is terribly lacking, and she has declined to establish a citizens' advisory council to provide more effective public oversight of the expanding oil and gas operations in Arctic Alaska.
Exxon Valdez oil spill damages. Palin refuses to push Exxon to pay the government for the unanticipated environmental injuries from the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Almost 20 years later, the private case is still unresolved and the governments likewise have yet to collect full payment from Exxon. Shortly before Palin took office in 2006, the governments presented Exxon with a demand to pay $92 million for this additional environmental damage, but her administration has since not pressed the issue nor taken Exxon to court to collect the money. Meanwhile, Exxon reaps record profits from Alaska.

Trans Pacific shipping. Palin repeatedly has been asked by coastal residents and organizations to enhance the safety of merchant shipping through Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a primary shipping route between Asia and North America, but she's done nothing. Citizens want better vessel tracking, powerful rescue tugs along the route and a risk assessment. While her predecessor funded a scoping study, the Palin administration has not appropriated one dime to improve shipping safety through the Aleutians, and says it will take no further action to reduce risk for several years into the future.

The pattern is clear. On the environment, Sarah Palin is essentially George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and perhaps James Watt rolled into one, but with a more pleasant demeanor. At a time when the nation and world urgently need strong environmental leadership from the United States, it is important to look beyond charisma and carefully consider the environmental implications of our vote in November.

Rick Steiner is a professor at the University of Alaska.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hebgen Wardrobe Malfunction

Hebgen Lake dam gate fails; campgrounds evacuated, closed Water flow resembles spring runoff

By The Montana Standard Staff - 09/01/2008
ENNIS-- Madison County residents along the Hebgen Lad dam spillway and Madison River breathed a sigh of relief Monday as daylight brought reassurance that the river, although higher than average for a Labor Day weekend, was still well within its banks. Strange noises coming from the dam at Hebgen Lake Sunday morning concerned fisherman enough to notify local authorities, according to a news release from the Madison County Disaster and Emergency Services.At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, PP&L personnel verified the mechanical failure of two of the lower gates on the dam causing not only a significant increase of the water flow but also an increase in anxiety for the residents of Madison Valley.

PP&L engineer assessements further calmed nervous citizens when inspections revealed the integrity of the dam structure is sound.David Hoffman, Public Information Officer for PP&L, said the normal flow of 800 cubic square feet/second increased to 3400 CFS because of the malfunctioning gates. Although the increased flow was four times the average for this time of year, the normal spring run off water flow is about 3500 CFS.

Teams of emergency workers were dispatched to notify locals living near the river of the possibility of evacuation and to be prepared. The campgrounds from Hebgen Lake to Ennis Lake were evacuated and closed, water recreationists were warned of rising waters.The water level in the Madison River is expected to remain at higher levels for the next several days while repairs to the dam are completed. The water at Ennis Lake has been lowered by PP&L to accommodate the higher water levels.

The Cabin Creek and Beaver Creek campgrounds on the Gallatin National Forest are closed as well. All recreational facilities at Hebgen Lake above the dam are open to business as usual.

Campgrounds closures will be re-evaluated by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Monday For further information, call the Madison County Sheriff Department, 406-843-5301.Roger Thompson of the Madison County Sheriff Department is the incident commander in charge. More than 60 personnel including, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish Wildlife and Parks, Madison County Sheriff's Department, Madison Valley Rural Fire Department, Ennis Ambulance Service, Gallatin County responders and the Madison Valley Community Emergency Response Team members are currently providing emergency services to the residents of the Madison Valley.


Do you long for a wicked fast action rod like the Sage TCR but just more castable? Well, you're prayers have been answered. Welcome to the new TCX. Very fast action, lighter and more responsive than the TCR and just plain fun to cast. Check it out at your local Creekside location.-BW

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catch This!

Two of our good friends have just launched a new online rag. Catch Magazine is the brainchild of Brian O'Keefe and Todd Moen. With Brian involved you know it can't be bad and Todd has built some of the most eye popping websites on the planet. Put on a pair of sunglasses and check out the premeier issue here -BW

PS-I would put up a cover picture sample but the photoos are so out of this world I don't want to induce anyone into a seizure. You can do that on your own time.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Your Flight Has Arrived

Sage has redesigned the already stellar Fli rod for 2009. The new rod, the Flight, is lighter smoother and a tad softer than the Fli. They come with the same unconditional lifetime warranty and unlike it's predecessors come with a reel compatible case. Come down and cast one for yourself and feel the love.

We have a few Fli's left and they are 30% off but once they're gone they're gone.-BW

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The number of steelhead over Bonneville Dam as of September 2nd. Get one of your own today!-BW

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spey Daze...

If I didn't make it clear enough already Spey Daze is in two days on the Snoqualmie, at the bridge in Fall City. All day. I'll stop beating a dead horse and post something interesting after it's over. See you there.-BW

Friday, August 22, 2008


Trash fish expert Jon Luke with a jumbo carp from the Columbia Basin. It took him a week to get the smell off his hands from this one.-BW

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Your Spey Daze Vol. IV Reminder

This is your SPEY DAZE reminder blog. You too can catch gagger kings on a two handed rod (see picture at left).

August 30th, (you have exactly 10 days to get in shape) 8am until ? on the Snoqualmie at the bridge in Fall City. Brian Styskal, Scott O'Donnell, Charles St. Pierre, Dan McCrimmon and more will be on hand for presentations expert advice and hang out sessions. Cost is FREE! Where else can you get this much cool stuff for free?

Coffee and snacks will be provided in the morning. An event schedule is posted on our website.-BW

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vexsis & Airius

No, these are not long lost Greek gods rather new Ross reels. After 20 reliable years we shed a tear for the Cimarron reel as it is officially no longer in production. It is a sad day. The Rhythm reel, also a victim of survival of the fittest, is receiveing the ax as well. We have yet to see pictures of the new reels but rest assured if it's from Ross it should be pretty cool.-BW

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big Bad Brook

Here is a picture of Kenneth Chia, our buddy from China. He's posing with a jumbo brookie from an undisclosed lake in Montana. One of many he wrangled that day.-BW

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The number of steelhead over Bonneville Dam as of 8-12-08. Batter up!-BW

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bang Bang Maxwell Silver Hammer

Max the Dog is recovering nicely form surgery. He appreciates all the cards and flowers. He'll be chasing birds by October.

With the rain we had this week you should be out on the water now. The Snoqualmie Forks and Cedar are freshened up and the lower Snoqualmie and Skykomish will have fresh steelies moving up river. Read Steelhead and the Floating Line for inspiration. We have it.

The Salt game has been a little sporadic, some good days some head scratchers. Coho fishing will pick up as we get deeper into the month. Cutt fishing will remain fairly good.

Go to the Yak with a box full of hoppers. And a camera to document the coed hatch when the fishing is slow.

A full report will go out Thursday. Watch out senator Edwards.-BW

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Zealand to Ban Felt!

I doubt this measure will achieve world peace but it's happening and if you're planning on heading down under you'll need some aquastealth.-BW

Boot change mooted in fight against didymo-Monday, 28 July 2008

Wearing felt-soled boots by freshwater anglers could soon be banned because of the high risk of spreading didymo and other aquatic organisms.
Fish & Game New Zealand said today the ban had been discussed with Conservation Steve Minister Chadwick who agreed with it "in principle".

The ban, expected to become effective from October 1, would apply to felt-soled waders or footwear with a sole of felted, matted or woven fibrous material when sports fishing.
Fish & Game said such boots were a "high risk" carrier of microscopic aquatic organisms like didymo and banning them would help prevent the spread of didymo.
"While there are procedures for decontaminating felt sole waders, it is acknowledged that these are not practical in many situations."

Fish & Game said it had received 43 formal submissions on the proposal – 20 supported the ban, 17 opposed it and six supported it with conditions.
Those opposing the ban cited the safety provided by felt-soled boots which provided a good grip on slippery surfaces, but Fish & Game said there were alternative ways of maintaining grip.
"The use of felt soled waders was strongly discouraged during the 2007/2008 season and the ban should come as no surprise to most anglers."

If approved, the ban will be included in the proposed 2008/2009 Anglers Notice for Fish and Game Regions which applies to freshwater sports fishing anglers in all New Zealand waterways, except the Taupo Fishery area. The Department of Conservation, which runs the Lake Taupo fishery, said if the ban was introduced for the rest of the country it would recommend Ms Chadwick approve applying it in Taupo.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Picture Upload Successful

So I've figured out how to attach pictures.

This fish was caught on Wednesday in the Sound. The coho are here and the resident coho are all over the place. Throw in a few cutts and you have a fine day of fishing. Get out now.-BW

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Creeky's New Blog

So Creekside finally joined the 21st Century and started a blog. We're calling it Feed Fish Flies seeing as that's what we'd like to spend every waking moment doing should we be independently wealthy and not have to work for a living. A girl can dream can't she?

We are aiming to keep you a bit more up to date on the fishing as a suppliment to our famous bi-weekly report of fishing mayhem. Please bear with us as we experiment and play around with our new found technology. Formats and fonts might look a little funny from time to time. We're not the most technologically savvy but we're trying.

Thanks for browsing, come again. Peace.