Friday, November 27, 2009

Klickitat River Closing

Just a reminder that the season on the Klickitat River ends November 30th. The fishing has been great up to this point on the river and as of Wednesday the water was low with 5-6 feet of visability. Plenty of steelhead and coho still cruising around and the steelies are even taking swung flies.

For swung flies a moal leech (black, black/blue, purple, or one with a hot pink cone over a black body) is your best bet. Use a deep 6, 8 or t-14 setup to bounce the fly off the bottom and induce a strike. If nymphing is your game a size 6 black or purple Egg sucking leech with a glow bug or pegged egg dropper is going to catch you fish. The most effective color of the egg is a mottled orange, although a cotton candy/light pink color will also draw the ire of the chromies and even some coho.

Get out before it closes and have fun.

Feed Fish Flies, not plastic.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Gonna Cost Ya

As if WDFW's budget wasn't already slim enough. Hopefully these new dollars will actually go straight to fisheries management and not into the general fund. -BW

November 17, 2009
Contact: John Long, (360) 902-2733

Columbia River salmon, steelhead
endorsement will take effect April 2010

OLYMPIA – Starting April 1, anglers who fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to purchase a new endorsement that will help maintain and improve fishing opportunities throughout the basin.

The Columbia River Recreational Salmon and Steelhead Pilot Program endorsement was authorized by Senate Bill 5421 during the 2009 Legislative session. The annual endorsement was one of several license fee changes approved by the Legislature earlier this year to help offset a $30 million cutback in state funding for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The total charge of the endorsement, after transaction and dealer fees, will be $8.75. The endorsement and recreational fishing licenses for the licensing year that begins April 1, 2010 can be purchased beginning Dec. 1, 2009.

Funds generated from the endorsement fee will support the evaluation of selective fisheries in the Columbia River Basin, said John Long, WDFW’s statewide salmon and steelhead fisheries manager. Funds also will be used for other management activities, including fisheries enforcement, data collection and monitoring.

Selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery fish, which are marked with a missing adipose fin, but require that they release wild fish.

“This program is designed to support current selective sport fisheries for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries, and – to the maximum extent possible – expand those opportunities in the future,” said Long.

The endorsement will be required, along with a fishing license, for anglers 15 years of age and older to fish for salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River and its tributaries when open to fishing for those species.

WDFW, working with the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Recreational Advisory Board, has proposed a list of rivers, lakes and other waters in the Columbia River basin where the endorsement will be required. That list, available on the department’s website at, is one of more than 100 proposed sportfishing rules for 2010-12.

The entire sportfishing rule-proposal package can be found on the department’s website at

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Friends Fighting the Pebble Mine!

Local restaurants are teaming up to inform their patrons about the most hated idea in the flyfishing world. No, not snagging chums, the Pebble Mine. Support the local eateries listed in this article (especially Tilth mmmm, soooo tasty) because they are supporting us too in our battle against the evil Pebble Mine. Word! -BW

Chefs serve salmon with warning on fishes' future

Seattle diners who order the salmon will get their meal with a message next week.

Associated Press Writer


Seattle diners who order the salmon will get their meal with a message next week.

Chefs at more than a dozen restaurants are cooking up fish dishes that come with a special side: a warning that the creature's future could be threatened by a giant gold and copper mine proposed for Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska, home to the world's largest sockeye salmon runs.

Kevin Davis, co-owner of the Steelhead Diner, is an avid catch-and-release fly fisherman who recently returned from Washington, D.C., where he lobbied for permanent protection of Bristol Bay.

"Wild seafood is a rare and special commodity," Davis said Thursday. "When I heard the news about the Pebble Mine and how it could potentially affect what is probably the world's remaining strongholds of salmon, I became very concerned."

To encourage his customers to help in the cause, the Steelhead Diner will feature three dishes using Alaska salmon: Tomato-Crusted Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon, Meyer Lemon-Crusted Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon and Hot-Smoked Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Cheesecake.

Trout Unlimited is strongly opposed to the mine because of its proposed location near the headwaters of two rivers that produce large runs of sockeye and king salmon.

Conservationists fear that toxic mine wastes could drain into the waters of the region's world-class trout and salmon streams and ultimately into Bristol Bay, which Trout Unlimited says provides nearly half of the world's wild sockeye salmon to consumers.

"We are trying to get salmon consumers, chefs and restaurants and anybody who buys and appreciates wild salmon on their plates to think about where the salmon comes from, in this case Bristol Bay," said Elizabeth Dubovsky, Trout Unlimited's WhyWild program director. "This is one of the last pristine ecosystems we have left."

She said participating restaurants have been sent a range of materials, including salmon recipe cards for diners and table displays with information about Bristol Bay and the Pebble mine.

John Shively, CEO of the Pebble Partnership that is promoting the mine, said the chefs don't understand the Pebble project and don't appreciate what it could do for the people of the region.

"I don't think that chefs in Seattle from high-priced restaurants have any idea of how hard it is for people in rural Alaska to live there," he said. "Therefore, I find it a little bit disingenuous that they would eliminate this potential economic opportunity without even understanding what the project is like."

Chef Seth Caswell, owner of Emmer & Rye, said one of his reasons for joining the Savor Bristol Bay campaign - which starts Sunday - is concern for Alaska Natives who rely on Bristol Bay salmon for food.

"A whole culture could be wiped away," he said.

Caswell said his menu likely will feature Bristol Bay salmon with a garnish of locally grown wild grains and mushrooms. He's also considering raw fish dishes, perhaps salmon thinly sliced and cured in lemon, salt and pepper.

"It is more a flavor, almost like getting a whiff of the sea," he said.

Caswell said he hopes the dishes will inspire his patrons to buy and prepare Bristol Bay salmon for themselves.

"The power of purchasing sends a message," he said.

Savor Bristol Bay salmon week coincides with Pacific Marine Expo 2009, the largest commercial marine trade show on the West Coast, and Trout Unlimited has an exhibit at the show.

The participating restaurants are: Art of the Table, Chiso, Emmer & Rye, Flying Fish, Persimmon, Ponti Seafood Grill, Rover's Restaurant, Steelhead Diner, Tilth Restaurant, Tilikum Place Cafe, The Pike Brewing Co., Palace Kitchen and Etta's Seafood.

Your Tax Dollars at Work (in a good way)

These federal stimulus dollars are being spent properly. Now if we can only get "the man" to ban all netting in the Sound we'd be on our way. - BW

Old gill nets: silent killers of the Puget Sound

Old gill nets littering the sea floor are the silent killers of the Puget Sound.

The Associated Press


Old gill nets littering the sea floor are the silent killers of the Puget Sound.

But thanks to federal stimulus money, an ongoing effort to remove old fishing gear has picked up the pace.

The Northwest Straits Derelict Fishing Gear Removal Program received $4.6 million in stimulus dollars this summer. Now four boats and about a dozen paid divers are working on the problem full-time. The organization's goal is to remove 90 percent of the estimated 4,000 nets sitting in the Puget Sound by December 2010.

The group estimates that over the last 30 years, nets have been responsible for the casualty of 30,000 birds, 110,000 fish and almost 2 million invertebrates.