Thursday, December 16, 2010


We have a limited amount of new Winstons, the Passport, GVX, BIIX Spey, BIIIX. They are cranking them out of the factory as fast as they can so if you want one get it soon because no one knows when more will be available as they are very popular. Come down and cast one and fall in love. B

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Temple Dog

No, not the band. That's Temple of the Dog, with Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. I'm talking about the weird, furry critter from Tibet that has great properties for trout and steelhead streamer patterns. Well, anyway we now have a reliable supplier of the stuff and hence are stocking it in a variety of tasty colors. Stop by and check it out. -BW

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fish Skulls

Since we're beginning 6 months of straight rain you'll be tying lots of flies. So you should come in and check out Fish Skulls. It's basically a metal helmet for your fly and the added bonus of cool, prismatic eyes. We have them in different colors and sizes. They will make your flies look cool, especially if your thread heads don't look so pretty. -BW

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gande Ronde

Just got off the river for 5 days. Fishing well over all. Only one day with no fish. Skaters, Small wets, bigger stinger flies or tubes. It's all working pretty well right now. No one was roping 10 a day but hitting 1-5 was common. Busy with anglers but not crazy crowded. Water temp was steady about 57 in the daytime. Little bit of rain in the forecast this week should be good for moving fish around as long as it doesn't pour. Air temps look stable too so get to getting. -BW

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steelhead Scandi

Hot off the presses, we just received some of the new Rio Steelhead Scandi lines. This is billed as the be all end all summer, floating line. It's based on the specs of John Hazel's ACE Vision line that everyone loves so much but no cutting and splicing. Instead just add water. Come and get it. -BW

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As of Monday the 13th the Wenatchee is still slow. Johnny and I floated Cashmere to the mouth, swinging floating lines and tips and a little nymphing and neglected to hook any fish. Well, that's not true, Johnny roped a squaw and I landed a couple small rainbows but... It's still early though in the scheme of things and traditionally the Wenatchee doesn't pick up until the end of the month. But you know what I'll take 80 degrees and sunny, floating down a river any day! -BW

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The Methow and Wenatchee opened yesterday. Yes, for steelhead fishing. This is not a guaranteed season every year so take advantage of it while you can. Go angle. We have the flies, leaders and the rest of it to give you the excuse to go. Do it! - BW

Friday, August 27, 2010

A free flowing Elwha? Finally? Maybe?

The Elwha may finally be a free flowing river again... I mean sure they've been saying that since I was wee lad, just learning to fly-fish with pops on the Greenwater. But they actually gave the contract to a Montana Firm to remove the two dams that have wrecked the salmon runs on the Elwha. They say maybe in 30 years the run could recover....

Fantastic. Here's the link to the article in the Seattle Times.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic


Monday, August 23, 2010

Flatlined on Flat Creek.

So I know I promised you a Juan report in my last blog post but unfortunately I did not make it down to the Juan before I left Durango two days ago for Jackson Hole.

Why didn't I fish the Juan? The weekend we were going to head down there we caught wind that the entire state of Texas had just descended upon the river and began their convulsive rowing of circles through Texas Hole because some guy told them of a 10lb Brown he had seen brush past his fly two years previous. We decided to skip the show of 10-gallon black hats, never before used Cabelas waders, and hearing "Golly!" and "Y'all see that one?!" once every 25 seconds, to fish the Animas. And slay fish we did. Hopper + caddis nymph dropper = mega fish. Keep that in mind if you decide to sneak out of Washington and fish Colorado during steelhead season.

I, once again, digress. My first day back I went right for the throat of fishing in Jackson. That's right I went right after Flat Creek. Good 'Ole Flat Creek. Dirty, rotten no good son of a....ahem. Sorry about that.

The fishing was slow (as it usually is. If you don't have patience or like to work for your fish. Go fish the Buffalo Fork.) but I got into 6 fish. Unfortunately none of them were monstrous. The biggest was 20 and it took a size 22 grey RS2 that was trailing along behind a Red Turk's Tarantula. Most of the other fish were taken on an assortment of smaller, green bodied hoppers as well as one on a black marabou leech with red and green flashabou tied back from the head the length of the body.

From what I could gather talking to some other fly-fisherpeople (I say people because a few were need to discriminate by saying fisherman.) Hoppers, Quigley Cripples, red and green bodied Turk's Tarantulas, leeches and midge patterns were catching fish sporadically throughout the day.

With Flat Creek you know it always depends on what the fish is feeling like at the moment your fly goes by. Flat Creek trout are definite drama queens. You got to cater to their needs. And cannot use explosives.

Ahhhhh...It's good to be back in Jackson.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Yes, this Saturday, August 14th on the Snoqualmie River at the bridge in Fall City. Festivities kick off at 9am and go most of the day. Mostly we will be just hanging out casting rods and lines but there will be a few choice presentations through the day you'll want to check out. Loosely it looks like this

Charles St. Pierre-Spey Casting Fundamentals and the new cast the "T-Poke" 10am

George Cook-Switch Rods and Northwest Style Casting 1130am

Aaron Reimer-Myths of Spey Casting 1pm

We will have coffee and donuts in the morning until it's gone. Lots of gear to check out from Sage, Echo, Redington, Winston, Scientific Anglers, Airflo, Rio and even Simms, the stuff that keeps you dry and comfy while your fishing your spey rod.

See you there. BW

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Want to buy normal flows...

So you know that issue you Washingtonians were having earlier this summer with rivers being blown out and the fishing being near impossible? Yeah...welcome to monsoon season in Durango. Wicked violent thunderstorms in the morning, afternoon, night...yeah they come out of nowhere, drop like 3 inches of rain in 25 minutes and turn the Animas into the color of a red Crayola Crayon. So yeah...but at least we have the Juan. Oh? Was that a low blow? So sorry.

Anyway, Brett informs me that I should continue to write on this here fancy internet, blog doohickey because he is too lazy...err...I mean busy, right busy, to do so. So you will get a steady stream of me from now on. This is your fair warning to go read something else. No? Well you can't say I didn't warn you.

Since I won't be fishing the Juan until this weekend (oh ho! The hits just keep coming!) I will just pleasure you with some more places to fish this summer.

1. Elk Creek, Colorado: This is on my "to do" list, in the numero uno position (for those of you that don't speak Spanish, that means the number uno). This was featured in Fly-Fisherman a couple months back. You know, it's Rocky Ford on steroids. The creek is literally 15 feet wide in places and holds browns up to 8lbs in it. You hike into the meadow sections and fish terrestrials, midges and I was told...*gasp*...that a San Juan worm in purple would work. Once I get the time off I will definitely be heading to this place and so should you...I mean it only took me 22 hours to get here from Cle Elum and that was with a sidetrip to Jackson Hole on the way down...

2. Flat Creek, Jackson Hole: Hey guess what?! Flat Creek opened up on the first of August! Want to fish for jumbo cutty's with giant elk breathing down your neck just north of scenic Jackson Hole? Yes...yes you do. I would wait...oh about 7.65 more days though. Why wait you ask? Because that is when the 512 people that slept in their cars on July 30th to get out on the creek at midnight will actually decide it is time to take a shower, shave and stop slapping the water with every fly on God's green earth. My tips...use a red wire San Juan worm, midges, spinner cripples and yes...even a black wooley bugger or leech pattern has had success in tricking these giant fish of legend.

3. Green River, Flaming Gorge, Utah: I mentioned in the earlier post right down there that I stopped here on the way up to Jackson and just hammered fish, well...apparently you can tie on some big new fangled foam fly the size of a chicken (ok maybe a small rodent, sue me for exaggerating) and catch fish. I have only that one experience to go on, but I may go back. Alright, alright! I will go people are so touchy. Hey! Put that down! I said I was going back. Terrestrials, chernobyls, stones, assorted nymphs, including a SJ worm...should do the trick. Fish near the dam or if you have a boat do the float...there are assorted access points all downriver from the dam as well for you poor folks like me who have to rely on wading to fish.

And on that note. I am going to end this now with the promise of a Juan update after this weekend. I don't know when...I don't know how...but it will happen. This is more assured than steelhead actually not being mythical. Until that happens.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A report from Jackson Hole...

So...I went up to Jackson Hole this past weekend to visit a friend and do some fishing/look for work (which coincidentally involved fishing...for the most part.) The fishing was unbelievable and so too was the job market. It appears I will be going back to freezing my bum off in the winter, keeping warm by tying flies and drinking Snake River Brewing's finest, and most likely counting down the days until the ice on the river thins enough to sink a nymph through.

Oh by the way. The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam was on fire. I stopped for about an hour on the way up from Durango and hammered some very large fish on a very large black Chernobyl pattern.

Anyway, I digress, as I was saying the fishing in Jackson was ridiculous. I fished the Buffalo Fork and the Snake near Wilson. 20+ fish all on dries. Yellow Sallies (yes, there is that fly again. I tell you it works, use it) size 18-20 Mahogany Cripples, beetles, ants and hoppers were the name of the game. I fished mainly the Yellow Sally with the Cripple trailing behind going "too-lah-roo-la-roo-la" Then. WHAM! A fish would slam it with the force of one of those hurricane-type thingy's they have down south.

The Snake is somewhat wade-able, it definitely would be way easier from a boat, but still doable with your own legs. It was at around 4000 CFS but it braids all through the Park and around Jackson, which means just pick a tasty looking side channel and have at it. The Buffalo Fork is easily waded at the moment but the reason I left the isolation of that river was due to a Grizzly deciding to join me for some early morning dry fly action. I hadn't realized up to that point that I could walk on water. Had I known that I wouldn't have bothered with wading boots....

Anyway. I would say it's time to travel. The fishing has been as hot as the weather here in the landlocked, anadromous-free, trout filled states of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Stop in at the Creekside shop on the way out here, load up on some flies, leaders and maybe some bear spray (it doesn't really work, especially if you spray yourself but still, you just never know) brag to Brett about where you're going and don't forget the Rainier.

WhyRainier you ask? Why to pay me for this top-notch information...

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I have officially hijacked this blog

So. Since Brett has failed at updating the blog since June. I take this over with a list of things to do with the rest of your summer. Oh yes...I am back.

First things first. Fishing should be your top priority. Your significant other be damned...that 500 mile backpacking trip you should complete in three days according to her...forget about it. I have much better plans.

1. The Juan. Aka the San Juan. As always should be tops on the list. I mean comon'...where else can you hook 20+ fish that are 18+ inches in 4 hours on 5x tippet and a size 20 zebra midge? No where! That's where. Just do it. (yes I stole that from Nike, get over it.) Use either a zebra midge or a Skintilla....Skintilla equals a size 20 chocolate colored bubbleback's like 5 wraps of brown thread with a silver wire rib and a small glass bead. You will slay fish all day. Promise.

2. The Yak. Yes if you wish to stay closer to home a hopper. Should be amazing right now as it usually is. I have heard that in the summer if you fish a Yellow Sally you can slay fish, but that is just a rumor that has been disputed by many. (However with my 20+ years experience fishing the upper works...just sayin'.)

3. The South Fork of the Flathead. Sure you have to drive 50 miles up a dirt road. Sure it is in Montana. Pretty sure you will hammer fish and quite possibly a really large bull trout if you get lucky. But I is sooooooo far. Just say...Hey! It's wilderness...there will be no one around to see you get ignored by me completely. Well maybe don't say that, but you catch my drift.

4. Yellowstone National Park. Ok so you can drop her/him off at civilization and book it for the Lamar, Slough, Yellowstone, Blechler and if you feel real frisky, you can just hike/horseback ride the 50 miles (I recommend the use of a horse) into the Thoroughfare area of the park. It is the largest road less area in the continental US, but trust me the fishing is totally worth it. Big will cry from pure joy fishing there. Also...go to Tower Falls...hike the steep trail to the will not be disappointed. Trust me. That was my share it with the bears and elk....And that is it. Oh and the fishing is awesome too.

5. Harass Brett. He may pretend he hates it and sure he is a bit uppity, but I mean...can you get better fishing info from anyone but Brett, Dan, Johnny or Pete...I mean Keith is a longshot but still. Harass and garner info from a nice comfy shop in Izzy. Can't get any better than that right? Well on second thought...

My hijack of the thread is over. Enjoy the summer and hopefully Brett decides to update the blog more than once a month after this.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic.


PS: I have been slaying fish on the Animas here in Durango on the Wier Brett may actually know what he is doing...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reiter Ponds

Reiter is open over 6 weeks early. And we thought there were no more steelhead. Ha! Get some. -B

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

June 10, 2010

Reiter Ponds section of Skykomish River opens June 12

Action: Open the Reiter Ponds section of the Skykomish River to recreational fishing.

Effective date: 8 a.m. June 12, 2010.

Species affected: All game fish, including steelhead.

Location: Skykomish River from 1,500 feet upstream to 1,000 feet downstream of the Reiter Ponds Hatchery outlet.

Reason for action: The Reiter Ponds Hatchery has collected enough summer steelhead broodstock to meet production needs.

Other information: There is a night closure and anti-snagging rule in effect. Also, fishing from a floating device is prohibited.

Dolly Varden/Bull Trout - minimum size 20 inches may be retained as part of trout daily limit.

All other trout - minimum size 14 inches, daily limit two.

Other game fish - statewide minimum size and daily limit. That information can be found on page 27 of the 2010-11 Fishing in Washington sportfishing rules pamphlet.

Public access through the Reiter Ponds Hatchery grounds is allowed daily between 6 a.m. and dusk. However on opening day fishing does not begin until 8 a.m. to ensure an orderly fishery. On Aug.1, this section of the Skykomish River reverts to rules listed in the sportfishing rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Jennifer Whitney, District 13 Fish Biologist (425) 775-1311.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bright thing in the sky

So it's supposed to get sunny this weekend and stay that way for like a week. I guess I'll believe it when I see it. Most of the rivers are still brownish locally. I had a report from the upper Sky what gear guys are taking fish in the high water. When it's off color and high the fish run on the edges in only a couple feet of water so feel free to get out there with your sink tip and a big fly. No one else is so you won't have much competition and you might be surprised how many fish are actually in the system.

The Cedar is running biblical so stay tuned on that one. The Yak is up over 3000cfs in the Canyon but fishing well. Bring a boat or your aggressive wading skills. PMD's, caddis, golden stones, Yellow Sallies, Cahills, Green Drakes (upper river). Lots of good nymphing too.

Chopaka still rules the lake world. Go now.

Feed Fish Flies-B

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Open 'er Up

Today is the general river opener folks. Of course a few rivers opened up on June 1st, WDFW likes to confuse anglers, today is the day. Except just about everything within a day's drive of lovely Issaquah is punched. I was on the Snoqualmie this morning teaching a casting class and it is brown town. Look for things to get fishable in the next week and in good shape in maybe two weeks.

If you want to angle go to a lake. Chopaka, Chopaka, Chopaka. Best callibaetis fishing on the map. Lenice is closer and has hungry fish too. Puget Sound is even closer and has hungry fish.-B

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wild West

Check out this article on extreme bass fishing in Texas. I think I'll stick to battling the bait guys on the Skykomish, it's safer.-B

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Rules

So the new WDFW regs went into effect this week. There are a few changes and you can check them out on the WDFW website. The best thing around is Rattlesnake Lake changed to catch and release fishing and is open year round. The bad thing is that apparently all streams and beaver ponds in the Puget Sound area are closed unless otherwise posted as open, to protect salmon and steelhead. So what does that have to do with beaver ponds and streams that are tributaries to the Snoqualmie above the falls? No anadromous fish up there. WDFW can't possibly list every stream up there right? How does this work? As if the regs weren't already complicated enough. Sigh... - BW

Pamphlet includes new fishing rules
that take effect May 1 around the state

OLYMPIA – Anglers planning to fish in Washington past the end of the month should be aware that nearly a hundred new fishing rules will take effect starting May 1.

The new regulations, affecting everything from catch limits to fishing tackle, are included in the new Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for the 2010-11 season.

The free pamphlet will be available later this week at WDFW offices and more than 600 sporting goods stores and other license vendors statewide. It is also posted on WDFW’s website at

“We strongly advise anglers who have been using last year’s fishing pamphlet to pick up a new one,” said Craig Burley, WDFW fish division manager. “While many regulations remain the same from year to year, some significant changes are about to take effect in fisheries throughout the state this season.”

Those changes include nearly a hundred new rules adopted last February by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW. Prior to taking action on those proposals, the commission conducted a series of public hearings and considered more than a thousand comments received from anglers and non-anglers throughout the state.

Key changes are summarized on page 11 of the new rules pamphlet. For example:

  • All rivers, streams and beaver ponds in the Puget Sound area are closed to fishing, unless otherwise stated in the rules pamphlet. This approach allows fishery managers to provide greater protection for juvenile anadromous fish in many of the smaller unnamed streams.
  • Anglers can now purchase a two-pole endorsement, allowing them to use up to two lines when fishing in most lakes statewide.
  • Fishing for all species of rockfish will be closed in most areas of Puget Sound to protect declining populations.
  • Harvest of sea stars, shore crab and other “unclassified marine invertebrates” is prohibited to protect these beach dwellers.
  • Barbless hooks will be required during salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay to protect wild fish.

Burley recommends that anglers check the new pamphlet for any new rules that might apply to their favorite fishing spots.

One worth noting is Rattlesnake Lake in King County, which opened to trout fishing April 24 with a five-fish limit, but will switch to a catch-and-release fishery when the new rules take effect May 1.

“That’s the kind of change that anglers need to know about,” Burley said. “By checking the new rules, they can avoid surprises in fisheries around the state.”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hope for Bristol Bay

This might be the first positive, political step toward prohibiting the construction of the Pebble Mine. Please contact your congressmen in support of this.-BW

Trout Unlimited, Together With Hundreds of Fishing and Hunting Groups, Applauds Call for Federal Protection of Bristol Bay Watershed

April 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

(April 22, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska) – Trout Unlimited and the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, along with nearly 300 hunting and fishing groups, today welcomed news that the current and former chairmen of the House Interior Appropriations Committee have urged the Bureau of Land Management to protect federal lands near Bristol Bay, Alaska, from hard rock mining.

Chairman Jim Moran (D-VA) and former committee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) have asked the Bureau of Land Management protect 1.1 million acres near Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

“We fully support keeping this high-value habitat that’s critical to Bristol Bay’s rich fisheries off-limits to mining, and we applaud Mr. Moran and Mr. Dicks for taking a stand and urging the BLM to do the right thing,” said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program.

During the final days of the former administration, BLM developed a management plan for federal lands in Bristol Bay. The plan recommended opening for mining some 1.1 million acres that is crisscrossed by miles of pristine rivers and tributaries and that provides prime spawning and rearing habitat for Bristol Bay’s famous salmon runs.

For three decades this land was closed to mineral development. But in 2008, BLM opened it up to hard rock mining and oil and gas exploration despite widespread public concern about the potential harm to the area’s abundant salmon, trout, bear, caribou and moose populations.

The management plan is especially problematic because the 1.1 million acres lie adjacent to the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine. This colossal mine is but one of several potential mining developments on nearby lands. If Pebble and other mines are allowed to proceed, these projects risk exposing Bristol Bay’s commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries to toxic mine discharges. The combination of Pebble, plus potential mineral leasing on BLM land nearby, would pose a grave risk to Bristol Bay’s sensitive freshwater habitat that supports fisheries that are valued at more than $400 million annually.

Last August, nearly 300 sporting groups and businesses, including the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska (SAA,) had urged BLM Director Bob Abbey to keep the mining prohibitions in place. SAA’s director, Scott Hed, said today that he is heartened by Moran and Dicks’ action.

“From catch and release anglers to big game hunters, from fly rod makers to firearms manufacturers, the hunting and angling community has deemed the Bristol Bay region a place worth fighting for. Seeing this sentiment shared by members of Congress is very encouraging – and a sign that our message is being heard,” said Hed.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Now, if we could just stop killing wild steelhead...

...we might get somewhere with great non-profits like the Hoh River Trust working to protect spawning habitat one of the last pristine rivers left in the lower 48.-BW

Trust protects 7,000 acres along Hoh River

After nearly 10 years of work and more than $11 million, one of the largest single conservation efforts in Washington has permanently protected some 7,000 acres of land along the Hoh River.

The Associated Press


After nearly 10 years of work and more than $11 million, one of the largest single conservation efforts in Washington has permanently protected some 7,000 acres of land along the Hoh River.

The Seattle Times reports the lands purchased, plus those already protected within Olympic National Park, conserve nearly the entire length of the Hoh.

The effort, begun in 2001, was funded by a combination of federal, state and private money, totaling more than $11 million. The work was led by the Western Rivers Conservancy and Wild Salmon Center, nonprofit-conservation groups based in Portland.

They created the nonprofit Hoh River Trust in 2004 in Seattle.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yay for Rock Creek!

Maybe the state of Alaska should take a hint from Montana and block the Pebble Mine. -BW

Court Rejects Rock Creek Mine In Northwest Montana

Grizzly bear, bull trout habitat at stake
March 29, 2010
Missoula, MT -- In a major victory for bull trout and grizzly bears of northwest Montana, a federal judge today rejected the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a massive industrial mining operation on the edge of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area.

The court ruled that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Forest Service Organic Act in approving the Rock Creek Mine, which would have bored under the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness in the midst of popular recreational areas and key habitat for bull trout, grizzly bears and other sensitive wildlife species.
The case marks the third time that lawsuits brought by members of the public have succeeded in invalidating federal agency approvals for the Rock Creek Mine project.
"This third strike against this mine should end the game," said Jim Costello of the Rock Creek Alliance, one of the groups involved in the lawsuits. "We've said all along that this mine simply cannot be built without contaminating the region's waters and pushing the Cabinet's fragile bull trout and grizzly bear population in Rock Creek to extinction. It's time for the government to stop this merry-go-round and start working to protect our region's waters, trout and bears."
"This mine would smother important bull trout spawning grounds under tons of sediment and disrupt thousands of acres of habitat for the region's tiny grizzly bear population, all while threatening to drain the water out of lakes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness," said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. "The federal permit blocked today was issued by the Bush administration and we hope the Obama administration will have a different view about undermining a federal wilderness area."
The proposed mining operation would have removed 10,000 tons per day of copper and silver ore from under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness seven days a week for 35 years. The resulting loss of more than 7,000 acres of habitat would be devastating to the few grizzly bears that survive in the Cabinet Mountains.
The mine also would have dumped up to three million gallons of waste water each day into the Clark Fork River and threatened to destroy the bull trout population in Rock Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork.
The proposed Rock Creek Mine faced vehement opposition from a coalition of local, regional and national conservation groups, along with local business representatives, public officials and ordinary citizens.
The groups that challenged the mine are Rock Creek Alliance, Cabinet Resource Group, Clark Fork Coalition, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited, Pacific Rivers Council, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Natural Resources Defense Council, Montana Wilderness Association, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness. The groups were represented by lawyers from Earthjustice and the Western Mining Action Project.
Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 586-9699
Jim Costello, Rock Creek Alliance, (406) 544-1494
Natural Resources Defense Council, (406) 222-9561

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do You Smelt What the Rock is Cooking?

Yeah, whatever, we don't need smelt. It's not like salmon, steelhead or sea run cutts eat them. Psshhhaahh! -BW

Print Version
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
RSS Feeds

March 16, 2010
Contact: Brad James, (360) 906-6716

Statement on the listing of eulachon smelt
as a 'threatened' species under the ESA

The following statement from Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), concerning the listing by NOAA-Fisheries of eulachon smelt as "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

"The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) supports the listing of Pacific smelt as threatened under the federal ESA. The decline of this important forage fish species over the past two decades is a serious concern and one that deserves our best effort to reverse. During this time period, WDFW has worked closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to reduce the harvest of smelt to low levels without a positive response from the smelt resource. The information compiled by NOAA-Fisheries during its status determination indicates that climate change, poor ocean survival conditions, lack of adequate freshwater flows and predation by seals and sea lions have combined to threaten to smelt throughout their range from northern California to Alaska."

"WDFW will continue to work with NOAA-Fisheries, ODFW, and the Cowlitz Tribe to identify corrective actions that will lead to recovery this important resource."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


So we'd like to thank Ryan for all his years of service, or well his 10 months. Good luck in Colorado. Traitor (not really, though we might call the cops if he steps foot on the premises)... Really though this post is about our little Flyfishing Fest in North Bend we're calling Catchapalooza.

On Wednesday March 10th, we are hosting an event at the North Bend Theater with special guests Brian O'Keefe (you've seen his photos, they're all over anything outdoor related) and Todd Moen (a filmmaking friend with more talent in one eyelash than my whole family has) from Catch Magazine will be on hand to share some films and photos and talk to you about all the cool places they've caught fish and if you want tell you how you can do it too. Jack Mitchell of The Evening Hatch will be there as well giving a presentation on Fishing in Washington. We all stand to learn a thing or two from him on our fair state.

The event begins officially at 7pm but please come early to bs with the presenters and tell us how much you love us. And drink beer. Yes, beer will be available with a donation to Trout Unlimited. The event is technically FREE but we are trying to raise money for TU so if you are feeling generous and have a pile of cash spilling out of your pockets then by all means...

See you there. Oh yeah, and Skwalas are popping on the Yakima...

Feed Fish Flies-BW

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Last Best Top Five (Kinda, Sorta, Maybe)

Sadly today is my last day here at Creekside. In about two months I am off to the wilds of Mexican food, snow bunnies, large trout that eat microscopic flies and yes, even, crazy mountain bikers. Where is this wonderland you ask? Why no, it is not Vancouver, BC. Try again. Jackson Hole? Been there done that. Ok, ok I will tell you, just put down that log you call a spey rod. It is the magical land of Durango, Colorado where I will be fishing such rivers as the San Juan, Animas, Florida, Green and others, err...well I will stand there and tell others where to cast and with what fly. Yes, I realize there is no steelhead or salmon. No, I will not go into withdrawal...ok maybe I will a little. I have already completed my application to SSA (Salmon and Steelheaders Anonymous), so I should be ok. Let's be honest though, there really wasn't any steelhead here anyway...duh.

Whilst working at Creekside I have garnered the ability to BS with the best of them, obtained and increased the urge to fish for the mythical steelhead in a driving snowstorm and sub-zero temperatures, been fascinated by the amount of fishing knowledge Dan has in his head (and the amount he has most likely forgotten along the way. Someone, please write a book about this man), and had the fact that all women are crazy injected into my soul by Brett. While the later may in fact have nothing to do with working at a Fly Shop, it is still an inscrutable cold hard fact that I will take with me, so I thank Brett for clearing that up for me. Some apparently are less crazy than others. ( I still don't believe it by the way, so if any ladies read this put the pitchforks and rope down. I was just kidding. I swear.)

I enjoyed my time here and sucking the knowledge of all things fishing from Dan, Brett and Pete and interacting with many of our wonderful customers. So before I leave for the landlocked state of Colorado, I shall leave you with my last Top Five list. I know, how very High Fidelity of me.

Top Five Fishy Places to Live

1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - In light of seeing the Olympics just 3 hours north of us, yet tape delayed by NBC so that we have to stay up until midnight to watch for results we already got from that fancy doohickey the internet, this makes my #1 spot. And no, it's not just because April Vokey lives near there, remove mind from gutter please. Can I continue now? Good. This city is like what Seattle used to be. Drive 2 hours east, north, south, northeast, southeast, etc and you are most likely standing on, near, or in water that has fish, be it salmon, steelhead, trout or sturgeon. It would be like putting Seattle in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula, only better. Unlike Seattle however, these fish actually exist and you can actually catch them. I've seen photos. (I'm not allowed in Canada see...I umm...let's not get into that.) The scenery is awesome and of course in the winter when you get bored of world class steelheading you can go do some world class snow sports, plus the people are a

2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming - I lived in this mecca for almost 4 years. Doing everything I could to not turn into a meat popsicle in the winter while I waited for the thaw and fishing to begin again. Once you get past the fact that it's one of the most ridiculously expensive places to live in the US and that you will remain poor, it's actually quite wonderful. Within 2-3 hours of this place (depends on traffic through the park, July snowstorms and of course bison) you have all the rivers in the park (Firehole, Yellowstone, Madison, Gardiner, Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough Creek, etc.), the Snake River, South Fork of the Snake River, Henry's Fork, Green, Hoback, Gros Ventre, Salt, Flat Creek...ok grab a map would ya?! I can spend all day listing the epic fishing. You get the picture. The people here are awesome, the beer is good, great arts culture, and well, the nightlife is crazy. I was sad to go, but my liver thanked me. My suggestion...take up skiing so you don't get addicted to World of Warcraft waiting for the winter to end...

3. Bozeman/Livingston/Ennis, Montana - I'm sure that any of these three you've heard of or visited. Again with the epic fishing within a couple hours. Yellowstone National Park is right there, the Madison, the Missouri is within a reasonable drive, the Bighorn, spring creeks, Rock Creek, and others. Plus, it's Montana, you honestly cannot go wrong living in Montana. It seems that their drainage ditches have more and bigger fish than any river here in Washington. Plus if you ever get bored with the area around here, you can just go to Idaho or Wyoming, it's just a short jaunt away. Oh and did I mention Simms is located here...

4. Naples, Florida - You thought I was just gonna chill on the West Coast for this huh? I string you along with a couple Western cities than BOOM! Florida comes at you like a spider monkey. Naples is on the Gulf side of Florida and sure while you have to contend with hurricanes every once and awhile, it is soooo worth it. The Everglades sit dead south/southeast of Naples and of course you are within a couple hours of the Keys. So Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, and Bonefish are on the plate down here, oh and also that elusive hanging chad (sorry you can't mention Florida without a Bush joke. It is a fact.). And it is almost always wicked warm, which is a nice change from the "OMG it's still raining" springtime here in the Pacific Northwest. The problem with moving here is, your friends from here will start calling in November and not relent until June, begging for a place to stay for 3 days which than turns into 5 months. Just a fair warning, your house will smell like the inside of the bait cooler down on the beach if you allow this to happen.

5. Christchurch/Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - And this is my dream place to move if the bloody wankers ever make it easy for someone like me to gain citizenship into their country. I mean let Elijah Wood in, why not me?! WHY! I don't think I need to tell you about the fishing here, you've all seen the films, magazines, photos...Hell, Gollum's buddy even caught a damn jumbo in Lord of the Rings, pulled him right outta the boat. If a halfling can do it, so can I, so can you. Sea-run Browns, Rainbows, and multitudes of other fish would make me very happy to leave the US and become a Kiwi. Well and the beer, mountains, golfing, surfing, proximity to Australia....Can you tell I want to move here? Maybe I can pick up the accent too, I hear it works wonders on the ladies...

There you have it. An extensive Top Five and my last one for this lovely company. I have enjoyed the time and opportunities granted to me here. Peace out, catch you on the flip side and if y'all get the itch to leave Washington and come to Colorado, don't. I keed, I keed. But no really.

Thanks again to Pete and Creekside for putting up with me for as long as they did. Peace out.
Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your favorite river may be closing this week

Thank you WDFW for the further mismanagement of our state's fisheries and scapegoating the recreational fishermen. But hey we can still fish the Wallace and the falls pool on the Snoqualmie even though no native steelhead spawn up there. -BW

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
February 12, 2010Contact: Bob Leland, (360) 902-2817

Steelhead fishing will close Feb. 18 in five river systems around Puget Sound

OLYMPIA – Steelhead fishing will close Feb. 18 in five major river systems in the Puget Sound area to protect wild fish, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The closure will affect the Puyallup, Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Samish and Snohomish rivers and their tributaries.
Pre-season estimates developed by the department indicate that returns of wild steelhead will fall far short of target levels in all five river systems, said Bob Leland, WDFW steelhead manager.
“This is the fourth straight year that we’ve seen a downward trend in wild steelhead returns,” Leland said. “These closures are necessary to meet the conservation objectives of our statewide steelhead management plan and comply with provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).”
Wild steelhead in the Puget Sound region have been listed as “threatened” under the ESA since 2007. Although anglers are required to release any wild fish they catch in those rivers, some of those fish inevitably die from the experience, Leland said.
Rivers closing to steelhead fishing Feb. 18 include:
Puyallup River system
Puyallup River mainstem from the 11th St. Bridge in Tacoma upstream to Electron Power Plant Outlet
Carbon River from the mouth to Hwy.162 Bridge
White (Stuck) River from the mouth to R Street Bridge in Auburn
Nooksack River system
Nooksack River from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South Forks
North Fork Nooksack from the mouth to Nooksack Falls
South Fork Nooksack from the mouth to Skookum Creek
Middle Fork Nooksack from the mouth to headwaters.
Samish River system
Samish River from the mouth to the Hickson Bridge.
Stillaguamish River system
Stillaguamish River from sloughs south of Marine Drive to forks.
North Fork of the Stillaguamish from the mouth to Swede Heaven Bridge.
South Fork of the Stillaguamish from the mouth to the Mt Loop Hwy. Bridge (above Granite Falls).
Canyon Creek from the mouth at the South Fork of the Stillaguamish to the forks.
Snohomish River system
Snohomish River from mouth (Burlington-Northern railroad bridges) to the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers including all channels, sloughs, and interconnected waterways.
Snoqualmie River from the mouth to the boat launch at Plum Landing (~1/4 mile below Tokul Creek).
Skykomish River from the mouth to the forks.
North Fork of the Skykomish from the mouth to Deer Falls (about ¼ mile upstream of Goblin Creek).
South Fork of the Skykomish from the mouth to the Sunset Falls Fishway.
Pilchuck River from mouth to the Snohomish city diversion dam.
Sultan River from mouth to the diversion dam at river mile 9.7.
Tolt River from mouth to the confluence of the North and South Fork.
Raging River from the mouth to the Highway 18 Bridge.
The Wallace River, Tokul Creek and Snoqualmie River above the boat ramp at Plum Landing will close Feb 28.
Reopening dates for all of these waters will be noted in the 2010-11 Fishing in Washington fishing rules pamphlet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Modern Spey Lines-A Seasonal Approach

Hey you, spey dude. Having trouble deciphering all the technical mumbo jumbo regarding today's spey lines? Or even if you have a good handle on it and you just like free stuff, you need to come down the the Issy shop on Wed. Feb. 17th @ 6pm for a clinic from Sage/Rio/Tibor sales rep. George Cook. will conduct a free clinic on today's myriad of spey lines and how to find the right lines for you. We will also raffle off a couple of lines for you to put to use after the clinic. And you'll be guaranteed (not really) to catch more fish llike the one in the picture, just minus the teeth and neopreone waders. No need to sign up, just show up. If anything George Cook is always entertaining so it'll be a good time. Call Issy for more info 425-392-3800. Word. - BW

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yakima Salmon Plans

Earlier this last year I wrote about Sockeye Salmon returning to Lake Cle Elum for the first time in like 100 years. We also had a decent (and by decent I mean more than 50, which technically is abysmal) steelhead count up over Rosa Dam and of course a good Chinook return due to the hatchery. Now we are getting word that they might actually build a fish passage through the Lake Cle Elum Dam so that sockeye and other salmon/steelhead can get downstream to leave and upstream to spawn in one of their native grounds. Of course when I say one I mean that Keechelus and Kachess won't be happening anytime soon eventhough they were natural sockeye holdover lakes before the dams were put in and there will be no fish passage built on either of those dams or on the Easton Dam anytime soon, but hey, 1 of 3 is good enough for baseball so it must be for the Fish and Game Dept too, right?

I also here tell that people are opposed to this because they are afraid that these returning salmon will destroy their precious trout fishery. I'm from Cle Elum, grew up there, fished before and after the current chinook fishery was put in and I will say that the upper river is more healthy now than it was before the return of the salmon. The fish are bigger and more active and omg...they are hatchery fish! So are every other Columbia River salmon/steelhead...remember those dams on the Columbia? They killed almost every wild fish we had until the hatchery systems and ladders were implemented. So I don't want to hear about how hatchery fish are ruining our wild the Columbia system...most of those wild fish are technically hatchery fish that spawned in the wild. Get over it.

Yes I understand hatchery fish spawning on wild fish and the whole genetics thing, but do you really think the genetics will be any better with 250 fish coming up the river? Mull that over.

I digress, my main point is salmon = nutrients in the system, which in turn equates to bigger trout once the initial surge is over and the system rebalances closer to natural levels. So calm down. The salmon were there before and the trout did fine, so it will be again. Anyway. Here's the article.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fail People are Fail

Yeah you know it. People who transport a boat from an area that is infested with Zebra Mussels (ie, Meeeeechigan) to a place that doesn't want them (ie, everywhere, including Washington) and has said Zebra Mussels on the boat they are transporting. Than when told to wait for WDFW to show up and disinfect the boat, takes off and than is arrested in Blaine trying to launch the damn thing.

Well, stupidity was never something some Americans failed at, especially this one apparently. Here's the article.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

January 26, 2010
Contact: Sgt. Eric Anderson, WDFW (360) 902-2426
Michael Boska, Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office, (509) 962-7520

Arrest warrant issued in zebra mussel case

OLYMPIA – An arrest warrant has been issued for a commercial trucker from Michigan charged with transporting invasive zebra mussels into Washington state aboard a 50-foot cabin cruiser.

David Derderian, 44, of Fraser, Michigan, was charged in Kittitas County Lower District Court last November with unlawful transportation of a deleterious exotic species and making false statements to law enforcement officers.

The court issued a warrant for Derderian’s arrest when he failed to appear for his arraignment Jan. 13, said Michael Boska, deputy prosecutor for Kittitas County.

“We appreciate the court’s help on this case,” said Bruce Bjork, chief of enforcement for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), which sought the initial charges against Derderian. “We need to do everything we can to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of this state.”

Zebra mussels are small, freshwater mollusks that can quickly infest lakes and rivers, threatening native fish species and public water systems, Bjork said. Since the 1980s, when zebra mussels entered the Great Lakes in ships’ ballast water, they have spread to more than 20 states, including Michigan.

The invasive mussels often spread by attaching themselves to boats and trailers. Washington state law prohibits the transportation of aquatic invasive species on boats or trailers and allows state authorities to stop them for inspection.

The charges against Derderian stem from the delivery of a Sea Ray cabin cruiser from Lake Michigan to Washington. Derderian was hauling the boat when he was stopped Nov. 14 by the Washington State Patrol at the Cle Elum truck scale on Interstate 90.

State Patrol commercial vehicle officers found zebra mussels on the boat and alerted WDFW, which has special equipment to decontaminate boats carrying zebra mussels. But Derderian left with the boat and continued to Blaine before the WDFW officers could arrive at the scene, according to the department’s report.

Bjork said WDFW officers later intercepted Derderian in Blaine and stopped him from launching the boat. Based on Derderian’s statements and actions, they then asked the Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office to press charges.

WDFW has also referred the case to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for consideration of federal charges for interstate transport of the invasive mussels, which would be a violation of the Lacey Act.

“We are pressing for federal charges in this case,” Bjork said. “It’s essential that we have people’s cooperation in our efforts to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of Washington. Besides the risks to fish and shellfish, these invaders have already cost industry, government and private citizens billions of dollars in damage to water and hydropower facilities in this country.”

For information on zebra mussels, see on WDFW's website. To report zebra mussel sightings, call 1(877) WDFW-AIS.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dropping Acid in the Mix

You know that giant soup of plastic twice the size of Texas in the Pacific. Or maybe the overfishing that is leading to the eminent demise of multiple species of fish, including our lovely steelhead and salmon. Or the rising sea temperatures that are raising toxic sulfide levels off the coast of Africa, South America and Indonesia, killing fisheries and causing the sea to be as barren as, oh say, the Skagit River today.

What else could I tell you that could make it worse you say? Well, here ya go. I am going to throw some more metaphorical gasoline on the preverbial fire.
Feed Fish Flies not Plastic

Pacific's rising acid levels threatening marine life

A sweeping 15-year study of pH levels in the Pacific Ocean confirmed that upper reaches of the sea are becoming increasingly more acidic.

By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter
Archive Oysters in deep trouble: Is Pacific Ocean's chemistry killing sea life?

The most extensive survey of pH levels in the Pacific Ocean confirms what spot measurements have suggested: From Hawaii to Alaska, the upper reaches of the sea are becoming more acidic in concert with rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"If you see these changes across an entire ocean basin, you can be assured it's happening on a global scale in other ocean basins around the world," said Robert Byrne, a marine chemist at the University of South Florida and lead author of an upcoming paper in Geophysical Research Letters.

Ocean acidification is a threat to shelled creatures and other marine life, and is a leading suspect in the ongoing crash of Pacific oyster populations in Washington.

Byrne collaborated with Seattle scientists on the survey, which was 15 years in the making. The team first measured acidity along the 2,800-mile sweep of ocean between Oahu and Kodiak in 1991. They returned in 2006 aboard the University of Washington research vessel Thomas G. Thompson, working around the clock in shifts to collect and analyze nearly 1,500 water samples over two months.

It's the first time measurements have been taken across such a wide area, said co-author Richard Feely, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

"The fact that we saw this very significant change over the last 15 years is a reminder of how mankind is affecting the oceans at an ever-increasing rate," Feely said.

In addition to contributing to a global greenhouse effect, some of the carbon dioxide from cars, factories and power plants dissolves in the ocean, creating the same carbonic acid that gives soda pop its tang. The process makes seawater slightly more acidic, and also gobbles up carbonate, a basic building block of seashells.

The result can be an environment where shells dissolve, destroying plankton, marine snails and other small creatures that sustain the rest of the marine food web. Acidified water also can kill fish eggs and larvae.

Byrne and his colleagues developed a more precise way to measure pH, using a dye that turns from purple to bright yellow as acidity increases. On board the ship, they used instruments called spectrophotometers to measure the color change and nail pH levels 10 times more accurately than possible before.

Debby Ianson, an ocean climate modeler for Canada's Institute of Ocean Sciences who was not involved in the project, said the approach is a good one. "We need studies like this," she wrote in an e-mail.

As expected, the researchers found acidification was strongest in the top layer of water, closest to the atmosphere. Normal seawater is slightly alkaline, with a pH value of about 8. Over the past 15 years, average pH levels in the top 300 feet of the ocean dropped 0.026 pH units. That sounds tiny, but is equivalent to a 6 percent jump in acidity, Byrne said.

Working a thousand or more miles off the West Coast, the scientists took samples down to the ocean floor. They found no change yet in acidity at the deepest levels. But as carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to climb, natural mixing eventually will raise acidity throughout the water column, Byrne said.

Analysis of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice cores show that atmospheric carbon dioxide already is higher than anytime in the last 800,000 years, and the same is almost certainly true of ocean acidity, Byrne pointed out. Since the start of the Industrial Age, the scientists calculate that the acidity of the world's oceans has increased by 25 to 30 percent.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, Feely said, ocean acidity could triple by the end of the century.

Ianson cautions that extrapolating future rates of acidification is difficult, because the ocean and atmosphere are so complex.

Still, Byrne said, the trend is clear.

"We're seeing unprecedented rates of change in the atmosphere, and we're going to see changes in seawater in lock-step with that," he said.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Slippery Slope Gets Slipperier

In another couple years the rivers will be open all year long because there won't be anything left in them to incidentally kill. Thank you WDFW, for constantly punishing the lowest impact user group on our rivers for the sins of everyone. Better get some now if you want any at all. - BW

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

January 15, 2010

Closure of Skagit and Sauk rivers to fishing

Action: Close the Skagit and Sauk Rivers to all fishing.

Species affected: All game fish species

Location and effective closure dates:

  • Skagit River from the mouth upstream to Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through April 30, 2010.
  • Skagit River from the Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon upstream to the Gorge Powerhouse will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through May 31, 2010.
  • Sauk River from the mouth upstream to the Whitechuck River will be closed Feb. 16, 2010 through June 4, 2010.

Reasons for action: The closure will reduce incidental hooking mortality on wild steelhead. The 2009/2010 forecasted return of wild winter steelhead to the Skagit Basin is expected to be below the escapement floor of 6,000.

Other information: The rivers will reopen to fishing as listed in the 2010/2012 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules.

Information Contact: Region 4 (425) 775-1311.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

This message has been sent to the WDFW Regulatory Information mailing list.
Visit the Emergency Fishing Rule Website at:
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can You Identify This River?

If you are the first one to identify this river and the state it's in you win a dozen trout flies of your choice. Email your guesses to Creekside employees and anyone else we deem shifty are not eligible. Good luck. - BW

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Skip Morris Tying Clinic

Skip Morris, yes the galaxy wide known author and angler, is coming to the Issaquah shop for a super cool tying clinic, Lake Tying and Fishing. Skip is an expert tyer and lake fisherman. The tips and tactics will fly faster than you can think. Best to bring a pen and paper. Clinic is Tuesday Jan. 12th, 6pm-8pm+. Cost is $35, space is limited and registration is required. For more info or to sign up call the Issaquah shop 425-392-3800. Word! -BW