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