Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Apparently a lot has happened since our last post. The holiday season has entered phase two (you know, scream at the TV while cursing the BCS, drinking beverages, and watching things go boom in the night air), the "I'm So Ronery" guy from that Team America movie died (the real one, I'm sure the puppet is just fine), steelhead have decided to move into pretty much every system with a connection to the saltwater, I made it back from Texas, and  it's raining...wait ignore that last one...it was doing that before.

As for the lack of posting. I was gone the past few weeks and since I wasn't doing anything fishing related and was otherwise indisposed, our blog went dark. Now that I am back, let's work on getting back to semi-daily posts, instructions and such. Shall we? I think we shall.

First order of business. And quite honestly the most important piece. The winter issue of  The Drake Magazine has come out and as usual, it is nothing short of spectacular.

The steelhead are coming! The steelhead are coming! I come back from Texas and everyone tells me how awesome the steelheading has been, well, just about everywhere. The OP has been great and the Snoqualmie, oh mah gawd, the Snoqualmie has been producing. You know it's a good year when the Snoqualmie hands out fish like a Vegas streetside flyer dude. I suspect if the weather holds up, the fishing will only get better. Everywhere west of the mountains has been fishing good to great so, you know, maybe you should peel yourself off the couch and get after it.

Lastly. There is a new movie coming out soon that seems intriguing. It's called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It seems borderline chick flick territory (Not that there's anything wrong with that! Put down the spey rod! Put it down!) but it has fly-fishing, albeit weird two-handed overhead British style fly-fishing and an interesting plot. Anyway here is the trailer.

That's all I have for today. Coming up tomorrow will be a new fly-tying 101 session and the blog shall be kept up as much as my wee little brain can handle here from henceforth.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and/or Holiday season. I hope you didn't eat half the house and can still fit out the front door and all that good stuff.

We shall return back to our regular scheduled programming now. Also. If there is a fly you would like instructions on how to tie. Post a comment to this and we shall load it into the queue and possibly even make a video for that specific one on this blog.

That's all for now, carry on and may the Force be with you.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The "RG3 Won the Heisman!" Report.

So I apologize for the lack of posting lately. We here at Creekside have been, swamped, inundated, hammered, wait, forget that last one, that would indicate irresponsible drinking. Anyway, we've been busy. Christmas is near, Hanukkah is upon us, Festivus is, umm, wait, I know this one...sometime? It doesn't help that I am leaving for Texas, Charlie is going to Cali, people are flying all over the place to eat food, open presents and hang out with family. Basically we have been terrible at focusing on the blog and keeping it updated.

On a second note. Yesterday the college football world finally did something right and actually gave the best PLAYER in the land the Heisman Trophy and thank the lucky stars it wasn't some guy from an SEC football team. So congratulations Robert Griffin the Third aka RG3 and Baylor (now the Huskies get to face him. Hahaha. Oh sorry, my inner Coug made an appearance there.) at least college football got something right this year. So how does this tie into fishing you ask. Well let me tell you.

We don't have the best weather here in Washington during the winter, especially during La Nina years, but the winter fishing can be spectacular. Whether it be the Yakima for trout, Rocky Ford for triploids, or the Olympic Peninsula for Steelhead, this state boasts some spectacular fishing opportunities to break up the winter doldrums. So while we may not BC (arguably the best place for steelhead), or Belize (tropical wonderland) or Argentina (Sea-run browns, their summer is during our winter). Just because you aren't in the best place doesn't mean you can't be the RG3 of winter fishing. (See, I told you I would tie it in somehow.)

Here's a few notes from aboot:

The OP: The Bogie has some early hatchery brats and the run should start to pick up steam. Fish have been caught, the weather has been decent and people haven't ran out there yet so you may have some runs to yourself. The Wynooooooooochie is starting to get it's regularly scheduled influx of early fish and has also been fishing,

The Yakima: This gem of holy trout water located in...oh ok I'll stop with the flowery writing. It has been producing nicely the past couple weeks. Pat's stones, SJ Worms, midges, BWO's, caddis, and sculpins are the name of the game this time of year. And patience. Lots of patience. And warm clothing. Oh, and Whisky...or beer...or hot cocoa. We've got the winter guide rates in place too, just in case, you know you wanted to venture over and catch some fishes but don't want to wade.

Skagit/Sky/Snoqualmie: Ok so this just in...the Snoqualmie is actually fishing well. Oh crap, someone get that man some smelling salts! Are you back with us? Ok, good. Fish have been caught on the Snoqualmie this year, fish around the Tolt or up and down David Powell Road. Fish have started showing up in the Sky and skagit, especially up by Cascade Creek on the Skagit and the Wallace on the Sky. So swing away kid or nymph, if that's your bag baby.

Rocky Ford: I haven't heard much but it always fishes well this time of year due to lack of pressure and warmer water then surrounding areas. Yes, it will be cold. But where isn't around here. Fish scuds, leeches, and smaller midge patterns for success. Oh and if anyone goes over there, bring us back a report.

That's all I have for now. Keep sending us fish pics for our website and Facebook. Oh and if you didn't know we had joined the land of the Social Media, we have and stuff. Here's our Facebook. You can also email photos to us at info@creeksideangling.com.

This will probably be my last blog post as I head to Texas for a week.

Until next time.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sculpins Attack! Fly-tying 101: #7 Robinton's Sculpin

So we've taken a short hiatus fro the blog here at Creekside this past week due to people running all over the place preparing for things like Christmas, Festivus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (does anyone actually celebrate Kwanzaa? I don't even know), birthdays (two of us here at Creekside have December birthdays) and flying across the country to visit friends, loved ones and relatives. I will take this time to apologize  for our lack of posting on the blog but we've been....fishing and busy...ok you got me...it's just fishing. Fine, fine. It's plain laziness. Happy now?! Sheesh.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, today we are happy to present another fly-tying 101 course with our first full length fly-tying video produced via an iPhone and featuring our very own Shop Pro Charlie Robinton. This week we will feature a custom fly created by Charlie using a new product by Fish Skulls called Sculpin Helmets. The video is a bit long but we are slowly working out the details on how to create a video so bear with us as we progress. So without further adieu. Fly-Tying victim #7 Robinton's Sculpin.

Supply List
Hook: B10S #2, Fish Skull Articulated Shank
Thread: UTC 140, Black or Olive
Body: Olive Barred Variant Crosscut Rabbit
Wings: Barred Olive Grizzly Marabou Tips
Legs: Barred Rubber Legs
Collar: Olive Deer Hair
Throat: Red Angel Hair
Head: Sculpin Helmet

Step 1: Tie your thread on the B10S hook wrap. Zap-a-gap and wrap the cross cut from the bed towards the head, leaving enough room to tie the fur off near the eye.

Step 2: Strip off the Marabou at the base of the post off two feathers. Tie in the feathers on each side of the trailing hook. The we are going to tie in some rubber legs in a fashion that allows them triangulate back behind the hook. Cut them so they are not longer then the trailing hook. Whip Finish.

Step 3: Now we are going to slide the trailing hook on the Fish Skull Articulated Shank. Place the shank into the vice and tie on your thread, wrapping it tightly over the area where you slide the trailing hook on.

Step 4: Zap-a-gap and begin wrapping some more crosscut forward about 3/4 of the way. Cut excess and tie down.

Step 5: Strip off the marabou at the base of two more feathers. Tie to each side again. Then tie more rubber legs in the same way you tied the ones on the trailing hook. Tie off. The rubber legs shouldn't be longer then the shank.

Step 6: Tie in angel hair on the underside of the fly. Cut it short of the shank, so that it gives the appearance of a colored throat area.

Step 8: Cut deer hair, clean out excess fibers, and stack in a hair stacker.  Tie to front of shank tightly. You may need to do several clumps or just one. This is up to you. Cut the deer hair down in a tapered manner. Wrap in front of the hair tapering down. Whip Finish.

Step 9: Zap-a-gap the front of the deer hair and the thread. Slide the Sculpin Helmet over the hair and hold it there for a few seconds allowing the glue to set. We like to take red thread and tie it in in front of the helmet to create a block in case the glue fails. (It most likely will not but better to be safe then sorry) Whip finish that....and viola!

Ok so. Here we go. If my instructions weren't clear enough or you need a visual reference. Here is our first featured fly-tying video with many more to come we hope.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us via email, phone or simply leave a comment here and we will respond as quickly as possible.

On another note I have been informed that our Class Page has been updated with a multitude of new beginner and advanced classes. So peruse that and if something strikes your fancy or there is something you would like to learn that isn't listed you can tell us and we can probably set it up for you.  Stay tuned for some more upcoming classes, videos and events at Creekside.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Monday, December 5, 2011

Creekside Angling Winter Rate Special!

We here at Creekside Angling are happy to announce that for the dates of December 1st through the 15th of March we will be offering special winter rates for trout fishing on the Yakima River of $275 for 1 or 2 people! This includes flies, leaders, tippet material and if you can't provide your own rod/reel we have those too. These trips will be bring your own lunch and last around 6 hours on Washington's only blue ribbon trout stream. Snacks, water and soda will be provided.

The Yakima in winter can be a perfect time to float. The water is low and clear and the fishing can be excellent. However it is eastern Washington and it will be chilly so don't forget to bring warm clothing and some waterproof gear and a thermos of coffee may not be a bad idea either. The scenery isn't bad either.

The fishing has been good on the Yak and the weather hasn't been terrible at all so give us a call here at the shop (425-392-3800) if you would like to set up a trip and we can get you rolling on a mid-winter excursion that breaks the doldrums of fly-tying and watching the BCS nightmare known as bowl season.

Tomorrow should bring a post entailing our first full-length fly-tying lesson featuring Shop Pro Charlie Robinton! Learn how to use our new Sculpin Helmets to tie a killer Yakima winter staple, the Sculpin. So stay tuned for that and enjoy the slice of nice weather we are having. Get out and angle!

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Circle 3 Spring Creek. This Month's Featured Destination.

We are more then just a fly-shop here at Creekside Angling Company. We have stable of wicked good guides and a couple top notch destinations to fulfill all of your fishing urges and addictions. Not to mention our frequent classes and personal instruction to help improve your ways in everything fly-fishing.

Every month we feature a destination on our website of places we have fished or really, really want to fish. Since we are in the thralls of a La Nina winter and it's waves of never-ending, soulcrushing weather, this month's featured destination will be a happy summer place in southwestern Montana and is perfect for you spring creek fanatics, like our owner Pete. If casting dry flies, to large hungry trout, in water that is about 15-20 feet wide is your cup of tea then this place may be your Mecca. Here's a video to wet your appetite.

For more information, you can talk to us here at the shop or go here Circle 3 Spring Creek.  We are excited to offer you these premier destinations to get your fixing fish...err....your fishing fix. I apologize, I apparently need more coffee or Mountain Dew.

We may post a little fly-tying instructional video later today, so keep your eyes peeled for that! It will be exciting! Perhaps some humor!

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Is What the Rock Is Cooking, Fly-Tying 101: #6 Skintilla

With the La Nina winter finally here, most of us shut down our fishing for the season, hunker down in the house and start tying flies for the upcoming spring/summer/fall. Sure we come out of hibernation for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, make a show of being alive then recede back into our caverns. Fishing only crosses the mind of those that chase steelhead or those of us that need to get that fishing fix and stumble over to the Yakima on one of the few days when the sky opens up and reveals that precious commodity known as the sun.

There are other options however to the hermit type existence lived by Pacific Northwest fly-fisherman. Rocky Ford comes to mind. A spring creek that flows through the basalt and sagebrush,loaded with large fish that eat small flies, especially in the winter. The Ford produces well in the middle of winter when all the rivers are blown out. . It provides the option to fish, it may not be the warmest, but it's an option when you get the Cabin Fever. Small flies are the name of the game. Midges, scuds, and serendipities. I learned of this fly during my time down on the San Juan and have used it up here on the Yakima and the Ford with success. And this fly is an excellent one to add into the mix. So here we go with fly tying victim #6. The Skintilla.

Supply List
Hook: Daichi 1120 #18-24
Thread: 8/0 Uni, Olive, Red, Black, Grey or Blue
Bubble: Mini Glass Bead, Peacock
Rib: Brassie Ultra Wire, color can vary

Step 1: Choose a color of thread. I would stick with olive or black. Tie the thread on the hook. Build up the body by wrapping thread back towards the bend then back towards the eye. 

Step 2: This part is the only tricky part. Cut a piece of ultra wire. Fold one end back towards the other. Slide the bead over both strands of ultra wire and let it run down the bend. Place the looped section near the eye of the hook, leaving enough space to tie a head. Tie down the ultra wire in front of the bead, making 1 loose wrap and then 2-4 tight wraps. Then wrap behind the bead with one loose wrap and 2-4 tighter wraps. Cut the loop of wire in front of the bead off.

Step 3: Cut one of the strands of ultra wire that protrudes behind the bead. Wrap the thread over the other strand of ultra wire back towards the bend. At the bend wrap the thread back forward towards the bead, building a tapered body up to the bead. Make one wrap in front of the bead and leave it for now.

Step 4: Wrap the strand of ultra wire forward towards the bead over the body to create a ribbing. Wrap to the bead then make one more wrap in front of the bead. Tie the ultra wire off, trim it and build up a head. Whip finish and place a dab of head cement. 

Color Schemes: This fly is simple to tie and can be used in multiple colors. I focused mostly on Olive thread and green wire, but red/red works, black/silver, black/black, black/green, black/red, red/silver, gray/silver, gray/green, gray/red, blue/blue, blue/green, blue/silver. I'm sure there are others that would work, but those are the main ones I have used.

Where it Fishes: It's pretty much all I used on the San Juan. I had a box filled with these in different sizes and colors. But I have used it during a BWO hatch on the Yakima, the Ford, the Gunnison, Flat Creek, and I'm sure it will work on any spring creek you can think of. I haven't had much of a chance to fish it here in Washington outside of the Yakima but it will work anywhere there is a BWO or Midge hatch and the fish are targeting those food groups.

As always our tying lessons can be found on our Tying Page.  If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and we will answer it with all possible speed.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Partytime in Dollywood

Dollywood.An amusement park built around a country singer that made an appearance in our fishing report at the start of the month. Seems kind of silly but that's America for ya. While Dollywood is in Tennessee and a helluva long ways away we here in the Northwest have our own version of Dollywood come the wintertime. While it may not have the roller coasters, concerts, sticky buns or elephant ears, most fly-fisherman prefer our Dollywood to the real one. Where is this Pacific Northwest Dollywood, this magical winter play-land for fly-fisherman? The Sauk and Skagit Rivers of course. The quarry you are chasing. Dollies.

Yesterday Johnny Steeltrout and I headed up to Dollywood with a friend in search of the ever aggressive Dolly Varden.  We started on the Sauk near Government Bridge, swinging rabbit strip and marabou creations the size of small birds in the color of the snow lining the surrounding hills. The river was a little high and slightly milky but it didn't seem to affect the fishing much. The Dollies are in and eating.  There is some proof below. 

This was our average size for the day. Excuse Johnny's facial expression I believe he was trying to imitate the fishes displeasure at being fooled. Flesh wasn't the only color working as evidenced in this photo. Black leeches were also working.  I was using a large Loop Sculpin in olive with the egg sac on the head. 

We seemed to have good luck casting out and stripping back across rather rapidly. Swinging was also working, but you have to be patient. Most of the strikes were happening at the point of the swing known as the "hangdown." That is the end of the swing, just let it sit straight out below you for a few seconds before stripping it in to reset you cast.

Remember that Dollies seem to prefer shallower water then you may be accustomed to fishing. Fish the 2-3 feet deeps sections of runs and tailouts. Look for Chum redds and fish behind them. An intermediate tip should be enough to get the fly down, dollies will move for meat but you could try a type 6 if you would like. 

The best flies are 3-4 inch long flesh or olive colored leech type patterns. The bigger the better honestly. I was using the Olive Loop Leech, Johnny switched back and forth between a black hot head MOAL and some Chartreuse and white contraption. Andrew was fishing a white marabou fly with a peach colored Schlappen face that was incredibly effective. Pretty much anything big and ugly will work as long as it has movement and/or is stripped fast to illicit the chase response. 

It was cold and beautiful in Skagit Land. The fishing was good. The company was outstanding and we dealt with a plethora of different weather but it was worth it for some big fish.

So come on down to the shop. Pick up some supplies and go chase some dollies in the cold, clear waters filtering through the towering mountains covered in snow. It's called the American Alps. I will leave you with some video.

Get out and angle.                     

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Negate the La Nina Effect

We heard it all fall. La Nina is coming! La Nina is coming! Farley may have said that El Nino was Spanish for the...Nino. It means boy, but if any of you think La Nina is some cute little girl you got problems. More like the little girl from the Exorcist. Anyway, I know what most of you were thinking. Pft...La Nina...HAH! Whatever man...it ain't nothing, until oh...this past week. That's when she strolled in and gave you swift kick to the mommy-daddy button before you even knew what was going on. BOOM! 3 feet of snow, 4 inches of rain, blown out rivers, Chum salmon spawning on Highway 2, some guy in Carnation began building his ark, etc. Don't believe me about the Chum Salmon? Queue that footage Ace!

Feel silly now? We were talking about La Nina and her nasty little self.  Waterproof clothing? Of course. But you don't want to look like the Gordon's Fisherman or the dude from I Know What You Did Last Summer sans hay hooks, right. Well we have what you need here at your local Creekside Location.

We just received a huge order of Simms outerwear, waders, boots and knick knacks sure to help you with negating the effects of La Nina.  We have the full range of Guide Jackets, the fleeces, gloves, waders and boots.

Like this Simms Guide Jacket. Perfect for battling the elements and torrential rains that come with winter fishing in the Pacific Northwest and it's pretty stylish too. I mean as far as waterproof raingear goes.

Or how about this Rivershed Sweater for those of you looking for something to keep warm during those bitterly cold days chasing trout on the Yakima or Steelhead on the Grand Ronde in February?

This is just a peek at the stock of products we have just waiting to meet your wintertime fishing needs.  We even have flies and other accoutrement's that you may need on your adventures chasing fish during the season of the witch...err...La Nina.

So if you don't feel like staying cooped up all winter with the in-laws or significant other, watching HGTV or playing World of Warcraft or whatever else it is you crazy kids do these days. (Please no elaboration, we get it ok?) But don't feel you have the right gear to make the fishing experience more enjoyable then staying at home drinking tea and watching Golden Girls reruns. Come on down and hit us up with whatever questions you may have, try some stuff on, create the X-Mas list and hand it out to whoever may be slightly acquainted with you, and get geared up for La Nina winter.

On another note. The Muppets come out tonight! Hooray! Swedish Chef is back in action. Speaking of chefs...tomorrow is turkey day. I will be stuffing my face with pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and possibly some beer, watching football and doing nothing in general. I hope most of you that read this are not one of the few stuck with working at supermarkets or Wal-Mart and forced into slavery. If so...disregard what I just said about my Thanksgiving...

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone and be safe. We shall reopen on Friday at the normal place and time. Sneak on over as your significant other raids the local Black Friday spots if you want to keep your sanity.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eat the worm! Fly-Tying 101: #5 The San Juan Worm

Winter time in the Northwest means a fluctuation of temperatures and weather. One day the rivers may be low and clear, the next they could be colored and carrying houses, cows, Auntie Ann and other instruments of civilization towards Davey Jones Locker.  For those of you diehards that don't react to a snow storm as the Snowpocalypse or a torrential downpour like you should start cutting down trees, collecting animals in pairs and building an ark, this fly will help you prepare for the times when the water is off-colored and high.

There are multiple ways to tie this fly and everyone has their personal variation that they believe will work for them. We will go over the basic pattern and then get into some of the more complex variations. Overall this fly may be the easiest fly to tie in the world, unless you are fishing the Juan and using size 24 bare red hooks....yes, it works, trust me. Anyways, as I was saying, this fly is easy to tie, can be used in multiple applications and is a good all-purpose fly to have in the box. So without further adieu, fly-tying victim #5 the San Juan Worm.

Supply List
Hook : Daichi 1120 #6-20
Thread: 6/0 Uni, Color should match Vernille
Body: Vernille, Any Color or Pearl Core, Any color
Rib: Flashabou or crystal flash
Bead: Optional, but any Cyclops bead will work.
Hackle: Optional, Partridge, Pheasant Rump, Guinea

 There are multiple variations of this fly. I will do the simple version first. Then walk you through some of the variations, which aren't too difficult but can be confusing.

Step 1:  Tie down thread to hook. Cut a piece of vernille, you usually want it long enough that it is twice as long as the hook shank. Wrap thread back along the hook shank to the bend. Tie in the vernille so that about half of the vernille is hanging off the back of the hook shank.  Tie over the vernille to attach it to the hook then make a couple of wraps behind the vernille so that the tail sticks up.
          Step 1a: Slide a bead on the hook and place it near the eye. Slide the vernille through the bead. Make a wrap behind the bead and in front.
         Step 1b: If you are using pearlcore instead of vernille. Slide through the bead or just tie it down in front of the bead and another section behind. Near the bend, tie in a piece of flashabou/crystal flash and wrap over the pearlcore all the way to the bead.

Step 2: Wrap the thread forward along the hook, making a few wraps up over the vernille to attach it to the shank. When you get to the eye. Wrap over the vernille and make a few wraps in front to make the vernille stand up. 
        Step 2a: You can tie in the hackle at this point if you choose to do so. Tie it in tip first behind where the vernille/pearlcore goes up, make a couple wraps and tie off. If using a bead and you wish to add some hackle, tie it in front of the bead tip first and make a couple wraps, tie off.

Step 3: Whip finish in front of the vernille. Cut thread, and then take a lighter and burn the ends of the vernille slightly. If you are using pearlcore you will have to superglue the ends instead of burning them.

Colors: Red, pink, green, olive, blue, purple, blue, burgundy, black, root beer, and chartreuse.  the most effective colors are pink and red, especially on the Yakima in early spring. Purple can be effective as well. Blue and chartreuse seem to work better in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. You can mix and match colors as well, making the tail a different color then the front. Those versions generally work better when tied in with a bead to cover the transition.

Where it Fishes: Pretty much everywhere. They work better in cloudy/murky water, but I have caught fish on this fly all over the west. Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Utah and New Mexico. Such infamous rivers as the Yakima, Rocky Ford, Rock Creek, Flat Creek, South Fork of the Snake, San Juan, Green River (in Utah), Klickitat, etc.  The bigger versions can work for steelhead as well as trout and you can tie them down to a size 20.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. All tying lessons are located on our Tying Page.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brews for Fishy People

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special blog report!


Ok, do I have your attention now? Good. Now that we have that nonsense out of the way. Since winter is here and for most of gluttons for punishment that means freezing our tails off in a driving sleetstorm, throwing flies the size of purple coated land mines in water the consistency and color of chocolate milk for a fish that may or may not even exist. (Yes steelhead. No, I think all photographs are fake just like the Sasquatch ones. Land one in front of me and prove it. I dare you.) And since fly-fishing entails some sort of imbibing, usually of alcohol, especially in the winter months, I thought we would list a couple top notch local brews that can be found near your favorite iceflows, err...I mean rivers.

These brews will help you dethaw from that plunge you took in that one spot on that one river because you thought it would be better if you just stepped on a boulder in a raging current to get that one perfect drift, but instead pulled a Micheal Phelps and decided to swim after the fish instead.

Anyway. Here are some beers to ponder the one that got away over. They are not ranked because if they were you know Rainier would be at the top of this list...duh.

  • Avalanche Winter Ale- One of Snoqualmie Brewery's finer seasonal ales. It's tasty and not too heavy so that you can enjoy more then one if you so choose. If you go to the Taproom after a long, cold day on the river you can enjoy it with some top notch food too. They have plenty of other types of beer to sample as well and if you love beer, they are all terrific.

  • 509 Style- Hidden in the comfy confines of the Greater Ellensburg Metropolitan Area (Go ahead laugh, that was the point), is a quaint little brewery known as Iron Horse Brewery. Known for their Irish Death or Double Rainbow brews, the one that really kicks off the ice after a brutally cold day on the Yakima is the 509 Style brew.  It is dubbed the brew of the Eastside and is tasty, I promise.

  • Strait Stout- If you dig the dark beers for the dark weather then you are in luck. Port Townsend Brewing produces this stellar dark beer to improve your mood after driving all over the OP fleeing from vampies, werewolves and tweeny heart throbs, trying to catch chrome in a rain that feels like you are standing in a bucket upside down. This beer will strike warmth into that cold bitter heart of yours as you drive home from the madness.

So there you have it some alcohol to warm your soul on your midwinter fishing extravaganzas. I mean who doesn't love some tasty brews whilst out throwing a fly doing your best to become a meat popsicle. All these beers actually beat my normal fly-fish trip beverage of Rainier and Mt. Dew. No not together, sheesh. I have class you know....although...that could be interesting...hmmm.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toss in a Copper, Fly-Tying 101: #4 Copper John

We all know those coin fountains, wishing wells, puddle of water, that have signs like toss in a copper, make a wish.  Fly-fishing for trout in the winter can resemble this. Big and cold water, tossing microscopic flies to different lines as the snow/rain falls down, de-icing your guides, and freezing your extremities in general, it can seem like your tossing flies in and making a wish, praying to a deity, whatever you wish to call it. (I refer to it as the "Bring me Fish" dance, which along with attracting gawkers, helps rush blood to those numb extremities.)

To help qualm those feelings that range between There are no bloody fish here to What the hell am I doing out here, today's fly-tying lesson revolves around a fly that can be used in multiple applications and is perfect for those mid-winter days on the Yakima and many other western trout rivers.  Fly-tying victim #4, The Copper John.

Supply List
Hook: Daichi 1550 #12-22
Thread: 6/0 Black Uni
Bead: Gold or Copper Cyclops, size to fit hook
Tail: Goose Biots, Black
Body: Ultra Wire, Brassie or Small, See colors below
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Wing: Pheasant Hackle
Shellback: Pearl Flashabou
Step 1:  Slide bead on the hook. Wrap thread on hook, work evenly back to the bend. Take two goose biots, tips out the back of the fly, cross them over each other near where the bend in the shank begins, make one loose wrap of thread over the X'd portion, then two more wraps and pull tight. Clip the butts off the goose biots.
Step 2: Grab a piece of ultra wire, tie it in over the biots, wrap your thread forward, leaving some space behind the bead.  Wrap the ultra wire forward tightly and tie it in, leaving space for the thorax, which should cover about a quarter of the hook's length.

Step 3: Tie in two pieces of flashabou.  Leave them for now.  Tie in 2-3 pieces of peacock herl, wrap thread all the way to bead.  Form a herl rope. To do this, take the strands of herl, and twist them tightly, but not so tight as to where they will break.  Once you have a rope, wrap forward to the bead and tie off. Clip excess.

Step 4: Tie in pheasant hackle fibers on each side of the thorax. Pull the Flashabou forward over the top of the thorax and tie down. Whip Finish.  You can epoxy the flashabou shell back as well, either way will work.

Where it Fishes: Trout water of any type. The Yakima, Cedar, Snoqualmie Forks, Greenwater, Naches, etc.  They work well in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and New Mexico.  Fish them under a Pat's Stone or San Juan worm in the winter for maximum effect.  Use smaller sizes in low water or during midge/BWO hatches and the larger sizes in murky water and during caddis or the smaller summer stonefly activity.

Ultra Wire Colors: Copper, Red, Lime, Black, Blue, Purple, and Gold.  Red, lime and copper seem to be the most effective here in our local waters, although I have caught a few fish on purple in the Yakima in early spring.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Connect and Wild Steelhead Coalition Event

Event's image


Presented by Wild Steelhead Coalition and Emerald Water Anglers


From Chris Patterson and Jim Klug - the filmmakers who created the highly acclaimed movies DRIFT and RISE comes CONNECT, the most ambitious, large-scale fly fishing film ever made. Continuing in the tradition of the multisegment, multi-story format that Confluence Films has become known for, CONNECT introduces a number of new locations, exotic species, and compelling characters that epitomize and exemplify the sport of fly fishing. Shot on location in Japan, Yellowstone National Park, the Yukon Drainage of Alaska, the flats of Cuba, the coast of Maine, and in the wilds of Tanzania, Africa, this feature length movie will once again transport viewers around the world in search of new waters and exhilarating travel experiences. CONNECT features well-known anglers Greg Vincent, Jeff Currier, Jimmy Bartschi, Craig Mathews, Masa Katsumata, Brian Porter, and Captain Eric Wallace, and more than a dozen different fish species, both freshwater and saltwater. As with DRIFT and RISE before, the cinematography, sound, and feel of CONNECT come together in a visual masterpiece that promises to re-set the bar for fly fishing films.

100% of the proceeds for this event will benefit the Wild Steelhead Coalition, specifically their current work with restoring and protecting the Elwha River wild steelhead runs.

Tickets for the event will be $10. Please plan on buying your tickets early as we expect this event to sell out quickly. We will have a round of great prizes to raffle off, including gear and guided trips. If you plan on participating in the raffle bring some cash, we can't accept credit cards for raffle items. For more information on the Wild Steelhead Coalition, please check out our website. Also follow our Facebook page for updated info on the group.

It shall be a great event for all. For the full details go here, Connect, Seattle Premier Event. See y'all there.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fly-Tying 101: Receiving Total Consciousness, #3 The Dali Llama

However you have seen the fly spelled, and there have been a multitude of spellings. The Dali Llama, Dolly Lama, Dalai Llama, etc. It's all the same fly. A simplistic concoction of rabbit fur and flashabou tied to a hook with a jumbo conehead that just catches fish, well, pretty much everywhere. I have used it with success chasing big bows in Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Montana, and Oregon. And every time you tell others what you are using to a fellow fly-fisherman, it almost always requires you to channel a little Spackler.

"The flowing robes, the grace, bald....striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga." Carl Spackler- Caddyshack

In the fly-fishing world there are a few flies that are big hitters. The Adams, MOAL Leeach, Wooley Bugger, Ice Cream Cone, and Hare's Ear all come to mind as staples in every fisherman's box. This fly should be added to that collection. It catches trout, bass, steelhead and salmon. So tie one up, tie it on and go angle with it. And remember when you catch a fish, to repeat the following, "In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, fish'." Fly-tying victim #3, The Dali Llaaaaaaama.

 Supply List:
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #2-4 (Both front shank and for trailer hook)
Thread: 140 UTC or 3/0 Uni, match color to base rabbit
Head: Nickel Conehead, Jumbo sized
Body: Crosscut Rabbit, any color
Tail: Rabbit Strip, same color as crosscut
Second Tail: Rabbit Strip, any color
Wing: Saltwater Flashabou, Pearl
Articulated Attachment: Backing #20-40, preferably gel-spun

Step 1: Slide the cone on the hook. Slide the backing between the conehead and hook shank, through the eye of the hook and back through the conehead. Tie down with thread and Zap-A-Gap.  Pinch backing, slide through trailer hook eye, pull loop over the bend of the hook and pull it tight. Set length of trailer by pulling tag end of backing through the eye until you achieve desired length, tie down tag end to front hook, glue.

Step2: Wrap thread around the trailer hook. Tie rabbit strip that matches the crosscut color you have decided to use on the underside of the hook shank of the trailer hook. Wrap near the bend of the hook 5-6 times, pull tight, then avoiding wrapping over the fur, wrap the thread along the shank to the eye, give 4 tight wraps and whip finish.

Step 3: Run the rabbit strip along the backing. (Some guys will thread the backing through the rabbit strip as well, but this way is less time consuming. Either way is effective.) Tie in rabbit strip at the bend of the front hook and glue.  Tie in crosscut, glue the shank and wrap forward to the back of the conehead, tie off.  

Step 4: Tie in a different colored rabbit strip, cut so that it is just slightly shorter then your articulated hook, making sure that it is directly opposite of the trailing hook gap.  Tie in two pieces of flashabou on each side of the fly. Whip finish and viola!

Color Schemes: The most popular colors are Olive/White, Black/White, Purple/Pink, and Pink/White.  But much like the MOAL you can create any type of color combination you would like. I like the Baby Blue/Purple personally but remember there is a reason Olive/White and Black/White are sold in fly-shops.  They are the best color combos.

Where it Fishes: This fly fishes pretty much everywhere.  I have used it in Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, etc. I know they work in BC as well as on the Olympic Penninsula for steelhead and trout on the Yakima.  You can change the sizes around to match where you want to fish and have at it. And remember:
"So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

As I stated earlier, all the posts regarding our tying will also be followed up on our tying page via our website. You can go there and see previous flies by clicking, Creekside Tying Page.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Catch Magazine Issue #20

The latest issue of Catch Magazine, one of our favorite online rags (Can you still call it a rag? Whatever, we are.) just released their latest endeavors and as usual is phenomenal. You can check it out here.Catch Magazine.

In other news, the initiative to ban the proposed Pebble Mine passed, however the State of Alaska is now suing to have it invalidated. Read up on that here. Epic Fail.

Dolly season is starting on the Sauk and Skagit. So come in and get some info, flies and gear to prepare for that as it starts to pick up steam.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Survive the Zombieapocalypse

Apparently there is a Zombieapocalypse in our future. It's so close that even the CDC has published a Zombie Survival Guide.  I mean the chances of a Zombieapocalypse actually happening are probably less then nil, but around Febraury here in the Pacific Northwest, a lot of us do start to look like this.
Must. Get. Out. Of. The. House. Rivers...blown...out. Agggghhhhh, Braaaaaiiiiiiinsss.
Also this could happen if the proposed Pebble Mine gets approved. I almost guarantee that will result in some sort of Zombie type apocalypse. What does this have to do with fishing you ask. Well I shall tell you. In the event of a Zombieapocalypse, the fish will most likely turn too. You know, kind of like what the Pinks look like, only worse. So how do you keep safe during this impending doom? We have the answer here at Creekside.
"I. Know. Fly. Fishing. Like...Whoa!"
For the month of November we are offering a deal that will help you be better prepared for those zombie changing months of winter here in the Pacific Northwest. If you come in and buy one the rods you see young master Keanu holding, better known as the new Sage One series. We will throw in a Scientific Anglers GPX or Sharkskin fly line for free. Yes that's right! Free! Nothing will help you survive the Zombieapocalypse better then the One's graphite technology that leads to highly accurate long casts. It is their most accurate rod and one of the smoothest casting rods I have ever used. And with a top notch fly-line the rod will then be complete. So all silliness aside let's recap:

If you buy a new Sage One fly-rod, we will throw in a SA GPX or Sharkskin fly-line for free. That's an $80 value, free!

This deal will last the entire month of November or until supplies last. So come on down, try one out and stock up for the upcoming months of fly-tying, steelheading and rain. Get the boomstick of fly-fishing and use it's accuracy to slay some zombies...err...fish.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Disclaimer: The Sage One is not guaranteed to actually impede zombies, vampies, werewolves, aliens, disgruntled spouses, or any other supernatural creature. Deal runs through November 30th or until fly-line supplies last.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ice, Ice, Baby. Fly-Tying 101: #2 Ice Nymph

A lot of today's flies are regional. They tend to only exist in certain locations, mainly because people who guide/fish in those regions are told this is what works here by people like, well, me. After spending a summer guiding in Southwest Colorado, on rivers like the Juan, Animas, Gunnison, Florida, etc. I picked up flies that I hadn't seen before that worked really well. This ice nymph is one of them. I use the blue on the Yakima in a size 18 and caught a lot of fish. Surprising because I was told by multiple people that it only works in Colorado/Utah/Wyoming. HAH! Well it works here too. So here we go with our second victim of the week. The Ice Nymph, no not those little white haired chicks you see in fairy tales and bad B movies, but the little nymph that sparkles in the water. You can tie the body in any number of colors, but for this exercise it will be in blue.
Supply List:
Hook: Daichi 1150 #16-22
Thread: 8/0 Black
Tail: Black Saddle Hackle Fibers
Body: Holographic Flashabou, Blue
Rib: Silver Ultra Wire, Brassie
Thorax: Black Ice Dub
Head: Black Cyclops Bead, Mini

Step 1: Slide bead on to the hook. Wrap the thread back over the shank to attach it, cut excess tag off. Wrap back evenly to bend so the thread builds an even body base layer. Cut off a clump of hackle fibers, tie in at the bend butt first. You want the tail fibers to be about as long as the hook shank. 

Step 2: Tie in ultra wire under between the hook gap at the bend. Cut 2-3 pieces of flashabou, tie in flashabou right where you tied in the tail fibers. Wrap the flashabou forward to right behind the bead head, tie off. Wrap the ultra wire forward in the same direction you see in the photo above.

Step 3: Tie in a dubbing loop. Place a pinch of the ice dub into the loop and spin. Wrap the dubbing from where you tied in the wire and flashabou, forward to the bead. Tie off the loop, cut the excess, whip finish, and you are finished.

Colors: You can tie this fly in multiple colors. Keep the tail and ice dub black and just swap out which flashabou color you are using. Purple, Olive, Pearl, Blue, Red, Root Beer, Pink, and Lime Green are some of the colors you could try. I prefer the Holographic Flashabou, but the normal stuff works just as well.

Where it Fishes: This fly fishes for trout in multiple applications. It works on rivers in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, but for those of you looking for it to work closer to home. I have used this fly on the Yakima with extreme success, especially dropped below a stonefly nymph like a Pat's. It will work on the Snoqualmie Forks, Cedar, Greenwater and other rivers where a BWO hatch is fairly prevalent. The smaller sizes would probably also work on the Ford.

As I stated earlier, all the posts regarding our tying will also be followed up on our tying page via our website. You can go there and see previous flies by clicking, Creekside Tying Page.

Until next time.
Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moooooaaaaal. Fly-tying 101: #1 The Moal Leech

For some reason Fly-fishing is along the same lines as today's electronic craze. Everyone rushes out to grab the newest fangled device because somehow it will improve your daily life. "I just got this iPhone 5GSTX. It's amazing! It tells me when I should actually communicate with another human being...in person..." Anyway...fly-fishing is the same way. New flies, lines, rods, waders, jackets, dynamite, err...I mean...nets, yes nets. When they come out someone has to have it. This doesn't happen as much with other items as it does flies. I believe "A River Runs Through It" summarizes it best. He tied on some new fangled fly the size of a chicken and heaved it out there. New flies make appearances throughout the year and when they do people always want them.

Sometimes newer isn't better but we are starting a new blog tradition here at Creeky. Twice a week we will be choosing a fly and giving instructions on how to tie it up, how to fish it and where to use it. So let us proceed with our first victim, the Moal Leech. You will probably need two vices for this fly or if you have an articulated attachment for your vice ignore that.

Thread 6/0, 3/0- color matches the front crosscut color
Backing 20-50lb (Gel Spun works best for the threading)
Crosscut Rabbit Strips (Many color combos, which we will dive into)
Flashabou- Multiple colors, personal favorites are Holographic pearl, blue, purple and red
Gamakatsu Octopus Hooks #2
Gamakatsu B10S #1-4
Large Coneheads- Silver, black, pink, or orange
Optional: Lead wire, Schlappen, Guinea, Beer (preferably Rainier)

Step 1: Place vice on table....Ok I keed, I keed. Seriously though put the vice on the table. Take the Gama B10S hook, slide conehead onto hook, run backing through back of conehead to the eye, feed the backing through the eye and then back through the front of the conehead. Tie down your thread and over the two pieces of backing. Zap-a-Gap the shank and let it dry for a minute.

Step 2: Pinch the backing and thread it through the Gama Octo Hook, pull that loop through and over the hook bend and pull it tight. Set your fly length by taking the tag end of the backing (the one not glued to the shank already). Once you have determined your length, run that tag back to the hook, tie it down with thread and Zap-a-Gap.

Step 3: Choose your crosscut color combo. We generally like pink/purple, blue/black, purple, black, etc. I will get into those later. After you chose your color. Zap-a-Gap the backing, pinch the crosscut onto the backing just in front of the trailing hook eye, and wrap forward, crosscut fibers angling towards the back of the fly, pinching down each wrap to secure the crosscut via the Zap-a-Gap. If you are doing a dual colored fly follow the instructions in 3b. If not, wrap all the way to the conehead gluing the shank periodically.
           Step 3b:  Once you get one wrap on the shank, pinch it down, cut it, and tie back over the crosscut a bit with the thread. Add your next color, making sure you are wrapping it the same way, tie it down, hit it with some glue and wrap forward to the conehead.

Step 4: Cut the excess rabbit off, tie it down with a few wraps of thread. Take your Flashabou, cut 3-5 strands out, tie it on one side of fly, trim so it is the same length as the fly. Repeat this process on the other side.

Step 5: Take some rabbit from your front color, pull the hairs off the strip, and dub it on your thread. Wrap tight to the conehead, whip finish and trim. Cut the front hook at the crosscut wrap with a pair of metal cutters. Your fly is read to fish.

Options: There are a multitude of color combinations and optional things you can do with this fly, which is what makes it one of the most versitile flies on the market today. You can fish it for winter steel, summer steel, trout, bass and salmon. You can change the length of the fly by changing the length of your backing. You can swap out the dubbing with guinea or schlappen and give it more contrast. Some guys slide a bead above the trailing hook and wrap crosscut around that. The options are endless.

Popular Colors: Purple/Pink, Red/Orange, Black, Purple, Black/Blue, Olive, White, Flesh/Red, Purple/Baby Blue, Cerise/Pink, Pink.  You can basically decide what colors you want and make them your own.

This fly is super simple to tie and has so many applications it would be a folly to not at least, have some in your box, especially you steelheaders.

We also have a fly-tying page on our site where you will be able to peruse this info at your own leisure, considering we are updating the blog a lot more frequently now and I know scrolling down is taxing... You can go here to find it Fly-Tying Corner

Until next time.
Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skip Morris Tying Seminar

On Tuesday December 13, Skip Morris (author of ten fly-fishing and -tying books

including FLY TYING MADE CLEAR AND SIMPLE, WESTERN RIVER HATCHES, and TROUT FLIES FOR RIVERS to name but a few) will return to our shop to conduct a 2 ½-hour tying/fishing
clinic. The title of the clinic is "Tying and Fishing Flies for Mayfly Hatches," and that pretty much says it.

Skip will provide you a handout with dressings and photos of the flies and information on the major mayfly hatches of the West. During the clinic he will switch from a Powerpoint presentation to tying (with a videocamera and a television to really show what he's doing) and back throughout the evening. The
photos show the insects and the imitations as Skip explains how the hatches work and how to fish the flies effectively. During the tying segments you'll see his technique close up projected on a screen from video camera live. Skip's been performing and polishing photo/tying clinics for years and they're very effective learning tools and entertaining.

Ask questions, take notes, enjoy the show.

Clinic starts at 6pm. Cost is $35 per person and space is limited. Please call Issaquah @ 425-392-3800 for more info or to sign up.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Up, UP and AWAY: Winter Destination Post

The Pacific Northwest is renowned for it's lovely winter weather. If your definition of lovely is wet, cold, dark, foggy and did I mention wet? For most of us (I exclude myself from that generalization due to RSA otherwise known as Rampant Steelhead Addiction) the only things that consider that weather lovely are sasquatch, vampires, werewolves and the common mixture of all three otherwise known as a steelhead addict. For those of you that feel like this cat come January:

I know exactly what you are thinking right now. That cat has about as much chance of  landing dry as Paul Wulff has of keeping his job. Anyway I digress. We were talking of places to get away to.  Here at Creekside we do our best to cure the mid-winter blues by offering an ever expanding selection of getaways. Some to warmer inclines, others may just be a short jaunt away from the snarl that becomes Seattle to chase fish, drink some beer and have a general hoot of a time, eh? Here are some places we offer to get you out of the house and away from those chores, watching the Seahawks, tying 40 dozen size 18 elk hairs, etc

North Andros Fly-Fishing: Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snappers, Cudas, etc. It's warm, it's friendly, and it is called the bonefishing capital of the world for a reason. Between the guides and the accommodations, nothing melts away months of a cold Northwest winter then Mai Tai's and sandy beaches.

Andros South: Bonefish, bonefish and more bonefish. This place has it all and if you ever get tired of bonefishing (pfft...yeah right...like that would happen) you can go explore on some hikes to see lakes and cays around the lodge. The guides here can work with anyone and ensure that your experience is one to be remembered.

Turneffe Flats Resort: Looking for a place to get out to in the winter but your significant other won't let you go without taking her? This is the perfect place for both of you. You can go chase permit, bonefish, tarpon while he/she goes diving, swimming, Eco tours, etc. The perfect mid-winter vacation for both of you.

Fly-Fish New Orleans, Redfish Charters: Jumbo Redfish on the fly, guides that have fished the area for 20+ years, New Orleans. Need I say more? Didn't think so.

Flygal Adventures: BC Winter runs. With April Vokey and company. You've seen all her fish pics right? She knows what she is doing and so do her fellow guides. Every steelhead addict wants to fish BC for steelhead, myself included. I know it won't be very warm, but it's BC for steelhead and it gets you the heck out of the house. I think you can deal.

OP Steel with Troy Dettman: So one a little closer to home that won't cost you an arm and a leg to travel to. For true steelhead addicts the Olympic Peninsula is as close to BC steel as you can get. Yes, it will be cold and most likely rainy and if you're not careful you could be some tweeny hearthrobs lunch, it's totally worth it for jumbo chromers. Troy knows his stuff and you might even get to fish with me. Yeah, yeah. I'm not as pretty as April but what I lack in looks I make up for in wit...I think. 

If you are looking for the ejection seat for mid-winter, give us a call or drop on in and we can get your getaway rolling. Whatever your heart desires, even if it's just a trout trip on the Yakima we can do that too. We promise you won't end up like that cat above if you get out to one of these places, but if you stay at home this winter....who knows....

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The "Albums that Make Driving to Fish Enjoyable" Post

Between driving all over the state to steelhead and commuting back and forth over the pass 4 days a week, I have been blowing through my iPod's substantial music storage.  It got me thinking (since we have nothing new to report that you haven't already heard) some of the best albums to crank while driving to your favorite locales.  These are generally best used to drown out your buddies incessant mumbling about having to wake up at 3:30am and pay for gas, the ring of your cell phone because your significant other or boss has called 40 times wondering why you aren't home to rake the leaves or at your box finishing those TPS reports, or your attempt to break up the monotony that is driving to fish. 

So here are my top albums to listen to while driving to fish. 

Steelheading Trips: Whether I am driving to the Grand Ronde, OP, Klickitat or "insert steelhead destination here", I tend to listen to music that is more melancholic most likely preparing me for the myth that is Steelhead and what I am more likely to catch. Rain, fish that hang just to the left/right/up/down of where I cast and fellow fisherman babbling incoherently about the way it used to be and/or the one that got away that was absolutely huge (it was actually a whitefish or minnow but their current state of mind refuses to allow them to compute that fact), more rain, vampires, werewolves, a rainier stealing Sasquatch, etc. Anyone who steelheads knows the pain of it all too well. Also, Metallica at 3:30am just isn't my cup of tea even it does drown out the babbling of my fishing partner who claims he has caught fish on dead drifted dry flies in January and that it is the only "true way" to fish for steelhead. Whatever, maybe I will turn on Metallica.

1. Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" and "Neon Bible"
2. Sister Hazel "Fortress"
3. Kings of Leon "Come Around Sundown"
4. Pink Floyd "Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd"
5. Brad Paisley "American Saturday Night" (Play this to scare away the vampires, trust me they are hippy vampires and country music makes them burst into flames, just sayin.)

Trout Fishing: Since I live in Cle Elum driving to trout fishing doesn't normally take an extensive amount of my day before I am on the river but when I travel back to Jackson Hole, Durango or Montana I have certain music that keeps me awake the entire 12-20 hours it takes to arrive at my destination. I honestly have no rhyme or reason to my musical choices on these trips, in fact I generally just put the iPod on shuffle and let it roam free, but eventually I do decide to find an album and go with it. I have rules associated with music played driving to trout fish.
Rule #1. Lady Googa or whatever her name is, is not allowed on the radio or in any conversation Exception: The Lonely Island song with Justin Timberlake from SNL.
Rule #2. A Prince or Michael song can only be played once a trip. If you attempt to break this rule you risk being left in the middle of nowhere without a cell phone or sleeping bag.
Rule #3. Whining about the music will only cause it to get louder until your babbling can no longer be heard.

1. The National "Terrible Love"
2. Gorillaz "Plastic Beach"
3. Led Zeppelin "BBC Sessions"
4. Metallica "Black Album"
5. The Mountain Goats "Tallahassee"

Ok. So you have some of the music that I listen to while travelling to fishing locales. I could have thrown in Iron and Wine, Mumford and Sons, Various Country Artists, LCD Soundsystem, etc. But those are the most listened to albums on my iPod. Oh, and if you are ever in Alaska, and on a Beaver, I recommend something loud like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Megadeth. It helps cut out the drone of the airplane.

I would be interested in seeing what y'all's choices are for this. Comment below with your choices or on the Facebook page when this shows up. Also you can tell me my musical choices suck or belong to a crazy person or whatever. It's completely fine, I won't hold it against you...much.

Until next time.
Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yakima River Report: Carpet Bomb Edition

Young Frank and I joined the flotilla army on the Yakima River Canyon yesterday for some guiding. We were two of about 40 boats, carpet bombing the entire region with a mixture of dry flies, streamers and trapped air technology. I'm assuming with the amount of watercraft searching the area for signs of both aquatic and non-aquatic species (there are hunters using boats on the river to find animals) to harass is why the fishing was a bit slow. Don't get me wrong, we still caught fish, but only a couple of consequential size.

We found that the smaller nymphs were working better and if it's something they haven't seen the better chance you have at fooling them. Streamers were working as well.  We got two fish over 18 inches and a bunch ranging in the 10-12 inch area and a ton of fingerlings.  For now I would recommend staying away from the lower canyon until the carpet bombing has eased up and focus on the upper stretches near Thorp or Cle Elum or the Ensign Ranch Boat Launch.

For flies I would use the following:

Pat's Stone Orange or Black #6, 8
WMD October Caddis #6
WMD Black #6, 8
Lightning Bugs #18-20 in blue, pearl, green or purple
BH Sparkle Pupa Olive #18-20
Glo Bugs in pink, orange or red/yellow

Orange Stimulator  #6, 8
BWO Cripple Olive #18-20
RH Crystal Stimulator #6, 8
M's October Caddis #6, 8
BWO Sparkle Dun Olive #18-20
Q's Marabou Cripple Olive #18-20

Sculpzilla Olive, Tan or White #4, 6
Dali Llama Olive/White #6
Weirs Sculpin Olive #6

That's all I have for now. Have fun fighting the masses in Lower Canyon or the cold crisp autumn air in the upper reaches. Fall is a perfect time on the Yakima to stalk fish and get away from that significant other who is hounding you to clean the gutters, rake leaves, fix that porch rail...

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chrome Report: Klickitat Edition

So I have been chasing chrome all over the state since I wandered back in from Alaska in September. The Ronde, the Snoqualmie (just because it is where our casting lessons take place and I can fish for an hour before I head home) and the Klickitat.  The Ronde was slow due to low water and semi-high water temps, but with the recent rains, the reports have gotten better. More fish have moved up from the mouth and are holding in the usual places, you know, just left of where you placed your cast.

I headed down the past two days to hang out with Johnny Steeltrout and few of the other boys over at the Steelhead Ranch on the Klickitat. Johnny and I put in two hard days of fishing on the river with good results.

Granted we were doing some super long floats and mostly fishing under trapped air technology but we did swing and get a few tugs. Earlier this week a young lady landed about an 18 pounder on the swing and there have been other reports along the same nature. The water clouded up a bit with the rains which made the fish less skittish and more willing to eat. We were fishing the usual suspects. ESL's in purple or black, stoneflies, and beads on the nymph rigs. For the swinging use the Hobo Spey black/orange or black/chart, blue/black Loop leeches, black/purple or black moal leeches with an orange conehead, intruders in black/chart black/blue black/purple black/orange black/red.  I would use a deep sinking line either some t-8 or t-14 a type 6 is about as light as I would go.

The fishing has been good and if you want someone to guide you we recommend the guys over there at The Evening Hatch and their Steelhead Ranch because not only will you catch some fish you'll also enjoy the conversation shared with them and have yourself a good time in general.

So if you would like to begin your quest to catch that elusive steelhead, head on into the shop and we'll set you up with what you need to get after it, either on your own or with a guide.

I think there may be a Yak report in store for Sunday so keep reading....if you dare.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Snoqualmie Brewerys' Save Bristol Bay Night

Our buddies over at the Snoqualmie Brewery are putting together a little shindig for Bristol Bay on Thursday October 13th @ 7pm. Here is the flyer with more detailed info.  Head on over have a brew and help stop the Pebble Mine.

A Grand Ronde report is forthcoming.Soon, very soon.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Monday, October 3, 2011


So there is a vote tomorrow on the Pebble Mine. Something we should all be paying attention to. Here is the article about it in the Alaska Dispatch.

Pebble Gold Mine: A Vote For Southwest Alaska's Future?

We here at Creekside are against this and after working in Bristol Bay this summer as a guide has only strengthened my opposition to this epic bad idea. Largest open pit mine in the world on the largest remaining wild salmon run in the world? Did we mention it is also located on one of the most active faultlines in Alaska too? What about this sounds like a good idea? None of it.

It's amazing how the movement to stop Pebble is finally picking up steam and garnering some attention.  If you are new to this and haven't heard about it, here's some information on some conservation groups that are working to stop the mine from happening and even a letter from Maria Cantwell. And some information on Salmon Conservation groups in our neck of the woods.

Save Bristol Bay

KEEP WATER CLEAN: Renewable Resources Coalition

Maria Cantwell's Letter

Washington Conservation Groups

Save Our Wild Salmon

Coastal Conservation Association

We have free stickers here at the shop that look like this

So stop on in and gear up for fishing. The Steelheading on the dryside is startiing to get hot, hot, hot! I am heading out to the Grand Ronde and the Methow this weekend. So I'll make sure to keep y'all updated on how it's fishing.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hot Fall Fishing and How to Capitalize

This fall in Washington is shaping up to be a stellar year to chase whatever your heart desires. From the dry fly destroying bows and cutthroat on the Yakima to the heart attack inducing, light fire to your reel runs of the steelhead on the (insert name of dryside steelhead river here) to the stalking jumbo chrome while peering through the fog wondering if that shape is a Sasquatch (hide the Rainier!) or one of those sparkly vampire type things that now apparently have infested Forks to well you get the idea.  This state has some of the most diverse fishing you will find anywhere.

And to complement that diversified portfolio of fishing opportunity, we here at Creekside Angling have a full stable of guides that can complement any type of experience you are looking to have. Wait?! Creekside has guides you say? Why yes, yes we do.

And unlike many places that give you the "OMG the river is ON FIRE RIGHT NOW! COME DO A TRIP!" spiel even though the rain is coming down in buckets and you have to dodge farm houses, trees and the occasional ark while on the river casting into water the consistency and color of melted chocolate. We will tell you whether a trip is worth your time and hard earned money.

So stop by or drop us a line (that means phone call not actually dropping line on us at the shop) and we can get you pointed in the right direction on your dream trip or just plain trip to experience the fly fishing diversity of Washington.  Oh, I mean you can email us too or go to the website here to peruse our guides and trips.


Btw. The Yakima is actually on fire right now, as of yesterday. Eggs, flesh and sculpins up high above Cle Elum and Crane Fly dries down in the Farmlands and Lower Canyon. And I have heard that the Methow, Klickitat and Ronde are all fishing well. So get out and angle.

Feed Fish Flies

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Methow and Wenatchee open, right....MEOW!

Not much to say other then what I did in the blog title. The two best swing rivers on the dryside of the state within reasonable travel time of you crazy yahoos in Seattle have officially opened as of right meow. Here is the posting from WDFW so you can read the actual regulations.


We have all you need to go satisfy your self inflicted pain that is known as steelheading. Hobo speys, moal leeches, traditional wet flies and skaters. If you feel like nymphing we have stones, egg sucking stones, ESL's and even...erg...beads. You want we've got it, but hurry I expect this news may cause a mad rush.

So come in right meow and get your steelhead fix on the dryside rolling.

Am I saying meow? Of course not! Do I look like a cat to you....

Feed Fish Flies

Monday, September 26, 2011

The "Sorry-but-we've-been-too-busy-fishing-to-post"...umm...post.

So since the last post we've lost two mainstays here at Creeky to geographical relocations. Brett and Johnny Steelhead have both moved further south and we wish them luck on their travels. All is not lost however, if you wish to see them one last time, both are out fishing their butts off on dryside steelhead rivers for a few more weeks.

Speaking of fishing, we have been doing a lot of it. I just returned from a summer of guiding in Alaska and throwing beads at trout to a whole different ballgame on the Yakima of, well, throwing beads. Yes, I said it, beads. The King spawn is on above the Teanaway on the upper Yakima. You can fish glo-bugs, ESL's, 6-8mm beads of the Natrual Roe or Dark Roe variety and get that Alaska fishing experience right here in your own backyard without the Get-Yourself-Divorced pricetag. There are some large rainbows and cutty's sitting on the beds pounding eggs. If this isn't your cup of tea, Orange Stimulators, Yellow Humpy's, Elk hair caddis, Crane Fly's and BWO's will work for dry fly fishing and sparkle caddis, Pat's stone in brown or black, and Baetis nymphs in 18-20's. You could try twitching hoppers in the Lower sections and get fish as well. With the water levels be aware that floating the upper sections are treacherous and a raft is recommended or else you get to play pin ball with your driftboat, especially the Ensign to Bullfrog section.

Reports from the Ronde and Klickitat have been good. The Ronde is better down low at the moment but there are fish around, you just have to angle and find them. The Klickitat went dirty but dropped back into shape and turned that wonderful "Steelhead Green". Beads, ESL's, and black stones for the nymph show and if you prefer swinging (I know I do) HoBo Speys, moal leeches, Pick yer Pockets, Smaller Intruders, and some Silvinator Tube Fly's are your best bet.

There you have it my first blog post in over a year. I will try and not fish so much so I can update this more frequently, actually, that's a lie, it's steelhead season, I will update it whenever I get a chance but no promises. Come meet the new guy, Charlie Robinton and pick his brain for info and/or harass me. We love to talk, almost as much as we love to fish.

Get out and angle.

Feed Fish Flies