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

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 person..." 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 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