Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last Chance to Steelhead on the Snohomish System

I'm sure most of you have heard that there is some emergency closures on our local rivers starting the first of February, but in case you didn't I will post the complicated mess of rules they have issued down below. This will be the last weekend for most of us to get a shot at chrome within a decent reach of Seattle and it looks like the weather Gods may bless us with some decent enough weather to chase after them with.

Anyway, here are the links to the emergency closures. Last chance to get after it without have to drive to the sparkly vampire haven of Forks.

Snohomish System Closures

Skagit System Closures

Come on down, get some tips and any equipment you may need and get after it!

Until Next Time

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bonefish Mania! Fly-Tying 101: #8 The Crazy Charlie

The months of tropical fishing have descended upon us here in the Pacific Northwest. And by that I mean, for those that don't steelhead in our lovely winter weather and can afford it, they trick their significant other into a tropical getaway, ditch them at the pool and go fish for Permit, Tarpon, Bonefish, etc. Or those of you that are lucky enough to have a fishing spouse then you can forget the ditching them at the pool part.

this usually entails loading up on leaders, tippet and of course, flies. Crabs, shrimp, and other scintillating patterns top the list, and most look like you need a PhD in physics to tie. We have a super simple fly that you can vary in color that will work, and work well. It also works up here for Salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat in pink and chartreuse, so you got that going for you as well. Here we go with fly-tying victim #8, The Crazy Charlie.

Supply List
Hook: Daichi 2546 #6
Thread: UTC 140, match color to body
Eyes: Bead Chain Eyes, silver
Body: V-Rib, Match color to thread
Throat: Calftail, Same color as body/thread
Flash: Pearl Crystal Flash

Step 1:  Anchor thread onto hook shank. Cut bead chain eyes so that you have two beads connected. Place near eye of hook leaving enough space to build a head later. X thread over the center of the bead chain eyes 8-10 times tightening it down as you go making sure the eyes stay straight. If you feel they are still loose after this you can wrap thread until you feel it is tight enough.

Step 2: Wrap thread back towards the bend of the hook, tie in the v-rib (for this we are using chartreuse, which is the most popular color), wrap thread forward in front of the bead eyes. Wrap the v-rib forward keeping it tight and being sure to not overlap. Wrap to the back of the eyes, then pull it up and over the eyes between the space. Tie it down and trim excess.

Step 3: If you have a rotary vise, flip the fly over so it is upside down. If not, Pull the fly out and turn it upside down. Take a clump of calftail (You can also use bucktail if you so wish), tie it in base first. You want the calftail to be about 1.5-2 times as long as the hook shank. Tighten it down, trim the calftail bases at an angle from the hook eye backwards.

Step 4: Cut the crystal flash the same length as the calftail, tie it in over the calftail, tighten down, trim excess and tie over the calftail and crystal flash, building a nice even head. Whip Finish. I also recommend cementing the head.

Where It Fishes: Anyplace you can find bonefish or permit or tarpon. The Bahamas, Belize, Florida Keys, etc. The green and pink version also works very well in Washington on Chum salmon, steelhead and coho in the rivers. And sea-run cutthroat, pink salmon in the sound from the beaches.

Colors: Pink, tan. chartreuse, silver, orange, black and white. I've also seen a blue version not sure if it fishes or not. 

As usual, this and other fly-tying lessons can be found on our Fly-Tying Page.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Creekside Upcoming Trips

According to many reports and some filtered through fish stories, the steelheading on the Olympic Peninsula has been good so far this year (or last year, since this is a new year technically) and should continue on through the remaining season. 

For those of you that want to fish the OP but feel intimidated by the seeming complexity or overwhelming mythology that seems to surround the Peninsula (No I don't mean vampires or werewolves, just the mysterious shroud that is OP steelheading)we may have the perfect opportunity for you, especially if you would like to gather a group of buddies and go on a fishing adventure in the land of mist and giant trees.

Troy Dettman of River Guides LLC.has open dates for individuals or groups in March on the OP. Troy has years of experience and great knowledge about Washington steelheading. His quick wit and humor create an enjoyable fishing experience for everyone.

Current Dates:
March 5-8
March 12-14
March 21-23

If you have any questions or just want some more information feel free to call us at the shop or you can contact Troy via email at or via his Facebook page, River Guides LLC.

Also for those of you looking for those Issak's Ranch dates we have our dates with Jay Robison in.

April 13th
April 14th
May 12th
May 13th

Again any inquiries can be sent to the shop at (425)392-3800 or via Issak's is Washington's premier pay to play. It's huge fish and secluded setting make it hard to beat as a destination, especially in spring when most rivers are running high and colored. Prices are $225 per rod. Spots are filling fast so get on it!

Until next time.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Best of 2011, Creekside Edition

We have entered 2012 with tails...err...tales of steelhead in our brains and dreams of fishing trips to come. 2011 was a year of high water, really high water into mid summer, a crappy summer of weather until the very end, Donald Trump's run for president and subsequent tongue lashing as he pulled out (please, please run as an independent, we all need something to laugh about), epic steelheading and great fall trout fishing.  All in all, from a fishing standpoint it was a great year. So in the effort of beating a hatchery steelhead into further submission, so to speak, we shall review the year, Creekside style.

Best Steelhead River, The Klickitat: While steelheading was pretty good across the board this past year, the Klickitat takes the cake. This fall it provided more entertainment for fly-fisherman and gear heads then Donald Trump's presidential campaign did for Jon Stewart. A lot of fish, and not just hatchery fish were being caught, lots of big wild fish, bringing smiles to even the most hardened man's face. Hell, even I caught some, which tells you just how good it was and I have proof.

See. Proof. Anyway, the Klickitat fished really well this year. We recommend you start thinking about heding down there next year, hanging out with the boys from the Steelhead Ranch and hooking some chrome in the cold, crisp autumn air.

Creekside Catch of the Year: This one was a tough one to determine.We had some good ones to peruse. From little girls holding their first fish to seasoned vets showing off slabs we got them all. So after much thought, for our Catch of the Year we have chosen. (Someone queue a drumroll or something.)
Gotcha! Ok, ok. Here is the real Catch of the Year.
Hugh and Scott doubled up on the Klickitat!

Top Fly: The bead. I keed, I keed. There were a lot of great flies this year. The one we would choose to be the top fly for this year would be everyone's favorite to say because it drums up Bill Murray. I, of course, am talking about the Dali Llama, as our fly of the year. Cinderella story, this greenskeeper...

Ok and with one finally thing.

Epic Fail of 2011: Steven Tyler. We are talking to you. You single handedly cleaned out our feather market with your silliness of using grizzly hackle, in your hair, while on American Idol. So consequently all us poor defenseless fly-fisherman had nothing to tie size 26 gnats with. So congratulations, you sir, are Creekside's Epic Fail of 2011.

There's our best and worst of 2011.

In other news the westside rivers are coming back into fishing shape, especially the Snoqualmie and Sky. So head on out and get some steelhead that are within reach of Seattle.

I hope everyone had a great New Year and here is to a very fishy 2012.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.