Friday, April 26, 2013

A Few Tips to Increase Your Stillwater Success Rate

Pete with an Isaak's Ranch tanker.

Interested in bringing more fish to the net while lake fishing this season?  We've put together a short list of tips that are sure to help keep a bend in your rod. 

Do your homework - don't rely on fishing reports.

If doing your homework before a fishing trip consists of checking the latest fishing report, then you are behind the curve already. While up to date, honest and accurate reports are certainly valuable ways to glean information, most successful anglers know that paying attention to conditions relevant to the body of water they plan to fish is the most consistent way to experience good fishing.

Simple details like water temperature and weather patterns play a huge role in fish feeding activity.  Keep a thermometer with you while you are fishing and record water temperatures, remembering that an ideal temperature for fish feeding activity is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperature changes in the lake can dictate where fish hold in the water column and also influence insect/feeding activity.  These changes can be seasonal, or they can be driven by changes in the local weather.  Keeping a log of these details will allow you to better predict where fish will be holding, when they will be actively feeding and what they will be feeding on during your next outing.

Keep an open mind - flexibility is key to consistent success.

While knowing that your buddy whacked 'em yesterday on size 14 black Sno Cone chironomids fished under an indicator in 12 feet of water is a good starting point, keep in mind that conditions, insect and fish activity can change at the drop of a hat.  It is always easy to start your day with a technique you are confident in.  The interesting thing is that many anglers will continue to fish in their "comfort zone" regardless of their success rate.  Doing what worked before is sound enough logic to begin with, but continuing to do something that isn't working just because it worked yesterday, last week or last year is crazy. 

Think from the bottom up.  If there are no signs of surface activity on the lake, consider fishing a hi density line and a chironomid pattern with a traditional slow hand twist retrieve.  While it has fallen out of style in favor of the more popular "chironomid suspended below indicator" technique, fishing your fly  from the bottom up allows you to play a more active role by searching out the fish in the water column.  When you hook a fish, pay attention to how much line is left out the tip of your rod. This will give you a general idea of the depth where fish are holding and feeding.

When all else fails, remember the t-bone.

This tip comes from our Northwest Sage sales rep and resident stillwater expert George Cook.  Trout can be finicky and stubborn at times, and sometimes giving them a morsel they just can't resist is the only way to get them to strike.  During tough situations George likes to break out what he refers to as the "t-bone steak of aquatic critters," adding that "even inactive fish will rarely turn down a well presented dragonfly nymph."  As is the case with all fly fishing techniques, presentation is the key here.  Dragonfly nymphs move in short bursts by ejecting a jet of water from the gill cavity in their abdomen.  To imitate this movement, George likes to use a series of short 6-8 inch strips followed by a pause.  Try it on your next outing and you may be surprised with the results!

Jay Robeson doing what he does best!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Big Fat Pig Fishing Report

April is one of the best months for catching big fat pigs in here in Washington! Chunky 'bows and cutts are gobbling down March Browns on the Yakima, submarine lake fish are inhaling chironomids over at Issac's and the Puget Sound is full of hungry sea runs gorging themselves on salmon fry. These are just a few of the many places to hook up with a toad this time of year! Don't forget about Rattlesnake right here outside North Bend, where the fish are growing big and healthy. We've also heard some whispers about some saucy browns being caught over at Pass lake on shiner imitations. Oink Oink!!

Have a Facebook account?
"LIKE" our Facebook page and enter to win a brand new fly rod and reel during our April giveaway!
See below for details...

HEY! YOU! Send in photos of fish you've captured and we will put them on our website in our Catch of the Week section. Email your photos to Bonus points for a Creekside hat. Here are a few more for your perusal.

#1 Speaking of Pigs... Peter Prideaux wrangled this completely rediculous bonefish out of the Cook Islands. WOW! YES PLEASE!!!
Anyone been fishing around here?? Send us some photos and we'll immortalize you on the fishing report!

For more pics and updated fly tying instruction/videos check out our blog here.

Yakima: The Yakima has been a roller coaster in the past couple of weeks. Blown out last week, high but fishing well over the weekend into the beginning of this week and now it is on its way back up again. With clear skies and moderate temps predicted for next week we should see the river come back into shape relatively quickly. When fishable, the river has been good to anglers. Mid-day hatches of March browns have become the main show and both the dries and nymphs are producing some nice fish throughout the day. Bob Aid fished on Wednesday when the river was in shape and reported that while the action wasn't gangbusters, they had some solid dry fly fishing for about an hour on Parachute March Browns and Cripple patterns, bringing a couple really nice fish to hand in the process. He also mentioned that a size 14 pheasant tail nymph was a top pick when the fish weren't looking up.  

Flies to try are: Parachute March Brown (12-14), D&D March Brown Cripple (12-14), Skwala Stimulator (8-10), CFO Hummer Skwala (8-10), Rubber Legged stonefly (8-10), BH Pheasant Tail nymph #14-20, Lightning Bug Pearl #14-20, Zebra Midge (16-20), Red Brassie (16-20), Red Copper John (16-20),Tungsten Bruised Baetis (16-20), Purple Lightning Bug (16-20), Tungsten Salvation Nymph (12-16), Sculpzilla (4-8), Sheila Sculpin (4), Beldar (2-8), Slap & Tickle (4).

Lakes: We've been getting some pleasing reports from Rattlesnake. It seems this year that the lake is coming into its own and many of our customers have been doing quite well. The word is the fish have been big, healthy and plentiful! Dragging around buggers and leeches is a great technique out here if you don't want to do the chironomid thing. Of course if you can get on top of some fish the chironomids have been working well too. Smalles sized in blacks and reds have been the ticket.
Jay Robeson had his first days on Issak's Ranch last weekend. Fishing lived up to last years expectations and they caught some jumbos, especially on the lower lake! All of our May trips are sold out, but if you are signed up to go with Jay or if you are heading out with another shop bring plenty of olive Hale Bopp Leeches and chironomid patterns like Jim Beams and Chironomid Bombers in sizes 10-16.
As a bonus, the Ford has been surprising us lately with some cool hatches and good dry fly fishing! Pete fished there over the weekend and caught several solid fish on top during a midday callibaetis hatch. Not bad when every other stream in the state is blown out!

Flies to try: Hale Bopp Leech (8-10), Peacock Carey (8-10), Wooley Buggers (8-10), Ice Cream Cone (10-16), Holo Cironomid (10-16), Chironocones (10-16), Knobel Chironomids (10-16).

NaCl Water:
Cutthroat are still chowing on chum fry in Puget Sound. The fry are pretty well spread out on the regular beaches and the cutties in some of these spots have become a little bit more selective, especially when there are alot of fry around. Make sure to have a few different fry patterns in a variety of sizes to closely match the available bait. Also, keep a lookout for small sand lance as these little guys should start making an appearance soon.

*For those of you who are new to beach fishing and want to give it a go, we offer guided beach fishing trips as well as trips out of the boat with our head guide Chris Senyohl. For more info on these trip visit our shop or give us a call at 425-392-3800*

Flies To Try: Chum Baby, Chumpy Fry, Lord of the Fry, Wests Imitator, Foul Free Herring, Seth's Sand Lance,Rolled Muddlers, Wooley Buggers, Miyawaki Poppers, Clouser Minnows.


Experience the Best Juvenile Tarpon Fishing in the World


Creekside Tarpon Tour: May 17-25, 2014

Here at Creekside Angling Company the passion for tropical saltwater fishing runs deep. For the past 20 years we have been exploring the finest and most exciting saltwater destinations. Our travels have taken us from Florida and the Bahamas to Belize and Ascension Bay, Christmas Island and several other fantastic locations. This year we wanted to do something extra special and unique, so we talked to the boys at Fly Water Travel and they introduced us to a one of a kind tarpon fishery in the Yucatan. By all accounts the juvenile tarpon fishing at Isla Del Sabalo and Tarpon Cay Lodge has to be experienced to be believed. 

A Destination With Multiple Personalities...

We have been working closely with Fly Water Travel to come up with a program that will allow us to spend a few days fishing at each lodge in order to experience the varied fisheries at both destinations. Each has its own unique personality and the best way to get the most out of the trip is to fish both! 

Tarpon Cay: Sight Fishing the Flats

Tarpon Cay Lodge is located on the north shore of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where most of the fishing occurs over very shallow flats that are covered by a dark colored, broad leafed turtle grass. Roving schools of tarpon in the 5lb – 15lb class can number just a few or several hundred. The lodge utilizes spacious 18 foot pangas with an extensive level casting deck and all fly fishing is conducted out of these stealthy, stable, and comfortable fishing platforms. The nearest boundary of the fishery is very close to the lodge and, therefore, only requires a 15 - 25 minute boat ride to arrive at most of your Yucatan fly fishing areas.
The fishing can be fast paced and explosive. On a calm day, it is not uncommon to observe pods of Tarpon rolling and slashing bait on the flats - an awe-inspiring moment to say the least ... don't forget to cast.

Isla Del Sabalo: "Island of Tarpon"

Isla del Sabalo is located off of the northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The fertile mangrove-lined waters of Mexico’s northern Yucatan Peninsula represent the most prolific juvenile tarpon fishery in the world. Ranging in size from 5 to 30+ pounds, the tarpon here reside in environs of turtle grass flats and mangrove lined lagoons, creeks, and channels. The hallmark of this fishery is the gin-clear flats and the amazing network of backcountry lagoons and channels. These characteristics make this fishery an incredible rearing ground for these resident baby tarpon. Whether you are sight casting to rolling tarpon on the flats or working the mangroves with your top-water pattern, fly fishing for tarpon at Isla del Sabalo is a pure adrenaline rush.


The best way to describe the accomodations at both lodges is simple and comfortable. The region these lodges are situated in has all of the rustic charm of a traditional fishing village.
Isla Del Sabalo is on a beach front facing the open ocean. Guests stay in spacious ocean front cottages equipped with air-conditioning, fans, and a full private bath with shower (hot and cold water). There is a housekeeping service that cleans the room and replaces, towels, bottled drinking water, cups, and bar soap each day. A unique feature of the property is the beach front “palapa”. This wonderful area is perfect for relaxing after a long day of chasing Tarpon.

The accommodations at Tarpon Cay Lodge are comfortable, bright, and enriched with traditional Mexican decor. A spacious lounge provides dining areas, comfortable seating for relaxing, and a nice workspace for fly tying or working on tackle at the day's end. Upstairs, the spacious guest rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, fans, and a full private bath with shower. Rooms are bright with a nice ocean view.
The meals are another highlight of the fishing here. Hearty portions with a local flavor are an absolute culinary delight for the big appetite. Breakfast is ordered the night prior from a full menu (American and Mexican dishes). Your breakfast will be promptly served in the morning to assure you an on-time start of your daily fishing adventure. Lunches consist of made-to-order sandwiches, snacks, and assorted beverages.

Upon your return from an exciting day of tarpon-mania, dinner is served. Entrees may include chicken, pork, or the catch-of-the-day - fish, shrimp, or even lobster! Additionally, the lodge can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Let the staff know and they will prepare an appetizing alternative that is often looked over with envy by your fellow dinner guests.

The Program

The trip is set up so that we will have three days of fishing at each lodge. From week to week the fishing program depends largely on tides and weather conditions. On some weeks, you will fish from morning through the afternoon. On other weeks, the program may consist of fishing the AM hours, a break mid-day (lunch/”siesta”!), and then an evening session of fishing. Your guides will determine the program based on the optimum timing of tides and weather. 


May 17: Arrive Cancun (Airport CUN)
May 18 – 20: 3 days guided fishing at Tarpon Cay Lodge
May 21: Transfer to Isla Del Sabalo
May 22 – 24: 3 days guided fishing at Isla Del Sabalo
May 25: Depart Merida (Airport MID)


$3,595.00 per person based on double occupancy for an 8 night/6 day fishing package

There are only 5 spots available for this trip!
Call and reserve your spot today: (425) 392-3800

Included: Guided fishing, accommodations and meals at Tarpon Cay, non-alcoholic beverages, guest taxes, fishing licenses, ground transfers to and from Cancun airport.

Not Included: Airfare, gratuities, phone services, internet access, laundry service, alcoholic beverages, meals in Cancun, fly fishing gear and tackle.

"Baby tarpon weighing up to about 20 pounds and small tarpon up to about 50 pounds are a delight to catch on tackle matched to the task. Whenever you have an opportunity to do this type of fishing, whether for baby tarpon or the giants, don't pass it up. You will never have a more meaningful or memorable angling experience. In fact, as one fellow put it, 'I thought I died and went to Heaven.'"

- Excerpt from Fishing the Flats, by Lefty Kreh and Mark Sosin

Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on this trip. We expect this trip to fill fast so if you want to reserve your spot or you would like more info call or e-mail the shop right away! 

(425) 392-3800

Intermediate Casting Classes With FFF Certified Casting Instructor Bill Wheeler- 

Sharpen your casting skills with FFF certified casting instructor Bill Wheeler. Intermediate casting classes are a great way for fly fishermen to brush up on basic technique, increase casting distance and improve accuracy. These classes are also a great supplement to our "Intro to Fly Fishing" classes for beginners looking to take their casting skills to the next level. For more info on these classes or to sign up for a date, please call our Issaquah location (425) 392 3800 or check the "Classes" section of our website for upcoming dates and pricing

Gift Certificates are available.

NEW!! Featured Product for 4/20/2013:
- Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

The new Ledges 500 waist pack from Umpqua is the best pack of its kind we've seen. One of unique features of this bag is the suspended mesh back panel that creates a comfortable and ventilated fit. Roomy pockets and cleverly designed gear compartments have room for all of your fly boxes and accessories. A wide, detatchable shoulder strap allows the bag to be worn sling style for ease of access. Come by the shop to check out these and the rest of the amazing new pack lineup from Umpqua!
Price: $99.99

Come on in to Creekside and check them out today!

Feed Fish Flies.

Charlie Robinton

Creekside Angling Company
Seattle & Issaquah, WA 

Planning a trip? Check out our friends at Off the Hook Fly Fishing Travel, a team of devoted fly fishing pros committed to connecting you with the very best fly fishing guide or fly fishing trip possible. They are experienced anglers and world travelers devoted to ensuring that clients receive the best up to date information on angling oportunities. This will be important in timing your fishing trip and in helping you choose the best fly fishing guide or global fishing destination. They book trips to destinations such as Belize, the Bahamas, Mexico and Alaska, but are happy to call Northern California home. Keep them in mind when you are looking for destination travel or fly fishing guide trips on the Lower Sacramento, Yuba, Trinity, McCloud, Pit, Feather or Putah Creek in Northern California. 

Attention Washington anglers: Boating laws in Washington state have changed. If you operate a motorized vessel 15hp or above on Washington waterways you are required by law to take a boating safety course and get your Washington boat license. Be safe while you are out fishing and don't get caught without it!
Take a safe boating course and get your boat license in Washington State to increase your fishing success and safety.

Make a difference. More controversial than the Chicago Blacksox, I'm sure most of you have heard about the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay Alaska. You've also probably heard about the environmentally disasterous potential this mine poses. Either way please read up on the issue and join the fight to stop the construction of the Pebble Mine. For more info go to Sportsman's Aliiance for Alaska or Renewable Resources Coalition or Save Bristol Bay.

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Creekside Angling Company
1410A NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

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