What a beautiful skunking!

30 01 2010

Not even a bump. Three side-drifters fished through the water I was swinging and hooked up though.

Hard to get too worked up about it when you’ve spent your day wading through braided channels surrounded by huge moss covered trees, and every time the wind shifts upstream you get a blast of salt air.

The OP is certainly a pretty place

Spent the last hour and a half of daylight scouting out other access points and different streams. This was my first fishing trip to the west end, hopefully it is the first of many.


Bacon + Chocolate ????

26 01 2010

YES, and it is DELICIOUS!

The pieces of bacon are very small and crunchy, so the texture is more like biting into a chocolate crunch bar. The salty, smokey flavors of the bacon are a perfect compliment to the dark chocolate.  Makes a great snack for when your working at your desk. Available at Whole Paycheck and other fine stores

turbulent flow and steelhead flies

8 01 2010

For all you science nerds who want to understand how to make the most lifelike marabou-

Place an object in a fluid flow and it will leave a wake of turbulence behind it

Place a collar of guinea on a fly, put marabou behind that, and the marabou will dart back and forth in that wake of turbulent water

Oh yeah, and then a steelhead eats it : )

The year in pictures

21 12 2009

A few of my favorite pics from the past year…

…the southern oregon coast

salmon river estuary at sunset

the view from cascade head

laying out line in my favorite trout run

fish on in a small side channel

the elwha gorge

playing in the salmonberry

the devils staircase


triple falls

the columbia

wachila falls

Angling Addiction

16 12 2009

Found on vimeo, if this doesn’t make you want to quit your job and become a guide nothing will…

Angling Addiction

Oregon Coast Steelhead

12 12 2009


Love the take at 1:15

Why Skagit Casting?

5 12 2009

Most people break spey casting up into three styles; traditional, scandinavian and skagit. Traditional spey casting typically uses longer lines, longer rods, and much longer casting motions. The distances achieved by long belly spey casters is impressive, as is the skill necessary for that kind of casting.

Scandinavian casting involves shorter shooting heads designed to make minimal contact with the water, and a very compact underhand dominated casting stroke. Good scandinavian casters throw impossibly tight loops that look so effortless you’d think there was some CGI going on.

Skagit casting is characterized by short shooting heads and usually a sink tip. These lines are heavier than scandi lines and designed to grip water when casting. It doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to get a fishable cast out with a skagit set up, but casting well takes just as much skill as any other style, done right it’s a thing of beauty.

I’ve dabbled at least briefly in all three styles but, as you may have guessed from the title of the blog, my favorite by far is skagit. It definitely has some advantages that initially lured me in. I can cast heavy sinktips and swing big flies and catch fish even on days when the river is swollen and muddy. Casting in tight quarters is easier, with a short line the d-loop is naturally smaller and when you add in some of the tricks that can be accomplished with a well executed poke, a lot of water opens up. I think my favorite thing about skagit casting however, is the pause.

After completing the anchor stroke, skagit lines need a bit of time to grab the water. Sometimes its just a split second, sometimes it one or two, but I like having that moment within the cast to catch my breath, listen to the gurgle of the water flowing around my legs and prepare to deliver my fly to the heart of the river. It’s like a miniature zen meditation built into every cast.

I don’t go to a river just to catch fish. Sure that’s nice, but the real reason I’m there is to immerse my self in the beauty of a wild ecosystem. Fish are part of that, so are the ospreys building that nest up there, the dipper picking off caddis larva 50 ft downstream, the otter that usually shows up about this time of day to catch dinner but always wants to check out what I’m doing first, and the ten foot of lichen hanging from the tree on the trail to the river.

If I get too caught up in just catching fish I become too impatient and too singularly focused. Trips with no fish (which happens often when I fish for steelhead) become discouraging. When I’m casting skagit, something about it relaxes me, slows down my thoughts and makes me a bit more observant. I notice more of the things that make every trip to a wild river a gift.