My brother and I had a great fishing trip hitting one of our favorite rivers. The scenery was spectacular, and the comradery was even better. My buddy Mike Dickson of Dickson fly fishing was able to join us for a day as well. We ended up getting some great fish to top it off. The flies that did the killing this trip were various streamers, some versions of the Dalai Lama and other sculpin patters. I ended up getting a slab on a stone fly nymph and a Chernobyl dry fly of my own design. We had a blast. Can’t wait to go back.
I’ve had a lot of time to sit at the tying bench, creating some fun patterns. I’m excited to use the caddis emergers this summer as well as try the mouse patterns on the Skagit. I’ve always wanted to see if I can get some of the big bulls to rise for a stripped mouse. We’ll see what happens.
I was finally able to break free of the COVID shackles and head to Montana. Frontier Angler was just opening up and starting to guide, so my buddy Mark called me up and asked if I wanted to go on a three day guided trip to hit the Beaverhead and the Big Hole. I jumped on the opportunity. I’ve never really fished Montana, nor have I had the pleasure of going after big Montana browns. It was amazing and the outfitter was fantastic…a big shout out to Graham, Shaun, and Bernard, for making the trip a blast. And their lunches, wow, I’ve never had such great food on a drift boat before. When we weren’t catching fish, we were laughing and having fun nonetheless. Mark brought along two of his friends and we took turns fishing together for three days. The Big Hole was rising when we got there so we fished it first, hoping to hit it before the water rose too much. Unfortunately, we could literally see the water turn and the debris push down river while we were fishing. We caught a few, but the conditions weren’t all that good. But when we worked the Beaverhead the next two days things improved. We hooked into a lot of good browns and few smaller rainbows, the big bows eluding us. We nailed them on San Juan worms, which the guides hilariously called dirt snakes, as well as tiny Spanish Bullets. It was an incredible trip; not one I’ll soon to forget. Thanks Mark!
Well, I was finally able to get out on the river. My brother and I were excited as we talked my dad into joining us. Its quite rare to be able to get us all together to fish so needless to say we were enthusiastic for the trip. I brought my trailer and Devin brought his new Flycraft. It would be its maiden voyage so we were excited to test it on the water. The day before we left, the river conditions and weather were all looking good. But of course, the fishing gods were against us and the day we arrived at the Ellensburg KOA, the river flows spiked. The two days of sun we had caused some serious spring melt, and by the time we were ready to hit the water the river was swollen and chocolate brown. It wasn’t’ looking good at all. But we were there, so we hit the water. Let’s just say the fishing was good, but the catching was horrible. On day one the visibility was probably six inches. There were caddis hatches everywhere but we didn’t see one fish. Day two, the river dropped a little and the visibility started off at about a foot. By the end of the flow it was already better and the fish were starting to get more active. It was still a slow day but a great day on the river. We loved his Flycraft and are excited to get it back out when the fishing is a bit better. But as they say, you’ll never have those great days if you don’t suffer through some shitty ones. That’s just fishing for you. Stay safe and tight lines!
I’ve had a lot of time to do some writing and fly tying. This is a good time, since the fishing is closed, to fill those fly boxes. I love creating new designs and imaging strong takes when I get to try them out this summer. Below are a few new flies I tied recently.
Below is some more tight lines action. It’s been a fun fall chasing SSC, coho, and rainbows and bulls munching on salmon flesh. One of the more exciting takes was watching that big bull below shoot out from the depths to attack a white flesh fly I tied up. It was such a monster that I thought it was a coho at first. Then I saw those beautiful spots. Great couples days!
Well I have not added any content to this blog for quite some time so I thought I’d restart my focus. I spent the last summer camping and fly fishing as usual, along with starting my new book. I didn’t get as much fishing in as I’d like, but I’ve definitely been doing a lot of fly tying. I’ll post a few pics below. Also, I wanted everyone to know that my next book I’m writing is based on fly-fishing. I wanted to tackle some concepts that are important in my family, the focus of the story being around a nurse who loses her husband to cancer. Long story short, her husband was an avid fly fisherman and he had a bucket list of places to fly fish around the world. He was not able to complete the list and asked that his wife does it for him, sprinkling his ashes at each location while trying to learn how to live and love again. It’s a story of love, loss, and healing, as well as the joy of fly fishing and what the sport can do to one’s soul. I’ll keep everyone posted as I progress through the story. Stay tuned.
Spent the weekend with some of our good friends, Mike and Lilly, and as usual Mike and I found a way to get our lines wet. We were camping up North and ended up Kayaking some of the coastal waters, hooking into a few sea runs and a nice fat bull trout. I only got one picture but she was a beauty. We were stripping one of Mike’s go to sea run patterns but I got this fish on one of my own white leach-type patterns with a red bead head. Good start to my summer fishing.
I had a great day fishing with my buddy on the Skagit River. What a beautiful piece of water. The fishing was not amazing, but that is to be expected when you fish a lot. We got a few small rainbows, and a handful of nice bull trout like the one in the picture. The water was amazing and clear and we were swinging big sculpin patterns. We did fish a few egg patterns as we saw some spawning sockeye, landing a few rainbows in the process. But most of the good fish were caught on streamers. I definitely want to return to these waters.
Well, sadly, this was the last summer trip I can manage before school (work) starts back up for me. It was a lot of fun…the fishing was fantastic…the catching was so so. I ended up going with my friend, Andrew, who isn’t really a fisherman. But needless to say he had a great time. Nothing better than fishing during the day, drinking beer, eating good food, and hanging out with a buddy in the evenings. Now that my parents sold their house in the valley, I am forced to find lodging. It was a sad event, but we ended up staying at the Virginian Inn right in town. The inn is old but the rooms are clean and inexpensive. The owners are nice and its located just outside of town near the Red Apple.
Now to fishing. The first day we floated from the River Run pull-out to the pull-out just outside of Twisp. Its a short float in comparison to what I normally do but I like it for several reasons. There is some good water there and the stretch experiences very little pressure. That float I ended up getting three really nice, hard fighting fish, and a handful of smaller guys. I caught most of the big fish on streamers…black and tan sculpin type flies. I did land one nice one on a hopper pattern (Chubby Chernobyl). The next day we drove in to some spots starting at Gold Creek and working our way up. It was much slower….didn’t get anything of any size and only a few small ones. Needless to say we packed up early and went to the new Winthrop Cider House, and bar hopped to a few other fun locations. All in all it was a great trip. My next adventure to the Methow will be for the steelies. I can’t wait!