Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new...........

Fasten your seat belts and put your chairs in the upright position. You are about to enter 2010: The year of Joe. So part like the Red Sea because I'm rolling through.
2009 was as Dickens said it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We shall focus on the best times.
I want to give a shout out to Bill and Frank for making my fishing experience all the better in 2009.
My God remember that dank drizzly day with green water when we couldn't stop smiling?
We were on our game that day or at least the cooperative fish made us feel that way.
That day is forever etched into my memory and I hope we hit it that way in 2010.

A shout to Tom for the day we went to the Dirty Burt and it was crap. Our plan B kicked ass and it was a good call on your part.
Mike P. every time were out and you catch a fish I take pride in your catch and the look of excitement on your face. This stuff is fun isn't it?

To my little tribs both big and small which have been my friend, my church, and soul nurturing sanctuary.
I would be lost with out our gravel runs and shale cliffs.
Thank you God for gifting to me the wonderful experiences I have had over the last 12 months.
It has shown me that it is truly the little things in life that make us the richest men on the planet.
As for today, I did get out and was able to end 2009 with a relative bang.
The temperatures hit 32 degrees in the morning. A far cry from the single digits a few days ago. The water was green, the slush was gone, and I banged a few fish with a bonus brown trout thrown in the mix.
A good way to move on from this Godforsaken year.
Come on 2010!!!!
You cant get here soon enough......................

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A race to beat the arctic express......

Yesterday presented what we had hoped would have been a small window of opportunity to get on the water. The thaw raised water levels and flushed the tribs of ice and fresh fish would be available for our taking.
The Commander and I hit the water in the morning greeted by fresh snow cover from over night and temps in the mid twenties. We were not happy with our morning findings . The water was filled with with enough slush to make fishing difficult to impossible.

On our march back to our vehicle we met up with Bill and Frank who agreed with out our assessment of the conditions and decided to try another trib together.
The next trib murky but the slush was flowing down more lice ice flows and not a slurpy slush. We fished closer to the lake and in the distance we could see the arctic express coming through with increased high winds and snow squalls. We did our best with no success.
While we were there Buddha met up with us and recounted his morning attempts at fishing. He had ventured farther down the lake and was hammered by blinding snow making fishing impossible. We also ran into Joe M. and his trusty Labrador. He had the same idea as the rest of us. Beat the Arctic express before the heavy snow and single digit temperatures forecasted for Tuesday.
Today the creeks are slush filled and the air is frigid.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas.......

I took a walk this Christmas morning in between events to clear my head in the fresh air and in hopes of pulling in a fish.
The water was very low and clear. The walk was stellar just me and the hawk in the sky.

Most of the pools and runs I fished the last time I was out were iced over and un fishable. I did some walking in hoes of finding some water green enough and deep enough to get one to go .

But that would not be the case today. The water that was prime today had fresh steelhead blood spilled on the the white snow with remnants of fresh steelhead roe scattered in the blood. I would assume someone got into a few fish yesterday afternoon and decided to harvest the fish.
I did not put too much effort in those areas as they will be useless now until the next freshet from the thaw we are experiencing this afternoon.

Still great to be out and one with nature

On a much brighter note. Merry Christmas to all my friends in the steelhead world.

Thank for the gift off your friendship and your company on the stream.

Happy Holidays................

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quiet and at Peace...........

Quiet and at peace today. No words are needed to express having the water to your self for 99.8% of your day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I got for two and a half hours today. As long as the sun was on the water the line stayed ice free and two fish played nice today. Then the sunlight shifted it's gaze out of the gorge and then ice caked up on the line and float.

I will take the two hours as a welcome break from life.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finding open water.................

I put in a 5 hour shift yesterday morning in section of the creek that were not ice jammed. There were sections completely locked up with ice and others that were open if you could get to them

I found a shoulder of the road that was plowed enough to park my vehicle and then proceeded to trudge through 16 inches of snow pack to get to the water. Crossing the water consisted of walking over, around, or through shelf ice which is always tricky but you all know the drill this time of year.

The water water was green and as the slush and 16 inches of snow started to melt the water raised and changed color. It was a good day with hungry fish but they were in classic winter mode. The fish were light biters and lazy fighters for the most part.

The commander had previous commitments so I was solo along with a new reel to try.
I had the opportunity to use a Kingpin 4 7/8 Bronze reel today with the ceramic ABEC 7 bearings. A pleasure to use in the slower flows today. she was smooth and started up with the slightest current. It's definitely on my to do list for the next year.

Today with the snow melt the tribs are shot. They are high and muddy and the ice locked sections are free from ice. It will be a few days before I get another shot at them and that damn 10 lb silver female I lost behind a fast water lip. The float went down. I lifted and she shook her head. She came up and rolled a few times and ran around the current until she headed for some up turned shale at the back of the run. The floro rubbed up against the rock outcropping and poof she was gone.

Until later..............

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Well it was a try..................

With severe weather on its way I wanted to hit the creek one more time as it wont be fishable until Sunday or Monday once the weather hits. The water was low yesterday and I was hoping a bump in flow might push a few fresh pods into the lower section.

The timing was off.

There was a bump in flow but the melting slush from the rapidly rising temps turn her high and brown within the first hour.

Timing is everything in life.

See you in a few days after the thaw.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Low and slow...........

The water over the last few days has dropped to either clear or a light green. Success has been there but in lower numbers than usual. Sunday I got out with the Commander for a few fish and more company than normal. It was a chilly morning with sunlight glistening of the icicles slowly forming on the shale cliff walls.

Monday it was an outing with the Kingpin Crew Bill and Frank and Buda met up with us a few hours later. Once again water getting lower as the day went on and fish numbers limited. I did get a feisty 7 lb male on a pinkie but the company was better than the fishing.

Come to think about it. Regardless of the numbers ,the company is always better than the fishing.

Good people on the water makes a difference not only in your day but in your life also.

Until later.................

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coffee and cream..............

I wasn't going to fish today but after a little hesitation I geared up and hit a smaller trib in hopes of finding a little green water. There surprisingly wasn't any snow at this trib but the winds were howling off the lake and raising the stream levels by a foot or so every few minutes. Then the water would reverse as if someone pulled a plug from a drain.

By 10 am the water turned green but there were no fish to be had. I then shot over to another tributary hoping to find green but I knew this trib would be brown and she was.

She was a coffee with cream color and I decided to go for a hike just for exercise.

I ended up with three respectable females in the 5 to 7lb range on chartreuse.

A lot of hiking and looking at brown water.

Sorry no pics today. I was too lazy to snap pics and I was just happy a few fish cooperated today in the brown.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the drop............

I fished alone this morning for a few hours as the Commander was getting over some type of flu like event. The water was still a little up and a little murky at first light. As this was a Sunday I entered the abyss in darkness and crossed the flow twice in darkness. I knew exactly where I wanted to start and where I wanted to work my way back from.

My first two spots surprisingly didn't produce but with the water a little up I looked for fish in spots that I may usually walk by and it paid off. It was a relatively successful day. With one special fish that came in an area that I was least expecting it to come from and not paying full attention.

The unexpected fish was a thick girl that gave me a great fight with a run down stream through a run and a pool and almost into some dead wood laying by the shore.

I have caught bigger but for some reason she left me once I released her with my knees shaking and a little out of sorts.

I felt like was a just in a car crash with the adrenaline pumping.

I needed a few minutes just to take it all in and remove the smile from my face.

A welcome surprise..................

Saturday, November 28, 2009

one for two............

I woke up this morning to see my first two choices doubled in flow overnight and would most likely be brown. I hit a smaller trib and fished off color water with limited success. I caught a small male and lost a larger male.

No pics today..........

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Birds Eye View..........................

This morning I met Bill and Frank for a morning outing. We attempted to catch her a little before the drop with hopes of getting into a pod or two.
The water was a murky chalky green with a flow around 478. We threw standard size to golf ball offering into our pools in runs with limited results.
Bill and Frank hooked a few and I was happy to get the skunk stripe of my back with one fish.

We also had a large winged visitor to a run. He flew up right as I fought and released a fish. At first I thought it was a turkey vulture and he was foreshadowing the impending demise of either Bill or I but that was not the case.
Bill suggested it was a juvenile eagle and from a few image searches on the web that appears to be the case.
What a beautiful creature.

Though we did not hit it right and a few fisherman I talked to at one of the pools did not either today or yesterday; It was nice to be out with a few good friends and a special stop at Sprague's General Store.
Now that is a the way to end a days fishing. Thank you gentleman.
Until tomorrow....................

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today with Frank................

This morning I fished with Frank until lunch time. Bill was being the great husband that he is and couldn't make it down. Another lucky day with minimal people to contend with. We were able to relax and take our time. We fished our familiar spots but were able to hit the secondary water to and thoroughly fish the section of the trib.

The water was 42 degrees and green.

Other than both of us losing our floats and having to re-rig no complaints.

another great day to be out in the sunshine.


Yesterday morning the Commander and I headed out for a few hours. We chose our trib and access well as we ran into barely a soul on the water. We both hit a few fish and a couple that made our day. A great day to be on the water and nice weather for November.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Found a few..................

Today I spend a little over three hours trib hopping. I found some fishable water and got into a nice male brown and a slab of a male steelhead that appeared to be as wide as he was long.

a few other fish and hookups ensued thereafter.

A nice feeling after three days off the water...........

I also picked up a very nice black walnut wading staff from .

Just something I saw and just had to have it. It is light and look great.

Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today was a day of relative solitude on the water which is always a good thing. The problem with fishing alone is that you loose any concept of time.
As the great philosopher Schomber once said: "Time folds unto itself".
Well he isn't a philosopher but he can be a deep thinking Germanic at times.
I walked and fished from hole to hole and run to run for what I thought was a short time but minutes melted into hours.

This pretty hard fighting steelhead had a fin clipped right pectoral fin.
I know a left clipped pectoral denotes a Skamania but to my my memory A right pec clip denotes possibly a 3 0r 4 year old steelhead.
She mad my day with a combination of acrobatics and bull runs.

It appeared today that the females I encountered were all silver and fresh and the males were getting darkened up.
Resting up for the next two days and taking care of business.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fresh air.....................

This morning I met Bill and Frank for a half days worth of fishing. I dragging from some type of allergy. Most likely from all the wet decaying leaves but who knows.

The crisp fresh air cleans out the lungs along with a good walk. We all had a few fish in and/or a few fish lost.

The Premier aka Frank put on a little bit of show for us. While for some reason I think Bill left his shiny red cape with the big S on it in the truck. He had a lot of hookups but couldn't get them to the bank.
I guess even the mighty have their off days LOL. It was nice to finally find some fish and we even saw a pair spawning already. And no they were not stray salmon of any type.

This girl came on a peach offering behind a few boulders in faster water.

Thanks for the company guys.

Gerry thanks for the shout out today and the extra info. Hope the shoulder is feeling better and will catch you on the water.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Commander saves the day......

Yesterday the commander and I decided to change it up and go north to the D.B.. We arrived at our destination to find relatively limited vehicles and a nice flow coming from the dam. We were both optimistic that it would be a good morning.
I hooked and lost a few brown. The Commander hooked a few fish and others were catching also. Then the dam shut off the flow. the current disappeared and the water became stagnant.
Our D.B. experience ended abruptly.

The Commander and I returned to my truck and decided to work our way back home. we decided that the Commander would guide me today to some of his home water and that he did.

We were lucky to find a few stretches with green or dark water in a clear running tributary.
The both of us got into a few nice fish that were surprisingly aggressive.
I was grateful to Tom for showing me some of his water and salvaging the day for both us.
A morning off today to rest my weary bones and take care of some business.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alien abduction continues......

Today was the Commander's birthday. So Mike and I accompanied the Commander on a expedition today.

We fished four different section of the system today.

Nice green water

Mild temps

Good water flow

Very limited number of fish caught

A ghost town in comparison to previous years.

Where did all the fish go?

What of many variables is off the norm?

What do the fish know that we do not?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Alien abduction of steelhead population rumored....

I got out today with Bill and Frank for the morning.

We were all hyped up to get on the water with the hopes we would hit good conditions.

Well despite what we would consider good conditions, the pickings were slim. We did a lot of walking and not much catching to our dismay. We literally threw everything at them in our vests to no avail.

Why they had lockjaw today?

I have no idea and it left my well seasoned and more accomplished fishing partners scratching their heads.

I guess a comfort to all of us was that we saw very limited catching by others.

I just might have to put down the fishing sticks for a day to reboot the computer so to speak as the trying conditions put my enthusiasm at a low point.

I don't think I like this sport anymore..........................LOL

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm just tellin' ya. We aint goin' to catch anything......

Those were my words of wisdom when Commander Tom picked me up this morning. Usually I have a good intuition on if fishing is going to be good and where we might get into them on any given day.

But lately the fish for the most part except for the odd day have been spread out more than usual.

I told Tom were were going to be doing a little walking and to expect a lot of company. A projected 65 degree day and you know every Tom, Dick, and Harry get out on the water.

Never the less, we walked until we got away from most human beings and found a few fish to take our offering. We ended our day about noon time with our forced march making soup out of our waders.

Gee Commander you look a little happy in that picture..................

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fishing with B squared..........

Today I fished with Bill and Buda in the morning. It was a morning of trib hopping to find the right water conditions as they were all in varying levels of visibility. Muddy, brown, stained, green and clear, We found it all depending where we stopped.
At the first stop, Bill and I started walking down the access at the first light only to find the stream brown so we left and went on our way.
The 2nd spot was muddy. Bill and I looked at each other and said nope and went on our way.

3rd stop, Bill and I met up with Buda to find a stream green but clearing really fast and with in an hour and a half she was clear. We picked up a few fish there including a dark buck I caught.
Initially on the hit, I thought the fish was a fresh female chromer straight from the lake. He hit hard and made four quality runs before coming to shore. To both Bill and my surprise the fish was a dark male filled with piss and vinegar.

We were off to our fourth spot to a trib which unfortunately has become one of the most overpopulated by fisherman this season. There were cars and trucks up and down the trib. The three of us stopped at a well known spot behind a church and Buda gave us the best line of the day. He rolled down the window of his truck, surveyed all the vehicles and asked if there was mass today.

We all laughed and hit one more spot with room on that trib and Bill picked up a fish.

The last stop of the day was one of Buda's special spots and she was a beauty. As we walked into the gorge and breathed in the crisp, cool, fall air. Buda noticed the buck scrapings on the branches. Buda is an expert hunter and picks up the smallest signs of deer presence in the woods.

We all admired the towering cliffs and autumn colors as we hiked our way in. The water was a nice green. We picked up a few fish and Bill even picked up a brown.

It turned out to be a great morning not for the numbers of fish but for the quality of the company we kept and the beauty our tributaries afford us all at this time of the year.

Thank you for sharing the morning with me gentleman.
Bill thank you for the pictures.

Until tomorrow...............