Girls just wanna have fun...

Here's an addition to the Xmas list - more trips with the Angels!

Thanks K8 (J.E.) and Whit, its not very often I get to fish with other die hard steelheaders that understand PMS, who also want to put a touch of make up on in the morning before a day on the water, and can alternate between casting talk and relationship talk with ease. Get with the progrum (hehe) ladies, girls trips rock! Not that I don't love fishing with the guys, but there is such a different dynamic between women. These ladies can cast, tow a trailer, row drift boats and fish with the best of them. They will fish from dawn till after dark, and sit around the campfire bullshitting and drinking beer.

They can handle camping in December and falling in the river and continue fishing afterward. They'll decide at 8 pm after fishing all day in the rain to pack up camp on the OP and drive 5 and a half hours to Portland to nap for 3 hours, then get up, drive for another 4 hours to the Umpqua and fish for the remainder of the day. I don't usually like to stereotype anyone, but I have never encountered other women not only willing but happy to do this kind of shit.

We fished our asses off all week, and while the fish rewards were few (okay, almost non existant) I know I had an incredible time. It had been so long since I have had the chance to be out on the water for myself that it was just amazing to be out again. And to look upstream or downstream from me and watch my fishing buddies blast out another amazing cast was the icing on the cake.

So ladies, my hat is off to you for re affirming my belief that women are capable of loving to fish, regardless of species, conditions, time of year, and the obstacles that may fall in their way.

Till next time!!!!!


All I want for Xmas....

Two weeks (or months) in a warm climate... preferably with lots of crazy fish, some good tequila, and sexy, almost naked men.

A burgundy Thunder Jet.

A really good digital camera.

A HD video camera.

A couple new Abel Reels. (Okay, I just bought myself one of these)

New waders designed for women that actually fit.

The women’s jacket from Simms.

The T to open.

A hot tub.

An 8ft or better sturgeon.

A 10 lb rainbow.

And a 25 lb steelhead...

A bonefish, a permit, a tarpon, a brown trout, a taimen, an Atlantic, a roosterfish, peacock bass, dorado, sailfish, marlin, tuna... you get the picture.

Time. I want time to fish. Time to cast, hike rivers, float streams, row lakes, and perfect my jet boat skills... to sit around the campfire with friends, laugh with them on the water, and tie flies with them at night... to actually use all the gear I blow my paycheques on... to take pictures... to hook fish, play fish, land fish (thank you kiss) and release... to let go of all stress, close my eyes, listen to the water and feel alive.

I reserve the right to leave this list open to additions.


The Dinosaur and Hunter...

There is nothing better than spending a sunny Sunday afternoon helping an enthusiastic 5 year old (H) catch his first "dinosaurs". And its a great way to arouse the curiosity of the adolescent boy to tell him he will be fishing for a prehistoric fish.

Having a 10 year old girl (K) and an 18 month old boy (W) along certainly made for an interesting day. The fishing was great, the catching - only so so. But these two little beauties sure made H's day and ours to watch him.

One of the aspects about sturgeon fishing on the Fraser that intrigues most people is the tagging process. The Fraser Valley White Sturgeon Conservation Society has a program that provides a good number of Lower Mainland guides with a scanner, PIT tags and information sheets to record, measure and gain information on our sturgeon population. They are currently building an incredible database on these amazing creatures, and this is going a long way to help ensure we have a healthy population of fish. And, as there is a strict catch and release regulation in effective, this looks to be a sustainable sport fishery for the future.
K helped on Sunday with the tagging process by recording the data on the sheet - tag #, length, girth, condition, and river mile. The first fish we caught was a "virgin" and thus received the gentle (well, you can't be too gentle - they have really tough skin) poke of a needle to insert the tag and give him an official number. Upon scanning fish #2 a number popped up on screen - its amazing that a good number of these small fish have already been caught and tagged. To date, there have been around 40 000 fish tagged, and close to 80 000 scanned. The numbers are mind boggling. And the guides that participate in this program are volunteers, doing it to help a fishery they love. I've heard talk that eventually the database will be available online, so you can take the tag # of the fish you caught, and see when and where it was caught before and how big it was at that time.
Although we had a good number of other hits (including a great one on the fly rod), those were the only two fish to the boat. I haven't been out fishing with many kids before, and it certainly puts a fresh perspective on things. They possess an excitement, enthusiasm and curiosty that many of us start to lose after being involved in fishing for a long time. Sunday was a reminder for me to keep that side of the sport alive.


Who'd have thought?

Yes its true, sturgeon on the fly rod.

Amazing how a three foot fish can fold a 12 wt GLX.

Can't wait to see a five or six footer on the end of the line. This was the first attempt, and with one landed and a few other hits, I think we're on to something. Hopefully next weekend we will be out for another go, with some slightly heavier rods and lines to handle not only the fish, but the heavy water they're in. Woohoo!


If I can't fish for them...

I might as well talk about them! It seems that this was the year to be up on the Skeena. Steelhead were hopping into people's laps right from the get go. Everyone and their dog headed up to steelhead paradise to fish the Bulkley, Kispiox, Copper, Babine, Skeena, etc. Not everyone had spectacular fishing, but this was the year. There were pub nights, and group drifts, and jet boat congregations galore. My ex fullfilled his dream of spending nearly two months chasing chrome. My fellow steelhead bum April spent two weeks earlier in the season on those magical waters, and is just returning from excursion number two. K8 returned home from five months guiding in Alaska, loaded up and promptly headed out. Three of my co-workers spent time on the Bulkley. Friends were guiding up there. More of my fly shop customers than ever came in to stock up for their up north explorations, eyes gleaming as they loaded up on flies, lines, tippet, new waders, rods and reels. I have been regaled with stories of epic drifts, gigantic fish, the one that got away, the heralded dry fly take, the broken rods, first cast hookups...
I didn't make it up. Work, time, money... I started my first season of guiding, bought a new truck, and was banking on having November and December to fulfill my summer run fix. And now my personal steelhead Shangri-La is looking to remain closed this year. As in NO FISHING ALLOWED. As in no sagebrush, no bighorn sheep, no treacherous wades, no cleats, no Log Cabin Pub, no fifteen foot rod and the furthest cast you'll ever make. No fishing as hard as you'll ever fish to feel that line tighten, giving you the most satisfing and thrilling adrenaline rush you'll ever get from a fish. I'm heartbroken.

So now I'm trying to look forward to my local winter run fisheries, and luckily I've had a bit of help doing that as I'm presenting at The Steelhead Show on Saturday in Washington. My topic - Fraser Valley Steelhead Paradise. Its not Skeena region, its not my heaven on earth, but its all I've got. So look out, Fraser Valley steelhead. This year its just you and me.


Just messing around...

I was playing with the contrast on this photo, and loved how this turned out. Think I might try doing this more often...



So it didn't rain as much as I was expecting, which was fabulous...
And a couple of the bars of chrome did end up being on the end of my line...


Rain, Rain Go Away...

After one of the most sensational Octobers ever, weatherwise, the rain has arrived. I figured we were getting off easy this year. I had a couple clients out sturgeon fishing on Oct. 27, and I was wishing I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I got sunburnt. Now we're experiencing true BC weather, which bodes well for the coho fly fishing schools I'm helping out with this weekend. Coho fishing has been tough this year. There have been fish around, but not a huge amount. And those that have returned have been fussy. Probably, in part, due to the lack of rain. But its game on now. Rivers have come up, fresh fish are moving in, stale fish are waking up... The chum are dying off, so you have a reasonable chance of getting your fly in front of a coho without inadvertently hooking a dog. A friend of mine was out today and landed seven. On the fly. And the biggest one he landed was around 16 lbs... and he lost one bigger. So this weekend I will be standing in the pouring rain, hoping to see that slice of chrome come rolling out of the water, wishing it was on the end of my line.