Friday, December 31, 2010

The year in review....

2010 was a great year. 

The year started with a big move back to Washington State.  The job situation didn't work out as expected, but being able to deal with unexpected issues and make changes is just part of life. 

Summer was a blast.  Lots of hiking and exploring.  Checked out two fisheries I had always wanted to fish when I lived here previously.  The true lesson is do not put off taking advantage of opportunities, and I know that I will strap on the pack and hit both of those fisheries again next summer.  One highlight of the summer was one of the most visual skating dry fly takes I have ever seen.  I can still picture the fly skating two feet in front of the exposed boulder and the fish coming up and exploding on the fly.

Summer also brought a couple trips back to the great big blue, the Pacific Ocean off of Neah Bay.  This past summer wasn't the best year for salmon off the coast, but a good time was had and a few fish were caught.  Next year I hope the silver runs increase and I can get out there and chase some on the cast fly.

This past year also marked my first serious attempt at gardening.  There were successes and failures, but it is amazing how much quality food one can grow in a small residential lot.  We were frankly getting a little tired of green beans, potatoes, and summer squash.  Hopefully, this upcoming summer gives us a normal June and September weather wise.

I'm looking forward to 2011.  I have a couple more trips to places I have always wanted to fish, along with more exploring of places I started learning last spring and summer. 

Also for 2011, I hope we can all make time to send letters and attend meetings to speak for wild fish.  I know I struggle to find the time, as it's easier to focus on fishing and life and ignore the fight that often seems as useful as pounding your head against the wall but wild fish are still just hanging on.  It reminds me of one of my best days this past summer.  I hooked four and landed two beautiful wild steelhead in about an hour and a half of fishing time.  Going by fishing results, I was fishing over a huge run of steelhead.  But this river now has a run of wild summer runs that might be 100 fish.  I'll remind myself of that every time I hear people talk about great fishing.  The trend is still going down, no matter how hard so many seem to be working at catching the last one.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sir, What's in the Bag?

Not that, this....

I started using ziplocs as a way to store flies back when I fished the saltwater.  I've always struggled to find a box I like for flies with stinger hooks such as intruders, so I just continued to use ziplocs. 

I think I'll put the green flies in a box though.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Respect the Pineapple

Some pics WSDOT took of the bridge at the mouth of the Sol Duc.  Also noticed a tree across the river just above the first bridge across the Sol Duc (coming from Forks).  Be careful out there, especially as the bigger rivers drop into fishable shape.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The view from the log

The angler peered into the flybox. Should he go with a bright fly or a dark fly, large profile or low water? He lifted his gaze from the box and glanced back at the river. It was summer, but this coastal stream was still carrying a load of glacial silt from high atop Mount Olympus back towards the Pacific Ocean. He could just barely make out his wading boots in thigh deep water. He thought about what a fish could see in the milky water, and black jumped into his mind.

Back to the fly box and his eyes zeroed in on a green-butt prawn fly he had tied up the night before. The flow of the fly just looked good. The black tail, chartreuse dubbing, black body and wing with a throat of teal. He grabbed the fly out and tied it to the end of the line. He had just switched to a sink tip after spending the day working the upstream riffles and pools with a floating line. He had one last shot before the long drive home, and he felt that getting a little deeper would give him the best shot at a fish. Tying the fly to his leader he wet the knot with saliva and cinched the knot tight and started to cast. He started fishing higher than he expected a fish just out of habit. Never wanting to miss a fish tucked in faster water, it had rarely resulted in a fish but once in a blue moon these fish will surprise you. Each cast was lengthened three feet at a time until he reached a comfortable distance for this run, about sixty feet. He started shuffling down the run after each cast and swing. He had passed through the fast water he started in and then slowly through the main gut of the run. The fly was swinging perfectly in this water. No mending was needed after the cast, the fly came under tension and seemed to fish itself with little help needed from the fisherman. He was disappointed that there were no fish in the run, but he was not quite ready to reel up and start walking back to his truck. The sky was getting dark so he decided to start reeling up after this final swing through the tailout. That's when he felt the jolt of a fish. The chrome steelhead was out of the water before he could even react. He lifted the rod and heard his reel start screaming. The fish was heading downstream into the next pool. He started wading towards shore to follow when he hears another splash. The fish had jumped again in the pool below. The angler moved to the shore and began chasing the fish downstream trying to both fight the fish and walk on the basketball sized rocks that made up the gravel bar. The fish made one more sizzling run and then the line stopped. The fish had wrapped the sink tip around something deep within the murky water. To the angler it only felt like dead weight and then the line came free as the fish made one more headshake with the sink tip wrapped around a snag. All that came back to the angler was the fly line and sink tip. The fly and 4 feet of leader remained in the steelhead's jaw. The angler was disappointed not to have landed this fish, but was happy to have felt the grab and sizzling runs. He quickly reeled up replayed the image of the fish jumping over and over as he walked back to his truck with a wide grin plastered across his face.

The steelhead stayed in the downstream pool resting. Occasionally the fish would shake its head attempting to dislodge the fly stuck in the corner of it's jaw. The water darkened as night fell. By morning the steelhead had moved upstream but the fly had come loose and rested in the stones at the bottom of the pool.

Over the next month the river's current gently moved the fly along the bottom of the pool as the river dropped to its low autumn levels. Then the first rains hit the coast. The river flow started growing, picking up water from hundreds of tributaries. The fly now was free of the bottom, being pulled towards the ocean fifteen miles away. The leader was still attached but eventually became wrapped on an underwater branch. The fly swung into the log the branch was attached to and came to a halt, with the hook point buried into the wet wood.

Over the next month the river moved up and down as the storms hit the coast and then subsided. Then the big storm came. The snow level shot up higher than Mount Olympus and the tributaries poured water mud, silt, and gravel into the river as ten inches of warm rain pummeled the coast over two days. The river filled the large floodplain as the water kept rising. As the river raged, it began to reshape itself. It changed channels as it began dropping. The pool that fished so well in the summer was gone, replaced with long riffle filled with small gravel.

The log with the fly attached to it was ripped from underneath the water and started floating downstream as the river crested. It floated ten miles downstream before beaching itself on a gravel bar newly exposed as the flows dropped. The fly was still attached to the log.

The fly now rested on the top of the log and was able to witness the birth of a beautiful piece of fly water. As the water receded, the river created one of those places steelhead anglers dream of. Fast water fed into a long slow glide. The bottom was a mix of softball to basketball size rocks. Over the next month, the fly overlooking this run saw an number of anglers stop and fish this gorgeous piece of water.

I started walking towards the log about a month ago. I had fished the run for about an hour with one solid grab. My feet were getting a little numb from the cold winter flows but the reason I was racing towards the log was my bladder. I tend to postpone bathroom breaks when focused on fishing. By the time I get a chance to pee, I really have to go. I'm usually dancing around trying to unbuckle the suspenders on my waders praying I can hold it for ten more seconds.

I'm clipping my wading belt back on when I happen to glance at the log in front of me. I see a battered fly, with hackle unraveled and a rusty hook. I wonder how it got here as I pull it from its perch. I look at the fly and even after being exposed to the elements it looks fishy to me. I decide that it is too pretty to be thrown away and slowly stick it back on the log. I clip the leader still attached to it off to throw away and start walking back to the river. As I started fishing again, I wondered what kind of idiot who lost his fly on a back cast so close to the river would break it off and not go grab it off the log.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In Defense of Fly Fishing

Truly one of the best written discussion of the current state of fly fishing for winter steelhead.  I wish I could write and express myself as well.  Worth the read for the Syd Glasso quote alone.

Doug Rose Blog Post

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Can There Be Just One

Lately, I've been talking a lot about hatcheries on this blog.  I just finished writing a note to WDFW about the five year fishing moratorium on the Elwha River (Elwha Fishing Moratorium) and I couldn't get a thought out of my head.

Do we have one major river system in Western Washington without hatcheries?  I go through a mental list of the major steelhead and salmon rivers and cannot think of any.  Is our hatchery addiction so bad we have to plant 60,000 chambers creek fish during dam removal on the Elwha during a five year fishing moratorium? 

While the state has stopped planting on lots of small tributaries with no collection facilities, nothing has been done for the larger, more productive systems.

I guess some movement is better than none, but the slow pace in the face of extinction and closures is beyond frustrating.

I think it's time to try to get out and do some more fishing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snider Creek - Part 3

The good folks at the Wild Steelhead Coalition have put out some comments and discussion points about the program and early wild winter steelhead populations.

Snider Creek Comments

Snider Creek Discussion Points

You still have time to send in comments to

Check out the Wild Steelhead Coalition and if you're not a member, you should be.

Wild Steelhead Coalition

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I love December fishing.  The frost never melting on the north facing shoreline, steam coming off the water as the the morning sun rises, and of course swinging flies for steelhead. 

The fishing was great, but it would have been a superb day without the feel of fish at the end of the line.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Please Stop

I cannot stand all these Xtranormal videos being posted all over the web.

Before these computer generated videos, the only comedy I couldn't even watch were ventriloquists. I'm gonna start living a righteous life because if I go to hell, it's gonna be an looped Xtranormal video with a computer generated Jeff Dunham talking to his doll about stuff no one cares about.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

End of the Line

Great documentary on overfishing

Snider Creek Part 2

I drove out to Forks last night for the meeting about Snider Creek. It was a lively but civil discussion on the program with WDFW staff. Learned some stuff and my head was spinning all day at work attempting to put my thoughts together.

The meeting was dominated by those in favor of the program. Since the meeting was in Forks I expected that. If it weren't for one long time wild fish advocate, I would have been the only one asking tough questions about the performance of the program. Of course, there were many people who did not comment at the meeting so it is hard to tell if there were other people opposed to the program. I would like to think there were a couple.

Now to my thoughts on the program. It is clear that there still are early wild fish in the Sol Duc. The guides stated and WDFW data show that Snider fish make up approximately 25% of the fish caught. This is great news. If the program is stopped there will still be a fishery, even if that fishery becomes non-consumptive with the recent early timed wild steelhead harvest closure.

The arguments in favor of the program are clearly geared towards economic and social factors. The program provides fish for harvest for guides and their clients. One speaker also mentioned that locals needed these fish to feed themselves. The supposed benefits of the program for wild fish are not mentioned by proponents. By pushing economic and social benefits the proponents are showing that the program is solely a harvest based program and not meant to act to restore early wild runs. Basically if the program is not continued they say it would be economically devastating to guides and the community of Forks. I disagree with this. Eventually, and hopefully not too late, all rivers will be wild steelhead release and guides and communities will have to adapt to that change. I think we should adapt sooner rather than later.

To me the decision to continue or end the program should be based on what is good for the wild fish, not the guides or Forks. Our rivers and fish runs are not property of local communities and businesses. They belong to all of us. We should not manage our wild stocks based on what guides want but what is good for the fish, period!

While the meeting is over there is still time to let the department know how you feel about the Snider Creek program on the Sol Duc. Please let the department know how you feel. Send e-mails to:

Monday, November 22, 2010

River Triggers

The fly landed and the current pulled the loop of slack tight as the fly started swinging from the fast water against the far bank into the slower choppy water. As I was fishing this small piece of water, a memory came flooding back.

The river was much smaller than the water I was fishing today. The run also pushed into a snag on the far bank and the cast, mend, and drift were identical. I remember swinging a fly into the fast water just above the snag and coming tight to a fish. A couple head shakes and the fish came loose. Another fly fisherman had been watching and asked if he could follow me through. "Of course," I replied as we talked briefly about the run and spey casting. He started casting and then I heard a splash. I reeled up and watched him fight and helped him land the largest and prettiest fish I saw that entire winter. He was beyond excited at the experience.

The run I fished today did not reward me with a fish, but the trip down memory lane was worth the cold toes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snider Creek Hatchery Meeting

To hopefully get the word out and have wild fish advocates make comments (either via mail, e-mail, or at the meeting in Forks). Let's give them the hard facts regarding brood stock hatcheries and their negative impacts on wild fish.

WDFW seeks comments, schedules public
meeting on Snider Creek steelhead program

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept public comments through Dec. 15 on the future of a steelhead supplementation program at Snider Creek, a tributary of the Sol Duc River in Clallam County.

As part of that effort, WDFW has scheduled a meeting Nov. 30 in Forks to discuss the program with the public.

A joint project with the Olympic Peninsula Guides’ Association, the Snider Creek program was created in 1986 to increase fishing opportunities for steelhead on the Sol Duc River. The 25-year contract for the program, which produces 50,000 smolts each year, expires in June 2011.

The program is unlike most other supplementation efforts because it produces offspring from wild steelhead – caught by anglers involved in the program – instead of returning hatchery-produced steelhead, said Ron Warren, regional fish program manager for WDFW.

With the contract expiring next year, WDFW’s fishery managers are evaluating the supplementation program, including its contribution to state and tribal fisheries and its effect on wild steelhead populations, said Warren.

“We are looking into the benefits of this program and whether it is consistent with current efforts to protect and restore wild populations,” Warren said. “We’d like to hear from the public before we make a decision on whether to continue, modify or end the program.”

Comments on the program can be submitted by email to or by U.S. Mail to: Snider Creek, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA, 98563.

In addition, people can submit comments and discuss the program with WDFW staff at the Nov. 30 public meeting at the Forks Sportsmans Club, 243 Sportsmans Club Road. The meeting is scheduled for 6-8 p.m.

Information on the program, including steelhead catch numbers for state and tribal fisheries and annual returns of steelhead to the Quillayute River system, is available on WDFW’s website at Those who would like a copy of the information on a compact disc can call (360) 249-4628.

Since entering into the agreement more than two decades ago, the department has made changes to hatchery operations to support naturally spawning salmon and steelhead populations, said Warren. In addition, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved new policies in the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan developed by WDFW to protect and rebuild wild steelhead stocks.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s hatchery and fishery reform policy is available on WDFW’s website at The Statewide Steelhead Management Plan is available on the department’s website at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I had a chance to go to the WDFW Director's roundtable in Aberdeen last night. It was a great opportunity to learn about the budget issues effecting the department and talk directly to Phil Anderson, the Director of WDFW. Along with the director, there were numerous staff members there to respond to questions. The director discussed the budget and seemed eager to hear from the public about any ideas to save money and fishing and hunting problems. It was a full house with a great question and answer period with Phil Anderson.

While it was a full house there is a certain segment of the fishing community completely absent from these meetings. There were very few young people present. I am 38 years old and felt like a young kid at this forum. During the numerous questions, there were only two other questions besides mine that specifically dealt with protecting wild fish. Where are the wild fish advocates? Where are all the passionate anglers that post enthusiastically on internet fishing boards about catch and release and protecting wild steelhead?

Yes, the meeting wasn't in a large Puget Sound city, but Aberdeen is one hour from Olympia. It's not that far to speak to the head of the agency and meet and learn from area biologists and fish program managers.

When you wonder why WDFW continues to use old ideas in their management, look to who goes to these meetings and speaks to the decision makers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It Begins

It's that time of year, where chrome bright winter steelhead start moving up the rivers. The first part of the run is now mostly hatchery fish, but there are still a few resilient early natives mixed in. Yesterday I met one.

It was a classic NW Winter day. Low cloud cover, mid-40's temperature, and drizzle where the green of the forests is almost washed away by the oppressive gray pushing down from the sky. The river was dirty with about one to two feet of visibility, adding another surface of gray to the pallet. I worked my way downstream floating and fishing. I arrive at the run I wanted to focus on and start fishing. The fly is swinging well and about twenty casts into the run I feel a grab, and then nothing. The grab always feels like lightning going through your veins, but the lack of connection is always disappointing. This time of year, the question with a large grab is "what was that?" Was it a king, coho, or steelhead? A question I will never know.

I continued to work down the run as the current mellowed the fly started ticking the bottom and hanging up occasionally. The answer was a lighter tip, so I looped on five feet of T-14 and continued to fish. Then a swing was interrupted once a again by a pull. My mind quickly shifts back to fishing from gazing at the bald eagle squawking on the tall river side tree. I feel a second pull, then feel line start coming off my reel, and then come tight to a fish. Instantly the fish is running. I look towards the line streaming downstream and see white, the color of backing. Then a jump, and all I can see is a distant flash of silver in the air. I start moving down the gravel bar gaining back some of the line. This fish is strong and feels heavier than the fish I saw jump. I wonder if I have foul hooked a salmon because of the heavy feel. But I can gain line easily when the fish stops so that thought passes. Another couple fast runs and one of my favorite types of jumps happens. The fish jumps ten feet to the side of where your line enters the river. I work the fish quickly towards the beach. As I get it in the shallows I see that it is a steelhead with a big fat adipose fin and any thoughts of being foul hooked are gone when I see the fly lodged in the fish's mouth. I quickly grab the leader and tail this magnificent twelve pound hen as the hook falls out. I take a quick look at the perfectly clean fins and release my grip. She quickly charges off back into the gray water. After the release I am struck by this fish. The power and speed combined to make this one of the hottest fish I have ever hooked, including fish on rivers notorious for their hot steelhead.

I fished for a few more hours with the only other grab was a small bull trout, but I am struck by what a rare experience I had today. Early run native winter steelhead were historically much more abundant than they currently are. Decades of hatchery plants along with non-selective harvest have made this segment of the steelhead population a rarity. The fact that native fish continue to hold on in the face of everything we can throw at them amazes me. Sometime we fishermen get to see and hold a trace of the past, but far too often we are only left with the stories from old timers of what it used to be like. At least for today those are not just stories.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where's the Love?

Spent a couple days fishing a desert stream on the eastside of the Cascades. This stream seems to have my number when it comes to catching. I can blame all kinds of things for my lack of success, but deep down I know that it is just one of those things that happen.

The first time I fished this beautiful river was sometime back in 1997-1998. I camped along the river and there was this little current break along in the camp water that resulted in six straight fish swinging small muddlers in the surface film. Of course, I came back the next summer to get skunked. I didn't return until recently due to my interests moving more towards the saltwater fly fishing opportunities and moving out of the Pacific Northwest but I always had fond memories of the big water, slick wading, and beautiful basalt canyons.

Last fall I had the opportunity to get reacquainted with this river and steelheading. I fished hard over a "record" return of summer-runs to come up with the goose-egg over multiple trips.

A funny thing happens during a skunking stretch on a particular stream. The doubts start nagging you harder and harder the longer your fly fishes with no action. You second guess your abilities in all aspects of fly fishing. Are you casting far enough? Are you piss poor at reading water? Everything becomes suspect as you fish hard with no results. You have to accept that fishing a piece of water well is a accomplishment that will somehow result in better fishing in the future. Every swing is an education in the cast, mend (or lack thereof), and rod position.

Saw a ton of water, walked some serious miles, and look forward to returning to the river to learn some more.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Last Days

This summer seems to be winding down.  It's been a great summer to return to the Pacific Northwest after a long absence.  Coming from the brown desert to the lush green of the Olympic Peninsula has been fantastic.  Getting back to coastal fishing has been a blast.  It seems like I've fished far less but every trip has been savored.  I almost forgot about the diversity available here.  From ocean salmon fishing, rainforest steelhead, sea-run cutthroat and resident rainbows it has been a summer to remember.  It's been great to run into a few native fish, especially the native summer runs.  I missed that connection to the past while chasing browns in the Rockies.  I know soon the rivers will be filled with runoff, salmon and then the beginning of the winter steelhead run.

Not only has this summer been good to me in the fishing department, but growing a garden has only added to the connection I feel to this place.  We've been enjoying fresh food for a couple months now, but one can also sense the change of seasons in the garden, although it feels like a quicker end.  We'll soon be planting overwintering crops and flower bulbs awaiting the first warmth of spring to give us a colorful reminder of another summer to come. 

A couple days coming up to fish and the question is one that confuses all fall fishermen in the northwest.  What the hell do I fish for?  I think it may be an all of the above trip. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

MPA's - Are we on the wrong side?

There's been some discussions and public meetings concerning marine protected areas in area 4B, which is inside the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Neah Bay.  I testified against setting up these protected areas but I am having some reservations about my position relative to other conservation issues.

The arguments against MPA's sound very much like the past arguments from extractive industries protesting setting up National Parks, Wilderness areas, and basically any other form of environmental protections.  As I sat at the meeting last week I was struck with how much I disagreed with most of the opponents in their reasons for not allowing MPA's and their many off-topic rants on fishery issues

I am a big fan of National Parks.  I live right next to Olympic National Park and enjoy and am grateful for the land that was set aside many years ago.  I've had some amazing backcountry fishing trips this year that would not have been possible without the foresight of those who fought to set aside this land.  Preserved lands protect not only fish and wildlife, but clean water and an escape to natural sanctuaries for all citizens and visitors.  The same goes for wilderness areas and areas protected from our human instincts, which seem to be driven by a fervor to destroy nature and its diversity.  We are lucky that in most protected lands we still have the opportunity to fish.  Maybe that is the difference between land and water conservation.  MPA's close waters to fishing, which might be selfishly leading to my opposition.  I'd like to think I'm not that selfish, but in retrospect I might have to admit that I'm no better than the opposition to preserving land when it comes to basing my opinions on my own desire to do what I wish with the area.

How does one reconcile their own feelings towards one form of protection versus another?
Can you be for protecting forests, mountains, and streams but not for protecting underwater habitat?

In the future, will citizens be wondering how we could have been so short-sighted to not protect ocean habitat when we had the chance?  Are sportfishermen now on the wrong side of history on the issue of MPA's?  Should we be working with the proponents of MPA's to get them in the proper areas?

I haven't figured out my final stand on the issue, but I know it's not as simple as I thought it was initially.  Looking in the mirror and seeing hypocrisy staring back is never positive.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nero Fiddles while Rome Burns

When you think it cannot get any sillier, a guide blog talks about how "the big runs have returned to nearly all the rivers."

Am I confused, where has wild fish recovery occurred?  This guide fishes on rivers that not only have missed escapement in the past couple years, but one that is chronically under-escaped.  What possible reason could there be to lie about the numbers of fish in the rivers?  Is it ego, drumming up business, or just a total lack of awareness of the biology of steelhead and these rivers?

I guess if you're not aware and think everything is a-okay then getting involved and fighting for the fish isn't necessary... and fishing for big numbers is just the right thing to do.  Why show restraint when the runs are HUGE!!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The wife and I decided to check out the coastal cleanup happening today along the Washington Coast.  Their site is Coast Savers.

I've spent some time hiking the coastal beaches in the past and must have had blinders on.  I cannot believe the amount of garbage we were able to pick up in a short time.  Tons of rope, plastic bottles, fishing floats, tires, tuna cans, and miscellaneous junk all along our beaches.  I wish I could say this was an urban beach where the garbage came from local residents or industry, but this was a beach along between the Hoh and Queets Rivers in Olympic National Park.  Shocking that there's so much garbage on the beaches, but just as shocking is where it's coming from... our oceans and our consumption of plastic crap.  We've been working on reducing our plastic consumption before this cleanup and will work even harder now.

I'm ashamed at my past obliviousness towards the garbage on the beach.  Look forward to next year's cleanup along with carrying my own bag to pick up items whenever I get back out there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tax Day Zombies

Plenty of brain dead zombies on tax day.  While one could go on and on regarding the tea partiers, I'll leave the low hanging fruit alone.

Tax day is a rough day.  Not only is it a frenzied rush to get taxes mailed to the IRS (for those who wait) it marks the end of the season on the bigger coastal rivers.  Was able to connect with an old friend for a drift on closing day.  Late start, relaxed day.  Lots of boat fishing and a bit of swinging through some of the choicest runs... and plenty of gear fishing too.  Been a while since I've fished gear and it was pretty enjoyable.  I forgot how nice the banter is since most of my fishing this winter has been solo and away from the crowds.

Back to zombies... We drifted below the hatchery trib and all of a sudden the water was seemingly boiling with smolts.  At first I figured it was the large hatch of mayflies, but we soon realized the hatchery had just released their steelhead smolts.  Tons of bumps on the plug rod for the rest of the float... reminded me of the shakers fishing downriggers in the salt.

Nice to see all the seasons on the river this past season.  From frigid cold in December to warmer February to the last day of the season.  Always nice to see fry in the shallows, a short but heavy mayfly hatch, and even a decent sized stonefly.  Spring is here.... soon summer-runs and saltwater salmon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Hoh's Got IHN

Bad news when it comes to fish disease on the Olympic Peninsula.  Earlier this winter IHN was found on the Bogachiel and Sol Duc rivers. 

Now IHN has been found in wild stocks on the Hoh River.  This was reported by the scientists at the Steelhead Summit put on by the Steelhead Summit Alliance, Wild Steelhead Coalition and Wild Fish Conservancy.  The IHN was found in wild Hoh stocks of steelhead.  The testing isn't complete yet, so they cannot state that the IHN is the same type found in the Bogachiel and Sol Duc.

The IHN found on the Peninsula earlier this winter does have a source.  The strain originated in the Columbia River, and is the same strain that has caused outbreaks in Clearwater, Idaho hatchery steelhead.

There was great discussions on the issue and I know I gained a ton of new information from the presentations and discussions.  Kudos to the Wild Steelhead Coalition and the Wild Fish Conservancy.  Two great organizations doing good work for native fish in the Pacific Northwest.

As far as IHN, my opinion is that the managers are way too lax about outbreaks in certain geographic areas, such as Idaho and the Columbia River.  In my opinion, they need to react the same way in the Columbia system as they just did on the Olympic Peninsula, which is to destroy all eggs, juveniles, and adults.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cody's Challenge

Remembrances of last winter.  Sitting here finally back on the OP hardly imagining life in the Rockies when I catch a glimpse of this poster while checking to see what's happening in the Boat.

It was a fun race for a good cause.  Wish I was back in town for it this year... although I'm sure I'd be hurting with the lack of physical activity lately. 

Nice to get a reminder to get back out and spend more time outside.

Tomorrow, the coast.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Good for the soul

Ventured out to the coast over the past few days.  I find the area therapeutic.  From long hikes through the rainforests to swinging flies through glacial colored rivers.  Truly a paradise, and every time I venture there I remember those who fought so hard to create the National Parks and protected areas that now are oasis's for our souls.  Also a reminder that the fight is not over and we need to continue to protect not only the land that sustains fisheries but the practices that cause harm that habitat cannot fix.  Maybe it was the beautiful native fish I tailed for a quick release but I cannot help but feel somewhat hopeful that change, however slow, can be implemented and conditions can improve.





Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Go Saints

I'm not much of a sports fan anymore, but you gotta feel good about the Saints going to the Super Bowl.  After everything New Orleans has been through, this has to be a shot in the arm for the city.