We have always felt one of the most important elements of fly fish guiding is not only knowledge of your sport and the necessary attributes to attain such a position but also to be very adept at capturing everything surrounding it on film. Our staff excels in this department and over the next few weeks we are going to… highlight all of us.
Our first is Chris Ringlee, born and raised right here in western Washington, enjoy. Read more about Chris here:
These days, being a fly fishing guide is not as much about a long beard with left-over pizza, a giant chew in your cheek and a dog who will stay in your car all day while you are on the river.
No, no! Yes, you might be able to still slide by with that in the outskirts of Montana or places where guides are the norm and grow like “weed” in northern California.
An above average guide these days needs to know the ins and outs of Social Media, blogging and how each post is intertwined with Tweeting and FB’ing while upkeeping the reports page on the “so last year” website’s reports page. This is just the tip of the iceberg as now the guides leading much of the industry also should be toting high-end DSLR cameras and actually know what to do with them, and also be knowledgeable with regards to equipment and trends related to such across the region if not the country, in fly fishing that is.
Not easy to find and more and more, any Tom, Dick and Harry can buy a domain from Go Daddy for $9.99 a year on the new year end special and with the cheap software out there be up and running with “Guide Service” in a matter of a week.
So be it, it is the American way but for those looking out for themselves and their hard earned buck, do some due diligence on who you are spending $400-$500 a day with and make sure they are what they say they are.
Dig deep, ask questions and don’t fall for the bait and switch. Make sure they are going to live up to what they say they are going to because nothing ticks me off more than listening to people talk about how they fell for something they read on a website only to get railroaded into something else.
So today, we are trying to be more diligent about blogging by having our ENTIRE staff blog more than once every 6 months. The idea here is that we wear our knowledge, stewarship and respect for those fish and their homes we depend on on our shirt sleeves and offer up a broad perspective on our fisheries, the state they are actually in and what is being done about taking better care of them.
So, hopefully after this point, you will see some new perspectives on fly fishing in our world other than just mine!! Read on and don’t hesitate to give each of us the amount of grief you feel necessary, we are thick skinned, at least on here and willing to listen as good guides should!
So it may have been evident for some time to some people that this was going to happen and to the rest it might be a bit of a shock. Skate The Fly, the blog you have come to love and the Podcasts you have likely tried to forget is now also the most intuitive online fly shop around.
Pardon potential bugs in the system, Dylan is working 25 hours a day to fix them as well as add new content. The blog is now available through the home page and we will be offering a promo code through Emerald Water Anglers for those interested, shoot us an email or give us a call.
The next episode of STF T.V. will air soon with special guest Tommy Girvin, lead guitarist of 20+ years for the Eddie Money Band and feverish fly angler.
Happy Holidays to everyone and check out Skate The Fly!
Due to a number of factors including work, holiday visits to relatives, blown out rivers and tiny snowstorms that somehow shut down the entire city of Seattle and surrounding areas for no less than two days… shall I continue? No, I think that’s enough!
Needless to say not being able to hit the water as much as I would like makes me a bit grouchy. And nothing is worse than a Grinch on Christmas! So please Santa will you please give me less rain, more steelhead and some more time to go fishing? Is that so much to ask?
Now that I have my whining out of the way… there is a silver lining to this sad, pathetic little story of mine…
Free time off the water means developing flies at the vise!! My next greatest passion and a worthwhile endeavor in itself. One that too few partake in I might add.
So if you are like me, and being cooped up inside on a blown out day when you could be fishing has got you down, don’t turn to the bottle or hang yourself with a length of 200lb gel spun, just break out the vise, daydream about chrome bright pigs and wrap up some mega mojo to bring along on your next steelhead outing!
This video is just something to wet your chops on.
Get out the vise and have some fun!!!
I have grown up my entire life either on or in a river, swearing I wasn’t on/in it, as of late dreaming of them and if not those then driving alongside them, whenever possible. It is a problem to be reckoned with. Even so much as to drive several hundred miles out of my way in order to gaze longingly at some piece of water I am unable to fish right then. I LOVE water!
This brings me to my latest point and I don’t want to mention names but I do know someone who has been given the very same prognosis by many fish doctors and have seen the evidence of this disease (any impairment of normal physiological function affecting all or part of an organism, esp a specific pathological change caused by infection, stress, etc, producing characteristic symptoms; illness or sickness in general) on the side of his truck; damage caused by side swiping a bridge on an interstate trying to get just a few more inches of perspective on the water.
HOLY S–T!!! I myself have heard this more than once as well so the apple must not have fallen far from the tree. On this past Thanksgiving weekend, (irony completely intended but not intentional if that makes sense??!!) my dad and I were driving along the worst culprit of the disease there is, the North Umpqua River in southern Oregon.
For once the water was in amazing shape and we were both really excited to fish so every time the river was by the road, our chiropractic neglected necks would literally pop!
Then it happened…dad was watch the river not the road and as I looked up, HOLY S–T escaped as we were well across the center line on a road owned by logging trucks.
None were there and we gave extra thanks on Turkey day for that and the beauty of the river itself. There simply is no cure for this affliction, fly rods in car or not, doesn’t matter. All you can do is fish hard and hope for the same luck we came away with…AGAIN!!
Here is wishing everyone in the world a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend and a reminder that the fish don’t know it is snowing so get out and freeze a line!! As long as it stays cold, there are fish around and all the rivers in the region are in good shape so no excuses unless your waders leak, and even then…
For those who enjoy stirring the soup as I do and can laugh about, this is pretty funny. For those who take their steelhead fly fishing a bit too seriously, better not watch/listen. Or maybe you should as this might get you to relax a bit…
There is a commonality amongst us EWA and related folk. Sometimes it is hard to find, other times it is getting hit by a truck obvious. The latter is the case as one of my best friends Dylan Rose of Skate the Fly tells it like it is on his blog, here is an excerpt:
“If you find yourself blaming the fact that you can’t buy a fish because there’s too many people in your honey hole, you probably just suck. Local fly shops have great, low cost fly fishing classes these days, check one out. I’m sick of the regressive old school fly fishing paradigm that says you have to somehow be initiated into the club before you can drift your Elk Hair Caddis in a sweet riffle. If Oprah spawns a new fly angler, and they grow their addiction to the point where they feel a sickness in the pit of their stomach at the thought of their favorite river, lake or local beach becoming a sludgy toxic waste dump, then more the merrier.” Read more here
1. We close most of our rivers for the month of May to protect wild steelhead during their most prolific spawning season.
2. We managed for the much of the past decade the season of March and April on many of our steelhead rivers in the region to protect the “native” steelhead returning with catch and release regulations. This did include some of these O.P. rivers.
3. This left the early returning fish for decades, and I mean decades to be demolished if not nearly decimated by every sort of method imaginable. To the point where most of us didn’t really expect to see a wild fish until early to mid February because there just weren’t that many anyway.
After a little deeper read into this, if the previous catch and release regs remain in place for wild fish on those rivers, then this effectively shortens the catch and kill season, for real and is as a reader put it, “…a step in the right direction.”
Here it is straight from WDFW
Wild steelhead retention on eight Olympic Peninsula rivers opens Feb. 16, 2010
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding anglers that they will not be allowed to catch and keep wild steelhead on eight Olympic Peninsula rivers until mid-February.
Earlier this year, the annual opening date for wild steelhead retention was changed from Dec. 1 to Feb. 16 on eight rivers with fisheries for wild steelhead.
That change, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission last February, applies to fisheries for wild steelhead on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Clearwater, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Quinault and Sol Duc rivers. Those eight rivers are the only waters in Washington where wild steelhead retention is allowed.
The change does not affect fisheries currently under way for hatchery-reared steelhead – identifiable by their missing adipose or ventral fin.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, changed the opening date for wild steelhead retention to protect the early portion of the run, said Bob Leland, WDFW’s steelhead program manager. He noted, however, that anglers will still have an opportunity to catch and keep a wild fish during the peak of the return in late spring.
“Making this change will help to maintain the diversity of the run – including a range of late and early returning fish – that is important in preserving the wild steelhead population,” Leland said.
As before, anglers will be allowed to retain one wild steelhead per license year on one of the eight rivers. For more information on season dates and fishing rules, check the Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .
Leland said the change is consistent with WDFW’s Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which was approved by the commission in 2008. The statewide plan, available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/ , sets out a variety of conservation policies to guide fisheries management, hatchery operations and habitat-restoration programs.
Leland said anglers should be aware that the sportfishing rules adopted by the commission earlier this year also include regulations that prohibit the retention of wild steelhead on the Green (Duwamish), Pysht and Hoko rivers. The change is designed to protect wild steelhead on the three rivers, where wild runs have recently been in decline.