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Book your Trips for the Spring!

I will be back on the Yakima at the end of the month. I am traveling more for work and guiding new places this year, so I have big blocks of dates where I will be riverside and open for reservations.

If you would like to reserve a Early Season Spring Day of fishing these are the dates I will be available.

I have March 5th through April 16th for this first block of spring dates open. I already have several dates booked for the Spring and weekends are filling up fast.

I also have April 1st through April 10th set aside for Bass Fishing on the Fly.

My Spring Special rate is $385 for 2 anglers for a 6hr float with a lunch. I also offer half days and walk and wade trips.

My Bass Trip rate is $500 for 2 anglers for a full 8hr day of fishing with a lunch.

So if you’d like to take a guided fly fishing trip with me between March 5th through April 16th start thinking about reserving your dates today!

You can call, email, or message to reserve.

Hope to see ya out there this season Anglers!

Tamarack

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Spring Fishing Clinic March 17th

I will be hosting a Spring Fishing Clinic on March 17th. This clinic will focus on spring fishing techniques and methods. We will go over casting, water reading, approach, wading, fish handling, bug and fly identification and more.

Open to all levels. Limited to 6 anglers. $90 per person.

Anglers will need waders and boots, and their own fly rod and line. A standard 9ft 5wt with floating line will work just fine. You can contact me with any questions.

You can sign up via FB, email, message, or call.

Hope to see ya there.

Tamarack.

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Final Days at home.

I am in my last week at home. It hasn’t stopped snowing for the past several days, it’s still wicked cold, and my patience is wearing thin. I’m ready to be back to the river life. The snow pack across the West has improved greatly. The stress of a super crummy summer has lightened after the past 10 days of storms and snow flurries. Anglers are starting to perk up with the closeness of things thawing and spring breaking through. It’s almost time.

My family knows I’m leaving soon. The kids ask me daily when I’m leaving and my lady seems to be trying to ignore the fact I will be gone for several weeks soon. There’s a lot of not wanting me to leave attitude coming from them but there is also that understanding that I need and want to go. We support our family with my guiding. Buy cloths, pay bills, rent, all that stuff is financed through guiding. As my kids have grown they see the connection between guiding and our lives more so than ever. I think my wife is just happy that I’ll be out of her hair for a bit, but she’s also understands what fly fishing and guiding means not only to our family but also to me on a personal level.

I am passionate about two things in life. My family and fly fishing. They are in a constant race for first place with me. After being here since October the fly fishing is ready to take the lead for the next few laps.

My brain has started to change, I think in terms of trout. I break down water in my head, fish for imaginary trout, run over all the places to fish on all the different floats I row. I can fish most of the Yak from memory these days, remembering that bend, this pocket, that boulder garden and that riffle. I anticipate the sights, sounds, and smells of the river in spring time. The river waking slowly every morning, the BWO hatch in the late afternoon, Skwalla stoneflies scurrying along the banks and river surface. Slurpy trout gobbling them up.

Clients are reaching out to me. Asking when and where things are gonna happen. I’m almost riverside and can finally get into the groove of interpreting and decoding the river everyday once again. The prep work, checking flows, predicting hatches, taking temps, watching the weather forecasts, flows predictions, water storage and runnoff predictions, it’s all a week away.

Fishing everyday again. The things fishing for days upon days in a row can do for your soul or whatever you wanna call it. That sweet feeling of a rod bending in your hand in the back cast. The sound the line makes as it zips through the air. The dimple of the fly as it’s placed on the rivers surface. The anxious wait as the drift goes through, the sip, the set, the shake of a wild trout tricked by a fly. The disconnect from the noise of one world and the reconnect to another through something as silly as some feathers and thread wrapped around a hook. Those that know….know and those that are trying to discover it, search for it.

A week away anglers. A week away and I’m back living riverside.

See ya out there anglers.

Tamarack

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Almost Time

20 days until I leave for the homewater. Once there I get to spend 10 days or so getting back into the river rhythm and prep for the season. I haven’t fished since October. I’m not a fan of the cold and frozen fishing conditions. So the stoke to chase trout is rather high. We have a lighter sno pack this year which should make for some decent spring fishing and I’m trying not to think about the heat of summer and low water that looks inevitable. Expanding to other species and other rivers in other states will help alleviate that stress.

I am so ready for the change of pace. Being at home has been great spending time with the lady and my children but the call of the river beckons me wayward. The fishing every day, waking to the river, slumbering beside her in the evenings, fly fishing and all that in entails is a part of me. Just like my family, and I yearn to embrace the river and the wild things that live within and around it.

The spring is a wonderful time on the river. The cold crisp mornings, the sun warming and brining things to life. The sounds of birds, the buds on the trees peeking out, the soft babble of river before it swells with the melt. The crunch of old hard snow under my wading boots, my breath visible in the morning air. The scent of conifer trees, of wet damp wood smoke of a campfire, hot coffee while waiting for things to wake.

I sit and tie flies while reminiscing of previous springs, of fish, and people, wildlife, and things coming to life. The feel of a double taper cutting through the air, the soft drift of a mayfly along the edge of a riffle. The take…the sweet subtle take from a trout fooled by my fly. The flutter of my heart that turns turns to a thumping, pumping adrenaline throughout my body, my soul, if there is such a thing, rejuvenated and filled with that intoxicating mixture of anxiety and joy. The battle, the shakes, the pulls, the jumps, the runs, of a wild trout playing the game with me. The smile that won’t leave my face, the audible noises that splurge from my mouth. The feel of my net in my hand, the cold water splashing as the trout comes to hand. The immediate satisfaction of success and the calm that unfolds when the trout is landed.

The feel of the animal in my hands as I release it, the power as it strokes it’s tail to be free once again, leaving me that sense of freedom that I so crave. Nothing else in the world in that moment….nothing…save for an angler…and a wild trout…

Tamarack

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Read the Damn Water!

I love to read water. It presents a challenge that a lot of anglers and guides fall short on because they do what I like to call spot hopping. They fish the spots…the spots they’ve always caught fish in. I’ll give you an example. I took a float with a pair of younger less experienced anglers and guides two years ago. I had finished a morning half day and was gonna go fish myself and they invited me along. So I joined and sat in the back of the boat. I’m a visual person, so I like the back seat and enjoy watching.

Right off the bat they started pushing the boat down river. Speeding to what one called a good spot. It was, a nice eddy with a seam along the bank with a slight overhang and a rock. A great spot for a fish. They threw a few casts, no love, and then proceeded to push down river…to the next ‘good spot’. This went in for three or so miles. I only cast a few times as we passed by tons of water and fish to get to these spots. Maybe half the spots in the first three miles produced a fish. Nothing to write home about, just a few trout. As we continued on down river I kept my eyes out for risers while we cruised by trouty water. It was later in the afternoon in the early summer, prime time for troots to be eating. The high flows of the Yak in the summer push a large percentage of the fish up into the bank where they jockey for the best feeding lines that have the most cover and easy access to food. That time of year it’s mostly caddis. And trout typically eat the majority of their caddis under the surface prior to the bloom of the hatch around dusk.

As we continued to slow down at these spots that kept being called out with sayings like, ‘This is a good spot, I got a nice one here yesterday.’ We’d come up empty more often than not and then the speed was put back on the sticks and we’d push to the next one, I kept thinking to myself…what about all the fish in between all these ‘spots’. It took me a few miles to realize what was happening. We were playing a memory game with the river and trout. We were only targeting the spots that these two fellow anglers had caught fish in previously. There wasn’t any actual reading of the water. Just slowing down to get three to six casts at these spots, then pushing down to the next without actually…well…without actually fishing.

Now I’ve got experience. Over 10 years, and I used to fish this way. I’ve never guided this way. And after about 6 miles my patience was starting to wane. I finally asked, ‘What about all the fish in between these spots?’ I didn’t get an answer, the intoxication level and gone up by this time and I don’t partake so I realized that this was more about wasting time and blowing off steam than fishing. Even on my days off or when I’m fishing for myself I read and breakdown water. There are over 1000 fish per mile in the section we were fishing during this float and I finally realized that the two anglers I was with didn’t have a lot of experience reading and searching out trout. We sped down river only stopping at areas where these two had caught fish previously and anything in between was passed by due to lack of confidence and never producing fish in the past. This is a mistake, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by clients and anglers that I’ve fished with, ‘ I’ve never fished the river the way you do Tamarack.’

This is because I take it slow, row the boat, and teach anglers how to read while we venture downriver. Fish are everywhere. Too many times I’ve had boats pass by and slide into a spot or hole, get a few casts in, maybe get a fish, then move on, meanwhile I’m still behind…fishing all the other water…typically coming up with fish. It’s not about being better, or trying to show off…it’s about fishing. Which means reading the water, searching out all the other areas besides what every other boat and angler targets. In the busy summer season on the Yak, but this also holds true at any time on the river, most boats are fishing the same spots one right after the other. That’s why you’ll see people constantly pushing to be in the front of the pack, because another boat may have already fished that spot and pressured the fish. When the trout have this type of spot hopping routine happen to them day after day it will put them down. But all those fish in between are left alone.

As a guide it can be wicked hard to watch, and if you’ve been in the boat with me on a busy day sometimes you’ll hear me call it out. I call it out for two reasons, to show clients that there is another way to do it, and to explain to anglers that this kind of behavior can mean the difference between a few fish and a lot of fish. Water reading is a crucial skill for an angler that wants to up their game and improve their skill. Sometimes that fish and all his friends are just another 20 yards up or down river of that ‘spot’. Fish move…constantly. The notion that fish sit in the same spots all the time is hogwash. Put on a pair of fins and a snorkel and you’ll see. Rainbow are more territorial but they still move around quite a bit typically staying in the same 100-300 yard stretch for a week or three. Cutthroat are different and move over a wider range up and down the river. Usually cuttys hang out for a day or three then move along.

Understanding this all relates to the weather, water temp, flow, and what food is available…those things are the basis of reading water. They tell you where the food is, so now you know where the trout should be, the water temp and flow let’s you know how hungry they are. Higher flows and warmer temps mean trout are burning calories to battle the flow and their metabolism is up with water temp. It also lets you know where they are in the water column. The weather conditions also play a factor, as bright days will put fish lower, and overcast will entice them up higher in the water column meaning better dry action. The food plays a key role of course. When mayflies hatch en mass the overcast days produce a better hatch, it also allows the fish to move up into the top third of the water column, and the insects are in key places, like the riffles and tail outs of riffles. All these things give the angler the ability to find fish in all sorts of places. Stoneflies hatching? Look to the large boulder areas and the banks of the river, higher flows will push trout into cover for rest but also easy access to big high protein food sources. Add into the fact that trout will fight each other for the best lane for food and you’ve got the basis of how trout move about in the river. Any one of these factors change, higher flows, different bugs hatching, warmer or cooler water temps, and you have to adjust and read the water differently. Add where the seams, riffles, overhangs, boulder gardens, structure, and all that into the mix and boom…there’s a lot going on.

Understanding these aspects of how trout move around in their environment is what water reading is essentially. It can be overwhelming at first, and take time to learn how to decipher it all. It’s why I get paid for this gig. On my days off this is what I’m doing. Reading the water, checking the temps, the flows, the weather, anticipating the hatches, and breaking down how the day should go. It gives me a base to go off, which sets up the day to be more productive while also teaching clients how to do it so that when they venture riverside on their own they start to understand it too. This is an essential part of guiding, the fishy part of guiding. The other side of guiding is dealing with people and how to make all this information understandable to new and old anglers.

Getting back to this spot hopping bonanza. After about 10 miles of spot hopping with these two younger guides I had had enough and sat down and stopped fishing. Soon the bloom of caddis came as dusk settled in and when there were fish rising all over it was a drunken chaotic casting session for about 20 minutes and more missed fish than caught. I sat and watched the craziness ensure and laughed a lot. When it became too dark to see I heard, ‘Trout can’t see in the dark.’ And we pushed to the takeout…another mistake as trout can and do feed in the evening when it’s dark AF. Also at some point one will get too intoxicated to be very effective at fishing. A lot of anglers fish this way though drinking or not. It becomes a problem when it’s considered to be a professional level of fishing and being compensated for it. When I take guide trips myself I want a guide that is putting their time in when not working to raise the level of the experience beyond just spot hopping. I strive for that level every season and it has served me well.

I get it’s fun to just blow off some steam and fish this way especially for younger anglers who are still learning the ins and outs, but I just don’t do it anymore. When I do set aside a day to be more of a F’ing around kind of day…it almost always turns into anything but that. I like a challenge, that’s what is fun for me. I like figuring out a complex puzzle, breaking down the river and finding success, that age old battle of ‘conquering’ nature through understanding how it all works together and putting myself or clients into the thick of it. Watching it click with anglers is one of the great joys of guiding. When it all starts to make sense and is no longer overwhelming to those who fish with me. When I get texts or calls from clients about the success they find on their own due to learning from me. They come back out to learn more and discover the ins and outs of what makes a truly great trout fly angler. Water reading separates the novice from the experienced, gives the angler more success. There is always something new happening every few weeks. Trout moving around, new bugs hatching, the flows and weather change, the water temps fluctuate, all these factors are essential to reading water. Going over and above just fishing the fishy looking water, when you start to break it all down you realize that there is a lot more fishy water out there than you thought.

I’ll teach ya…come take a trip with me and find out.

Tamarack.

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Pre Season Jitters

It’s close…I can feel it coming even 800 miles away here in Idaho I can feel the spring coming. The anticipation to get back to the river life is enveloping me. I dream of water reading, the sounds of my oars sloshing the water, the pull of the currents against my boat, the feeling of a trout on the end of the line. The joy it brings clients and myself.

I looked at the weather forecast for the Yakima this coming week. It’s gonna be cold, overnight lows in the teens and daytime highs in the low to mid 30’s. Which means things are still a little wintery out there. Anxious doesn’t begin to describe the internal struggle in my head. That disconnect from one life and the connection to another. My whole family is starting to feel it. The kids keep asking when I’m leaving, my lady tells me she doesn’t want me to go. But I want so badly to be riverside and have my whole world be about trouty things.

I can’t seem to be interested in anything else. My mind wanders imaginary river banks and I get lost in the current. That pull, the call, the internal drive to be outside and completely in my element. I tie flies, I watch, read, listen, and study new and old techniques. I’ve even got the fly rod out and started getting my timing and rhythm back. The boat comes out of storage soon, the rig will get packed, and the roof top tent will be cleaned and checked in preparation soon.

Trips are slowly coming in. When I finally get back riverside I know they will come in plenty, clients are starting to reach out and ask all the familiar questions. The stoke to see friends and river peeps again is high. The anticipation of bugs hatching, fish slurping, and dipping the net into the water to introduce people to fish is almost oozing out of me. If you’ve ever fished with me you know the energy level I have is high. In the off season it’s lays dormant, smoldering, but as things start to warm up it turns back into a flame. Hibernation is wearing off and my mind and body already know that we are close. Another few weeks I keep telling myself. Each day is another day closer to everything revolving around fly fishing.

It’s almost time anglers…are you ready? Bet ur ass I am.

Tamarack

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Thoughts From the Off Season Part 2

It is starting to feel like spring here in the high desert of southern Idaho. The temps are warming, its starting to smell a little less like winter, and the sun shines longer. I am only a few weeks away from being riverside every day. This off season has been a slog. Don’t get me wrong I love hanging with my family, and if you’ve been following me or fished with me this past summer and fall you know a little about the hardships my family and I faced, which have made this offseason kind of a bummer. But things are really looking up, despite the inevitable surgery I have to get before leaving and the financial burden that comes with it, fishing…will commence very soon.

Its so much more than just meeting clients in the morning and then spending the day taking them fishing. There is science to do, weather and water reports to dissect and interpret, observing the river, watching as it comes to life, hunting and seeking trout. There is homework, new techniques and insights to discover and apply. The prep work, getting the fly rods back out, getting back into casting everyday, new methods of teaching and relaying information to people to work out. I have to get my body back up to guiding level. There is water and people to read, and trout to chase. By this time in the off season its all I am thinking about. The last stretch before fly fishing is all that I am focused on. I dream in trout and rivers. I long for the sounds of the river. Especially in the spring, as the whole world comes out of its slumber…that slow sleepy wake that comes after a long hard sleep. I look forward to it more than I can describe.

My off season is filled with mostly trying to enjoy the time off. I don’t like to sit still, so after about 4-6 weeks of being off…I really just wanna get back to it. Being bored is a killer for me. I’ve tied a few thousand flies, sold most, yelled at kids to brush their teeth, driven to basketball practices, helped my lady get ready for her new job, and I spend my weekdays chilling with my almost 5 year old. After a while that routine starts to get to me…and my lady has already started to see the off season wane on my sanity. She gets it, even if she doesn’t fully understand it. When you spend a third to three quarters of the year outside and on river…sitting at home can become a bit of a trial. I enjoy it, the sounds of my children playing, yelling, fighting. The feel of my wife lying next to me every morning, the sounds of her snoring keeping me up at night (sorry babe), a proper shower that isn’t outside…that kinda stuff. The time away from it during the guide season makes me appreciate it and miss it that much more. But now I am to the point where I am longing for the other side of my life. The time where everything about what I am doing revolves around fishing.

Fly fishing changes you when you do it enough. Sounds super corny but its true. Spend enough time outside and everything else seems frivolous. My wife is the one person who reminds me that there is more than just fishing. My kids to do, but when you spend a good chunk of time away from that family dynamic it takes a bit to realize that reality. Personally I am truly addicted to it fly fishing, and explaining that to others can be a challenge…one that I have all but given up on explaining these days. When you know you know. That thing so many anglers chase when they hit the water, that feeling of disconnect from one world and absolute connection to another…its hard to put into words. I meet people that have the hardest time explaining why they love fly fishing and what it does for them…but I understand it completely.

Being 800 plus miles away from the homewater hasn’t been the easiest thing. Watching social media posts of fellow anglers and guides getting after it during the winter hasn’t been the most enjoyable thing either. I get a lot of questions about why I don’t fish in the winter. A lot of it has to do with the fact that as I have gotten older I have worked a lot of that angst out by fishing constantly when I was younger. Plus I don’t enjoy the cold weather as much anymore. But moreover, I have responsibilities that need my attention in the off season. Finding that balance between family life and fly angler life is a constant thing. A struggle sometimes, but an enjoyable one.

As I tread through the last few weeks of home life I can feel that my family is starting to miss me. As my mind has started to disconnect already. My wife knows I am already starting to check out. My days filled with tying, talking about fishing, and lets be honest, complaining about the long wait. She gets it, even if she is annoyed by it. The financial side of it helps and this year is shaping up to be a good one. Spring trips already scheduled, more than this time last season. A new gig lined up on new water in a new state, new species to chase with clients, I haven’t been this excited about fly fishing and guiding since I started. I have been craving adventure, and after last season with the switch to a camp, guide, fish routine it really ruined my life a bit. Having that ability to just fish, live, and guide along the banks of the river was eye opening. The long times away from my wife and kids sucks, but the upside is…fishing. I fished more last year than I have in a long time. Every day for weeks straight. I would find myself sitting in camp contemplating what I was going to do before and after trips, on days off, and every time, even when I told myself I don’t need to fish…20 minutes later I was knee deep in the river. Having that freedom, the ability to connect that much…its a blessing. A blessing that I don’t take for granted. Without my family I wouldn’t have that same deep connection. I wouldn’t have anything to miss while I was riverside, and I wouldn’t miss the river as much if I didn’t have the time in the off season with my family. Its strange I know. But having things in ones life that you are passionate about makes life worth living.

I am reminded of Muir’s writings a lot. Having read most of his stuff. He had this desire, a drive to chase mountains and the outdoors. A passion that could not be rivaled. His sense of adventure and his ambition to conquer and discover himself through the act of mountaineering and observing the outdoors was truly inspiring. That call from the mountains was always there, something he would describe to his family in great detail to try and explain the reasons behind it. That connection…its very real. A life without passion is no life I want to live. It makes the struggles and hardships worth the strife, and it makes the joyful moments rise above all. Yes I have a family, and my wife and I never wanted to sacrifice what we wanted for ourselves individually in order to have a family. Something I think is lost on the younger generations these days. Having a family, watching my children grow is one of the greatest joys and adventures of my life. My time away from them chasing my own personal dreams and adventures makes me appreciate them and what they add to my life that much more. My children growing up learning and seeing that just because you have a family doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what you want for yourself is an imporant lesson that is not easy to teach. Growing up knowing that you can find a way to support a family and have that kind of passion in your life as well as doing what makes you happy is something I am trying to teach my kids. It’s not traditional, its not always easy, and it tends to be misunderstood by many around my family and I. Happiness is something that requires work. That old saying anything worth a damn takes work is definitely true. My kids know that when I leave its not because I don’t want to be around them or anything like that. They are learning that life takes work, especially when chasing a life that is filled with joy, passion, and love. They are also learning that money doesn’t guarantee any of those things. One of my favorite quotes is from a Wookiefoot song, “There are people so damn poor all they have is their money.” If I can teach my children that money won’t make you happy but having a life with the things that fill you with absolute and true joy is worth striving for. If they can learn that passion, people, love, all connected through the outdoors can bring one a life of true wealth and richness then I will have succeeded in one of my goals as a father.

Have a life filled with things that make your heart flutter. A life with people that make you laugh, cry, love, and feel deeply. A life that doesn’t depend on material things, social media post likes, how much money is in the bank, what your credit score is, or how big your house is, its a hard lesson to teach in this modern era. When I leave my children are starting to see this, they are starting to understand it. And as the pit in my stomach grows knowing that I will be leaving them very soon…it makes it a little easier to swallow.

The season is almost here anglers.

See ya out there.

Tamarack

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River Update

Weather and Fishing Update:

Even though I’m not on the banks of the Yakima yet I’m still getting info on weather and conditions and it’s that time of the year where I start putting up reports and predictions.

The past week has had some warmer weather with air temps touching 50 degrees. The water temps bumped up a degree or two in the lower river which made for some decent early season fishing from reports I have gathered through talking with fellow anglers and guides. Upper river is still cold but there has been midges and even a few BWOs here and there.

We have a cooler front coming in this week with forecasts calling for overnight lows in the mid to low 20’s and daytime temps in the high 30’s in the upper and mid 40’s in the LC.

I’m about 3 weeks away from packing up and heading back to the Yakima to get ready for the season. Midges, BWO’s and streamers along with nymphing stones and of course worms will produce fish even in the cold. Look for that slower walking speed water for your trout.

Here in South Idaho it’s warming up with temps in the high 40’s this coming week, making me come out of hibernation a little early to venture out to Silver Creek and possibly up to the Big Wood River to see if I can get me some brown trout to eat before I head back to Washington until April.

Trips are trickling in and with the current forecasts and predictions it looks like the season is gonna get started a little early this year. Give me a call, email, or message me on social media, to reserve a day of fishing for the 2019 season!

Hope to see ya out there anglers…

Tamarack

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CONTEST Time!!!

Hey anglers I’ve got a contest running on Facebook and Instagram right now. Post a 60 second video describing:

Your Favorite Thing about Fly Fishing

What Fly Fishing means to you Personally

How Sharing the Experience with Others Impacts you.

The winner and a friend of their choosing will get a FREE Guided Trip with my beardy face!

Visit my FB or instagram page to post. Tag @tamaracktrout in the video!

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Cabin Fever: Part 2 The End is Nigh

I am 4 weeks away from being back riverside every day. The anticipation and anxiety is at unbearable levels. This off season has been a slow grind and I am fed up with the cabin fever. Things are looking really good for the season. With winter fishing being really good on the Yak this year I am really looking forward to getting back to it when spring rolls around and the river wakes up proper.

I am switching to guide mode over the next few weeks. I have changed my diet, mostly because I have to have my Gall Bladder removed here in the near future and I haven’t been as healthy this off season as previous years. I am focused on making sure my body is ready for the task coming up. As I enter into my mid 30’s making sure I am taking care of me is becoming a focus. I am tying flies, after selling a few thousand this off season I am moving away from tying for clients and filling up my guide boxes. You still have time to order some flies but once I am back riverside on the 25th of Feb, I won’t be tying for clients as much. I also have a contest coming up, with a Free Full Day Guided Trip for the winner. That contest will be posted for the weekend so look for that on the website, FB, and Instagram.

Another thing I am prepping for is Bass, I will be guiding Bass trips this season and already have a few days in April scheduled. Bass are a really fun fish on the fly and I am so looking forward to sharing those experiences with clients and getting back into it myself after several years away from the smallies and large mouth of the Columbia Basin. I am also working the details out on a new guiding opportunity in the Idaho area for this season. I have a big meeting next month before I am back on the Yak and will hopefully have the opportunity to share new rivers and new fish with clients. I don’t wanna get ahead of myself but its looking really good and I am on track with my business plan to expand to new states, new rivers, and new adventures this season. Let’s just say I won’t just be a Yakima River Guide this season…so I am very stoked.

The Spring Fishing is almost here. It will actually start picking up before I even get to the Yakima later next month. I don’t typically start guiding until March, when things start to warm and fish start to move out of their winter lies. I also take 10 days to 2 weeks to get my body and mind back into the rhythm of river life before I start guiding. Gotta get back up to the professional level before I start rowing dudes down the river.

Spring trips are cheaper, and that’s because you only get about 6 hours of fishing time during the day. My Spring trips are a great way for new anglers wanting to get into this sport, to get their feet wet and learn the ins and outs of fishing. Its also a great time to work the kinks out and dust off for those experienced anglers. Spring time offers a little bit of everything, lots of nymphing, but don’t be shunned away by indicator fishing, in the spring nymphing is a great way to learn how to find fish, how they move about the system during the day, and there is something to be said about big bows dropping indicators a foot or two and screaming up the run away from you. The streamer fishing is best in the spring…by far. The sculpins spawn, salmon smolt start moving around, the fish are hungry for a big meal as they will be spawning themselves soon. Big lurky trout that have been eating midges and crunchy stones all winter switch gears and chase down streamer patterns aggressively. Learning the places to look for streamer eaters is a big part of the day during spring trips. Teaching anglers to swing, strip, and how to approach a large fish are a really awesome part of the spring guiding season. Then there is the dry fly game. Pods of fish looking up for dainty BWO’s and Midges, the March Brown hatch a little later in the spring, the Skwalla Dries, you get these great windows during the spring where top water flies can produce some really amazing experiences and learning how fish move around and stage for hatches and feeding lines is a key part of the mid day routine on spring trips.

The Cabin Fever is in its final stages. The end is nigh anglers. If you’ve been itching to get back out there and chase some fish now is the time to start planning your early season trips. With snow pack levels in a good spot and more snow still to come before the switch to spring the early season is shaping up to be a really fun time before runoff comes into play. Which is when we switch gears to bass and fish other stuff while the river goes through her annual runoff episode. I am so ready to get back to camping riverside everyday, meeting old and new clients after the off season, and fuck…I am so ready to catch some fish…I haven’t had a proper trout handshake since October. Looking forward to getting back to that Fly Angler Life.

Hope to see ya out there anglers!

Tamarack