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As The End Draws Near.

It has been a long season. I’ve been on river since the end of February. Roughly 200 days of fishing and or guiding. Just over half will be guide days this year which is considerably better than last season.

The spring was a bust again. But what else is new. It was my last spring on the Yakima. I will not be back until Mid April or Mothers Day next season.

I dabbled in working a new river and state with a new outfitter. Learned a few things, both about my guiding and my business that really solidified this fly fishing guiding as a career for me. This was big for me as I’ve been on the Yak doing my thing for 5 seasons and it’s been going really well. Comparing that with other operations elsewhere and meeting new clients was very beneficial professionally and personally to me. Working for another outfitter had its tribulations but that is part of this gig. That doesn’t outshine the good, working with great people, guiding amazing water, and working towards something bigger and better as I chase more guide days and this guide life.

Shit goes south sometimes. After this season I know that better than most…fucken deer. But ones ability to rise up with the help of others and determination and hard work is not only a part of this gig but life in general. I’ve weathered much worse over the years so when hardships come…I find my way through. You find the line through the rapid, commit to it, and see how you come out the bottom…sometimes you get through perfect, every oar stroke on que. Other times you smack a rock, or go sideways and dump the boat…shit happens. How you come out of it is the most important thing.

I was taken aback by the support from my clients, my friends, river peeps, colleagues, fellow guides, and this community of fly anglers that I am a part of. I cannot thank all that helped and offered help enough. There are too many people to name but I will list a few.

To Tyler, Sierra, and Kyle at Whitepine, I have met a lot of people in this industry, you are all some of the best. The opportunity to guide the Joe, all the stuff and things you’ve done and accomplished and bringing me along for some of the ride…it was the adventure I had been craving. The help post accident can never truly be repaid and I look forward to the next river bend and adventure that lies around it.

To Shay and her family. Offering your home, your time, and your energy was something that I greatly needed and wholly appreciate. I would not have been able to finish the season and chase my passion without you.

To Ross and Thalledah. You know. I love you both. From Ross being one of my first clients, to the two of you becoming my closest friends, watching you both become amazing anglers, and becoming amazing people together both riverside and off…I thank you and am glad you are part of my life.

Troy. One of the truest trout bums I know. You are one of the most gracious and giving people I’ve met. Your organic love for angling is contagious. You have a big heart and freely give it to those around you. I will cherish the riverside time we had this season and look forward to many more days chasin fish.

Hannah.

Fuck dude it’s been a fun one. I gave you one hell of an anniversary present this summer. There is no other soul that understands mine like yours. None of this happens without you and everything you do behind the scenes. You give me the life I’ve always wanted and as the season closes I cannot wait to be with you and the children. This guide life has two parts…and the more important part is just getting started.

There are so many others to thank, I could write for days. I thank all of you.

This Fishtober has been DECENT! The goal was 20 more trips from Sept 10th to the end and I exceeded that. After a rough summer a good fishtober is always welcome. This business has its ups and downs, when you can look back at the season and feel positive about it and feel like the negative taught and matured you, made you better, it’s been a good season.

I have been angling for a while now, guiding too. Burnout has become a real factor even after 200 plus days I want more. A few weeks off and in wanna be back in it. The burnout isn’t from the work or the people. It’s looking at the same water and same fish all the time. Expanding to new rivers and species is the cure for burnout. I love the Yakima, but I want more. After this year I definitely crave more and new. I crave adventure, and in this gig sometimes that’s new, technical, challenging water, sometimes its business logistics and people, but it’s all part of the adventure and work of being a guide. If I didn’t absolutely love it…I wouldn’t have come back after the accident. Adventures never go according to plan, neither does business, fishing, marriage, kids, or life in general. It’s part of the gig.

As the end draws near…the older, more seasoned angler and guide in me has learned a thing or two. Living life, my life happens to be a guide life, is about truly living it, being out there in it, experiencing it, the hardships as well as the amazing…without one the other has little substance.

Life changes you, grows you, molds you, how you come out is what it’s all about. Can’t take anything with you, just what you leave behind. Leave some good shit behind, share some trout, laugh about the bad, flirt with mortality every once in a while to keep things spicy, and find passion in what you do and who you share it with. Love…and go fishing anglers.

Tamarack

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Last Open Dates of the Season

Alright anglers,

The season is coming down to its last few weeks. As of today the following dates are all that I have open.

The last Fishtober days:

8th through the 11th and the 14th 15th and 16th.

I have the 21st through the 27th open but those dates will be weather dependent.

The 8th through the 11th will be during the peak of the caddis hatch and on weekdays which is always less river traffic.

Come get bent on some trout the last few available days I have.

Reserve today.

Tamarack

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The Push

We’ve got 5 weeks left anglers. Well I do at least. Trout fishing ends in late October for this trout bum and guide.

I’ve been on water almost 200 days since March. I’ve guided around 130 something trips maybe more I have lost track a bit. I’ll end the season close to my goal of 160 ish. I was hoping for 30 trips here in the Fall and I’m 9 away from hitting that mark.

But there is burnout. I had a chunk of time off in August again but it wasnt the kinda down time I would have liked. Summer cost a lot. From gas prices to low guide days, hot water temps, deers, shennanagins, the summer was kind of a bust. Nothing new in this gig. The fall is always good to me.

But I’m ready to be home. I spend over 50 days away from home at a time. It can stress you. After 200 plus days I’m looking forward to the end of the season.

So I won’t be steelheading this year. With the recent closures in Idaho and low numbers and intense commercial and recreational pressure…I’m just not that interested in it. Plus the cost of doing it and the money to be made is a wash. My focus will be on saltwater down south this off season, tying flies, selling flies, and finding some new trout water to guide. I’ll be back to it on the Yak and Joe and other places next season in March.

The Push is here. Its fishtober. Its the last few weeks of good trout fishing on the fly rod before the cold sets in and the fish hibernate like the other critters. I hibernate too. I sleep, enjoy my children and those lives, spend time with my wife, play video games, and I’ll be looking for warmer water and bigger fish with bigger gear come the snow falling.

Tis the season anglers…

Fishtober is here.

Tamarack

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Last Open Dates of the Season!

Open Dates For Fishtober!

September:
27th and 29th.

October:
1st and 2nd
7th through 11th
14th 15th 16th.
21st-27th

We’ve got caddis and mayflies just getting started. The colors are changing fast, the fish are fat and hungry, and theres only a few weeks left of the season before it’s over!

Fishtober…until it’s over.

Reserve one of my last days of this crazy season!

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Fishtober Has Arrived

Its Fishtober Anglers.

The trout are on big caddis, streamer fishing is ramping up, the small dry game is just getting started, oh man….its just so juicy out here right now.

The fishing has been stellar, save for the off day or two over the past 2 weeks. I’ve fished everyday since I got back and it’s been pretty fucken sweet.

The big fish are starting to roll up, we’ve been getting into some good number days, and it’s been 80 percent dries, and the rest streamers or droppers.

I’ve had lots of trips this season. Somewhere over 100 now. I’ve kinda lost track. I’ve done most on the Yak. I did 14 or so trips on the St. Joe this season. So the expanding outward this season was not as lucrative as hoped but a great experience and something il continue to pursue. But the Yak, shes always good to me. Stingy sometimes…but good.

I had a great trip today. Good numbers, a really big one landed, like 2 foot of trout almost. Stuck it out till dark, was the last boat off, happy clients, fat tip, and a nice little down time at the local pub with friends talking trout afterward.

I’ve been living that ‘guide life’ for a few seasons now. When the work is there…the lifestyle follows. I’ve run inti fellow anglers, clients, and guides all chasin that lifestyle. The trout bum, fish all the time, live the river life kinda gig. I live it every day for 200 days or so a year. And the off season is just that, offseason, with offseason homework, tying, and working on new business expansions to other water and new places. It’s a full time gig. And when it truly is…then you’re living the guide life. Because at the end of the day that’s what being a guide is…its work. More than just being on time, making a nice lunch, and putting anglers on trout. There is more to it, so much more. I’ve met plenty of people in this industry and community that want the life but not the work. I fish every day…I’ve fished over 150 days this season, guided most of them. With all the shennanagins, fish, clients, car wrecks, boat fixes, fly purchases, cost analysis reports, social media shit, running invoices, emails, repairing gear, and working new angles for more guide days. That’s all I’m after…more guide days. 200 plus is the goal. Because I’m a guide, I’m best on river guiding. So any time that isn’t spent trying to chase more guide days is just fishing and I’ve done plenty of that over the past decade or so.

Lifestyle, culture, that boys club stuff, or whatever you call it…it revolves around the work. I’ve never really been a fan of it. I’m not usually the guide that hangs out to chat at the access points, I’m not out at the pub every night, I don’t typically hang with clients outside of work or guides really. I like to do my thing, unplug, then do it again. As many days as I can. My kinda gig is winding down fireside solo, outdoors. Ir maybe with a friend or two talking trout, life and other stuff. Or I talk to my wife for an hour or 3 on the phone. But mostly just trying to come down from the day, eat, relax, sleep, and do it again the next day until they run out.

My work is on a time constraint. Only so many days to work when you factor in things like weather, flows, hatches, economy, and a myriad of other things that can have an effect on trips coming in. Every trip I take these days is one I am personally chasin down through blogs, social media, or all the other things I do. Days off are spent fishing, dialing things in, checking the bugs the fish, sending emails, getting photos, reading up on new stuff and things, its constant work interrupted by fish. That’s the lifestyle. Some can hack it others try, others wannabe, and others learn to get there over time.

Doing the way I do it is different. Guiding other places and being around so many other boats this season has really showed me that. I also have a chunk of clients that have fished all over the place with all sorts of guides and I continue to hear about my uniqueness. I’m not in this to be the best, or the busiest, or famous on social media, or get sponsors, endorsements, free shit, or be an ambassador for some company trying to sell more stuff. I’ve got enough to do selling my own thing. I’m in this because I love the work. Of all the things I’ve done…I love this work. Everything about it from shit ass trailers not working, free range boulders, crazy shuttle drivers, moose, bears, camp bees, forest fires, droughts, crap conditions, rig killing deer, to big trout getting off, to big smiles on clients faces, tired back muscles, worn out eyes, burnt out brains, from the rough days to the amazing days all the ones in between even the ones when you roll your shit into the river. It’s all about the work…because that is the guide life. Not all that other off river shit…its all about that river time. If you don’t got it then you ain’t living it.

At least that’s how I feel about it. After this season, which has been busy, had some shit-tastic shit happen, but been really busy. When you get to this point in the season and you’re chasin those last 30 trips or so…if you can look back and feel good about it as a guide, a business owner, and an angler…learned some things, improve some things, and have a better plan for the next season…then ya…the guide life has been good.

See ya riverside anglers

Tamarack

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Sept 19th and 20th Open

The cranefly hatch is peaking. It’s starting to feel like fall, and the trout fishing is wicked good right now.

I’ve got the 19th and 20th still open this week. Come out for a half day or a full, or even a walk and wade. It’s all good.

I’ve also got 2 spots still open for my Fall Fishing Clinic Sept 22nd. This coming Sunday. $90 per person. Being your own gear. Come learn the fall fishing. I’ve also got more dates later this season open still but its filling up fast.

There are lots of options and the fishing is pretty good anglers. You’re missing out on Fishtober…some come get dome before it’s over.

Tamarack.

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Craneflies Cometh

The craneflies are hatching anglers. They are hatching and it is glorious.

As I say constantly…the fall is my favorite time to chase trout and guide. The late season fishing is ushered in by a very distinct hatch…the cranefly.

What my kids call a Mosquito Eater, it’s actually a cranefly. There are multiple species, both terrestrial and aquatic. We shall focus on the latter of course. Trout can’t eat the ones hatching in your lawn.

The larva of the cranefly are algae eaters. They hang out in the slower shallow water munching on that sludgy green stuff. They are usually tan, brown, or green and resemble a big ass caddis pupa. Size 10 and 8 anglers. It’s like a grub. Or a underwater Caterpillar . Then when the water drops they all congregate in the slow slack water and typically hatch in the mornings. They like it under 75 degrees in air temp. When the adults hatch they go and find mates and do thier thing. It’s a mad dash across the river to find mates and spawn on the river banks and in the grass. They bumbled and skitter across the river and fish take advantage, the water here is lower flow, the fish are a hangry as they know winter is coming. Gotta pack in the food to store up for the winter just like every other critter.

So suffice it to say…they are aggressive. They chase down food with a purpose. They search cranes out of the air they want then so bad. It’s amazing to watch and even more incredible to fish. Unlike any other time of year the fish resist the urge for cover, food, and oxygen and will only focus on food, sacrificing themselves to predators to eat as much as possible. They can get that way with drakes too. But it seems to be more intense with cranes on the Yakima.

For the next 2 weeks these dangly bugs will be one of the key food sources for trout in the upper river. BWO and Mahogany Mayflies are there on cooler and soggy days and I’ll become more prevalent post crane hatch. There are caddis coming off frequently, a few large October Caddis but that hatch is still weeks out.

It’s all about cranes anglers. The time is now. It’s on and I’ve got open days this weekend and into next week. So come get in on the peak of the cranefly hatch.

Awww ya.

Tamarack

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Back on the Homewater

It feels like it’s been ages. But it’s only been a month of summer.

I haven’t fished the Yak in about 4 weeks. I’ve been on the Joe and dealing with the aftermath of that truck reducing deer encounter.

I drove 800 miles the last two days. From home in Rupert Idaho to the Joe then the Yak. A much needed short trip to see the family. It had been 70 days or so since I had seen or held my wife and children. There was some emotion when we picked up my son from school. We couldn’t see him in the cafeteria and after everyone looking for him I just yelled his name MARSHALL! With a big dad voice. He jumped up, sitting literally right in front of us, realized he had really just heard his dad call his name, ran to me and nearly knocked me over. He was in tears immediately, as was his mother and teacher. Its was a pretty awesome reaction. My son gets pretty emotional, has battled some demons similar to his dad, and was very worried after the accident. So going home was a much needed trip for all of us. I walked my 5 year old home from Kindergarten for two days, something I look forward to doing more when the season is over. I also got my eldest her first phone so she can text and call me when she needs to and to satiate her teenage need and want for one.

My wife and I had a date night, chilled, detoxed, reflected on the season and the accident, and made plans and ran logistics on the rest of the season and the bounce back from the cost of the accident. A quick visit. But I was anxious to get back to it after being laid up for 2 weeks ish. My lady could tell, not happy but happy to see me leave.

New rig is sweet. Upgrade from the last. Drove the last 800 plus miles like a dream. It’s a pretty drive up through Idaho on 95 through the Salmon River and Hells Canyon area. I really enjoyed seeing all the rafts on my way through. My father in law recommended the route instead of through Mcall, he does know me pretty well these days. Kind of drive I needed after not really wanting to drive since rolling.

Grabbed the boat in the evening, slept in Spokane, and left and hit the Yak around 3 ish. Grabbed oars, and new Sawyer Stickers, and headed up river.

Damn I missed the Yak. And shes starting to look like her normal self again.

I couldn’t help it. I had other things I needed to do. But the trout bum in me said fuck it and go fish. So I did.

I walked up the Cle Elum from the old bridge below Tumble Creek. I missed all but 1. Like I said, haven’t fished the yak in a bit. The Joe is easy sauce comparatively. And that’s all I’ve fished recently. Yakima fish are wicked fast. And in the lower flows…they haven’t slowed down at all. Woo. Little slow on the set anglers. Little slow. So we will be fixing that this week.

The Yak in the Fall is my favorite time to fish and guide. I’ve got a decent number of guide days up and more coming. I plan on fishing every day guiding or myself from now until the end of Fishtober.

The colors are changing, the weather is cooling. The rains are here, the mayflies are hatching. There are craneflies and caddis about. The fish are happy to be through the summer. Aggressive to strike a dry and streamer…when presented well multiple times of course…but aggressive all the same.

I missed the challenge of the Yakima Trout. Well conditioned to the angler these wild trout. Unforgiving. Unwilling. But worth the frustration and tribulation. Rewarding to say the least. And beautiful as ever. These trout…to this day…after 13 years, hundreds of days, hundreds of trips over the past 5, thousands of fish…they still get me.

I’m am happy and honestly…relieved to be back on the homewater. This river and I have history. Summer break is over…its almost Fishtober. Tis the Season anglers….tis the fucken fishtober season.

See ya riverside.

Tamarack

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Fall Season Availability

Late Season Availabiltiy.

Hey anglers,

I cannot thank those who have reserved days for the fall fishing on the Yakima enough. You’re all keeping this thing going with your conitued support and patronage.

Weekends are filling up fast. I’ve had multiple clients try to book the same days. So here is an updated list of what Weekend Days are still open as of today.

September:
14th and 15th
28th and 29th.

October:
19th and 20th
26th.

Weekdays are still open. Reserve online, DM, call, or text.

Thank you and I’m super stoked to get back riverside for Fishtober