Get to know the Guide

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Hello, my name is Nate or Tamarack, I have been fishing the Yakima River and its surrounding tributaries, creeks, and lakes for 12 years.  I have been tying flies that time as well.  I have guided not only the river but also many of the hiking and mountaineering trails in the area and fished some of the more remote lakes and streams.  I love to fish the Yakima River and tribs and have been running my driftboat as a guide here for 5 years.

I sat at a vise before I ever even knew how to hold a fly rod. I started tying flies purely because I wanted a hobby that helped relieve stress and made me focus. I had a lot of stress from college and needed something different. I picked fly tying. Thought it was way outside my comfort zone, wasn’t video games like I usually played, and it looked interesting. I didn’t even really like fishing at the time. It was one of those things that I just happened to find and it clicked. It clicked good.

I started fishing right here on the Yakima in the middle of winter. I didn’t catch my first trout for three months. Seriously. I was awful at it. Had no clue what I was doing and went in completely noob and learned through trial and error and reading. That first fish though, it took my own stonefly nymph pattern and it was big. I was hooked, to use the cliche expression. I delved into the art and sport full force.  I read, trained, studied, spent hours in my lawn casting at plates and kid yard toys, and I tied. I tied a lot.

I then began studying under a great mentor. I would frequent the shop he worked in and ask every question I could. He gave me his time and I lent my ears and my mind. He opened the world of angling to me. He had me study hydrology, weather, entomology, trout biology, watershed geography, habitat, and everything else he would enlighten me to. I fine tuned my cast with him and broke it down and built it back so I could teach it to others.  I then practiced casting a ridiculous amount of time.

With my confidence boosted I went on discovery and spent 3 years hiking, wading, and fishing the river system here. I then ventured farther and blue lined unnamed creeks and streams with a healthy appetite.

But I wanted more. I began working at a shop. I was lucky enough to work with my mentor and continued learning, especially about tying and the biology of trout and their interaction with the environment. My world was enriched by all the anglers I met in the shop, the stories, the lies, and the vast wealth of knowledge was intoxicating to me as an angler. I also learned from full time guides that helped me become a better angler in so many ways.

But, I longed for the ability to float long stretches of the river at my leisure. No longer confined to the banks and wading the rivers I had fallen in love with. I bought a drift boat.

Oh damn. Such a huge new world to discover in fly fishing yet again. Boat mechanics, water reading, rowing lines, strength training, rapid shooting, and finally how to row with people fishing. Then I trained how to do it as a guide.

Guiding is about teaching. I will never promise 30 fish days, I can’t even truly promise there will be fish every day. I work very hard to help anglers catch fish but sometimes it’s not about catching fish. Sometimes it’s about learning how to be a better angler and understand trout, and sometimes its just about getting on the river. Better casting and presentation, learning to mend effectively, how to read water, or how to identify hatches, all of that and more are things that can be learned and tuned up while riverside especially when the trout are uncooperative. Whatever it is, my job is to give my knowledge and expertise about the art and sport of fly fishing freely and in a fun and energetic way. Fly fishing is pure fun and I treat it as such, even when its frustrating it can still be fun.  I keep things laid back, with learning as the foundation, and we are gonna catch some fish. I like to call it chasing trout instead of catching trout.

No matter the skill level of an angler, there is always something new to learn or an experience to share. I spend my days when I’m not working, learning how to be a better angler myself. I pride myself on my professionalism, my patience, and my ability to help people learn the art of fly fishing and all that it encompasses. My role for each trip is to learn my clients expectations and goals, and do my best to help them achieve them. I want my clients to come off the river feeling they had enjoyable and productive day no matter the amount or size of fish in the net. If you return to fish with me we are only going to learn more and become better anglers together while having a lot of fun riverside. With each angler I meet I become a better angler, and I help others become better anglers, while we share moments with these wonderful fishy creatures. That is why I guide.

I love to guide and share the river and wilds with others. I trained to guide both fly fishing and hiking and backpacking. I have guided the hiking trails and mountains of the Cle Elum and Yakima River area. From the snowy mountains by snowshoe and ski, to the lush green trails, I’ve taught people to fish, ski, snowshoe, kayak, build igloos, survive in the wilderness, and all sorts of other stuff we can talk about in the boat. Guiding for me is unavoidable it would seem.

Fly fishing is amazing and pure fun.  An unlimited supply of adventure, discovery, and trout. What more could I ever want. How could I not want to share it with others?

I invite you to let me show you fly fishing here on the Yakima River and area.

I guide to support my family so when you take a trip with me you are fueling my little American Dream and giving me the ability to share my passion and expertise with the fly fishing community.

I use a lot of my own fly designs and patterns that no other guide has and have spent the past 8 years fine tuning my patterns specific to this river.  I have flies, leaders, tippets, rod and reels, and always welcome anglers to bring their own gear.  If you need waders and boots I can arrange for a rental.  I support my local fly shop for my trips as it is important to me that our local shops stay open.

Whether you are an experienced angler or brand new to the sport I love sharing this river with people.  I guide the Yakima River and many other waters in the area.  When you give me a call I will ask you lots of questions as I want to make sure you have the best experience possible while chasing the trout we have here.  Whether its a guided river float or a hike and fish; I can help make your fly fishing experience memorable and fun.

Give me a call today and lets set up a time to go fishing.

4 thoughts on “Get to know the Guide

  1. I am very interested in a trip with you, for this spring or summer.

    1. Would be happy to take you out on the river this season. Give me a call or send me an email inquiry!

  2. Hi Nate,
    Thanks so much for your time on the phone tonight. My daughter Chelsea and I are really excited to fish with you all day on Thursday October 11! We look forward to hearing from you for more details.
    Best regards

    1. Send me your email and I’ll get ya squared away.

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