Posted on Leave a comment

OP Day 2

So day 2 we didn’t do shit. I kicked it in Port Angeles and Troy hit up the fly shop and we got supplies for the rest of the trip.

If you need coffee hit up Electric Cloud Coffee in PA. Also Swains has literally everything you could need. Salt Creek is a wicked nice campground…just watch out for bobcats and racoons. Shifty critters getting into my boat.

We did zero fishing and had a lazy day of camp life. Headed to Forks and the Bogechiel in the AM.

See ya riverside anglers.


Posted on Leave a comment

The OP Day 1

Whooo. I hate traffic. Let’s just get that out of the way. My version of traffic is too many rigs at the take out, or moose, or fucken deer. The pass was good. I haven’t taken the boat over the pass in a bit. Snowed a little in Roslyn. I spent the morning prepping the boat. I had to repair my safety chains, and patch a hole in my hull. Had to drain the water out before it froze.

I hit Port Angeles around 3. Troy my vagabond trout bum, roomate both on and off water, guide buddy showed up after 6. Had to do a supply run at REI. I was on groceries. We are camping at Salt Creek on the Strait. I can hear the water crashing just over the cliff edge. We had to fend of some pesky racoons that got a little brash. I decided to try and be friends and that seems to have kept them at bay. Apparently they don’t like me.

The fire is waning down. Subtle cracks and cackles as the embers turn a deep orange. I can’t get over the sound of the water. It’s so different. Yet familiar. The crashes keep the silence just out of earshot. The dark is deeper here. The clouds lock you into it. There is little light pollution. Oh to be able to see the stars this eve.

I saw the snow capped Olympics as I came in. The call to the rivers they breath life into beckons ever louder now that I am in their presence. Like the sound of the salt water crashing and pulling and crashing and pulling…like the waters of the rivers I intend to fish…pulling all into the sea and giving back as thing return and pass on to the next ebb and flow, crash and pull. It is good to be outside anglers…good to chase fish, new adventure, and share tine with friends old and new.

See ya riverside in the wet anglers.


Posted on Leave a comment

Trout Bum Mornings

Its cold. Officially to cold for shorts. I said it.

The offseason is slow. Most mornings during the trout season; its get up and go, guide, eat, sleep, do it again. You squeeze everything into and around the guide days.

This time of the year mornings are a bit more relaxed. Wake up around 8 or 9. Sometimes 10. Start coffee amd throw on the music. I putter around in the mornings. Read news, catch up on emails and social media.

Coffee is ready. I talk to my kids. I would typically hang outside and enjoy my coffee. But its too damn cold so I have to sit inside. I am surprised how busy I actually am this offseason.

I finish my coffee, do yoga. And then finish getting ready for the day. A trout bum day doesn’t typically start until 10 or 11. I set aside a few hours a day for fly tying. Orders are starting to roll in so I will cram more flies in before leaving for a week or two for winter steelheading.

The trick to the offseason is to settle into that slower pace. It isn’t always easy. Going from high energy, go go go, constant people interaction, to just kinda being a loner. I haven’t had the experience of living with another guide and trout bum during the offseason. Having two cabin fever stricken anglers under one roof can get silly. With no big TV or electronics, or other things to ward off boredom…its mostly a lot of late mornings, late nights, flies tied, trips planned and replanned, coffee drank, and stories swapped.

You have to enjoy it. Take the respite even if you don’t really want it. The offseason isn’t as glamorous as the trout season or fishing damn near everyday…but you work your ass off so you can enjoy the time off river. It usually only lasts 10 days maybe 2 weeks before I find myself outside or wanting to be out. Despite the cold. There is skiing soon…but I like fish more.

Trout Bum mornings are pretty slow and laid back. Just easing into the cold winter days every morning. That’ll all change when we head west to the OP and get back on river time. But until then…just enjoying the offseason for what it is, and anticipating the next riverside day.


Posted on Leave a comment

Familiar but New

The winter has set in. The temps have settled to freezing or maybe a little warmer on the sunny days. The snow has started. The highlands will snow lock up soon. The water temps have dropped to 36 or less. Fish are hibernating. Like Randy the fat skunk that lives out under the shed.

I have fly tying orders coming in which is keeping me busy. But without things to distract me from the cabin fever like I used to have in the offseason the anxiousness is starting. My roomate is restless. Ready to spend 2 weeks on the OP. His restlessness has transferred over to me.

I am craving something familiar, but new. I have chased steel and salmon but it has been a while. I am a different angler than I was last time I landed something with my spey stick. I got it out today…forgot how big an 8 wt 13.6 ft Spey actually is.

Winter steelheading and I don’t always agree but its been a while. I am not a fan of the cold. But its much colder here on the homewater. Living in the PNW one does have to get comfortable with varying degrees of cold. I am looking forward to camping and chasing fish. Rediscovering what winter steelheading on the OP is.

It is familiar but new. The rivers, the gear, reading the water, the rythym of the day, its all fresh which is something I am looking forward to after a long and very trout focused season. Taking a week or two to plug back into water, fish, the boat, and the people sharing the experience with you seems like a good way to kill some offseason time.

There is the anticipation now. Tying flies, squaring away gear, packing for camp life, and doing all the stuff and things that are the preamble to the trip. Feels good to be in that place after a month plus off.

So I will see ya riverside on the westside anglers. Headed out Monday with the Hog. Stay tuned for more.


Posted on Leave a comment

Off Season Grooves.

I am working on filling fly tying orders. It looks a little like this.

I have flies up for sale on the website, or you can email or call for orders. Keeping busy this off season.

Happy Off Season Anglers!


Posted on 1 Comment

Where it rains up…

So I headed west recently. Went to the Olympic Pennisula. The OP.

It’s been close to 10 years since I have been out that far. I fished a lot of river’s in a short time. I was hungrier for big fish and had the steelhead bug from the Klick, Wenatchee, and Methow. I wanted to see the rainforest and test myself on the famed OP. As a younger angler in the PNW I felt it was part of the process to try my hand and cast at OP Steel.

I sucked at steelhead fishing. My spey cast is still shit. It’s never been my thing. I nymphed a lot which is dirty, and I did throw gear for steel and salmon at that time.

I only swing now. Not because I am pretentious, its just how I prefer to fish for salmon and steel. I personally want to improve my spey and swinging skills and if I hook or catch fish thats great. I have caught my steelhead and salmon of a lifetime already. These days I am not chasing much more than a better spey cast.

That takes a lot of the pressure off and gives me a different perspective than I had when I was younger. And with the current state of our salmon and steelhead fisheries I am just out for the experience and place, fish or not. Its more therapeutic. I never want to guide steelhead. Just want to get my swing on in a pretty place. I am also a much better angler compared to my younger self so I am interested to see how things go.

I remember winter steelheading back then. I remember one adventure 4 straight days of rain on 2 different rivers. Rain so heavy it hit the river and splashed so hard it hit you in the chin. It rained so hard it rained up. The last day I did hook into 3 and land 1 which is better than I usually do.

I remember being cold and wet and full of whiskey for a good portion. I was eager for fish and didn’t appreciate the place I was in as much as I should have. I would tell my younger self to slow down and delve into the experience more…fish are secondary. That is my mentality going into winter steelheading for the first time in a long time. Peer pressure coupled with my current situation, epic boredom level, and just for the pure wanting to do it and having the ability…so why not.

I spent some time visiting friends, getting my bearings over there again, get familiar with the area and drive since me and the hog gotta trek over the pass in the winter. May have to find a place to stick my boat on that side…hmmm. I also just wanted to see the place again. It is one of the most unique places I have ever been. From the mountains of Colorado, deserts of south Idaho, mountains of north Idaho, Montana, Yellowstone, Glacier, B.C., Alaska, and anywhere in Washington…the OP and the Rainforest and waterways of the area are by far some of the coolest places to let your outdoorsy side out.

Its cold here in Roslyn, here soon we won’t see temps above freezing very much. The OP is a little warmer, albeit wetter.

There is old water there I would like to rediscover for myself. There may be a fish or two, maybe some to harvest, but I am chasing a better cast, days spent in a faintly familiar place, having and sharing new experiences.

See ya riverside somewhere over on the rainy side.


Posted on Leave a comment

Checked Out

I spent the past week dinking around on the westside and the OP. I needed to get outta town. I have been looking at the Yakima since September non stop it feels like. I have also settled into this new life I have a little and was stir crazy but didn’t really want to fish. I enjoy driving and seeing things. I even enjoy driving at night. And since my accident it has taken me a bit to get back into driving without anxiety. A little face your fear kinda thing driving on that side of the state. Holy hell. But 101 up the south sound and up through Port Angeles is fucken gorgeous and has way less traffic and is mostly 55 mph which is totally my speed. Not 84 like everyone on the damn freeway. Shit people slow down. I did drive by a lot of wicked accidents in all that rain…just slow down. Srsly. Anyway.

So driving is much easier.

I also just needed to recconect with a few people. Not being with my kids sucks, so surrounding myself with good people that have kept an eye on me and have been there for me seemed appropriate. I am kind of a bum right now and just needed a check out and river peeps understand that best.

Change of scenery, unplugging from fishing, and kind of taking a big breath before the cold sets in. Also setting up fishing plans on the OP when things start rolling is in the works. It takes me a bit to settle especially after this season. Even my roomate and fishing partner is getting anxious and stir crazy. Trout bums, dirtbags, guides, river rats, and ski bums alike know all about the off season woes. I have some experience with the offseason, but this one will be the first of many, much different off seasons. So filling time with new adventures, expanding business, making time for my kids when feasable, but also to keep myself from just sitting and wasting the winter away watching netflix stuffing munchies in my face. So stay moving and chase fish.

So I checked out and thought shit out while being around good people and cool places. Back to it anglers…off season is here.

See ya riverside on the warm days anglers.


Posted on Leave a comment

Off Season Settling

The season has finally come to a halt for me. It is cold, fish are on the slow drop to hibernation, and my body is tired. I spent a lot of time riverside this year. My second busiest year in 5.

I have lost more weight this season. I am also in really good shape post trout chasing. But I can feel physically, that I did a lot with my body this year. Couple that with my car accidnet and broken finger both of which I could feel ware my body more this summer and fall…and I am ready to just make myself sit still for a bit and let everything rest. The snow will be here soon…and I will go outside and play in it.

Things are slow here in Roslyn. A pace I am familiar with during the cold months. I do miss my children, but I will see them soon enough. Trying to figure out what to do with myself with time I didn’t think I would have has been interesting and anxiety filled. I have good friends that have gone out of their way to help me through this rapid though. The best part of the river is through and around the bend.

I tie, and as the off season really setttles in I become more obsessed with it. I am still not there yet…it was a busy year and a crazy end so fishing and work stuff in general has little appeal. I read a lot, spend most mornings filling my brain with the things I don’t have time to absorb when troot are on it. Not much of a tv guy or sports. I do listen to a lot of music. I have spent time researching redfish, southern salt water fishing, new flies, I am into a few podcasts, and I have watched some of the YouTube’s. I also have spent a lot of time reading up on the current sitution with our salmon steelhead fisheries here in the PNW. Looking at scientific research, new findings, from multiple viewpoints and sources. While I may have taken a step back from volunteer hours I am still constantly updating myself with the issues our fishieries, wildlife, and industry are facing.

The slower pace is welcome. The season is a constant flow of people, energy, adrenaline, physical and mental labor, and I keep it up at a non stop pace for the most part. Constant stimulation. Waking with the river, plugged in and constantly adjusting and fine tuning. My eyes are tired from looking at moving water and tiny flies. Off at dark and back at it again. So I will take some time for respite.

I know that call and pull outward will hit me soon. I cannot sit still for long. I will crave adventure and new experiences, personally, professionally, and angling wise before long. I do enjoy solitude and have the ability to seek it out this time of year. With how many people I interact with in this gig, I enjoy not having to be a people person a little bit. Just check out. When I am guiding its one side of me so to speak…not a character…its a huge part of who I am and its organic my energy. Off river…I am quite a bit different. Being here in Roslyn I see a lot of clients and fellow anglers that have noticed. I tend to keep to myself more, not into large groups or loud places, just a lot quieter…like hibernating I guess.

I find that the off season is more for reflection and connection with those people who are closest to you. I have a lot to reflect on. I also have time to connect with those people who I hold dear. I also have new paths laid out in front of me with my personal and professional life that I can venture down. Staying on a positive and forward thinking path with my off river and on river life.

I feel like I have made it through the hardest water on this stretch of river. Still some rollers and rocks to set lines on…that technical shit I like to row. But you have to get through the sporty stuff for the really good water…

See ya riverside on the warm days anglers.


Posted on Leave a comment

Flies For Sale

Hey Anglers,

Its that time of year again anglers! Tying Season!

The website here has a store where you can purchase my guide flies for your own boxes. I only sell flies in the off season so now until March is the time.

I also do custom orders and can build different selections of patterns to suit your fish chasing needs.

Help support your local trout guide this offseason and purchase some flies tied with love. These patterns are what I use during the guide season and its the only way to get them. No shops carry them and I get too busy during guiding to fill orders.

Prices and flies are up on the site or you can contract me directly. I can also tie specefic patterna not in my library for those anglers who have specific tastes.

Thanks for the support and patronage anglers!

Posted on Leave a comment

Juiciest of Grooviest Moments

Fellow troutbum, guide, and roommate and I were conversing porch side the other night. We were discussing how fishing and guiding the way we do has a compound effect on experience. Your average angler develops 30 years of experience fishing 30 days a year. 52 weeks in a year. Trout season is roughly 30 of those. Fish 1 day a week during the season. Some get 60 in a season, especially after retirement. I get 200 on water days for trout a year and have for the last 5 seasons in row. That’s not counting how much I have fished prior to guiding full time which had years with 100 personal days. That’s roughly 1000 river days with 75% guided if not more. Which sounds about right to me.

Now I’m not saying all this to toot my own horn. This gig and being good at it requires experience. In my tenure I’ve never met someone who is just good at it naturally. Everyone starts somewhere and improves until we reach a level of expertise that allows us to just enjoy fishing. There is no degree in guiding, no shortcuts, no flies that are magical, no YouTube videos that can supplement time on the water. Can’t catch a fish if your fly ain’t in the river.

Experience matters. If you wanna get good you gotta put the time in. I’ve got plenty of clients and angler friends that fish those 30 days or so a year and over the past several seasons have become incredible anglers. It’s all about time, repetition, observing, and tapping into the rivers rythym.

One of the great joys of my job is watching that development and transition happen. Being part of the process is a privilege to me and yes I’m compensated for it but it’s just as rewarding for me as a guide and a person to share in that process. It’s a very special thing. I don’t care if that sounds cliche or sappy…its fucken true.

Today’s client, has the makings of a great guide. And I don’t say that about every angler that says they’d like to be a guide. The majority of anglers really don’t understand the difference between 60 trips a summer and double that plus a season. It’s not just a side gig, and to produce and be good enough to keep it going business wise…it requires more work.

This client gets that. One of the most determined anglers I’ve ever met. Understands she isn’t at a level yet and wants to put the work in to get there on and off river. I’m a pretty laid back guide, but when you tell me you’d like to be a guide and want to reach that kind of professional level, I’m intense and pretty hard. Things have a way they need to be done. The tools of this trade have a specific way of functioning. But it also requires craft and artistry to present the fly at that high level. As a guide I am able to develop that with new anglers, refine and tune it with experienced. My goal with returning clients is to get them to that level so that when the come out for a trip the fishing becomes second nature so to speak. We just fish. All the stuff and things are known and we just groove through the day.

If you throw a baby wipe cast I’m gonna let ya know. If you throw a sexy one you’re gonna know. When shit goes south I’m going to help you identify why and how to correct it. I’m critical constructively and I throw you into it so you learn on the fly…pun intended, because experience is what it’s all about.

There is this moment I am chasing with clients like today. They are almost there…I can see all the pieces starting to come together. Then it finally happens and the fish is there and it all just clicks for them. It’s a large trout, they set perfectly, strip in unison with the moving fish, they counter and answer playing offense during the battle. They keep thier composure, and they do every single thing perfect…and that my friends….its what being a guide is all about right there. That moment right there…when that fish is in the net and all that work comes to fruition. The energy is literally thick in the air, I see it on thier faces, its addictive. It’s the juiciest of grooviest moments as a guide. Clients that I have shared that experience with know it and we are always chasing more of the same. That’s where experience gets you anglers…just chasin the juiciest moments.

We almost got there today on my trip. Almost….so close…felt the sting and the tug of the fish….just not there yet. Soon though. Really soon.