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3 Epic fishing vacation fails and how to avoid them

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Imagine this, you have just booked a trip to go trout fishing in BC at a beautiful lodge with a wonderful lake and river right out front.  At the sport shows you saw video and photo proof that you would be catching 100 trout a day all on dry flies.  The owner who was at the show was nice enough to let you in on the secret that if you didn't put a deposit down right than and there with your credit card you were like to miss out on the spot.  You spend the next several months preparing, tying flies and dreaming about the slow motion, head-tail takes that were about to happen.  The problem is that when you arrive at the end of July you find out those 100 fish days only happen in June on the opening week of the season.  After that the weary fish are much more careful about what and when the...

A Steelheader goes Tarpon fishing

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For most of us serious fly fisherman there is nothing more exhilarating in this world than chasing silver, chrome fish that bite a fly and jump like hell. I can’t say a day on the ocean can match a day swinging flies for wild steelhead, however I am hard pressed to remember anything that caused the type of adrenaline rush that occurs when you see giant tarpon surfacing. There are many unbelievable places to satisfy the tarpon urge but for us, heading to Pine Key in Florida was an easy choice.  

It has been the landing point for many guides I cut my teeth with in Alaska.  It was in many ways going to be as much as a reunion with great friends as a fishing trip.  Old school Alaska Rainbow Lodge alum Ryan Phinney and Brandon Sharp have both been guiding in the keys for many years now and live year r...

A Dog’s Best Friend

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Gawwwwwwwwwd!!!!!  I have writer’s block.  I have stared at this computer for three nights in a row without laying down a word.  Not even a letter.  This has happened before but not as severe as this.  It is like a palsy.  My hands are frozen in the “start” position over the keys.  I know what I want to write about.  I don’t know where to start.  I’ll just start writing stuff down and see what happens.

I want to write about my chocolate lab. This was during the 70’s.  Her name was Marcy.  When I asked my son about a name for her he didn’t even hesitate.  “I want to name her Marcy after my baby sitter.  I think even at 4 yrs old he was a little taken by his sitter.  He liked her.  Marcy it was.  Cutest puppy in the world.  Neither my...

Fisherman's 5 with Sean Johnson

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The Fisherman's 5 is a new series we are running here at Epic Waters, so keep your eye out for it in the upcoming weeks.  We will be asking folks who have been in the fishing industry for many years 5 questions to answer honestly.  Expect to hear from guides, marketing experts, casting champions, rod and reel builders and much more.  Our industry has changed a lot over the last decade and many of these people have been leading the way. 

Our first guest in the fisherman 5 is Sean Johnson who lives in Bend, Oregon and has been in the fishing industry for over 25 years.  

Sean and I guided together in Chile in the early 2000's and after that he spent many years as head guide at Kulik Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Currently Sean specializes in helping companies with...

EXPLORATIONS

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Ex-plo-ra-tion  -  To travel (in a little-known region) for discovery.  To examine (something) carefully; investigate.   Doesn’t it just send chills up and down your body to relate that word to your flyfishing adventures.  It does for me.  I can’t help it.  I once conducted an experiment.  I would ask fishers if they were given a choice of two maps; one with a possibly finding a pot of gold or the other, finding new, unfished waters with a possibility of finding fish, which map would they choose.  Every time it was the unfished waters.  What is it about discovering something never before experienced by anyone else in history that keeps fishers (climbers, sailors and so on) on the prowl for that undiscovered treasure?

I have always been on the lo...

Spey Fishing Nepal

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Coming into this adventure, my ultimate goal was to fish the entire country of Nepal and document what I saw.  

Here is my epic journey - start to finish on one the best and most meaningful trips I have ever taken. If you love adventure fishing there is nothing more exhilerating than exploring new rivers in a foriegn country.  

If you would like more information on my trip, or have some questions about Nepal in general please let me know and I will be happy to help. 

From east to west I searched the Himalayas for cold water streams with a spey rod in hand. My time frame was two months and my journey started in a very remote town called Simikot of the Humla province.

 

Week 1

Detained by the Nepali Army for not having proper...

OLD FRIEND AND NEW WATERS

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A few weeks ago, I had a chance to meet up with an old (actually he’s pretty young) friend to fish new waters.  Our plan A was to go to the Thompson, but it closed after the first of November.  We planned to leave on the 18th.  What to do??  I called a friend (Jeff Jarrett) in Orofino, Idaho to see what the Clearwater was doing.  He told me to get my ass up there.  So Plan B turned to the Clearwater and as it turned out, the Salmon River, in Idaho.  My friend (Justin Miller of northern California) was way up for it.  We made a meet date and time and we were on another epic fishing trip.  We got our licenses, food, liquor and gas in Lewiston, Id and took off for Orofino.  We got there in late afternoon and got our tent set up.  We were in an RV park so we could get electri...

FIRST DAY BLUES

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Whenever I take a steelheading or any other fishing trip, I get the First Day Blues.  I can prepare all I want and I will have a major fuck-up on my first day.  I don’t know why this happens.  I can get to my destination camp or room or lodge with all of my equipment and necessary items; clothing, camera stuff, fishing gear and toiletries.  I have everything to make a successful trip.  But I guess I get so excited to actually be where I’ve been planning for a year (more or less) that my brain goes askew and doesn’t arrange my gear and other stuff.  As much as I try to follow my list (written down), I go blank on parts of it every first day on my trips.  I cannot remember one that didn’t embarrassed me when we get to the fishing part of the trip.

I have fished for the major part of...

IT’S IN THE AIR

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It is the 5th of September and we have a cold front moving through Seattle with a bit of rain.  It feels like fall.  Yesterday when there were a few hours of sunshine making its way through the trees, I recognized the angle of the shadows as a forecast of autumn a few days or weeks ahead.  Within the last couple of decades I would go into a funk because of the diminishing daily sunshine.  Some years it would develop into a serious depression.  I don’t do that now (thank God).  I have learned to accept the day for what it is.  And what it is, is that I am coming into my favorite time of the year:  Steelhead season.  I love fishing for chrome in late summer but I am dedicated to fall and winter steelhead fishing.  To those who know me, it is such a switch of personalities that t...

The dangers of fishing, no really

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Fishing haida gwaii
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Every so often in the fishing game, you are going to end up in some horrible and dangerous situations.  Usually it is due to a bad decision somewhere along the way. Charging through water that manute bol couldn’t wade, rafting class 5 rapids in a float tube or hiking through miles of devils club all spell disaster.  In the fishing world we all do a lot of exploratory trips, and with all the available resources some good research goes a long way.  

However, if you do end up in a situation that raises the hairs on your neck like a charging bear there are a couple golden rules to live by.  At this point risk management has to be at the forefront of every decision you make.  If there is a known entity like a long hike out compared to an unknown entity like a “possible” shortcut take the the opti...

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