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I have chosen to never take up golf.  I know I would like it and I don’t need any other activity to take away my limited time on the river.  My hat goes off to those who can combine golf and flyfishing.  I just get too obsessive when starting a new activity or sport.  And besides that, every sport I’ve taken up as an adult has brought me within a 7x tippet’s width of death.  Only because I’ve had a guardian angel on my shoulder, am I still able to sit here tonight and write this.  Mountain climbing (alpine and rock), skiing, hang-gliding, hunting and fishing have all had their shots at me.  I have given up all but bow-hunting turkey and fishing.  Yes, even fishing brought me close to death, but not in the way you might think.  One might associate fishing near-death experiences with...

Simply good product at a good price

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Have you ever wanted to take a trip doing something new?  If it’s your first time doing something you are often inclined to buy cheap gear as you have no certainty on how many times you will use it.  In the fishing world this can end in sheer disaster.  You may end up being a walking version of an epic toyota recall, a ticking time bomb.  The drag blows up on your reel, rod snaps, wader seams break leaving you in utter chaos.  If you want to stay in the river fishing and go light on your pocket book check out some of this gear.

Gone are the days fly fisherman walked around with gaudy vests. They went out of style when Blues Traveler front man John Popper started using them for his harmonicas in the 90’s.  People prefer small packs for trout these days.  For the stuff we do in BC I...

When things go from bad to WORSE.

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epic on the fly
epic on the fly
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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 spells 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...

HITCHIN’ A RIDE

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I was lucky enough to be one of the first fly fishers in Los Roques, Venezuela.  There were no guides ; only local fishermen who would take us out to fish for raton (bonefish).  I was with a video production company shooting a video of this up and coming bonefish destination.  It was actually unbelievable fly fishing for bones. Once we got it across to the fishermen/guides what we were after (very little Spanish and zero English).  I started working for a company organizing group trips there a year later as a group leader. 

One of my group trips was very memorable.  Our trips, early on, started with a night in Caracas and a private flight to Los Roques (about 80 miles off the Venezuelan shore).  We arrived OK and got checked into one of the weirdest “lodges” I’ve been in.  Fir...

BC's best little secret, The Cable Cookhouse.

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Winter Steelhead
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My love for BC spey fishing started in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island many years ago. This is why my road trip had me leaving the Skeena watershed to be among the great North Island rivers of my past. I packed my Subaru, picked up my brother, and made my way to the ferry. Our destination was Sayward Junction on the beautiful Salmon River. Upon arrival at Sayward Junction the rivers were very low. The upper parts of the Salmon had my brother asking me why were we here? I replied, "I timed our adventure to the rains".

That night we planned our Salmon River float trip.  It was going to be a float trip that would reignite my passion of the North Island.  At the White River bridge we dropped our raft and parked our car at the Cable Cookhouse (where the hospitality and fresh coffee was greatly appreciate...

THE DAY THE TRUCK SUNK AND THE BOAT BURNT

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I guess if you fish long enough some pretty strange adventures await.  One of my favorite saltwater bonefish areas for wade-fishing is Christmas Island in the Pacific about a 1000 miles south of Hawaii.  I have been there a few times and have some very memorable days of fishing.  I want to tell you of one particular day while fishing for Trevally and a few bonefish.  It was the day the truck sunk and the boat burnt.  I am not shitting you, this is a true story.

I wanted to dedicate a day to fishing for Trevally and maybe a bonefish or two.  My friend Tim was there and told me he would arrange it.  We got up early and with a truck the Tim borrowed from a friend on the Island we started out to meet our guide out on a point.  It was an extremely low tide and we had to start our t...

Fishing BC? here are the Cana-dos and the Cana-don'ts

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 If you have finally saved enough money for the insanely expensive BC angling licenses, and the steelhead season up-charge for rental cars or fishing guides, you should bone up on the “Canadian” ways. 

To start you will want to load up your spotify playlists with Neil Young, Tragically Hip, Feist and Michael Buble. Toss on some Stompin’ Tom Connors and Leonard Cohen for some bonus points.  This will immediately get you through any border line ups faster than a canuck on skates.

The first thing you will want to do upon entering Canada is shift down a couple gears.  Although you won’t be on island time here, the pace is a just a bit more relaxed. 

To get acclimatized, the best thing to do is order a Caesar from the nearest pup and watch a period of the Vancouver Canucks gam...

Epic in Movember

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Mid-October

While having coffee at the Packing House in Spences Bridge I said to my friends, " Once I land my Thompson fish I'm leaving."  They jokingly replied, "You could be here for ten days or more,"  as they looked and laughed at my 'handful' of grease lined flies. Armed with only five deer hair flies I began swinging toward the  lake hole. After a full day of casting my 70 foot spey line I started to think my friends were right. To boost my spirits I kept telling  myself, "You came here to land a dry fly steelhead, stay the course".

Day two:

One train after another provided me with a sleepless night. My  'casa de subaru' didn't block out the relentless train sounds. When I finally awoke it was 9:00am. I hated the idea of sleeping in and missing out on prim...

Rio Marie Big Bass

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Big Peacock Bass are the junkyard dogs of the jungle. They will defend their little piece of structure or bed or wherever they call home from any invader, for any reason. Pull a fly through  their kitchen while they are on guard and they are guaranteed to try and hurt it, and you, real bad. It is just their nature. All peacock bass are tough as nails, but the really BIG ones are impossible to forget and are a whole different animal when you put them at the end of a fly line.

The Rio Marie’ is the newest discovery in the peacock bass world of Amazonia, and after the first season has proved to hold the highest concentration of monster peacocks ever found anywhere on the planet. We landed 40 fish over 20 pounds in 7 weeks of fishing, previously unheard of numbers in those proportions. The bruisers that call the Ri...

I heard it through the grapevine

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I was driving home from elk hunting the other day and I heard a song on the radio that beamed me (Scotty) into the past.  In 1970, I was driving with a friend south from Seattle to fish for three days.  That day we were headed for the Toutle River.  About halfway to the river, I heard a new version of a song I knew very well.  This version was 11 minutes long, though, and sung by Credence Clearwater Revival.  It was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.  I was blown away by it at the time.  It stayed in my head all day.  Arriving at the Toutle, we strung up our fly rods and I knotted a nymph (I don’t remember which one) to my leader and we started fishing for trout.  I wasn’t into steelheading, yet.  We fished for several hours hooking the odd trout or two.  I was fishing a...

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