Friday, August 28, 2015

Deschutes under attack.

Let's fight back!

From the Deschutes River Alliance:

The Urgent Issue
On Friday, September 4, the ODFW Commissioners will be voting on a large package of angling rule changes created to “simplify” the Oregon fishing regulations.
One of the rule changes calls for opening up kill on redband trout in the lower Deschutes River.  Presently, there is a “slot limit” that only allows the take of 2 redband trout between 10 and 13 inches of length per day.  The new rule would allow the taking of any 2 redband trout over 8 inches per day.
Our position at the DRA is that if the Commission wishes to simplify the angling rules, the easiest thing would be to do away with any kill of redband trout on the lower Deschutes by making it a catch and release fishery with the required use of barbless hooks.  Now that would be simple!  Easy to understand, no measuring of fish would be necessary, and it would be easily enforceable.  Anything short of this deserves a deferral on decision-making to allow the public to provide input on rule changes.
[see more at Deschutes River Alliance]
A Statement of Political Position, From The Fly Fishing Shop:
Dear Deschutes River Allies,
Unfortunately, the rumor is true. A proposal has been made to provide harvest options for larger trout on the lower 100-miles of the Deschutes River. The slot-limit (2-trout between 10”-13”), which has been in place since 1979 is proposed to be replaced with a 2-trout limit (minimum size of 8”). I believe the slot-limit has provided the finest public fishery in Oregon and should be retained.
As of this writing,there is nothing about this proposal on the ODFW web site.
I had to search the ODFW Commission site to find this proposal (which I understand has also been removed). This smacks of a cover-up.
The lower Deschutes is one of the few fisheries that is managed to sustain itself indefinitely. And it supports tremendous fishing pressure, which pours cubic bucks into the communities around it. 
Depleting the numbers of larger trout in this proud fishery can benefit no one.
I seriously believe that one of the reasons why Oregon’s State Fishery agency is always broke, is that it sells our resources too cheap.
We don’t need more harvest to make money.We need better fisheries to bring people from other states.The Deschutes River is the best sports fishery money mill we have.
ODFW’s mandate is to protect wild fish and to provide fishing opportunity. The problem is that ODFW Staff has interpreted the word opportunity to mean harvest. They seem to never realize that once a fish is harvested, the opportunity is gone. The slot-limit bridges this gap. The Commission might consider that they may already be doing the best job that can be done here. But, if they need easier rules for dummies to understand, make it strictly catch and release.
The meeting where the decision will be made is on September 4 in of all places Seaside, Oregon (on Labor Day week). The page that just went missing also states that no one will be allowed to testify unless they register 24-hours in advance.
I think that this lack of disclosure and the decisions being made in Seaside is a plan to railroad these proposed changes away from the ease of public participation.
It is an old Bureaucratic trick to push through rules that the majority of their constituents would not agree with.
Doubtful that this bunch of Staff and Commissioners would have the fortitude to hold this same meeting in Maupin, Madras, Bend, Portland, or Welches.
As a matter of fact, I think that these cats have already made the decision.
All that is left is the ratification at a public meeting.
However, I am also a believer that democracy works as long as the citizens are willing to make their government govern by the will of the people.
Whatever the road blocks, we simply have to overcome them, and be a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
We can’t let these perpetrators steel all the hard work that has been put into the Deschutes fishery.
If the proposed regulation is allowed to go through, they’ve got it for a year, by that time they will probably do ten year’s-worth of damage for someone to repair.
And who but the professionals to better do the repair?
I can feel some bastard writing an order for funding, as I am writing this.
My suspicions may be a little intense, but I feel they are well thought out.
The decision to remove the slot-limit is a bad move biologically, and it is even worse since it has been done with a limited amount of public disclosure (which may be illegal as well).
This whole approach is wrong for the Deschutes, which is beyond a doubt the best fishery in Oregon. The best part of the slot-limit is it was done by the will of the people, and by nearly unanimous consent of those people (I know, because I was involved).
I just talked to an ODFW insider, and that person basically told me that some of the staff is strongly opposed to this regulation change, but they were told to shut up in fear of retaliation.
I think it is imperative that we get mobilized to meet these issues head on.
In this case our government has apparently run totally amuck, and we must initiate a public investigation.
Ad your thoughts and pass this on to your own circle of power.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann
The Fly Fishing Shop, Inc.
Phone: 1-800-266-3971
Cell: 503-781-6468

From Craigslist:

Dear ODFW,

Deschutes trout is your latest victim.  You have to be kidding me. Right? The absurdity that I even have to write this letter just drives me nuts. Correct me where I have missed something here? You would like to make the rules more simple and therefore think a blanket regulation on waters would simplify things? I think it would be simple to cut your staff to zero and get a competent agency to take your place. 

I guess you felt left out in the piling on that agencies have contributed to in their bad management decisions around here. I mean the dam has the tower they are trying to kill fish, bugs, and small town economy with the excuse to save salmon. The tribes have their man given right to kill half the salmon and, oops, most all the steelhead accidently, with their traditional harvests methods using motorboats and modern gill nets. The BLM wants to charge you to float and has limited the “entry”lock down so the local kids, tourist, guides, and even you can’t even go out on the river without at least wasting your precious midnight sleep, getting denied by a machine, to get a segment 4 boaters pass. 

So, That’s cool. Lets change the rules to kill wild Deschutes trout. KILL THEM ALL! Why don’t we just nuke them? It would at least be faster. The local communities would move away or die too. Seems like the BLM would be interested in collaborating. Dam too! Brilliant. The more I think about it, the more I see the light: we, the people who care, are the enemy. We want clean cold water, healthy fish, happy people visiting our towns, and rules with regulation put in place to recreate and achieve this. So far, the BLM, Tribes, Dam regulators, and now ODFW are positioning itself on the other side of that fence. It’s embarrassing and absurd. 

From the Rant and Rave department.
From Amy Hazel:

My letter to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife - don't ruin the Deschutes!
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302
August 26, 2015
Dear ODFW Commission on Proposed Fishing Regulation Changes, 
My name is Amy Hazel and I live on the Deschutes River in Maupin, Oregon. Not only do I live on the Deschutes, my entire livelihood depends on the health of the Deschutes and the health of the fish that live in the Deschutes. My husband and I own Deschutes Angler Fly Shop and John Hazel & Company guide service. I have dedicated the past 17 years of my life to sharing this river and the wonderful trout and steelhead fishery with anglers from around the world. Your proposed regulation changes for the Deschutes River threaten to degrade and possibly destroy this wonderful gem of a resource.
In the 12 years that I have interacted with anglers on a daily basis in my fly fishing shop and in the 17 years I have spent on the Deschutes guiding anglers, I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone complain about not being able to kill large trout on the Deschutes. Even with a slot limit in place, one rarely ever sees anglers harvesting trout – the Deschutes is, in the minds of most anglers, a catch and release trout river. 
This river is a 100% wild native trout fishery. The trout are not supplemented by any of your hatchery programs, and they have been successfully thriving for decades. In recent years the changes in the management of the water releases from PGE’s Pelton Round Butte project have been negatively impacting water quality and insect populations on the Deschutes. The trout are struggling to adjust to these changes. Allowing additional harvest does not make sense in the Deschutes. 
Allowing anglers to kill any 2 trout over 8” in length will negatively impact the trout fishery as well as the steelhead fishery. Allowing anglers to harvest 8-9” steelhead smolts as well as 16” Deschutes native wild trout is irresponsible – especially since ODFW has not conducted any in-depth study on the health of Deschutes trout since the Schroeder study in 1989. 
It seems to me that you are removing regulations that were put in place to protect native spawning fish – trout and steelhead in particular. In the case of the Deschutes, opening the river year-round would put many spawning redds at risk of being trampled by anglers and the fish themselves at risk of being harassed by anglers during a sensitive spawning time. 
There are very few rivers in the world that can boast a native trout population as healthy as that on the Deschutes River. Why not make the Deschutes trout fishery a catch and release fishery? A beautiful Deschutes wild rainbow trout is far too valuable to be enjoyed by just one person.
Amy Hazel
Deschutes Angler Fly Shop
Maupin, OR

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Spey Nations, Catskills and East Coast Flavor

Tight Lines Fly Shop and "Spey"
Amidst a busy summer with Marty running bass trips in 105 heat and low water and me working for TRCP, I dropped Tegan off at my sisters on Whidbey Island, Washington and flew to Newark, New Jersey for a quick tour starting at Tight Lines FlyShop and ending my trip on the Salmon River in Altmar, New York for SpeyNations. My mother was born and raised in New York. Despite still having relatives out East, I haven’t visited since I was a kid.  What I remember was the lights of the big city.  This time I would land in Newark, by pass New York City and head North to where the Catskills meet the Adirondacks.   My uncle told me that this is where my mother fell in love with the outdoors and I see why.

My flight arrives in Newark midnight, E.T. .  Nancy and Andrew Moy from Tight Lines ( a full service shop with a fantastic tying selection, spey rods and “Spey” the shop dog.  Half hour from New York, this is the place to go if you need material and equipment. )  arranged a shuttle to pick me up. I’m greeted by Mike, born and raised in New Jersey; he’s full of questions about the West coast. He speaks with pride about being an East coaster, we compare the cost of living and he tells me his from central New Jersey.  
If you’re from South Jersey, you don’t ever want anyone to ask if you’re from North Jersey, which you think is basically New York. If you’re from North Jersey, you don’t ever want anyone to ask if you live in South Jersey, which you think is basically Philadelphia, or worse, Delaware. If you’re from Central Jersey, doesn’t ever ask if Central Jersey really exist. It does.
Catskills Museum
The next morning I meet the Moy’s, full of energy and fun, this is going to be a great week! Heading north we stop at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum that is working to protect and promote fly -fishing. Engulfed by a history that dates back to the early mid 1800’s with bamboo rods on display by H.L Leonard to a collection of art by Lee and Joan Wolf and more. I discover this is where fly-fishing in the U.S. really got its start and is the birth of the “Catskills Style.”  
In 1890, sporting magazine columnist Theodore Gordon wrote to the renowned English fly fishing author, Fredrick Halford, complaining of the selective nature of the brown trout's feeding habits, and soliciting suggestions on fly selection for Gordon's Catskill waters. Halford sent back a cache of flies that were productive on the placid English chalk streams of Kent (on display at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, in Livingston Manor, NY today). Gordon recognized the flies needed to change to  imitate the local hatches, so he tweaked the design of Halford's flies to created the high-floating Quill Gordon dry fly, the first of the iconic "Catskill style" of dry fly.   
Andrew and Collin on the Beaverkill
After an hour in the museum and becoming members, Andrew and I continue our journey to the Beaverkill River, a tributary to the East Branch Delaware.  At the Moy cabin we wader up for an evening fish.  Swinging isonychia nymphs  and drifting isonychia dries, trout smack our flies under a gray sky against the lush green “tropical” forest.  As dusk approaches, the sky lights up with Fireflies.  I’m as giddy as a child remembering catching fireflies as a kid in Tennessee. Nancy and I chase the flies trying to catch one, she manages to seize one and I let it crawl on me, watching it illuminate green, it flies away.    
Patrick shares his secret flies 

The next day we meet our sports to hone in their spey casting skills and fish the evening hatch. PJ and I miss the evening fish and head to Altmar.  She’s from Canada and new to the sport, is on a sole mission to  submerge herself in the Spey culture and what a better way than a full day lesson and off to Spey Nations for the weekend.
Malinda - Malinda's Fly Shop
Hand Crafted Fly Box by Adelcio Chavez
Get your Dunkin Donuts at the Simms Booth
We arrive at  Tailwater Lodge on the Salmon River.  Greeted with laughter’s and hugs by Patrick Ross and his friends as well as West coast locals Travis Johnston and James Shaughnessy, we’re happy to be there and eat  crab fitters and best burgers I've had hands down!  Patrick’s , a  long time angler who owns the Anglers Lodge where the first Spey Nations took place,  he has been hosting West Coasters since.  It's great to have local knowledge and a down to earth host.  Saturday morning arrives and PJ and I head to the Spey Nations location on the Salmon River. 

Spey Nations started as a format to share the passion for Atlantic Salmon, raise awareness for a fishery that people love and the two handed culture.  With coffee in hand we are greeted with hand shacks and hospitality.  The lot is lined with industry booths and people hustling to say hi to old friends and make new ones. The vibe is about having a good time and sharing the fervor we all have for preserving the fish we love and promoting the sport we are nuts about.   The evening ends with beers, BBQ and laughs and preparing for a class the next day with a group of awesome women that are avid anglers and the token guy (just kidding Ron).
Sunday’s class is a blast teaching single speys and snake rolls and working on casting with the non dominant hand up. We laugh, talk about fishing and flies.  I’ve made new friends and this is what our sport is about! 
Spey Army
After the class Patrick, Travis , Captin Jamie and I  head out for  a Northern Pike mission near Lake Ontario. This is my first time seeing Lake Ontario and I feel like I’m standing in the Kodiak harbor. Seagulls fly over head and sport boats line the docks.  What feels like a sea breeze chills the air. We launch “Team Water Spyder” and shoot up an estuary. Rods are rigged and 30 pound mono is tied on. We cast towards grassy banks and strip.  Patrick’s fly lands, a head turns and the speed of the Pike leaves a boil the size of Old Faithful.   We fish till we can’t see any more missing some great takes and landing a couple juveniles.  What a great way to end an East Coast trip.
Caption Jamie leads the way! 
Little but strong !

Lily's on the water

Rushing back to the West coast to pick up Tegan and hightail it back to Maupin for work and preparing for a session with Ron Wyden on the Oregon Economy and Recreation. I’m thrown back to the hustle of our life and grateful to have the opportunity to visit the East Coast and make new friends!  Thanks to all the good folks that made my trip possible and all the new friends I made, too many to list. Thank you Geoff and the Spey Nations Crew, Patrick Ross, Andrew and Nanacy Moy, Tailwater Lodge, Melinda’s Fly and Tackle Shop, Jamie Perry, Travis Johnston, Joe and Delores Saracione, Simms Fishing, Rajeffs Sports and  Costa Del Mar.  . An extra big thanks to my sister and brother in law for watching Tegan!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Swing the Fly - Summer 2015

Swing the Fly - Click Here

Everything Spey - Altantic Salmon, lab's and pointers,  steelhead, trout from Quebec to the where the rivers meet the ocean on the west coast.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Childs Perspective

Bison in Lamar Valley
Fountain Geysers
Wolf at the Gizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone

Tegan and Alice, Riverside Anglers land a trout

Mountain Goats

Missed the Salmon Fly hatch by a week but Tegan had a blast inspecting the nymphs.  
New friends!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary

Big Bend Pool - Steamboat Creek photo by Mia

Frank Moore's footprint in the state of Oregon and in the fly-fishing community is enormous.  For starters, in 1957 he and his wife Jeanne started the renowned Steamboat Inn so anglers could rest after a day of fishing the North Umpqua. He and a core group of anglers started the Steamboaters to help preserve the natural resource of the Umpqua River in 1966.  He also had influence on the North Umpqua becoming a fly only regulation. He is also a renowned steelhead angler that prefers a waked fly over a wet one and still fishes with his single hand rod today. 
In the 1960s, Frank became concerned about logging's negative effects on watersheds. He collaborated with two friends, Hal Riney and Dick Snyder, to make the landmark film "Pass Creek." Then, flew his own plane all over the country to show it to the Forest Service, BLM, Congress, timber people, and conservation groups. The film had such an impact that major changes to logging practices were enacted.
Frank Moore's passion and dedication to wild steelhead and conservation is a model for all. In the few conversations I've had with him he's become a mentor and a friend. 
We applauded SenatorsRon Wyden and Jeff Merkley for introducing legislation, S.1448 , The "Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary."  The bill will designate approximately 104,000 acres of Forest Service land as a steelhead sanctuary.  The Oregon senators named their legislation in honor of Frank Moore because of his outstanding accomplishments starting in World War II and then continuing for nearly two decades of conservation efforts along the North Umpqua River. 

Throughout his life, Moore has shared his passion for fishing, the river, and the outdoors with visitors from all over the world. 

The area identified is the North Umpqua River around Steamboat Creek. As a steelheader, I consider this place sacred, its one of the most important tributaries for North Umpqua steelhead.  There's a reason that Frank Moore and steelheaders such as Lee Spencer, Dan Callaghan and many more have dedicated their lives to the preservation of this watershed.  

Let your senators know you support the "Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary" by signing the TU petition here

Track the bill here.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Spey Nations - East Coast Spey Gathering

 Spey Nation is a celebration of the 2-handed rod culture in the Great Lakes Fishery offering the unique opportunity for enthusiasts and manufacturers to gather in a streamside setting in Altmar, New York on the Salmon River.

Spey Nation features a full BBQ, raffles, “On the water” demonstrations, and interaction with professionals from the East and West Coasts. Mixing styles, knowledge, and backgrounds, Great Lakes anglers finally have the opportunity to learn Traditional Spey, Scandinavian, and Skagit techniques from the experts, try specialized equipment on the water and talk with other fishermen in an atmosphere dedicated exclusively to 2-handed casting while enjoying a burger and a brew. 

Admission is free. The BBQ is free; Spey Nation is funded completely by generous donations to our raffles. All “Profit” is donated to grass roots Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead conservation projects in our watershed.

I'll thrilled to be attending and presenting along with Will Turek, Michael Mauri, Andrew Moy, Jay Peck, Lee Davison, Walt Geryk and Travis Johnson

Additional Spey Casting class with Andrew Moy at Tight Lines North and me , June 26th. A great opportunity for beginners or experienced casters if your looking to take spey casting to the next level! Call me for more details or check out Tight Lines Fly Shop . 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Deschutes Redsides

Home water. 

Surface slab.

Red side.

Mia captured this lift off.

It's been a fun few weeks over here!

Get some April and May 2016 with us.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The BIGGEST Spey Clave on the West Coast

Check Out one of the Biggest gatherings of anglers interested in two handed rods on the West Coast May 15-17th in Sandy Oregon , sponsored by The Fly Fishing Shop !

Three reasons to go. Talk about steelhead fishing and rods all day! Free lunch by the best El Burro Loco . Free evening entertainment. Bring the Family!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fly Fishing Book Of Revelation

A book by Jay W. Nicholas

In Review:

What is this book titled “Fly Fishing Book Of Revelation”?  Is this heading like the last chapter in the Bible, predicting the end times of our sport, or is this the mania meanings of words revealed to Jay through his fly-fishing life? If you flip through the pages, open up anyplace, and start to read it sheds some light on the flair and derisive nature Jay has in this book of fly fishing correlated terms and phrases.  Read on and you get a cross between definition and wit. Imagine the entertainment if Ken Kesey wrote the American Dictionary. Well my friends, Jay wrote this for us fly fishing fools! Get it and read it. You’ll be glad you did!

All of Jays books can be found here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Echo Glass




With so many manufacturers barking the benefits of increasingly faster actions, it's not surprising that veteran rod designer Tim Rajeff would ask "why follow the flock"? 

All-new for 2015, Echo introduces the first major production run of fiberglass Spey and Switch rods in the industry. Why fiberglass? Good question. Fiberglass recovers more smoothly than graphite, giving the caster a better sensation of how the line is loading the rod. Improved feedback through the casting cycle results in a fun, effortless, bug launching. 

Echo Glass Spey and Switch rods feature sensitive tips to protect tippet when slinging surface patterns on a dry line, and plenty of "sneaky power" to catapult long, heavy sink tips with ultimate ease. Steelheaders looking to increase their "hook-to-hand" ratio will be impressed with the way these rods absorb the energy of active, unpredictable fish. 

The Echo Glass Switch and Spey series is available now in the following weights/lengths:



Rods are in-stock and ready to ship. To order, give us a ring at 360.694.2900 

For more information, visit:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Steamboaters

Bend Pool By Rob Elam
Marty and I first fished the Umqua River together in 2004, it was my first time on the Umpqua and I fell in love with the solitude and beauty of the river.  In 2006 after getting hitched on the Deschutes, we drove to the Umpqua for our honeymoon at the Steamboat Inn. 

Ironically, Marty had booked a guide trip for us with Bob Burruss.  Bob was a retired high school football coach that had the enthusiasm and fire or a football coach. We met him early in the morning to secure our first run. As we waited for dawn, we drank coffee and talked fishing. When it was time to rig the rods he noticed I had a double hand and asked, wouldn't you rather cast a single hand. I declined saying "I was much better at casting a two handed rod." Bob was filled with information about exactly where to stand and on what rock. He was also full Umpqua stories and rapid-fire advice to help build confidence and that's what you need to catch an Umpqua River summer steelhead.  

At the end of that first fishless day, Bob suggested a good place for us to start the next morning and wished us well. This is just one of the many great experience we have had over the years fishing the Umpqua. The river produces passionate souls that have a profound commitment to preserving the culture of the fly-water and the wild steelhead. 
Mark swings a fly by Marty Sheppard

If you've fished the North Umpqua then you should know about the Steamboaters. 

"The Steamboaters, organized in 1966. Don Haines suggested the idea for a group "to preserve the natural resources of the North Umpqua" to Colonel Jim Hayden as they traveled together to the Federation of Fly Fishers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Knouses and Andersons seconded the idea at a gathering the next day and Stan Knouse suggested the name Steamboaters "because of its association with the inn where many of its members stay and because of the significance of Steamboat Creek, which enters the North Umpqua at the Station Hole." 

Clarence Gordon was made an honorary member of the Steamboaters, as was Roderick Haig-Brown, the eminent writer from Campbell River, British Columbia. Although he fished the river only once, Haig-Brown later wrote:
“The North Umpqua remains one of the best and most beautiful of summer steelhead streams, and it has the tremendous asset of several miles of water restricted to 'fly only.' The strong flow of bright water is broken up by ledge rock outcrops,the pools are deep and long and hold fish well, and the fish themselves are usually responsive and in excellent shape.”

The Steamboaters are pleased to announce their annual winter social on Saturday April 4, 2015. 

I'm honored to be the guest speaker, presenting on  “Community, Conservation and the Next Generation.”  Educating the next generation of fly anglers and conservationists through mentor ship and community involvement. 

The event will be held, once again, at the Southern Oregon Wine Institute on the campus of Umpqua Community College. The doors will open at 5:00 with appetizers and a wine and beer cash bar, dinner will start at 6:30, and the program will begin at 7:30. Find out more here.