Monday, February 16, 2015

Restoring Juvenile Habitat

The Middle Fork of the John Day River is critical habitat for Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout. Dredge mining severely channelized the riverbed in the 1940s leading to a straightened channel and disconnected floodplain. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs teamed up with the Bureau of Reclamation and a variety of other partners to restore two miles of river. Wonderful to see people working to gether to bring back a river. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Carp - Game or Nuisance - Restoring the Malheur

Carp, a cultivated food source, and symbol of strength and courage in Asia for over 4,000 years is now a game fish for some and a terrible nuisance to others  When Europeans settled in the United States they where disbelieved that there where no Carp in the new land. Soon entrepreneurs began to import the prized fish, hoping to provide a familiar, profitable food staple to the rapidly growing nation. Julius A. Poppe was one of the most successful importers, expanded a stock of five common carp imported from Germany in 1872 into a thriving California farm by 1876. Fielding orders from throughout the country, he actively began to lobby for national cultivation of the hearty fish. Read more here.

Today we have a thriving invasive species in our rivers and marshes. 

In the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge they are a destructive, invasive species that is destroying one of the most important migratory birds corridors in the West.  Watch this video and see how the Refuge is trying to combat the Carp and bring one of the most important marshes back to health . 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rally For Public Land in Boise Idaho

From the inland rainforests of its panhandle, south through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and out to the high desert and canyons of the Owyhees, Idaho is defined by public lands. More than 60 percent of the state, or 34 million acres, is public lands that offer sportsmen fantastic opportunities.Read more here:

Transferring public lands to the states and making them available for sale to private interests is not in the best interest of fish and wildlife or hunting and fishing. Once privatized, these lands would become off limits to most sportsmen forever. And Idaho has a history of selling its lands. Nearly one third of the lands given to Idaho at statehood have been sold, resulting in hunters and fishermen losing access to more than a million acres.
Sportsmen are speaking up and asking decision makers to end this discussion that threatens our Western heritage and the freedom to roam America’s wide open spaces. Sportsmen’s rallies already have drawn hundreds of hunters and anglers to state capitols in Montana and New Mexico. More events are planned for Idaho and Colorado.
Join with your fellow sportsmen at the public lands rally in Boise on Feb. 12. Keep our public lands in public hands and send a clear message to your state legislators, governor, and members of Congress by signing the online petition. And if you’re in Denver, Colorado on February 25, consider attending this public land rally too.

Monday, February 2, 2015


We are proud to be a part of the Costa family! This is a company that is easy for us to stand behind. They have the best sunglasses, give back to the right causes, and as a whole, have awesome people running things. Hard for us not to share this opportunity, for you to check out, this press release:

Costa’s Manta Style Full of Grace, Determination
Daytona Beach, Fla. – Feb. 2, 2015 – Known as graceful, intelligent ocean gliders, manta rays move through the water in with fluid continuity, always searching, always determined. Similarly, Costa’s new sunglass style for active females, Manta, is built for adventure and movement, but full of unmistakable style.

Manta is one of Costa’s sunglass styles built specifically for active women. Performance features include great wrap-fitting coverage, and hypoallergenic no-slip nose pads and interior lining to keep the sunglasses comfortably in place all day for a “forget-they’re-on” fit.

The medium-fitting frame is constructed of nearly indestructible co-injected molded nylon and sturdy integral hinges. Manta’s frame colors include tortoise, shiny black, white, orchid, crystal bronze and matte ocean.

Costa’s Manta style can be customized in its full array of patented color enhancing polarized 580™ lenses. Costa’s 580 lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow and harmful high-energy ultraviolet blue light. Filtering yellow light enhances reds, blues and greens, and produces better contrast and definition while reducing glare and eye fatigue. Absorbing high-energy blue light cuts haze, producing greater visual clarity and sharpness.

Costa’s 580™ lenses, the clearest lenses on the planet, are available in either glass or impact resistant polycarbonate. Lens color options include: gray, copper, amber, blue mirror, green mirror and silver mirror. Manta is also available in customized Rx sun lenses.

“We designed the Manta sunglass style for active women who live for the water,” said Chas MacDonald, president of Costa. “The lightweight, form fitting frame combined with the clearest lenses on the planet turn these stylish sunglasses into an indispensable piece of gear suited for any outdoor adventure.”

Manta retails starting at $169 and is available at and at authorized Costa retail partners.

About Costa™
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. 
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at Join the conversation on Facebook at or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don't Get Locked Out

Do you value public lands for hunting and fishing?

A couple years ago, I met a hunter in Southest Oregon who believed the balance between federal and local control of public lands in Oregon was skewed in the wrong direction. As we talked about public lands in Malheur County, he said, “We need to take back the management of our land from the federal government.” 
At the time I wasn’t aware of the debate over public lands management that was happening in Utah and other Western states, where  legislative efforts were under way in an attempt to turn federal public lands over to the states.
 I replied, “Are you sure that is a good thing? Malheur is the poorest county in the state. How is this county going to manage your public land if there are no funds available? What will happen to our wildlife and habitat? Will that impact our access to hunting and fishing?” 
His simple response: “We’ll still be able to do all that.”
The federal government holds our public lands in trust so current and future generations can enjoy the rich beauty and resources that they offer.Federally managed parcels provide access to popular fishing destinations like the Deschutes, Klamath and Grande Ronde Rivers. As a professional guide, we depend on the ability to share the beauty of our public lands with folks from across the nation.
Public lands rightfully belong to all Americans. In an increasingly crowded West where open space is rapidly becoming one the rarest and most valuable assets of the Western lifestyle, ensuring that these lands stay in the public trust is more important now than ever before.
Request that your elected officials actively pledge their support for our public lands legacy and reject efforts to transfer federal public lands to individual states. Find out more and sign the petition >

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Swing the Fly 2.3 Winter

Steelhead Paradise
The Fly Matter
Brown Trout
Time to Fly South and more ...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Are you interested?

Hope you all are having a lot of cheer in the holiday season. We just want to plant the seed with you in case you are interested in some of the fun stuff we have going on in 2015. We take care of most of our booking for the whole year in the next three weeks. Things fill up and we hope to be able to connect with you before they do!

January through May. Get in on this! The time is fast approaching!

June and July. 
Multi day trips for friends and family. Fully guided or self guided. Contact us for full details.

Day trips and camp trips August through October. We utilize a 20' Wooldridge jet boat launching out of Macks Canyon. Secure your dates now!

November Splender
Contact us for our limited availability.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Help Prevent the Collapse of Olympic Peninsula Steelhead

The Olympic Peninsula is home to the last great native populations of winter steelhead in Washington State. The fish are unique because of their large size, with some individuals exceeding the rarified 30lb mark.  Although the populations were considered "healthy" by the State of Washington when they were last reviewed, they have experienced a long-term decline in abundance. Declines have occurred despite these populations occupying watersheds containing the most intact habitat on the coast of California, Oregon and Washington.  The populations may be resilient, but their declines necessitate proactive and precautionary changes to management to avoid further declines and listing under the Endangered Species Act.   
The Olympic Peninsula is one of three regions left not listed under the Endangered Species Act but with the current downward trends, it could be listed soon. 
Do your part as an angler and Sign the Petition

We ask that the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan that was adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2008 be enacted this year.  Some specific examples might include:
•MSH escapement goals were developed in the 1980’s and included several assumptions that we now know are false—a reevaluation of escapement goals and Olympic Peninsula steelhead population dynamics is needed.
•MSH escapement targets should incorporate uncertainty in run sizes and harvest rates to ensure a high probability of goals being met despite poor monitoring data
•Efforts should be made to test assumptions in measuring escapements and harvest rates to ensure fisheries management reflects actual population biology and is not systematically inaccurate.
•Although MSH is the court-ordered co-management objective, the state is free to do what it wishes with its portion of the catch—Washington should be managing its portion of the catch with conservation as its first objective as is mandated by the mission statement of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
•Mandatory catch and release of wild steelhead in sport fisheries would preserve fishing opportunity while ensuring better conservation of declining wild stocks.
•More widespread use of Selective Gear Rules for both commercial and sport particularly in times and places where few hatchery fish are present, or in where large numbers of resident rainbows and juveniles steelhead are handled, would better protect wild steelhead by increasing the survival of released fish.
•Increased monitoring and enforcement for sport and commercial (tribal) fisheries would ensure compliance with existing regulations and accurate data for fisheries management
•In-season management would allow fisheries to be proactively shut down or effort reduced if in-season creel data from sport of tribal commercial fisheries suggested escapement goals were unlikely to be met
•Wild steelhead gene banks need to be established in multiple watersheds—preferably in the largest and healthiest watersheds which have the highest probability of supporting self-sustaining, abundant, and productive steelhead populations into the future.
*Forming public work groups with a diverse group of stakeholders to identify Wild Steelhead Management Zones
*Accountability for gill net by-catch drop out and mortality of kelts and ripe fish.  Must be part of commercial catch quota .
•Establish limited entry or a quota of "fishing from a boat rod days" in certain sections of river for guides and non-guided anglers. ( tag systems in sensitive holding areas)
*Require a special endorsement for guides to limit the extent of guiding on the Olympic Peninsula rivers. 
If we make some changes and sacrifices we can prevent the collapse of the Olympic Peninsula steelhead.  If we don't we can expect further listings under the Endangered Species Act and further loss of fishing opportunity and hard economic hit to rural communities. 

It is essential that the State, the ONP, and the Tribal co-managers work together to come up with a recovery plan that puts the health of these fish populations first. If we all take care of wild fish, wild fish will take care of us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Steelheaders Unite

Wild Steelhead - Myers from Trout Unlimited on Vimeo.

If you love steelhead and rivers and call yourself a steelheader don't miss the launch of TU's Wild Steelhead Initiative. 

Wild Steelheaders United

Earl Harper Studio — 6:30p.m.
5531 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
PHONE: (206) 763-9101
For more information, contact host John McMillian.
Empire Room — 7:30p.m.
205 10th St.
Boise, ID 83702
For more information, contact host, the Ted Trueblood chapter.
Lucky Lab Taphouse — 6:30p.m.
1700 North Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR 97217
PHONE: (503) 505-9511
For more information, contact host Dwayne Meadows.
Wild Steelheaders United
Juneau – (Kickoff and Wild Reverence Showing)
Silverbow Inn Backroom — 6:30p.m.
120 Second Street
Juneau, AK 99801
PHONE: (907) 586-4146
For more information, contact host Mark Hieronymus.
Santa Cruz/Monterey
Seminar Room, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory — 6:30p.m.
8272 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039
PHONE: (831) 771-4400
For more information, contact host Sam Davidson.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A River Between Us

The first time I met Jason Atkinson, he was holding a fly rod in one hand and a cold Tecate in the other, resting it on his abdomen.” Minutes earlier he had lodged a rooster fly in his side not due to lack of skill, he will point out it was howling cross winds that afternoon.

“This isn't as bad as the bullet I took to my leg a couple years back.”  He belts with confidence.  Jason has 14 years of Oregon senate experiance and doesn't fit the stereotype.  Currently he is taking a sabbatical from politics to rid the guilt of his grandmothers request, to restore the Klamath River.     I'm honored to know a former politician that has the guts to put everything on the line to bring diverse stakeholders together to save a river and bring back Salmon.  Check out this video. "A River Between Us"

Friday, October 31, 2014

TU Wild Steelhead Initiative

The passion to catch wild steelhead is a bond that unites anglers young and old, urban and rural, liberal and conservative. Wild steelhead have inspired thousands of anglers to become conservationists. Until now, their conservation efforts have been primarily local, focused on specific rivers and led by small groups of dedicated volunteers. Never before has there been a broad initiative that effectively focuses the ideas, energy, and actions of the large  community of wild steelhead anglers. 

On Nov. 20, Trout Unlimited will launch the Wild Steelhead Initiative, a project to protect and restore the wild steelhead and the fishing opportunities they provide throughout their native range in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
The Initiative will address both habitat protection/restoration and steelhead policy and management to align all of the "H's" (habitat (including hydro), hatcheries, and harvest) so that wild steelhead can thrive.
To Kick off the initiative, TU will host simultaneous events on November 20 in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Seattle – Earl Harper Studio 6:30 p.m.
Boise – Enterprise Building, 7:30 p.m.
Juneau – Silverbow Inn, 6 p.m.
Portland – Lucky Lab Taphouse, 6:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz – Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Swing the Fly 2.2

Don't miss this issue some great reading on  the history of spey casting, finding a mentor and swinging for trout.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hello October Steelhead

Made in Montana, hooked in Oregon. Photo by Jess Gibson
With the lack of time to tie flies, I'm thrilled when friends gives me a few of their patterns to fish, especially when the flies are tyed by the person that cuts my waders. A few weeks ago I was gifted this red and black fly by Clay Krull, perfect for Deschutes summer steelhead and it paid off.   Clay is Simms' lead fabric cutter, he lays out Locke's blueprints on his 16-yard-long cutting table. Wearing a metal mesh glove, he guides a fabric saw through various thicknesses of the fabric, cutting along razor-thin lines all designed to minimize waste.
Simms-Made in the USA
photo by Brian Grossenbacher’s

"I think I've cut the patterns for 99.9 percent of the waders we've made over the last seven years," Krull says.

The patterns that Locke prints out and Krull cuts are filled with lines that come within a fraction of an inch of each other. Any waste, which is generally thin strips of fabric, is collected for recycling in a bin simply marked "Gore."  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wondering about Deschutes Water Temperatures

If you fish the Deschutes you've noticed changes in  the summer water temperatures, the presence of brown algae, unreliable Macroinvertebrates hatches and steelhead runs are later. Like me, you wonder what is going on and what is being done. Deschutes River Alliance (DRA) has been collaboratively working using, science-based solutions to address basin-wide threats that may adversely affect the health and function of the lower Deschutes River and tributaries.  I've asked Dave Moskowitz of Deschutes River Alliance a few questions. 

Can you  tell me the current status of water releasing and how this is effecting steelhead?  
No data has been released from the Pelton fisheries workshops that were held in March.  Our understanding is that results are very poor. What is available are the trapdata at Pelton, and returning numbers are really poor as well for adults.  I'm talking about reintroduction returns for the arts of the river above Pelton-Round Butte. 

 It seems there is more green and brown algae that I would relate to warm water, is this true? What kind of algae is it?  
The green plants you see in many runs are not algae but a plant.  There is the elodea which is dark green, and then there is a bright green plant that grows in many places as well.  Those are not algae.

The primary algae in the lower river are two species of nuisance algae that are more golden brown or dull beige-green.  These are not invasive but are considered nuisance because they are inedible by bugs and snails. Algae is the base of the food chain but not the primary species we are seeing in the lower river.

The algae is not primarily here because of the temperatures.  The flow regime for the lower river begins in January and there is primarily a top release from Lake Billy Chinook (LBC) and it continues through the spring and early summer.  The warm water may help the algae bloom earlier but the top releases are of nutrient laden waters and they are the principle risk to the lower river.
Have the hatches been effected ? Later or earlier hatches? 
The bug hatches are continuing to be affected.  Few if any March browns.  Very sporadic PMD and PED hatches with some amazing hatches followed by nothing.  Same with caddies.  Blizzard hatches one day, nothing the next.  No crane flies.  Huge midge hatches.  Timing and density appear to be very variable.  Trout guides cannot count on dry fly fishing and often are nymphing to find fish.

Rick Hafele has over 100 observations loaded on our bug hatch app that is being used by guides up and down the River.  We are excited about a second year of reports.  His report from 2013 is available here.

DRA also helped ODFW with a trout survey this spring - their first trout study since 2001 - and that report will be out this fall. 

 What is Deschutes River Alliance doing ? 
We have been doing things that really require expertise on water quality monitoring (we had 14 people in the field for our water quality tests).  We have been limiting the hatch observations to very skilled anglers who know the difference between caddies species, for instance.  

Water temp data can be gleaned from the USGS sites at Madras and Moody.  We have helped PGE place and retrieve water temp devices for two years and have not been given the results.  

We did our own temp profile of the entire lower 100 miles this summer.  Also took pictures of the algae growth from the air.  We will have a bunch of info by late October.

 DRA is trying to use our money wisely so we do not print up color stuff much. Check the website for more info on what we are doing. 

We will be doing more scientific work in 2015 but we will likely be on to much more.  We are in strategic planning mode right now.  
 How can people help?
" Please visit our website and get informed about the issues as we have a ton of information about the Deschutes and what we have learned.  The Hafele Hatch Report is a good place to start.  Stay informed, sign up to receive email and alerts and if you love the Deschutes, please make a contribution of any size!"

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Last Chance to tell the EPA to Protect Bristol Bay

Your voice counts! - click here to take action.
Photo courtesy of Maeva and Allison - Bristol Bay Fisherman

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Look Snazzy

For a limited time, Simms will contribute 50% of all Ebbtide LS Shirt sales to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, an organization devoted to guaranteeing Americans quality places to hunt and fish bu influencing federal policy. 
Purchase Here

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Good Morning...

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Parents and Still Fishing

The best way to get your kids into fishing, start'em early!

In the Ditch from Chris Eaton on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I was standing there dreaming and the reel started SCREAMING. The line burned my fingers it was going out so fast and I was in to the running line in seconds. I can still see the fish come out of the water, cartwheel and spit the hook, drops of water flying off it, lit by the morning sun. 

That kind of grab.

-a spey bro

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gualala River Petition

The native, ESA-listed salmon and steelhead of the drought-stricken Gualala River, in California, need your help. Thanks in large part to the pressure that we put on the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) a year ago, the CDFW is finally taking action to fix the critically flawed low-flow closure system on the North Central-Coast of California.
Currently, the North Central-Coast Low-Flow Closure is triggered by a gauge on the Russian River, whose flows are highly regulated by dams. The last three years have each had extended droughts in the middle of the winter steelhead season. Each year, the coastal streams have dropped down to mere trickles, yet have remained open to fishing because dam releases keep the Russian up above the low-flow trigger. The ESA-listed fish are forced to congregate into a handful of shrinking holes below restricted passage areas, and then subject to increased angling pressure. It also makes poaching enforcement more difficult when the fish are most vulnerable.
CDFW is preparing regulatory changes to move the trigger for North Central-Coast streams to one or more gauges on rivers that are more representative of the region’s small, undammed coastal streams, like the Gualala. Key issues will be which gauge(s) and low-flow triggers to use, how often CDFW will update its closure status.
The brief comment period ends August 7, 2014, so now is the time to voice our support for an appropriate low-flow closure trigger to protect these ESA-listed winter steelhead and coho from increased angling pressure (and poaching) during the extreme low-water conditions that have become the norm in this part of the state.

Sign the petition now!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Two Hands

Marty, Tegan and I are happy to be a part of this great project. An examination of fisher-people in pursuit of Salmonids with a swung fly and their collective desire to ensure the species survival. Check it out. More to come!

Our Two Hands Kickstarter Campaign Teaser from BLOODKNOTS on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Clean Up the Trask

Here's a great volunteer opportunity for June 28th. 

Please RSVP to

Adventures Across Oregon

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What Steelheading Taught Me About House Hunting in a Sellers Market

The last three months Marty and I have been looking for a house to buy,  every free moment is spent  on the computer looking at the same places over and over; waiting for something new to pop up. We have limited ourselves to the little town of Corbett because we transferred Tegan to Corbett Grade School after spring break. The school is ranked 2nd in Oregon, for good reason, every student participates in music, art and the style of teaching is a continuous progress model .(Not to create more competition) the Corbett school district is  incredible and the location is very desirable,, the Sandy River is minutes away and Portland is a 30 minute drive. This is not a buyers market so we have started looking else where.

We have heard of houses selling that never hit the RLMS and never had a chance to look at. We've looked at crack houses listed for 185,00 and fixers for 325,000. We've made offers on two places; outbid once and the second is pending (found out the septic was bad but still put in an offer for 20,000 less) discouraged .. yes...and...

This house hunting is cutting into our fishing time. 

In the quest to buy and keep my sanity I started thinking about the strategies of house hunting and how similar they are to hunting steelhead.

This is the conclusion:

* When inventory is low (or steelhead numbers) don't get discouraged... keep searching there's one out there. 

* If a house comes on the market be the first one there, get yourself in position to make the first offer...  Watch dam counts (for summer steelhead) watch for a dropping river and when you see the opportunity, be ready and be the first one out there to grab the prime spot. 

* Don't force it, if it's meant to be it will happen. Some people say a steelhead picks you. 

We're ready, anytime...    Do you have any house hunting tips?

Monday, June 2, 2014

National Fishing and Boating Week

Marty stays cool and calm in a full boat. 

This is National Fishing and Boating week. In a perfect world we would all get the week off to de-stress, promote conservation and go fishing.  Take a day and get on the water this week with family and friends or participate in a local activity that promotes fishing, conservation and having fun.

This is a week to:

  • De-stress: Boating is ranked as one of the top 3 of all stress-relieving activities
  • Connect with Nature: 90% of Americans live within an hour of navigable water
  • Help Conserve: The funds from your fishing licenses and boat registrations go towards the conservation of our natural aquatic areas

 Oregon it's Free Fishing Weekend June 7th-8th. Check out whats going on in your state HERE.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


You will be missed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fun With Little Creek Outfitters!

We have opportunities for you! 
June on the John Day River is right around the corner. Bass trips are for the angler looking for serious fun! We have an opening for your group no matter how small or large. 

August-October we have a Deschutes steelhead trip ready to plan with you. Jet boat or drift boat to accommodate your desire. Lets do this!  

In November we have the much sought after John Day Steelhead. These trips fill fast and we happen to have a few openings. We don't want you to miss out on this!
(503) 819-4035