Fly Fishing Reports
Well all good things change. The steelhead game is improving with leaps and bounds and these bronzed battlers are turning into the zombie apocalypse. In a few weeks the spawning grounds will be infested, in a good way, with the stench of spawning salmon..
The WDFW has announced the opening of the upper Columbia tributaries, primarily the Methow and Wenatchee. With the flows we have it will be a swing game on decent numbers of (federal) wild steelhead. Knowing how the Methow reacts the first month will be a blast especially with the water flow. I think is flowing around 1000 cfs although the graph that is funded by the feds shows differently (no surprise there).
My game will be the dry or the I line right out of the gate with nymphing on the run to keep things wet.. Cant wait to throw one of these:
The whole reason for life as a steelhead fisher is fulfilled every fall when these Icons of the NW will rise again to the dry fly…
Dates open this fall..
After a life time of fishing I have learn to stop and slow down, engulf ourselves in the best fishing when it is happening…For a week now I have been catching Salmon and Steelhead in the amounts I only remember in my dreams of great places like Alaska, or Kamchatka..I have been fishing for the pure enjoyment of catching fish in places that we have never caught them, I am passing up great water to search for and find steelhead away from the salmon. In small hide holes sticking to themselves staying out of the runs that are choked with Chinook. We are finding a fare share as well as the incidental Chinook that seem to be on every rock.
With this full moon the deck is shuffling at night and whole sections of river that are fishing at the NORMAL rate seem empty in comparison to the best fishing areas. There is some rain in the forecast we will see what happens, I can only hope it just the right amount..
Today I stopped to take some pictures, forcing myself to shoot the one presently in the net not the next one…
If you want your best shot at the fishing of a lifetime call 253-307-3210 or better yet as cell is not so good, EM email@example.com
Dates available through November….Thanks for subscribing,,Jeff Brazda
Swing flies for Chinook: Most of all “LARGE” and with a combination of flash, pink, chartreuse, blue, black or purple….and Hold on as when they eat it you know it!
I posted these elsewhere recently but will show them again:
Book a trip now “Lodging Special” fall time has open dates: 253-307-3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for subscribing, Jeff
Summer is trying to let go of its hold on the PNW, the weather reports are for cooler temps and not quite getting those predictions yet. Good pushes of steelhead and fall Chinook are moving into the Columbia systems. On any given day the water temps are dropping into the favorable range and the fish that are present go onto a bite. This full moon will certainly be shuffling the deck of Salmonids every night.
I have been shuffling myself between trout fishing on the Yakima River which is fishing great right now and steelhead fishing which is what I am all giddy about. On the Klickitat its all about dirty water tactics with nearly to high of water temps, basically sink tips and big bright or dark stuff at the business end of the string. Soon the dry line will be the best option on the Spey and them damn plastic balls o fire will have to wait there turn. Oh you can bring up a few steelhead in the right spots on the dry line right now but I love the sink tip, it just gets it done in any water you find them. As soon as we get some cooler air temps and the rivers become more consistent the dry line will produce better as the fish will be in chase mode longer during each day.
Thank you Thomas Lamphere!
If your more than just a looky loo and want in on a day of guided fly fishing for steelhead or trout give me a call
@ 253 -307-3210 or shoot me an EM Jeff@Brazdasflyfishing.com we can set up a fishing trip catered to your expectations…
Thanks for subscribing and have a great end to your summer…
Every year fly tiers from around the world reinvent the wheel with new patterns from midges to full on Herring baitfish patterns. Usually these new patterns are the same old ones with new materials that dazzle the minds of anglers and tiers alike. We seem to forget that some things are meant to catch fishermen and others to catch fish. Ask any long time fishing guide and they will tell you that, only every once and a while does anything come out that is a game changer, then the fish get used to it and we need another, this cycle takes about 5-7 years. Those on it at the beginning run it the longest the followers the shortest. The Pats stone is one of recent times, hardly works compared to it abilities in the beginning.
Then there’s the other stuff, the patterns that keep on working and some even better after a longer time, like we forget to fish them, all caught up in the NEW craze of things…Every bug has its antiques, Daves Hopper, Parachute Adams, Royal Wulff, Hairs ear you name it has had its primetime and back again, for those keeping track.
This season is no exception, earlier I drug up an actual 30 year old Grey Comparadun. This season I have found myself using the old school stuff more than ever and this week its about the Lafontaine Sparkle Caddis, “god rest his soul” we will forever be in grateful for Gary and his tireless effort to figure out what was going on under the surface. This one here is actually tied with original LaFontaine’s yarn I bought from him personally back in the late 70′s I have about 8 of the colors but I like the brown , Grey and Apple green best.
Although the Yakima River is not know for numbers of huge rainbows we sure have a lot of fun fishing to the medium well educated ones with a bit of history at the end of the string..;)
Thanks for subscribing, Jeff
For those of you needing a little fish porn:
As long as I have been fly fishing or just fishing in general I have been wondering off to explore areas that have been of interest to us as fishermen. This BC trip up to the renown Skeena system has been long over due, all though most Americans go to the region in search of there steelhead I was on a pilgrimage for Chinook Salmon. The Skeena is known for huge specimens of all anadromus fish not to mention the largest of them all the King or Chinook Salmon as they are called. Plan “A” was to launch the jet boat in the Skeena around the Kallum River and camp on a gravel bar with good swing runs right at out front door. Upon arrival some 20hrs of driving later we find the Morice River of all things totally blowing the Skeena system. We move to plan “B” which was fishing the Kallum itself as it has a huge lake in the headwaters and rarely if ever goes out turbidity wise to fishing. From the banks of the Kallum we realize the stars are not aligning and for that matter not even in the sky as the Kallum looks like the Queets in Washington with 9 inches of visibility, the flows not too bad but turbidity was terrible. After consulting the group we decide on heading for the Kitimat River about 45 minutes west. As we arrive we are elated to find beautiful three foot visibility with that sexy blue gray look of glacial rivers in prime shape. All though flowing rather fast it is fishable.
For myself, after driving two days straight I was looking for a home run the first day. We all decide to split up into teams two in the Jet boat running up the mouth from the salt channel and three in pontoons launching 6 miles up river from camp. Which by the way was right next to the town of Kitimat, not what we had envisioned but it was 3rd choice and last minute at that. I LOVE fishing tidal water or as close to it as I can get when it comes to Salmon and this was only that. The Kitimat is only accessible by law to a certain point in the system and above that must be accessed with out power. We negotiated the piles of stumps and logs at the mouth of the river and up we went to find two other jet boats already there, one was the guy camping by us whom directed us there. As we run upstream everyone is kindly waving and all friendly, we flew right past the marker on the tree about forty feet off the water. Passing gravel bars with campers and punkers we figure we must be too far up and hastily run back down getting below all traffic and decide on a fine bar with a sweet inside having depth and slow speed off the main current, bingo perfect! Three cast later I am hooked up into a 20 pound sea lice bearing chrome Nooky, great battle, fun landing with Jesse all pumped up , quick pic and away she went. Phil hits the spot five casts and another, and so we hit the mother load and stumbled onto the real deal. Soon after we land that fish a dude pops out on the far bank and yells over ” I think you guys are too far up for that Jet Boat” oops…We thank him, dive in the craft knowing just 45 minutes ago we screamed by 75 dudes lined up on various gravel bars and the law may be coming our way! Motoring down not five hundred yards and there’s the white triangle across river from some other boats that we were waving as we went by, stopping in there a great bunch from Alberta and laughing there ass off as they knew what had just transpired. We find out later that everyone waving us on figuring we were the law as they run around in a camo jet boat kinda like mine…Un able to reach the good bar we fish the less desirable bar for a while then move down and join the plugging crew, nobody was catching them, they all figured they just did not run that day, we figured we just got away with some damn good luck!
Since nobody but myself liked fishing a tidal zone we moved up the river and fished from pontoons for the next three days. Every day hearing how lucky we were to NOT have been arrested for a simple mistake. We were those dudes, the guys talked about on the river, stumbling around and into some nice fish the day the whole river went skunko. The Kitimat has wonderful steelhead water in the upper stretches and very good everything water in the middle 10 miles, but poor swinging cause of the inability to get out on the banks, at least at these levels. The lower 10 mile zone was a parade of boats plugging the deep runs and pools as there is no bait allowed anywere so every one was doing the same thing. Plugging from boats or jigging with 1/2 – 1 ounce black or purple jigs on spin poles. We seen 2 other fly fishermen outside our group of five.
Phil and I fished as a team and we managed 2 fish a day between us with a couple lost each day as an average, that with going skunko twice, the day we went and checked back at the Skeena and the last 1/2 day. The other three in the group all caught one each but for Bob he managed three for the week one with a guide trip they took. As usual the Canadian guides are chaperones when it comes to fly fishing, and that comes from fishing with them. As our week winded down the river dropped fast and much became more fishable and in hindsight I should have revisited the bottom end as I think it would have looked much better with two feet less water. All in all we fished a river none of us had ever seen before and caught just as many as the local guides and gear anglers and had a blast seeing new water every day, every bend, and that in itself is worth the price of admission.
As we drove past the Skeena on the way home it had dropped and cleared substantially and were it not for the Morice River blowing it out we would have found it in great shape and the outcome could have been much different. The Kallum remained too dirty as well. Both of these surprised us as historically they were both hardy drainages that ran clear water for most of the time even with seasonal rains. By the time we drove past Smithers and the mouth of the Bulkley we had counted twenty jet boats heading for the Skeena Chinook fishery…
I guess we should of been there NEXT week..
Thanks for subscribing , Jeff Brazda
Every season there’s a timeline between the March Browns in April, (yes they start heavy in April they apparently don’t pay any attention to a calendar at all) and July 10 or so that we have mayflies every day to some degree. Above the Thorp bridge this may detail five different sizes from PMD’s to full on Green Drakes of the ginormous category. Below its a PMD/Batis/Ephioris factory (probably some spell error there)..Anyway you get the idea we have mayflies. The intensity of the hatch follows all the usual weather with the Yakima wind thrown in the cast can become treacherous. Matching the drift of a wind skated fly,,,not so easy!
Luckily I have my choice of weekdays to go fishing and watch the weather for partial to full clouds and light wind, pretty easy these days living were I do, literally look out the front deck and see,,,My hillbilly weather rock blew away last month so I am resorting to alternate methods.
One of the best times this last week was encountering a grey drake hatch of about size 8…I just so happened to have a few left in my box from 30 years ago when I tied about ten dozen for a trip to the Henry’s Fork that never happened. Here it is shown in the same vice I tied it in, had to go into the antique fly gear display and hook it up..Whoa that’s hard to think about, when we start putting out younger years fishing gear in the antique display.
Either way get out and get onto some of the seasons best dry fly fishing right here at home.
Thanks for the memories Grandpa….
For a few years now I have been wondering off to new places and tagging along with are some friends that fish with me through my guide service. This year we went to Baja Mexico for our annual saltwater fun trip through Jay Murkowski Baja fly fishing Adventures. Jay runs a trip on a budget for those wanting to save some money you can go cheap with minimal expense by staying out of town or the bar, tip is to buy goods at the Wal – Mart or local substitute,,, if you can resist the great food around the local community. Drinks $ are not the same as I remember from Mexico past, the Baja area has adopted the get what you can attitude that’s for sure.
The fishing was fantastic, the guides are top notch and just aggressive enough to make us feel at home. The Rooster bite was crazy first thing in the AM but after the sun was high it changed and by keeping moving we found fish as the boats dispersed to other locations. The system here is that of the necessities and CHUM was highest on the list. Without it we found very little action and even with it we found mixed results based on one’s ability to quick fire to the active feeders. Fly choice through out the day changed as well, it is definitely a tiers game, from blue to green or tan with black and always on top of white, flash free was best but on cloudy days flash prevailed. My best day was on poppers (crease fly) and it was only good for that day that couple hours and never duplicated.
The frenzy of evening fly tying for the next day mixed with that night’s rendition of a Margarita kept the high from the days fishing activity flowing. A must have experience for the advanced angler and Tequila coinsurer. The days here are HOT and the more active anglers felt as they were short on fishing but advertised as so (6 hours), unfortunately that included an hour to find bait balls, chum and a lot of moving around was burnt up in that 6 hour day. This will all change of coarse as the schools of feed move around and other areas become prime. During our week we found many different species and that in itself made the trip for me. I think I caught 10 or 12 different species of fish on dry lines, I wonder today how that may have changed with a full sinker?
As I digress and wind down from this trip I feel it was a trip of a lifetime, one that I will do for many years to come. With some of the differences of approach making the adventure all the more fun. I myself like the all inclusive type of trip and this was anything but, so read the brochure there are lots of extras, and I knew of most going in. Be prepared to spend some window time every day getting to the various launch areas. Jay has developed a great fishing experience in a TOUGH area to negotiate it, he has done his homework and provides the best there is to be had in a constantly changing environment.
I look forward to booking another trip with Jay in the years to come.
Next year its back to Ascension Bay and the Yucatan Peninsula for Bonefish, Permit, Snook and Baby Tarpon, along with a stop in the Keys for magnum Tarpon and if all goes well another shot down here to Baja to finish it off for 2014 fun in the sun time, cant wait and neither should you, get on the to go list I am putting it together right now, May 2014!
One more day and I head for waters up north in Okanagan Co. We are finding good to great fishing on the Klickitat and will be back in November to finish out the season. I had a blast hanging out with friends that I rarely see and some new ones I hope to see for many seasons. The return to the Klickitat was easy as the river has not changed much and the people are wonderfully friendly. The river etiquette has changed a lot since just a few years ago, everyone is giving up water for other anglers and fishing respectfully. The non boat fishing scare has brought out the respect for other anglers that should have been present before.
Moving on to the Methow and hoping we get just enough rain to float it otherwise we will be bank fishing. Not that it will be a problem but covering a few miles on foot is much different than 10 in the boat for most anglers and especially clients. We have some great walk in water that will secure a good position for swing fishing on hard to reach water. that will be enough to get us through the drought time and get into good fishing on foot. I look forward to swinging some dries and actually catching a good number of steelhead instead of hoping for one..
Going to miss the Klick but we will be back late November 2012!
Been a few years since I did a month straight guiding the Klickitat for steelhead, but since I was home from MT all summer and that the Methow won’t be opening any time too soon I headed down there to get my game on.
The best thing about the Klick is that those fish will take a swung fly just as readily as the Deschutes, BUT average much bigger and stronger, now we don’t pussy foot around with dry lines all the time (they do have there place here) nore do we dredge with the heavy fly loosing tips. A decent spey angler that can read water a little has a good chance at finding a swung steelhead on any given morning throwing classics or new webby type spey flies. lately the fly has been a green but Hobo spey in the small size, it just gets the most action on the end of the string, we do have to follow it up once and a while with some crazy shit but generally under low light they crush it!
Every evening there is some good caddis popping around and we have been seeing a few steelhead eating them but I have yet to catch a fish on the waker here for a few weeks.
Of coarse we have some dates available and we have even homed in on great lodging right on the river so if your inclined to get your own game on look us up were easy to find…..