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Rock Creek Hatchery

Posted by Mark Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2 comments

An interesting article on what the Rock Creek Hatchery has planned for 2010. I was fishing the NU this winter/spring and overheard a guy saying they had huge fish kills in the ponds over the winter....almost a total loss. Forgot to clean the tanks or something. You don't hear about it,they kind of slip under the radar. Things like the massive fish kill go basically unnoticed and unreported.I wish they would take the money they spend on those dead end(literally) projects that only hurt our wild fish and do something useful with it.

It scares me when I read things like "we produce a hatchery broodstock similar to wild fish so as not to interfere with the natural population" Similar in what way? They swim and are called steelhead....other than that they couldn't be more different.

Here's where all our money goes....... Not wild fish

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Hot Tuna( Hey it's fish related)

Posted by Mark Tuesday, June 29, 2010 0 comments

Fish are starting to show a little more on the NU. Still early but hey, I'm already on the board so I've just been working at the ranch on the lower Deschutes lately.I have been listening to a lot of music while I work. For those that don't know,the bass player(Jack Cassidy) and lead singer(Jorma Kaukonen) are from Jefferson Airplane.....if you don't know who they are I can't help you. youtube um. Here is a sweet version of Good Shepard for all you young and old hippies out there.

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101 Green Butt Skunks

Posted by Mark Friday, June 25, 2010 1 comments

A truly remarkable piece of art that will draw awareness and some much needed funding for the ongoing fishery conservation done by The North Umpqua Foundation. 


To view the entire collection click: 101 Green Butt Skunks


Dan Callaghan Memorial Fly Plate To Be Auctioned in 2010
Plate will tour Pacific Northwest fly fishing venues next spring and summer.
Dan CallaghanFeb. 25, 2010 -- Royal Treatment Fly Fishing and the North Umpqua Foundation are pleased to announce that in October 2010 a collection of Green Butt Skunks from 101 tyers and an original Dan Callaghan photograph will be auctioned off in a beautifully mounted fly plate.  All proceeds will benefit the North Umpqua Foundation’s conservation projects.
Over three years in the making, this collection will contain flies from such noted anglers and tyers as Alec Jackson, Lani Waller, Polly Rosborough, Ed Haas, Frank Moore and, of course, Dan Callaghan.
The public unveiling of the Dan Callaghan Memorial Fly Plate, 101 Green Butt Skunks took place at the Oregon State Capitol Building Galleria West at 10:00 am on February 25th. The plate will remain on display through Friday February 26th.
101 Green Butt Skunks Collection
This collection will be touring fly fishing venues in the Northwest during the spring and summer of 2010.

101 Green Butt Skunks promo posterBIDDING INFO: To place a bid for this collection, please send the following information in a sealed envelope to the address listed below. Full name, home address and contact information including phone numbers and email address. Please state clearly your bid amount and sign your bid. Minimum bid is $4,500.00. Please bid in $100.00 increments. BIDS MUST BE SIGNED.
Make sure your name and address are clearly written on the outside of the envelope. You will receive a confirmation that your bid has been received.
Bids will be opened on the evening of October 23rd, 2010 at Steamboat Inn. Highest bid received will be declared the winner. The winning bidder will be notified by telephone at that time.
In the event that there is a tie for the winning bid, the bid received first will be declared the winner.
Delivery outside of Oregon is the responsibility of the winning bidder.
Payment is to be made to the North Umpqua Foundation. Consult your tax advisor regarding donation above estimated value of $5500.00.
Bids must be postmarked by October 1, 2010.
All bidder information will be kept in strictest confidence.
Please send your bid to:
101 Green Butt Skunks
c/o Patrick J. Furrer
Attorney and Counselor of Law
7540 SW Hermoso Way
Tigard, OR 97223

Joel La Follette did a great job organizing and spearheading this mammoth project. Way cool man, thanks!

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Steamboat Creek Observations

Posted by Mark Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1 comments






A few observations from the past from Lee Spencer about steelhead behavior. This kind of information mirrors many of our own experiences over time. Lee is fortunate to have a large group of willing participants to watch what may take the average angler years to see. What it all comes down to is steelhead are very curious and will check out darn near anything that comes along. Good for us, the fisherman. As we all know, it is not getting a fish to eat a fly most times,it is FINDING a willing fish to eat our fly. 

Here is some great info from Lee on fish reactions to items in the water, angling ethics in warm water and other cool observations of the fish, rivers and  creeks we love. A fascinating article and one that may well change the way you fish and tie flies in the future.

Flies like the Lucky Lichen and the Dogwood Dandy or Fluff Fly may start gaining in popularity.
To read it all and see the table,

Click on:
Some observations on steelhead and angling ethics in warm water


More from Lee on the different individual strains of fish in Steamboat creek and the effects of hatchery fish in the system.
Finally, within the last few days it has quite belatedly occurred to me that the fish holding in Big Bend Pool for the spring, summer, and fall do not comprise a single deme, or local breeding population. There are undoubtedly separated demes for each of the tributaries of Steamboat Creek and for Steamboat Creek itself. There are demes of wild summer steelhead minimally from Big Bend Creek, Cedar Creek, Little Rock Creek, City Creek, Horse Heaven Creek, Steamboat Creek itself, the East Fork of Steamboat Creek, all of which local breeding populations probably have representatives in Big Bend Pool during the low water and warm water time of the year.
One of the consequences of this is that, should a serious poaching event occur at the pool, even with fish left in the pool, one of these local breeding populations may be dealt a quite serious setback. Likewise, if five or six hatchery fish end up in one tributary, then there may be a serious loss of adaptive resilience in that deme. Previous to this, I have characterized hatchery fish as ticking sticks of slow dynamite.

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Confessions of a part time guide

Posted by Mark Sunday, June 20, 2010 5 comments

A recent discussion on speypages got this thought process started and I realized I could become part of the problem if I don't change my priorities.

I have been thinking long and hard about the whole guiding gig and this and here is what I have come up with.

It take a special person to be a guide.
Not everyone is cut out for it.
There are guides that guide for a living and there are guides that guide for fun.
There are guides that are good for the river and there are guides that are bad for the river.
There are guides that are mentors, teachers,friends, and stewards.
There are guides that are selfish, and make the river a battle ground.
There are guides that are friendly and helpful.
There are guides that are mean and nasty.
There are guides that need to catch fish to pump their ego and there are guides that don't need a fish everyday to tell them they are doing their job correctly.
There are young guides and there are old guides.
There are knowledgeable guides and there are guides that have no business being on the water.

Let me give you some back round on me. I have been fishing for over 25 years on the North Umpqua. I have learned the river from a guide and one of THE fishiest guys I have ever been around. (Tony Wratney)Also from some others like Brian Jones and Jeff Carr who also know the river very well and are great friends.I have spent a considerable number of years during that time learning the river for myself as well. I love and cherish the river as much as anything in this world besides God, and my family. I recently(last year) got a chance at a permit for the fly water. I had been on a waiting list for years. The main reason I decided to go ahead and get the permit was to tie it up so that someone else didn't. Keep it in the family so to speak.There are some young hungry guys who would have snapped it up. The North Umpqua is a small river and Tony was for years the only guide that was actually scraping out a living on it. He is darn good at it and has developed a close knit group of people that come back year after year.There is obviously not enough room for 10 guides to make any kind of a living of the river.He is an amazing guide and knows the river like no other.  New guides that have not been around long and do not know the magic of the river will hurt this river more than help it in my opinion.

I never wanted to guide for a living. I still don't. But now that I have a permit, and 4 of my friends do we have 5 of the 10 permits in the fly water in our little group. We are all on the same page and can discuss where the others fish so we stay out of each others hair....a very nice thing. We work together well and know where the others like to fish and keep out of their way. A rare thing on rivers of this size. The rest of the guides(except one) are not doing a ton of days. I don't expect to do very many days myself but that's fine. Just enough to keep the permit and I am happy. The cool thing is after this year the permits will go to a 10 year renewal instead of a yearly renewal..

The reason for this blog was at first to try and lure a little business. Now I think my focus will change. If I get a little business through the blog and website fine. But I want to talk more about the river and it's beauty,allure and mystique. The fishing, techniques,casting etc.I will talk about issues, conservation, and trying to keep the river the awesome place it is.

The last post was a fishing report of sorts and the more I think about it, not really what I want to focus on. Sure people love pictures and reports but I think those will become few and far between. I may throw up a few here and there but don't expect a blow by blow, day to day report from me. I don't want to become a Look At Me guide on the river. The river doesn't need any more publicity of that kind and I was starting to get sucked into the whole internet driven craziness. I apologize for that. I apologize to the river for thinking that I could just waltz in and start making money. What was I thinking?I may make some someday,maybe not.

A great tool the internet but I don't want to be the one that brings undo pressure to the river. I would like to see people that were already planning to come to the river to fish hire me if they want. I don't want to market the river like so many have done, guides and non guides alike. I would rather get clients through reputation and word of mouth than someone who saw a cool fish picture on my blog. If I get no one to hire me at all so be it. I would rather do the minimum amount of trips and pay my insurance every year to keep my permit than bring myself a ton of business from people who don't care about the resource.

Maybe not the most brilliant business plan but that is what I feel called to do at this point.

I want to show people that care about the river all it's beauty,and tell them the history and fish it the way that I was taught to fish it. Single hand rods baby! I want to kick it old school!!!

I will be a part time guide and a full time advocate for all that is good on this river.

I would rather be the least known guide on the river and a great steward than the other way around.

Regarding rivers we love, let's all take a step back and think about why we do what we do, I know I have.

Mark

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Summer Steel That's the Deal!

Posted by Mark Thursday, June 17, 2010 3 comments

 



I hooked and landed an absolute chrome beauty on Tuesday. The water was high so I opted for a Skagit set up and a small black and red MOAL leach.(Thanks Todd) I found a spot with a softer inside corner and started in. It didn't feel like there were many fish around and I was just casting and swinging not paying much attention. Then I was like, maybe I'll take a picture of my line and rod swinging across the run. I got out my camera and started snapping pictures from the anglers POV. Camera in one hand rod in the other.....YANK! She hits like a ton of bricks and peels out of there. The picture above is during the first run, then I put the silly camera away.She jumps as she starts to get some traction and starts heading for the back door.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ goes the clicker as she does a face melting run into the backing. She stops and jumps once, twice three times and starts coming at me. I catch up to her reeling as she jumps again. I put the wood on her and get her into the shallows for a quick pic. I reach down and twist the fly out of her mouth and she disappears into the depths. Elapsed time, about 4 minutes. The eager grab of a brand new fish never,never gets old.

These early June fish are as hot and wild as any fish I have hooked. Reminds me a lot of Dean river fish. The hens are always the best. Blistering runs, multiple jumps and just basically a street brawl. Fun stuff!

By the time I left today the water had dropped and cleared considerably and I had one more yank that came up empty and rose a fish to a skater that wouldn't come back. Still a bit sketchy wading around but if you are careful you can start to get to some of the normal spots.


 Perfect in every way

Debi getting it done with the single hander (She is such a traditionalist,I am so proud)



Steamboat Falls. Went up to Lee's and there were no fish yet but there is debris in the ladder so that needs to get cleaned out.

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Dry lines baby!

Posted by Mark Monday, June 14, 2010 1 comments





Heading down for a little early season recon on the NU. Kids, dogs, camping, fishing and hanging out. Should be fun. I will report back in a few days.

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Taming the Wind

Posted by Mark Friday, June 11, 2010 4 comments

 Here is one of the best short videos I have seen on casting, double hauling etc in the wind. The guy in the video is Davin Ebanks and he does a great job reviewing the DVD Taming The Wind from Prescott Smith. It really makes you think about what your hands are doing and what makes a cast more efficient.

Great tips to make that line sail boys! The NU gets plenty windy at times and these pointers will work wonders I can tell.



DVD Review: "Taming the Wind" from Davin Ebanks on Vimeo.









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Cool Jazz

Posted by Mark Thursday, June 10, 2010 0 comments

With all this high water we all need something to mellow us out and put us in the fishing mood.....at least I did.

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Wading deep with Wild Fish Studios

Posted by Mark Saturday, June 5, 2010 1 comments



A great site showing off the camera work,art and flies of a master. His flies are spectacular! Very innovative and super eye catching as well as fish catching.The photo's of fish and the places they come from are amazing.

Just a super cool site everyone should check out. Click Miguel Morejohn and enjoy!

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Trey Combs

Posted by Mark Thursday, June 3, 2010 1 comments


Found an interesting site wandering around today. It is still under construction but I can't wait to see what kind of stuff he puts up. He says that he will eventually have his whole life's work on it. Thousands of pictures from fresh and salt,flies,gear the works! This guy is the guy who wrote the book(literally) on modern steelheading and had a lot to do with getting people stoked on spey rods way back before it was "cool".Check it out and make sure to bookmark this puppy!

Click Here  Trey Combs

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Landing fish with a two handed rod

Posted by Mark Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1 comments

In this video, Ed shows the proper way to land a fish without A) over stressing the rod with too high of an angle and B) needing to land or beach the fish at all. You can also strip in 4 or 5 ft of line that can be released as the fish gets close and you can tail it or grab the leader, thus relieving the extreme bend on the rod tip. The fish is kept in the water and it takes nothing more than to grab the hook(barb less of course) and give it a twist.Done!A nice release with no stress to the fish.

The high rod position when landing a fish has been responsible for more broken rods(spey and single hand)than about anything I have seen.If your rod tip is above your waist/chest for extended periods of time,especially when trying to land a fish, you may want to think about that for a minute.Rods are tough but extended stress to the upper part of the blank occurs when fighting fish that way. Fighting a fish with the butt and lower part of the blank will tire the fish faster and save your rod.


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