Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Santa is aloft, Norad is heating up the radar and children all over the world can hardly contain their exitement.. tomorrow is the most beautiful of days, the celibration of our saviours birth, I am a fortunate soul.. I will take time tomorrow to think of and pray for those who are less fortunate, away from their families or worse..have no families, I have recieved every gift that is required for me to be filled with happiness... God bless us, every one- Brad

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Riverkeeper on Facebook

I have always tried to keep this blog about fishing, I have never tried to promote it really in any way. Alot of you would be suprised to know that none of my family and most of my friends do not even know it exists... I,ve kept it that way for the most part to avoid being chastized for how much I fish, and in part because I wished to see how many stranger would be interested, not because they knew me, but because they enjoyed the blog... as far as I can tell that makes about 48 of you..thanks for following. I am coming out of the blogging closet, this week I will spread the word amongst my family, friends, and peers and the joy and exitement of the Riverkeeper page can now be enjoyed by the world.. not just the fishing blogger cult. I have started a facebook page and have provided the essential link to go there and "like" the Riverkeeper.. The reason for this is that while on the road and traveling for work I have many adventures that I would like to share on this blog, but as time passes the trips fade into the past and never make the blog. My Iphone and facebook are a match made in Heaven, I can post photos, videos and short blurbs about trips anywhere I have a cell signal.. I hope this keeps folks in touch better than when I would simply dissapear for 2 months... sooo if you like the blog... you will love the Facebook. Once I reach 100 "likes" I will draw a name from that group and give them a $100 bill to go buy some cool swag of their own choice.. and Cash always leaves out the Guvment if ya know what I mean- Thank you all, good fishin.... and press "Like" - Brad

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


As my good friend Waco say's.. a picture is worth a thousand words.. they are indeed here, 2 for 3 with 5 months to go... Hatchery Buck and a Native hen.. God I love this-

Monday, November 26, 2012


The Gear is stowed in the truck, The cold frost that adorned the windshield and handle confirmed that it is time, the turkey is gone, even the horrid turkey sandwich left overs that uncle Stew dreams of all year.. The steelhead counter has been re-set, the score is 0/0 in the first with 5 months to go.. winter steel starts for me in the morning, Im so exited I could shit. Age has not loosed the grip that the anticipation of fishing has upon me, same as it ever was, 4 or 40... the fish still haunt me. This house is a prison to my ambition tonight.. if I fished a river further away I could start driving soon... Seeking solice I reach for one of my favorite books, IN THE RING OF THE RISE by Vincent C. Marinaro.. in my opinion the most important book ever written about fishing I pour myself 2 fingers of Absinthe ( thank you my online friends in a former soviet republic) shut off all but the reading light and continue reading a book that I have read at least 5 times.. sleep will find me soon, and then I will awake and step into the cold air letting it fill my lungs, I hope its cold enough to hurt.. I need it to hurt ( but warm up by ten or so ) they have come home, they always come home.. the only real constant in my life. If you are trying to think of a nice gift to purchase the fisherman in your life for Christmas Vincents book is an enlightening look at trout behavior and rise forms.. a must read- Happy holidays everyone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Of Bucks and Brown Trout

A few weeks ago I packed the family up and headed up to the Okanogan in central Washinton to lake Chelan for some wine tasting, fishing and relaxing. While we were there we watched Indian summer disapate into true fall, with a hint of winter.. every morning the view changed, first termination dust frosted the distant Canadian peaks, the next morning it dusted the surrounding hills and by Tuesday the true snow line marked 4000' feet.. and each day after crept lower. Deer season was in full swing, the small mountain lake full of Brown Trout was all but forgotten by all to the dreams of a trophy Muley or maybe a fine spike for the freezer. I had not forgotten the lake. The lust to hunt deer that used to haunt me earlier in life has now moved into a different room in my heart, climbing rugged mountains and endless glassing has become a fond memory for me.. I do not hunt deer anymore, and I don't even know why. Perhaps some day the path I am on, and that path will meet again but for now my rifles rust. The friendship started easily enough in the dim morning light, trying to take advantage of the hour before light to latch into a brute spawner cruising the shallows I had worked my way around to the backside of the lake away from the road. I listened as dozens of trucks and s.u.v's headed up deep into the mountains. The lake is a well protected position for trout, reeds like ramparts gaurd most of it shoreline, milfoil and an acompanyment of other garbage choke the edges beyond, I was trying to exploit the spots I refer to as lake pocket water, the holes between the weeds and milfoil, casting an olive wool headed sculpin on a sink-tip with my echo 4wt switch. The additional length of the switch allows for getting above the reeds for a cast, the 4wt part makes the 12-20'' Browns fun to play with. I had just finished releasing a nice Brown when I heard a noise behind me, turning to look.. then freezing, the first thought through mind mind... 200.. gotta be 200. The Giant Muley buck was froze aswell, both of us realizing we were not quite as alone in this world as we thought. His grey face, jet black fore head, massive sweeping rack, matching drop tines with a perfect deep front forks and a crown for the back.. a perfect 6x6 with a little garbage, but mostly just mass.. and at least a 24 inch inside spread.. a perfect buck. We both stared at one another as we listened to another vehicle slowly move up the road. I wispered at him.. "I won't tell" and he cautiously turned and moved away, up the ridge and bedded on a knoll overlooking the lake and road, and much like Yeti's, Unicorns, and sexy one night stands... I never got a good picture of him.. But his image will be burned in my memory, for the rest of my life-

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gone Fishin-

Them; so, your gonna go fishing tomorrow? Me; uh, yeah Them; So who ya gonna go with? Me; By myself Them; sounds kinda lonely Me; Funny, sometimes It feels kinda crowded Them; .....? Ever feel this way? Tomorrow I hunt the steel.. Have a good weekend everybody-

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kenai River Rainbows

It always suprises me when I speak to die hard trout bums how few of them are aware of the Kenai rivers tremendous Rainbow trout fishing. I was driving up the highway heading to the Fred Meyer parking lot in Soldotna to meet my long time friend Ben of Trophy Drifters when I thought of a couple guys who I new were on the peninsula on a month long roadtrip. I dialed up Mike, "so I don't suppose you and your brother would want to fish Bows on the lower Kenai today" suprisingly they did and we all met at the designated location and headed off for some Monster Rainbow fishing.. and we were not let down. We didn't get started untill 10:00 a.m and with Ben having clients coming in at 4 we would have to cover alot of water fast. Minutes into the float Mikes 7wt bent into the cork and his backing was clearing the tip seconds later, it appeared that a 15+ lb bruiser could not resist the sexy chunk of rabbit fur that had passed by its face. The fish powered up and across river and wrapped a rock, Ben rowed to the point of exaustion but to no avail, in the heavy current the fish broke off and made his escape. The saddness was subdued moments later by a double of fiesty 18-20'' fish and the tone of the drift was set. We agreed that there would only be grip and grins with fish over 20", we almost instantly upped the bar to just REALLY big fish... and that was coming. We aggresively fished downstream of any of the cleaning stations and piles of dead King salmon carcasses in the river hooking landing and losing fish like crazy, must have had at least 6 or 7 doubles in a four hour float with around 40 fish brought to the boat. I fished the fiberhammer all day and it was a blast, my biggest fish was probably only in the 22" range but extremely fat, I ended up being the photographer for the day and never did get a glory shot of myself. Mike took M.V.P status with a sexy 28" fish tipping the scales at around 10lbs. All in all it was a very good day with tons of tugs and laughs.. and as always... I can't wait to do it again- If you would like more info on Ben and Trophy Drifters or just some info on how to fish the river without a guide feel free to e-mail me... I love talking fishing

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Skated Chrome

I had been a dirt bag for days, hammering every seam with a bead, countless 18-20'' dolly Varden had fallen for my fraudulent offering of a free egg.. I was feeling dirty, the stink I had placed on the fiberhammer would take weeks of swinging to erase. As I walked back down the bank of the anchor river I saw a fish rise... a big fish, hmmmm he had a different style about him, class perhaps... early steel? Kneeling on the bank I began to dig into the deepest corner of my back pack, beer cans, ammo, redbull, smokes... streamer box, I studied my options, and pulled the trigger on the orange skating muddler, 5 minutes of chopping and rebuilding and I was dressed for success. Stripping line, poorly set anchor, and sloppy lob and the fly landed 50' cross bank down stream, the belly I had thrown instantly drug the muddler under, lifting my rod I yanked the belly back upstream... a train wreck of a cast, the fly poorly slid into a seam and I began to lift to go for a new anchor and a fresh begining.. and BAM! airshow and the battle was on! he drug me around and made more than a few good runs, slid through some fast water and I landed him in the next run... chrome.. how I ever caught him with the slop I was selling I will never know.. I guess flyfishing is alot like calling elk.... it doesnt have to be pretty, just in the right spot- tight lines

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A tale of the Pacific Crest Trail... and a Brookie

It must be hard, married to a steelhead junky. Too much time passes between fishing sessions and we become, well.. wierd. Wandering the house saying obscure cryptic phrases... bet the waters good, counts are high... my lines gonna be all springy if I don't stretch it soon, subtle hints, hidden suggestions.. muted begging.. let me fish.. I NEED to fish... get some. So it was no suprise that out of fear for myself, her and my daughter that Caron suggested I find a friend and go fishing.. a flurry of emails and texts that could dump AOL flew out in the next ten minutes, 5 minutes later.. a bite, Eggs ( Erin, but arent fishing nicknames so much more interesting ) messaged back, "whats the plan?" simple, swingin for the steel on the Kalama or North Umpqua.. Im open to both, Eggs obviously understanding my need responded with " hey why don't we hike two and a half miles at 6500 feet to a puddle and fish for 4 inch brookies on the hottest day of the year" I stared at the message, sure, and then we could stop at my sisters house and have her read all the notes from her high school year books.. I waited several hours to respond, becouse strangely enough.. the thought of some stillwater spoke to me. Now I believe with all my heart that it is Eggs personal mission to wake up the 5wt fisherman that sleeps in my soul.. and he's decent at it. So I went downstairs and rolled a 4 wt around in my hand for a bit and responded back, shall we make it 5 a.m? it was a rodger on that and the game was set. As the day passed I fell further and further behind in preperations, life happened and I found myself not even ready to leave yet, I texted Eggs.. lets make it 4 and im not even gonna sleep.. another rodger. I left the house at 12 a.m, gas, and a 5 hour energy, chased by an Irish cream mocha out of the gut bomb machine I made the meeting location 2.5 hours later, ready for a couple hours of in the truck sleep. I lay back and closed my eyes only to be harrased moments later my some p.o.s in a white jeep... Eggs, he decided not to sleep either. So here we are in a gas station parking lot at 2:45 in the morning, almost 3 hours untill sunrise and a half hour away from the trailhead, we decided to get started anyway. We arrived at the trailhead on Santiam pass at around 3:15, the kick off point of our trek, I had already been up 20 hours.
I must admit with a little Boy Scout shame that the map we used was on Egg's android phone.. I guess its that age and it was handy. We hiked with the speed of men on the path of discovery.. adventure, today had to be good after all shortly after getting on the highway I had run a skunk staight to the devil with my truck.. smelled it all the way to Salem, the skunk was handled.. 2 in the chest, 1 in the head.. fishings gonna be hot! The trail to the lake winds through the B and B complex burn, and as you can imagine its dusty, as a mater of fact im still tasting it as I write.
We arrived at the lake in the dark and started inflating the tubes and stringing the rods chatting about what first light would bring. Eggs was starting out with a dry, I decided to start with a full sink and a crystal bugger, this would prove to be a mistake.. rusty trout fisherman I am. Within half an hour Eggs had raised a 6-7 inch fish and put the first mark on the game card, and then 3 more, I know this becouse each fish he would raise his hand with the appropriate number of fingers raised. My C B had rewarded me with simply 1 half hearted bump.
Two hours later I kicked to shore, relieved myself and went to the bull pen.. floater and dry's.. its what they want. I imediatly missed 3 fish on a BWO and then it got slow for another hour. the water was crystal clear with visibility to about 20 feet, so I added 2 feet of 7x fluoro greased it with floatant and tied on a different BWO pattern... and Crack! first ( and only ) fish of the day. A nice fish aswell.
It was time to go, I paddled back to the shore and left Eggs eating chicken as I headed for my truck. Now at 3 a.m my waders were comfortable for the hike, it was now 93 degrees in a forest fire burn, relentless. The walk out felt like a sentence, the green mile.. or should I say charred kinda green mile. It took me an hour and ten minutes to make it to the truck where I promptly downed a whole 93 degree gatorade that had been lying on the dash all day... I will never drink a purple gatorade again.. but it was wet. All in all Eggs kicked my ass 8 to 1... and I enjoyed every minute. By the time I arrived home I had been up for 38 hours.. and then made my family dinner, fishing can be tough business. Thanks Erin for dragging me up to altitude and schooling me, I needed it- oh, and fish was the biggest,its qaulity.. not qaunity, right? - Tight lines-

Sunday, August 5, 2012

One of the greatest posts ive seen..... family

Carp on the Fly: The John Day: It doesn't take much to make a memory when you are blessed with two kids like mine. All you need is time together, and wonderful things hap...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another direction

Tonite I read a post on another blog that really hit home for me, it covered the basic feeling of not feeling the need to blog. To be honest I have tons of material and photos from the last two months but just havent formed or molded them into a post, time, the lack of it, or acomplishing other goals has caused me to neglect this blog. Ive recieved a few emails in the last couple weeks asking if everything is ok.. thank you for your concern, truth be told I have been focusing on another project that is closer to my heart... a book, for me, as im not sure who would wish to read it otherwise, the problem is I am a poor writer and frankly under educated for the task I have undertaken... great stories about steelhead, friends, bears and beer.. easy right? it is hard to put what is in my mind down on paper in the same fashion that the stories are in my heart. Im seeking higher education for this problem. I promise to write more in the near futer- Good fishin

Friday, July 20, 2012

940 Saturdays

There is a river in Idaho's panhandle where I first cast a fly, It seems like a lifetime ago and I suppose in many ways it was. Over the years my son Mat has often mentioned going up to the St Joe and fishing the very run where the 10 year old me first cut his teeth and became enchanted by the art of standing in a stream waving a stick. Time passes, closer rivers, the allure of chrome brite steelhead, finances.. all stood in as reasons to not go. Many times we fished close, bear hunted along it.. or simply disscussed it, made plans..and watched them fall apart. In May Mat turned 18, ending his career as my little boy.. follower.. he cut his own trail to the Joe and tangled with its famed Cutthroat, and won. He text messaged me some photos.. and my heart jumped with exitement, then sunk with saddness,of all the fishing days ive missed in my life, Ive never regreted missing missing one more than yesterday, I let 940 saturdays vanish to poor excuses, Someday I will take his son there.. if he has a son... I won't make the same mistake twice- Good Job Mat ( there are no photos of fish, it was near 90 degrees and he released them as quickly as possible )

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Scott Fiberhammer and Naha River Alaskan steel

The plan was simple, portage my kayak a qaurter of a mile to the inside bank of the large 2 mile saltchuck (lagoon) that procceeds the mouth of the Naha, go to bed early, jump out of bed at 4 a.m and cork the whole river before the rest of the guys even mugged up, I could picture it in my mind.. them, all sitting around drinking coffee waiting for the 20 degree air tempature to warm with the sun, joking and laughing, speculating on the caliber of fishing that awaited them, while I hit my fourth or fifth run or slot.. racking up numbers and putting my new Scott Fiberhammer through the strokes, feeling it out and getting to know it better. My plan was going pretty good, Kayak deployed to chosen cache, bed early, out of bed at 4, then I stepped out of the door and was instantly crushed by the cold air that filled my lungs like a sucker-punch... wow, ALOT colder than I had anticipated, back inside and turned on the coffee, plans were made to be broken, this is how great days often start. At the first sign of dawn I made my way the short distance to my Kayak and was not to suprised to find a thin layer of ice on the lagoon, as I paddled in the pre-dawn darkness the ice broke as the yak cruised through the water giving the whole enviroment an edgy erie feel ( there's no such thing as lake monsters... right? ) A short time later I found myself at the mouth of the Naha and started paddling up hoping to make it at least half a mile before the current stopped me. The river was much lower than I had expected it to be, as was the snowpack, my snow shoes would not be required.. relief. Stowing my kayak on the bank of the lower river I set up my new Scott Fiberhammer, shouldered my pack and quickly headed up for the first slot I had dreamed of all winter. After tying on a sexy black steelhead muddler I made my first cast, as the muddler slid past a submerged log I stalled the fly and then dropped a loop rolling it along the bottom at the root ball.. the four foot long flash of a fish caused an aggressive false hook-set that landed my fly in the trees behind me..Damn! Kneeling in a foot of water I quickly switched to a purple muddler and swung at it again.. stall...drop.. roll, fish on! the four foot long fish that had resided only moments before under the root ball had shrunk down to an 18" rainbow.. happens to me all the time, must be some strange physical ability for steelhead to shrink themselves after being spooked.. becouse it sure seems the flash of every steelhead is four feet long... bank shrinkage I guess. I tried the slot for a few more minutes before wanderlust got the best of me and I continued on to the next slot. As I walked through the fog streaked river popping the ice out of my guides with my fingertips the radio came alive " boat to scout " I smiled, no way.. radio silence.. " Bradley.. answer the F****** radio" oh, gonna talk dirty to me now.. buy me dinner first I snickered " ok, well.. do we need snowshoes? " I keyed the mic.. "negative" The radio went silent for a moment.. " alright, guess we will see you up there" doubt it.. I broke into a brisk walk.. the river is mine. I skipped the next four or five runs and slots to be a good sport and headed for my go to spot, a wide 3'deep turn in the river where a rock garden transitions into swing water and then a heavy tailout with a small falls below it.. the resting run, the steel stack in the heavier water on the far side, easy swing and very little garbage to lose flies and fish on. The heavier fish in the 34-38 inch range prefere the deep notch on the tail end of the heavy water, a flat rock rests on the bottom there and the fish love to lay on top of it. I wanted the Fiberhammers first steelhead to be a trophy fish, in Alaska a steelhead is 36" before the state considers it a trophy fish.. only 8% of Alaskas steelhead reach this size.. I was swinging for the fence. I sat and stared at my flybox... 98% black flies, with a few Morish flies and a couple Black and Royal blue muddlers.. South East Alaska steelhead love blue, and the sun was now out.. I,ll give em a little color, and on went the two toned muddler. Five casts in I was starting to have my doubts, "what gives?" and what is that annoying thunk in my cast? I felt all of my guides but the icing conditions had passed with the morning sun and no fresh ice was apparent. I ran my fingers down the shooting head of my Royal Wulff Ambush line, 10 feet into the head my line was perfectly broke in the plastic coating and only the braided core held my line together " WHAT THE F.......?" I can't belive it.. a two month old line.. broken..thank God im only 300 miles away from a fly shop.. but don't worry, all was not lost, instead of 4 miles of 20 lb backing I have 30 yards of backing and then carry a Rio steelhead and atlantic salmon wf7f as my backing, so all I had to do was pull the Royal Wulff off, and put the spare tire line on the outside and away I went ( a special thanks to Aaron Shook for that trick ) I switched to a Morish Trailer Trash and still nothing.. this run has never failed me.. something is wrong. I looked up into the rock garden at a large boulder that has never been there before, behind it some deep slower water in the otherwise turbid rock garden. Walking up I put the two toned muddler back on and sent her thru, my line vortexed and spun, stopping and then moving, impossible to read... and then bam! fish o... off, crap, just not getting the hook set I needed, the fiberhammer takes amuch more aggresive hook-set than any rod I have fished before.... to be continued

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cold Steel

long cast, uphill mend and slack... the line moves, hook-set the black muddler burys, the hook sets.. the fight is on, glass bends into the cork.. me and it.. alone in a snow covered wilderness.. we greet, photo.. and im alone once again, God and the Fiberhammer have been good to me. 56 steel since the first cast in April.. I adore my new friend.. best money ive ever spent.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Your Rod has no Soul...

Sometimes late at night I sit in my Lab ( man cave for fly tyiers ) and take a fly rod out of it tube and just hold it, putting it carefuly together, lining the guides up perfectly.. then twisting my wrist admiring its guides and reel seat. Then I turn and look at my reels and like a mans barbie I try different ones on in a strange game of grown man dress up, that ones too heavy.. no not that one its too small, the balance is wrong.. there ya go, perfect. Then I put them away and walk softly up the stairs and climb into bed, often the wife inquires as to what ive been doing.. cleaning, arranging,reading... anything, you name it, anything but " ive been playing dress up with my flyrods " frankly sound a touch creepy just writing it. You see, I love my gear, flyrods in particular almost as much as I like fishing, in fact I may fish just so I can play with them, im not sure.. the verdict is still out on that one. I hate comments like "reels are just line holders" or " any rod can get the job done just the same" shit... sensless shit spoken by men who love the trout, steel or carp more than the gear. Some rods are lifeless, cold, stiff..absolutely bankrupt in the department of charm or soul. This is why I love Glass, glass the class clown of blanks, the game changer.. I am not fond of your T.F.O... or your z-axis... I donot want to hear about your Cabelas 3 forks package.. and yes, that reel is infact just a line holder. We won't talk about lines or leaders here becouse thats worse than religion or politics in a bar. I love rods with soul, heart, character... testicular fortitude is not a requirement for my rods simply becouse we will win with tact and strategy.. I have added a new rod to the RIVERKEEPER stable, I have recieved a great deal of guff and criticism over what I paid for " an outdated material " I find it funny that all of us will someday somewhere find that 2x2 foot square where we will be standing when the bullet hits the bone.. age overcomes us, or the cancer wins the fight. And you will be gone, they will dress you in expensive clothes you never would have worn in the world, and plant you in the ground in a box that cost more than the combined total of every mattress you ever slept on in your life... and then the Government will tax you for dying.. Uncle Sam will be getting $625 less of my money when my big show ends- Readers please welcome the Scott Fiberhammer to the RIVERKEEPER family... I hope it makes it into the family album many times in the coming years-

Monday, March 12, 2012

Guest Writer's needed

In Just 3 short weeks I will once again be heading to Alaska for 8 weeks, in the past I have allowed the blog to just lay dormant while Im away. Lately Ive been thinking what a great opportunity it is to allow other bloggers to give my page a new or different face, so if you are a reader, you need not have your own blog, just something to teach or say, or maybe you have wanted to try your hand at blogging but just haven't pulled the trigger on your own creation yet. I would love to see this place spruced up with a different perspective or maybe a little different content. So if your feeling up to the task please feel free to e-mail me or just leave a comment and we can work it all out- Thanks for reading, Tight lines- Brad

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So as I sit here tonight catching up on all the great reads you folks produce daily I came across a post from November Rains, ( check my reads list to the right of the screen if you wanna check it out.. and you should ) Brian, a very skilled pin fishermen from americas heartland managed to perpetrate the fraud of photographer for a pretty high caliber sporting publication, ( great job man ) now, being a typical man I decided I would compliment him, and possibly throw in a jab or two about lake run trout or beading.. when you buy a license in Oregon you actually have to sign an agreement that if you ever meet a steelhead alley boy or a New Yorker with a six weight and a steel addiction that you must instantly shout out.." lake run trout" and as they begin to froth whisper " beads.. really? "... flosser.. so I was gonna try and do my part and fulfill my stately obligation when after I hit the post button I was thrown to the ground by a sucker punch called a capchka? ( is that even right?) three tries... yea, I said three, first one was in Gaelic, im pretty sure the second one had a picture of a bird in it and the third one was Greek but luckily I was able to use a translater.. its getting pretty labor intensive for my small wester mind to work out googles "code" soooo... google, WTF?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Your Help Is Needed-

Good Morning, I have a request for all 6 of my readers, Recycled fish is in steep competition for a grant to help with their grass roots clean up campaign, if you would like to read what recycled fish is all about please go to Their One Million Stewards program is competing for a grant at You can follow this link to place your vote for them once a day untill March 15th. They are the bottom right option with the name One Million Stewards by recycled fish. As your reward here is an adoreable picture of who we are doing this for- Good fishing

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wright & McGill Medium Drifter 8-12 Review

length 9'6 Line wt 8-12 Power Medium Action Fast Reel Shimano Symetre 4000FJ Target Winter steelhead Ive thought alot about this review, Mostly becouse I am so conflicted as what to say about this rod.. How to describe my true opinion after 52 hours of fishing and 16 steelhead ranging from 6 to 15 lbs. Here it is... a Porche with a Ford paint job and Walmart tires. At 9'6 this rod is a perfect length for throwing spinners and spoons which is how I fished exclusively, the butt is shorter than other rods from Lamiglas and St Croix in its class.. sheer brilliance from the eye of a spin fisherman who is tired of overly long butt sections on similar "over built" rods. The tip flips spoons incredibly easy, and the sensetivity to strikes and bottom contact resonates like a crisp bell, its very easy to feel the difference between a rock and a fish. Now the not so polite points.... this rod is finished and built horribly. At $100 bucks, which is what this fool paid for it I expected more qaulity. Ive since seen the rod on sale for as low as $59... its real value in my book. The clear coat is literaly globbed on around the guides, to the point of feeling sharp when the fingers are ran over it, I noticed this in the store but chose to overlook it based on the overseas build and the price point. No matter how much clear coat they globbed on it still didn't stop the coating from cracking at most of the guides after a 20 minute battle with a 15lb chromer.. that also caused two of the liners of the guides to pop out. I think what bothers me most is Wright&McGills sensless pandering to a younger crowd, while its been decades of fishing rod manufactures designing rods for fishermen, not fishing, I had hoped the only glass spin rod on the market wouldn't do it.. they did, the grip is rubber with an exposed blank butt with a tarpon ball styled end cap.. Is this a bass rod? real men want their hands on cork, this grip and reel seat is extremely cold with a bare hand and miles of hiking banks and setting the rod down to re-rig or work with a fish has resulted in the finish chipping all over the exposed blank. The paint job is trendy and lame, something I also chose to overlook just to get a Modern glass spin rod.. I overlooked too much at the time of purchase just to have something I wanted, I would not buy this rod again. I sat the rod next to my $65 Penn spin rod with over 4 years of fishing time on it and the Wright&McGill looks twice as old already. Now, the sweet thing is the rod has a great warranty, a warranty I will not be using. I plan to take the rod to a builder and have it stripped and built into the best glass rod ever
, becouse they did build the best glass spin rod blank I have ever fished- Good fishing-

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The last couple weeks

So, once again absent without an excuse, man life has been busy, paints been dryin, and fish been dyin.. ( but mostly swimming away) 3 home improvement projects with fishing trips interjected bettween, I have no words.. just these pictures-

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back to my roots..

Ive been fishing quite a bit in the last week, and basicly doing rather poorly. 3-12, I would prefer numbers in the 7-12 range maybe even 10-12, but not likely. In the last week the rivers have blown out, its snowed 8 inches, I was late to a fishing trip and Ive turned down 3 offers to go fishing and had high muddy fast water to deal with. I sat in my man-cave thinking of my week of fishing and trying to figure out why I haven't really had fun on most of my trips this year. Glancing to the corner of the room my eye's spied my RPL, adorned with a very sexy Ross CLA covered in dust, sad and feeling scorned.. it seemed to say... my grandfather was with you when you couldn't even hook a steelhead, and now this...why? I tipped my glass and waxed my lips with Jameson and stated matter of factly that the water this year was for the most part too high and mean to even land a fish if I managed to hook one. It turned and faced the wall again, and muttered.....the 30 year old Riverkeeper would have rather seen his sister in a whorehouse than his brother holding a spin rod....pussy So I threw the rod in the truck at 2 in the afternoon yesterday drove it 50 miles, and took it on a 5 mile bike ride behind a locked gate and into some of the best sight fishing Ive had all winter.... The 40 year old Riverkeeper is not a pussy, I think its time the spin rod collects a little dust-

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How not to work a steelhead...

I can't believe this guy posted this video, but im glad he did. Often I am asked by new steelheaders how to, or what to do when they get a fish, well this video contains the best examples of what NOT to do. 1. on the strike he did a perfect hook set, then he lays the wood to the fish 2 more times, with an uphill hit with the fisherman below the fish this fish probably hooked himself as good as it was gonna get. 2. The angler then proceeds to "attack" the fish in the very first minutes of the fight, this fish spins on the surface soley becouse of how hard the angler is pulling up on it.. this fish should have been allowed to pull, without having the boots put to him. 3. NEVER put your hands on the blank of your rod, if there is not cork on it, then its not a place for your hands, this guy actually grabs the rod at the ferrule with a hot fish that is still green... the fish was nowhere near being ready to land without a net. must be an ugly stick.. becouse a loomis would be laying on the ground in 3 pieces. 4. You will only be able to tail about 1 out of 3 fish bare handed.. 1 out of 10 that are still as hot as this fish was when he tried to land it, and 1 out of 20 when the fish is a dink like this one, there is no girth to the tail, its simply gonna scoot righ through your grip like a bar of soap... a glove will improve the success rate of this dramaticly, he is wearing nitril gloves, but that is about as bad as a bare hand. but this fish was too hot to land anyway. 5. I don't understand why guys set themselves up for failure.. no net, from a rock ledge, across the river was a perfect drift with an exellent bank he could land a fish on, or chase a fish.. if this fish had run down through the tailout how was he gonna chase it? he started himself out already behind the 8 ball. I think my favorite part is how he kinda punks like he just let the fish go, when it clearly made a fool of him. But, in closing I will admit it was a sweet hook-up and he did at least touch it, myself I subscribe to the belief a hook-up on the first cast is bad luck for the rest of the day... but then I guess you don't need luck when you already got one in the first 3 minutes of the trip. Man I hope this Oregon flood ends soon... im starting to get cranky- Good fishing

Monday, January 16, 2012

Steelhead limit on glass...

Sorry to all who tried to read the post I deleted, The post was all scrambled when it appeared on the site, so I deleted it- Saturday was the only day available for me to fish this week, I typicaly don't fish the weekends due to the high pressure, but Ive been wanting to hook a steelhead to the business end of two new glass rods, so I went.... and it turned out pretty good for weekend fishing. I fished my new Wright&McGill S-Curve medium drifter spin rod.. landed 3 and kept 1 clear finned chromer, one was a pretty decent high finner around 30 inches. The second half of the day I fished my Cabelas C.G.R classic glass 7/8 wt... 3 fish all in the 6-8 lb range, once again retained a stunning clear finned chromer, both were nice hard fighting hens, and both rods performed exellent, I plan on doing full posts on both rods performances soon. I had been hoping a new reel was coming in the mail so I could introduce a whole new angle on hammering steel on the blog... soon perhaps.. Sorry about all the Fiberglassmanifesto content in the photos, ive been trying to get a good shot to enter in the T.F.M spotting contest.. can always use a new rod! Anyway this post was way better the first time I wrote it but now have lost heart in it so enjoy the Fish porn... Im going fishing again tomorrow, in a big snowstorm.. maybe that post will be more eloquent and more interesting- Good fishin-

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Invasive species..

Somewhere around 13,000 years ago man made his first appearance in North America, and has been screwing it up ever since. Todays post is a retort to a comment left on "windknots and Tangled lines" regarding a very large ( 32" 10 pound ) German brown trout that was senslesly destroyed in 2007 in the Madison river of Montana for just its skin ( meat from real skin mounts is almost never saved and eaten ) to be stretched over a piece of plastic for bragging rights. Most shocking of all was the statements made that the German brown is an invasive species so it basicly had it coming, I guess in hopes of making Montanas crown Jewel fishery better.. lets talk about what the German brown has done for Montana. On February 24th 1883 the first eggs of a German brown made first landfall on the shores of North America. Many purist were quite concerned with the dangers of this voracious carnivor trout, it would possibly decimate the native trouts of the rivers it would be planted in. In 1872 Yellowstone Park was created, at the time 40% of the parks waters were barren of fish, only 17 of 150 lakes contained populations of fish, while some were sterile by nature, many had been decimated by man. In 1913 Theodore Gordon a pioneer of North American fly fishing stated in Forest and stream magazine " many of us remember how poor our sport was before the German brown came in" The German brown trout is now one the most prevelent species of trout in the Madison river, one of its running partners the Rainbow trout is also an invasive species, but it seems whirling disease has been making short work of them. The cutthroat trout is the only native trout to this region, Rainbows prior to the McCloud strain transplants only existed in bodies of water in which Native Steelhead runs existed. The native Brook trout of the eastern portion of North America were virtualy destroyed by logging, dams, commercial harvest and a great deal in part by civil war soldiers who slaughtered them for food by the hundreds daily. In 1879 it was estimated that the fishers of that time would be the last Brook trout fishermen... German browns were introduced and thrived in the higher water temps that the Brookies were doing very poorly in. You cannot undo most of what man has done, Bass, Perch, Carp, and so many others are invasive species in most of the waters they inhabit, and they are here to stay. Same with German browns, Rainbows, and Brook trout, cuttbows, hatchery salmon and steelhead and humans, we are all parts of an enviromental disaster that started 13,000 years ago.. and continues to this day. Next time you see a photo of a human being standing in a Montana river holding a ten pound German brown or Rainbow, try to see if you can spot the most dangerous invasive species- If you can't be with the one you love...... love the one your with-

Now the project slows..

With the bottom completely off and a full inspection of the hull Im happy to say the show will go on. No rot in the side panels.. whew. It will take some time and possibly a trip to Seattle to produce a marine grade piece of plywood that is long enough for the bottom, but I will most likely have to scarf two 4x8 sheets together, wish me luck. The project will slow down considerably also due to the fact I have to do my taxes, put a new top and computer in my jeep tj, and finish the steel shop with a loft im building, and hopefuly get in on some of the ridiculously good steel fishing going on all around me. I hope to have her back together by the time the fish hit the clack and sandy in the big February pushes. Grace my 2.5 year old daughter and fishing companion has been sick with a fever for 3 days now, I hope she gets better soon- Good Fishin-

Monday, January 9, 2012

And it just keeps getting worse...

6 hours, 11 beers and 2 slivers later I managed to get the glass off the bottom of the drifter to have a look.. worse than I thought. It seems the glass work the previous owner did was very poor, trapping water in the wood and causing serious rot in 5 locations, fortunately none has moved into the side walls, if it had I wouldn't continue with the repair. Its funny how dissapointing an on the the water problem can be, but you later find out how important the problem brought to light actually is.. this boat was dangerous, and on a bigger river could have resulted in a much worse scenario, in the least a complete loss of all my gear.. or possibly a life. Wood boats are fragile, and must be stored, repaired and maintained differently than more conventional materials, wood is not for everyone. Funny this boat has always been stored indoors, but due to poor repair it sat inside with water trapped in it probably for several years. I hope to have the bottom completely off tonite, and then make the decision on whether to continue on with the project-