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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fishing....."Winter Rules"




hooked up again
Jules with a Gator!
 With the arrival of cold weather and snow it is safe to say that Winter Steel head season is upon us.  Much has changed over the years in regards to the pursuit of these magic beasts of the rain forest.  Dropping wild fish numbers throughout the region have prompted wide spread river closures forcing anglers into a handful of open drainage(s).  The increase in anglers has transformed the sport as much as it has changed the small towns that host some of the most prized steel head water in the state.  In a twist of irony....it is this increase of angler interest ie: pressure that may ultimately save these fish from extinction.  The new generation of angler has been raised in an environment of catch and release and conservation.

Reece with a slab
This season we will be offering day trips on the upper section(s) of the Wynoochee river.  Access to these sections of the river has been limited in recent years so I am grateful at the opportunity to offer guide trips in an area so close to home.  This also allows for a steel head trip to a remote semi-private portion of the river within an easy day trip from Puget Sound.   Limited access also means reduced angling pressure.  With the big rains and high water of October and November, there should be a fair number of fish in the system already.  The early part of the season with the shorter days consists of fishing on the move and covering water.  Nymphing is the general approach, but we can accommodate light spin anglers as well.  As the season moves into February and March, the opportunity to post up in some runs and swing fly's becomes more available with longer days and slightly warmer water temps
Mason and Kyle

We will be offering weekday and weekend trips beginning December 17th.  Weekday availability through January is filling up quickly, but we do have a some weekends available on the calendar.  Email me with inquiries at: sweetwater54@gmail.com


Saturday, February 6, 2016

The "Hook" Up

 Recently, I was fishing with my old friend and fellow guide, Chris Senyohl. A portion of our day was spent lamenting and laughing at the number of years that have passed by.  When we met we were both young and spry..... and now at this point in our lives, I am happy to say that we are still young (even if its my mind set) and fairly spry. 





  
Wynoochee Steelhead
Through the years I have been blessed to be associated with excellent people that I have met through fishing.  Recently I have been extended opportunities to continue guiding and for that I am thankful. 
Steve with a Hookup


This February and March I will be guiding on the upper stretches of the Wynoochee River.  This section of river flows through private forest land with limited access and as a result is semi-private.  There are a handful of keys that have been distributed to a few guides.  This is ultimately an opportunity to fish on weekends in relative proximity to Puget Sound with minimal to no other anglers.  If you're interested, take a moment to contact me and see if we can get a day scheduled.  If I am not available, I will put you in contact with my friend Chris Senyohl. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fall Fishing

Teresa with some Coastal Coho
September has historically been the month to begin the transition from trout to salmon and with the labor day upon us...we are gearing up and hitting the road. 

Summer coho and steel head have been arriving through August and fall fish have been arriving in the lower river.  With a weekend forecast of some cooler temps and light rain....the possibilities are intriguing




Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Time and Montana on the mind

are you going my way?
It has been awhile since I have written anything, and with the summer quickly transitioning into fall an update is in order....

On March 29 I married the coolest girl in all the world and this was fact was proven true when she agreed to a Twin Bridges MT honey moon.  In a rare confluence of events that culminated into a weekend that did not have a soccer tournament or football practice we packed the rig and headed out for big sky county.  Old friend and quickly ascending to "unicorn" status fishing guide Joe Willauer was kind enough to take some time away from his family to hang with us and show us the finest of trout rivers...The fishing was great...the company was even better.  We are looking forward to another trip to MT.  Also a huge  thank you to Seth McLean of 4 Rivers....your hospitality is much appreciated and we look forward to getting back to MT for another stay above the shop.


Hatty with the net
The lazy days of summer were a reality this year.  With the amazing run of warm weather and sunny days, the general west trout fishing has been good to great.  The Skokomish river is a watershed of my youth and for years while off guiding on the east side of the state I had nearly forgotten how close and productive this river can be.

Big Wild Bow
Streamer Eat!
The opportunity or necessity to get back to fishing/guiding close to home has taken on a new meaning.  Re-defining home water has been a great journey filled with great days of fishing and the excitement of learning the watershed.















Friday, December 6, 2013

Fall back fish

As December rolls on and the annual steel head fever begins to set in......the importance of fall back fish should not be over looked. 

In the early years of angling and guiding....those years before all the information you may be looking for was on posted somewhere on the Internet.  You had to read books and articles written by anglers/authors to provide in site on locations and approach and then apply that knowledge on the water. 

Years ago a close family friend and mentor gave me his old Steve Raymond books.  So much of what and how I fished was gleaned from the stories in the chapters of those books.  One story that really hit home with me was titled "Fall Back Fish".  In general this referred to fall cutt throat and the abundance in Puget Sound and local rivers....but the premise of always appreciating the chance to pursue a fish with the fly is what has stuck with me for all these years. 


Chum Buddy

Good friend Scott and I snuck out to see if any early winter fish were in.  In between bouts of frozen guides and fingers....we happened into the some willing players....far from the chrome elegance of a fresh winter run, this chum salmon is the epitome of the "fall back fish".  Hard fighting and willing taker of a fly....these fish provided some excitement on what was really a quiet day in the water.  


 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Fisher and Gentlemen


Tom with a beauty Coho
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with Tom from the great state of West Virginia fishing for steel and whatever else would bite.  While the steel head angling was a little off, the record number of Chinook in rivers made for some amazing fishing on the fly. 
 
Hooked up
Tom is the quintessential self made man with a long and distinguished career in multiple areas of endeavor.  An avid Elk hunter by preference, I was happy to share the water with Tom and we ran into a some willing players on the river.  The odd year has millions of pinks flooding into the rivers of Puget sound and anglers of all types are crowded along the shorelines.  We took the opportunity to get away and fish far from the crowds and humpy's.  Our reward was some solitude and great fishing.

15 foot type 6 sink tips and lightly weighted streamers were all that were needed for the day, and the swing was far more productive than strip and retrieve or nymphing. 

With the fall upon us the major push of coho and Chinook is wrapping up...chum salmon will run strong well into the November....and hatchery brat steelhead are just around the corner.



 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Welcome to Twin Bridges

Evening Sunsets at the Cabin

For the last five years I have been planning to spend some time fishing in Twin Bridges, MT with old friend and guide Joe Willauer.  I have been fortunate through the years to make it to the land of the big sky to fish but had yet to make it to Twin Bridges/ Dillon area.  Home of the Beaver Head, Big Hole, Jefferson, and Madison rivers....the confluence of fishing opportunity(s) truly sets this area apart from any other place I have been before.






I met Joe nearly 13 years ago while working at the evening hatch in Ellensberg, WA and in that time has turned into one of the best fishing guides I have had the pleasure of working with.  Quick with a smile and joke and some serious fish mojo its easy to see why he is so successful on the water.  It was awesome to get the chance to spend the day on the water and get caught up on the all the years that had passed by.  Now on the edge of 30 with a new career, managing Evo Anglers (www.evoanglers.com)  and baby it has been amazing watching Joe's success and accomplishments.


Me with an average brown 
We fished a middle lower section of the Beaverhead river and had nearly 12 miles all to our selves.  We fished drys with occasional droppers to large browns and enjoyed great fishing.  As a kid cut his teeth guiding the Yakima river and salmon and steelhead....floating down a lazy drift with tons of large browns was a serious shift in my trout fishing perception.
fish on
Warm temps and low water levels had many of the rivers closed to protect the fish and resource.  Again with some many places to choose from...there are always options.  We spent the majority of the time fishing the "Beav" but also made forays to the Madison river and upper Big Hole.  

It was the Montana Vacation I had been dreaming and only missing my best fishing partner Teresa....


If your going to Montana....seriously consider Twin Bridges and take the time to fish all the rivers you can get into.....Joe can be reached though his blog at www.evoanlgers.com.

Team Jergens with a healthy brown!