Jumbo Rainbow Trout at Beaver Lake

 Posted by on November 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Nov 132014
 
Jumbo rainbows at Beaver Lake

Jumbo rainbows at Beaver Lake

 

My 5 wt. Redington fly rod  got quite the workout last week after Beaver Lake received several truckloads of jumbo trout. Except when fishing in British Columbia lakes, my  rod seldom gets severely tested and bent over by a rainbow trout. But these fat Beaver Lake trout, averaging 3 pounds each, can easily snap many trout-sized tippets. A patient fight is key to getting them into the net. Fly pattern or color didn’t seem to matter much; as long as the fly had good motion, it was readily eaten.

Needless to say, these jumbo rainbows are super moist and tasty too!

Hatchery truck making delivery at Beaver Lake

Hatchery truck making delivery at Beaver Lake

 

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Chum Salmon Fly Fishing on Hood Canal Estruary

 Posted by on November 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Nov 042014
 
Hood Canal chum salmon fly fishing

Hood Canal chum salmon fly fishing

 

The deluge of rain in the past couple of weeks has swollen rivers that are now overflowing into Puget Sound. As if on cue, chum salmon, having amassed in huge numbers in the waters of the Hood Canal, are now running up rivers and creeks to spawn and die. The annual chum run is one of the hallmark events for Northwest fly fishermen. Chums (or dog salmon) are a favorite sport fish because they readily take a fly and are full of fight once hooked.

In the past few days, my friends and I have been getting our chum “fix” casting to pods of feisty fish as they aggregate in estuaries along the Hood Canal. These aggressive fish don’t hesitate to take your line to the backing and are a challenge to land. Each time I come back from a chum fishing trip, I am so grateful to live in such an amazing area.

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Aug 022013
 
Huge Rainbow at Lake Corbett BC

Huge rainbow at Lake Corbett BC barely fits in net!

I had the privilege of fishing Corbett Lake in BC a few weeks ago and I was not disappointed. Corbett Lake is one of my favorite lakes for catching trophy size rainbows.  In fact, the smallest fish I’ve ever caught at Corbett Lake was around 16 inches!

This year, I almost exclusively fished dry flies after noticing consistent surface activity throughout the day. I knew the fish were big so I didn’t fool around with miniature dry flies–I wanted something that made a ruckus. Twitching a size 6 tarantula fly did the trick. The 26 inch rainbow (pictured above) that swallowed it really out a strain on my 5 wt rod and just barely fit inside my net. In one day, I had two rainbows measuring 24 inches and a few taping out at 22 inches.

As the day wore on, we fished in view of a fabulous sunset and moonrise. What a supreme setting for fly fishing!

Corbett Lake at dusk

Corbett Lake at dusk

 

Corbett Lake moonrise

Corbett Lake moonrise

 

 

 

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Mar 042013
 

 

Fly rods at the Sage factory on Bainbridge Island

Fly rods at the Sage factory on Bainbridge Island

Last week, I was on Bainbridge Island for business when I had some unexpected free time to kill before boarding the ferry back to Seattle. I suddenly recalled that a fishing buddy told me about the factory tour at Sage Manufacturing on Bainbridge. Sage is a highly respected manufacturer of fly fishing equipment, especially fly rods, among Northwest fly fishermen. So, on a whim, I decided to drop by the factory and see if a tour was possible.

The pleasant receptionist explained that they prefer visitors to call first before showing up. However, she would see if someone was available to show me around. In a few minutes, David, presumably a floor manager, greeted me and welcomed me onto the factory floor.

Worker putting final touches on a Sage fly rod

Worker putting final touches on a Sage fly rod

The first area he showed me was where the rod blanks are created from sheets of carbon fiber. The sheets are wrapped around steel rods shaped like fly rod blanks and then baked in a special oven. After baking they are removed from the steel rods, cut, and coated. This is where the rod blanks start looking familiar to a fisherman. The blanks for a particular rod and weight class are put together and tested to make sure the entire rod feels right. The rod blanks are then sent to another area where the guides, reel seats, and cork handles are added. Throughout this process, they have QA personnel inspect and test each rod. When the rod has passed the final QA, it is sent to the shipping department where they put each rod into a rod sock and tube.

I was amazed and pleasantly surprised that all Sage rods are manufactured on Bainbridge Island. Even the rod socks are sewn on site! It is reassuring that some skilled manufacturing is still happening in Washington State.

Founded in 1980, Sage has become the top brand of fly rods among fly fishermen in the Northwest. It was rewarding to see how fishing equipment I use is made. It’s even more meaningful to actually meet and talk to some of the people who work there. I’ve been a satisfied Sage customer and, after this factory tour, I’ve become even more enthusiastic about the Sage brand and equipment.

I highly recommend the Sage factory tour–but please try to call first to make sure someone is available to show you around.

 

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White Rubber Legs Stonefly

 Posted by on June 9, 2012 at 6:34 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 092012
 

 

White rubber legs stonefly catches trout

White rubber legs stonefly catches trout

I usually drag a wooly bugger or a leech pattern when I am trolling for trout, but I like to mix it up often to see what happens. The other day, I was fishing for stocker rainbows at a local lake but my trusty leech wasn’t working very well so I replaced it with a stonefly nymph with white rubber legs. Within a few minutes, I started getting more hits with the stonefly. I think the legs are an important attractant for fish.

Stoneflies are usually used for moving water to imitate bugs like the salmon fly nymph. I don’t know a lot of people who fish it in stillwater but I am a big fan of it.

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Trout Love the Rubber Legged Copper John Fly

 Posted by on June 2, 2012 at 7:09 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 022012
 
Trout eating a rubber legged Copper John

Trout eating a rubber legged Copper John

One of my “go-to” flies is the rubber legged Copper John. I’ve used this fly very effectively while fishing deep trailing a wooly bugger or when covering the surface layer trailing a large attractor dry fly. In most cases, the fish will hammer the Copper John fly rather than the attractor fly in front of it. The Copper John is a stonefly nymph imitation. One of the reasons why this fly is so effective is that its heavy weight gets it down quickly to where the trout feed. Try it next time you need to get down to where the trout are.

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