Search This Blog

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wannabe Fireman

Two Sleeps, Two Barbecues
I went fishing the other day...on a Tuesday.  What a treat.  We had the place pretty much to ourselves without the need to drive for several hours.  Now I know what it's like to be a fireman--four on, four off, two sleeps, two barbecues, yada, yada, yada.  I hope firefighters get as much grief for their days off as us teachers.  As it was Spring/March break, I had the week off and figured I'd make the most of a day out.

The Turn
The fish are starting to turn from eggs to bugs and to maximize the action, we had to cover both possibilities.  After hitting a couple big fish earlier in the day, my buddy drew a blank in the second run with an egg.  I followed with a nymph and quickly popped two nice browns.  The second one had the hump behind the head and the large head that big browns seem to develop.  This brownie may have gone a shade over twenty but I forgot to measure.  We're blessed to have such a great trout river nearby.  It spoils us.  Browns over twenty inches are very common.  My best to date is 28 inches.

Not only were these first two browns a good size, but they shot across the surface several times, almost uncharacteristically for them.  The rainbows always fight a little more frenetically than the browns but these browns have recovered from the spawning season and are very nicely coloured and proportioned.  A fall and winter of chowing on salmon eggs seems to have replenished their energy stores.

In the next run, the difference wasn't quite as pronounced but again I fished second.  This time we reversed flies.  Brock worked the run first with the nymph.  He hit a couple fish but they wouldn't stay buttoned.  I followed with the egg and quickly sniped off 3 bows.  I was beginning to wonder if each species has a preference for different food sources.

Hypothesis Refuted
We continued downstream, then returned to the third run from below.  This time we fished upstream to the fish starting a little further down and on the other side of the main flow.  Earlier in the day we were fishing from above.  Amazingly, the action was even better than it was from above.  I was back to the nymph now and the fish were hitting within a couple casts of one another.  I landed four more and lost a few others.  This time I was hooking both bows and browns on the nymph so the earlier hypothesis was a little off base.

Best For Last
We moved upriver to a run that held close to a half dozen steelhead.  They were pretty tight lipped for the most part but I eventually duped one and the battle was on.  I was undergunned with my five weight trout rod but I had skookum tippet on just in case I smacked a late season steelie.  Good thing.  After initially taking me way downstream, the steelie allowed me to walk it back up to my location and eventually I brought him to the softer water side of the submerged island I was on.  In this slower current I was able to slide him up onto the shallow water of the submerged bar.  I estimated him to be 12 or 13 pounds, a pretty hefty fish for my little rod but it held up admirably.

Wanting More
We've just had a beautiful sunny 15 degree day (60 for you Americans) and just being out on the river would be great.  However, "it was just nice to be out" is not an expression that a good nymph fisher needs to use for the next while.  The insect hatches are picking up speed, the crowds of steelheaders are packing away their rods for another season, and the best nymphers are beginning to salivate.  Imagine what you could do if you worked a four on four off schedule--firefighters doh!

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Beginning Spey Caster

Two of the Easiest

My suggestion for a beginning spey caster is to learn a waterborne anchor cast for your upstream and downstream shoulder.  You should be able to execute these casts from both sides.  This will cover up and downstream winds and obstructions on your left or right side.

I personally began by working on the double spey for a downstream shoulder cast and the snap-T for an upstream shoulder cast.  These casts are both waterborne anchor casts that don't require as much timing as airborne anchor casts.  Below is a short clip that has both of these casts and the snake roll for an idea of what they look like.  I'd save the snake roll for later.  I suspect, like me, these fellows are not certified casting instructors so don't be too hard on us.


To accelerate your learning curve, taking a lesson is ideal but picking up a casting video or book is also good.  I'd lean to the video over the book as I'm a believer in "a picture says a thousand words."  Video of course takes this one step further--spoken like a true Canadian videographer 'eh.  I didn't take a casting lesson but picked my buddy Gregor's brain as he'd taken lessons and had a year's worth of practice in when I began.  I did however buy RIO's Modern Speycasting DVD which was a huge help and which I highly recommend.

If you'd like some take home material to reference while learning to spey cast, you can order both videos and books by going to the Maps, Books, & Videos tab at or you can click the Fishwest logo on the right for a slightly more limited selection. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Why Are Two Handed Rods All The Rage?

My buddy got into spey fishing several years back.  I followed a year later.  Not only is it kind of fun learning new casts, but fishing two handed rods has some major benefits.  The most important to me is the ability to fish runs where there is little to no backcast space.  With ten or fifteen feet of room behind you, you can usually hit the far bank pretty easily on rivers the size I fish.  Watch how little room Andrew uses behind him while making a variety of different spey casts.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Dry Fly Trout

Where It All Begins

I cut my teeth dry fly fishing for trout.  It's where many a steelheader began their fishing journey.  Growing up in Roderick Haig-Brown's former neighbourhood, my journey began with sea run cutthroat.  For many river trout fishers, the quarry is rainbow or brown trout.  I suspect RA Beattie, whose video piece is below, may well have started out chasing browns and rainbows judging by where he's from and what he produces.  I've oogled some of the action in this sequence for quite a while and thought many of you would enjoy seeing it.

The Beauty

There are many things I like about this piece by RA.  The slow motion gives you plenty of time to appreciate the action, the pristine wilderness just makes you want to get out there, and the dry fly experience is like no other in fly fishing.  Hope you like it too.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Lowest Price & Free Shipping on Fly Gear

Why Buy Online?

If you want the lowest price, you don't live near a fly shop, your local shop doesn't carry all the brands you prefer, or you prefer shopping online period, click through from our blog (top right side) or website to Fishwest.  You'll get the guaranteed best price and support Fly Fishing Fantasies at the same time.

Reasons Fishwest is the Best Online Fly Fishing Retailer For You

Top tier and price point fly fishing equipment combined with a lowest price guarantee, secure shopping, 30 day no questions asked/satisfaction guaranteed return policy even on sale and closeout items, free shipping for all US orders and for international orders over $300.

Why Fly Fishing Fantasies Chose to Affiliate with Fishwest

  1. Lower threshold for free international shipping than other online retailers.
  2. 30 day no questions asked/satisfaction guaranteed return policy.  If your waders don't fit or the rod wasn't the perfect match for you, back it goes.  This makes shopping with Fishwest no risk.
  3. Ability to return closeout and sale items.  You don't find this one often.
  4. Thousands of products available to match every budget.
  5. Lowest price guarantee.  Can't get any lower than lowest.
  6. Secure shopping.
How to Use

Simply click on the Fishwest logo on our blog (top right side) or website and you'll be taken to a page listing all subcategories to help you quickly find what you're looking for.  These subcategories include rods, reels, lines, wading gear, fly tying, etc.  Fishwest accepts PayPal and all major credit cards.

Added Benefit

Your click through business will help Fly Fishing Fantasies further the fight against Run of River Hydroelectric and other projects detrimental to our environment.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Just Released: Extended Trailer--Steelhead Dry Fly and Sight Fishing

We're ramping things up and heading for the home straight. If you want to catch steelhead in the most exhilarating ways, jump on our no deposit, no obligation notification list (which secures 10% off if and when you do buy in the future) by going to our website at Strategies, techniques, locating spots, low budget, etc, etc.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Poon Over Miami

The Fish Porn Fix crew capture some sweet tarpon footage with Miami backlighting. The music's also cool. Check it...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Fishing closed, whale watching closed, grizzly bear tours closed, etc, etc.

Business Casualties of Run of River

Could the title of this blog entry simply be a news headline in BC's future?  BC's government is looking to privatize power generation in our province through "green" power initiatives such as Run of River Hydroelectricity.  Green power, it is not.  Not only that, but BC currently uses less power than it produces.  The whole plan seems to be good for big businesses and bad for the environment, and therefore, bad for many existing BC businesses which make money off our incredible natural assets in sustainable ways.

I think it's far better to make money from our environment in sustainable ways that don't undermine other businesses' ability to continue operating.  Whale watching companies, grizzly tour operators, fishing guides, and others will be the casualties of Run of River Hydroelectric.  A company that's approved for a Run of River project has the right to continue producing power on these gifted lands and rivers forever.  Once we cross this bridge, there's no turning back.

Collateral Damage

Informed BC citizens are standing up to fight atrocious and stealthy attempts to steal the veins and arteries of this province, but many of us hardly know this battle is going on.  I for one, only really found out just how major the Run of River issue is a few months ago, and I pursue the fish that are among the first casualties of these projects.  When the fish populations plummet, and I'm sure they will when you steal as much as 90% of a river's water from its most productive reaches, the next casualties are sure to be seals, fishers, eagles, whales, bears, forests, tourists, and on and on and on.  I assume if we removed 90% of the blood from our veins and arteries, we'd experience some difficulties.  In fact, after googling this question, it appears 30-40% blood loss leads to death--I shudder to think of the after effects of Run of River.  I also don't want to be left wishing I'd done more to help stop Run of River projects in BC.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

To see how far reaching the effects of giving away BC's rivers will be, you should check out Powerplay, the groundbreaking documentary series on the theft of bc's rivers and public power.  Although I haven't had time to view all the episodes yet, this series is a major eye opener and requires a major response from citizens of BC, Canada, and the world.  Please let your voice be heard by BC's government.  I'll list government contacts I was given for the Kokish River Run of River project.  I assume they'll be involved in many Run of River projects.  For different areas of the province, I expect there'll be different Environmental Assessment Managers but I hope these individuals will forward your opinions to the appropriate government representatives.  Here they are:;  Ron Ptolemy is listed as an Instream Flow Specialist and Martha Anslow is listed as one of a number of Environmental Assessment Managers.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide, BC's incredible rivers need your help to remain that way. It's my hope they'll be around for you to enjoy if and when you make your first or next trip to our province.  If we work hard and work together, they may be even better.

Monday, 7 March 2011


I'm thinking about getting out for a few days of winter steelheading soon.  I don't want much.  If I could come anywhere near this steelhead I'd almost never need to fish again--almost.  This fish is one my father caught a long time ago.  His friend was written up in the same newspaper article this photo was featured in.  In the space of a week, my Dad landed this fish at 23 pounds 10 ounces and his friend landed a 23 pound 12 ounce steelie and another of 26 pound 4 ounces--incredible.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Fight Run of River Hydro in BC

Fight Run of River Hydro projects by emailing your displeasure to all three of the following contacts: ;; 

You can also donate to Fly Fishing Fantasies via our website at  We are using exhilarating fishing footage to help people understand what's at stake.  We hope to spread the word far and wide to enlist as many supporters as possible.  The number of BC rivers targeted for Run of River projects numbers in the hundreds-please help.  Your donations will be put to use to create additional videos aiming to stop all Run of River projects--not just one river at a time.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Bow River is on my trout list someday

I fished the Bow once a long time ago.  Hopefully I'll get out there again sometime.

Immensely Popular Subsurface Steelheading Video

What if fishing was so important that you would change your life to pursue it? You would focus your entire life around it and raise your family to appreciate every aspect of the sport for themselves. “A Steelhead Family” walks you through a few days in the lives of the Clay family (Bob, Jed, Kaili, Kathy & Kateri), who have done just that. Headed by bamboo rod builder Bob Clay, this accomplished steelheading family makes the sport of spey casting look easy while illustrating the importance of the survival of these great fish in BC, Canada. A true fishing family in one of the last wild Steelheading strongholds left on earth.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

This is still one of my favourite trout fishing vids

In 96 and 97 I spent 5 months in New Zealand playing rugby and fly fishing.  This fishing is quite similar to my favourite steelheading--clear water, big fish, surface presentations, and watching it all happen.