Monday, September 28, 2009

Contacting ODFW

I've been asked to provide a list of ODFW contact information so that if you have any concerns (and you should) about how our wild salmon and trout are being managed you can address you concerns directly.

This is the ODFW commission. The people listed below are the ones who make the major decisions about what happens to wild salmonids.
These people are the ones who decided it was a great idea to allow the harvest of wild coastal cutthroat trout starting in 2009.

Marla Rae (Chairperson) - The Rae Group
333 High Street NE, Suite 202
Salem, OR 97301

Skip Klarquist -
Zalutsky & Klarquist, PC
215 SW Washington Street, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97204

Zane Smith Jr. -
1243 Delrose Drive
Springfield, OR 97477-1594

Dan Edge -
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
OSU, 104 Nash Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-2910

Carter Kerns NO Email Contact
503 N Main St.
Pendleton, OR 97801-2243

Jon Englund -
Englund Marine Supply Co, Inc.
PO Box 296
Astoria , OR 97103

Bobby Levy -
PO Box 69
Echo , OR 97826

You can also send comments to Rhine Messmer at ODFW

The Tillamook ODFW fish biologists can be contacted here

Chris Knutsen - 503-842-2741

Robert Bradley - 503-842-2741

Rick Klumph (Regional Manager) - 503-842-2741

You can also contact the Fish Division Administrator
Ed Bowles - 503-647-6206

Good luck and remember these people are mostly bureaucrats who will just pass stuff on to the next level down.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ODFW Paints It's Ass Into a Corner

Well it's the first day of autumn here in the Pacific Northwest and we are having mid-summer like temperatures.
We've had these type of late summer heat waves before and I will guaranty you we all will be bitching about the rain by Thanksgiving.
One thing this early fall drought does is keep the salmon holed up in tidewater and the bays of the coastal region. They will eventually move upstream but may not be as bright as some would like. That doesn't really matter to the egg hunters of Tillamook county though, the more mature the salmon the larger and better the eggs tend to be before the eggs single out for spawning.
This year Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife promises a veritable cornucopia of coho salmon including the allowing of the harvest of wild coho. Here is where it gets tricky though! ODFW is not allowing the harvest of any fall chinook in certain watersheds like the Nehalem. Meanwhile just down south it's business as usual in the Tillamook watersheds as far as fall chinook goes!!! Am I missing something here?
Okay let's see if I have this right. You can't keep fall chinook on the Nehalem system but it's balls to the wall on coho including wild coho. Then you drive less than 20 miles south and it's okay to harvest fall chinook along with the promised coho bonanza!?!?! My head is about to explode here folks.
What took place at the Tillamook ODFW office when they came up with this stuff? A week long kegger? Holy crap!
I guess Oregon State Police Fish and Game Division are keeping a wary eye on the Nehalem system trying to make sure no one is targeting fall chinook. Say what?
I am certainly glad that I don't fish for salmon anymore because this is confusing to say the least.
I just further proves that ODFW is not interested in managing the resource but desperately trying to bolster lagging license sales.
In the meantime wild salmonids get kicked to the curb as has been the modus operandi of a state agency that is out touch and out of control.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Those Things That Other Anglers Do That Piss Me Off

What are the little annoyances that you've encountered in your fly fishing life? Those things that are minor but it still rubs you the wrong way?
I know you find it hard to believe but I have a list and I just know this is the blog entry from me that you have long waited for so without further ado here are my fly fishing pet peeves and petty annoyances.

Hero shots where the angler is holding his rod in his mouth....irritating! Or the dumb ass who holds a small fish way out in front of him to make the fish look huge.
People who use stupid nick names for rivers are particularly annoying. Hey the Deschutes is not "The Big D" and the Metolius is not "The Met" show some respect how 'bout it?
How about being called a "Fly Chucker" or "Water Swatter"? Does that bother you?
Then there are those idiots who have pet sayings to describe catching a fish. One moron on says "SHABAMALAM" when he posts about catching a fish...Good God!
A Burkheimer fly rod is not a "Burkie" by the way. Oh I could just go on all night with this stuff.  Steelhead are not "steelies" and cutthroat trout are not "cuttys" and rainbows are not "'bows"
Remember Fishing and Hunting News? That fishing rag with the week old reports about the hot fishing? It always had those stupid sayings like "Hot steelie action to be had on the big "D" Thank God F&H News died a well deserved death.
Oh I realize it's all pretty harmless stuff but we old guys like to have something to bitch about and there is plenty of really serious things to get really angry at right?
So anyway I think I'll head over to the big "D" for some hot steelie action with a few of my fly chucker pals. I may take my Burkie and head over to the Met for some 'bows.
Be sure to look for my picture. I will be the one with my fly rod clenched in my teeth while trying to make my 11" "cutty" look like it's bigger.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If Only They Had Trout in Hawaii

Well friends I'm back! Hawaii was everything I thought it would be and more. From the quaint little piece of paradise called Lahaina to the exhilarating Kaleakela Crater to the nightmarish, at least for me driving, Road to Hana it was a wonderful and memorable trip. I was glad to share it with the woman I married 30 years ago.
It's an emotional feeling I am having right and maybe it's just that I am tired. When I think about the last week especially when we visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor the wave of emotion I felt at that most hallowed place will be something I shall never forget.
I will add to this posting in the next couple of days with some pictures from my trip so hang in there.
One thing though and I really mean this. As wonderful and beautiful as Hawaii is I still am glad to come home to the Pacific Northwest,it's rain, it's trout and it's steelhead.
They is truly no place like home!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic

I think one of the rights of passage into old age must be reminiscing about the "Good Old Days"
I find myself thinking about those days in the 60's and 70's in the pre-internet days more and more lately.
Those family vacations driving to New Mexico and up here to Oregon in the family Chevrolet to visit aunts, uncles and cousins were alot of fun. My parents would stay to the last possible minute and then dad would drive like a bat out of hell to get home for work on Monday morning. I remember my dad pulling over to splash ice water in his face in order to make it home by Sunday.
I think about those orange juice stands that looked like giant oranges along highway 99 before the days of Interstate 5 on our way up to Oregon and Washington.
I miss things like that.
Here is a list of things from my childhood and even young adulthood that I was sorry to see go.
Beer commercial featuring the Hamms Bear or the Burgie Man. Sitting in the left field pavilion at Dodger Stadium eating Dodger Dogs while Willie Mays of the hated Giants was teeing off on Don Drysdale and parking home runs in the seat just below us.
The Blatz beer and Union 76 jingles from LA Dodgers radio broadcasts...Vin Scully was and still is awesome.
Of course there was the drive-in movies with the old cast metal speakers that you would attach to the car window. Do any of you remember the playground for the kids that was right in front of the screen? Nothing like playing on the swing set in your pajamas.
How about the 19 cent McDonald's cheeseburgers or Tastee Freeze milk shakes or actually getting your oil checked and windshield washed while filling up on Ethyl gas.
The memories flood back don't they?
We had one of the first color television sets on the block so of course we were a popular family. The old round picture tube was great for watching Bonanza or the Monkees.
I was fortunate enough to live very close to Disneyland and for less the $10 we could go and ride all the good rides with our "E" Tickets left over from previous visits.
The Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile would come down the street and "Little Oscar" would give out wiener whistles. We kids were convinced that he made all the bologna and hot dogs in that little kitchen he supposedly had in the hot dog shaped vehicle.
Wally the bread man from the Helms Bread would have the best doughnuts while smelling like the whiskey he had stashed somewhere in his truck.
Then there was baseball cards. We all had the dozens of Wayne Causey and Eli Grba cards in hopes of getting a Koufax or Willie Mays. The gum was stale and actually would sometime breaks up in little pieces when you tried to chew it but it was worth it to get that coveted Hank Aaron card to trade for nearly any of the Dodgers.
Of course there are the things about fly fishing in those early years of my adult hood that I sure do miss. You could go into nearly any sporting goods store and buy a Hardy reel and at a reasonable price! Kaufmann's was just a small storefront in Tigard back in those days.The Deschutes and Washougal had good numbers of steelhead back in the day also.
I miss the days when Bill McMillan could be found working in local fly shops. I also, believe it or not, miss those 5 mile hikes up the Deschutes river before the trails when you had to step off of the railroad tracks to let the train go by.
We've gotten too busy and too self absorb to appreciate that time...I know I have.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Paying Homage to Fly Fishing Tradition

I've fly fished for about 35 years and along the way I have some idea about what the traditions of this piscatorial endeavour are and I even have my own.
Fly fishing is rife with tradition probably more than any other type of sports angling and it appears that those traditions are no longer revered as they once were.
I have an annual tradition of making sure I fish the last day of the coastal trout season. It's like I want to say goodbye to the river and the fish that provided me with so much happiness during the five month season. It's important for me to do that and I always fish alone on that day.
I also make sure that, on that final day, I use one of my Hoffman bamboo rods. I suppose if I could I would find some tweeds to dress in.
I think the sound that a Hardy reel makes while a running fish takes out line is music to us traditionalists. There is really nothing like it and it is unique in the way the sound the engine of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle makes that is like no other motorcycle.
My other traditions include a three day trip to the Deschutes for the annual salmon fly extravaganza.
I think we lose out when traditions of this gentle of all angling sports are dismissed and forgotten. With all the bells and whistles available to the new fly fisher who wants to catch a lot of fish immediately tradition get swept aside.
I suppose I am sounding like an old guy but the "young guns" trout bums of today pay no homage to all the great fly fishers from the past and that is too bad.
Us old guys can't helicopter into a remote trout or steelhead stream because, like myself, we cannot afford it or are not physically able to.
Maybe those remote streams should be left alone! How is that for a new tradition?
I always thought that it is traditional and ethical to treat the fish you are about to release with the utmost care! Shouldn't the safety of the fish take precedent over your hero picture?
Anyway in a sports so full of rich traditions I try to embrace as many as I can. I suppose if I could actually get some tweeds to fir my large carcass I would probably wear them.
I would probably get a few second glances but at this stage of my life who really cares what others think.
So while the music of Beethoven or Mozart are most pleasing to those classical music loves ears for me the sound of a Hardy fly reel paying out line or the crisp "pop" of the ferrules on my bamboo rod as I take it apart are music to my ear in the fly fishing concert of mine.
Take the time to slow down and drink in all the rich traditions of fly fishing. Remember this is not a blood sport and in fact many of us gave up that type of angling for something gentler and more traditional.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Soul of Fly Fishing

I was thinking of calling this entry "The Zen of Fly Fishing" but after looking up Zen in the dictionary it did not convey exactly what I really wanted to say.I was trying to find the exact words that would adequately describe the soul of fly fishing and I think this says it best, "the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment"
Dan Washburn, a Georgia fly fishing guide says, "Fly fishing is the metronome for the soul"
What does he mean by that? I think when Norman Maclean was describing his father he may have had something like this in mind when he said, "I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God's rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty"

Rogue River fly fishing guide Dave Roberts executing a perfect cast

I think the soul of fly fishing is the concept of simplicity surrounded by the complications of our own humanity. Too many times we cannot just let our time on the river be what it is but we tend make it into something that is frustrating and confusing and so the soul of fly fishing must be simplicity.
I also think it is oneness with the moment. To lay out a perfect cast is truly artistic and to have a trout rise to that perfectly placed fly is a joy in knowing that you and that trout have made a connection.I would compare it to the joy a parent feels when seeing a child walk for the first time or graduate from college.
For that one moment you have put it all together and achieved perfection in this pursuit. I'm not sure if other types of angling can accomplish this but I know, at least for myself, I  have never felt the shiver of emotions that I feel when fly fishing. The soul of fly fishing could also be in the ghosts of those that came before us.I am reminded of fly fishing legends like Lee Wulff,Mike Kennedy and Roderick Haig-Browns when I am in the cathedral of the Deschutes  river canyon or the holy water of the Metolius river because I know they all must have felt the same emotion.
I know I risk of sounding overly sentimental but at my age it just makes sense when little else does. The days of youthful exuberance are past and so all I have now is the contentment of what I do. Tell me if you've never been stirred by the beauty of a river so clear and a trout so beautiful that your emotions well up into your throat and I'll tell you you've never really fly fished. Oh maybe you've fished with a fly but it's never gone beyond the cold mechanics of that.
If this sounds like some sort of religion then perhaps it is. To me it is the grandest church of all. It is not some man made doctrine of guilt and shame but instead a pilgrimage to a higher ground in the outdoors.
Yes the soul of fly fishing is in each of us in that we check out of the reality of our day to day worries in life and do the simple thing of casting a fly to a rising trout thereby gaining back some semblance of sanity and restoring our own soul.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Off to the 50th state to celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss. I've scheduled some blog entries during the time I'm away for those of you that cannot fathom the thought of not being able to read my sage wisdom.