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Shared Experiences

This page will be dedicated to sharing everyones travel and outdoor photos and experiences.  Feel free to email me with your photos and stories of your adventures in your RV.   -Don

In the middle of winter most of us who love to fish find ourselves dreaming of warmer weather and a chance to get on the river or lake.  This video only whets that appetite!

“Sipping Dry” trailer – by Sharptail Media | Fly Fishing Movie from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

Crisp Fall Days

I love the late summer, fall and early winter. I am a lifelong flyfisher and to me there is nothing like a crisp bright morning on a crystal clear stream.

At this time of year I try to take as many opportunities as I can to hit the Yakima River. Like many fishermen I have my special places that I rarely share the exact location.  The reason is simple, no one else is there.  I used to think the reason no one else was fishing the same area is that the fishing wasn’t very good.  Not so.  Especially for the Yakima.  While most choose to fish the “Canyon”  I find that to be where all the people are.  I wouldn’t even consider a warm summer day in the “Canyon” as I’m not only competing with other fisherpeople, but all of the floaters drifting over my line.

I have explored the upper river in the Cle Elum area and have found not only some spectacular holes, but some spectacular fishing.  My fishing partner and I very rarely ever see even one other fisherperson, let alone the crowd.  It’s not that these are secret places, it’s just that most of the river is going through private property making access very tough, especially when the water runs high.  Luckily my partner has a drift boat and all we need is a launch and a take out and we’re golden.

In a recent trip we were met in the morning with 27 degree temps at 9am.  The sun was still cresting the surrounding hills so it would take a while for the rays to break through and help warm us up.  By late morning the temps had crept up and finally reached in to the low 50’s and when the sun was on us it was very comfortable in just a sweatshirt.

Awsome day on the Yakima River

Most of the activity we had up until mid afternoon was sub-surface.  While this isn’t my favorite way to fish, it is productive.  It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that the hatches started showing, especially the October Caddis.  These are large caddis flies that sometime rival the size of small grasshoppers.  Often in the fall you could have days that both hoppers are still present and the October Caddis are emerging. The fish just can’t resist bulking up on big meals and are more than willing to take reasonable simularities.  This is dry fly nervana.  To cast the fly and give it a couple of twitches and have it slammed by an average 16″er is the thrill of a fishermans day, if not year.

This is the way it went for most of the afternoon.  As the sun retreated back below the trees and eventually behind the hills, the temprature once again declined and our day was done.

Legendary days fishing.  Crystal clear skies. Crystal clear water and agrressive Cutthroats and Rainbows.

Once the weather closes in and to cast a line means knocking ice off the fly rod will mean that I will spend those days, instead of fishing, tying flies getting ready for the new seasons and new memories that have yet to be made.

Enjoy your travels!


Fall On the Skagit River

One of the blessings of living in the Northwest is the diversity of fishing opportunities.  Any chance I have to grab my fly rod and head to the river I’ll take it.

This was no execption.  The Pinks were running strong and I had to give it a try.  These are fish that are also known as “Humpies” as the males get humped backs as they head to the rivers to spawn.  While not everyone enjoys the flavor of these fish when cooked, I really don’t care as I don’t often eat fish and almost always catch and release.

This is an awesome time of the year on the Skagit river as the water is relatively clear and low.  This makes it easy to spot fish and to find great riffles and runs where the fish like to hang out without having to cast a mile or wade too deep.  The colors are starting to change and there is a bite to the air that signals the changing season.

Like most rivers, it is hard to find a lot of places to park and wade as most of the property along the rivers is private.  Fortunately I have a buddy who has a drift boat and all we need is a place to put it in and down river to take it out. Because of this he is my best friend and rarely catches as many fish as I do even though i usually do most of the rowing.

On this particular day we put in mid-morning and spent about 5 hours pulling over at any likely gravel bar to try our luck.  What makes salmon a little difficult to catch in the river is that they aren’t there to eat.  They are there to spawn and their intention is to get up to their natal waters and do their duty and finish their life cycle.  So they don’t focus on the fine dining opportunities that are presented.  Most of the time you need to just about bonk the on the nose with your offering to get them to grab your fly.  We fished with sink tip lines and weighted flies to get them down in front of them and swing the fly down stream.

Chrome Bright Skagit River Pink

It didn’t take long to start getting a few hits.  It seemed that some of the areas we fished were barren while others were loaded.  This is the way it goes with migratory fish traveling in schools and pushing up with tides and river flows.  I still am in awe that salmon can hatch from eggs, grow big enough to venture out to the open Pacific ocean, turn around after a couple of years, head back and find not only the same river but almost the same gravel bar from which they originally hatched.  Just the wonder of nature that defies my ability to fully comprehend.

While I can’t brag about a 50 fish day, I can say that we had our success.  Not only were we catching Pinks, I also hooked up with a couple of sea-run cutthroat and a very nice 20″ Dolly Varden.  Next trip I think I will take out my lighter fly rod and spend more time with the sea-run cutts as they are a blast to catch.  They are truely a fish with “attitude”.  Hook into a 15″er and you would swear it thinks it is a 30″er.  They hit and run and runb and run.  And where there is one there is usually a bunch in the same area.

Great days in the fall and great great days fishing.  this is a great part of the country to live, work and play!

By the way, what do you do to enjoy the great outdoors?  Send me an email with your photos and your story and I’ll shre them!

Happy trails,



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