Fishwest Logo

Bluewater 101: A Quick Introduction

Blue water fly-fishing was something that I have heard about for many years but never thought that I would have the chance to do. My two days in the “blue desert” were eye opening and even though I experienced a little success that trip has me definitely wanting more. With that being said, I can tell you that I was fantastically under prepared and under gunned for what we experienced. Here is what I learned from my first offshore blue water adventure. Before I get to ahead of ...

Gear Reviews

Gear Review : Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boots

I am no expert, but I would say a couple keys components to great days of fishing are not falling on your butt and not having sore feet at the end of the day. I know I have had days where both have happened for sure. This is why finding a good wading boot that suits your style of fishing is key. My goal was to find a boot that I could hike into my favorite spot whether it is down a paved road, a backcountry trail or kilometers of river bottoms and banks. I was also looking for something that ...


Fly Fishing AK Afterhours

Here's an awesome short by Jeremy Inman from his season up in Alaska showing how the guides relax on their days off. Big trout and salmon on mice and streamers, doesn't get much better than that. Enjoy!

Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Redington Butter Stick

When it comes to tossing big, bushy flies on small, tight streams, Redington's Butter Stick is undefeated. The new-age rod offers a fairly inexpensive portal into fishing with fiberglass rods, an older and more classic style of fishing that has recently been dusted off and put to use by the fly-fishing community. Upon holding this rod, you will be able to feel why it has become such a popular choice for anglers across all water! After graduating from Eagle Claw's Featherlight glas...


3 Tips For Tarpon

For the second year in a row I had a chance to take part in the Fishwest trip to the Northern Yucatan town of San Felipe to fish for sabalitos (Spanish for baby tarpon) with the great guides and staff of Yucatan Fly Fishing Adventures at their outfit, the Tarpon Cay Lodge (TCL). Building off my experience from last year I felt much better prepared this time around and went in with plenty of practice under my belt. I will share more on that later. For now, I want to take a moment to share ...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: Gear Review - 690-4 Winston Kairos

Winston took the fly rod industry by surprise this year, releasing two new rod families less than a year after bringing out the AIR. Their new rods – the Nimbus and Kairos – are meant to provide access to the Winston family at lower price points than their top of the line Boron IIIx series. At $475 (for all rods save the 12’3” 6wt and 13’3” 7wt) the Kairos is firmly at the upper end of mid-priced rods. Sticks like the St. Croix Legend Elite, G. Loomis I...


My First Experience Throwing Flies in the Surf

This summer I was blessed enough to be able to load my family (including two kids under the age of 5) into the family van and start on the 700 mile drive to Southern California. Driving twelve-plus hours, when you include potty breaks, is ALWAYS (sarcasm) exactly how I want to start all my vacations. In all reality, the drive was a pretty great experience and the kids did awesome! They probably did better on that long drive than I did. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was a family t...

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Tutorial: CDC Irresistible Caddis

Materials: Hook – Daiichi 1770 Swimming Nymph Hook Size 12 Egg Sack – Veevus 10/0 Chartruse Thread – Veevus 10/0 Brown Body – Turkey Biot Quill - Mahogany Thorax – Hairline Micro Fine Dry Fly Dubbing Rusty Wing – Hareline CDC natural Dun Post – McFlyon Red Parachute – Whiting Farm’s pro grade dun cape I developed this fly to fish gin clear spring creeks. Like all spring creeks, the ones in the Eastern Si...


In Search of Alpine Cutthroat Trout

I can never quite put my finger on it, but I always get excited when I know I will be fishing for Westslope Cutthroat Trout. There is something to be said for chasing a native fish in their home streams where they have been for thousands of years. Sadly the places where this fish exist are getting smaller and smaller each year and within a 1 hour reach of where I am located they are very few and far between. In fact I have never caught one in my local region and honestly believed it was a bit...


Identity As A Fly-Fisherman

Anglers have an interesting way of communicating with each other. Between the many sects and styles, personalities and demographics, we all have one thing in common. As a collective group, we are appreciative of small gifts - early mornings on empty, misty rivers, catching a trout on the first cast, and the last cast, and the comradery of fellow anglers. There is a certain uplifting spirit of affirming looks that one gets while lugging a large wooden net through a crowded airport.
There is...

Gear Reviews

The First Cast - 580-3 Orvis Superfine Glass

After using a couple different glass rods over the last few months, I decided it was time to pick one up for myself. I wanted a rod that was going to be versatile on different sized rivers while sticking with the deep loading nature of traditional glass. I’ve always told people the “F” in fiberglass stands for fun. For the older generations of fly anglers, glass is likely what they learned to fly fish on. For the younger generations of fly anglers, glass will differ signific...

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Tutorial: Bluegill Foam Spider

The foam spider is my go-to pattern for bluegills. If I was limited to one fly for panfish, the chartreuse spider would be my choice. Earlier this year in June when the bluegills were in the shallows, this fly accounted for close to 150 fish for a friend and I during one memorable evening. It is super quick and easy to tie, as well as very durable. Chartreuse has worked the best for me, but white, black, and yellow will work as well. Materials: Hook: Mustad R50-94840 or TMC 101 Dr...


Cutthroat Chronicles: Rivers After Dark - How to Fish the Post-Sunset Caddis Hatch

Fishing at night – for fly fishermen, at any rate – often conjures images of giant streamers, meaty mouse patterns, and the faint glow of dull headlamps. After all, fishing those types of flies when you can’t see them isn’t superficially illogical. You know a fish is on your streamer because you feel it there. Seeing the bite in clear water is either an added bonus, or another potential excuse for missing the big fish, depending on how you look at it. What’s ...


Fishing With Friends

When I think of fly fishing from a sporting standpoint, I can’t help but equate it to running. I am a runner, but very much on my own schedule, fairly inconsistently and, most importantly, no drama. In other words, I like to go at different times of day, at various times of year, sometimes fast, sometimes slow and always at a pace I enjoy. When it comes to fishing I feel very much the same. Sometimes I am ready to bounce out of bed at 4:30 AM and be on the water as the sun rises and the...


Fly Fishing Mission Bay

It’s summer time and the living is easy! My hometown of San Diego is the perfect summer vacation town, and it’s well known for this. We are extremely family friendly with miles of easily accessible sand beaches, good surf for body boarders and surfers, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Legoland, SeaWorld, excellent restaurant with the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. About the only thing San Diego is missing is a NFL team, but that’s a bit of a sore topic.
A Group of Fl...


The Secret Creek Conviction

As fisherfolk, we all have heard of ‘the secret spots’ in one form or another. My co-workers have spoken of them for as long as memory serves me. Long before I was a dedicated flyfisher, they held meetings around the computer analyzing Google Earth for the best access routes and roads to take. While I was always curious, the tight lips of my colleagues kept me from their favorite waters. Just recently, I found out why. My girlfriend and I set out on a sunny morning to a spot w...


Fishing With My Brother

My brother and I didn’t always get along. As with a lot of siblings I imagine when we were growing up we didn’t always see eye to eye on things. We would argue about who was sitting in the front seat of the car, which one of us got which toy, who was player 1 on the Nintendo; I am sure you get the point. I’ll be brutally honest as well and admit I was a pretty crappy brother back then.
My brother went away for college so we didn’t really see each other for around 4 ...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: Why Every Fisherman Needs a Kickass Pair of Sunglasses

For years, I fished with an old pair of Oakley’s as my only sunglasses. The non-polarized gray lenses were all that stood in the way between my eyes and the UV rays and harsh reflections of sunlight off the water. Then I got a pretty nice pair of polarized glasses and my entire fishing life changed. Entire underwater worlds were revealed to me. I could see more fish than I ever even knew existed, and in a single moment it felt like I’d turned from Spencer Durrant, below-averag...


Pelagics Coming To Your Home Town?

White bass spend most of the year roaming the open water of large lakes – typically not the realm of the tube-toters and wader-wearers. However, during their spring spawn, they crowd into rivers that are long-rod friendly. Because they can be willing biters and because they look so darn cool – they have that silver oceanic sheen - white bass demand a couple days attention if they are in your neighborhood.
My neighborhood is in the middle of the prairies in southern Manitoba. La...

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Tutorial: The Carp Skittle

One of my favorite carp flies is the Carp Skittle. I have had success fishing this fly in a variety of locations. This fly can be tied up in a variety of colors, I've had success with chartreuse, black purple, red, and even blue. Experiment with colors that work locally for you. My favorite things about this particular fly are the movement created by the legs and tail, the ability to make it easily visible for sight fishing, and that it’s an easy tie that is effective. Ingredien...