Thursday, January 3, 2013


Pintail are one of my favorite ducks.  The drakes are gorgeous with their white and brown head and long sleek "pintail" feather that is their namesake.
They're known as a difficult bird to get to commit to your decoys.  Today was NOT one of those days.

Your allowed to harvest no more than two pintail per day this year.  I had my limit of pintail a few minutes after legal shooting time started yesterday.  For the next several hours I watched as flock after huge flock of pintail just poured into my decoys.  It was an amazing sight!

My gun barrel sits at idle while I search the sky for the odd mallard, or wigeon, or teal...or somethin' that I can shoot!

This is a view from my pit blind as some of the "sprig" started to pile in.

Still waitin'!

This cold, dry weather removed a lot of the sheet water in the valley and has concentrated the birds in areas where open water and a food source is available.  Now if we can get some Mallards to show up, the huntin' is gonna be off the charts!
I was done withe my seven bird limit before 11:00 a.m.  There weren't a lot of geese flying so I called it a day...A Great Day!

This dry weather also has all my steelhead rivers dropping into shape as well.  Winter Steelhead are in fishable numbers up in the fly water and the lower North Umpqua and mainstem have good numbers of fish as well.  Several of my coastal rivers are also fishing very well now too.

I have openings on Jan. 9th for duck hunting and duck and fishing trips are available on the 6th, 7th and 8th if your interested in getting out with me.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Todd's first winter steelhead for 2012-13

Several years ago I met a man named Todd Hirano.  Todd found me via the internet and was extraordinarily enthusiastic about bringing steelhead to the surface.  In fact, if I recall correctly, Todd even fished surface flies during the winter months back then. 

Since then we've become good friends and have fished together for steelhead on several of our favorite rivers. 

Todd still loves to make what is already daunting and make it a bit more so.  He's a superb spey caster, but like me, prefers to spey cast with a single hander.  Its just a lot more fun when you hook up.  He also prefers, in fact insists on fishing a floating line.  Can't blame him there.  I hate fishing tips, but I need a grab a little more frequently, so I fish my tips in the winter.  Todd persists in all but the worst conditions all winter long with a dry line.  Did I mention he's also friends with Bill McMillian and uses Bill's technique for using floating lines in the winter with "big iron" hooks and longer leaders to get his fly down. 

This morning I got the following report from Todd;


12/30/12, I was on my favorite small water using my latest glass rod, a vintage Sage SFL 789. I pulled the butt cap off and found that my ghetto lower grip I made out of a broken glass fly rod I found on the Siletz fit good in this rod. This rod casts beautifully with either the 7 or 8wt Ambush lines and I prefer it without the lower grip, but on one run where I fish river right and need more power in my “cackhand” casts, I put the lower grip in. Anyway, I was fishing one of the larger pools on the stream and I figured with the lowering level, fish should be laying in there. I went through with a MOAL since the upper part of the pool is snaggy and I didn't want to lose a Winter's Hope that I would normally be using.  I didn't get any grabs so I went back up and took my pruning saw and trimmed the bank side brush to make my casting easier. I re-rigged with one of my simple blue/black marabou intruders and went through again. I got down to the deepest part of the pool and as the fly came across, my line came tight and this muscular buck went nuts. I enjoyed every moment of the battle as I kept praying against losing the fish but, I got him on shore and got some pics and a measurement - a gorgeous 32" buck. My first winter fish to hand for the season.
Sorry for the long winded story, can't help getting excited about these fish.