Friday, November 29, 2013

Russ Schnitzer Photography

Since going to work full-time for Trout Unlimited this past July,  I've had the privilege of meeting and spending time with some of the best people I've met in my life.  Talented, passionate, dedicated, funny, hard-working, great fishing and a damned artistic bunch of folks! 

Some are amazing wordsmiths with the English language.  Something I've always aspired to, but rarely achieve.  Others have made huge contributions to protecting the fish and wildlife we all love so much with their amazing skills at bringing vastly diverse groups of people together and finding common ground to achieve everyone's goals.  True diplomats. 

Others have skills in technology, computers, science, legal issues, fund raising and a myriad of other talents.  Still others have amazing skills behind the lens of a camera.  Another aspiration of mine that I rarely succeed at. 

All have been damned fine fly fishers.   

This post is about a man with amazing talent behind the camera as well as great skills with a fly rod.  

This past week I met with Alan Moore (Oregon projects manager for T.U.) and Russ Schnitzer (Agricultural Policy Adviser for T.U.'s Western Water Project) on the South Coast for some fall Chinook fly fishing.  Russ and Alan had been roaming the Oregon coast, shooting video and getting some still shots for a project they're collaborating on.  They wanted to try their hand at my south coast Kings and get some shots for their project.  Who am I to turn them away from such noble efforts?

Dirty, hard and damned dangerous work for certain! but someone has to do it! Might as well be us. 

These are some images that Russ sent along from our day together.

Check out Russ's website for more of his amazing images!

Easy mends!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friends, family, great dogs, great bucks, and amazing fish!  
All VERY good reasons to be thankful!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Chinook

Joel La Follette with a chromer from this past week.

For the past several weeks my efforts have turned from fall steelheading to fall salmon.  
This past week I had a great couple of days with some of my favorite people.  Joel La Follette, owner of the Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn, Oregon joined me for a long awaited salmon trip.

Joel brought along one of his best friends, Jason Atkinson.  Jason was an Oregon State Senator from 1998 until 2012.  Now a days, Jason has turned his formidable talents and skills as a writer and film maker towards saving his beloved Klamath River.  What a GREAT couple of guys to spend time on the water with! To see more on Jason check out 

Jason with a nice fall king.

Then, add to the mix the "two Frank's"- Frank Moore Sr. and Jr. and you have the makings of some pretty special days on the water.

Thanks fella's for more memories of a lifetime!

All images are courtesy of Joel La Follette.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Molly's purpose

Alright!...I admit it!  I'm one of those obnoxious "my dog is smater than your honor role student" type of dog owners.  But she really is! 

I know this blog is visited by more folks who want fishing, particularly salmon and steelhead fly fishing information.  Sorry!  I'll eventually get back to those types of posts.

But for now, I want to blog about my goofy little yellow female lab pup, Molly.

She had her first day in the duck blind today, her real purpose in life, aside from being my buddy.

She retrieved a few birds, wasn't real sure what to do with others that didn't cooperate with her and really just kind of got introduced to what all these past months of training was really for.

The future is pretty bright for buddy Molly, and I love getting to experience all of it with her! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Molly's summer

On May 6th, my duck and goose hunting partner, Charley Martin's amazing yellow lab, Gema gave birth to her first litter of pups.  She's been a regular on this blog for the past couple of duck seasons.  She's one of those dogs that you fall in love with at first sight.  She's just amazing.

So the big day came and I got to meet the pups when they were just a few weeks old.  One of them was going to become my best friend.  How was I going to pick just one of them!  They were all so cute.  When the pups were about a month old, I took a duck wing and threw it in among them.  The smallest female in the litter snatched it up and brought it right to my  hand!  On top of that, she had the same coloration as her momma, this really cool dark, buttery yellow all along her back.  We named her Molly.

On June 23rd, one day before she was seven weeks old, my wife surprised me by bringing Molly home a day early.

Molly's first few weeks were spent learning basic obedience and getting her used to her new home and family...AND showing her around where she would get to spend her days playing with me and my clients. 

Turns out she has pretty good taste in rivers because it turns out the North Umpqua is her favorite.


I brought Molly up to our duck/goose shoot and let her get acquainted with the pond and pit blinds where soon, she'll be spending a lot of time. 

She loves running white water on the upper McKenzie.

Everyday we spend time training.  

When we're in the powerboat, she takes up position on the bow where she can be the first to see and smell whatever comes our way. 

She never leaves my side.  As I write this, she's laying at my feet.

We're like peas and carrots and we're gonna have a lot of fun in the coming years.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Friends of the Elk River

One of my priority's with Trout Unlimited is working on issues related to preserving Elk River salmonids and protecting the amazing habitat in the Elk River watershed.  This week I felt very privilaged to spend a couple of days getting a crash course in these issues from the "professor's of Elk River conservation", Jim Rogers (on l. in below image) and Jerry Becker. 

Jim and Jerry have spent the bulk of their adult life in the "trenches" trying to protect precious habitat for salmonids, especially Elk River salmonids.

Both men have had long careers working in the woods and working in the timber industry.  Both have worked as timber cruisers as well as many other timber industry jobs and both have worked as contractors working for the U.S.F.S. on a wide variety of projects.  Both know the Elk River watershed and the issues better than anyone else on the planet.  Great guys to know if your a brand spankin' new T.U. field rep for southern Oregon!
This stump is from a 300-plus year old Douglas Fir tree that the USFS felt needed to be removed from a camp ground on the Elk River this past April.  Jerry, Jim and I are still not sure why this (as well as four other old growth Douglas fir tree's) were  cut down by the folks at the USFS?

This is Panther Creek.  A tributary of the upper Elk River in Curry County, Oregon.  It's in pristine condition as "mother nature" intended.  While Jerry and Jim and I were hiking along its banks during my recent tour, I spotted a coho fry in this pool pictured above.   The Elk River used to receive a strong run of Coho.  Because of man's efforts at taming this amazing wild place, fewer than two hundred coho return each fall.  

Jim Rogers, a man who once worked for the timber industry and realized that what was happening was NOT in the best interest of Oregon, it's citizens and resources has spent the past past forty-plus years trying to correct what has been done to our treasured areas. 

Jerry Becker  has worked tirelessly with amazing patience,  courage and resolve.  He and Jim have literally devoted their lives to protecting the Elk River water shed.  For more info, or if you'd like to get involved or support these amazing mens' efforts, go to their website "Friends of the Elk" 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

World...Molly, Molly...World

Introducing my new duck and goose hunting partner, Molly.  She comes from my human hunting partner and friend, Charlie Martin (see my blog list for Tall Fir's Retrievers) and his marvelous yellow lab, Gema.  I wasn't supposed to get her until tommorow, but my wife surprised me this afternoon and brought her home a day early.  She's already successfully completed 2/2 duck wing retrieves in the backyard!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Top Water

This week I worked for the Big K Guest Ranch doing smallmouth bass trips on the Umpqua River.  We found some of the best top water smallmouth fishing I think I've ever enjoyed.  Not sure if it was the cloudy, over-cast conditions that did it.  Not really sure that anyone cared!  We just had a blast catching all these bass on surface poppers.  We found them in the shallow water near the banks and around structure.  Umpqua bass will usually take the poppers as soon as they smack the surface.  No need for finesse here.  The harder it smacks the surface the better!  After all the rings disapate, give it a solid tug to make it "POP" loudly and then let it sit until those rings disappear.  Most of the time, the bass explode on the fly as it sits still.  GREAT FUN!

As always the raptors (Osprey pictured here) share the water with us, showing off their amazing fishing skills.

My second to the oldest son, Colby has stepped up to help me out with trips to keep the family business going while I get my feet under me with the new job with Trout Unlimited.  He's been helping out with smallmouth trips and summer steelhead trips on the upper Willamette.  He and Kyle have been guiding for me now for the past three summers and both do a great job.  When all three of us are out working with clients during the day, evening discussions around the dinner table and "good-natured competition" B.S. sessions gets a little deep for momma, but its a lot of fun to share our experiences on the water.