Wednesday, May 1, 2013


During the summer months of guiding on the North Umpqua I offer "split days" so that my customers can fish during the most productive times of the day.  Early in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening affords folks the opportunity to fish with shade on the water.  This leaves my mid-days open to explore on my own.

Over the past dozen summers, that means donning fins, mask, snorkel and sometimes a wet suit (the North Umpqua is cold even in the summer!)  and getting into some of my favorite pools to try and sort out why we raise steelhead in certain spots.  I feel it gives me and my clients an edge.  I've learned a lot about steelhead behavior and why we find fish in certain types of water and bottom structure. 

I've dreamed of being able to expand my experiences by going deeper, staying there longer and learning other rivers like I know the North Umpqua.  

So my oldest son, Kyle and I began getting our "open water" dive certification.  Kyle will be my "dive buddy" this summer as we begin sorting out a bunch of favorite steelhead runs on the main Umpqua, upper Willamette and McKenzie rivers.  As I gain experience, I plan on adding diving into my guide business.  Thats a ways off in the future, but for now we're having a BLAST!
Final "pool session" with our dive instructors Richard (c.) and Matt (r.)

Matt is hillarious and a great instructor.  Before this class began, Matt had his toes on both feet painted with the universal "dive" flag symbol. 

My "dive buddy" Kyle, giving me the universal diver "double" hand signal to ascend to the surface.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Bears and Cabela's Seminar

Wednesday, May 1st @ 6:00 p.m. I'll be giving a free seminar at the Springfield Cabela's store on Spring Chinook tactics and techniques.  The seminar will last about an hour and I'll cover everything you need to know to be successful on your next spring chinook outing.  Hope to see you there!

The recent nice weather has really got the bears out and moving.  I spend the bulk of my time hunting spring black bears in the Tioga and Siuslaw Units in southwest Oregon.  I took this image the other morning from a favorite area.  The fog in the bottom of the canyon is from the warmer water on the Umpqua River (the fog is hovering above the river as it winds towards the pacific ocean a few miles away)  The full moon is just setting on the horizon as the sun comes up behind me.  A few minutes after this photo was taken, a 200 plus pound boar tore off the clear cut it was feeding in when we came around a corner and startled it. 

Fresh tracks in the mud along a logging road show the recent travels of a sow and her cub.

The bears are feeding primarily on fresh, green grass tips.  Their scat will be greenish is color when fresh and appear like smaller sized piles of horse manure.  As the sun dries it out, the color will change from green to black.  The salmon berries are starting to bloom with a few berries beginning to form up.  Once these berries ripen in a few weeks, the bears will start feeding on them as well as wild onions.  The skid road where this pile was found had approximately nine other similar piles and alot of the grass blades had their tips chewed off.

We located this bull elk rub (created late last summer) along the same skid road.  This Alder was rubbed heavily on both sides and scars in the bark from the antler tips were visible more then seven feet above the ground.  I'll be standing in this exact spot come early September with my bow in one hand and my elk bugle in the other.  I wanna see if I can have a little chat with this bull!