Monday, February 28, 2011

Stalking Salt Water Salmon

Fishing the back eddy, and supporting the US postal service cycling team

My stalking bounty

So I was writing a post about bottom fishing and Buzz Bombs, It got me thinking that when  I was 19 I was in three rivers inlet in central BC. We were trolling for salmon on the big boat and doing ok. I noticed that Salmon were jumping everywhere.  A couple days later we were in a big back eddy made from changing tides in a long arm with a narrow opening. This creates a large rush of water when the tide is flowing since there is so much shoreline that has to flow through this one small area. (I hope this all makes sense.) Anyway we were stuck till the tide calmed down so we got out our ultra light rods and started fishing with 2 inch buzz bombs. It turns out we were not the only ones in this back eddy a large group of pink salmon were as well. My Dad, Little sister and I all caught about 25 salmon each in about an hour and a half. it was crazy. While fishing I also noticed when the salmon were jumping only one or two of the big group under the water would jump. I called this the Ice berg effect. I concluded that if you see one salmon jumping there are plenty more under the water with it. So a few nights later we were pulling into a inlet for the night and I noticed there were plenty of salmon jumping just outside the inlet. I got into the dingy after we got the big boat anchored and went to the mouth of the inlet. I sat there ready to cast "finger on the trigger" and when I saw a salmon jump I threw my 3 inch Buzz Bomb about 20 feet in front of the fish based on which way it jumped. BAM, I got a hit, I was fighting the fish for about 10 minutes and it broke my line off. So I tied another 3 inch Buzz Bomb on and waited again. A fish jumped and WHAM another fish on. Now when I set out on this adventure I wasn't too sure that I was going to catch anything. Like the young stupid adult I was I did not bring the landing net. I got that 18 pound Coho to the boat and grabbed it as best I could and got it in the boat.  I was so excited I just went back to the big boat just to show off my fish.    It was a good night and it was delicious.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Outdoor Bloggers Dream or Delusions

So when I started this blogging adventure early this year my original goal was to was to get paid for testing outdoor gear and maybe get free gear. I started testing all the gear I had in the worst conditions I could find. I made my self sleep outside in a snow shelter in -3 degree temps in my post "One Long Cold Night". The next thing I had to do was get traffic to my blog. I had the "My Mom and Dad" market cornered but I am sure they weren't going to send me free gear to test or pay me either. While researching I found The Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN) and the great Outdoor bloggers who belonged to the site like The River Damsel, Mouthful of Feathers and Hooked Up Films.

My mind quickly changed when I read that people just blog about their outdoor adventures. I mean I have tons of those. I am not sure if people really want to hear about how I threw out my back and didn't shoot any ducks on the Last Day of Duck Hunting or anything else I had to say. Then I met Mike Adams from Up North Journal and now I have dreams of doing pod casts and filming my hunting and fishing adventures for other people to enjoy. Maybe even one day having my own Pro Staffers.

Now I hope to be teaming up with one of my best friends Eric Hess at Eric Hess Design to really make my site stand out. When it comes to online site building I need all the help I can get, so teaming up with someone I think is one of  the best out there I don't think I can go wrong.

I believe in my delusions of an outdoor empire for R-Dub Outdoors. I do realize that I have a steep uphill battle. I see that in this game slow and steady wins the race. If nothing else I believe I have the stubbornness to stay with it. Maybe one day in a place where the grass is greener I can work my selfout of my current day job.

That's not to much to ask right?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slowing Life Down

So today is my only day off this week. It's my fault for volunteering for a couple of overtime shifts. I was sitting at home watching a TV show while my daughter was taking a nap.  The show I was watching was about cattle ranching in Montana. While looking at the scenery there I thought to my self  "wow it would be so beautiful to live there."

Later I was reading a post from Mouthful Of Feathers  that had a picture of an old homested. It reminded me of a picture I took where I go duck hunting about a half hour away from my house.

An old mission school house on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Looking at this picture I realized that it is just as beautiful where I live now. Sometimes I get so busy in everyday life - going to work, trying to keep up my end of the household chores (which I am not the best at) and I forget to slow down and appreciate where I live and what I have.

I started thinking about the area the last picture was taken. How I love hunting there, but how when I am there I need to slow down and take it in better. When my daughter is older I want her to learn to slow down and enjoy the small things. I want her to sit in my lap at this lake (Duley Lake) and have her close her eyes and just listen to the sounds and smell the odors.  Maybe in the far distant future when I am not around she will be able to stop and remember the days when she sat in my lap and still be able to hear the sounds and smell the odors again.

I guess my point is we all have places that we love. Next time you're there just take some time to slow your life down for a few minutes and really take it all in - remember nothing is forever. 

Another stunning view from my living room.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Steelhead Fly Giveaway

Ok it's finally here - the Steelhead Fly Giveaway. Three lucky fly fishermen or women will walk away with three personal fly patterns. These flies are made for steelhead but catch so much more. Bull, rainbow, and cutthroat trout are just a few of the fish that have been caught on these flies.

The rules are as follows:

- You must be a follower of this blog.
- Write a post on your blog or website explaining why you want and or deserve these steelhead flies.
- In your blog link back to this blog.
- Put your blog link in the comments section of this post.

Not mandatory but we would like it if you actually fished for steelhead.

The contest will close Friday February 25th and the winners will be announced Sunday February 27th. Winners will be chosen based on content in their blog.

If you win please write a review of the flies once you fished with them, with a link back to this page as well.

Thank you, good luck, and I look forward to reading all your posts.

Here are the flies:

                                                               Meat Sampler stone fly
                                                               The Lightning Egg

                                                    Kieth Rowe Maribou

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sustainable fish populations

This blog entry is my submission for the GreenFish and Outdoor Blogger Network Writing Prompt Giveaway.

Sustainable fishing to me is people just being smart. People following the rules and smart people being in the right positions to make the right decisions on how to manage fish in a particular area.

We can't have people out catching more than their limit. I have seen too many times where people go and catch their limit, walk to their trailer, then come back to the lake and catch another limit. I'm not saying that everything should be catch and release, but I do think a limit is plenty.

On Sunday night on the show The Wild Within, the host made a comment that people who catch and release are misunderstanding the call of the wild. I guess his theory is that fishing is meant to catch food only. I think that statement alienated over half of his viewing base. In the show, while he was giving his point of view he was fishing for food off of a pier in San Fransisco. The only thing he caught was a mountain bike frame. Maybe if the people of San Fran practiced catch and release more he would have caught more fish.

I practice catch and release regularly, unless I actually do feel like fish for dinner. For the most part I don't use treble hooks, which I believe produces a higher mortality rate of caught fish, although I don't have any research to cite.

I believe that there are many great projects out there to help fish populations. In the valley I live in there are two fish hatcheries and a few different organizations that help rebuild habitat. Along with community awareness I think, at least in my area, our fish populations will be around for a while.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My 2011 Wish List

These are some gear ideas that I would like to buy or receive in the year 2011.

1. LL Bean Rapid River Vest. This looks like a great to have on the river. Although I think one with a  holster for your bear gun when you are in Alaska would be cool too.

2.  Chinook 01901 Ascent Bivy 1 Person Shelter for those nights hiking where you don't want to set up the tent, since I am not a fan of tents this is perfect for me.

3. ATN Thor 2 Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight TIWSTHOR2x now this is really a wish coming in at a mere $10,000.00 this thermal optic would be amazing to have for maybe night time predator hunting or just looking keeping watch at night.

4.AR15 Golf Ball Launcher This one is just for the fun of it. I wonder how people would react if you pulled this out on the course. Some would flee for "Safety" and some would flock to see just what it does. I think it would be just pure entertainment.

5.Nikon 8370 Prostaff 550 Laser Rangefinder (Team Realtree) I have never really owned a range finder before. I would be nice to know the different ranges around my property and where I hunt.

6. Wildgame Innovations 6.0 Mega Pixel Digital Game Scouting Camera With Infrared Flash and Realtree Camo you can never have to many game camera's.

7.Moultrie Digital Game Camera Power Panel batteries are expensive and are bad for the environment.

8. Coleman LED String Lights for under the tarp at duck camp. it would add a nice touch to the camp.

9.Nikon D7000 Digital SLR Camera & 18-105mm VR + 70-300mm Lens + 8GB Card + Filters + Tamrac Case + Accessory Kit so I can take better wildlife shots as well as anything else I want to take pictures of.

10.Wireless Security Camera System 2010 Latest Technology BUILD-IN DVR Infrared Surveillance (4) Quad View Quad Display 2.4ghz Night Vision Real Time Color you should always have good security around your house, you also never know what you might find walking around outside of your house.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little sister, Big fish

So my little sister is seven years younger than me. We love hunting and fishing together. It seems every time we do one of these things together the story that is told in the future makes my sister come out on top, some true, some embellished a bit.

Here are a few examples.

We were bottom fishing somewhere in British Columbia, I was 19 and my sister was 12. We were pulling in bottom fish left and right. Anyone who bottom fishes the ocean knows that snagging your hook can be a common event. My sister said she had a fish on her line. (You should know we were using ultra light poles with 10 lb test.) All of a sudden her line went tight, like the fish wrapped the line around a log. When my sister pulled the line to either break the line or break it loose from being snagged, the line was slowly and surely coming up, as if the log was coming up with the line. Eventually we could see through water and to all of our surprise there was a huge fish. A 4.5 foot 75 lb lingcod. The weird thing was it wasn't even fighting. I got the net ready and when it came to the surface I netted it. The fish did not enjoy this part, and almost pulled me overboard. With help from Dad we got the fish aboard the boat. Again to our surprise the lingcod spit out a rock fish that was attached to my sister's hook. So she hooked a small fish, the big fish ate the small fish, and would not let it go. Now for the past eight years Dad tells the story of my sister catching the biggest fish of our six week trip.

A few years later my sister came over to visit me from Western Washington to where I live in Eastern Washington. It was summer so we went fishing in a local lake. We had been fishing for a few hours, I had caught around 6 or 7 trout while my sister had not caught any. I noticed that my electric motor was starting to run out of juice so I figured we should head back to the truck. On the way my sister hooked into the biggest trout I have ever seen in this lake. (This lake is known for quantity not quality of fish.) Since we had previously kept only one of my fish to cook for dinner, we kept hers as well. Since I had the camera I took the photo, when she asked for a copy of the pic through email I sent her the picture and it might have had some editing.

Again my little sister came to Eastern Washington to do some hunting. We were in a good spot for ducks and quail. We were walking a ditch and a single quail got up out of the thick brush, my sister shot and it came down. If you ask my dad about his account of the event he would say, she raised her gun, shot and killed the quail before I had any idea what was going on. My story from what I remember is, I was 70 yards away and my little sister shot from the hip with her eyes closed and got lucky.
I realize the story is about quail and there is a duck in the
picture being held by our dad off camera.

Currently my sister moved to Hawaii for college and I haven't got to do much of anything with her for the past two years. I miss being in the outdoors with my little sister and can only hope one day she will return to live in Washington again and hunt and fish with my wife, daughter and I.

Top 10 Things for Backpacking

Farming Mama  here, Rory asked me to write a guest post on the top 10 things I take on backpacking trips. Some are obvious, others I've got some little tips
1. Water bottle.I prefer stainless steel - I love my kleen kanteen wide mouth bottle. I also typically have a platypus-type bag & tube system in my pack lid, but have been trying to get away from plastics as much as possible.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Poly Loop Cap (18-Ounce)

2. Comfy pack.I never regret spending more on my gear to get higher end stuff. Ever. I do have regrets when I compromise on quality due to money. of course, this doesn't mean I go for the most expensive, nope, not I. See my post on our gear selection process to read more. That being said, I don't love my pack. Back in the day I didn't spend as much time picking my gear as I do now, and with my pack it shows!
Kelty Red Cloud 5600 Backpack (Nite Sky)

3. Sleeping bag
The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag: 20 Degree Climashield Prism Atoll Blue, Reg/Right Zip

4. Food
5. Stove & FuelWhen we are camping during hunting season, we have campfires, but when I'm doing serious backpacking, I use a MSR whisperlite stove. One trick I use is to put a sock around my metal fuel bottle, so it doesn't get scratched up or rattle in my pack.
MSR Whisperlite International Liquid-Fuel Stove

6. Clothes
7. Bear Bag & RopeWe live in bear country, so backpacking means possibly crossing paths with a bear. Carrying rope and a bag to hold your food and toilettries means you can hang your smellies up in a tree during the night. One thing I really like is putting a light on the rope so you can find it during the night if you need to. A friend put me onto this doing owl work about 3 years ago. You use one of those lights that you put on your dog, or your bike, or your pack, for increasing visibility after dark. When we set camp up, we would set the rope up and put the light on the rope. When we left at dusk to go out surveying, we would put our food up, and turn the light on. When we came back at 3 in the morning, the light would make it easy to find our food bag (and our camp!) so that we could brush our teeth and put any garbage we had from our surveying up in the tree. Perfect & simple!
Bear Bag

8. Thermarest.When I'm doing serious backpacking, or getting heli-dropped into an area, I like to go ultra tech-nerdy and have the lightest stuff I can get my hands on. That's why I have an amazing super small & light thermarest. Love it to death when I'm having to pack it around. If I have more space but weight is a concern (read kayaking trips) I have a ridgerest. If I have more space and weight isn't a concern (read truck camping while hunting) we have a nifty home made strap system that loops 2 ultra thick thermarests together. But when I gotta carry it around - my ultra light bright pink ladies thermarest is what I choose. (they have it in a longer & less-pink men's version too)
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress, Pomegranate, Large

9. Tent/Tarp/BivysackI prefer a tent. Rory prefers a tarp. Solution: Maddy and I sleep in my 2 person MEC tent (I know, MEC, cause I'm Canadian like that), one or two of the dogs sleep in the vestibule, Rory sleeps beside us under his tarp, with the other dog near him, or in his bag with him if its cold out. I've always drooled over the bivy sacks, but so far for me its never been both practical (wet dog = smelly dog) and affordable (single student = broke), and now there is Maddy (and 3 dogs, not sure how that happened!).
Texsport Saguaro Bivy Shelter Tent

10. HeadlampStreamlight 61052 Septor LED Headlamp with Strap

One thing to mention, we haven't gone on a hiking trip since Maddy was born, although we plan to this summer (as long as we can coordinate our days off!). I'll likely have some modifications on our list after we go on that trip, as I'm sure with 3 dogs and a 1 year old there will be other things that are really critical to a great trip!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is it that time of year?

-The snow still has its death grip on our area.
-The deer just dropped their antlers.
-Spring is just barely in sight.
My point is I am still fighting the winter of this year yet I am asking myself, is it really that time of year already?
The answer is YES!!! It is time to start cutting fire wood for next year!
Now I know some of you cut wood years in advance. But we just moved into our house about 18 months ago. I don't even know if I have enough wood to get us through this year. I am sure it will be close. But I hope this spring with no wedding to plan and no newborn baby I will have the time and energy to get enough wood for this coming year and get a good start on 2013.

The best thing is, I get to use my brand new Stihl Farm Boss chainsaw. I have not had it for too long, but it has worked great so far.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Action packers

Many years ago my family (Dad and older brother) bought rubbermade action-packers. We used them for carrying shotgun shells, clothes, food, and camp dishes.

Over a month ago on a trip to Seattle my lovely wife said she hated how the back seat of the truck was always packed with gear and bags leaving no room for dogs in the cab. We do not have a canopy and we had no way to protect our gear from the weather apart from having it in the cab with us. So I told her about action packers. Being the good and smart one of the family my wife had two on our door step in two weeks.

This past weekend we again went to Seattle which is a four hour drive over two mountain passes for us. The weather was ugly and the two action packers were out in the weather full of clothes, baby toys, sleeping bags and other random stuff we need. The two boxs stayed water tight there and back in the rain.

We have two boxes and they fit great side by side in the short bed of my truck - they stack with ease and strap down with little effort. They come in many different sizes and a few different color options. Their durability is among the best I have ever seen with plastic boxes. The boxes my dad and brother bought all those years ago are still being used to this day. I know I have had other plastic boxes that crack and break. These action packers can stand what ever you put them through and I highly recommend them, but only if you want boxes that you won't have to replace every year!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Funny story

So in a few weeks my older brother is coming with his wife and their two kids. Our main goal besides spending family time is to take them ice fishing for their first time.

I called my brother on unrelated business and he asked is there somewhere I can get information on ice fishing.

I didn't really know what he meant.

Remi helping carry the ice
He then asked "I mean you don't go in the middle of the lake, right?"

I laughed so hard and told him the ice is 18 inches thick I think we will be ok.

It will be a story that sticks with me forever.

And of course I can't wait to take my big brother and his family ice fishing for the first time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The bloggers

Since starting blogging about a month ago I have "met" some really great people. I have yet to meet any of them in person. I have felt so welcomed into the outdoor writing community since starting this hobby. If I had a chance to meet any of them it would be a great thing.

First off there is Mike Adams, he writes Up North Journal. He has been so helpful to me as I have been getting started. He has gone as far as speaking with me on the phone to give me great advice. I really encourage you to check out his site.

Antonio from Arizona from the blog fly fishing and bird hunting. It just seems he has some great spots for two of my favorite things - bird hunting and fly fishing.

Lastly the authors of Mouthful of Feathers. The way they write about bird hunting and everything that goes along with it is amazing By far it is my favorite blog in the way it is written.