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A Fisherman Out of Water... http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com General ramblings of a semi-pickled, fishing oriented mind. Enjoy responsibly. Tue, 27 Nov 2012 05:05:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.23 Getting into a new line of work; Creative director for DRYFT http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/getting-into-a-new-line-of-work-creative-director-for-dryft-fishing/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/getting-into-a-new-line-of-work-creative-director-for-dryft-fishing/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 06:42:19 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=506 Read more...]]>
You may have noticed a lack of new content on my blog of late. There’s a good reason for this.

It’s called DRYFT. Our goal is to produce a line of technical fishing gear with something new, style. We’re still deep the product testing and development phase at this point but trust me, it’ll be well worth the wait.

We plan to release the first of our products by midsummer. For now, we’ve created a few fishy t-shirts to get things rolling.

Between painting houses, designing prototype gear, making shirt designs and learning more about video and photo editing than I ever thought possible, I’ve had very little time to fish! I did make it out last weekend for awhile and caught a couple fish (look for that post soon).

Eventually, I’d love to be designing gear full time and leave the contracting game behind. For now though, I’m thankful to have a summer of work all lined up and enough money coming in to support my fishing addiction.

Check out dryftfishing.com to see what we’ve been up to. I hope you’ll like what we’ve got so far and I know you’ll love what’s coming next!



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If you don’t know what it is, bonk it! http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/if-you-dont-know-what-it-is-bonk-it/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/if-you-dont-know-what-it-is-bonk-it/#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 05:55:59 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=497 Read more...]]> While fishing on the Olympic Peninsula recently I had a rather interesting encounter with a fellow angler.
It started out like many river meetings do, exchanging a few fishing tips, comments on the weather and so on.

The conversation turned to fish he had caught over the weekend. He proceeded to show me some pictures on his iPhone of his girlfriend’s first steelhead, a very DEAD native fish. Since retention is legal where he was fishing I cringed a little and agreed it was a nice looking fish, emphasis on was.

Somehow the subject turned to my knowledge of fish (most likely because my truck says “Fishwhatcom.com” on the side). Out came the iPhone again, this time to show me a picture of a fish he couldn’t identify. “We caught this guy over on the Hoh. Never seen one like it before” he said. “It sure was tasty though!” added his girlfriend. “We didn’t know what it was so we bonked it”

The fish in the picture was a good sized Bull trout or Dolly Varden. Given its location in the river system I’m going to lean towards Dolly Varden. In any case you’re not allowed to keep them. When I told him what kind of fish he “bonked” he responded by saying “We’re not supposed to keep those are we?” “No, you’re not” I said. His girlfriend chimed in again with “It sure was good eaten though!”

Did I call the game warden on these two? No, the evidence was gone anyway. I honestly can’t understand the thought behind killing something because you can’t identify it. The “shoot first and ask questions later” attitude just isn’t a good one when it comes to fish retention.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve kept plenty of fish in my day. But I’ve never kept one that I wasn’t damn sure of what it was.
I prefer the attitude of a lifelong friend of mine. He once caught and released about seven large hatchery Coho salmon because he didn’t know if they were Kings or Coho. The other anglers fishing near him thought he was nuts. Of course none of them offered to help him with making the ID. Now he knows but it warms my heart that because he didn’t, he let them go.

I don’t have children yet, but when I do I’d like them to be able to catch fish. That’s why I let go more than I keep these days and I will never retain a wild fish. They’re just too precious a resource to waste.

Thanks for listening to the ramblings of a slightly disillusioned fisherman.


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Gear Review – Wright & McGill Dragon Fly Large Arbor Fly Reel http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/gear-review-wright-mcgill-dragon-fly-large-arbor-reel/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/gear-review-wright-mcgill-dragon-fly-large-arbor-reel/#comments Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:52:05 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=458 Read more...]]> Wright & McGill Large Arbor Fly Reel

The Wright & McGill Dragon Fly caught my eye recently because it offered fully machined components and a clean stylish look. Keeping in mind of course that Wright & McGill Co. is owned by Eagle Claw, I wasn’t about to pay anywhere near MSRP for one. Nothing personal against Eagle Claw but let’s face it, they’re no Orvis or Sage.

A few months ago, the Dragon Fly large arbor reel in 7/8 weight appeared on DepartmentOfGoods.com for a mere $78 with free shipping! Needless to say, this was a deal too good to pass up, especially considering I am newly married and have a wife imposed fishing budget to worry about.

The bad,

Although it is large arbor, the line bed itself is narrower than many reels and is also fairly shallow. Combine that with an older bulky eight weight line (all I had on hand at the time) and you’ve got trouble. With 175 yards of 20lb Dacron backing the line BARELY fits. This problem, of course, is easily fixed by using less backing but is good to be aware of as in my first fight with this new reel the line became jammed on the reel and didn’t allow me to reel in fully. Thankfully I have a good friend on the net so the fish was landed (and released) safely.

The good,

The drag is smooth and the super large arbor means line take up is very fast. The matte silver finish (accented with metallic orange) seems durable enough and gives the reel a good feel. It will, I’m sure, chip as it is not anodized. The drag although not fully sealed seems to be fairly tight and with proper care should last.


Is this reel worth the MSRP of more than $200? No, I really don’t feel it is. That being said, if you happen to find one of these reels floating around on Ebay or Amazon for less than $100, I say buy it. Overall it’s a good fishable reel and considering the price point, it’s a good deal. I look forward to pitting this reel against big Bull trout this year and will post updates here on the reels continued performance. Wright & McGill seem to be going through some changes so I imagine getting anything taken care of by warranty might be tricky in the near future.

I hope someone out there finds this review helpful. In this ever changing world of fishing gear it’s easy to lose your way and end up paying too much for lousy gear. Keep those hooks barbless and lines tight!


Wright & McGill Large Arbor Fly Reel

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Vampires, a Spotted Skunk & Frozen boots… http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/vampires-a-spotted-skunk-frozen-boots/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/vampires-a-spotted-skunk-frozen-boots/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 06:52:33 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=434 Read more...]]>

Home sweet home.

For the past ten years almost every October my life long friend Russell and I grab out fishing gear and head to the Olympic Peninsula; Forks to be exact. Why Forks you ask? Well it’s certainly not because of the Twilight movies. Although the crowds they’ve drawn to the area sometimes make things more entertaining. Nothing spices up a cold morning better than watching a group of 40+ year old women getting there pictures taken with cardboard stand-ups of the main characters from the movies. I’m packing a pair of fangs next year…

Large spruce tree on the Sol Duc River.

One of the small trees...

These trips have become more of a ritual than a fishing excursion. One of my favorite authors Patrick F McManus describes some of his camping experiences as “A fine and pleasant misery”. I really think he’s hit the nail on the head. We set the stage for this joyful misery by tent camping instead of getting a cabin or a hotel room. Add to this leaving late to insure your arrival at the campsite is after the witching hour and you’re set!

The funny thing is, no matter how cold or wet it was, I always think of the trip fondly and look forward to it. Some years we catch a lot of fish, some we don’t. This year, because of work schedules, we pushed the trip well into November. Of course this meant the Salmon run was just finishing up and the Steelhead run was just barely beginning. Needless to say this was one of those fish-less years.

Amazingly it only rained the first night of our stay and was actually sunny most of the time. Of course this time of year the sun only shines for about two hours a day… I am always impressed by the shear dampness of the rain-forest. Even with no rain for two days the trees still drip all night. After years of camping with a large tarp over the tent I’ve become accustomed to the “drip drip drip” sounds of the droplets falling from the trees. Imagine my shock when I awoke to dead silence. What had caused the constant flow of water to cease? Deep freeze that’s what.

There's nothing quite like fire warmed chili.

Pacific Northwest Spotted Skunk

Spot the monster

Even with night time temperatures dipping below 30F we managed to keep our spirits up with hearty chili dogs and cocoa with peppermint schnapps(before you scoff, it was the 100 proof kind). Another facet of our trip has been the attacks of a marauding Skunk. Not just any skunk either. This fellow is of the speckled variety and has become more and more aggressive every year. Thankfully he doesn’t seem too keen on spraying us. He’s more content to merely try and climb our legs once our reflex’s have been slowed sufficiently with the aforementioned schnapps. This attempted leg climbing becomes even more exciting when you’ve just climbed out of the tent to pee and are barely awake.

Frosty beauty.

Despite the skunks and vampire lovers, this year resulted in more good memories and even yielding some new fishing spots. For those interested in creating their own fine and pleasant camping misery, I highly recommend the Mora Campground. It offers many campsites and the bathrooms are heated! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my ramble for this week. Remember, just say No to Twilight.

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A sad day on my favorite river… http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/a-sad-day-on-my-favorite-river/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/a-sad-day-on-my-favorite-river/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 06:46:05 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=423 Read more...]]> I normally don’t let things get me down but sometimes something happens and it just tugs at your heart strings. I grew up less than a quarter mile from the Nooksack river. On this particular stretch, access is very limited(except by boat) and I tend to think of it as my personal fishing space. I don’t mind sharing it with the drift boaters and other locals but today I really had my heart broken.

Today when we arrived to fish this lovely water we were greeted by a gill net stretched across the pool. It was set in such a way that it blocked the entire pool and was sure to snag EVERY fish that cycled into the holding water…

It’s been about 15 years, give or take a few, since there was decent water within walking distance of my childhood home. This year was different. A beautiful stretch of water emerged from the spring high flows. It’s some of the best water I’ve fished all year.

I’m know there’s plenty of hatred already directed at Native fishing rights in Washington rivers. I’m not one of those “Damn Indians…” kind of people. I just have a problem with the methods being used. A gill net is such an indiscriminate killer it just makes me so sad to see it in my secret spot. The net was full of fish by the way the floats were thrashing around and being pulled under.

I’ve personally seen Sockeye, Kings, and Chums left to rot on the bank because it was illegal to retain them or they were just unwanted. Senseless killing if you ask me. Some Tribes in our state have started using more selective fishing practices such as fish traps. They’re able to take what they want and release the native fish unharmed. I encourage all of you reading this to read the rules for yourself and be vigilant. Report illegal netting. With so many cuts to government programs enforcement is a constant problem for the WDFW.

If we all do a little bit to work on this problem I’m sure some sort of solution can be found. I’m not against Native Americans taking their share of the fish. I personally believe they have every right to do it. I just wish they would stop using all or nothing techniques. I’d like my kids to be able to see fish in the rivers not just at the supermarket! Time heals all wounds and tomorrow the net will be gone but my special spot will never be the same…

Nick expressing his love for the gill net in our hole...

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Gear review – Xsi/450D Camera Armor from Made Products, Inc. http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/gear-review-xsi-450d-camera-armor-from-made-products-inc/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/gear-review-xsi-450d-camera-armor-from-made-products-inc/#comments Mon, 31 Oct 2011 05:18:47 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=372 Read more...]]> Made Products Camera Armor for XSi/450D box front view

Item: Xsi/450D Camera Armor from Made Products, Inc.
Price paid: $17.99
Purchased from: AvidmaxOutfitters.com

I stumbled across Camera Armor while searching for some fly fishing gear (shocking, I know). The concept seems good right? Protect your expensive DSLR camera from all life’s little nicks and scratches? But does covering your camera in floppy rubber really work? Read on to find out!

The manufacturers blurb says: Camera Armor for your Canon Xsi will fit your camera like a glove! Invest in the ideal, full-time protection for your Canon. Camera Armor is the lightweight, skin-like covering your camera always wears while you travel, share good times with family and friends, or capture the great outdoors. Its engineered specifically for this popular DSLR model, so you can relax as you shoot, knowing your camera and lens are protected. The precise fit covers all of the important parts of your DSLR camera to protect it from impact, abrasion, dust and fingerprints without sacrificing any necessary camera functions. Camera Armor provides true protection in action and is uniquely designed so all of the camera controls and access ports are completely functional and accessible. Put Camera Armor on your camera and its protected while in a bag, backpack or suitcase, and while you’re getting that perfect shot. Focus on the shot. We’ve got you covered.

Details of this item:
Body Armor: made of elastomeric silicone that fits like a glove over camera body
Lens Armor: a rugged, protective ring that protects the delicate camera lens from impact
Lens Cap Lanyard: a leash that keeps your lens cap close at hand
LCD Shield: mad of sturdy polycarbonate that protects the rear LCD screen from smudges, scratches and abrasionCorners and lenses protected by impact resistant material
Compatible with most tripods and accessories

The instructions are clear which isn’t surprising consider assembly is pretty self explanatory. Basically you just slip on the rubber and your camera is protected. I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds like something I’ve heard before…” well, get your minds out of the gutter!

Overall I really like the Camera Armor. The fit on the camera body is pretty good; although slightly loose in places. It’s not sticky or slippery which makes it easy to grip. The poly-carbonate LCD screen protector fits well. My only problem with it is the lens protector ring. Unless it is perfectly aligned it either slips off or interferes with the focus movement. It also makes the lens too wide to fit in my camera bags. It is flexible so you can jam it in but that tends to cause it to slip out of place. Otherwise I love it.

Bottom line; I’d recommend this to a friend. If you’re looking to protect your camera while fishing or hiking this is a great way to do it. Just leave the lens protector ring off and you’re golden!

If you found this review helpful and you’re ready to buy it, consider purchasing it from AvidmaxOutfitters.com. Your purchase helps me keep my site going!

Made Products Camera Armor for XSi/450D box front view Made Products Camera Armor top view Made Products Camera Armor box back Made Products Camera Armor ]]>
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A wise fly tier once told me… http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/a-wise-fly-tier-once-told-me/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/a-wise-fly-tier-once-told-me/#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 06:07:18 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=361 Read more...]]> When I was younger a very experienced fly fisherman took me under his wing. He made sure I had all the materials I needed to get started tying trout flies. He always used to say “You can tell a lot about a fly fisherman by looking at his fly tying desk”. His logic was, the cleaner the work space, the better the fly fisherman. By that logic, I’m screwed.

My very messy but functional fly tying desk.

Organized chaos at it's best.

I do my best to keep things tidy and organized(especially now that I’m married). No matter how hard I try though I always end up flinging materials all over my desk in the frenzy to prepare for the next early morning excursion.

Back to the wise old fisherman. At the time I didn’t really think of him as a mentor, but that’s exactly what he was. He gave me a greater understanding of the world that is fly fishing. It seemed he’d been fishing so long he’d tried almost every aspect of it. One of the kingly gifts he bestowed on me was a custom Fenwick fly rod he built. Honestly, I’d rather fish his old Fenwick than my GL3 G-Loomis.

You can feel the thought that went into balancing it and making sure each guide was placed properly. Sadly he and his boundless fishing wisdom are now plying the waters of the great trout stream in the sky. Thinking back now, I wish I’d spent more time with him or listened a little closer.

As you angle through life don’t forget to share your passion and wisdom with those around you. You’d be surprised how much just a little information can help someone just starting out in the sport.

That’s enough rambling for tonight. Thanks for reading this whomever you may be.

Tight lines,
Sam T

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Nooksack river silver(coho) salmon video http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/nooksack-river-silvercoho-salmon-video/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/nooksack-river-silvercoho-salmon-video/#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 00:34:51 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=351 Read more...]]> Hey all,

Here’s some video from opening day of salmon season on the south fork of the Nooksack river. To read more about this adventure click here. As the weather gets worse and work slows down(I run my own house painting business) I should have time to edit and post all the video I’ve shot over the summer. For now though, this is all you get. Hope you enjoy it!

Keep those lines tight,

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Nightmare prom dress fly pattern http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/nightmare-prom-dress-fly-pattern/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/nightmare-prom-dress-fly-pattern/#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:28:51 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=337 Nightmare prom dress fly pattern

Hook: 25mm Waddington Shank, Gamakatsu size 4 octopus
Thread: 6/0 Black
Tail: Red grizzly hackle, steelhead candy light bright tinsel
Body: 22 gauge red wire
Collar: Red & black flashabou
Head: Black sparkle blend dubbing
Eyes: Silver and red dumbell

My take on the popular “prom dress” fly pattern. Looking forward to swinging this for steelhead this winter!

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Chartreuse flash fly pattern http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/chartreuse-flash-fly-pattern/ http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/chartreuse-flash-fly-pattern/#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 04:43:24 +0000 http://www.fishermanoutofwater.com/?p=328 Chartreuse flash fly pattern

Hook: Size 4 Alec Jackson spey
Thread: 6/0 Chartreuse
Tail: Chartreuse saddle hackle & chartreuse tinsel
Body: Chartreuse 22 gauge wire
Wing: Chartreuse tinsel & white UV flash dubbing
Hackle: Chartreuse saddle

This pattern and color will be very effective when fishing for silver(coho) and chum(dog) salmon. Look for video of this fly in action soon!

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