Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Look West

The Coast Range is badass.

There, I said it. It's no secret, but you'd think it was after spending a day enjoying the wet and musty, stanky and crusty, bulbous and busty coast range of Oregon. Wild anadromous salmonids that wreck your flies with abandon, freshy fresh wild mushrooms in mature forest, lunches spent gazing out at the largest body of water on the planet. And with a little extra effort we had it all to ourselves.

The clouds cooperated for most of the morning. Cooperating in this sense means that they were there. Sea-run Cutts have an aversion to sunlight resembling vampires... vampires that school up and run into coastal streams with the seemingly single-minded intent of annihilating any bright fly stripped inches under the surface, and then battle with the pissed-off panache of a coked up midget at a prizefight.

They come brighter than this, but rarely any prettier. Thanks, big guy.

Break for lunch: Summer sausage, natural cheddar and italian bread as the waves crash 40 yards away. Wash it down with some homebrewed stout and the finest oatmeal-cranberry-white chocolate-dark chocolate cookies you've ever tasted. Back to the woods.

The forest out there is like one huge salad bowl of free lunch. Look, good people, and ye shall find. Though it certainly helps if you look for mossy-floored mature forest with plentiful amounts of oregon grape.

I'm no expert, but careful study of my treasured copy of the Junior Coastal Mycological Society Field Guide: Vol. 4 leads me to believe that this is one of the first flushes of the year. It should only improve from here until the real cold sets in.

Dinner time:

The prep.

Ready to go, next to a side of fresh broccoli sauteed with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cashews and almonds.

The aftermath.

Now just sit down with your favorite adult beverage, tie some more blueback flies, and get ready for the next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saracione and Burkheimer. Hot damn!

Whilst perusing the interwebs today, I ran across this hot little story. Seems like vaunted reelsmith Joe Saracione has joined forces with legendary rod designer Kerry Burkheimer. Are you excited yet? Because you should be.

When the Master of Mojo and the Sultan of the S-handle team up it can lead to only one thing: The finest steelhead fishing system this side of bait.

Check it out, anglers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The High Life: Part One (or "Sharpen Your Knives")

Summer's here, kids. Dig it.

It's hatch-hatch-hatchery time here in the immediate vicinity of Tailout World Headquarters, and we've got the whetstone out. It's hard work putting a fine edge on our brat bleeding paraphanelia, but after gore-tex, griz', grabby hooks, and persistence, a good knife is one thing you don't neglect.

So pack your blade and kill those bastards. Because somewhere in the future there's a youngster landing a wild summer fish, shaking like hell, and unknowingly thanking you. Dig that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What the got Dam hell are they thinking?

Now listen folks, the Tailout gets around. Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, Colorado, Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, Florida, Wisonsin, Indiana, Utah, California, South Dakota, Missouri... This list can go on. We've had camp in one place or another over the last 20 years, and we've seen alot of rivers and alot of fish. And we've seen some bullshit, too.

Sadly, one of the most diverse, unique and beautiful rivers we've ever been privy to is in danger of being fucked by greed and shortsightedness. Tailout personell are pissed, and we're determined to stop the destruction. The following words come from a good friend and we reprint them here with the hope that it will publicize the battle, a battle to retain and continue to improve one of the most special fisheries on the planet. Please do what you can to help.

The Siletz River drains the rainiest part of the Oregon Coast Range, traveling a tortuous path through steep forestlands to the Pacific Ocean. The Siletz isn’t a large or famous destination river, but it is a unique gem, and supports more species of anadromous fish than any other river in the entire state of Oregon. Spring and fall chinook, fall coho, summer and winter steelhead, chum salmon, and sea run cutthroat are all native to the Siletz basin. Lamprey too! Siletz summer steelhead are particularly unique, being the only native summer race of steelhead in the entire Oregon Coast Range, with a few hundred wild fish returning annually to spawning grounds in the upper basin. All of these fish species manage to survive despite intense past and present logging in the basin, continued introductions of hatchery fish, and documented cases of poaching each year. What could make matters worse?

A dam.

Political forces in Polk County are currently evaluating the feasibility of damming the Siletz River. The proposed dam on the South Fork Siletz River would be 100’ tall and create a reservoir 5 miles long and 3 miles wide. A total of 20 usable river miles of mainstem and tributary habitats would be blocked. The best and preferred chinook spawning habitat in the South Fork Siletz would be directly inundated by the dam. The remaining stream reaches in headwater tributaries above the reservoir would become isolated from one another, confounding the seasonal migration of juvenile fish among various tributaries essential for their survival. The lake itself would become a gauntlet of invasive stillwater bass, bullfrogs, and other species that always seem to benefit at the expense of native salmonids. In an unprecedented era of dam removal, why on Earth would Polk County propose now to dam the most diverse anadromous river in Oregon?

Follow the money. The headwaters of the Siletz River lie within Polk County, which in recent years has seen increased development as a bedroom community for the Oregon State Capital. Growth requires water, and continued growth will strain existing Polk County water supplies, jeopardizing further development and cash influx. Polk County borders the mighty Willamette River, which provides an abundant and perfectly usable source of drinking water, with communities both immediately upstream (Corvallis) and downstream (Wilsonville) treating Willamette River water to excellent drinking quality. Polk County has an open option to purchase additional Willamette River water rights from the nearby city of Adair, but hasn’t done much to explore this option. With Willamette water so close and readily available, what makes damming a remote coastal river so appealing?

Follow the money, again. Historically, the creation of large reservoirs in remote areas in Oregon and elsewhere has promoted development and recreational tourism. Landowners along the Siletz River could stand to gain handsomely from a new dam and reservoir. Riverside lands formerly owned by Boise Cascade and now deemed unproductive timberlands were purchased in recent years by Forest Capital, Inc., an investment company with a long history of making lucrative land deals in forestlands. Their clients are wealthy investors, not family loggers in Oregon. Perhaps coincidentally, the Polk County commissioner who has been spearheading the dam evaluation effort has a background in real estate, heavy construction, and construction engineering. That’s one dam coincidence after another.

Contact Commissioner Mike Propes and the other Polk County Commissioners, and let them know what you think of damming the most diverse anadromous salmonid river in Oregon.

Mike Propes: mike.propes@co.polk.or.us & mikepropes50@hotmail.com

Tom Ritchey: Ritchey.Tom@co.polk.or.us

Ron Dodge: Dodge.Ron@co.polk.or.us

Want to voice your opinion in person? Attend a panel discussion of the Valsetz Reservoir and Dam Proposal.

May 7, 2009 7:00-8:30 pm
Monmouth Library, 168 S. Ecols, Monmouth

Panelists include:
Mike Propes/Austin McGuigan, Polk County
Mark Milligan, Buell-Red Prairie Water Association
Barry McPherson, Retired Fisheries Professional
Stan van de Wetering, Siletz Tribe Fisheries Biologist
TBN, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Professional

Panelists will each give a brief presentation followed by general discussion and questions from the audience. This meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. (Hosted by Friends of Polk County)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

'Tis the season

Tailout headquarters are reeling from the awesome certitude that wild winter steelhead are probably the coolest fuckin' thing this side of anywhere. To that end, Tailout personnel have been wrapped up in the pursuit of the authentic...

Beer and bacherlorhood lead to beautiful things.

The Fishkiller stares into his crystal ball.

Is your heart pure?

It's pure now.

Everything, anything that you've ever wanted or needed or felt or loved or treasured or believed is realized. That's authentic. The "how" is inconsequential, the "why" pointless to ponder, it is everything that's right.

You want to keep your mind clear? Keep your fly wet.