Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Fly-fishing phenom April Vokey shines on camera as well as on river

FLY FISHING — My Sunday Outdoors feature story about Fly Gal founder April Vokey and her recent visit to Spokane was just a minor installment in an international series of media segments focusing on this bright light in the fly fishing industry. 

A few weeks later, she would be followed by a film crew to Belize before returning to her home-region in the Skeena area of British Columbia for a week of filming with a crew from 60 Minutes Sports (see trailer above). The segment aired in early November on Showtime.

Here are some of the highlights from my April Vokey story:

  • “I don’t like fluff in people, life or flies.”
  •  Among the most remarkable if not phenomenal details in Vokey’s life is that she’d become a hard-core steelhead fly fisher by the age of 16 without the direct influence of fishing parents.
  • “Late-night parties found drunken classmates stumbling through self-discovery as I soberly snuck out early to be on the river for first light.”
  • “I wanted it so bad that come hell or high water I did it every day to see how I’d do and get better at it,” she told me. “I’ve never had a 9-to-5 job.”
  • “It has always been a shame to me that fly fishing is perceived as a man’s sport. There is truly nothing overly masculine about it." 
  • “Woman in a male-dominated sport – I feel I’m so far past that now,” she told me. “I live the sport every single day of my life."

  • “I prefer to be thought of as an angler with integrity, someone who considers it a pleasure and a privilege to share what I know. "

Two weeks ago Vokey, 30, was in Missoula giving seminars. This week she's fishing in Chile.

The British Columbia fly fishing guide says she's been to about 20 countries for fishing. "I don't go to a country if I can't go fishing," she said.

  • Check out Vokey's blog.
  • See the March 2013 post in which she sheds light on her teenage years. "It took all of my courage to write that," she told me.

60 Minutes Sports segment hints at April Vokey’s rise in sport of fly fishing

FLY FISHING — My Sunday Outdoors feature story sheds some light on April Vokey, the celebrated British Columbia fly fishing guide and founder of Fly Gals Ventures, who was giving presentations in Spokane recently.

But you'll get another glimpse of her appeal and talent in this trailer (above) for a 60 Minutes Sports story that's available for viewing on Showtime.

I’m not a great caster; I’m not a great fly tier; I’m not a great writer; I’m not the best at any of those things," Vokey says in the report.

"Then what makes you so good at this?" asked 60 Minutes Sports reporter Bill Whitaker.

"I love it more than anybody I know."

Hanford Reach salmon effort thins, catch stays high

FISHING — Chinook salmon anglers are finding a little more elbow room on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River and anglers numbers declinced slightly last week, but the catch rates on the 2013 record run remain high.

Here's the report just received from Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife area fisheries biologist:

The number of boats on the water in the Hanford Reach dropped a bit this past week compared to the two weeks prior.  There were an estimated 5,123 angler trips for the week.  Anglers averaged 2.2 Chinook per boat and 20 hours for each Chinook caught from the bank.

Staff interviewed anglers from 572 boats (1,309 boat anglers) and 227 bank anglers fishing for Chinook reporting a harvest of 1,221 adult Chinook and 102 jacks.  Harvest for the week was estimated at 4,357 adult Chinook and 357 Chinook jacks. 

For the season, 19,313 adult Chinook and 2,365 jacks have been harvested.  The adult harvest breaks the previous record of 13,102 adults harvested set last year.  There have been 33,081 angler trips for the fishery through October 13. The in-season run update for natural origin adult Hanford Reach fall Chinook returning to the Hanford Reach is 136,902 (updated Oct 7).

Yakima River fishing for chinooks hasn't been bad, either.  Says Hoffarth:

WDFW staff interviewed 185 anglers between October 7th and 13th.  Anglers reported harvesting 86 adult Chinook, 14 jacks, and 7 coho.  An estimated 662 adult fall Chinook, 148 jacks, and 76 coho were harvested this past week from 1,657 angler trips.  Anglers averaged 1 salmon for every 4.4 hours fished.

For the season, 5,942 anglers trips have been taken and 995 adult Chinook, 313 chinook jacks, and 83 coho have been harvested.

Learn basics of fly fishing and steelheading

FISHING — Silver Bow Fly Shop is offering two classes this month at 13210 E Indiana Ave. in Spokane Valley:

  • Beginner Fly Fishing, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sept. 7. $30.
  • Fly Fishing for Steelhead, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sept. 16. $20.

Preregister: 924-9998.

Alaska fishing guides tie knot in salmon stream

FISHING — Whether you're talking to the bride or the groom, in this case, it's appropriate to say, "Nice catch."

Alaska fishing guides Kadie Walsh and Dake Schmidt exchanged vows Saturday in the middle of Kodiak Island's Buskin River.

The fishing-themed ceremony included rings carried in the mouths of king salmon, a wedding party carrying fly fishing rods, and the married couple catching a pair of pink salmon together. 

A wedding during the humpy run:  perfect timing!

Click "continue reading," and see the captions with a great selection of photos by James Brooks of the Kodiak Daily Mirror for more details, none of which answer the compelling question:

When you have a wedding in a place like like this, how do you top it for a honeymoon? 

Fly fishing gives Vietnam vet a day of peace

FISHING — The photo above shows Double Spey Outfitters fly fishing guide G.L. Britton in the process of aiding Vietnam-Gulf War veteran Harold Watters of Cheney catch and release a feisty rainbow Tuesday.

They were enjoying the sunny day on a locally organized Project Healing Waters outing at Crab Creek.

Well done.

Had a wonderful day," Watters said by emaiI last night. "I was able to excape my PTSD for the day, and for that I thank you."

Salmon River anglers expecting steelhead surge

STEELHEAD FISHING — The march is on for steelhead making their way up the Snake and then up the Salmon River into the Riggins area.

More than 360,000 steelhead have crossed Bonneville Dam in the lower Columbia.  More than 130,000 of those fish have made it past several dams, gillnets and many hooks to cross up and over Lower Granite Dam on the Snake downstream from Lewiston.

Now the fish are moving up the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers.

Prime steelheading in the Riggins area generally is from mid October until early December, said Amy Sinclair of Exodus Wilderness Adventures

Prime winter steelhead fishing on the Salmon River in the Riggins area is from late January-early February to early March, she said.

 The daily limit is three hatchery steelhead.

Ralph: Lindsey & North Idaho Lakers

Rich Lindsey keeps a wire cutter in a pole holder in the back of his boat. It's a pocket size cutter used to dislodge fouled fish hooks and snip tangled leaders. Mostly, it's used to kill fish. This is done with swift dexterity and a mantra. The mackinaw - invariably the fish his clients hook are V-tailed lake trout - is held with one hand by its gill slits as clients admire its lines, size and verticulation. The other hand, the one grasping the implement makes one or two swift movements as the dull steel knot of the wire cutter thumps the fish between the eyes. Lindsey, one of the Idaho Panhandle's premier fishing guides, a guy who has been at it longer than anyone in this land of woods and mountains that plunge into the gem-like lakes of prehistoric glacial gouges, has his own way of doing things/Ralph Bartholdt, Skookum Photography. More here. (Courtesy photo: Ralph Bartholdt)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being an expert, how good of a fisher(wo)man are you?