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Fly Auction funds Spokane fishing club’s conservation projects

FISHING — The annual Fly Auction, which supports a wide range of Spokane Fly Fishers' conservation and fisheries education projects, is set for Wednesday, Nov. 11. Socializing starts at 6 p.m. followed by the auction at 7 held at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy in north Spokane.

Club members, many of whom are expert fly tyers, whip up excellent patterns worth a generous bid. Flies may still be donated the night of the auction until 6:45. 

Flies to be auctioned will be available for previewing.

Basic fly tying class starts Tuesday evening at Silver Bow

FLY FISHING — A few slots may still be open for the Intro to Fly Tying class that runs Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley.

  • What:  Learn how to tie six basic flies for trout. Students will learn material selection, tools, and all basic steps for tying trout flies. 
  • When:  November 10/11 - 2 nights.
  • Time:   6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost:  $50. Must prepay to enroll.
  • Where:  Silver Bow Fly Shop. 13210 E. Indiana Ave.
  • Contact:  (509) 924-9998

Fly fishing guide divulges almost nothing about One Fly winning pattern

FISHING — My Thursday column on fly pattern selection for the annual Jackson Hole One Fly Tournament was published before I could get in contact with a busy Trey Scharp, who won the competition in September for the second consecutive year.

Scharp caught 51 fish the first day and compiled 1330 points for size and numbers of fish in the two-day competition for a dominant win and individual score that beat many of the four-person teams.

His secret both years:  The Scharp's Skunk Works Minnow, details on which he's keeping secret.  No photo of the fly is posted among the selected stories of One Fly winning patterns.

Here's what Trey had to say about his fly when I caught him off the river on Thursday:

The Scharp's Skunk Works Minnow is a pattern that I first tied in the 2013 One Fly.  I fished it for a day and had great success even though the water was chocolate milk.  I decided to fish it the following year after fishing it for two days prior to the tournament.  

I fished will Bill Hapersat the first day of the 2014 One Fly on a section that is noted for small fish….I filled my score card and had 493 points.  The next day of 2014 was section 3 on the South Fork, I again fished the same fly, not only the same pattern, but the same fly I had fished now for the last 4 days….610 points that day was enough for me to win the 2014 One Fly with the Skunk Works.  

This year I had no choice but to fish my pattern again….I drew Moose to Wilson, a section of river that I have lived on as a guide. 777 points the first day 51 fish landed…  The next day I fished the South Fork from the Dam to Spring Creek Bridge.  It was tough fishing, but with an 18-incher followed by a 20-inch fish at the end of the day, I had racked up enough to win for the second year in a row, with the same fly.  

My success with my pattern is reason enough to not show it off.  If the guides I fished with are anything like me, they have a mental snapshot of the fly.  

I named it the Scharp's Skunk Works Minnow after Lockheed Martin's secret development program.  

There's a bit about the success of the fly. How to fish it is a whole other story! 

What fly or lure would you choose for a full day of fishing?

FISHING — My story today on the thinking behind fly pattern selection for the annual Jackson Hole One Fly Tournament has prompted several anglers to contact me with their top choices if they could fish with only one fly or lure.

So far, I've heard Pat's Rubber Legs (stonefly-type nymph) and a curly-tail jig.

When I wrote about an annual one-fly contest at Badger Lake sponsored by the Spokane Fly Fishers, the top fly was an Olive Willy.

What's your top choice for your favorite fishing water?

International Fly Fishing Fair this week in Bend, Oregon

FISHING – A long list of activies will greet participtnes in the International Federation of Fly Fishers 50th anniversary fair Thursday through Saturday in Bend.

Fly fishing experts, including Joan Wulff, will present 92 workshops on a wide range of skills.

Exhibits and competitions are planned as well as a Youth Camp and Women’s University.

Info: fedflyfishers.org

Spokane fly fishing school is a real catch

FLY FISHING — The Spokane Fly Fishers annual Fly Fishing School, for three decades, has been introducing anglers to the sport from its techniques to the traditions — and where to catch fish. 

It could be the best time investment a novice-to-intermediate angler could make.

Deadline to enroll is Feb. 19.

Learn from the Spokane Fly Fishers

What: 33rd annual Fly Fishing School.

When: Thursday evenings, Feb. 19-April 2, plus Saturday sessions on pontoon safety and casting.

Who: Organized by Spokane Fly Fishers club.

Where: Inland Northwest Wildlife Council building, 6116 N. Market St., plus field sites.

Cost: $125 for nonmembers, includes membership.

Sign up: Kurt Tempel, (509) 270-6016; spokaneflyfishers.com.

Specialty fly-tying classes offered at Silver Bow

FISHING — Nothing makes more sense in really dismal weather than looking forward by getting cozy with a fly-tying bench.

Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley, 924-9998, offers fly tying instruction for beginners on up.  Here are two specialty classes coming up:

Steelhead Fly Tying 101 — Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. Learn how to tie effective steelhead patterns for our region.

Cost: $50. Instructor: Mark Poirier.

Fly Tying Level II - Beyond the Basics — Jan. 13-14 at 6 p.m.  Learn six effective trout patterns to help you move beyond basic fly tying skills.

Cost: $50. Instructor: Dave Dana.

Learn to tie steelhead tube flies at Silver Bow

FISHING — A few slots are open for a steelhead tube fly tying class Nov. 11, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.,  at  Silver Bow Fly Shop, 13210 E. Indiana Ave. in Spokane Valley.

  • Instructor: Mark Poirier
  • Cost: $65. Includes tube fly adapter. 
  • Contact: 924-9998.

Spokane River fly fishing class a hit: more scheduled

FLY FISHING — Silver Bow Fly Shop guide Sean Visintainer offered a class on fly fishing the Spokane River last month and it filled in a heartbeat.

He scheduled another class and it filled quickly, too.

So he's offering another session on June 3 to meet demand from local anglers wanting insight on fishing the "Kan."

The two-hour program will start at 6 p.m. at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley.

Visintainer will cover gear, the fish, where to go, techniques, hatches and fishing the seasons.

Cost:  $20. Must Prepay to enroll; (509) 924-9998

Program tackles Spokane River fly fishing

FISHING — A Spokane River fly fishing guide will give insights to fly fishing the Spokane River during a two-hour program starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley.

Shop owner and guide Sean Visintainer will cover gear, the fish, where to go, techniques, hatches and fishing the seasons.

Cost:  $20. Must Prepay to enroll; (509) 924-9998.

Washington Fly Fishing Fair in Ellensburg

FISHING – The annual Washington Fly Fishing Fair is expanding in 2014 far beyond a fly-tying gathering to a two-day event packed with casting workshops, a nine-hole casting course and a slate of more than a dozen seminars. The programs cover fishing tactics for waters from Western Washington to the Smith River in Montana and everything in between.

The fair, sponsored by the Federation of Fly Fishers Washington State Council, is May 3-4 at the Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg.

Info: (425) 308-6161.

Video: Pre-runoff streamer fishing tips for St. Joe River

FISHING - Put on an extra layer of fleece and get ready to fly fish the pre-runoff period on area rivers — as well as the post-runoff period before prime flows return.

How do you fish these "shoulder" seasons?

FISHING — Sean Visintainer of Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley has produced a series of informational fly fishing videos that take the mystery out of rigging up and presenting flies to trout in the pre-runoff shoulder season.

In the video above, Visintainer zeroes in on taking cutthroats by chucking streamers into "soft" water along the high flows of the St. Joe River.

Learn how to tie up a nymph

FLY FISHING — Here's the scoop on a fly tying clinic coming up next week at Silver Bow Fly Shop:

NW Top Nymphs Fly Tying

What:  Learn the best nymph patterns for the Spokane and other area rivers.

When:  Feb 18  6-8:30pm

Instructor:  Wayne Jordan

Cost:  $40. Must prepay to enroll.

Contact:  Silver Bow Fly Shop 509.924.9998

Fishing with nymphs: effective, and yes, legal

FLY FISHING – Oregon fly fishing author Dave Hughes will present a free program, ”Nymph Fishing Simplified,” Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., at St. Francies School, 104 W. Heroy, sponsored by the Spokane Fly Fishers.

Hughes, author of more than 20 books on fly fishing for trout, will cover selecting the right nymph, choosing the right way to rig it, and then using the proper presentation to fool the fish.  His presentation is applicable to both still waters and streams.  

More fly tying classes set at Silver Bow

FLY FISHING — Slots are still open for some of the fly tying classes set for the second half of January at Silver Bow Fly Shop , 13210 E Indiana, in Spokane Valley.  Pre-register: (509) 924-9998

Beyond the Basics Fly Tying

  • What:  Learn flies and techniques that will advance your skills
  • Date:  Jan 13/14 6pm-8:30pm
  • Cost:  $50. Includes tools/materials for use.

Steelhead Tube Fly Tying

  • What:  Learn how to tie effective tube flies for steelhead 
  • Date:  Jan 20 6pm-8:30pm
  • Cost:  $65. Includes tools/materials for use. Tube adapter included.

Streamer Fly Tying 

  • What:  Learn how to tie streamers for catching big trout
  • Date:  Jan 21 6pm-8:30pm
  • Cost:  $40. Includes tools/materials for use.

Fly fishing program targets Upper Columbia rainbows

FLY FISHING — “Wild Rainbows of the Upper Columbia,”  a free program sponsored by the Spokane Fly Fishers will be presented at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 8, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy. Canadian angler Kelly Laatsch, of St. Mary Angler Fly Shop in Cranbrook, will share his expertise.

Fly tying classes set at Silver Bow shop

FLY FISHING — A series of fly tying classes is set at Silver Bow Fly Shop, 13210 E. Indiana Ave., to help anglers gear up for the upcoming seasons.  Info: 924-9998

Beginner Fly Tying

What: Learn the basic to fly tying and 6 patterns in 2 nights. 

When: Jan 6/7  6-8:30pm

Cost: $50. Includes use of tools/materials.

Saturday Beginner Fly Tying

What: Learn easy and fun beginner flies in 1 day!

When: Saturday January 11  10am-2pm

Cost: $40. Includes use of tools/materials.

Beyond the Basics Fly Tying

What: Learn more advanced flies / techniques that can be applied to hundreds more.

When: Jan 13/14  6-8:30pm

Cost: $50. Includes use of tools/materials.

Anglers boost EWU football fever with fly tying contest

FLY FISHING — Some fly fishermen briefly distracted from their sport by the Eastern Washington University football team's pursuit of the FCS championship are trying to hook even more enthusiasm with a little fly-tying incentive.

Before the third-ranked EWU Eagles take on Jacksonville State at the Inferno on Saturday, the EWU alums at the Evolution Anglers blog are continuing their tradition of wrapping up championship quality "inferno" flies.

They're teaming with blogger Big Mills and running a contest in which participants can win some fan-catching and perhaps fish catching flies tied by the talented bloggers.

Read on for the details from the bloggrs:

Anglers boost EWU football fever with fly tying contest

FLY FISHING — Some fly fishermen briefly distracted from their sport by the Eastern Washington University football team's pursuit of the FCS championship are trying to hook even more enthusiasm with a little fly-tying incentive.

Before the third-ranked EWU Eagles take on Jacksonville State at the Inferno on Saturday, the EWU alums at the Evolution Anglers blog are continuing their tradition of wrapping up championship quality "inferno" flies.

They're teaming with blogger Big Mills and running a contest in which participants can win some fan-catching and perhaps fish catching flies tied by the talented bloggers.

Here are the details from the bloggers:

All you have to do to enter is wrap up a steelhead fly that incorporates red (the more red the better) and email it to me, joe@evoanglers.com, post it on our facebook page, or (the preferred method) post it on Instagram and tag it #infernoflies and @evoanglers and @millsfly.  Friday evening after mills and I have tossed back a couple we will have a very serious text message conversation (since we live 5 hours apart) and decide what our favorite fly is.  The winner will be announced Saturday morning.  The flies that we tie will be shipped to your door Monday morning.  Make sure to check out our social media outlets to see the flies you'll win, they will be posted before the end of the week. 

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."

Bob Bates: he filled in for a cast of thousands

FLY FISHING — Bob Bates, 83, passed away Wednesday, a week after he was at the monthly Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club meeting as curious as ever about the sport.

A great guy in every way, Bob was always volunteering and giving his talents and services to others, from his days as the Mt. Spokane Ski School director to his promotion of fly tying craft.

Bob devoted years to teaching students about fisheries by volunteering to run the public tours at the Spokane Fish Hatchery.

Click here to read about just one of many fisheries-related services Bob enjoyed.

He made the world a better place.

Spokane River is fly fisher’s local ace in the hole

FLY FISHING — It's summer and anglers are making and executing all sorts of travel plans related to the pursuit of fish.

But savvy fly fishers don't consider it down time to be here in Spokane.  Here's a report from Mike Berube of the Spokane Fly Fishers from his Spokane River float-fishing trip on Friday:

A friend and Ihad a great float yesterday. Put in just below Monroe St  Bridge at about 6AM and took out at TJ Meenach Bridge at about 1PM. River is fishing great. The fish were primarily at the end of riffles and loved any type of brownish olive streamer. I fished a sz 6 woolhead sculpin on a sink tip. All were in the 12-14" range with a couple to 20".  Nymping was productive also.

Hard to beat a Pat's Rubber Legs with a Lightning Bug dropper on the Spokane.

Wading to some of the really good holes should be better in about a week if it continues to drop.

Free fly fishing offerings at Dahmen Barn

FISHING – A series of free fly fishing-related demonstrations and workshops is scheduled in July at Artisans at the Dahmen Barn off U.S. Highway 195 at Uniontown.

July 7 - Fly casting workshop and rod repair demonstratio, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 

July 14 - “Seasons of the Steelhead” author Will Godfry will demonstrate fly tying and sign books, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

July 21 - Fly casting workshop, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 

July 28 - Fly rod building and repair demonstration,  11 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Info: (509) 229-3414.

Fly fishers to get updates on local waters at Extravagana

ANGLING – State fisheries biologists for the Spokane Region and the Idaho Panhandle will present fishing updates at the annual Spokane Fly Fishers Extravaganza Wednesday (April 10) at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy.

Hilary Hutcheson of Trout TV (pictured above) will join fly tiers, fly shops, and other fishing groups with displays for the event starting at 5 p.m.

The biologists — Jim Fredericks of Idaho Fish and Game and Randy Osborne of Washington Fish and Wildlife — will present their fishing reports at 7 p.m.

Fly fishing Expo starts Friday in Lewiston

FLY FISHING — The fifth annual  North Idaho Fly Fishing Expo opens in Lewiston on Friday (March 22) and runs through Saturday at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston.

Organized by the Kelly Creek Flycasters, the Expo features a series of presentations by luminary anglers and fisheries professionals, sessions that introduce people to the sport, displays of the latest gear by vendors and a steady stream of live fly tying.

One presenter, for example, will explain how poppers, the stubby, cork-like lures that are known to induce aggressive strikes from bass, can also drive steelhead to make explosive top-water hits.

Al Buhr of Salem, Ore., told Lewiston Tribune outdoor writer Eric Barker that steelhead returning to the Snake River and its tributaries are particularly prone to the patterns that draw attention when they are twitched or popped across the water’s surface.

“Oh man, I’m telling you, it’s a mind blower,” he told Barker. “I’ve had as many as five strikes on one swing. I’ve had them come completely out of the water like a trout to pounce on that fly.”

Buhr, author of two fly fishing books and a well-known spey casting instructor, is billed as one of the star presenters.

The expo will be followed by a banquet on Saturday. Tickets to the banquet are available from club members. There is no cost to attend the expo but there is a charge for some of the workshops.

Fly fishers find large rainbows at Coffeepot Lake

FLY FISHING — The first group outing of the year for the Spokane Fly Fishers — Saturday at Coffeepot Lake west of Harrington — was a BIG occasion for some of the anglers - with rainbow trout up to 21 inches long.

Read on for the detailed report from club member Mike Berube.

King of the soft hackle speaks to Fly Fishers Wednesday

FLY FISHING — Davy Wotton, a fly-fishing entrepreneur and professional since the 1960s, will present a program of the history, development and fishing of the soft hackle fly in a program sponsored by the Spokane Fly Fishers Wednesday, 7 p.m. at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy.

Fly tiers have dubbed him, pardon the pun, the king of the soft hackle. He's widely known for the SLF Dubbing Blend Series.

Wotton, who hails from Great Britain where he's has a wide ranging career in the sport, lives in the USA. He's currently the managing director of the American International School of Fly Fishing.

Two new fly tying classes at Silver Bow

FLY FISHING — Two more fly tying classes have been added to the already busy schedule of instruction being offered by Silver Bow Fly Shop, 13210 E. Indiana Ave. in Spokane Valley, (509) 924-9998.

Preregistration required.

NW Top Producing Nymphs

  • What: Learn some of the best nymph patterns for the region
  • When: Jan. 30
  • Cost: $40.
  • Instructor: Wayne Jordan

Beyond the Basics Fly Tying

  • What: Learn more advanced patterns and techniques
  • When: Feb. 11-12,  6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $50.
  • Instructor: Mark Poirier

Silver Bow sponsoring Hooks & Hops event for fly fishers

FISHING — The 4th annual Hooks & Hops event for thirsty fly fishers looking for inspiration during winter is set for Wednesday (Jan. 23),  6 p.m-9 p.m. at Black Diamond Sports Bar & Pool Hall, 9614 E. Sprague Ave., sponsored by Silver Bow Fly Shop.

Shop operators bill the night as a chance to give back to their customers, with a free beer, prizes, live music, free appetizers and fishing films. The bar also serves dinner for those who want to settle in.