Chum Baby/Bob Triggs

Spring is a bad time to be a small baitfish along the coastal estuaries, beaches and rivers. Everything is hungry, food is relatively scarce and young baitfish are small, nutritious, and somewhat helpless. Next spring save a salmon fry, educate a trout and try this pattern, a very good chum fry (and other skinny young of the year baitfish) pattern. A simple and effective pattern that I highly recommend for spring and early summer (or any) time sea run cutthroat beach and river fishing. A good pattern to tie up on those winter days where there is low water and like five fish in your entire favorite winter steelhead river of choice.  A “newer” highly effective sea run cutthroat pattern.


Hook: A small saltwater hook such as a gamagatsu ss15 or sc15 size 12 or 14(the best saltwater sea run cutthroat hooks in existence) or for freshwater a tiemco or mustad size 8-12 standard hook (fishes better on a short shank hook)

Wing: a few strands of pearl krystal flash and sparse grey squirrel tail, length to match local forage

Body: back-pearl krystal flash wrapped around shank, front-peacock herl

this fly is beadhead optional, depending on water depth. Don’t be afraid to tie it without, a small baitfish pattern with a skinny profile darting erratically near the surface will definitely draw in cruising cutthroat like (insert cliche of your choice)

Bob Triggs, who created this pattern, is a guide down in the Olympic Peninsula. Like the late Doug Rose, he loves sea runs and practices restraint instead of resource rape like so many other guides. So hats of to you Bob for standing up for what you believe in, (and for creating such a good pattern.) His blog is listed on my blogroll if you are interested.

Northern gateway

I am a resident of British Columbia, and I have struggled to find consistent and meaningful work in my life, but I do not think for one moment that the things that make my home a good place to live should be put at risk of destruction for me to have a job. I also respect the fact that the native individuals and bands in this province have rights and privileges that I and my family do not have. I do not tolerate elected officials who feed as vampires upon the relentless apathy of the voting public in this province and country to use it as a way to abdicate all responsibility in protecting this province including its people. I do not tolerate the barons of industry being able to decide whether the fisheries act or SARA for aquatic species (which number far beyond only the species of salmon and trout that we all love) should be invoked when considering large and impactful projects. I also do not tolerate a man and his regime who dismantle all of the environmental regulations that were put in place to protect this coast and its people as if they are and mean nothing, to benefit a small group of wealthy friends who don’t live here. It is good for me and like minded individuals that I am not alone. Consider this Christmas putting your support behind people who might have the only and unprecedented way to challenge the maniacal heretics of this country who will gamble our future (not theirs) away for a questionable, vague, overseas “economic benefit”.

Almost eagle food

This fine sea run cutthroat has survived a close encounter of the predatory kind. These fish are wild, and truly resilient, and continue to amaze me. There are few salmon to hold the attention of local seals and birds of prey, and the continuing scourge of urban runoff, development and the never ending poison conveyor belt that the local marinas provide, but still they persist.


Mystic 9’3 6 wt M series fly rod review

It is suprising to me that many people haven’t heard of Michigan based Mystic fly rods, as every one of their rods I have cast have been exceptional and have great value.

Antihype disclaimers

*Always try casting a rod before you buy it, with the lines you plan on using, because nothing is less indicative of a rods performance than wiggling it at the fly shop rod rack. You will end with a rod you want (whether a Mystic or not) not a rod that you thought was something but different when you are actually fishing it on a river or beach*

* This rod (and no other either…yeah I’m talking about you sage one) is not the second coming of fly rods, it will not make you cooler, disappear your paunch or halitosis, make you more interesting, nor can you name drop Mystic. This rod however is a fun to fish 6 weight fly rod with very good value for the money*

I have used this rod, side by side with my trout switches (including a really light Mystic 4 wt switch rod) for much of the year targeting sea run cutthroat, browns, rainbows, and even occasionally coho both in the salt and fresh water on Vancouver island. It is the best by far out of the bunch of 6 wts I have owned for what I use it for which is small to large streamer fishing for aggressive trout from 12-24 inches. The cork after about a year of straight up salt and freshwater abuse DSCF7209

It is a medium/fast action four piece fly rod with a nice cordura tube (built in inserts no sock) with an understated grey/black/silver pinstripe appearance. It has a very strong tip, now no one is going to call this rod a “lightsaber” or moon unit or any other stupid name, it’s a simple rod, which I like. It has good quality cork, a nice decorative reel seat, the best shaped handle I’ve ever used, quick recovery, alignment marks and a small fighting butt. Two quad leg titanium stripping guides and stainless steel snake guides and tip round it out. Listed at around $450 off of the website I would say the comparative value of this rod is significant. I have used this rod in the salt for a season and there isn’t any sign of corrosion or performance issues related. Of course I do rinse it after every trip. DSCF7201 This rod is a powerful medium fast rod better suited for streamers, however with a nice double taper line, some fairly delicate presentations are possible. However it is however a six weight, not a spring creek buggy whip


Recommended overhead lines: Snowbee XS XD 6 wt line (excellent for both roll casting and distance casting, handles mono and small polyleaders very well) matches the best of any line I have tried with it.

A 6 wt scientific anglers GPX, or Rio gold will cast just fine on this rod.

Recommended single hand spey casting lines:

Beulah elixir 245 gr. head a scandi head that touch and go casts small flies very well on this rod, less clunky than the snowbee, pairs well with mono or 7′ poly leaders.

Beulah tonic 300 gr. head (skagit) for single hand skagit, will turn over heavy poly leaders (10′ 5.6 ips and 10′ 7 ips) and smaller sections of T8, fun in tight brushy spaces. This line casts very well and accurately on this rod, which can mange distances of 80′ in tight spaces, an impressive pairing.

Snowbee 250 gr switch line (25 ft head) good all around line, it will cast large flies but is more clunky than the other lines mentioned, pairs well with 7-10’poly leaders

Other lines in the 250 to 300 grain range should cast well on this rod, such as the 240 or 270 airflo compact scandi, or any of the light skagits from rio or airflo, my favorite lines are the beulah and snowbee’s.

What it’s good for: Trout between 14″-25″, can distance cast well, light saltwater use for sea run cutthroat and coho jacks, windy conditions, single hand spey casting, stripping flies, overall a forgiving and easy to cast, versatile trout rod.


I wouldn’t recommend: Larger coho and other salmon, summer steelhead, while it could handle smaller specimens no problem, I think a ten pound coho or summer would have it’s way with this rod.

As far as I know the only shop that carries them here on the island is the Nile Creek Fly Shop up in Bowser, but many shops carry them in the east. If you are looking for a new rod, check them out and give them a try, I highly recommend them.


This year has taken me on travels far and wide across all areas of the island in pursuit of relaxation and the the many fine species of anadromous and resident trout found here. Over the year only a few photos stand out on their own as being more than just a reminder of an adventure or a fun day. I don’t actually take pictures of a lot of fish that I catch and I know that with such a photocentric blog, that many must suspect me of being one of those guys who will pretty much play a fish to death to get it to sit still and then take a thousand photos for the perfect shot. I don’t and I’m not. My favorite from the year, to me the perfect small island wild steelhead.