NW Chronicles: So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Moving is always hard, but it is with special difficulty I say goodbye to the dozens of great rivers and streams I’ve enjoyed here in Oregon for the past three years.

If fishing is a drug, Oregon has either been a pharmacy or a crack house. I feel somewhat bewildered to have been able to spend almost every weekend exploring new water, watching familiar stretches change with the seasons, seeing cyclical hatches, and getting to land some amazing trout. It’s hard to explain how fresh the air can be in these giant, breathing evergreen forests or how clear the water can be in the spring-fed mountain streams.

I spent a day last weekend giving a final shot at a coastal winter steelhead. The bite was off, but I got see a few of these monsters and admire their speed, size, and strength. Like every other day fishing here, just being out on the water surrounded by trees was a gift.

The wife and I are packing it up and heading to the land of hockey, moose, and universal healthcare: the great city of Toronto, Canada. I already have some leads about brownies on the Grand River and Lake Ontario steelhead....

Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s also good to be excited to once again about exploring new water with new tactics and meeting a few new fish. If any of you FSAs have tips on Ontario drop me a line. Until then...

Have fun in life and fish.



Wesley & gang teaching kids in Taiwan. Oh I miss PingLing & that top mouth fishing.

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skunked good...

9 hours of driving, 2 slips, leaky waders, and no fish. The river said "in yo face fool, you got skunked!" I ask myself, was it worth it? I say hell yes.

Oh one more thing, my spey cast sucks to begin with, but it sucked major with lots of wind. That fly hit my head more than once today - I'm just glad it didn't stick.


That's Mean!

Stocked trout vs. native trout…

Does anyone know what is the best (common) way to identify a stocked trout vs. a native trout? I have heard bit & pieces such as fin shape/ size, saturation of colors, fighting ability, and so on but never really understood if there was a way to tell the difference. Of course the really troll looking ones with clipped fins is easy to tell it comes from a hatchery but otherwise I don’t know. When I catch a fish that is well proportioned, I like to think it’s a native fish, but it likely isn’t. I sometimes say I like to catch native fish, but I really don’t know what I am talking about and I am certain that thanks to DNR across the country, fly fishing is much more fun (otherwise I would be catching only 10% or less of the fish I currently catch). Those that really crap on the hatchery fish probably are the lucky ones who lives in area where there is an abundance of native fish. For the rest of us, we’re just thankful there is fish to catch at all.

How do you tell the difference?


My first Michigan outing…Muskegon River

I did a day scout trip to check out two points on the Muskegon River (Newaygo & Croton Dam). It was the first time I was in Michigan with a fishing rod. I left the house later than I planned so it was already nearly 3pm when I arrived. With the nice weather, there were a few people out fishing but it was not crowded or anything. As I stood there in the water, I understood a little more why people (especially fisherman) loves Michigan so much. I only fished for a couple of hours and was fishing random spots. I didn’t hook up with a steelhead as I hoped, but I did hook up with a small but beautiful rainbow and that was more than I can ask for on a day like this. I guess hoping for a steelhead first time out, on unfamiliar waters, and in couple of hours was a long shot anyways.

I am set on Michigan this year, I can feel that I will love it.

I am a rich man!

I received a box of goodies today from a good friend in Korea. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

어떻게 감사드려야 할지 모르겠습니다, 너무 감사합니다. 제가 김을 제일 좋아하는거 어떻게 아시고…잘먹겠습니다! 곧 인사 드리겠습니다.

TenkaraUSA go!go!

Whether you are a fan of tenkara style fishing or not, it’s easy to agree that TenkaraUSA is doing a great job as a company & alternative voice in fishing. I bought my first tenkara rod from TenkaraUSA when it first came out, and I enjoy it greatly from time to time… I think the only thing that’s keeping me from not using more often is that I’m a beginner fly fisherman and learning with rod & reel is still keeping me busy. Still when I get the chance, there is nothing like fishing with a tenkara rod. Everyone talks about the pureness and simplicity of tenkara fishing (and I agree) but for me the real joy is when you have a fish on. Maneuvering the long & flexible rod to land the fish feels so great, and completely different from fly fishing. I know many people think that tenkara fishing has a lot limitations in terms of size of fish you can catch, but if you look into it, you’ll discover that people catch huge fish all the time in Japan with this style of fishing (huge doesn’t mean tarpon sized – huge relative to creek & river fishing). I remember the nice lenok I caught some time ago on tenkara rod...

Anyways, I got a mailer today from TenkaraUSA and it was a sticker, postcard, and some Tenkara ambassador cards. It was the nicest mailer I received from any fishing company, something I’ll actually keep.

Thanks for the nice mailer TenkaraUSA, I am looking at the new products on your site, can’t wait to order some of them. Definately have to try some of that tea. go!go!


My western movie hero:

Recently gone fishing was posting some of famous actors who were into fishing, and a few days ago while I was talking about movie music of Ennio Morricone, I remembered one of my long time favorite western movie actor named “Lee Van Cleef.” I just thought to pose one of famous image of his from the movie “The good the Bad and the Ugly.”

Root River - zero fish but still happy.

We had a couple of days of warmer weather so I went out to the Root River to see how things were. There was still a lot of ice on the edges and the river was frozen from the Quarry downwards. (Colonial Park is still completely frozen). I saw zero fish and I guess I expected that. I walked up to the dam, threw a few casts, and came back. After a cold winter, I'm just happy to see some flowing water.


Love winter but I'm ready for spring...

As much as I love winter, I am ready for spring. My fly boxes are bursting out with flies and I sit and worry that I will never really use all of these flies. I guess this is why experienced anglers start giving boxes of flies away as gifts...or in my case, the inexperienced angler who tied too many flies.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope there is a little fishing in your is generally better with it. Have a good weekend.



There is something very interesting about the contrast of materials & character of the object(s). I never understood why people crafted these porcelain guns, but they are something I'd like to own...

I discovered that these are the work of artist: Yvonne Lee Schultz. Very nice indeed.


real thing and imitating it… a reference

Ice shanty and the Northern culture.

Until I got to the Mid West, I had a pretty simplistic view of ice fishing. The ice fishing I knew were what I knew from Korea, people catching “bing-uh” which translates into ice-fish. A small minnow sized fish which is valued for its taste, but nothing of a fight. Occasionally I would hear of people catching larger trout but it was rare. Since I’ve move to the Mid West, the excellent fly fishing in Wisconsin & bass fishing in Illinois had me fully occupied, until recently I had an opportunity to go out ice fishing. As I look into the unique culture here in the North, I am fascinated by all the gear & set ups that is related with this seasonal sport. The concept of what seems like entire towns that appear on top of the ice for a few months, then disappear again till the next ice season is pretty cool. I have heard that it is even more elaborate up further north in Canada. I was at the Bass Pro Shop today and to my surprise found myself spending a lot of time in the ice fishing section. I almost bought the propane powered ice auger but decided to give it another try before I start committing to a whole new set of equipment. I’d love to build an ice shanty, even just for the fun of it. It’s like a tree house you can tote around on the ice. There is something definitely cool about this whole culture and the people that create it. Here are some fun, elaborate, and different ice shanties I found on the internet.

Something I now like to hear .... “FLAAAGGGG!!!”

미국에 얼음 낚시 문화, 정말 화려 합니다. 얼마전 저도 다녀 왔는데, 왜 그렇게 사람들이 좋아하는지, 대충 이해가 가더군요.


Band Saw Magic

It's the coolest thing I ever saw!!!!

I bet you can't guess who...

it's David Bowie!


Big George

One of the greatest fighters of all

“Put your name on something, it better be the best... you only get one shot.” George Foreman.

Liam Neeson the fly fisherman

I didn’t know that the Jedi master was also a fly fisherman. Good to know so we don't freak out if we see him on some creek someday.

“Bild: What makes you happy?
Liam Neeson: Fly fishing. I can watch a river in absolute silence for four hours. The water becomes the world. The fish become my friends. That is my meditation."

The Fur-Bearing Trout

I'd love to catch one of these someday ;-)

"The Fur-Bearing Trout is a species of fish that possesses a thick coat of fur to keep itself warm in the cold waters where it lives. These furry fish are primarily found in the northern regions of North America, but particularly in Canada, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The species is also sometimes referred to as the Beaver Trout, or (incorrectly) as the Sabled Salmon."

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가끔씩 발견되는 털난송어…. 대단합니다.


essence of cool

steve mcqueen...정말 멋지다.

Friends got together for pond fishing:

Leaving everyday life behind, mrlee, soboro, and I went to pond fishing past weekend. The weather got much warmer, but we still felt the bone chilling cold when we were standing for a few hours next to water. We had slow start, but with friend’s helpful tip and a cup of mrlee's warm coffee to warm up, we were able to enjoy our time catching a few healthy rainbows. As expected, soboro showed to everyone that he was a king of the pond.