Words You Never Want to Hear in a Duck Blind

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog of any significance. I write the Northwest Outdoor Report every week, but other than that my blog writing time has been limited for a month plus. By what? You axe. The usual culprits. Fishing, hunting, preparing for our busy summer charter season in Alaska, and the arrival of our new bundle of joy literally any day now, to name a few.

What on earth prompted me to write a truly worthy blog then. Well, I was sitting in a duck blind with some chums last weekend and a word was spoken that made me cringe. It wasn’t a four-letter word, nor was it a curse word of any kind. It was just one of those words that just doesn’t belong in a duck blind, or a boat, or spoken amongst outdoorsman in any setting for that matter.

That word was “probe” and it got’s me thinkin’ about a few other words that hit me in the funny bone. When a fellow outdoorsman speaks these words in any context I always think…well, lets forget what I think.

Heres a few words that don’t belong in the duck blind:

Sick (Not ill…Sick!)

There you have it. A truly meaningful blog packed with invaluable information. I bet you have some words. I know you do. Lets hear’em!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

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I just can't help it!

I just get fired up over the Washington Sportsman's Show in Puyallup and the Seattle Boat Show!

First up, here's a coupon for the Sportsman's show so you can print, clip and save a couple bucks on admission and spend it on a scone!

Here's my Seminar schedule at the Washington Sportsman's show. After my seminars, you can find me at the Cannon, Lowrance and Fetha Styx booths.

Wednesday – January 25th
Blue Theater
5:30 PM… Tom Nelson …Dirty Downrigger Tricks
Steelhead River
3:30 PM Tom Nelson Reading Water

Thursday – January 26th
Blue Theater
3:30 PM Tom Nelson… Fishing the San Juan Islands
Steelhead River
12:30 PM Tom Nelson… Reading Water

Friday – January 27th
Blue Theater
1:30 PM… Tom Nelson… Triple Threat Salmon Fishing

Steelhead River
7:00 PM…Tom Nelson …Reading Water
Saturday – January 28th
Blue Theater
4:00 PM.. Tom Nelson… Dirty Downrigger Tricks

Steelhead River
12:00 PM.. Tom Nelson… Reading Water

Sunday – January 29th
Blue Theater
11:30 AM… Tom Nelson… Fishing the San Juan Islands

The Steelhead River at the Puyallup is always a major attraction and a great learning experience….and a great place to get a bite!!!

The Seattle Boat Show comes to town next week as well and I've been invited to MC the "Big DEAL FRIDAY" event! Join us for this special night and WIN!


Whatever you do, don't try to get the shows done in one day… Take your time and enjoy yourself! After all, "SHOWTIME" only comes once a year…

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

A sign of things to come?

BY JEFF LUND. I’m not a pessimist, but I did wonder what it meant when I turned on the heat in my truck and was almost overcome by the smell of cooked cat poop that apparently oozed into the treads of my hiking boots on the walk through my yard.

What kind of an omen was this?

I don’t even officially own a cat, but one adopted me and demands food in the way only a pathetic, old, multi-colored cat with low self-esteem can. It showed up within days of me mocking that Sarah McLachlan commercial in which she implores us to care about abandoned animals. I cracked a joke. Then some field cat showed up looking for a handout. Apparently in its more youthful days it belonged to neighbors, but the cat moved away when they did or something like that.

Anyway, it was 6:58, and I was headed fishing. I had just cleared ice off my windshield with the scraper I got for Christmas, and now I was marinating in feline excrement.

Great start.

Still, I was warm, caffeinated and ready to fish. Upon reaching the river, I rigged up in the quiet of the brisk, still, morning. The river was a sleepy hush and leaves dared not drop and join the others on the ground when I was looking.

I had my vest, fly box, reel, fly rod and waders but left my hooded sweatshirt draped over my chair at home.

I whispered in disbelief. I’ve written columns about the abundance of stuff in my truck, but once again what I needed didn’t make it. I had double-checked that the new No. 12 red copper john nymphs were in my fly box so I could catch fish, but was a slip into the water from catching hypothermia instead.

Was this sign number two of how things were going to go fish-wise?

Luckily I had two hand warmers in the emergency tackle box. I put them in the front pockets of my thin long sleeved shirt designed more to keep ultra violet rays out than warmth in, hoping the heat would radiate and fend off the chill.

It did, and slow cooked two rectangles into my chest.

As my body started to transition from warm to comfortable on its way to cold, I entered the river. If there was a place I was going to flood the waders, this would be it. I was up past my waist, navigating the turn in a light current by holding onto bushes that leaned out over the clear water.

It took longer than it should, but I made it around safely and found two slimy rocks on which to stand and cast. There was no room to backcast, so I roll-casted my red copper into the current. It was a beautiful spot. Above me vultures cruised above the river-cut bluffs (first poop, then cold, now vultures?).

But below me a rainbow mistook my fly for food and my rod tip bent toward the water.

I lifted to set the hook and started in on my normal routine of talking the fish in while talking myself calm.

Conversations finished, I gently lifted the 14-inch rainbow from the net, snapped a picture and released it.

A perfect day fishing indeed – success with just enough chaos to keep it interesting.

Jeff Lund
Teacher/Freelance Writer
Manteca, CA

"Its the coming back, the return which gives meaning to the going forth. We really don't know where we've been until we've come back to where we were. Only, where we were may not be as it was, because of whom we've become. Which, after all, is why we left." – Bernard Stevens  Northern Exposure

Area Nine: Two Schools of Thought.

The first local salmon "opener" of 2012 is slated for January 16 in north Puget Sound's Marine Area 9. This huge piece of water encompassing Admiralty Inlet features some of Washington State's premier salt water salmon locations, namely Possession Bar, Point No Point and Midchannel Bank. On a chart or on the water, "A9" can be a vast, intimidating area. Add some wind or fog to the mix and there is something here to challenge even the saltiest of salmon anglers. So for the novice or the old salt, here's one plan of attack to put you on the track for some early season success on one of my favorite areas.

Here's whats on tap starting January 16 on good 'ol A9. Winter chinook or "blackmouth" up to and well beyond the 30" mark


Two schools of thought are held here in A9 so for simplicity let's call them the "Upstream" Theory and the "Downstream" Theory. Puget Sound's tides are termed "diurnal" describing the characteristic of having two high tides and two low tides in a 24 hour period. That's a lot of water moving and playing the currents is your direct path to consistent success.

Very simply, upstream anglers will be found on the side of structure that the current is flowing into and downstreamers will fish the side of structure that current is flowing away from. I find myself dipping a toe into both schools of thought.

For example, Possession Bar extends from Whidbey Island into Admiralty Inlet and right into Possession Sound's tidal current cauldron. An ebb tide flows east to west and you'll find me on either the east bar or the middle bar or "Tin Shed" area adhering to the upstream school of thought.
On the other hand, when I'm out on Area 9's northwestern edge at Midchannel Bank, I go with the flow, starting my troll at Marrowstone Point on the ebb and ride the tide towards Point Wilson. It's common practice to fish with the current at Midchannel bank but since you start the troll at Marrowstone as the tide is running from it you're taking a page from the downstreamer's book.

Learn to turn the tide to your advantage and you'll have to make room in your fishbox! It's gonna get crowded in there!


What depths do we wish to target? Look to fish flats around 100 to 150 feet of depth keeping your gear right on the bottom at all times. One of the ways we accomplish this is to keep an eye on our Lowrance chartplotter/sonar and the Cannon STX Digitroll 10 does the rest! Here's a video of the Cannon Downrigger in Bottom Track mode.

Terminal Gear choices are as close as a trip to SilverHorde.com and include some old, productive standards such as the Coho Killer White Lightning

The Kingfisher Lite 3.5 "Yellow Tail"


Don't forget to pack along the "usual suspects" assortment of hoochies as well.


Area 9 is nothing short of a local gem that provides a solid, local opportunity right through April 30! We'll be keeping you up to date on this fishery and keep an eye on our Fishing Reports page as well! Good luck and we'll you on the water!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle