Springer School!

Just as every northwesterner counts down the waning days of winter looking forward to spring, salmon anglers eagerly await the arrival of our earliest running chinook affectionately known as “springers”.

Trying to fit the four-hour springer sojurn to the Columbia into a busy schedule is challenging enough. Add to that the inconsistent, early season springer fishing reports and the term “forcing the issue” comes to mind.

After Saturday morning’s weekly installment of The Outdoor Line Radio Show and then the annual Master Marine Spring Seminar in Mt Vernon, “The Commish” Larry Carpenter and I hooked up to Big Red and did some I-5 time, launching in the Columbia just before dark.

A Columbia River Sunday morning sunrise greets us. We had great baits -and great attitudes- working early and late…


Unfortunately for us, despite great bait and a long effort, we would not get a single bite on Sunday. Mark Coleman of All Rivers Guide Service was the only guide boat we saw land a fish. Here is Mark and his happy clients with a springer right under the I-5 Bridge.


Enter my ol’ buddy Eric Linde for a little technique refresher… “springer school” if you will… Eric and his clients had a tough day on Sunday as well and since he didn’t have clients on Monday, he agreed to jump onboard Big Red for the Monday morning bite.















And yes,… true to form, on the second drag of the day Eric’s rod lit up and no matter how hard he tried to pass off the rod, no one would accept it! We “made” him play the fish!


I’m pretty sure there was no more experienced net man on the entire Columbia River that day than Larry Carpenter. Here he checks traffic ahead while he waits for Eric to get control of a hot springer.


Just one more run alongside the boat….


…and our first Columbia River springer of the season is in the bag!


Nothing quite says “chrome” like a St. Patty’s Day springer. Eric Linde’s smile says it all!













There are springers a lot bigger than this one, but what he lacks in size, he will more than make up in taste on the table tonight!!!


This year’s springer season is just getting cranked up. We’re guarenteed a season in the main stem of the Columbia through April 5th. After that, we’re at the mercy of an in-season update which may result in more days on the Columbia, but probably not until May. The Willamette, Wind and Drano Lake will remain open through April but keep in mind that until we see springer numbers over Bonneville in excess of 2000/day, the Bonne pool “bubble” fisheries will not be worth the drive.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have to put a springer on the “Bar-bie”

Tom Nelson


710 ESPN Seattle


The 2013 Salmon Forecasts!

A sure sign of spring after a long winter is the annual arrival of our salmon forecasts and the “North of Falcon” meetings. I await the salmon forecast numbers like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Hello, my name is Tom and I am a “salmon sicko”.

After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2013 Preseason adult Chinook Forecasts (in thousands)

Stock                    2009       2010     2011_    _2012       2013
Willapa fall             34.8      31.1       36.8        45.2         27.1
Hoh fall                   2.6         3.3        2.9           2.7           3.1
Nooksack/Sam       23.0      30.3      37.5         44.0        46.5
Skagit summer       23.4      13.0      15.9          9.6         13.2
Stillaguamish          1.0        1.4         1.9          0.9           1.3
Snohomish Wild      8.4        9.9         7.4          2.8          3.6
Snohomish Hatch   4.9         5.6         5.1         3.9           6.8
Tulalip Bay              4.0         3.4         3.5        5.9          10.9
S Puget Wild          17.2      12.7        8.9          8.9           5.2
S Puget Hatch        93.0      97.4      118.6       95.8       101.9
Hood Canal Wild     2.5      2.4           2.1         2.9            3.3
Hood Canal Hatch  40.1     42.6         38.3       43.9         65.7
Key Stock totals 255,600  253,100  278,900  266,500  288,600

This is a very significant Puget Sound chinook forecast to say the least! Easily the highest number we’ve seen for over a decade.  We can be fairly safe in the assumption that chinook seasons may be similar to last year. Generally these selected stocks are up from 2012, most notably in the Skagit, Snohomish, Tulalip Bay and south Sound. However, on the coast Willapa is down sharply and the Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast as well which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season.
The Silver Story! 2013 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

Stock                     2009         2010            2011__ __2012        2013
Straits Wild              20.5          8.5              12.3           12.3       14.8
Straits Hatch            7.0            7.8              12.7           18.6       15.4
Nook/Sam W           7.0            9.6               29.5           25.2      45.4
Nook/Sam H          25.5          36.0               45.7           62.8      49.2
Skagit Wild             33.4          95.9             138.1          48.3     137.2
Skagit Hatch          11.7            9.5               16.2           14.9       16.3
Stilly Wild               13.4           25.9              66.5           45.5        33.1
Stilly hatch              0.0              5.4                0.6             4.1          3.1
Snohomish W         67.0           99.4            180.0         109.0     163.8
Snohomish H          53.6           24.5               8.4             8.5        12.6
S Sound W              53.6          25.3              98.9           43.1       36.0
S Sound H              188.8       186.4            173.3         162.9     150.9
Hood Wild                48.6          33.2              77.5           73.4       36.8
Hood Hatch              52.0          51.2              72.1           62.6       68.6
Key stocks Total   338,600   320,800      916,000   628,600     783,200


Bottom line: we should see a smokin’ coho fishery in Puget Sound this summer. The increase in Skagit stocks is almost double last year’s run and a look at the Snohomish numbers have me thinking that 2013 will not see many anglers stray far from Puget Sound come September! In fact, the overall feeling among fisheries managers is one of optimism bone of increasing oceanic salmonid survival.

Speaking of survival…. We can look for over 6 million pink salmon to stream into Puget Sound this summer as well!!! We’ll have a better breakdown of the “Humpy Hordes” coming to you in this blog in the very near future!

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Cured Tiger Prawns for Steelhead

How many different colors can you make your Tiger Prawn? I guess the question should be, “How many different colors of Nectar does Pautzke’s actually produce”?

If you said 5, then you are on the right track. With that, we will stick with the basics just to make sense of it all. If I start mixing and matching colors, there is no limit as to how lengthy this article could end up. With 5 Nectar colors to choose from, you could actually create what I refer to as the Tiger Prawn Rainbow…

Now to say that Pautzke’s Nectar will add some color to your Tiger Prawn, is an understatement. The colors are very vibrant and basically jump off the page at you. Nectar not only adds tremendous color to your Prawn, but also additional bite stimulants that you get just as a result of how the Nectar is produced. You are essentially soaking your Prawn in Egg Juice, which adds additional scents and attractants, Oh and by the way, did I mention COLOR…

Another question to ponder, Are you using Tiger Prawn for Salmon and Steelhead? If not, then How Come? Ok, I guess that is actually two questions.

If you have sat through any of my shrimp Curing Seminars, Coon Shrimp, Tiger Prawn etc. then you have heard me talk about the versatility of these baits and just how much you can do with them.

The first thing I like to remind folks is that fish, absolutely love them. They are a very natural smelling and looking bait that fish very well raw with a little salt and sugar.

Now we are going back into the Bait Lab to take our beloved Tiger Prawn to the next level. For me at different times of the year, adding color to my Tiger Prawn is great way of creating multiple baits and giving me multiple options from just one simple bait.

I can also create two different baits using just one color of Nectar. If I soak my Tiger Prawn, for example in Blue Nectar, it will turn my Prawn, very, very Blue. An option that I like to use more than not, is simply this. Some of the Prawn are soaked with the shells peeled off and some are soaked with the shell left intact.

For the Prawn that are soaked in the Nectar with the shells removed, you will notice the color penetrates the Prawn completely and makes all of the Prawn Meat a very bold color based on the color you have selected.

For the Prawn that I soak with the shells In-Tact, the Nectar color of choice penetrates the Prawn Meat around the edges, leaving the center of the Prawn almost a natural color or just slightly colored by the Nectar. For me this creates a bait with “Color Contrast” which at times, may be just the difference needed to stimulate a bite.

Now, past practice for many is to chunk cut your Prawn and use it while side drifting, drift fishing and or even tip a jig with it every now and again.

For me, as I have mentioned before, chunk cutting is ok, however I like to change it up a bit and fish bait that has a little more natural action. I find that by simply cutting your prawn length-ways, down the center of the back, you end up with a very nice thin Prawn Fillet. This will fish very well when side drifting or drift fishing, it will also fish very well under a float. The thinness of the fillet allows the bait to tumble and role and in some respects float naturally, to more so resemble natural bait then just a chunk of meat tumbling along.

How about to tip a jig? Have you ever strip-cut your Prawn.

Once you have mastered the skill of cutting your Prawn Baits into nice even Prawn Fillets, the next step is to cut them once again, length-wise, to create a nice long strip of Prawn that resembles a very small worm. We know that pink worms and actually multiple colors of worms have become very popular for fishing Steelhead and Coho. Why not create your own colored mini-worm that has great scent properties, and when tipped on a jig actually has the added bonus of action. You cannot get that by simply putting a chunk of Prawn on your jig hook.

Using Pautzke’s Nectar is a great means of adding tremendous color and scent to your Tiger Prawn. To get your Prawn to fish the very best that they can, you still need to add a little more to create the ideal cure.

A basic recipe I like to use is simply this:

One Bottle of Pautzke’s Nectar (any color)
1/4 cup Non-Iodized Sea Salt
1/2 cup Sugar, (White or Natural)

That’s all there is to it, really it is just that simple. If you are curing Tiger Prawn for Salmon a 1/4 cup of Salt and just a 1/4 cup of sugar will do just fine. For Steelhead, I like to sweeten them up a bit and will add the extra sugar, as much as a 1/2 cup. This can actually cure up to about 25 Tiger Prawn, in the 51 to 60 count size.

I will generally soak Tiger Prawn for about 24 hrs. in my colored cure mixture and then they are ready to fish. The Pautzke’s Nectar adds the color and bite enhancements and the salt and sugars add the sweetness and durability I can depend on that makes these little baits fish so good.

I will fish them right out of the soaking container the first trip out and cut as I go. If I have some left over and plan to fish within the next week or two, I can take the Tiger Prawn out of the cure and place them into a tupperware container and store them in my bait fridge. Just for test purposes I have had Tiger Prawn cured in this exact recipe last in my bait fridge for up to four months and still fish very well.

Which color of Nectar you choose is entirely up to you. I will however let you in on one additional secret. If you do select the Red or Yellow Nectar, you will also be adding UV to your Tiger Prawn, which may just be the difference you are looking for, when fishing low light or off colored water conditions.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

First Razor Dig of 2013 Scheduled

WDFW just approved the first razor clam dig of 2013, starting Tuesday (Jan. 8) at Twin Harbors and expanding to include Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis beaches later in the week. Twin Harbors will be open from January 8th thru January 14th and Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis Beaches will be open Thursday January 10th thru Saturday January 12th.
Commission to Consider Removing Gillnets from Columbia Mainstem
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet January 11th and 12th in Olympia to consider shifting gillnets off the mainstem of the lower Columbia River and into designated off-channel fishing areas. The plan would also shift allocation on many of the Columbia’s salmon runs over to the recreational sector. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 back on December 7th to adopt the plan and now it’s up to their counterparts in Washington to move the plan forward. The meeting will be held in the Columbia Room of the state Legislative Building starting at 8:30 a.m..

Brant Hunt Approved for Skagit County

A flight by wildlife biologists last week determined that brant numbers would support an 8 day hunt in Skagit County. At least 6,000 birds are needed to support a hunt and wildlife biologist Don Kraege counted 8,960 brant in Fidalgo, Padilla, and Samish Bays. The hunt is scheduled for January 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 26, and 27. Be sure to check out the WDFW website for more details on this special brant hunt, as there are special license requirements in place.

Wild Steelhead Showing Early in the Skagit

John Koenig of Johns Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport reports catchable numbers of wild steelhead in the Skagit River right now. He’s been surprised by the number of wild fish this early in the season and thinks that the Skagit could be in store for some excellent fishing in late January and February when the wild steelhead show up in earnest. In stark contrast the hatchery steelhead return on the Skagit has been so poor that the Cascade River was recently closed down so that the Marblemount Hatchery could meet its egg take goals.

Sol Duc Fishing Well

Mike Zavadlov from Mike Z’s Guide Service (360-640-8109) in Forks has been seeing really good numbers of wild steelhead in the Sol Duc already. Mike’s caught steelhead into the low teens, as well as a few Snider Creek steelhead. One of Mike’s go-to jigs lately in the low and clear water has been a pink and purple Beau Mac 1/8th ounce jig. While the Snider Creek broodstock program was discontinued last year, anglers can still expect to catch those fish for at two more years on the Sol Duc River.

Potholes Spotty for Ducks, Good for Geese

Levi Meseberg from Mar Don Resort on Potholes Reservoir reports great goose hunting over the Christmas break with limits or near limits of geese for the last couple of weeks. He says the cold weather that’s made the goose hunting so good has pushed a lot of the ducks south though. While there’s been a few pockets of birds around he says the duck hunting hasn’t been all that great lately. With temperatures forecast into the mid-40’s for the Potholes region next week he thinks the duck hunting could be some of the best of the season. Waterfowl season will close on January 27th this year, so duck hunters have just a few more weeks to get their hunting in.

Kent Man Attacked by Coyotes

When Faron Scarberry moved to Kent two weeks ago he had no idea how dangerous going for a walk with his dogs might be. Last Friday night while he was walking his dogs three coyotes attacked him in back yard. They initially went for Scarberry’s face and he was able to block them, but one of the coyotes grabbed him by the leg. He was able to ward off the coyotes, but he still spent the night in the emergency room and got 24 rabies shots on his leg and hip. Coyotes rarely attack humans, but wildlife officials recommend keeping garbage contained and pets inside at night this time of year to reduce the chance of an encounter.

Gun Map Backfires on New York Publisher

When the Journal News in New York recently published a story called “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood” burglars and crooks immediately took notice. Along with the story was a map of every gun owner in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. While the intent of the insanely stupid article was to “out” local gun owners the article did nothing but help crooks and enrage gun owners. Burglars who needed guns now knew which homes to hit and the information also let burglars know which homes were gun-free and easy to rob. One blogger reacted by posting a map showing where key editorial staffer live. Outraged groups have called for a boycott of Gannett Publishing’s advertisers and the newspaper now has armed guards stationed outside at least one of its offices.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

The Ultimate Steelhead Rag

Fishing rags for steelhead has actually been around longer then I have been fishing. A few guys have told me they were fishing rags back in the 1960’s.

My Dad started fishing rags on the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers back in the eighty’s. I’m not sure where he saw it, or came up with it, but it was a styrofoam and yarn combination that he swore by.

At some point, backer-rod was the simple go-to method to create the rag body. One cut and you had a nice small piece of foam to pull the yarn through.

Today, and for quite some time now you can find rags tied on leaders, packaged and sold in sporting good stores pretty much everywhere. Most of the manufactured rags are white-bodied and usually have one or two colors of yarn pulled through them.

I gave up on trying to find backer-rod about ten years ago. Walking through Target one summer I stopped in the toy section and stood and stared at the big box filled with pool noodles. There were about six different colors in the box but the colors that caught my attention were the orange, pink, and chartreuse/green noodles.

I figured colored foam…how could this not work? I’ve also experimented over the years with any type of colored foam I could get my hands on. Some are tough and spongy while others are light and brittle. You won’t know if it will work until you cut a piece of foam and then try to pull yarn through it.

Colored rag bodies just make too much sense. Over the years, I have found that they work great for both steelhead and salmon. I pretty much rely on the pink and orange for steelies though. I use green or pink for Salmon. When I say salmon I can honestly say that I have caught, kings, coho and chums on “Rags & Eggs”.

The other key component in your rag construction is the yarn. I use a lot of the Glo Bug Yarn. They have so many colors to choose from, it’s durable, and they now have a lot of colors in UV.

When it comes to steelhead I think color selection is key. Even though Dad, back in the day, would use white backer rod he would use anywhere from four to six different colors of yarn when he would make his rags. The key to his success was the color contrast and not much has changed in 40 years of steelheading.

Steelhead are very visually stimulated. Light and dark colors in combination create contrast that they pick up on. It also grabs their attention when color combinations replicate natural food that they feed on.

Think about the different colors in a Sand-Shrimp. Pinks, orange, purples, perhaps a little black, and the guts inside a sand shrimp are a brighter yellow color. Those are pretty much the basic go-to colors for my steelhead rags.

I will mix in some steelhead peach or at times a brighter pink or cerise. Usually I use a maximum of six colors with a single dark color mixed with two lighter colors in each combination. For me it’s all about the creating contrast.

Due to the large diameter of the Glo Bug yarn I will cut it to length and then separate each piece length wise to make it thinner. To try and pull a full size piece of the yarn through the foam and you’ll find that it’s just a little too thick.

To create or punch out the rag body it’s really pretty simple. First take your pool noodle and cross cut off a disc or round. The wider you make the disk you cut off, the longer your rag body will be.

Next take a three to four inch piece of copper 3/8th in. water pipe. Take a small file and sharpen one end of the pipe, inside and out, until you get a sharp edge. When pushing the sharpened end of the tool against the foam and slightly twisting it back and forth, it will cut right through the foam. Using a pencil to push the cut plug of foam out of the tool works well.

Next, grab one of your yarn color combinations and pull it through the foam. This is easy to do with a needle and a piece of braided fishing line tied in a loop. Something else that works really well for pulling yarn through the foam is a fly bobbin threader. Push the threader through the foam, place one end of the yarn pieces into the threader and pull it back through the foam.

I pull the first three pieces of yarn through the foam. With the three short pieces laid together you can easily pull it through the foam as long as you grab the very end of the yarn in your loop. The more the yarn doubles back on it’s self in the loop of braid the bulkier it is and the tougher it is to pull through the foam.

When I push the needle through for the second yarn grouping I place it in the foam just below the first layer of yarn. I don’t want to try to pull yarn through yarn because it won’t work.

Once I have both sets of yarn pulled through I’ll pull and separate the pieces of yarn and spread them out around the body of the foam. Then I’ll cut and trim the yarn to length.

The final step is to simply tie your leader and thread the rag on to it. Push the needle through the body of the rag from bottom to top. Make sure you put a bead above your hook before threading on the rag. This helps to keep the eye of the hook from punching up into your rag. Without the bead you’ll go through a lot of rags in a day because the hook will tear up the foam.

Tie yourself a leader roll full of rags and go chase some winter steelies. Eggs and rags or rags with sand-shrimp tails are both hard combinations to beat. For me, float-doggin rags with bait in steelie-green water conditions is a definite go-to…

Duane Inglin
710 ESPN Seattle
The Outdoor Line



Northwest Outdoor Report

Clam Dig Next Weekend
WDFW just announced another razor clam dig next week. Twin Harbors beach will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, and on Thursday Long Beach will open up and over the weekend Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks beaches will all be open for razor clamming. Clamming generally starts two hours before the low tide in the evening.

Black Friday Trout Fishing Special
If you’d rather go fishing than shopping the day after Thanksgiving then WDFW has the deal for you. They’ll be planting Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County, Kress Lake in Cowlitz County, Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County, and Rowland Lake in Klickitat County with 2,000 rainbows apiece. Chris Donley from WDFW called the Black Friday fishery an experiment that could lead to similar events in other parts of the state.

Southwest Washington Elk Opener Toughest in Years
Mike Jenkins from Upfront Outfitters (360-560-7620) said that fog descended on his camps in Southwest Washington just in time for the elk opener. He said the fog spotting elk nearly impossible and that the success rate for the entire area hit an all time low. The upside is that the last part of the season could be very good for elk hunters, since there’s a bunch of bulls still out there and hunter numbers are generally low the latter part of the season. Jenkins thinks the drop in temperature this week could make hunting very good!

Silvers Piling into the Humptulips
Scott Sypher from Canyon Man’s Guide Service (206-518-4982) is reporting wide open coho fishing out on the Humptulips the last few days. He limited out his customers quickly Thursday morning throwing #4 and #5 hoochie spinners into the lumber. Sypher says that gold and copper spinners seemed to be the best color. The Humptulips has a 3 fish daily limit for silvers this fall, only one of which can be a wild coho.

Ranker Digging into Wolf Pack Removal
Senator Kevin Ranker from Friday Harbor, who chairs a committee that oversees WDFW, says he’s going to hold a hearing about the department’s decision to remove the Wedge wolf pack in Northeast Washington last month. The wedge wolf pack had killed two cattle and injured 15 others on the Diamond M ranch north of Colville before the department made the decision to remove the pack. He thinks officials and the rancher could have done more to deter the wolves from attacking cattle. While he won’t be asking for resignations or reprimands, he will be using the hearing to more clearly clarify the states position on wolf removal and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Pikeminnow Angler earns 77,000
Portland angler Nikolay Zaremskiy earned $77, 238 last year catching pikeminnows from the Columbia River. The state has a bounty on the pikeminnow in the Columbia, which has a voracious appetite for salmon and steelhead smolts. It’s the second year in a row that Zaremskiy has earned over $70,000 dollars catching pikeminnows. Last year he earned over $71,000 dollars. Eric Winther, who manages the program, called him the Michael Jordan of pikeminnow fishing. The bounty program starts in early May and runs thru September and last year it dished out over one million in rewards.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Do you have “The NAK” for fishing

I’m often asked which scents I use. And, while there are many options available, most of the time, I use three: Pautzke Nectar, anise and krill. These scents, when combined and mixed properly, make a difference. Nectar, Anise, Krill or “NAK”, as I call it, is the additive I rely on for Northwest salmon and steelhead fishing.

Let me explain how to use these scents to your benefit. Nectar is only found in the Pautzke line up. For those who are not familiar with this product, you’re missing out. Nectar is created when the factory is cooking Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs. In essence, it’s the run-off of all that egg juice, salts, sugar and additives, which are drained into large vats and bottled.

Bottled salmon egg juice is your friend. It comes in five colors. However, for fall salmon red is my favorite. I also invest in krill, the liquid form (Liquid Krill) and powder form (Fire Power).
To create “NAK” for steelhead the first thing I do is pour a small amount of Nectar out of the bottle to make room for the krill and anise. (Only pour a little out, keeping the level to the top of the label). Then pour half a bottle of Liquid Krill and one heaping tablespoon of Fire Power.

With Nectar and krill mixed in, it’s time to add anise. I purchase 100% pure anise and add 10-15 drops. That’s it: simple and effective. With this mixture it’s best to pour some in a small container and dip your baits in it every few casts.

For salmon it’s important to add a half-teaspoon of sodium sulfite. However, when fishing an area where salmon respond better to a higher percentage of sulfites I add a full teaspoon.

Normally, I carry three bottles of NAK: one of the basic mixture (the steelhead version), one with a half teaspoon of sodium sulfite and one with a full teaspoon. It’s best to let the fish tell me what they want.

To dress up my eggs by giving them extra scent and milking ability I cut pieces of roe and place them in a separate tray adding a shot of NAK on some of them. Traditionally, I won’t do a whole skein if I think there is a chance that the fish may not respond. Once I add it, the skein has the scent/additives and if it doesn’t work I’m stuck fishing eggs that the fish don’t want.

One other tip; don’t be afraid to give your sand-shrimp a quick squirt. You’ll be surprised with the results. Give NAK a try. You’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle


Save Da’ Waders (wader repair made easy)

It’s mid-September and the morning chill in the air reminds you that fall is actually here. For those who have enjoyed the hot Summer months, fishing your favorite river or stream wearing nothing but shorts, times-are-a-changing…..

The cooler morning air has most of us reaching for our waders. Something about staying dry in the morning, or for that matter the whole day, tends to make the whole experience a bit more enjoyable.

So here’s the deal. You are getting ready to finally get back on the river in a few days. You are gathering your gear and taking inventory. As you hold your old waders in your hand, you suddenly remember that towards the end of last winter, they leaked.

I had mentioned that staying dry was the point of wearing waders and now you are thinking, this is going to suck. “I need new waders, but my daughter also needs braces”.

Then you begin to rationalize it in your head. “Her teeth really aren’t that bad, she’ll be fine for another year”. Now reality hits, there is no way in hell you will ever convince the wife, so just stop right now if you value your marriage at all.

Before you get all balled-up thinking you’ll need to spend another season in leaky waders, I have something that may just make your day, or for that matter even your year. “Plasti Dip”. Never heard of it? Or perhaps you have. Either way you will see that this is so easy, it’s borderline stupid.

Ever since I found that they put Plasti-Dip in an aerosol can, I had to give it a try. I first used it about 8 years ago. I stood there in the hardware store thinking to myself, “spray-on rubber in a can, how could this not work”?

Well, not only did it work, but it worked great.

Fixing a leak with most other items or kits offered by manufactures, never seem to do a very good job. I always seemed to have patches that would peel lose, or just flat out continue to leak no matter what I did.

Any and all wader repairs start with one thing, finding the leak. This is made simple by using a trick my Dad taught me when I was young. “Light”, use a flashlight or what I prefer, a drop-light.

By using a drop-light, I can slowly lower it down into my waders, each leg if I need and look for it to shine through the small hole or tear I perhaps cannot find. You may need to do this in a room with minimal light to actually see the light shining through a pin hole.

Once I have located the hole, I like to mark it with a pen so I know exactly where it is.

Seams are notorious for leaking and you will see how well Plasti-Dip works in these tough-to-patch areas.

The seam tape area on the neoprene foot is also another common area that may develop leaks. Spraying Plasti-Dip along the seam tape will patch the seam. Sometimes the tape will actually peel off as the Plasti-Dip begins to dry. I simply remove the seam tape and then continue to apply more spray-on Plasti-Dip were the seam tape was.

For small holes or tears I sometimes will just spray the immediate area and not worry about how it looks.

More times than not I will take the time to tape the area off around the leak so as to do a nice clean job.

I will usually apply 3 to 5 coats of spray, allowing dry time between each coat. Once the Plasti-Dip is dry, I’ll peel the tape and presto, instant patch.

Plasti-Dip works so well because it’s pliable, flexible, and will adhere to any surface. It works on both neoprene and breathable waders.

Pick yourself up a can and give it a try, your marriage will remain strong and your daughters smile will be worth your efforts.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
Owner/Operator-Strong Arm Guide Service


Going Green & How to Get There

In the last few months I’ve fielded many questions from fellow anglers spending time in The Bait Lab. One of the most common revolves around turning baits green. I’ve been going green a lot this season, but unfortunately you can’t buy green Nectar or Fire Brine. Pautzke doesn’t make those colors. Going green requires a little work. Rest assured, though, creating green herring is easier than you’d expect. It doesn’t take a Mixologist to do so.

The green craze has evolved over the past few years. Historically, we’ve had good success on chartreuse herring and anchovies. Knowing that, I really wanted to fish green herring. I knew by simply mixing blue and chartreuse Fire Brine I could create green. I just wasn’t sure on the ratios. Fortunately, I did my homework in The Bait Lab and figured it out.

I’ve conducted many experiments in the last few months and believe that exact measurements aren’t vital when it comes to getting the green color we all want. It’s more important to mix blue and green until you achieve the exact color you’re looking for. Through trial and error I learned that I could create several shades of green depending upon the amount of blue and chartreuse used. Nonetheless, I always start with chartreuse in the bag (or container) and watch the color change by slowing adding blue. Doing so allows me to get any darkness of green I want.

There are many different ratios that work, however, for this blog I wanted to provide many points of reference, which should aid your efforts to create green herring/alewives/sardines/anchovies.

Here’s my published study:

The following are the four comparisons. All four containers started with ½ bottle of chartreuse Fire Brine. I left some herring chartreuse so we have a base comparison (C). The three levels of green created were as follows.

G-1: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 2 tbl sp. blue Fire Brine
G-2: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 4 tbl sp. blue Fire Brine
G-3: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 2 tbl sp. blue Nectar

After a 20-hour soak time I compared the darkness of green achieved.

When I compare the different shades of green the color I’ve seen the most success with is G-1.

When compared closely it’s apparent: the more blue added the bluer the herring is. On the other hand, if you are wondering how adding the blue may affect the UV the results are positive. The UV properties in chartreuse Fire Brine are so strong that it maintains the UV level regardless of how green you make the herring.

Here’s a recap of what I do to make the perfect green:

I start by filling a gallon Ziploc bag with a ½ to full bottle of chartreuse Fire Brine. Then, it’s time to blend chartreuse and blue Fire Brine. After pouring them in the bag, add the herring and let it sit for 18-24 hours. Sometimes I add 1 teaspoon of Fire Power (krill powder) for additional scent.

Bonus Plan: Adding Bite Stimulants To The Brine

If I plan on adding Nectar to my Fire Brine as a scent additive/bite stimulant on my herring, I can also use that as my color change. Pour chartreuse Fire Brine into the Ziploc and add the blue Nectar to achieve green. Keep in mind that the dye properties in the blue Nectar are every bit as strong as the Fire Brine. So your ratio may be the same, more or less, based on the previous information.

Give this a try and “Go Green” I think you will like the results.

Duane Inglin
Strong Arm Guide Service
The Outdoor Line, 710

Area 9 & The Outdoor Line (1) Sea Lion (0)

One of the benefits of being a team member that makes up the Outdoor Line crew, is that we get to take folks out from time to time, doing what we love. We don’t just show up every Saturday and talk about it, we put our time in on the water or in the woods. Some of our days are more successful than others, that’s just the way it goes. That being said it’s all about gettin’ out and doin’.

Today was one of those opportunities to get a couple of our show sponsors out on the water for an anticipated Area 9 assault. We had Jim Spane of Spane Buildings, and Anders Gidlund of Truck Vault with us on Big Red.

Nelly and I met the guys in the Port of Everett, climbed aboard Big Red and we were off and runnin’. That would be about 50 minutes of runnin’ on over to Mid Channel. The morning started out nice a calm and pretty much stayed that way all day.

This was also a great opportunity for Nelly and I to get out and put the new Lamiglas Keni Kwik 10’6″ 15-30 rods to work. And work they did, especially if you consider a battle with a 400lb. Sea Lion giving a fishing rod a quantifiable test drive. More on that later….

The morning progressed along at a great pace, hooking up consistently on just about every pass. Jim and Anders, were having a great time, catching a few and losing a few “right Anders”… Just kidding, Anders actually boated the largest Nook of the morning,which was great as it was his first Salmon ever.

We ended the day going 5 for 9. One was lost during a double, or more accurately a double cluster. The others just came unbuttoned because it’s Salmon fishing and that’s what happens when your fishing salmon… Doh..  The most exciting and exhausting fish of the day, hands down, was the victory over the Sea Lion. Anders had the fish on and doing the best he could to get it in. The Sea Lion came out of no where and grabbed Anders fish. This motivated Nelly to start screaming orders. Which prompted everyone to begin doing what needed to be done.  I got the other rod and down rigger stowed, Nelly was on the motor, he handed me the rod as he said, “we will not lose this fish to a Sea Lion”. The long and short of it was, due to ten minutes of complete mayhem, we won. When the battle was over, the seal, basically had a look of surprise and confusion on his face.

The battle was epic and went on for at least ten minutes. We managed to get the fish, undamaged by the way. You’ll need to tune into www.theoutdoorline.com on 710 ESPN AM, Saturday morning 6:00-8:00am to here the whole story. Find out how to win the battle against our number one salmon thief.

It was a great day to be on the water. Anytime we, at The OUTDOOR LINE , get out and do our thing, life is good. The reward for the effort isn’t half bad either.

And when I’m fishing with Nelly, I always seem to go home with a nice bounty…

Thanks Boss, we’ll do it again soon….


Duane Inglin 710 ESPN