Thanks to all my supporters

Dear Friends and Anglers,

I have officially shut down all aspects of my fly fishing business. This blog will remain up as an archive and for when I feel inspired to discuss fishing and fishing related issues. I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this adventure. My clients are incredible people that I really enjoyed spending time with over the years, dating all the way back to 1994 in Colorado. I hope to see many of you out on the river. Feel free to email or drop me a line anytime!

Jason Cross

For local guiding and lessons, please contact my good friend Ed Megill @

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Necessary Media for the Complete Whatcom County Fly Fisher

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the Fourth Corner Fly Fishing Club meeting. My topic was fishing in Whatcom County and specifically how to go after the untapped resoursces we have here. I was asked if I would list the books that I find to be necessary in the pursuit of good and relatively untouched waters. Well here they are:

  1. Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer Washington (I would be surprised if you don't already have this)
  2. National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map 223 North Cascades National Park Washington
  3. Washington State Fishing Guide by Terry Sheely
  4. Afoot and Afloat North Puget Sound by Marge and Ted Mueller
  5. Washington's Central Cascades Fishing Guide by Dave Shorett
  6. Current WDFW Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for Washington State plus check web site for emergency rules and closures
Happy Hunting!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What's on tap? Cutthroat Porter?

Well, you may wonder what I have been up to for the last week or two. I have been diligently dedicated to the pursuit of sea-run cutthroat. I had a really successful trip to Seattle and the South Sound and picked up five fish one day with Dave McCoy and his clients. Since then I have been running around hitting local beaches, looking for bait fish, and sitting behind the vise tying up minnows. Wow, I love a change of pace.

Coastal Cutthroat trout are among my favorite. The pursuit of these feisty fish is a little overwhelming, kind of like the first time you showed up to the Skagit with your 5 wt. Where are they, when are they here or there, why and what are they feeding on? So many questions and so few answers biologically about this fish. I just love them. They are perhaps one of the most beautiful trout I have encountered and that is saying a lot. Look at Dave McCoy's picture of one of the fish from the other day. This fish was no more than 13 inches but it had spots like a leopard. You should have seen the spots on its back near the tail, they were huge. So beautiful! Size isn't everything. Why are you out there? Think about that for a minute.You may not know where to start and what to look for when hitting the beaches for sea-runs. I am your man. I will be offering up some introductory classes in the next couple of weeks so keep posted. April and may can be pretty good times to get out there especially before the lakes open and your options are slim. You have to put in your time and do your research because it is a lot like steelheading, except easier casting, warmer temperatures, and more success!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fly Fishing Film Tour Review

Last Friday night was a good night of entertainment for those dedicated fly fishers that made it out from behind their vise. Plus it was great to see K8 Taylor again in Bellingham.

AEG Media has put together an impressive show of "fish porn" and conservation pieces from different fly fishing related movies in this new and up-rising arm of the industry. The approach of staying clear of the instructional side of fly fishing is a new look for the sport and will probably make it more attractive to younger generations. No one could help leaving their seat thinking they better take a fishing trip soon. I believe the fly fishing industry needs this film tour to bring back the energy we saw when A River Runs Through It came out.

Mongolian Taimen......the world's largest trout. I have been eye-ing this monster fish for nearly ten years and can't believe it took this long for it to get publicized. Take a brown trout and add several feet onto it and then be the first person to go fish for it with a 12" long fly. Think your arm was tired the last time you hooked a fish?

I had the pleasure to hang out with Justin, Chris, Bryan and the rest of the crew. The tour gets my two thumbs up and my hat goes of to those young guys living the dream and getting it done!

NPR piece on salmon fisheries

Anyone who has the time should go to and do search for "salmon". You will find several articles and audio pieces, but the one you need to hear is from April 2, the Weekday program with Steve Scher.

Guests on this show include the following people:

Donald McIsaac, PhD is Executive Director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council
David Sones represents Washington, California and Oregon Tribal interests on the Pacific Fishery Management Council. He is a member of the Makah Nation.
Kurt Beardslee is co–founder and Executive Director of Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest.
Nathan Mantua is Associate Research Professor at the University of Washington's School of Acquatic and Fishery Sciences.
Jim Olson is a commercial fisherman with a boat based in Westport.

Listen to the part on climate and how they speak to the extent that warmer climate is bringing Alaskan rivers to the peak of their salmon production. I welcome any discussion on this topic.

Local Information

Nooksack River

The Nooksack is our most Northern Puget Sound river. From the flanks of beautiful Mt. Baker and the Mt. Baker Wilderness the Nooksack River travels 75 miles to Bellingham Bay through diverse terrain. Three forks make up the main stem that locals say starts in the town of Deming. The North Fork provides most of the water in the drainage right off the northern side of Mt. Baker and parallels the Mt. Baker Highway often unseen. The Middle Fork is smaller and faster tributary with a steeper gradient and deep plunge pools. The South Fork, although some 50 miles long that stretches into Skagit County, is only fishable for 14 river miles before it closes to protect endangered Chinook spawning grounds.

The North Fork Kendall Creek hatchery provides a decent fishery for winter steelhead and October salmon fishing. Chinook and coho hatchery returns are mainly from the Native hatchery on the South Fork at Skookum Creek. Salmon fishing opens on the Main Stem in early September and stays good through a healthy chum run well into December. Both forks open in October for salmon but can be fished for sea-run cutthroat trout in September. Thanksgiving brings about hatchery steelhead season which carries through into January. Wild steelhead start trickling into the system in December and really show up in good numbers in January and February. Sadly for the fishermen the river closes in the end of February.

The main stem is a true spey rod river with some beautiful classic steelhead runs that will remind you of other nice places you have fished. The forks are smaller and lend themselves more to the single handed rod or a switch rod. The North Fork Nooksack is a wild and scenic river and boasts an incredible population of bald eagles. The river shifts quite frequently throughout the vast channel as the waters rise and fall with rain. Tree roots and log jams make up much of the excellent fish habitat on this fork. The south and middle forks are more defined channels and runs and holes remain more consistent. Wherever you are on this river the backdrop is spectacular. Around one bend you will look back and see The Sisters and the next bend will offer a pristine view of towering Mt. Baker.

Resident trout and anadromous dolly varden are found throughout the system in small numbers with the latter being off limits to target. The North Fork Nooksack above the 100 foot Nooksack Falls can be fun summer trout fishing with light weight rods and surface flies. Some open tributaries such as Canyon Creek can be great fun on the dry fly in July through September for small to medium sized trout. These tributaries of crystal clear cascading water sooth the sole and bring you smiling back to the roots of fly fishing.

Puget Sound Beaches are fun relief from the river and Stillwater settings. Sea-run cutthroat are available for the catching along several nice cobblestone reaches. The shelter of bull kelp beds provide a great feeding grounds for this fun anadramous salmonid. Late summer sees the arrival of solid hatchery coho fishery easily within reach of shore.

Come on up and get away from the crowds. You wont believe how beautiful it is and you won’t regret it. And, oh yeah, you might catch some nice fish!