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 @

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Most Important local CCA meeting yet!

Please come and join us, CCA- WA North Sound Chapter, for a fun and informative membership meeting on Wednesday, June 11th @ 7:00pm. It will be held at the new Bella Marina Restaurant at 2615 S. Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham, WA. Food and beverage will be available for purchase at this event. Frank Haw from CCA Washington Government Relations Committee will present CCA's platform and positioning statements and Ginny Broadhurst, Director of Northwest Straits Commission, will give a power point presentation on derelict fishing gear. Matt Kayser, Executive Director of CCA-PNW will make a welcome return to Bellingham to add the final touch to our most important North Sound Chapter meeting yet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yakima March Browns and Caddis

Photo By Arch Anglers Guide Ryan Smith
Fish caught by EWA Guide Kevin McAlerney

While over at the FFF Conclave this weekend I had the pleasure to float the Yakima with Ryan Smith and good friend Ed Megill. What a great time on a beautiful river. We didn't have a lot of time but we put in at Ringer and were able to float the few hours before dark.

Now I haven't floated and fished the Yakima too many times but I took the opportunity to glean some info out of Ryan. Right now the March Brown hatch is happening in the early afternoon and the fishing can be quite good. Late afternoon and evening can bring about a spinner fall which is always one of my favorite dries to fish. Warm evenings can bring on the early small and dark bodied caddis flies. Be on the lookout for golden stones to be crawling up into the grassy edges so don't overlook those areas in the next couple weeks.

We manged to nymph up a few whitefish and lose a few rainbows on stones and lightning bugs. The evening was pretty slow and the river was seriously on the rise. It is truly a great time to fish the Yakima before the bikini hatch happens, however, I am thinking of returning for that hatch in late June and July. You may need to ask for the exact time for that one.

Ryan says his favorite time to fish the Yakima is the fall. Of course! We all have about 300 rivers we want to be on in September and October, but not all are as close to us as the Yakima. On a good day you could meet Ryan there in about 3.5 hours. There is a lot of river to explore so you ought to take a few days and fish a lot of it. Give Ryan a call.

Call Ryan Smith for a Yakima Trip
Arch Anglers
Professional Guide
(425) 765-2035 cell

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lake fishing is turning on!

Whatcom County lakes may have been cool on opening day but some warmer weather is bringing on the callibaetis hatches. Squalicum and Silver Lake will see these hatches of nice mid-sized gray mayflies between 10:30am and 2:00pm depending on the warmth of the day. Start out fishing nymphs early and move to emergers between 11am and noon. Some of these fish can be pretty big as they do tend to stock some hefty triploids. Be ready for the occasional brown or tiger trout in Squalicum.

FFF Conclave in Ellensburg

I have never seen so many fly tyers in one spot. The FFF Coclave was a great event that I wish had been promoted better. The event was lined with tying benches filled with famous names like Harry Lemire. Flies from micro size 22 midges to elegant shadow box 3/0 Atlantic Salmon patterns were being tied with utmost expertise. I brought along my tying material and tied while running the Emerald Waters Anglers booth for Dave McCoy.

The event featured vendor booths selling tying materials like All About the Fly and Irish Angler to full lines from rod companies such as Temple Fork Outfitters. There was a casting competition and a casting obstacle course that was incredibly fun. This is a great idea for an event, it just needed for people like you there. Did you know about it? No, I barely knew about it.

The event should span two days next year and I think it will be one not to miss. Wish you could have been there.

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!