if you’re lucky enough to fish, then you’re lucky enough…

2010 is almost over, and as I look back at this year – I find a mixed bag of emotions. There are always things I wished I did different, things I wish I did more of, and of course things I should have done less of. There’s been changes I made happen, changes I was fortunate to be part of, and some changes that was forced upon me. Whatever the year was, I am left with a deep sense of gratitude, thankful for all the fortune I have around me. I am thankful for a wonderful family, a home to sleep in, and small group of close friends I am proud to know. In this race for more and more, it’s easy to forget all the wonderful blessings we already have around us. When I think about fishing, I feel so lucky to have visited & stood in different places I would have never experienced, had I not been fishing. Different from other years, I am starting to see that what makes a place memorable is not necessarily the grand slam, honey hole spot where a lot of fish can be found. Sometimes the non significant path we travel to get to the fishing point is what makes the place beautiful and that alone is significant. Some fishing days are better than others, and some days we wish we had more days to fish. Whatever the fishing days end up to be, when we think about all that is happening in this world, it’s hard not to feel lucky that we’re fishing at all.

So here’s to being lucky, and being thankful for that luck. Happy New Year dear friends.


NW Chronicles: Going Coastal

Well, after a week of “vacation” with the families, I finally got a day of “holiday” yesterday. I decided to head out to the coast, hit the North Fork Nehalem, and try my luck for some winter steelhead.

The winter steelhead runs on the coast tend to start in late December and run through March. Different rivers have different peaks and mixes of hatchery and native fish. The hatchery fish tend to draw large crowds of “combat” fishermen looking for “meat”. The native fish (which you are not allowed to harvest) come a little later in the run, but can run up to twenty pounds. Massive.

I fished the North Fork many times last winter, so I was eager to return to familiar spots, see how the river had changed, and try my luck. I had a great day working my way through the woods and hitting familiar lies. Other than a couple other guys, I had two miles of the stream to myself. Perhaps the near constant drizzle kept folks at home. I think fish must have stayed at home as well; the only one I saw I managed to spook before I even saw it. No matter, it was great to be outside, in the woods, and on the river.

I wish everyone a happy New Year. May it be filled with wondering and wandering.

(Don’t forget to get your new license next week. I always do.)


being in touch with yourself

A mean blizzard passed through the northeastern area and snow accumulation is up to 30+ inches in certain areas.

We couldn't go to work today so I had a chance to finish the landing net I've been working on.

mrlee once mentioned that the flyfishing experience brings back one to its root of ingenuity. I guess that particular experience is something I cherish the most of the sport.

As I said before, thank you all for letting me become a part of this great experience.


As I am closing this year:

As I am closing this year, I am in a thanking mode. I said this many times, but I like to thank again to my friend YH who introduce fly fishing to me, I also like to thank all of my angler mentors who taught me how to do better fly fishing and be better fly fisher, I like to thank to angler friends who share memorable stories, and finally I like to thank my wife and baby Hayden for letting me go fishing together on weekends.


happy new year

best wishes to all FSAC viewers around the world and waters


I need some Aloha...

Doug, ET, & friends from Nervouswaters, Hawaii. Aloha oukou! Check out more at:

I'll be in Hawaii again this year from June through early August, try to make it out there. Eventually, I will go there and not come back, you can join me then too.

Also, check out one link below to one of my favorite Hawaiian signers/ song. This songs takes me back to Hawaii :

heart of glass.

I’ve been hovering around fiberglass fly rod information, blogs, products for a few months and finally decided to buy my first glass rod. I chose the Hardy 7’ – 3wt, “The Stream” as my first glass rod and I like the buttery smooth way it casts. It’s slow, it’s delicate, and I’ll be able to feel the gills of the fish move when it’s on the line. I am sold on glass rods, I love it. Thomas & Thomas, Scott, South Fork Rod Co., FH Paddock Fly Rods, Tom Morgan Rodsmith, and few others are making fine glass rods … damn it, and I thought I was done with buying fly rods…

the lodge.

My neighbor was about to throw out a beautiful fish wall mount and I was at the right place at the right time. Her mother caught it long time ago and they did not know what to do with it, so I gladly accepted it to hang on my wall (thank you!). It’s amazing how one fish on the wall changes the mood of the room. My wife now calls my office space “the lodge”, I told her I could replace it with a deer head, if that's what she wants. I’m staring up at it as I am typing this and I like it.


a beautiful sight.

Fishfinder dropped & lost his landing net during the past fishing trip we took. So instead of buying a net, he decided to make some for himself. He is making two nets … I think/ hope one of them is for me … or at least he’ll let me borrow it for some time ;-)

the teacher.

It didn’t take long for mrlee to start making his mark in the angling circles in Korea. From what they are saying, seems like he made quite an impression with his recent class. I’ll make a bet that we’ll see mrlee with his own fly fishing show on the Korea fishing channels within next year. There are many who know how to fish, but only a few that can teach it well and make it so interesting.

Here are some comments from the students & more photos from mrlee's class.

” as a beginner fly fisherman I am learning a lot of things but this class was the best experience. With the cold weather I was skeptical of stepping into the water, but with the teacher’s gentle ”push” and encouragement into the water, I was able to experience the joy of a winter catch.”

“ I am grateful to teacher Robinson for teaching us such useful nymph fishing, the one on one instructions was so helpful, thank you”

“before heading down the creek, Mr. Robinson’s detailed explanation on tactics & strategy (on his iPad) was very useful. It made me wish that I had a chance to learn from such instructor when I was starting fishing. Concise, to the point, and extremely useful class. From theory to demonstrations, a true professional at work.”

“I can’t believe I missed such a great class, I’ve heard how informative and relaxing the class was – please let us know that there is another class coming up”


the promise.

I’ve been living in northern Illinois for a few years now and have gotten familiar with bass, bluegills, and many beautiful trout from Wisconsin. I have even occasionally had a few pikes and a musky at the end of the line (once). Although Michigan is within driving distance and a easy overnight trip, I’ve never ventured out that way for one reason or another. Getting familiar with fish in close proximity is probably the best reason why I haven’t gone out there, and that has kept me happy and occupied for few years. However, to live so close to world class steelhead fishing and to not experience it fully feels like a fisherman’s sin… so starting next year- that’s where my car will be heading most of the time. I’ve been asking friends around for suggestions on good guides out there, and received a few. I stopped by the fly shop to buy tube fly tying materials, and picked up a few stinger flies to duplicate. I cleaned my line and the rod & reels are ready to go. I have the spots to explore scoped out on the map and inputted into the navigation. When I dream of fish these days, I dream of fighting steelhead – a fish I’ve never even caught. This is a good & happy place to be … full of hope and anticipation of new fish to catch. I read all about the fish of a thousand casts and how lonely it can be fishing for steelhead – but at this moment, all I can think about is the upcoming big fight…and that’s plenty enough to keep me excited.

By the way, when I really started to look into tube & stinger flies, I said to Andy at Chicago outfitters “holy crap, what the hell have I been missing out on!?”. They make perfect sense for fighting big fish, and I always love discovering new tackle. I’ve recently been pulling all nighters to tie up these flies, and I like it – my wife thinks I need help. I know that I’ll eventually need an “ugly box” for steelhead flies, but at the moment that are big, beautiful, furry things that promises to be at the edge of a steelhead’s mouth.

Although I’ve never met you, I think I love you steelhead.


Happy Holidays FSAC.

Wishing you & your family the warmest wishes for the holidays. Thanks for making this fishing journey so much fun guys.


what we mean...

I love this G. Loomis ad... hook ceremony.


Rainbow Fly Fishing Club Annual Outing

Rainbow Fly Fishing Club in Seoul held their annual get together early December. Soboro, who is also the vice chairman of this club attended the outing. The outing was held at a local trout pond and it seems like a lot of drinking, good food, and great laughs. I miss fishing with these guys.

the ugly box

If you tie some flies, then there’s a good chance that you have an ugly box (aka: I’ll re-tie them later box, I need to throw them away but don’t box, I keep them because they are flies I tied when I started fly tying box). It’s the box with the flies that are so ugly that you won’t carry them out to fish, also because you are not sure if they will ever catch fish. I kept them because for some reason I imagined that I will un-tie them and reuse the hooks but never got around to it. I also throw in the flies that came apart while fishing, planning to fix them later. The flies from this box rarely make it back to the field fly box, but once in a while (usually winter) I get at them and remake them (add to it, fix it, modify it). Removing the thread and salvaging the hooks is more time consuming than it seems, so I just add to them. Most of the modified ones end up becoming wet flies, usually with a healthy amount of marabou tied on top of it to mask the original fly...or they become oversized nymphs. For me throwing away hooks always felt wasteful, kind of like throwing away toothpaste that is not completely used up. I did this last night and felt so good, so I went on line and bought a brand new wader with all the money I saved from the hooks.