Now in its 32nd year, the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show gives guests the chance to check out hundreds of seaworthy craft, including sailboats, yachts, and trawlers. The more than 50 brands of yachts on display will include Bayliner, Westport, and Sunseeker, with roughly 30 vendors of insurance, maintenance, and other supplemental services on hand to help boat owners protect their investment. Attendees will also get to climb aboard and inspect the 64-foot Ocean Watch—which circumnavigated the Americas for a year in support of oceanic health—and discuss the epic voyage with the crew, as well as take part in interactive activities.
Poking the water with long, stringy lines is the easiest way to access the rich fecundity of the underwater realm. Emerald Water Anglers teaches pupils what it takes to establish a quiet communion with beautiful aquatic bodies by instilling the basics of various casting methods and how to assemble a rod and reel. The two-hour single-handed group casting clinic provides students with all the equipment required and an instructional guide whose friendly nature embodies the calm serenity of this maritime sport. Small classes of up to six people give participants plenty of individualized attention as they learn the techniques behind overhead casting and roll casting, teaching their limbs the maneuvers required for future competent fishing ventures.
To say Mark Coleman knows how to fish is an understatement. Coleman, the owner of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters, has mastered the art of side drifting, float fishing, hover fishing, back bouncing, and jigging during his more than 10 years exploring the Pacific Northwest’s waterways. In the process, he earned captain certification from the US Coast Guard, a distinction also earned by each member of his team.
Aboard vessels that range from the 29-foot Reel Tight to a 16-foot, nonmotorized drift boat, Coleman and his staff lead chartered fishing trips through fresh- and saltwaters. All Rivers & Saltwater Charters have caught fish on the Columbia and Olympic Peninsula rivers, traveled the waters outside Anacortes and the San Juan Islands, and explored Puget Sound. Voyages pursue salmon, steelhead, lingcod, sturgeon, and other types of fish. The team can also lead fishing lessons for newbies, teaching essential fly-casting techniques, including the correct grip, the different casting styles, and how to use homemade tiramisu as bait.
Founded in 1994 by veteran anglers Hugh Pastoriza and Peter Corbett, Creekside Angling Company provides a one-stop shop for fly fishermen to gear up and plan tours of the Northwest's bountiful waters. Though the shop stocks a variety of top-notch equipment, from Sage rods to full fly-fishing outfits, the duo's greatest asset is the expertise of its staff. Hugh spent many years of his life fishing for more than 100 days a year, hitting waters all over Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Peter began fly fishing at age 9, and he turned his favorite pastime into a career upon moving to the Northwest in the 1980s. Together, they use their combined knowledge to lead guided trips into the waters of Yakima River, the Snoqualmie, and anywhere else steelhead rainbow trout hold their electoral caucuses.
A Saturday intro class teaches the basic skills needed to extract the warmest of fuzzies out of this stress-freeing sport. Instructors spend half of the class in the shop discussing knots, flies, and equipment, and the other half focusing on casting technique. Fervent fishers gain valuable insight into fly-fishing strategies, conservation methods, and chill technique. After the lesson, head into the shop use your gift card on a wide selection of apparel, instructional DVDs, and equipment. No equipment or fishing license required.
Eli Rico spends more than 300 days a year on the river, guiding his clients on their quest to land salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and trout. Whether hitting up Skykomish River in the autumn and winter for steelhead as big as 30 pounds, angling for Chinook salmon in the Columbia in the spring and summer, or fly-fishing for trout on the Olympic Peninsula, Rico has the expertise to help clients bring home the swimming bacon. Beyond simply catching fish, he also offers on-water classes that cover boat handling, reading water, and other essential fishing skills.