There's an extra reason to celebrate holidays at Champion Arms. Whether it's Halloween or Valentine's Day, the shooting range often hosts "Top Shot Club" competitions on special occasions. To get ready for these competitions?or just safe gun use in general?instructors lead various gun classes, including introduction to handguns. Other classes move into more nuanced skills, such as an intermediate handgun class that covers how to draw from a holster or shoot while using a flashlight.
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.
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.
For more than 30 years, Blue Sky Outfitters has been equipping rafters to barrel down rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Whether floating past bald eagles on the the still waters of the Skagit River or plummeting down the 14-foot Husum Falls, the company's whitewater rafts—helmed by capable pilots—meander through wildlife that stuns with beauty. For land-bound trips, adventurers can strap on snowshoes and journey through the Leavenworth Valley, or peer through the wide windows of the Adventure Bus as it journeys through wine country
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.