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.
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.
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 the power of a beautiful, inspiring electric fence. 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. All whitewater trips include a barbecue meal with sirloin, corn on the cob, potato salad, and a deep sense of satisfaction.
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.
Born in Victoria, John Chau grew up fishing for salmon in the Sooke area. Thirty years since he hooked his first fish, Chau now shares his expertise with fellow anglers through guided charters on his 25-foot Pursuit Cuddy boat. During the spring and summer, Chau’s clients hook chinook salmon anywhere between 15 and 50 pounds. Autumn brings coho salmon, and in the winter, feisty feeder chinook weighing between 4 and 12 pounds roam waters just minutes from the dock.
The Sooke area is typically calm year-round due to the lack of ground swell, and its teeming waters attract wildlife such as bald eagles, sea lions, and killer whales eager to gain a better reputation among fishermen.