Jeff Brazda of Brazda’s Fly Fishing guides out of Ellensburg, Washington on some of Washington’s most prized trout, steelhead, and salmon waters. Brazda recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:
Why do you guide where you do?
I have always followed the seasons and what they offer for the best fly fishing, and continue to do so in my service. I feel that there are a limited amount of opportunities that truly offer a guidable situation, a quality fishery as I would see it. Basically I guide where I love to fish when the season is best.
What is your favorite fish specie?
Locally that would be steelhead, followed by chinook salmon and cutthroat trout. Fishing abroad I like roosterfish and bonefish – hands down what I love to do most in the spring.
What is your favorite thing about guiding?
Having a job that allows me to totally enjoy the company and the time spent in a wonderful environment. It lets me share what I love the most in life; a blistering jumping chrome steelhead, a smooth rise of a cutthroat to a dry fly, the smile on the face of an angler as they tell the story of a successful day.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
Most recently, a couple days spent fishing with new guests on the Queets River. We hooked way more steelhead than they ever expected and caught them every way they wanted. That is what I live for, providing the unexpected.
Why this is so important:
They had spent months over the past years fishing in B.C. and herd about my service through the grapevine and decided to give it a try instead of B.C. We changed their minds and hearts about Washington and the wild steelhead of the coast. They admitted that they did not think Washington had that much to offer but came along anyway. This in itself is so important because it is these anglers that give back to the resource — the anglers that had basically wrote off wild steelhead in the U.S. — now they see it’s a viable resource and much better than what has been portrayed. These and so many other anglers we guide have the desire to give to the cause beyond going on guided trips.
What makes your guide service great?
The people that I guide and the guides I have are what really make it great, I am just along for the ride.
If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
In a dream world I would target whatever is biting in the Seychelle Islands off the coast of Africa.
Otherwise, I would fish the lower Hoh River April 14th with an 8wt. Varsity OP Spey rod, Skagit I Flight and a junked up NV leach for steelhead … OR September 20th on the Klickitat with a 9wt. Varsity Cannon Spey, Skagit Max, and purple/chartreuse marabou for Kings … OR October 18th on the Methow River with a 6wt. Varsity Summer Run Spey, rage line and a bomber for steelhead — All of which I do every year, one day a season …well except the coast of Africa!
What are your favorite three flies?
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Funny you should ask. I leave something at home every day — it’s just what I do. As I get close to the boat launch I always remember what it is. Most days I just deal with it, and it’s all cool and usually forget about it in a few minutes when we come up with an alternate. The one thing we will always go back for is the client’s raincoat on a rainy day. The thing I leave the most? my reading glasses, just can’t get used that … The thing that I can’t bear to be without is my net. The net is the most important tool in the arsenal. It is what maintains the highest survival rate of catch and release fishing. A good net and using it correctly dramatically increases the safety and recovery speed of all fish. It’s always good client fodder when I forget the net and I get reminded every fish we hook!
Do you have any other passions?
Bird hunting with my dogs Jesse and now Jada — her little girl. I love them so much and enjoy every minute we have together.
To check out more from Jeff Brazda and Brazda’s Fly Fishing, please click here.
Disclosure: Brazda’s Fly Fishing is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.