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The BMO Ultimate spring "TO DO" list in the PNW! - Update

Updated: May 4

Bill Matthews Outdoors

Spring in the Pacific Northwest!

Spring has sprung here in the Pacific Northwest, and I am checking things off my spring "TO DO" list. Yes I will still be taking care of the yard, pressure washing, and all the other regular stuff we all do in the spring, but this list is comprised of the things I love doing this time of year! From Western Montana to the Pacific Ocean, there are so many things to do, this is a list of my favorites. I do not know if I will get all of them done, but I like to try. I will update this post as I check other items off the list!

Here is my Spring 2024 "TO DO" list:

  1. Steelhead Fishing - Olympic Peninsula , Washington - DONE!

  2. Razor Clams - Long Beach Washington - DONE!

  3. Spring Chinook - Columbia or Willamette River

  4. Smallmouth Bass - Columbia River - DONE!

  5. Spring Turkey - Washington, Idaho and/or Montana

  6. Montana Skwala Hatch - Fly Fishing

  7. Morell Mushrooms - Montana

  8. Ling Cod & Rockfish : Oregon Coast

  9. Walleye - Columbia River

  10. Crappie - Brownlee , Oregon

  11. Spring Snow Skiing

  12. Shadfest 2024

  13. Washington Trout Opener

  14. Shed Hunting

Updated May 4.

Washington State Trout Opener.

It was a cold and wet day, but I got out and participated in the Washington State Trout Opener. Every year the State of Washington plants thousands of rainbow trout in hundreds of lakes throughout the state. The trout opener used to be a huge deal, but over time it has lost its luster for many anglers. I still love to get out and catch some of these trout, and I look at it as a spring tradition, and a great way to kick off the fishing season. Its a great trip for kids and adults alike!

Washington State Trout Opener!

Updated April 28

Spring Turkey - Montana Public Land

Spring is the time for Turkey hunting and the Pacific NW has a healthy wild turkey population in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. My first hunt of the spring was with my son Michael in Western Motana. We hunted all public land, but were not able to bag a gobbler. It was great to get out in the mountains after the long winter. We located many birds, and saw a lot on public land, but were not able to get any to come int to us. I think it may be still a bit early in the season. I still plan to hunt Washington and possibly Idaho this spring and will update if/when it happens.

Montana Spring Turkey Hunt with my son!

Updated April 28

Shed Hunting - Montana Public Land

Another great spring activity in the Pacific Northwest is to look for antler sheds while hiking or tuyrkey hunting. It is very cool to find an antler that has dropped from a deer or elk. On our recent turley hunting trip we we found a nice whitetail shed from this year, and an old chewed up shed from years past!

Shed hunting in Montana with my son!

Updated April 28th

Montana Clark Fork River Skwala Hatch - Fly Fishing

The elkusive Skwala hatch is the first stonefly hatch of the year and usually happens sometime between febuary and april - or maybe it doesnt. It is the first big opportunity for the trout to eat after a long winter. Catching a trout, any trout, on a Skwala fly is always a great way to start the flyfishing year! To actually hit the river when they ar hatching is very special. We got lucky this spring and were able to get a couple of beautiful little trout to rise to a Skwala. Definately a Spring bucket list item in the pNW for any angler!

We caught the Skwala Hatch in Montana!

Updated April 19th.

Columbia River Smallmouth Bass:

I had an absolute incredible day of Smallmouth fishing on the Columbia on Wed April 17th. It took me a while to find the fish, but I figured out a pattern of catching them in about 10 feet of water using a Z-man Ned rig, and a small crankbait. It was an absolutely glorious day with a high temp of 65 degrees.

Here are three of the many beautiful smallmouth bass I caught!

Updated March 25

Steelhead Fishing on Washington's Olympic Peninsula :

March 23 - 24, fished the Olympic Peninsula with good friend Mike Codino and guide Rich Underwood. We fished the Quinault on Saturday and the Queets River on Sunday. We caught a few fish on the Quinault, but a massive mud slide made fishing tough, so we moved over to the Queets River on Sunday - it turned out to be a great decision. We caught many steelhead, highlighted by one I caught on a Norman Sandshrimp lure! It was an absolute spectacular day! You can read more about it HERE.

Here are some Steelhead Pics from the OP!

Updated March 10

Razor Clam Digging, Long Beach, WA:

No spring is complete int he PNW without a trip to Long Beach, WA to harvest some Razor Clams. I got out to the Coast on Easter weekend with my wonderful wife and daughter and we had a spectacular time! Although the weather was perfect, it was not a great tide for digging, but we were able to get a couple of limits. it was a perfect day!

Amazing day of Razor Clamming with my wife and daughter!

Check back to see my updates, I may even add more to the list!


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