Blog

Daiichi 4647 Jig Hook
December 13, 2016
Daiichi 4647 Jig Hook

With the recent popularity of the Balanced Leech to Central Oregon, we thought we would add more to our selection of jig hooks. 60 degree bend, heavy wire, and stocked in sizes 10 - 16.


 
Daiichi 1110 Hooks
December 13, 2016
Daiichi 1110 Hooks (oversized eye)

Are size #20 & #24 flies hard for you to tie on your tippet? Fear no more, this oversized ring eye dry fly hook solves the painstaking task of tying on your small flies. Stocked in sizes #16 - #24

 
Senyo Lazer Dub
December 9, 2016
Senyo Lazer Dub

This product is great for making Sculpin or Baitfish style heads. No more messing with wool heads or spinning deer hair to make great streamer heads. It has just enough subtle flash to add a little attraction to your fly without going too extreme. This dub has many other applications and we stock 14 colors.
 
Enrico Puglisi EP Fibers
December 9, 2016
Enrico Puglisi EP Fibers

EP Fibers are an awesome baitfish marterial that sheds water fast for easy casting, and mixes great with flash! It also works great for Crab patterns for your salty adventures. An easy material to tie with and we stock it in 17 colors.

             

 
Pro Tube System
December 9, 2016
Pro Tube System - Tube Flies

     In our opinion, the best tube fly system on the market. Streamline attachments, multiple tube options, and great bright colors! Easy to rig up and change hooks as necessary. We also recently expanded our selection.




 
Senyo's Fusion Dub
December 17, 2015

-  Senyo Fusion Dub

-  A sexy fusion of just the right amount of flash and synthetic fibers, perfect for your Steelhead or flashy Trout flies. Great colors like Eat A Peach, Muppet, Pink Lady, Midnight and more.

 
Fluorescent Goose Biots
December 17, 2015

-  Fluorescent Goose Biots

Whether you are tying bright colored Steelhead and Salmon flies, or trying to make a trout fly with some brilliance to it, these florescent Goose Biots are a great addition to your flies. As wings on your Steelhead nymph patterns these will catch the attention of the fish from afar. Wrap them as a body on you trout flies and create a new and great attractor dry, or just use the tips on your Psycho Prince Nymphs to make them real crazy! Available at the shop in three great colors; Fl. Blue, Fl. Chartreuse and Fl. Pink.
 
Tying EP Senyo's Chromatic Brushes
December 16, 2015

-  EP Senyo Chromatic Brushes

-  These brushes come at 3” and 1.5” wide in all of your necessary Steelhead, Trout and Salmon colors. A mixture of Marble Fox , Finn Raccoon, EP Slinky Fibers and EP Sparkle to make your intruder tying a breeze. Use the 1.5” brush as the rear of your intruder and the 3” for the front and save yourself the time of spinning troublesome dubbing loops!

 
Veevus 10/0 Thread
December 16, 2015

-  Veevus 10/0 Thread

-  Yeah, 10/0 is small, but this stuff is strong! Veevus put out a line of thread from 6/0 - 16/0 and it is amazing thread. The smaller sizes like the 10/0 that we carry is just as, if not more, durable than a 6/0 thread from other thread makers. It is a must use product for all of your fly tying.

 
OPST Intruder Shanks
December 16, 2015

-  OPST Intruder Shanks

-  Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (OPST) has created a great line of shanks to tie all of your articulated Steelhead, Salmon, Trout or any other predatory fish flies. Easy to use and at a great price! In stock at 51mm and 32mm sizes.

 
Fishpond Sushi Roll
December 16, 2015

Fishpond Sushi Roll
     A new roll-up fly storage system for large streamers and saltwater flies.
     Ultra tough exterior fabric
     Foam spacers to prevent flies from being crushed and to allow ventalation
     Small 10.5" X 7.25"
     Large 10" X 16"
     X Large 15" X16"
 
Hot Fishing At Crane Prairie
June 26, 2015

Yesterday I was lucky enough to sneak away from work and do a little fishing at Crane Prairie Reservoir. We woke up early and headed out to the lake around 5:30am so we were on the water fishing by 7:00, and the fishing was good! We launched at Quinn River and made our way out into the channels and started indicator fishing. On my first cast as I was watching my indicator, I decided I'd rather set up my Scientific Angler intermediate line on my other rod and strip some buggers. Right when I turned my head my indicator went down and it was fish on! The fish jumped two or three times before coming unbuttoned at the boat before we could net it. After that I decided to stick out the indicator fishing a bit longer. 

My fishing partner and I traded off catching back to back fish for the next four or so hours. I was fishing two chironomids below a slip strike indicator while he fished a three fly rig, which were also chironomids with a callibaetis nymph trailing behind. The color of the day just happened to be a black and red chironomid for me. 

The quality of fish, as expected at Crane, was great. We boated somewhere around 20 fish, some that tried to jump in and save us the time of netting them. A few of the larger fish took off on some great runs taking us close to the backing two or more times! One fish in particular took off on three long runs, jumped five or more times, and all around made me work real hard to keep him on and get him to the boat. 

For the last hour or so I decided I would try to hook some fish stripping buggers deep in the channels to see what I could find. The fishing was must slower using that technique, only bringing three fish to the boat, but the takes were much more aggressive and the fish seemed to be super hot! Damsel flies were out and about, but the fish were not eating the nymphs as I had expected, although that should be getting good soon. 

By about 11:00 or so the fishing started to slow down drastically and we got ready to get off the water. The weather was just perfect with temperatures never getting over 90 degrees before we got off the water. We motored around for a little longer looking for rising fish, but were disappointed quickly. We got off the water by 11:30 and were home to have lunch by 12:30.

All in all, a great day on the water, and super grateful to live so close to such amazing fishing opportunity. 

 

Caleb


 
Fishing Big Bugs in Town
May 6, 2015

Went to the Tumalo area on the Deschutes the other day in search of some Salmonfly opportunities. It was such a beautiful day and I thought it would be great to catch an evening fish session after work. The water was on the low side, but that didn’t seem to affect the fishing at all. Before the sun got off the water the fishing was on the slow side with only a few fish being caught on the adult Salmonflies. There were Salmonfly husks all over the riverbank and bushes, as well as a few adults flying around, so we knew the fishing had to pick up eventually.

As the evening drew on the fishing started to pick up and we were able to tease a few fish into eating our big dries. I was surprised at how shallow some of the water was that was holding quality fish. As long as there was good overhanging structure, a place where Salmonflies could fall out of the trees, there were fish waiting. We caught about a dozen fish within a few hours, all about average size for that area.

Casting those big Salmonfly dry patterns can kind of be a pain, especially when it is windy, but I was able to lessen that with a 3X 7.5ft leader. I found that the shorter leader did not affect the fish and it made casting big flies through the wind a heck of a lot easier. To the leader I attached a few feet of 4X fluorocarbon tippet and it was game on.

Before we left for home, I found a nice bank of overhanging trees and thought I had to cast a fly under them. The water was only half a foot deep, so I didn’t expect anything large, but to my surprise I caught my best fish of the day! This nice brown hit my fly hard and took off running, and I finally got to hear my new Hardy Ultralight DD reel sing. After landing this fish, we took a quick picture and released it to live another day.

 

Caleb


 
Barred Rhea
April 14, 2015
We've brought in Barred Rhea for all you Steelhead fly tiers. Very cool material for Spey & Intruder style fly patterns in five bright color combinations.
Fl. Chartreuse / Hot Purple
Fl. Steelhead Orange / White
Fl. Steelhead Orange / Steelhead Pink
Fl. Hot Pink / Hot Purple
Fl. Blue / Hot Purple

Can be split and hacked or spun in a dubbing loop. Very cool stuff for your tying pleasure.
 
Tenkara
September 24, 2014
Tenkara - Old Japanese fishing
style quickly growing in popularity, uses a very long flexible telescoping rod with a short line and tippet attached to the end, No reel. It's a lot of fun and a deadly weapon on smaller waters and high alpine lakes. Perfect for the Crooked River, Upper & Middle Deschutes, Tumalo Creek or anywhere else you travel and find smaller waters. I've been killing it on the Deschutes in town with Caddis on a Tenkara Rod. The rod collapses down to 20 inches, a spool of tippet and a box of flies and your ready to go anywhere.
We've got the Tenkara Rod, Line, line holder and flies complete kit ready to go for $159.00.
     
       

 
Top Fly Line Review for 2014
April 23, 2014
With everybody gearing up for the upcoming season, I spend a lot of time in the shop discussing line choices with customers. As with most products in the industry, there's new stuff coming out all the time. So I though I would write a little review of some line choices for this season.
    
    The Scientific Anglers Mastery Textured GPX is one of my first choices for a floating line. It's basically the same high quality GPX line that has been in the SA lineup for years, but with a new texture technology applied to the surface of the line. Instead of small protrusions sticking out of the surface of the old Sharkskin lines (which is pretty abrasive on the the stripping fingers) to reduce drag, the new line has dimples in it like a golf ball which accomplishes the same thing without the abrasion. The Textured GPX is oversized so it works well on medium-fast to fast action rods and is a great all around multi use line. It does make a little noise when you cast it, but the performance and the shoot-ability of this line soon makes you forget about the sound of it.
    
    Rio's Out Bound Short has quickly become my streamer line of choice as it is available in different sink rates, shoots like crazy and turns over monster flies if needed. The Out Bound Short is designed with an aggressive 30ft compound weight forward shooting head with a very small diameter running line. It comes in a floating, floating w/ Intermediate sink tip, intermediate w/ type 3 sink tip and intermediate w/ type 6 sink tip. The intermediate w/ type 6 sink tip version is   my choice for throwing big steamers for Browns, Bulls and Rainbows in rivers and lakes. It's also a productive line for throwing streamers to inshore and offshore saltwater gamefish or searching blue holes and deep channels on the flats.
    
    Scientific Anglers Stillwater Intermediate full sink line is still the first lake line you should buy. The Stillwater is clear line that has a mono core and sinks at 1.9 inches per second which sufficiently covers the top ten feet of water where we find the most bug activity in a lake. This line casts well for stripping flies and is a favorite among wind drifters on lakes.
    
    Rio's Grand floating fly line is an oversized line that matches to most medium-fast to fast action fly rods. This is a great all around fly line with a two tone color scheme. The rear running line section is a tan color and the head portion of the line is green for easily distinguishing between the head and the running line. The Grand features Rio's Agent X coating for slick shooting, high floatation and easy pickup off the water.
     
    Rio's Grip Shooter is a spey running or shooting line, not a fly line, but deserves a mention as what I think is one of the best new products anyone has come up with since the invention of the weight forward fly line. Mono shooting lines have been around for a while and provide unparalleled shooting performance, but with the drawback of being hard to hold on to while casting during cold wet weather conditions or with gloves on. The grip shooter is similar to Rio's Slick Shooter mono running line, but with a built in handling section that tapers up to a regular diameter running line where you hold it to cast & shoot line. The Grip Shooter excels with both Skagit and Scandi style heads and can be used for winter or summer fishing. If you are currently running a standard fly line style shooting line or any other mono shooting line, I would recommend giving the Grip Shooter a try. It's a game changer! 
    If you have any questions about these lines or any other fly lines on the market, just give us a call at the shop. (541) 389-6208

 
Chasing Marlin On The Fly
April 17, 2014
I recently went down to sunny Cabo San Lucas to fly fish for Marlin with my good friend Grant Hartman, who owns Baja Anglers. Baja Anglers are the best fly fishing & light tackle guide service in Cabo. If you want to experience some of the most exciting fly fishing in the world, give grant a call and get ready for some fun.
    Marlin fishing on the fly, no matter what your expectations, can sometimes be a long day trolling around the seemingly endless ocean trying to tease up a Marlin that on some days, never happens. Those days are still fun, being out on the water with friends and experiencing the scenic beauty, but at the end of the day, it's still a long boat ride.
    As it turned out, my days on the water during this trip were anything but a long boat ride. Just prior to my arrival in Cabo, there were a good number of Striped Marlin in the area, but Grant & Arturo (our Captain) wanted to go miles out on the pacific side and look for Marlin hanging off an offshore submerged mountain range. After a bumpy wet ride fighting the onshore swells all the way we finally arrived at the spot Grant had marked on his GPS and dropped the teasers in behind the boat. Grants decision to make the long trek to this spot in the ocean was the best call of the day. We didn't have the teasers in the water for more than a few minutes before we had our first Marlin behind the boat. This would be the first a dozen decent shots I would have at these big beautiful fish in just the first day. Not the mention the small groups of free swimming Marlin that were eating baitfish off the surface like a trout taking a dry fly off the surface of a lake. You would see birds all of a sudden diving to eat the baitfish being forced to the surface, then two foot long bills followed by a large Marlin heads would emerge as they ate the exhausted baitfish in what seemed like slow motion. If you were fast enough, you could race over and cast your fly into the malay hoping the excited predator would make a mistake. It's pretty exhilarating to hook a free swimming Marlin by casting and stripping without any teasing techniques.

    The following days on the water were just as action packed, as we found the fish there every day. Marlin will stay in a location like this for days feeding on the abundant baitfish that are attracted to this underwater structure. When the bait are gone or the current changes, the Marlin will move on to the next feeding station.
    The first day, the Marlin weren't that aggressive and would sometimes just come up and smack you fly with its bill and swim away or just turn off at the last second, but after that first day, they were eating the fly. Normally you have to tease them up and bait & switch them, but on our second day, we teased a big Marlin in on the left just like it's suppose to happen and I made my cast. Unfortunately, instead of casting to the right as required, my cast blew over too far left just as Arturo pulled the teaser from the water and the teaser caught my line. The Marlin didn't care about the tangle we had just created and ate my fly anyway. I did the best I could trying to set the hook as grant was yelling for someone to cut the teaser line realizing the disaster about to unfold if the Marlin went on a run with the lines tangled. Just as the Marlin started to take line, the fly fell out of his mouth and he swam off. I shouted that the fish was off and not to cut the teaser line, just pull my line in and untangle the teaser. As we sat there talking about that last fish, Grant was working on freeing the teaser from the middle of my fly line and my fly just sitting dead in the water ten feet behind the boat, all of a sudden I noticed a movement in the water out of the corner of my eye. I look down behind the boat and a 130 lbs Marlin comes up from the depths, smacks my fly with his bill and then eats it, Right Behind The Boat! Arturo shouts for me to set the hook, but Grant still has my line in his hand. As I was yelling at Grant to hurry up, he made two more flips with the teaser and it cleared my line. Grant dropped my fly line in the water behind the boat and it took me three long strips to come tight with the fish which amazingly still behind the boat with my in his mouth not feeling the hooks yet. I set up with three hard strikes and the gig was up, and this big fish didn't like it, as he bolted peeling hundreds of line off my reel in just seconds. After an hour of giving and taking line (not really sure who was giving or taking more), I felt that he was getting tired and I was making headway, line was coming easier and I thought I had him beat. That dream was shattered as this still fresh, hot and chrome bright Marlin shot from the water like a missile 100 yards from the boat and covered another 150 yards across the ocean, spending half the time in the air. I knew I was in trouble! 40 minutes later I had fly line on the reel and again felt as if I had a good chance to land this fish. I never should have let that thought cross my mind, because seconds later the fly pulled from his mouth and he was free. You would think that you would be disappointed in losing a fish like that, and to some extent I was, but after close to two hours of fighting one of the biggest fish in the ocean, your body screams " thank god it's over!". Unfortunately for your body, your mind soon takes over and says " Yeah Baby! Lets Do That Again!".

    I use these trips to hands on test new equipment, products and flies to provide the best products and knowledge for customers planning future trips to far away places. I continue to put the test to my trusted Tibor Gulfstream reel which has delivered dependable performance in the most challenging conditions with virtually no maintenance besides regular washing with fresh water. The Patagonia light weight Torrenshell Jacket gets an A+ for use as an early morning off shore jacket when pounding the onshore swells or for that early morning run to the flats where the weather is warm, but it can often be a wet ride. This jacket is super lightweight, packable, has a functional hood and pit zips for great air flow in tropical climates.
    Overall I had a great time on this trip with fantastic fishing, great weather and good times with friends. I'm already looking forward to the next trip to the warm waters of Mexico. Maybe giant Roosterfish off the east cape beaches this summer????

Peter Bowers
 
Thanksgiving On The Deschutes River
December 4, 2013

            We did a four-day Lower Deschutes Thanksgiving float trip from Trout Creek to Maupin last week, looking to catch a few steelhead. The water was in good condition running around 4300cfs and clear, although colder than I had expected with a temperature around 46 degrees. The weather was pretty good for our trip with mostly sunny 50-degree light wind days, but much cooler nights that ran in the low 20’s, which made us have to bundle up for a good nights sleep.

            Our plan was to cover a lot of water in the first two days so we could post up for two days during Thanksgiving and enjoy life without having to breakdown and set up camp again. It’s a great time of year to be on the river, as the weather and holidays tends to keep anglers close to home, or at least close to somewhere warm.

            I had a great start to the trip as I hooked two steelhead in the second run of the day. With the mostly slow fishing reports I’ve been hearing all season, I was pretty jacked to get a couple touches, of which I landed one. We fished our way downriver for a couple of days with everybody getting some steelhead love along the way.

            Our steelhead camp for turkey day was an excellent spot to post up for a few days with lots of good steelhead water close to camp.  Jerry set up a small 10 x 10 tent to help protect us from the elements and provide a place to pass the time playing cribbage during the long winter nights. As par for the course, we ate like kings on our trip cooking up pork loins one night, flank steak another and Jimmy fried a turkey with all the fixings on Thanksgiving Day.
     

            The fishing was pretty good for us during our trip with everybody getting some action. I’m guessing we hooked around 17 steelhead during our trip and they seemed to be spread out pretty evenly as we stuck fish every day. Jon did take three fish from one spot on the last day. All the fish that I had landed during the first 3 days were pretty small and I was looking (really hoping) for a nice fish to end the trip on. As jimmy and I fished our way downriver to the takeout, I told him he had to put me on a nice fish before we hit the boat ramp. I even promised him a portion of the body warming fluid I keep in my flask, if he put me on a nice one. Jimmy told me he had the spot for me as he pulled to the bank just above a good looking holding spot. I jumped out with my rod knowing it was only going to take a few swings through the spot to see if anyone was home. After a few casts covering the lie, I was thinking there was no one home, but I made the proverbial last cast and sure enough, my line came tight with a beautifully colored up buck that put a nice bend in my rod. After a quick grip & grin picture and release, we jumped in the boat and headed for the boat ramp. Needless to say, our bodies warmed up on the way to the take out.
       

            It was the perfect ending to a great trip and I was thankful for the opportunity to spend some quality time with some great guys fishing the beautiful Deschutes River.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Bonefishing Long Island, Bahamas
June 23, 2013

            Well, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and report on my last Bonefish trip to the Long Island, Bahamas.

            It was a great trip aside from a little weather. The temperature was in the 80’s with mostly sunny skies and a few quick moving thunderstorms that would pass through to make your days interesting. I don’t really mine the clouds or the warm tropical rain, but the clouds make it a lot harder to spot Bonefish on the flats.

            Our home base was Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort (CSM) on the North end of Long Island, Bahamas. CSM was an absolute paradise with private bungalows located on a flawless white powder sand beach overlooking the calm turquoise blue waters of Calabash Bay. I would highly recommend CSM for family or couples vacations as it provides great fishing opportunities for anglers as well as every beach and water activities a resort could offer. CSM has a quality restaurant and bar, great attentive staff and in such a beautiful location, you won’t want to leave.

            I was excited about exploring the bonefishing waters on the Northern end of Long Island, as well as testing some new equipment in the process. I put some time in with CSM’s head fishing guide and water activities director Bert Adderley, as well as exploring and fishing some flats on my own. Bert was a lot of fun to fish with and because he grew up on the Island, he knew the local waters like the back of his hand. He put me on school after school of bonefish where I exercised a number of them before being released.
    

After a little exploring on my own, I found a few good flats and once I figured out the tides, I started hooking up with some nice Bonefish. Fishing is far more productive with Bert or a number of other local guides, but I do enjoy exploring new water and the challenge of stalking, spotting and trying to catch fish on my own. If I can wade a beautiful flat in 6 inches of 80 degree water with nobody around for miles and get a couple of shots at some double digit bonefish, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
    

            The other benefit of wading the flats is seeing all the other amazing creatures that inhabit the flats ecosystem. Sting Rays, Shrimp & Crabs, Barracudas, Sharks and a vast array of birds make the flats their home and all can be seen on a daily basis.
     

The highlights of some of the new gear I tested were the SA’s Mastery Textured Chard’s Grad Slam line which shoots like crazy and can turn over big flies if needed, but lands a little heavy for spooky fish on skinny flats. I used a new Lamson Speedster 3.5 reel with its 4.5” super large diameter that picked up line quickly after long Bonefish runs, and a smooth drag system during blistering first runs which I got to test a number of times. The Fly Du Jour was the everyday Tan Gotcha in size #2 thru #6 depending on how skinny the water was.
           

It was a great trip and I wish I was still there taking in another beautiful sunset with an ice cold Kalik in hand and wondering what the flats will offer tomorrow.

Peter Bowers
 
Salmon Fly Hatch Lower Deschutes
May 19, 2013
I floated the ever popular Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes yesterday hoping to hit the salmonfly hatch. The bugs were all over the bushes the fish just didn't seem totally keyed on them, with most of our fish being caught in tough to reach spots or quite a ways off the bank. We fished golden stone patters in size 8 through 12 and did fairly well, with the Clarks Stone and the Rogue Stone producing the most hits.

Ira
 
New Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots
April 17, 2013

The New 2013 Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots. These comfortable felt soled wading boots are extremely light and flexible while providing stability, durability and foot protection. They have a vastly improved lace system and are available in sizes 5 - 14.

The Patient Angler
 
Fishing the Deschutes near Lava Island Falls
March 15, 2013
     I fished the Deschutes River in the Dillon Falls / Lava Island area again the other day. It was a nice sunny day and I was looking forward to spending the afternoon on the river. As I walked up the river trail that runs along the river, I came to a spot where there was shallow area in the river where I could see the bottom. I movement caught my eye and I stood there and watched a Brown Trout that had to go 4 or 5 pounds chase a little fish all over the place. Back & forth and around in circles they went for about 15 seconds before the little fish escaped and the big Brown disappeared into the deep. Very cool! I started to scramble to put my rod together and get a streamer in the water, but just as I was tying my fly on, a dog came running down the path and jumped into the water for a swim. Bummer!
     I fished streamers in a few spots without any luck, so I changed tactics and started nymphing the riffles and started to pick up fish. I caught a couple of Rainbows and a bunch of White fish in the next few hours. Nothing big, but it was nice to have some action on such a nice day.
Peter
 
Korkers Studded Rubber iterchangeable outsole
February 19, 2013

With the growing popularity of Korkers Wading Boots and their interchangeable outsoles system, I thought I would highlight the Studded Rubber Soles that I like to use for my winter traction needs. These rubber soles have 14 - 3/8-inch durable carbide studs that give you the ultimate traction in snow, ice, mud and wet grass banks when walking along your favorite river, yet still providing excellent traction in the water. The rubber soles don’t collect snow like wet felt and they help prevent the spread of invasive species. The carbide spikes are threaded for easy replacement if lost or damaged. The soles cost $39.99 and I have the most common sizes in stock.

If your tired of slipping in the mud, having trouble getting traction while climbing up a river bank or banging snow off your felt soles every ten steps, this is the answer to you problems.

 

Peter Bowers


 
Fishing the Deschutes near Lava Island Falls
January 25, 2013

      The other day was so sunny and nice that I had to get out and fish somewhere. I only had the afternoon, so I grabbed my box of streamer flies and a 6wt rod with a streamer line on it and headed out to the Deschutes River just upstream from town to see if I could find a few fish. I hiked up and started fishing below some riffle to run areas concentrating on working my fly through the slower water as close to the bottom as possible. I twitched and stripped a 3 inch lead-eyed Tan Hare Sculpin at different speeds trying to find the right movement that would attract a fish. My first fish came while I was just swinging the fly through a slow pool like swinging a fly for steelhead. My fly came to a stop with a bump and I had a nice 12-inch Rainbow bending my rod. A short time later, again on just a swing, I found a 14-inch Brown Trout that thought my fly looked like an easy meal and fought him to hand for a quick release. I hit a dry spell for a while and changed my luck by moving to another pool where I caught another Rainbow and later hooked something big that broke me off right after the take. I’m sure it was that big Brown I was looking for. That was all the action I had, but it was all I needed to scratch that fishing itch on such a nice day.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Marlin On The Fly In Mexico
January 14, 2013

Just got back from a trip down to sunny Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It actually wasn’t as sunny and warm as usual with the tail of the cold front that swept across the west coast passing over the Baja peninsula. It was still a lot warmer than at home, but a jacket was needed during the chilly early morning hours of fishing out on the boat. I went down to chase Marlin on the fly and test out some new gear with Grant Hartman and his experienced crew of Baja Anglers.

Timing was good for the trip with a favorable moon phase, good water conditions and light winds, but the cold front made marlin fishing on the fly a little tougher as it tends to keep Marlin down and not as accessible to the fly.

When fly-fishing for Marlin, we normally troll a spread of hookless teasers on top of the water behind the boat that imitates a small school of fish with the hopes of bringing a Marlin up from the depths thinking he’s found something to eat. Once the Marlin shows himself and tries to eat one of the teasers, we pull it away from him and reel the teaser in quickly trying to lure the fish closer to the boat. They normally don’t like loosing their free lunch, so they chase it down rocketing toward the boat half out of the water like a torpedo trying to catch their meal that got away. When the teaser and the following Marlin are brought to within 20 yards of the boat, the teaser is pulled from the water at the same time a cast is made with the fly. If all things work as planned, the Marlin stops when his lunch (the teaser) is pulled from the water and then attacks the fly when it hits the water thinking it was the lunch he just lost. Then all hell breaks loose when you set the hook and all you can do is hang on and hope he doesn’t take all your line or break you off since Marlin leaders are normally made with 20-pound line. Then it’s just you and one of the biggest fish in the ocean in the ultimate game of tug of war.

As it turned out, we only saw and got shots at three Marlin during the trip. The first was a Marlin we spotted cruising on top, but had no interest in anything we had to offer as far as teasers were concerned and casually swam off. The second Marlin we encountered came in on the teasers and Captain Alex did a great job teasing him in for a shot. I made the cast and the marlin shot across to my fly and wacked it with his bill, but didn’t eat it and swam away. Alex immediately grabbed a pitch bait teaser and cast it out to try and bring the Marlin back to the boat. The Marlin jumped on the pitch bait and chased it back in for another bait & switch cast, but again turning away from the fly at the last second. Alex skillfully brought that fish back to the boat seven times for cast attempts, but results were the same, he just wasn’t lit-up enough to commit to the fly and we were once again searching millions of gallons of water for another fish.

Later in the day, “Third time’s the charm” was all I could think of as another Marlin crushed the farthest teaser back and wouldn’t let go of it. Captain Alex grabbed the teaser rod and fought to rip the hookless teaser bait from the Marlins mouth. Once Alex tore the bait free and quickly reeled it back to the boat, the Marlin exploded from the water racing with half it’s body out of the water trying to reclaim it’s prize. This Striped Marlin was hot and lit-up and the fish you’re looking for when casting a fly. Alex pulled the teaser just as I made the needed cast, placing the fly just to the right of the incoming Marlin. I made one strip popping the fly on the surface and this big beautiful fish turned and shot over and hammered my fly. I set-up on him making sure I had a good solid hook-up and with line screaming from my reel the Marlin started the first of three long runs. He leapt and bound across the ocean surface like a jet ski until he was just small splashes on the horizon taking a most of my 800 yards of backing with him. After 45 minutes of fighting him back to the boat, I finally could see my fly line again and right when you start thinking you’ve got him beat, a heavy head shake indicated the start of another blistering run taking another 300 yards of my line back out into the blue. After fighting him back in, he made one last short halfhearted run and I knew he was tired I had him beat. After an hour and a half on the rod, I was glad when Alex finally got hold of his bill and we boated the Marlin for a quick picture and release.

With my arms feeling like rubber bands after achieving my goal of catching a Marlin on the fly during this trip, we decided to fish the inshore and had a blast casting to Roosterfish, Jack Crevalle, Green Jacks, Yellow Tail and Sierra right along the beach.

I hadn’t been down to Cabo for about a year and as I was taking my seat on the plane for the flight home, I wondered why. With great people, great food and great fishing, it’s hard to not have a great time!

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fish Skull Sculpin Helmet
December 19, 2012
We've got a new tying product in from the guys at Fish Skull called the Sculpin Helmet. They are weighter cone heads shaped like a sculpin head, with eye holes for included stick-on 3D eyes and a heavier weighted bottom so it will always ride eyes up. You can get creative with a number of diferent tying styles and materials to build a sculpin, then just slide the head over the hook eye and make turns with your thread to secure the head in place. A little super glue applied to the inside of the head before installation will help keep it in place while fishing. These heads also work well when tying tube flies and wire stinger type flies. Sculpin Heads come in two sizes and are available in Brown and Olive colors.

 
Steelhead Trip to the Grande Ronde River
October 26, 2012

Thu and I ran up to the Grande Ronde River last week for our annual steelhead trip. The river had been low all summer and fishing reports for the early season were not good, but a week before our trip the rain finally came and gave the river a much needed blast of fresh water to bring fish up the river. As we had hoped, the river dropped over the next few days to a very fishable 815cfs prior to our arrival. The unfortunate thing was that the 10-day forecast showed 10% to 60% chance of rain every day and all we could do was go and hope that the river wouldn’t get blown out.

            We made good time on the drive over and arrived early enough to get settled into our lodging and still have a couple of hours of fishing time before dark. There was a steady rain falling and we thought we should take advantage of the good water conditions while we had them, not knowing when and if the conditions would change for the worst. We geared up and headed out to fish one of our favorite runs close to home. The best thing about the early slow fishing reports and the weather the previous week that had knocked the river out of shape, was that there was very little fishing pressure and we had our pick of where we wanted to fish.

            Thu stepped into the middle of the run and I started at the top to follow her through. It wasn’t long before Thu was calling out that she a big one on, so I quickly reeled up and headed downstream to give her a hand. As I was wading out to her I knew something wasn’t right about the way this obviously big fish by the extreme bend in her rod, was fighting. I had heard reports of big numbers of King Salmon in the river and the longer the fight went on, the more I was convinced she had hooked a King. After a long hard give and take battle Thu finally brought her first fly caught King Salmon to hand for a quick picture and release.

            I jumped back in the water where I had left off with only about 20 minutes of daylight left and just before dark, I hooked and landed a very bright steelhead that didn’t put up much of a fight, but was a great ending to our first evening on the water.

            The next day was awesome because we still had good water conditions, our pick of unfettered runs to fish, and willing steelhead looking up with their mouths open ready to take our flies. The weather hadn’t changed much and outside of couple of times when the sun would peek through the clouds, we pretty much fished in rain most of the day. We fished hard knowing that each day could be our last and were rewarded with one or more hook-ups in every run we fished.

            It rained most of the night and we woke to a rising river with some color and it made fishing pretty tough throughout the day. In the afternoon the river finally leveled off around 1,100cfs and we were able to hook a couple nice steelhead just before dark.

            That unfortunately was our last day on the water. It rained hard during the night and the river had risen to 2,600cfs by mid-morning and up to almost 4,000cfs by late afternoon with zero visibility. When there are logs and branches floating down the river, it’s a good indication to call it quits and head home.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Steelhead fishing Warm Springs / Trout Creek
October 23, 2012
I picked up a new drift boat last week and figured I had the lowest shot at sinking it on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek float so a couple friends and I headed down Saturday morning hoping to break it in with a few steelhead.

We ended up hooking two fish, this hatchery that my friend Jason landed and a smaller native that gave me a great first run before coming to hand. There was quite a bit of traffic on the river but we still found plenty of open water to fish and from talking to other anglers it seemed like most people were finding at least a fish or two. After a long hot dry summer it is finally starting to feel like steelhead weather and the fishing seems to be improving.
Ira

 
Davis Lake for trout
September 18, 2012
      I took my boat up to Davis Lake to check out some reports I had received from a few customers about some big Rainbows being caught in the Odell Creek end of the lake. I launched the boat and cruised around the lower end of the lake just looking for Bass and Trout for a couple of hours. I spotted a ton of small Bass and a few big ones, but no trout to speak of in the lower lake. I made my way to the Odell end of the lake and found a three boats and a couple of anglers in pontoon boats fishing the channel. I anchored off the side of the channel and rigged up a intermediate sink line with a callibaetis nymph on the end of a 5X leader. I made my first cast and started stripping as soon as my fly hit the water. On the second strip, my line jerked tight and a 24" Rainbow rocketed from the water and landed with a huge splash turning the heads of the other anglers on the lake. It was a beautiful fish, but came unbuttoned as I was reaching for my net. I moved a number of times searching different parts of the channel and hooked a couple more smaller fish. There were a few duns on the water as well as a few spinners, but I didn't have any luck fishing either one on a floating line. I had to cut my day short and get off the lake to head home for a barbecue with friends, But I can't wait to get back up there and try it again. It's been a while since I caught a nice trout on Davis and brought back some great memories of the days long ago when you could catch 10 to 15 trout over 5 pounds in a single day. Ahh...the good old days.
Patient Pete
 
Senyo's Intruder Wire & Crazy Leggs
September 10, 2012
BOSS LEFT TOWN SUPER SALE!!!
Ok just kidding about the sale but we did get some sweet new materials in this week.
First up is Senyo's Intruder wire, think Toothy Critter but in steelhead colors. Toothy Critter has been our favorite for attaching the hook on stinger style flies but at a buck a foot its fairly expensive. The new stuff feels almost identical but is $5.50 for 3 yards and comes in some wicked colors.
We also have some new colors of Tipped Crazy Legs including black with blue tips, and blue with pink tips. Made hugely popular with Howell's Squidro series these look killer on everything from intruders to bass bugs. Steelhead season is upon us, get after it.


 
Steelhead Fishing The North Santiam
July 25, 2012

            Jimmy and I got back last night from a couple days on the North Santiam River. The river is running low and clear with a flow of 1,300cfs and a temperature of 55 degrees. We had lots of sunshine, warm daytime temps and cool nights for sleeping.

Fishing at last light, the golden hour.

            The fishing seemed a little slower this week, with less action for the time spent on the water and less aggressive fish when we did hook them (no jumps or cartwheels). I must have lost my steelhead mojo on this trip because I hooked three fish and failed to land any of them. Two were on and felt solid with head shakes and taking a some line off the reel before coming unbuttoned. I changed flies thinking maybe there was something funny about the way the old one fished. I don’t normally loose many fish with a solid take on the Owner hook stinger fly.

            My last opportunity came just an hour before heading home fishing a wide long cast run. I made a nice cast across, but a little too far up stream and decided to swing it out anyway. So I made a big mend upstream knowing I would have to wait for it to move down stream before mending again to get the swing. Just as I was getting ready to mend again, a steelhead hammered my broadside drifting fly on the run and ripped 30ft of line off my reel in seconds. When he finally stopped on the other bank, I set-up on him again to make sure this one was hooked and fought him back across the river. A short time later I had him just 25ft from me when the hook pulled out and he swam back to the depths of the run. I think I went steelhead hooking instead of steelhead fishing.

            Jimmy hooked AND LANDED a nice fish on Wednesday night. We were working through a run and jimmy went back to the top of the run and started a little higher to see if he could find anything in the riffle leading into the run. He wasn’t in there for five minutes before he was yelling Fish On! I made my way back up river and he soon had a nice fish to hand for a quick picture and release.

            We had a great time and it’s always good to be on the river for a couple of days.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fishing steelhead on the North Santiam River
July 14, 2012
     Had a great weekend on the North Santiam. Weather was great with mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. The river was in good shape running clear and around 1,600cfs. Fishing was a little slower this week for us, as we only managed to land two steelhead. This nice bright fish was the first fish I hooked on Friday night.

     I was working my way through a run and in the middle of my swing I felt two consecutive plucks or small pulls, meaning something mouthed or lightly grabbed my fly without getting hooked. Adrenaline rushed through my body as I realized I had an aggressive player out there. Without moving I made another cast and swung my fly through the zone again, highly anticipating a solid take. Nothing happened and immediately you start to think, "maybe I imagined the tugs, maybe he's not coming back, maybe it was some rocks". Not willing to let it go, I stood fast and made another cast with the most positive thoughts in mind to improve my zen. My fly swung through the area again without results and just when I started to think that maybe he had felt the hook and wasn't coming back, my line came tight with a hard pull and this big beautiful steelhead exploded out of the water in a cartwheeling jump. It was a crazy fight with him jumping and taking me into my backing and across the river twice. I finally brought him to hand for a quick picture and release.
    I was fishing my Craft Fur Stinger fly in blue, purple & black with a clarett head and leadeyes.

    I landed another nice fish on Saturday morning, but that was all the action we saw for the rest of the weekend. Can't wait to get out again!
Peter
 
Fishing Crane Prairie
June 22, 2012
Fished Crane Prairie on Thursday, personal opinion, "it's turning on".  Saw many shucks, emerging chironomids and what seemed liked the beginning of a algae bloom' (could be pollen), the water clarity was only about 3 feet, all good signs.  Landed 6 Cranebow to 19 inches, broad, deep, healthy fish and 6 Brook to 16 inches.  Fished chironomid's at about 10 feet.  Come in to see us, for the rest of the story.


Bob C.


 
Fishing Grindstone Lakes
June 19, 2012

I just got back from a couple days of amazing fishing at Grindstone Lakes.  Russ & Tonimarie Scott took over the operation of this exceptional pay for play fishery this season and were kind enough to invite me to experience the lodge and fishing under their new management.

We had great warm weather with mostly clear skies and lots of sunshine. The only thing that kept it a little on the cool side was a persistent wind, which would start in the morning and increase throughout the day.

I went with the expectation of catching some nice fish and enjoying some good food and beautiful scenery, but my expectations were exceeded.

The fishing was great, with every lake we fished producing lots of action on larger than average healthy Rainbow trout. Not a lot of dry fly fishing because of the constant wind, but we had constant action on small buggers, Callibaetis nymphs and Damsel nymph patterns fished on a intermediate sink line.

The average size of the fish I caught was impressive with a range that ran from 14 inches to close to 30 inches and the average fish running a healthy 22 inches. We fished four of the five lakes on property and they all produced the size and quantity of fish that kept a smile on my face the whole time I was there. In fact, I was smiling all the way home with the thoughts of all the quality fish I caught. Heck, I’m still smiling as I write this report.

            Tonimarie did a great job running the lodge and providing excellent table fare for our enjoyment. She started with a hearty breakfast to start the day, a mid-day lunch prepared on the water and a great restaurant quality dinner served at 5:00 before the evening fish.

            If you have the opportunity to fish Grindstone Lakes, I highly recommend you do! It’s an experience everyone who loves to fish for trout should do at least once.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fishing Crystal Creek & Williamson River
June 1, 2012

            Just got back from a great weekend fishing the waters of the Klamath Falls area. It was my Birthday weekend and we decided to spend it chasing big wild Rainbows in Southern Oregon.

            We lucked-out and the weather stayed nice and dry all weekend for us until we were all packed up and ready to go, and then as if on cue, the rain started to fall as we got in the truck for the drive home. We had a little wind to deal with when it would pick in the afternoon, but with mostly sunny skies, the daytime temperatures were warm and comfortable.

            The first day we fished Crystal Creek and had a very productive day on the water. You don’t get many perfect days on Crystal Creek, but the fish were in and very aggressive in chasing down our flies. We landed a bunch of really nice Rainbows casting & stripping dark Mini-Leech patterns on intermediate sink lines.

            The most memorable fish was one I lost. We were working down the river on my Birthday and Thu was rowing for me as I made repeated casts to the bank covering the structure along the edge. We were approaching some lily pads that were growing on the edge of the creek and my next cast landed right next to the bank and at least 15 feet from the lily pads. The fly landed and I made one strip and a very large wake appeared as a torpedo shot out from under the lily pads and raced to my fly. I kept stripping and this monster of a trout slashed three time at my fly like a shark attack before I felt the weight of the fish bending my new 5wt SAGE ONE to the cork. This fish went crazy with flips and gyrations until he snapped my leader and took my fly with him. I was a little bummed that I had lost the biggest fish of the trip, but it was by far one of the best visual takes I’ve ever had!

The river is called Crystal Creek for a reason, the water is crystal clear and requires long accurate casts to spooky fish if you want to have any success.

            Unfortunately, the next two days on Crystal Creek were a lot more challenging and took a lot more effort to find a few fish that were willing to take our flies.

            On Saturday we fished the Williamson River with Craig Schuhmann, a friend and guide in the area. We had a great afternoon on the water and landed a number of Williamson River Rainbows. I must say that I did a pretty good job catching most of the smaller fish and clearing the way for Craig and Thu to cleaned-up in the big fish category. It’s pretty awesome when your fishing a river where a 20+ inch fish is considered average size and called “a shaker” by some of the locals.

            It was a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to getting back down there to maybe hit the upcoming Hex hatch on the Williamson or the Hopper fishing on the Wood in late summer.

 

            Craig Schuhmann owns and operates “Guide Water Fly Fishing” in the Klamath area. If you want to fish the Williamson River, Wood River, Crystal Creek, Klamath Lake or any other waters in the area, give Craig a call. He does a great job, knows the water and will put you on fish.  (541) 778-1194

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fly Fishing Lava Lake opening weekend
May 14, 2012

            Lava Lake opened last Saturday and it’s usually really good fishing when it first opens up. Thu & I grabbed the boat and ran up on Monday morning to give it a try.

            It was a beautiful day with lots of sun, warm temps and a nice breeze for wind drifting across the lake. We set up with type 2 sinking lines, 4X leaders and set a water anchor off the side of the boat to control our drift speed. Thu started with a Prince Nymph and I tied on a good old, time tested, Olive Crane Bugger.

            Well, the Prince Nymph and you know who, got the first three fish in a row and I started to re-think my fly choice. On my next cast, my faith was restored as I hooked and landed a nice 12-inch trout. We hooked a few more with the same flies and decided start changing patterns see what else might work better. I stripped a number of different Bugger/leech patterns and Thu switched between nymph patterns. It turned out we caught fish on most everything we tried. The peacock body Carey Special and the Olive Crane Bugger were the most productive streamers and the Prince, Pheasant Tail and Bloody Mary where the best nymphs we tried. Imagine that, all those flies have peacock or peacock color in them.

            We pretty much covered the whole lake and caught fish everywhere, and sometimes in bunches! In two spots I caught 5 fish on 5 casts in a row. Out of the close to 30 fish we landed, there were only a few that went over 16 inches and the average was 11 to 14 inches. There were a few fish caught in deeper water, but most were taking at about 6 to 8 feet deep. It was a lot of fun because these fish weren’t huge, but they sure hit and acted like they were. These things will change as the water warms up, so get out there and have some fun while it’s good.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Antelope Flats Fishing Report
May 10, 2012
Antelope Flats Res., I hate to write this because, I would like to keep this quality fishery all to myself. We (Gene Gramzow and I) fished Antelope for the first time Thursday, May 10th
            We had bright sunny skies, but a little breeze kept the temperature on the cool side.
We’d heard that it was a fine fishery with strong healthy fish. Well, it exceeded our expectations in every manner. Aerial fish that averaged 16 to 18 (a few over 20) inches, broad shouldered and deep bodied made our day memorable. We fished for about 8 hours and caught and released a number of fish.
          We cast and stripped for a few minutes, then settled into a steady procession of take –downs with a chironomidae. Come into the shop, we’ll hook you up….
 
Bob C.

 
Fly Fishing Antelope Flats Reservoir
April 30, 2012

            Took a day trip on Saturday and ran out to fish Antelope Flats Reservoir with the thought of catching some trout but avoiding the opening day rush to the Cascade lakes. We made a good choice because the fishing was great and there were very few anglers on the water.

            The weather was pretty good with a warm, partly sunny day and very little wind. The water was a little dirty, which is the norm for this time of year, and had a temperature of around 50 degrees. 

            We set up sinking lines and started covering water, casting and stripping Buggers as we drifted across the lake. It didn’t take long before I was hooked up with a feisty 14-inch football of a trout that seemed to spend more time out of the water than in. Just minutes later, Thu hooked and landed a nice fat acrobatic Rainbow of 16 inches, and the game was on. 

            The action was consistent, as we seemed to catch a fish or two on every pass. I tried a number of different Bugger patterns and caught fish on everything I tried. It didn’t seem to matter what you had on, as long as you put it in front of a fish. We found parts of the lake that seemed to be void of fish, and other spots where we would get action every time we passed through.

            The fun part was that these fat 13 – 18 inch trout were so acrobatic when hooked!  We lost a few fish during the fight, while they were executing the high degree of difficulty “Triple Gainer with a Full Twist”, and I even had one break me off on the take.              

            It was a fun day, but the wind and cloud cover started to rapidly increase in the afternoon, so we decided to call it a day and head for home.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fly Fishing For Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook
April 18, 2012

            Bob has been fishing Lake Billy Chinook for Bull Trout the last few weeks and has had some really good days out there casting and stripping streamers for these really aggressive fish. Bob asked me if I wanted to go, and I jumped at the chance to cast streamers to these piscivores.

            With what looked like a beautiful day ahead, we headed out to Billy Chinook with Bob’s boat in tow and a cup of coffee in hand. The weather remained calm with very little wind, warm temps and mostly sunny skies until late afternoon, when the wind kicked up a bit and a light rain started to fall.

            We motored out and started to cover some of the productive water that Bob had recently fished. The day started out pretty slow, with a lot of casting and only a couple follows and one fish on for a few seconds. We moved to another area and the action started to pick up for us, with a lot more follows and another fish on & off. We soon found a few spots that seemed to hold fish and had some action every time we made a pass. We landed five Bull Trout that ran from 16 inches to 22/23 inches, not the monsters that we were looking for, but still a lot of fun.

            We had takes and follows on a number of different patterns, but I got the feeling that we never really had it dialed in because of the number of follows we got without a take. They definitely seemed more attracted to the movement of the fly, than the color of the pattern. Baitfish patterns like the Mushie saltwater fly or Deceivers are good imitations of the Kokanee the Bulls like to eat.

            I was fishing a new Rio Outbound Short type 6 sink-tip with the intermediate running line. This is a boomer of a line when throwing big streamers, needing to get down right away and staying in the zone when stripping fast.

            It wasn’t a big fish or number day, but it was a fun day on the water. You know what they say; “ a slow day on the water is better than a good day at work!”

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Fishing the Deschutes River
April 2, 2012

With Monday tuning out to the best weather we've had in a while and with my overwhelming need to wet a line, I played hooky and bailed out of work at lunch to go fishing. With limited time, I stayed in town for a little urban fishing and hiked down below Benham falls to see what I could find.

 The first thing that I found was that I had the river all to myself. There was a great BWO hatch going on, but in the beautiful bright sunshine there were no fish looking up for them. So, I set up a nymph rig with a stonefly lead and an Anatomay BWO as a dropper, and started working the water below the falls. I hooked four Whitefish on the little BWO nymph before I hooked my first little Rainbow trout. It was a feisty little Rainbow of about 11 inches and had my small baetis nymph pinned in the corner of his mouth.

The big fish hunter in me decided to switch over to a streamer in search of a big Brown Trout. I fished through a few spots swinging and stripping a weighted scuplin pattern through possible holding water as well as a few likely ambush spots that had structure like logs jams and undercut banks. I eventually hooked a nice Brown Trout in a drop-off pool, but it wasn’t the big dog I was looking for. He was still a respectable fish with a length around 14 inches, and the will of a much bigger fish. As I released this small Brown into the cool waters of the Deschutes River, I had to admire him for his predatory nature and making my efforts worthwhile.

I fished through a couple more spots without any streamer love, and called it a day. The lure of a cold adult beverage from the Deschutes Brewery seemed like a good way to cap off an afternoon on the water.

 

The Patient Angler             

Peter Bowers


 
Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots #3
March 15, 2012

            Patagonia Rock Grip Aluminum Bar Wading Boot  (part 3)

 

I put a few more miles on the new Rock Grip Aluminum Bar wading boots during my recent trip down to the North Umpqua River.  The North Umpqua is one of the trickiest places to wade in the entire Northwest, so I was eager to see how they would work in those conditions. Well, they worked just fine! I was impressed with the overall traction, especially when I was forced by the higher water to wade a little deeper in some places. I even felt that the aluminum bars dug into the softer soil and pine needles while climbing up & down the banks, better than a standard studded felt sole.

The synthetic outer of the boot seems to be holding up very well so far. After 14+ days on the water, there is no obvious damage showing on the outer boot.

Since I’m a heel & toe dragger when I walk, I still not sure about the longevity of the aluminum bars, but time will tell. I keep you up to date on their performance as I put more days on them.


 
North Umpqua Winter Steelhead
March 11, 2012

            I’ve been away from home waters for about a month now and I was really getting the itch to swing a fly for steelhead, so Thu and I headed down to the North Umpqua last weekend to scratch that itch.  I had checked the forecast before we left and knew we were heading into some bad weather and most likely a bump in the water levels, but we were desperate to fish and went anyway.

            We arrived to find the river at a constant 1,700cfs, with that winter emerald color and a temperature of 41 degrees. We geared up and started fishing our way downriver heading for Glide where we were staying for the night. After fishing a couple of spots upriver without and luck, we were driving past camp water in the middle of the day and noticed that there was nobody fishing. Not a common sight in the most fabled waters of the North Umpqua River, so we turned around and headed for the trailhead to the camp water. We hiked down the trail and stepped into one of the most popular runs and started working our flies through the green water. I did manage to get a hookup about halfway through the run, but it was short lived. My line came tight, there was the confirming headshake of a fish with 10 feet of line slipping from my reel and then everything went slack. I hate it when that happens!!!

            We continued fishing downstream and with every little nook and cranny along the road gushing with runoff as well as all the major tributaries, we could see the river starting to get bigger and a little more off color the farther downstream we got. We opted for a hot shower, an early dinner and a couple games of cribbage (let just say, I didn’t win).

            The next day was a wet one with intermittent rain showers mixed with short heavy downpours. The river was definitely getting bigger and the flows increased close to 300cfs during the day while we were fishing. We decided to drive upstream and start in the fly water since the river seemed to be getting bigger by the hour and was pretty off color in the Glide area. We had a lazy morning and got on the water late, so when we arrived at the run we wanted to fish, there was already someone parked in the turnoff. I knew they were probably the first one through and should be about finished, so I hiked down the road to take a peak, and sure enough a spey fisherman was close to the end of the run. When the run was free, Thu & I hiked down and split up the run. We fished through run in the rising water and hooked a few really nice sea-run Cutthroats that ate our flies on the swing. As I approached the end of the run and just as I swinging what I thought would be my last cast before I reeled up to move to a new spot, a bolt of electricity shot up my line and into my rod with a hard hitting fish that just hammered my fly and scared the crap out of me. Then the fight was on! This fish jumped from the water and shot downstream ripping line from my reel well into my backing and into the tailout in seconds. There was no way I could follow the fish through the next set of rapids, so I put the heat to her thinking it was now or never, and she finally turned her head and stopped at the end of the tailout. I slowly took line and she dogged me all the way up stream with short bursts just to let me know she was still there. I finally got her around some big boulders and brought her to hand for a quick photo and release.

            We fished two other spots working our way upstream with no other takers. The weather was getting pretty bad with rain turning to snow and the water wasn’t getting any better, so we decided to call it a day and head home. There’s always another day and I was lucky enough in the short time that we fished, to get some action and land a beautiful wild North Umpqua Steelhead.

            Remember, this is the time of year when these beautiful fish start to move onto the spawning beds. Watch out for spawning fish and avoid fishing or wading over spawning beds. If you find some active fish, sit down and watch for a while. It’s amazing what you learn just buy watching them.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots #2
March 1, 2012


            I have received a number of comments and questions about our past Blog about the new Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots, so here’s a little more information to answer some of your questions.

            The most common question is about how long the aluminum bars will last before needing replacement. First you have to realize that the wear will be determined by individual conditions and use. That being said, the aluminum bars are 3/8 inch thick when new and tend to round off quickly during the first couple of days of use, giving the impression of premature wear. I have noticed that the more I wear them, the slower the obvious wear. Patagonia estimates the bars to last an average 100 days on the water. I’m not sure if I will see 100 days or not, but the system is designed for easy replacement and at a cost that is comparable to industry standards.  I believe the price is $34.95 for a set of replacement bars.

            The other item that customers have been asking about, is whether products like the AlumiBite Cleat from SIMMS are interchangeable with the Patagonia’s Aluminum Bars. The answer is no. The Patagonia Aluminum Bars are held in place with bolts that screw into threaded nuts that are recessed in the bottom of the Rock Grip boot. The SIMMS AlumiBite Cleats are attached to the bottom of the boot with a sheet metal type screw. The Rock Grip boot has two bars on the back and four bars on the front, but just bare rubber on the arch. I might suggest screwing a couple studs or cleats into the arch of the Rock Grip boot for added traction when stepping on wet logs and such with the arch of your foot.  

            I’ll keep you updated with anything of interest as we a get a few more days on them.

 

The Patient Angler


 
Your Local Fly Shop
February 21, 2012

Your local fly shop By Kevin Jurgens


Learning the sport of fly fishing is no small feat….like many other sports, it is very complicated and involves a lifetime of practice, intution, instruction, and trial and error.  Learning how to cast is one thing; add entomology, presentation techniques, fly tying, rod building, leader and tippet science, line science, and soon a degree in Electrical Engineering seems easy.  “How” to fly fish is complemented by “where” to fly fish, a lifetime of experience and an inventory of coveted locations that represent geographic places on earth you prefer to “wet the line”.

With all of this to learn, share, and research, it is no wonder that Fly Shops are a very integral part of the Fly Fishing Experience.  From my own experience, they have been a major factor and influence on every aspect of the sport, and have left many memorable impressions on my journey.  I learned to Fly Fish in college, and after the affliction caught on,  I spent more time in the fly shop than in the classrooms.  If truth be known, I got a degree in Fly Fishing with a minor in Business Marketing.

Fly Shops are more than a place to purchase products.  They are a culture, a conduit, a chat room, and a myspace.com for meeting other like-minded fisherman.  They offer more of a “hands on” approach to learning the sport than anything you can find on the web or in a superstore.  Even though fly fishing is a quiet, independent sport, sharing those experiences with others is equally important, and equally important is the FREE knowledge from professionals that steepens the learning curve of the sport.

We all get caught up in the chase to find the best “deals” on fishing gear.  The web has provided that comparison model for finding the best prices.  Our first inclination is to forget about the local shops to save a couple of bucks at the superstores….more often we forget to even give the shop a chance at price matching.  The “volume” model has swallowed corporate America….it is seen by the big biz. as the future in retailing;  offer the most for the least and with 100’s of stores, snatch up all the market share.  This works great for groceries, but not necessarily for the fly fishing industry.

Your local fly shop is feeling the squeeze from the giants.  Fly shops across the nation have been financially unable to continue and have thus closed their doors.   While some need to step up to the plate, others who have a good swing already are striking out.  Just remember your local guys the next time you decide to save $1.50 by going to the giants.  You just might not have them around, and an important part of the sport will be gone forever.

Kevin Jurgens
Fisheyesoup.com


 
Redfish on the fly in South Carolina
February 14, 2012

 
Fly Fishing for Redfish in Charleston, S.C.
February 1, 2012

            Just got back from a great trip to Charleston, S.C. to visit a good friend on mine and to fly-fish for Redfish. I had never been to Charleston before and was looking forward to exploring the city as well as the Red fishing.

            The weather was great for us, with above average temperatures and plenty of sunshine, which you tend to appreciate more when you live in a place that’s much colder during the winter months. We did have a good amount of wind that we had to deal with while fishing. Not only is it harder to cast in the wind, but the wind also tends to churn up the water & muddy bottom making for poor visibility and spotting fish more difficult. You can still find fish, but you have to look for muds (dirty spots where feeding fish have stirred up the bottom), or nervous water (a disturbance on the surface caused by moving fish below).

            We fished most days and found fish on every occasion. We were casting & stripping baitfish patterns to small schools of Redfish in open water or along grass flats depending on the height of the tide. During the summer months, you would target fish that were tailing on the grass flats feeding on crabs.

            Redfish are a big-shouldered saltwater fish that can run in size from a juvenile fish of a couple pounds (called a rat), to upwards of 40 lbs. or more. They readily take flies when presented properly and put up a bulldog of a fight when hooked. Our most productive fly was an Enrico Puglisi baitfish pattern tied on a 1/0 hook, although we did catch a number of fish on other deceiver style patterns. Casting accuracy and presentation seemed to be more important than the actual fly pattern used.

            We caught lot of Redfish that ran between 5 and 15lbs, and enjoyed being able to see most of the takes. On the worst of our water visibility days, we would spend a lot of time blind casting to where we thought the fish were based on muds and nervous water, but the best was when the water was clear enough to sight cast to small schools of feeding fish.

            We were fishing Winston 7wt. BII-MX fast action rods with floating Redfish lines & 16lb. Redfish leaders, which was the perfect set-up for the size of fish we were catching and fighting the wind.

            The amazing thing about this great fishery is that it’s available right in town or just minutes from anywhere. You can hook up the boat at home, drive to the water, launch and be fishing for Redfish in less than 30 minutes. Now that’s urban angling at its finest.

 

 

 


 
"A Backyard in Nowhere" DVD Review
January 9, 2012

We just got in the DVD A Backyard in Nowhere for our rental library. The movie follows a group of friends as they travel to remote Alaska to chase pike on the fly. They have some awesome footage of big pike smashing surface flies along with a pretty entertaining story line. If you like the new style of fly fishing movies then A Backyard in Nowhere is definitely worth watching.


 
Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots
December 30, 2011
 

            I’ve been testing a new boot from Patagonia call the Rock Grip Aluminum Bar Wading boot. As you can see, this new traction design has an industrial look to it with 6 aluminum bars bolted into the bottom of the boot. If you have ever caught a rock with a aluminum drift boat, you can understand how the soft aluminum grabs the rocks with a magnetic like stick. The uppers of this boot are a little more attractive, made with what looks like a durable rubber & waterproof synthetic material and an improved more user-friendly lace system.

            After a few days on the water fishing the Deschutes River, my initial feeling is that this is a well-built boot that is one of the best traction alternatives to a studded felt sole.  The Rock Grip boot is fairly easy to put on & lace up, has a good amount of ankle support and doesn’t change size (stretch out) once it gets wet.

            I found the traction of the aluminum bars to be exceptional on bare rocky bottoms found in faster water. Almost too sticky grabbing rocks as soon as contact is made instead of sliding into position with each step like you’re use to doing with a studded felt sole. I found there was learning curve to wading in these boots for the first time, and I sort of stumbled through the first couple of runs getting use to them.

            The traction was noticeably less when wading in slower water where the rocky bottom is covered with silt and moss making wading a little more challenging. In all fairness, that type of wading environment is more challenging no matter what traction sole you have on your boot.

            One of my only questions at this point is the longevity of the aluminum bars and only time will tell. I’ve been told the estimates based on pre-testing are somewhere around 100 days of wear before needing to replace the bars. The replacement bars will be sold as a kit and will cost of around $35.00.

            The one downside I noticed was that in shallow water, dry ground or rock hopping, the bars tend to be line grabbers if you don’t manage your running line well and keep it away from your feet. There is also the potential of the aluminum bars cutting your line if you stepped on it.

            The Rock Grip Aluminum Bar Wading Boot will be available the end of January and will retail for $239.00

            We’ll keep you posted on how well these boots hold up as we put more days on them.

 

Peter Bowers