Jul 24, 2017

Jurassic Lake Lodge | Argentina

Bucket List worthy fly fishing travel destination.
Jurassic Lake Lodge
"100 yards of the most prolific trophy trout water."

What comes to mind when thinking about Jurassic Park? Prehistoric beasts trapped on an island right? Well this adventure is no Hollywood movie and we're talking about beasts living in Jurassic Lake in Patagonia. Some would say nothing short of a biological anomaly and "must be the most prolific trophy  rainbow fishery on the planet!"

"Unquestionably the most prolific trophy rainbow trout lodge in the world!"

The lake itself is a large desert sink lake measuring approximately 20 by 15 km (about 12.5 by 9.3 miles). Located around 3,000 ft. elevation in the wide open desolate expanse of the Patagonian Steppe.

Don't let looks fool you, while Jurassic may look like a saltwater body of water, it is prolific with small scuds and massive rainbows. Here rainbow trouts are extremely stout and can be incredibly strong and acrobatic They will average 10 pounds, countless in the teens and solid numbers in the 20 plus pound class.

Jurassic Lake is located in the Santa Cruz Province in Argentina.

The Lodge:
The Lodge has the good fortune of being located at the mouth of Jurassic lake’s only significant tributary. With no outlet, this is far and away the best location on the lake with anglers stacking up big numbers of big fish virtually every day of the season. There have been some reports of slower fishing in February where anglers might only catch 5-10 big fish a day, but by in large the general level of productivity of the camp water is hard to comprehend.

Jurassic Lake Lodge | Argentina
Corner pool - early season

Rainbow Trout (Average 10+ pounds) 

Recommended Gear:
Rods: We recommend 9 to 10 ft.
Reels: Should have capacity for the fly line and 200 yards of 30 lb backing.
Lines: Weight forward floating lines with a compact front taper are the most popular followed by full intermediate lines or intermediate shooting head type lines. More Jurassic Lake gear information at gorgeflyshop.com

Season: November–April
Capacity: 10 anglers
2017 Rate: $4,520-$6,220 per person for a 7 night/6 ½ day package

Jurassic Lake Lodge
Escape the norm

Gorge Fly Shop

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Jul 23, 2017

Destination Fly - Deschutes River

Destination Fly - Deschutes River, Pacific Northwest
Deschutes River - Pacific Northwest
There is good reason that the Deschutes is Oregon’s best known river. The Deschutes is a desert oasis rife with wild rainbows, hearty steelhead, whitewater and stunning scenery. During the steelhead fly fishing season the Deschutes becomes a “Temple of Spey.”

Jul 22, 2017

Destination Fly - Himalayan Trek and Trout

Destination Fly - Himalayan Trek and Trout
Witness stunning Himalayan vistas.
Fish for brown trout while trekking through one of the most remote valleys in northern India.
Travel into a forgotten valley deep in India’s Himalayan mountains with the bonus of trout fishing for a few days early on in the journey. Only accessible to the outside world for a few months of the year, this region is well off the beaten path giving its few visitors a rare glimpse into rural life.

Jul 20, 2017

On The Hunt - Zero Bass Thirty - Froggin`

Operation Froggin`

If I have learned only one thing over decades of bass angling is that the only assumption one should make is to never assume! In order to avoid the aforementioned condition, I've come up with some guidelines for froggin` on a summer day @ zero bass thirty.

When is Zero Bass Thirty

Summer Bassin` is for morning people. Just arrive at any boat ramp before dawn and you'll witness a real bass angler. He is likely launching his boat before daylight. His rods are rigged and ready. He's already had his coffee and he has a plan. His day of fishing is done before most ever arrive at the water.

So what is his plan

In Summer conditions I generally kick off a day with topwater. Anytime before sun is on the water is a good time to call up bass to the surface. Bass really don't like sun all that much and will avoid it during mid summer days. On cloudy overcast days the topwater action may continue through noon and maybe even the entire day. Never assume that topwater is only effective in mornings and evenings.


My gear for topwater is simple. Eight weight frog rod. A large deer hair frog can catch fish coast to coast but it's not a lot of fun to cast. My froggin` brothers agree, if you want to fish the frog effectively, bring out the eight weights.

Reasons for an eight weight

  1. The deer hair frog has a lot of wind resistance to overcome. Don't wear yourself out with a six weight. 
  2. Throw caution to the wind and throw deep into heavy shoreline cover. Popular saying is "if your not getting snagged then you are not getting close enough". 
  3. Once hooked up you will need power to pull a bucketmouth from heavy cover. This is no time to be thinking about line on reel or trout sets. You've got to strip set bury the hook and immediately get pressure on that fish before he takes you to the rock garden or bush pile you just coaxed him from.

My Rod Choice

I have two sticks I use for varying situations. If casting short distances, like river drift boat floats I reach for my Sage Bass II Largemouth Rod. The 7'11" stick provides a lot of control and this fly rod has the backbone to pull fish from heavy cover. When longer cast are key and fishing bigger lake type water I reach for my Sage Method 890-4. It casts shooting head lines and big frogs with authority and provides ample power for lifting and pulling fly for one shot backcast and re-cast. The ability to place your frog back on location in a one shot cast is very important for getting a second or third opportunity of a jacked up bass.

Topwater presentation is most fickle

What does that mean you ask? My point is not all bass respond to one presentation...some like fast...some like gentle radiating rings of water movement while others need to hear the kaplump noise made by a short hard strip and yet other fish won't strike it until it has sat motionless for a minute. Refer back to first paragraph regarding assumptions.

Until the fish tell me different, my approach loosely involves this pattern. Once landed allow the water rings to fully dissipate before moving your fly. Once dissipated follow up with a single small twitch and wait as long as you can stand before making another move. If no reaction has taken place at this point you can now experiment any way you like. Try a hard diving strip. Try a hard short kaplump strip. try several small twitchy strips. Make a cast to a new location and repeat.

While we anticipate an extreme surface ruckus on the strike don't assume that will always be the case. I've seen big bass slurp bugs under like a trout sipping a caddis. Always remain vigilant for any and all signs. Watch for a swirl or push of water. These are signs that a bass has come to investigate. Be very aware if a shadow appears under your fly.

Fly rod Froggin` is some of the best warm water action one can experience with a fly!

This is part of the hunt! Don't miss it! Be the Frog!

More "On The Hunt" Series Articles
> Never Sit Down
> Stand Ready
> Strip Like You Mean It!

Watch for my next article "Detect The Strike"

Greg Darling 

"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

Jul 19, 2017

Destination Fly - Tanzania Trophy Tiger Safari

Tanzania Trophy Tiger Safari
Be prepared to have your fly fishing paradigms completely shifted!
Do you want to catch a tigerfish of a lifetime? Simply put, the Mnyera and the Ruhudji rivers are the best as it gets. This is the only destination on the planet where you can target tigerfish that consistently reset the bar as to what is possible tigerfishing.

Jul 17, 2017

Greg's Top Picks from IFTD / ICAST 2017

As of this writing I am sitting in Orlando Airport waiting for my flight home. The show week went all to fast as usual. I only have a weekend and a couple of days before I head off on another adventure. I'm going to have to cut this years recap a little brief and limit it to the new stuff that really got my attention.

Sage Salt HD - Winner, "Best New Saltwater Fly Rod" and "Best of Show"

Sage really delivered in a big way with the new Salt HD. Light, fast, powerful but the best feeling from this rod is just how connected you feel to your cast. You never lose contact with your line. I can't tell you what makes that happen but I can tell you the difference is recognizable and real. I will have one as soon as I can get my hands on it!

G.Loomis IMX PRO - Winner , "I-Cast Best New Fly Rod"

I personally award this new rods series as "Best mid priced rod line ever." While I've been informed before the term "ever", should never be used but I think an exception needs to be made in this case in order to drive my point. The IMX PRO performs like a top class rod. Load feel, swing weight, power and speed all precisely match a PRO level caster preferences. This has been accomplished by putting the R&D in the material makeup and refinement of rod tapers. With a technology G Loomis refers to as Conduit Core Loomis is able to reduce material in key ares yet retain strength and efficiency. IMX PRO rods are referred to as guide tools because guides will rate their rods more on performance and less on how much titanium nano resin sauce is dripping from them. Besides standard four piece offerings the series also include two 1-piece streamer rods and a full series of Short Spey (not switch) rods.

RIO Flats Pro - Winner, "Best New Saltwater Fly Line"

Complementing the Salt HD is a new line from RIO called Flats Pro. I'll have to give you more detail later when I have the technology resources in front of me but the big deal about this line is in its ability to lay out in a perfect straight line, without wiggles and connect you directly to your fly. Even with my imperfect casting mechanics this line somehow finds the straight path every time. I've got my sample line and will be doing a full comprehensive review coming soon.

Nautilus GTX - Winner,  "Best New Saltwater Fly Reel"

Nautilus unveiled a new top level Saltwater Fly Reel. Nautilus is taking a different approach of creating the largest "Tarpon" size first and will engineer smaller sizes in the near future. Drawing from all Nautilus technologies and emphasis on reduced weight has come together to form this winning package.

Waterworks Lamson Cobalt Saltwater Reel

I'm highlighting this reel because this one could have caused an upset in the saltwater category. WWL spent two years in the development of this new reel. While some of it's uniqueness is apparent other features are subtle as trout sipping a caddis. It's light, strong, sealed and precision. I will do a future article on this one soon highlighting all the features.

Scott G Series  - Winner, "Best New Freshwater Fly Rod"

The revised G Series of rods once again advances it's long lived heritage as an incredible spring creek trout rod series. The uniqueness of this series is while light for spring creek use, the action is between moderate and fast with Scott calling it a medium action. Not too slow, not too fast, just right!

Simms G3 Wader - Winner, Best New Men's Wader"

While most are not going to notice the differences between past and future G3 waders they are in fact quite different. Feel, breath-ability and convenience features have all been stepped up to premium levels. Starting with material these new G3's feel much more supple to the touch. Much less rigid then previous models yet Simms Claims them to be more breath-able and more puncture resistant.
Belt, belt loops and pocket design and many other features also have been improved and upgraded. I'm in need of a new pair of waders and the G3's will make for a great test product review.

Korkers Women's Darkhorse - Winner, Best New Women's Wading Boot"

Built from the foundation of the hugely successful men's Darkhorse, the new Women's Darkhorse displays style and fit for a women in a premium wading boot package. You can review the Darkhorse features in an article I did this past spring.

Korkers Triple Threat Traction Soles

Traction is a huge concern for many anglers. I say without hesitation Korkers has shut the door in the extreme traction category. I'm going to let the picture tell the story and only add one detail that all three configurations are built upon the same sole.

Korkers Wraptr Wading Boot

The New Korkers Wraptr Boot utilizes a technology were a new highly abrasion reistant material is actually wrapped and molded to form the boot thereby eliminating the key wear component of stitching. Expect to hear more about this new advanced boot soon

Plan D Fly Boxes

My first Plan D Fly Box has revolutionize the storage of my stinger type flies. Because of this functioning storage system I overlooked its shortcomings of being thicker then necessary and not waterproof. Wait till you see Dylan's new line of boxes. Using the word upgraded doesn't do them enough justice. Slimmer, lighter, solid latching, waterproof and overall better constructed. Adding the line is a new tube fly solution. I acquired a sample of this one and look forward to providing a future review.

Great stuff coming! We'll be busy testing and reviewing every chance we get

Greg Darling 

"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

Jul 14, 2017

Fly Water Travel Prime Availability - 7.14.17

Williamson River Fish Shack, Oregon

Request More Information
Williamson River, Oregon
"The rewards are worth it"
The key to the Williamson River’s giant trout lies in the hypereutrophic shallows of Klamath Lake where wild rainbows can grow to 20 inches in three years.

Available 2017 Dates:
August 1 – 3 and August 7 – 9 (2 anglers)

Estancia Despedida – Rio Grande, Argentina – Availability 2018

Request More Information

Estancia Despedida – Argentina
Explore Argentina
Estancia Despedida is a family run sea trout lodge with an intimate atmosphere which permeates every aspect of the place and has access to prime stretches of the Rio Grande and Rio Menendez.

Available 2018 Dates (As of July)
Dec. 30-Jan. 6 (6 rods)
Jan. 6-13 (6 rods)
Feb. 24-Mar. 3 (5 rods)
Mar. 10-17 (2 rods)
Mar. 17-24 (1 rod)
Mar. 31-Apr. 7 (6 rods)

Las Buitreras Lodge – Rio Gallegos, Argentina – Availability 2018

Request More Information

Las Buitreras Lodge – Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Rio Gallegos offer unparalleled remoteness and solitude to anglers
As the only lodge on the river, the 290,000 acre Estancia Las Buitreras has private access to over 24 miles of river with 50 named pools.   

Available 2018 Dates (As of June)
Dec. 29-Jan 6 (6 rods)
Jan. 6-13 (7 rods)
Jan. 13-20 (10 rods)
Jan. 20-27 (4 rods)
Feb. 17-24 (4 rods)
Feb. 24-Mar 3 (10 rods)
Mar. 3-10 (10 rods)
Mar. 10-17 (10 rods)
Apr. 7-14 (10 rods)

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 11, 2017

IFTD Demo Day - Orlando, Florida

Day One in Orlando kicked off a demo day event put on by IFTD. Set up on the 18th hole of a golf course complete with lake. Not only did we get to cast on actual water but the golf course fairway gave new appreciation for casting on the grass.

Several manufacturers set up for the event including Simms, G.Loomis, Scientific Anglers, Lamson and Sage. If was really nice to cast some rods in the outdoors verses the indoor convention center.

S/A displaying some new additions to the popular Amplitude series of lines including a new Bonefish, Tarpon, Trout and Anadro. Note in the Mastery Series is the New Titan Long. I'm very familiar with the standard Titan so naturally I spent some time casting the new Long version. This line really handles well and carries a cast with authority. I've ordered WF8 to use with warmwater froggin`. Look for a review coming soon.

I also got to cast the New RIO Flats Line. This was another line that really impressed. It's a great blend of powerful head yet carries well. Look for more on that soon too.

Breakfast provided by...
Waterworks-Lamson introduces Center Axis

You're going to see a lot of media of this concept from Lamson. I got to test cast it along side it's counterpart,  (same rod with standard seat), and can tell you they are quite different. I'm not sure how to describe it other then "different". I think a season caster will need some time to get use to the idea were as a new caster will be more likely to approve the concept immediately. Time will have to tell us.

Waterworks-Lamson Cobalt

In my opinion, if there is a "Wow Factor" From Lamson, the new Cobalt Saltwater Reel is it. Cobalt possesses a bold and rigid yet clean look. It features are endless including such items as totally sealed drag system and titanium hardware. Saltwater anglers will appreciate the spool lock down feature. Many more features than I could take in at the time. More to come this new serious contender for the salt.

Speaking of Salt...
I got to test cast the new Sage Salt HD. Like the Sage X, there is something really different about this Konnetic HD material. You just feel completely connected! You know that feel when you throw a fly rod into a backcast and for a brief moment you lose connection until the line starts to load the rod again? That loss of connection does not happen with the Sage Salt HD or the Sage X.

G.Loomis IMX PRO
I can't wait to get one of these in my boat. I got time with the 1-piece streamer version of this rod in the 8wt. The first detail I noticed was the clean look of the cork/reel seat. It's a very straight forward appearance of a rod that's designed to go to work, guide work! Than during test casting and actually fishing the new IMX PRO, I couldn't help notice it's ability to smoothly load progressively throughout varying ranges. I preferred a shooting head type of line on this stick which is exactly what I would equip this rod with for powerful streamer work. Watch for full reviews coming soon.

That's just a briefing on what's to come. More Soon!

Also to add a word of Thanks to IFTD  and AFFTA for arranging this awesome chance to gather and test some new gear. They put together an awesome event and i'll be sure to be back again next year.

Greg Darling 

"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

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