Mar 21, 2017

Simms RipRap Sandals And Wading Shoes

All New for 2017

I hope you have a stream near home that offers you the ability to wet wade. Nothing better then summer fishing with cool water running over your feet. Simms has been giving us some great wet wade options for a long time. This year those shoes and sandels are all new and better then ever.

The big notable difference this year is the return of felt. Now an angler gets to choose the best sole type for the water he/she wades. Also both felt and tread soles are stud-able with Simms Hardbite Studs. Here's a preview of what your options are.

Simms RipRap Wading Sandals - Felt
Great combination of felt and tread with carefully placed locations for studs

No felt, No problem...And still stud capable

Fully Enclosed to keep debris out

Walk around town or in the river
Don't forget the Studs. Simms Hardbite Studs will provide the needed traction to keep you vertical on those slimy rock rivers. Easily screw in and remove if you are in a situation you don't want them. 
If the opportunity exist, you owe it to yourself to get out and wet wade. Visit The Gorge Fly Shop Online Store for more options and details.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Mar 14, 2017

New - Scientific Anglers Spey Lite - Skagit and Scandi Options

Three New line options from S/A have caught my interest in a big way.

Spey Lite Skagit Head
Here is S/A's entry into the short skagit trend. The lengths look really good especially the 180gr and 210gr sizes. I see these as most of their game is with single handed spey casting. Big plus on the Black butt on these heads for easy visibility. That's something OPST is really missing out on.

Specs -
Item #Head WeightHead LengthColorSink Rate
The fully integrated skagit version. All the same head weights and lengths but fully integrated (no loops) into a running line. This could be our answer to the trout spey guy that needs to be able to strip in tight and/or make the occasional overhead cast.

Specs -
Item #Head WeightHead LengthColorSink RateSink Rate
I've been dreaming of this type of scandi for some time now. With today's short trout speys and single hand rods a quest is for a line that presents well, fully integrated,(no loops) and is capable of a decent overhead cast. Scandi is the answer but up until now they were all too long for small rod use. This line might be a serious game changer for many two hand trout anglers.
Note that the black head marking area is also textured so that it creates a noise (feel) when it hits the rod tip giving the angler an audible sign that the head has reached the rod. This feature is also found on the Spey Lite Integrated Skagit.

Specs -
Item #Head WeightHead LengthColorSink RateSink Rate

Some very interesting new lines from Scientific Anglers. I'll be reporting soon on some trout spey applications in both two hand and single hand rod situations.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more Greg's Post...
Trout Spey Chronicles...

Mar 13, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (3/13/17)

Spring is springing in the Gorge!  

Double Rainbow!!  All the way!

With daily high air temps predicted in the 50s all week, it sure feels like Old Man winter is closing down shop, which is a sigh of relief for most of us here in the northwest.

The blast of serious rain over the past week as definitely got the winter steelhead moving.  The counts haven't been great, but the fish that are around have been much happier lately.  Many of the rivers around here needed a good gully washer to scour things out a bit and get fish moving.  I imagine we will see some good steady fishing over the next couple of weeks.  The Sandy should be primetime, so if you are looking for a great day floating the river give Sam Sickles a call at Steelhead Outfitters 541-400-0855.  He will treat you to an excellent day on the water, no doubt.

The birthday boy putting the Echo Glass 7129 to work!
I got a chance to fish some new water in SW Washington last week with my bud Jeremy.  We found some good stuff, the water was high but fishable.  We got snowed on with those giant leaf sized flakes in between pouring rain; true winter steelheading!  We felt like a grab would happen at any time, which is a huge part of the battle with winter steelhead fishing on the swing.  So much of the game is having confidence in where and how you are fishing.

Late winter trout fishing can be absolutely killer in the Deschutes and Yakima.  I have seen March browns and the occasional Skwala flying, and the fish are ready and willing for a good meal.  Nymphing a stonefly/rubberlegs with a copper john or pheasant tail dropper along the banks and seams is a go-to technique.  It would also be a good idea to keep some March browns and Skwala dries ready to rock.  Even if you don't see adults, the fish are looking up and willing!

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  541.386.6977

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Mar 9, 2017

Sage ONE Trout Spey 2109-4 Review

Winter Bow
The highly anticipated player in my multi year trout spey obsession is now in hand! The acclaimed Sage ONE Trout Spey 2109-4. I've been dreaming of the tug on a tight line swing with this pint size trout spey for longer than this rod has even existed. The anticipation is maddening!

Sage One 2109-4

Light, balanced, smooth, without hesitation the power exhibited from the 2109 would go unnoticed if it weren't for your fly landing on the other side of the river. Effortless is an understatement!

It's closing in on 4 years since I've landed my first two hand trout. In that time I have fished some amazing water with some great rods. Those rods have helped me learn and refine my casts and tactics in the pursuit of trout on the swing, especially winter trout.

I've always felt a yearning to downsize my gear. The fives, fours and three weights in progression have always led me to seeking smaller, lighter sticks. I have even spent a considerable amount of time throwing one hand spey on single hand rods and that experience has further increased my desire for less.
A peek at my one hand spey game
I've noticed in many two hand trout conversations that it's generally assumed the smaller trout speys cannot do as much as their big brethren. Proceed with caution in these conversations. Many factors play a part in this discussion including fly size, river size, line weights and wind. In thinking about a trout spey rod consider them to be just longer than average fly rods but with a ton of serious power hiding down deep in the butt section. To be a spey rod and trouty at the same time the rod must have reasonably limber deep loading tip sections for light tippet fish-ability but still harness power to move skagit, sink tip and fly. Trout spey rods, just like fly rods, as conditions increase in difficulty be it such as wind or fly size so does the nature of casting difficulty increase.

My point to all this chatter is to express the idea not to assume the little 2109 is incapable of skagit head, sink tip and weighted flies. This stick possesses a serious amount of trout soul while still having a strong backbone. While not the rod I reach for in the most demanding conditions it has become the rod I grab in all but the toughest conditions.

My experience with trout spey is we are just now realizing the full potential of abilities with the smaller rod offerings. New lines today from RIO, OPST and Airflo have been key in helping us to extract the deeper potential in these small rods. I have witnessed a combined effort of trout speys and short skagits that has taken us to where we have arrived today. Without these ultra short skagits I believe we'd still be unclear in the validity of such small spey rod offerings.

2109 - Not a wimpy noodle!

I gave 2109 a RIO Skagit Trout Max in 225gr and looped on 10' of T-8 and one of my cone head tube flies and went to work! Snap T, swing into the D-loop and gave a pull on the lower hand and away it went as if it was in autopilot. It felt right from the first cast!

Shown with the New RIO Powerflex Max .024"
What's that hiding in the background!

For this rig I chose a Sage 4650 fly reel. I loaded it with 100yds of gel spun backing, spooled on a RIO Gripshooter line in 25# and looped that to the Skagit Max Trout 225gr head. The 4650 five weight reel had plenty of room for the trout size spey lines and with it's lightweight feel, precision sealed disc drag and a audible clicker is a great compliment to the overall trout spey outfit.

RIO Skagit Max Trout Head measuring at eleven foot is the shortest of any skagits I know. When I first tested these heads I had some trouble holding anchor points. I found them more useful on single hand rods for one handed spey cast. Figuring the short length of 2109 I felt that I should give the little skagit a try. I am a bit surprised at how well a 225gr matched up. I really like the shortness of these heads because they allow you to strip in closer. Yes, I swing flies but I also do a lot of swing/strip and many days that's the method the fish want.

Line It Up

I tested OPST Commando Heads in 225gr and the new Airflo Skagit Scout in 210gr. Both heads performed very well. I feel the 2109 just has a great progressive load that allows it to work well over a wide range of skagits. I see on the internet some guys really like this rod all the way down to OPST Commando 175gr. I haven't tried that yet but no reason why I won't in the future. Point is this rod is not picky so choose your preference but a great starting point would be the OPST 225gr.

Soon I will be testing some scandi's on 2109 as well as 3110. As of writing this I am in winter mode and that means staying active, swinging streamers and hunting for aggressive trout. The anticipation is what keeps me warm on cold winter days.

Some will question my sanity claiming I have found the ultimate Trout Spey and it happens to be this little guy 2109. Truth is the entire Sage ONE Trout Series is incredible and if your water calls for bigger, more powerful and longer sticks then by all means step up. The 3110 sibling is super sweet a very capable player of all things trout. The 4116 feels a tad faster and while it handles a skagit with authority it is also "and" still my personal favorite scandi stick for bug sipping season.

If trout are in your perimeter reach and you haven't pick up a two hand trout spey yet then all I got to ask is "Why Not?" The gear is so good, we have all the lines we need, and the TUG CAN"T BE BEAT!

Leave a Message

Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Mar 5, 2017

Announcement: Fly Water Travel

Rick - "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Casablanca

Gorge Fly Shop Joins Up with Fly Water Travel

Offering the best fly fishing locations on the planet, this exciting relationship will open up many new opportunities for adventure travel. Fly Water Travel hosts some amazing trips in your backyard and exotic locations all around the world. 

Our newsletters will be featuring destinations as well as prime trip availability. A new travel page on our website will provide more detailed trip information and detailed equipment list. 
Fly Water Travel is a team of dedicated fly fishers and experienced travel experts exclusively committed to world wide fly fishing travel. The FWT team is nothing short of exceptional in all travel involvement from booking your trip to seeing through every detail ensuring the best angling experience possible.

There's something about it when you first realize your going to "travel" and "fly fish". Do you still get excited when fishing new waters, even if it's only a few hours away? We do! That's part of the magic and the process we all go through in our own way. Guided or un-guided the feeling is still the same. 

Here at the Gorge Fly Shop we always strive to do better. We're human, it's not always perfect but it comes from the right place. Sometimes it's a slow process and other times we just get it. That's why this announcement is so special to us because we strive to provide a certain level of customer service. However, in order for us to provide great customer service we have to have the right tools and knowledge at our fingertips and that is exactly why March, 2017 signifies the start of a beautiful friendship, although I think Rick in Casablanca said it best.

Today we are introducing our top favorites, bucket list worthy stuff. Some of you have checked a few of these off your list (be sure to comment below), most of you will be deciding where to travel next and maybe some of us might be thinking where we would like our ashes spread (just saying)...

Our newsletters will be featuring destinations as well as prime trip availability. A new travel page on our website will provide more detailed trip information and detailed equipment list. Check back throughout the year as we will continue to add more information and destinations. 

No dinner jacket required

Bucket list worthy:

It’s time to get your notepad out and turn on some Joe Bonamassa because this here is some of our top fly fishing destinations across the globe. Better yet, forget the pen and paper and grab a drink and bookmark this page.

Where fishing dreams are made from...
The List:

  • Christmas Island Outfitters
  • Andros South, Bahamas
  • Zapata, Cuba
  • Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
  • Long Key Resort, Belize
  • Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles
  • Tarpon Cay Lodge, Mexico
  • Alphonse Island, Seychelles
  • The Rising Tide, Belize
  • Los Roques, Venezuela
  • Isla Del Sabalo, Mexico


  • Fishing Bear Lodge, Alaska
  • Alaska West, Alaska
  • Skeena River Lodge, British Columbia
  • Jurassic Lake Lodge, Argentina
  • Speywater Lodge, Oregon
  • Tsimane, Bolivia - Pluma Lodge - Agua Negra Camp
  • Coyhaique River Lodge, Chile
  • Despedida Lodge, Argentina
  • Las Pampas Lodge, Argentina
  • Kooi Noom, Argentina
  • El Rancho Pinoso, ColoradoLas Buitreras, Argentina

Popular upcoming Oregon Trips:

Courtesy of Fly Water Travel
Speywater Lodge – Grande Ronde River, Oregon

Located on the Grande Ronde River, near Troy, Oregon, this low-key, high-value operation is where some of the Northwest’s finest steelheaders and spey casters congregate for a final month of guiding and instruction. Read the article and see 2017 availability. [Read More]

The Gorge Fly Shop Team

Gorge Fly Shop Webmaster

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Mar 3, 2017

Regal Fly Tying Vises

John Garrett at the Vise
Fly Tying can be just as complex and enjoyable as fly fishing itself. There are many cheap starter vises out on the market but ask anybody who enjoys tying and they all will tell you that a premium vise makes tying way more enjoyable.

Several great vises out there. We like Regal Vises. They are easy to operate, built to last a lifetime and are available with several options to suit individual fly tiers needs.

John Garrett Ties on a Regal Revolution Vise while I (Greg) tie on a Regal Medallion Vise. The Revolution Vise is a true inline rotary style which is really nice if you wrap a lot. The Medallion Vise does rotate a full 360 degrees but not smoothly inline like the bearing equipped rotary.

Check out this video on how they are made...

Regal Revolution Series

Regal Revolution Shown with Bronze Pocket Base
Revolution is the most popular Regal Vise. It's a true 360° inline rotary. You can purchase it with any of Regal's Head and Base Designs. All options are listed in our online store.

Regal Medallion Shown with Traditional Bronze Base
Medallion Series has become a benchmark standard for fly tyers around the world. It's tough design will last a lifetime of fly tying. It does rotate 360° but not in a true inline sense. So while it's easy to rotate to see all views most tyers who wrap a lot of materials prefer the Revolution.

Regal Travel Vise comes standard with an Aluminum Pocket Base
Reduced size and weight makes this vise travel easy. It's available with any of the four Regal heads.

Your Basic Vise but with all the hook holding power
Many Anglers first Regal was the Inex and many are still using them today. When all you need is the basics, this is it. The most important part is they still have all the same hook holding powerful head as all regal vises have.

Vise Heads

Left to Right - Traditional, Stainless Steel, Big Game and Midge

Fishpond Road Trip Fly Tying Kit Bag

Designed to carry everything you'll likely need
Fly Tying is Creative, Relaxing and Rewarding! It brings you closer to the sport of fly fishing and closer to the species you pursue. 


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Feb 27, 2017

Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boot Review

Reality is, buying wading boots is pretty low on the thrill factor in the acquisition of fly fishing paraphernalia. I've never seen an angler run into our fly shop just to touch and feel the new boots. Fly rods, fly reels, yes!...Boots, not so much.

Many years of wading experience has taught me this, improper fitting wading boots will make your feet and your fishing suffer! Are poor fitting, poor traction, poor functioning boots causing your fishing to suffer? Maybe we should get more excited about wading boots. If your feet stay warm longer, feel comfortable and supported, provide confidence in safety and wading ability then one can assume that a great pair of wading boots really should be capable of improving our fish-ability.

Korkers Darkhorse has improved my fishing

The New Darkhorse Wading Boot comes to us equipped with all the best Korkers time proven features while built with an emphasis on durability without compromising lightweight, comfortable function. Once this platform had been established Korkers fitted in, without compromise, an additional technology providing Achilles Stabilization known as 3PFS. 3PFS stands for 3 Ply Fit System.  The 3PFS system helps lock the foot in place for a more comfortable and secure fit.

In my testing I found the 3PFS system cradles without binding my ankles movements therefore giving me support I need for tough wading and freedom of movement for comfort and speedy trail hiking.

Korkers Darkhorse Features - 


After 10 years of testing Korkers BOA Lacing system boots without a single failure I can say without hesitation I find the benefits of BOA an asset not only in the entry and removal of wading boots but also in the ability to maximize stream comfort with precision lacing pressure. Darkhorse utilizes the same proven BOA M2 that all current Korkers BOA equipped boots use and function has been flawless.


Protected Triple Stitching
Molded TPU Toe Cap attached with Protected Triple Stitching. Click the picture to see a closeup. The toe cap is attached with the stitching embedded in this tough TPU material thereby keeping it out of contact with damaging abrasive contact.

OmniTrax 3.0 Sole System

You got to appreciate the versatility of this system. Choose your traction! OmniTrax offers options like AlumaTrax when your safety is the only option, felt to keep your guide happy in his drift boat and Kling-On Tread for long hikes. Whatever your need, there is an option for great traction.

AlumaTrax Soles

Fast Drying

Darkhorse utilizes Hydrophobic upper material with ultra abrasion resistance and tonal camo pattern

Internal Drainage

This is one of my personal favorite Korkers features found on all their boots. The internal drainage ports direct water down and out the bottom of the boots allowing for a complete drain when exiting water. No sloshing down the trail. You can actually feel the water drain away the moment you step out of the stream.

In my testing I've noticed these boots do dry fast. I believe that has to be contributed to the fast drying materials and the internal out the bottom drainage. It's a great feature when your travel requires you to pack them in the luggage the morning after a great fishing trip.

Boot Conclusion

I wasn't born a great angler. I have to fight for it. I'm all about seeking every possible asset that can potentially improve my fishing game. I feel like Korkers and I have a lot in common. For instance Korkers wasn't born into greatness, they had to fight for it. Korkers continues to reach for every possible asset to improve upon which over many years has resulted in an innovative competitive line of products. The philosophy of Korkers mirrors my own in that perfection is a long never ending road of constant strive toward research, discovery and improvement. That long road to success is clearly evident in this latest innovated Darkhorse wading boot from Korkers.

I have on hand a pretty nice collection of wading boots to chose from but after clocking many hours over several days in the New Darkhorse, these are the boots I find myself automatically reaching for. Function and comfort level have exceeded my expectations. My wading confidence has greatly increased. The adaptable traction system is solid and provides options to optimize performance for any stream bottom, terrain and/or seasonal weather conditions. I absolutely believe Korkers Darkhorse wading boots have played a part in improving my fishing!

Our fishing industry has overwhelmed us with more then enough wading boot choices but if I were to bet on a dark horse, I'm placing my bet on the New Korkers Darkhorse!


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Columbia River Gorge Fishing Report (2/27/17)

I have been out of town for a while, so of course the steelhead have started showing up and the snow melted...

A winter beauty, brought to hand by our in shop legend Mr. John Garrett

Winter steelhead reports have been good and steady throughout most of the Gorge and beyond.  Good rains, warmer temps, and higher flows have gotten fish moving and biting (well as much as a winter steelhead will bite).  Heavy sink tips are the name of the game, and we have had a lot of people getting bit on our new Aqua Flies steelhead selection.  Shakes those cabin fever blues off and get out there and get fishing!

Carp on fly, in February!
While back in Chicagoland, I did get out fishing a few days in the crazy unseasonable weather they were having.  Zeroed on our musky hunt, but caught some largemouth and carp.  Which reminded me how quickly these warmwater fish can respond to spring temps.  Don't be afraid to get out there bass and carp fishing locally as soon as the weather breaks.  Look for dark colored bottoms in the area you are fishing, those will warm up first.  The carp we found were in as little as 4 inches of water with their backs out, slurping up insects and worms.  If you can find green vegetation you will likely find some bass too, especially in shallow dark colored bottom areas.

A few degrees increase in water temp can get fish feeding, even if the water is barely over 40F.

Trout fishing has been steady to excellent on the Deschutes, especially after the washout last week.  Skwala nymphs and BWOs have been good, as well as the old standards.  The Skwala hatch could start anytime from now through March.  I like an olive or brown stimulator, but there are a number of great patterns to match this hatch.  I tend to stick to size 10.

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  541.386.6977

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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