Jul 26, 2016

Silver Salmon, Aleutian Peninsula - August 12-19, 2016 - Last Chance Deal!

Silver Salmon, Aleutian Peninsula
August 12-19, 2016

Four spots available

This primo week for bright Silvers is available at $1900! 

The fishing is on the Sapsuk (aka Hoodoo) River, 600 miles SW of Anchorage. These fish really eat the fly, wet and skaters. The comfortable 6 person camp is built above the river on a large wood deck with a panoramic view.

Additional costs are flights to Nelson Lagoon approximately $1300, License, adult beverages, and gratuities.

I fished With Aleutian Adventures on the Sapsuk 3 years ago and it was very fishy and so much fun. Fishing is done with either a switch rod or a single hander.

For more info or to check on space please email 

Jerry Swanson
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 24, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - 07/24/2016

Sam knows how to handle 104 degrees on the Klickitat
It's finally starting to look like summer out here in the Gorge.  Warmer weather is upon us and we have finally been able to stay out at night without a jacket.  Weather predictions put us over 100 degrees later in the week, so get prepared for our first real dose of summer.

The Deschutes should start to pick up within the next couple of weeks.  It has been fairly tough fishing for summer steelhead, however anglers are picking up a fish here and there.  I did drive over the mouth of the Deschutes on Sunday morning (07/24).  It did not look as if the White River had caused any significant clarity issues from the rains on Thursday, but it was a quick pass over.

White River Below Tygh Valley

Water temps are likely to become an issue again on the Deschutes.  Releasing fish when water is over 70 degrees is potentially lethal.

You can see water temps on the Deschutes here.

A nice Snake River Cutthroat Trout from Idaho.
Rocky Mountain trout streams are fishing well right now.
It looked as if the Klickitat was in decent shape still despite heavy rains on Thursday.  Again, I was just driving by Saturday evening and Sunday morning, but from across the Columbia it looked great.

I did a quick float with a friend from out of town on Wednesday.  We didn't fish much, he was more interested in the scenery and the beer. I did swing a couple of runs really quick and did not have a grab.  It was really nice to wet wade all day though.

We have heard that fishing for steelhead was good a couple of weeks ago, but seems to have slowed down quite a bit with both fish passage over Lyle Falls and catch rates on the river.  The early push of fish was mostly hatchery origin summer steelhead from the reports we received.  With hotter weather predicted for later this week, clarity will most likely become an issue.  It will be a wait and see game as long as 90+ degree days are in the forecast.

It is time to get your backpacking gear out!!!
The Hood River did spike from the rains Thursday.  It colored in all day on Friday and looks like cement on Saturday.  The East Fork of the Hood is where most of the color tends to come from, so it is usually in worse shape than the main river.  I would bet that trout fishing on the East Fork is going to be tough this next couple of weeks.

The Deschutes has been fishing well for rainbow trout.  Caddis nymphs doubled with larger attractor nymphs like possie buggers or stonefly nymphs will be your best beet.  Caddis dry flies in the evening are producing fish as well.

Small stream trout fishing is good in other places though.  Eagle Creek is fishing well with general attractor dry flies; so is Trout Lake Creek.

Local lakes are fishing very, very well too.  They usually slow down by this time of year, but the cooler weather this summer has kept them in awesome shape.  Lost Lake has been phenomenal from what we hear.  Goose Lake and Laurance Lake are both fishing very well too.  Goose can be quick to slow down when it gets really hot as it is shallower than the other two, but it should hold out this week.  Pulling a bugger or damsel nymph on an intermediate line is a good way to catch a pile of fish.  Morning and evening dry fly hatches are likely, but not a sure thing.

The reward for a 4 mile hike.  Solitude, beauty and brookies.
Backpacking into the high mountain lakes is now a great option.  The mosquitoes are starting to recede and the lakes are fishing well.  There are countless lakes and ponds in the Gifford Pinchot Forest to explore.  A parachute adams is about all anyone would need out there, but having a couple of options is always a good idea.

Smallmouth bass fishing on the John Day is still very good.  A super place to take beginners, kids or anyone that needs to catch a bunch of fish; the John Day is the place to go.  Small popper patterns should get you into fish all day long.  Cottonwood Canyon is the best place to start.

No reports on the Columbia River smallmouth bass fishing lately.  Ryan has been out of town.

Carp fishing has been good too.  Weed growth in the small ponds near hwy 84 has been minimal this year and the carp are in the shallows as thick as peanut butter.

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.  You can also check water temps here too...

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 any time.  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

Andrew Perrault
Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 23, 2016

Greg's Rod Picks from IFTD / I-CAST 2016

Best New Freshwater | Best New Saltwater | Best Of Show
It was a great time at the big show this year. Lot's of great new stuff but most of all a great time spent getting to know some people in this industry that work hard and pour their heart and passion into making it better for all, every single day.

The purpose of this article is not for me to pick winners and losers but instead showcase to you (our customers) what I saw that you might be interested in. I love gear and will proudly proclaim that I am a gear junkie. I enjoy spending time always seeking a better fly rod, reel, line, bag, tool...you name it. If it gives me an edge then it's a winner.

Fly Rods

It's pretty clear in the fly rod industry to build a better rod we must reach for higher tech materials and/or resins. This is the theme for 2016 coming from Sage, Winston and G.loomis. Outside of that the only unique contributions comes from building niche products like the OHS from Echo. Ask me if fly rods are improving and my answer will quickly be yes but mostly only in materials. Today's fly rod tapers are pretty well established for the intended use. Whether you need dry fly, nymph, saltwater, predator, two hand or any other technique one can find rod tapers that best suit those techniques and fishing situations. As far as what fly rods we like, it leans heavily on our own casting preferences and personalities. If I were to name one characteristic improving in today's high tech fly rods it is the expanded range that they load thus also expanding on the range that the load is felt. Every fly rod has a sweet spot; today's rods seem to have widened that sweet spot. While this expression rings true for the first three entries ahead it also happens to be the tagline for the Winston AIR..."Widen your sweet spot with the new Winston AIR." Back to the original question..."Are today's fly rods better?" Yes, they are much better, at a wider range of uses, load feel and fit a wider range of casting personalities.

Sage X

The New Sage X took the show. Best New Freshwater, Best New Saltwater and Best of Show.
I read somewhere that this three category win was the first ever for a rod series. The New X delivered exactly what it claimed, faster recovery, deeper loading, crisp tip stop and produced incredible tight loops. Match that with an elegant fit and finish Sage is known for and the X becomes one tough rod to beat. On the pond the X held true to its claims and did it with style and grace. The real test of course is on the water and I am so looking forward to time with these new sticks. Single, Switch and Spey models $895-$1095

R.L. Winston Air

"Widen your sweet spot with the new Winston AIR." 

Super Premium, Ultra-Lightweight Boron III Technology and featuring New SuperSilica Resin System. This new line of 3-6 weight freshwater rods from Winston could have easily taken the freshwater award. A clear cut winner in my eyes!

Winston Air

Paired with legendary finish Winston is so well known for into a high energy progressive action from a new SuperSilica resin creating an incredible accurate presentation all came together into one sweeet little fly rod. Year after year this fly rod company and its wonderful group of people continue to impress me with their relentless forward driving passion in the factory as well as on the stream. To build a rod this good can only come from countless hours on the water. Awesome job Winston!
Four Models 3-6 weights, $945

G.Loomis Asquith

Labeled as a Global All-Water Fly Rod in part due to the cooperative effort between G.Loomis with Chief Rod Designer Steve Rajeff and sister corporation Shimano. The New Asquith starts its life in Japan from some extremely high tech material, then finds its way into the Washington State based G.Loomis plant where the finish work is completed. On the pond the Asquith is light and responsive. It tracks a straight line in near perfect form. Swing weight is impressively light. This is another entry into the show that could have easily taken a win. 4-12 weight and 5 spey models $1000-$1400

Scott Flex Series

Scott Flex Series
The New Flex is a mid price point rod designed to offer fast performance with a fine tuned flex and recovery. It did not disappoint. The flex displayed a great amount of power while retaining a good balance of feel. The rod blank finish is classic to Scott natural and the components are premium all coming together into a aesthetically pleasing fly rod.  This is a great American made stick for a price that isn't out of the ball park. 3-8 weights, $475

Redington Hydrogen Trout Spey

Hydrogen Trout Spey
The Hydrogen series of single hand trout rods came out last year and in that time this lightweight rod has left quite the impression. When I heard Hydrogen was to expand into trout spey for 2017, I instantly knew this would be a home run. Now that I have seen and cast the new trout spey model I can honestly say it's out of the park. The med-fast action allows for a deeper load into the blank for great feel while the butt provides great power both for scandi  tight loops and/or skagit power. The downlocking skeletonized reel seat helps reduce the weight and looks great. Shown here with the new Redington Rise Fly Reel. 2-4 weight, $349.95

Redington Predator

Always a favorite the newly update Predator gets some added horsepower to tackle the whole chickens and bunnies. Fresh or Salt, wherever Predators Roam! 5-12 weights with additional specialized bass and pike/musky models, $299.95

Redington Vice
Redington Vice

Classically Styled Fast Action full range of rods from fresh to salt. The Vice replaces the aging Voyant series of Redington Fly Rods. Besides a full on color face lift the New Vice receives advancements in the use of multi modulus carbon fibers that greatly enhances control, recovery and accuracy. Add saltwater grade components, black anodized snake guides and a lazer etched reel seat indicating rod weight and the package comes together to form a really sweet rod.
3-9 weights, $199.95

Echo Bad Ass Glass
If you follow the fiberglass crowd you will naturally gravitate to the BAG (Bad Ass Glass) Series of rods.
Bad Ass Glass
I admit they are pretty cool looking but really Tarpon on Glass?! But that's the idea behind this big heavy glass stick. Bonefish, Steelhead, Permit, Tarpon. Get your groove on glass fans!
8-12 weights, $274.99

Echo OHS (One Hand Spey)
My real interest coming from the Mr.Tim Rajeff is the new Echo OHS (One Hand Spey).

Measuring in at 10'4" with 6-8 weights. My prediction for this show was that someone is going to show up with a single handed spey rod...Ding, Ding, Ding...we have a winner! While I was hoping for a trout model too, it's a start. I got to spend a little time on the pond with the 7 weight equipped with the new Airflo Skagit Scout head and it HUK'D!
OHS spey handle

A unique feature of the OHS is it comes with two different fighting butts. One is normal standard nubby and the spey version is 2.5"providing you something to underhand some leverage with. 6-8 weights, $474.99

More Echo's
Several other new models coming out of the Echo camp. EPR is rated "Stupid Fast" intended for salt fanatics chasing fins that weigh more than you do. The New DRY is pretty obvious. Boost Reach designed for beach casters both east and west. And the 8 piece trip designed for the backpacking crowd. We'll have more on these when they arrive.

Complete List of Show Winners

Best of ShowSageX 590
Fly Rod: FreshwaterSageX 590
Fly Rod: SaltwaterSageX 890
Reel: FreshwaterRoss ReelsColorado LT
Reel: SaltwaterAbel ReelsSDS
Fly Line: FreshwaterRIO ProductsInTouch Big Nasty
Fly Line: SaltwaterRIO ProductsWinter Redfish
Leader / TippetRIO ProductsRIO Saltwater Mono
Fly Pattern: FreshwaterAqua Flies, LLCStu Foxall’s PrawnTruder
Fly Pattern: SaltwaterUmpqua Feather MerchantsContraband Crab, Chicone
Fly Box / Storage SystemTacky Fly FishingTacky Dry Fly Box
Fly Tying Materials / EquipmentFreestone DesignsThe Go Box
Men’s WadersSimms Fishing ProductsHeadwater Pro Waders
Women’s WadersHodgemanWomen’s H4 Wader
Wading BootsSimms Fishing ProductsRip Rap Shoe Felt
Check Pack / VestSimms Fishing ProductsG4 Pro Sling Pack
LuggageUmpqua Feather MerchantsZeroSweep Cooler-Gater
Men’s OuterwearPatagoniaMinimalist Wading Jacket
Men’s General ApparelSimms Fishing ProductsIntruder BiComp L/S Shirt
Women’s OuterwearPatagoniaWomen’s River Salt Jacket
Women’s General ApparelSimms Fishing ProductsWomen’s Rip Rap Sandal
Youth ProductUmpqua Feather MerchantsZS Wader Chest Pack
Accessories (under $100)OrvisU.S.-Made Aluminum Nipper
Eco-friendly ProductFishpondThunderhead Duffel
Boat / Personal WatercraftOutcast Sporting GearFish Cat 5 Mat
BookAngler’s Book SupplyFusion Fly Tying
DVDRIO ProductsFavorite Fly-Fishing Knots
Gift Items (under $100)Umpqua Feather MerchantsZS Guide Wader Belt
P.O.S. / Booking SoftwareThe Outfitter ProOnline Booking System
Coming soon I will share my Top Reel Picks...


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Jul 20, 2016

Lamson Fly Reels - Spool Removal, Retrieve Conversion, Maintenance Video

Lamson builds some great fly fishing reels. It doesn't matter whose fly reels you own they all need some care and maintenance from time to time. This brief video highlights the three most important operations you will need to know for spool removal, retrieve conversion and maintenance of your lamson reel.

Follow these easy Maintenance Tips below-
  • Do NOT lubricate the drag, you may take the gland cap off and remove the roller clutch and rinse with water. Allow the drag parts to dry thoroughly prior to re-assembling the drag. No lubrication is necessary and it may even cause issues with the inner workings of your reel.
  • A small amount of WD-40 may be applied to the handle in order to remove any dirt build up between the handle and the handle shaft.
  • Make certain that your line stays clean and free of cracks and debris, this can cause frame/finish damage.
  • Important- IF the gland cap is removed for any reason, always make sure its back on tightly. And check it periodically even if it isn’t removed.
In Saltwater Environments-
  • Always be sure to rinse your reel under fresh running water after every use in a salt environment. Occasionally rinse the drag of the reel thoroughly by taking the following steps. These steps are not necessary at the end of every day of fishing, but at the end of each trip. 
  1. Remove the spool.
  2. Unscrew the gland cap and remove the red clutch assembly.
  3. Rinse all of the components and inside the drag cylinder thoroughly with fresh running water.
  4. Allow all of the components to completely dry.
  5. Re-install all of the components.
*Use of salt water specific equipment-rinse such as Salt-X® will not harm
your reel or the drag system and can greatly increase the effectiveness of
salt removal.*

For Spool Removal- 
Hold the reel towards your body as shown below. Grasp the edges of the
frame with your fingers and place your thumbs on the spool at the locations
shown below. While pushing the frame towards your body with your fingers,
push the spool away from the frame with your thumbs.

Jul 19, 2016

Gorge Fly Shop Welcomes Tenkara Rod Co

Here at the Gorge Fly Shop, we search far and wide to find the highest quality products to offer to our loyal customers.  Over the past three or four years we have been asked about tenkara fishing on an increasing basis.  With an abundance of backcountry wilderness, hiking trails, small streams and lakes  in our area, we are in a unique position to introduce this fun method of fishing to the area.  We did our research, talked to quite a few folks that have fished several tenkara rods, and we chose to bring in Tenkara Rod Co.  They have a quality reputation, have been great to work with and have made some really good products.

There are ton of gorgeous small streams in our area
So now the snow has receded, and the mosquitos are starting to dwindle.  It is finally time to explore the mountain streams and beaver ponds that are scattered all throughout the area, especially in the Gifford Pinchot Forest.  That place is loaded with small water...  Ryan and I have gone out a few times with these rods.  It has quickly become our new favorite way to fish.  Chasing steelhead is plenty of fun, but exploring secret creeks is a whole different ballgame with its own challenges and rewards.  One likely won't ever find a monster trout lurking in our high mountain streams, but there are certainly plenty of fish in our neck of the woods to keep us happy.

Tenkara fishing originated in Japan, but has been gaining popularity in the US over the past several years now.  The tenkara fishing method incorporates a telescoping (collapsible) rod in the 8'-15' range with a line fixed to the tip.  (Think old cane poles).  The rods are super light, fun to cast, and play even the smallest trout like a champ.

Ryan hooked up with a small bow.
There was definitely a learning curve when I started casting. It is not the same as casting a fly rod.
The cast is a simple motion, less false casting, slower and shorter, maybe a bit more of a sidearm motion.  Knowing how to cast a traditional fly rod will help, but it is so simple that most people should be able to figure it out quickly.

Tenkara lines are a floating, orange or chartreuse colored 13' level section of furled polymer with a tippet ring attached.  The nature of the line provides a more delicate presentation than a traditional fly line. It is fairly difficult, although not impossible to flog the water with sloppy casts.  The line is attached simply by looping the line onto the rod via an section of dacron that is attached to the last piece of the rod.

Here is a six minute video that details the complete setup of a Tenkara rod.

That mountain has no top!
I love to backpack in the summer.  I hope to get out for 3-6 trips per year, from simple overnighters to extended romps through the wild.  Nearly all of my trips involve camping near a lake or stream.  Thanks to my new Tenkara Teton Package, I have eliminated much of the excess fishing gear (weight) from my pack.  Many of you know hikers that would cut their toothbrush in half to save an ounce.  I'm not that hardcore, but I won't take anything that I don't need.

I have always lamented the bulk and weight of my fly fishing gear during a hike.  I never bring my rod case into the wild (to save space and weight), but I risk the possibility of breaking it during the hike, especially when taking my pack off and set it on the ground.  The tenkara setups that we carry save space and weight by eliminating the reel, and the rod travels well in a backpack without the rod tube.  The rod, line and one spool of tippet are all that goes into the pack along with a hat brim full of flies.

Speaking of flies, we also carry traditional tenkara flies as one would find in Japan.  These flies can be fished on a dead drift as a traditional dry fly or "pulsed" across the water as an emerger, or wet fly.  They are really tasty looking, so your typical hungry, small stream trout should eat them up no matter how you fish them.  You don't have to use tenkara flies, but it sure is fun to do it as traditionally as possible.

The Sawtooth Mini is perfect for mini trout
We are stocking several packages, from the Teton to the Sierra Package, as well as a couple of "mini" rods for the most serious backpackers.

I have found that the Teton is about as big of a Tenkara rod that we would want around here.  A 10" rainbow puts a good bend in it, however, it can handle much bigger fish.  The Sierra is my favorite for our super-small secret creeks here, where fish will likely never reach 10", while Ryan has been digging the Mini Sawtooth rod for our smallest creeks.

The minis are incredibly light and pack down to 10".  They lack a cork handle, which saves weight and space.  Both of those rods are great for the smallest fish and creeks.  The difference is that the Mini Sawtooth packs down to 10" with no cork handle, while the Sierra is twice the size at 20" when collapsed.  The Sawtooth (not the mini) is the best all around rod when you might run into some bigger (10"-12") trout, but still want the rod to bend with a 6 incher.

All of the packages include the rod, line, three flies, a spool of tippet and a line spooler.  The line spooler fits around the cork handle and is a convenient way to wrap the line up in between spots.  Plus the foam helps keep the line dry.  I add a thin coating of silicon mucilin or Loon's Payette Paste to the line to help it float too, but it is not necessary if you don't have any.  The Sawtooth Mini comes with line clips instead of the line spooler because the line spooler won't fit  without the cork handle, which is lacking on the mini rods

Hitting that spot on the far left required
wading past where I had wanted

I have still been bringing my 2wt with me when we hit the small creeks.  I admit that there is a possibility of finding a rising fish that is out of reach of my tenkara rod.  This has happened once, although I managed to wade out farther than I had wanted to get into those fish.  The reach of my Teton rod is about 25' with a long tippet, but comfortable fishing distances are 15-20' from where I stand.

I have been reinvigorated with a passion for small stream fishing, and have been spending quite a lot of time scouring Google Earth for small water to explore.

While a tenkara rod will never completely replace my Winston for all small stream applications, it is quickly moving into the the starting lineup.

Andrew Perrault
Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 16, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - (07/17/2016)

Gorgeous sunrise on the lower Deschutes
Fishing remains fantastic throughout the area.  The local rivers have stayed in decent shape considering it is mid July and the Hood, Klickitat and White Rivers will all typically be flowing dirty this time of year.  However, cooler weather has kept them all in good shape so far this month.

Apologies for the lack of reports weekly, the Sage closeout sale has been keeping us all very busy.  We also received our first shipment of Tom Larimer's new casting DVD: Skagit Revolution.  It is a very good video that breaks down spey casting and gives you everything from the basics to some advanced techniques.  It is very clear and easy to understand as Tom is a great instructor, plus the Gorge Fly Shop is a sponsor of the video.  Pick it up while its hot!

Trout Lake Creek is one of the hidden gems of our area.
On to the fishing:  Ryan and I went up to Trout Lake Creek last week with a couple of Tenkara rods.  We caught a couple dozen little trout on a good variety of attractor dry flies like stimulators, hoppers and royal trudes.  It is a fun creek to spend a day chasing small rainbow trout.  While you won't run into any monsters in our small creeks, the scenery, abundance of trout and remoteness make it a little gem in our backyard.

Chris and I also spent a day fishing the lower part of the Deschutes for summer steelhead.  Conditions were great on the river, although it was bright and sunny.  We swung flies all day and all that we caught were a handful of smallmouth bass!  This was very surprising considering the first bass we caught was 8 miles upstream.  That is a considerable amount of whitewater for a bass to navigate in order to end up that far from the Columbia.  We also caught another one over 6 miles from the mouth of the river...  No steelhead landed, but there was one brief hookup on a small purple leechy pattern.  The Klickitat and the Hood are still in decent shape and there are a few steelhead showing up.  As long as we stay under 90 degrees, our local rivers should stay in shape.  The Hood doesn't get a ton of summer fish, but it is an option when there is decent visibility.

Lake fishing for trout has been absolutely phenomenal.  Damselfly and dragonfly nymphs are a huge food source for trout in most lakes this time of year.  Trolling a Carey Special, ultra damsel nymph or even a woolly bugger should get you some nice fish in our local lakes.  Lost Lake has been fishing very well from what we have heard, as well as Laurance, Goose (WA), Timothy and Clear Lake.

Smallmouth Bass are snapping on the John Day (as well as the Deschutes apparently, LOL!).  They are eating everything you can throw at them.  Most anglers prefer to use a small bass popper, but grasshopper patterns, streamers and nymphs work just as well.  Cottonwood Canyon is a great place to get started on the JD.

The Columbia River has been a bit windy this past week, which hampers bass and carp fishing out there, but the fishing has been good when we get a break from the wind. The wind can dirty up the river, so having a full day where it is not "nuclear" out there would be preferable...

The Deschutes has not been fabulous for trout fishing, but it hasn't been awful.  The caddis hatches have not been prolific recently.  Cooler, inconsistent weather has led to smaller hatches, but the trout are still eating...

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.  You can also check water temps here too...

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 any time.  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

Andrew Perrault
Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 11, 2016

Discover Guanaja Fly Fishing

Stood off and on during the night, determining not to come to anchor till morning, fearing to meet with shoals; continued our course in the morning; and as the island was found to be six or seven leagues distant, and the tide was against us, it was noon when we arrived there.
Christopher Columbus 

This past April, I had the opportunity to travel with some wonderful friends to Honduras , more specifically the island of Guanaja to fly fish the surrounding saltwater flats. Guanaja a beautiful lush mountainous island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean sea. Unbeknownst to me, on Columbus' fourth trip to the Americas, he discovered Guanaja or Isla de Pinos though more likely he brought disease and not an eight weight. Guanaja as a tourist destination is more frequented by divers than by fly fishermen. Only one lodge caters to fly fishing, Fly Fish Guanaja which lies on a small cay, a 30 minute boat ride from the island airport and is owned by a US citizen. In my opinion, the biggest drawback to fishing Honduras is the travel especially from the Pacific Northwest. From Portland, all connections involved an 8-16 hour layover both ways either in Dallas or Houston. From Houston, it's only about 2 hours to Roatan, another island off the coast of Honduras, then a very short 1/2 hour flight from Roatan to Guanaja.

There are several cays located just off Guanaja and the beautiful lodge of Fly Fish Guanaja has it's own small cay that is shared by no one else. It's perfectly situated on it's own flat with easy short access to a number of other flats holding bonefish, permit, tarpon and triggerfish. Just off the cay is a large reef system that keeps these flats protected. Though a large commercial fishing fleet bases on Guanaja, the local waters are protected from their influence. The lodge is very comfortable with several detached bungalows made from local mahogany. The main lodge contains a comfortable living area, kitchen and dining room. But the epicenter is a large beautiful deck built over a large flat where if you still have the energy you can wade and fish. The closest thing I've seen to having a grandstand where you can heckle your buddies as they "farm" the local quarry. If you have any non-fishing guests, this flat can be used to paddleboard, kayak, or snorkel. Meals are delicious having a combination of island and Hispanic influences. The lodge does have a spotty internet connection and use of the bar and beer are included in the package price.

Beginning of the morning can vary depending on the tides and unlike many programs can be rather flexible. Guides were excellent and speak perfect English with a hint of island accents. In fact, the government of Honduras has had a program to improve Spanish. These guides were clearly expertly trained and experienced and some of the warmest, funniest guides that I've had the pleasure to share a boat. Primarily we chased permit with multiple shots each day. Not sure if it was merely our luck but the hook up ratio was rather low even for permit. But the combination of wading and poling made the "hunt" more than compelling. Lunches were at a number of locations including one elevated gazebo where we could see the beach where Columbus landed. Yearly the locals have a festival to commemorate this occasion. We also ate lunch at a couple of waterside restaurants to get a better sampling of local fare though we didn't get a chance to sample the regional specialty, Iguana. 

Returning to the lodge in the afternoon was a luxury to itself with time to relax in a hammock with a gin and tonic while waiting for dinner. Evenings were glorious out on the back deck watching the sunset and eventually see all the stars of the Milky Way while listening to music. I'm not sure whether I enjoyed the time on that deck more or the day of fishing.

Overall, not sure why Columbus ever elected to leave Guanaja, a rather idyllic location to either chase your favorite saltwater species or nap on a hammock being rocked by a steady Caribbean breeze.


  • Beautiful location on a private cay 
  • Only fishing lodge in Guanaja 
  • Comfortable accommodations in a perfect setting 
  • Other non-fishing activities 
  • Guides 
  • Inconvenient travel with long layovers 
  • Possibly pressured fishery 
  • No see ums. 
  • A few flats lie along civilization 

Charlie Chambers
Gorge Fly Shop Contributor 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

RIO InTouch Trout / Steelhead Indicator - New for 2017

Designed to cast indicator rigs
The RIO InTouch Trout/Steelhead Indicator fly line has a taper profile designed to make easy casting of indicator rigs and give the angler good line control and mending. Enhanced with InTouch Ultra Low stretch ConnectCore for great feel and sensitivity.

Indicator lines have long rear tapers. This helps with mending your fly line. The large front body of an indicator line is what helps it carry the weight of indicators and multi fly rigs. An indicator line can really help with the technique whether it is fished from a boat or while wading. I should note that these lines roll cast pretty well also. With the addition of ultra low stretch InTouch ConnectCore the Trout/Steelhead Indicator line will also provide you with better hook sets.

Also equipped with AgentX and Extreme Slickness for easy casting and welded loops front and rear for easy rigging.


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