May 29, 2017

Alaska Adventures - Morrison Files



Hi Lyndsey,

Another great trip, this is another one of those that we will more than likely do again and again. We lived aboard a 56’ boat, it had a 17’ beam and there was plenty of room for six guests and three crew. We fished four different islands and never saw another footprint other than ours. Even though Petersburg receives an average 130” of rain per year we had rain on our first afternoon and then nothing but nice weather after that. It was cool to cold in the morning but comfortable in the afternoon. Everybody caught fish and they were beautiful wild Steelhead. One day we fished for Halibut and anything else that would bite and caught three Halibut and four Yellow Eye. Those became dinner for two different nights and everyone still got to bring fish home. The Steelhead were all catch and release. I managed to break one of the switch rods, it leaves today to get repaired. Luckily it waited until near the end of the last day. Jeanette caught on to Spey casting like a pro thanks to the skipper, great teacher and Jeanette was a great listener. This was her first real trip to Alaska, you can tell how much she enjoyed it by the smiles in the pictures. I did tell Jeanette that we could do this for the next twenty years and never have weather like this again.


Home for seven nights




Sitka Spruce


Cuttie
Hope all is well, I just had to share this with you guys.

Take care,

Art

May 18, 2017

Fly Water Travel Prime Availability - BC Steelhead

BC Steelhead

Latest list of openings from Fly Water Travel for BC Steelhead.

BC West, Dean River
Dates:
 June 24-July 1, 3 spot (primarily kings)
August 12-19,  6 spaces
Rate:   
June week $5995  USD plus taxes
August week $7295 USD plus taxes


Silver Hilton Steelhead Lodge, Babine
Dates: Sept 11-18 Triple Header, 1 spot
Oct 30-Nov 6, Main Camp, 2 spots
Rate:  $9,123 USD plus $250 Save the Babine for September date
$5843 plus $250 Save the Babine for November date

Suskeena Lodge, Sustut
Dates:
 Aug 25-Sept 1, 1 spot
Rate:
$6700 USD plus 5% GST

Bulkley Basecamp
Dates:
 
Sept 23-29, 1 spot
Oct 21-27 1 spot  (discount may apply)
Rates: $6400 USD


Bear Claw Lodge, Kispiox
Dates: Oct 26-Nov 2, 4 spots
Nov 2-9, 6 spots
Rates: $6745 USD plus taxes

Skeena Spey, Terrace
Dates: Aug 14-28, 6 spots
Oct 9-22, 4 spots
Oct 22-31. 8 spots
Rates: $6775 CAD plus taxes (for week-long stay)

Nass River Steelhead Co.Dates: Sept 29-Oct 6, 2 spots
Oct 13-20, 4 rods
Oct 20-27, 4 rods
Rates: $7,300 USD plus taxes

Skeena River Lodge, Terrace
Dates: Sept 23-30, 2 spot
Oct 7-14, 1 spots
Oct 14-21, 1 spots
Rates: $4,400 USD plus taxes

Nass Base Camp
Dates: Sept 16-23, 2 spots
Oct7-14, 1 spot
Sept 23-30, 2 spots
Oct 28-Nov 4, 1 spot
Rates: $4,200 USD plus taxes

Skeena Meadows
Dates: Aug 19-26, 2 tent
Sept 3-8, 1 tent
Sept 12-17, 1 tent
Sept 16-20, 2 tent
Oct 16-21, 2 tents
Rates: $325 USD plus taxes per person per night

Trout Creek River House, Bulkley
Dates: Aug 25- Sept 1, 2 spots
Oct 27-Nov 2, 2 spots
Nov 2-9, 2 spots
Rate: $6700 USD plus 5%GST

May 16, 2017

G.Loomis Asquith (part 2)

Deschutes meets Asquith Spey
G.Loomis Asquith Rod Review (Part II of II)
You can read part one here.

Asquith Spey Part II:
Summer, 2016 I was lucky enough to demo some brand spanking new G.Loomis Asquith rods for a day. I was impressed so I wrote a positive review and then promptly figured out how to get a couple in my boat for 2017.  My new rods showed up in early January just in time some one-swing fishing for winter steelhead.  I chose a 7130 and 6129, 7 weight 13” and 6 weight 12’9”, respectively.   My initial review of these rods was positive but my exposure was pretty limited.  These rods really needed some time dragging tips in the middle of winter.

G.Loomis Asquith
I decided to fish the 7 weight which is a natural choice for winter or summer fish in Oregon, then wait until spring or summer to fish the 6 weight.  I paired the 7130 with a Hatch 7-plus that balanced the rod perfectly.  I’ve also paired it with a Galvan R-10 which is also a good fit.  As far as fly lines go, I tested a fair amount of lines on this rod and never found anything it didn’t like.   The line that is still on the 7130 is the Airflo Skagit FIST in 510 grains.  The Skagit FIST replaced the intermediate Skagit in the Airflow line up but the general idea is to slow the fly down, fish it deeper, longer.  We had a lot of high fast current this year and I found this the appropriate line for at least one rod in the boat at all times.  I cast as much as 13’ feet of T14 and a weighted bunny leech on this rig and had zero complaints.  If you could only have one line to pair this rod with, a 525 Rio Skagit Max or Airflow Compact Skagit 510, the Rio is a foot shorter which I find more user friendly but both are excellent lines.  I spent some time with the 20’ Skagit Switch from Airflow but really didn’t think it was necessary; this rod casts easy.   I had no problem delivering long heavy sink tips and weighted flies with this rod.  I have never fished a rod so light in hand that could pick up such heavy loads without a roll cast.  As far as distance and line speed go, the only limiting factor is how much running line you can manage.  How does it fish?  It has awesome pick up and delivery. Gloomis got it right when they built this rod, all the weight is in the right places so you almost don’t notice you’re holding it.  We got several nice two salt fish on this rod…it’s not overpowering but it’s not a noodle either.  This is an AAA+ do it all 30-06 rod.

I couldn’t wait on this stick, so the first time the river got to a lower flow level, I broke it out. When I set up the 6129 I also paired it with a Hatch 7-plus.  Initially I was surprised the reel wasn’t too heavy since it was perfect on the 7130, nope, not a bit of difference in balance.   Can I say again these guys at Loomis put these things together perfectly balanced.  I only put one line on this rod and it was the Airflo Skagit Switch 450 grains.  This was a guess and a good one.  With 10’ of T10 sink tips, weighted or un-weighted fly this rod quickly became my new favorite rod to fish.  In good conditions this thing bombs just as far as the big stick.

The Bearded Pescador

The 6129 made its debut on the Sandy River
with my pal Ryan going back-to-back on a couple hot ones.  I was a little worried about this rod and its stopping power based the 390 grain scandi we had on it last summer but it was fine.  Like I said this is the one I fish with now unless I have to go GIANT, which is very rare for me.

Coming soon: A side-by-side comparison on the Deschutes in July and out of the jet boat.  G.loomis 6129 vs Winston BIIITH 6126.  We’ll see who gets the best in class pound-for-pound!

Fish P*rn:





Sam Sickles
Steelhead Outfitters
Deschutes River Guide
www.steelheadoutfitters.com
541.400.0855


 

 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 14, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (5/14/2017)

Spring fishing season is in full swing in the Gorge!

Some springers finally decided to show up, the stoneflies have started hatching, and the smallmouth and carp are getting frisky!

Lake fishing for trout has been stellar as of late.  Expect chironomid action early in the day, with a multi larvae/buzzer rig under an indicator or slow retrieved being a great technique, especially in the mornings.  As the midges emerge, often in the afternoon, having a selection of cripple/emerger midges can produce some crazy fun dry fly action.  Streamer and leech fishing is also excellent this time of year. With relatively low weed growth in the spring, fish are cruising the shallows looking for a meaty meal.  Don't hesitate to try a bigger minnow style streamer fished aggressively on a sinking line!

Winston Air 590 and Lamson Micra doing work with a crippled Chironomid emerger dry

Smallmouth bass fishing on the Columbia has been all over the spectrum, from excellent to very difficult.  The river temps, flows and visibility have varied widely over the past couple weeks.  I have seen water temps vary as much as 8 degrees just moving across the river.  My advice is to find slightly clearer shallow water and fish a crayfish fly or Clouser minnow, this time of year I prefer an intermediate or sinking line. The fish are in a prespawn mode and if the conditions are right, they have been very aggressive.

Carp fishing has been on a similar path as the bass fishing as of late, with fish coming into the shallows and feeding heavily when the sun is out and warming the skinny water.  I have even heard a few reports of carp spawning in the backwaters.  If we get a couple sunny warm days again, expect carp to be cruising the flats.  We have a nice selection of carp flies in the shop to help you get hooked up with ole' rubber lips!

The reports from the Deschutes trout fishing have been improving over the last week or so.  The stones are hatching and fish are starting to look up!  Clarity has improved, and the fish are happy.  If the dry fly action is slow, don't hesitate to break out nymph rig with a big bug and dropper.  Rainbows can certainly be moody, and sometimes they just want to be force fed.  Come on into the shop and stock up on the local favorites for this killer hatch!




Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist
541.386.6977


Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"





Cody's Report:

IMG_6806.JPG

Steelhead fishing- While winter steel are pretty much done on all our rivers, there is a welcomed shift towards summer steelhead. However, most of these early fish are of hatchery origin and are being caught on the rivers below Bonneville Dam- the Sandy, Clackamas, Kalama, etc. are great options for those looking for hot hatchery fish. Wild summer steelhead seem to still be on their way, nevertheless this Wednesday I got out to the Kalama River in Washington looking to see what we could find. Expectations were low but it was fun to get out the old single hand and swing the smallest flies I’ve tossed all year.

Trout fishing- It’s no secret that people are out looking for hungry trout. Most all of our area lakes are open and fishing has been great, with the exception of a few lakes still closed due to snow access restriction. Lost Lake Resort is operational for the season and their boat rentals make it easy for those looking to find fishy water. We’ve also got a great selection of Outcast boats to fit your water needs. Keep in mind that some watersheds have different regulations and some trout streams still aren’t open until May 22nd.



IMG_6823.JPG

Golden Stoneflies doing their “thang".

Yesterday (Thursday), I got out to the Deschutes for a few hours with my girlfriend because she’d been jonesing for some trout after a long winter of steelhead casting (rather than catching). It’d been a little while since I’ve been out to the mighty Deschutes and it was cool to see the hillsides covered in a blanket of green, wild flowers, and the smell of desert sage in the air. This was the first Oregon river to steal my heart when I was still a Colorado resident and spent summers guiding the river and coaching snowboard camps up on Mt. Hood. More specifically, it was the legendary salmonfly/stonefly hatch on the Deschutes that really grabbed my attention. I feel I’m probably not the only one who loves rising fish and dry flies either… Indeed, this river is not always forgiving. Upon arrival we noticed that the winds would probably be the victor for the day. However, we were able to punch some flies out and find some trout willing to rise.

Curiosity led us to the White River to see its condition and it turned out to be less of a factor, but I did notice less bugs at the time down lower. We’d found more stoneflies than salmon flies down low, while after up river some nearer to Maupin it seemed about 50/50 among the big bugs in the grass. March Browns are done and the Drakes are still a little ways out. I did see a few Caddisflies and Blue Winged Olives flying around too. This river is quite the trout factory with its prolific hatches and strong shouldered redside trout.  


IMG_6829.JPG

Giant Salmonflies were digging the Winston Microspey as much as I was. It’s super fun to skate flies and spey cast for trout! These new S/A integrated Skagit and Scandi Lite lines are awesome too!

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:

Klickitat
USGS
NOAA

Clackamas:

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

 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 8, 2017

Hatch Custom Shop Fly Reels - Bead Blasted Finishes

 Hatch Custom Bead Blasted Fly Reels
Here's some cool limited edition finishes from Hatch Outdoors. Bead Blasted. They are kind of a satin/matte finish. Hatch is doing one limited run of these bead blasted finished reels. They are only available in Large Arbor format and no extra spools are available. Gorge Fly Shop special ordered a run of them in all available sizes. Trouty sizes are Bead Blasted Sand Color and Saltwater sizes are Bead Blasted Azul.

They are on order and expected to arrive on or after May 15th. They are available for purchase now and will ship as soon as they arrive.

View the available sizes and specifications here...Hatch Custom Bead Blasted Fly Reels

Tight Lines,
Greg

May 4, 2017

Scientific Anglers Spey Lite Micro Skagit Review

Swinging Micro Skagits 

Are you into mini micro skagits? Read on...

Not into the micro skagits? Could be time to reconsider. Do you swing flies or want to swing flies? Are you interested in spey but hold back due to the many facets of gear acquisition and/or line confusion? Read on!!!

Brief History - What is Micro Skagit

We can accredit OPST with the short (micro) skagit revolution and while it was born on the heels of the steelhead angler those guys had enough insight to realize an open door into the emerging trout spey world. They built their micro skagits heads all the way down to 150 grain and short enough to open up the whole scene of micro skagit single handed rod spey casting. It is a revolution in the fly world that whether you've experienced it or not has created a dramatic change in the way we will view spey casting and fly fishing forever.

When I first entered trout spey nearly five years ago, an area of difficulty that exposed itself very early on was the lack of ability to fish close. Pre-Commando, light grain skagit heads at that time were just downsized from steelhead gear and still way too long. Connecting loops constantly got in the way when trying to fish short. While attempting to boycott head loop systems I tried every integrated switch/streamer version of line on the market from then to now and they all just, in my opinion, failed on the trout stream.

Short micro skagit heads such as commando and trout max solved the situation for most anglers but still the ability to strip and fish very short was interrupted by a loop connection. Every time I attempted to strip in close the head loop snags the guides, every time I attempt to cast close the head loop snags the guides and now that I do so much single handed micro spey the loop to loop connection interferes with my ability to haul my single handed spey cast.

I've been asking for a micro skagit seamlessly attached to a thin diameter running line. You'd think this would be a simple request yet don't ask me to run down the list of past failures because some would not like what I have to say about their current offerings.

Scientific Anglers Listened and Responded!

S/A Spey Lite Skagit

Two versions of this skagit line, Spey Lite Skagit Head and Spey Lite Integrated Skagit. I'm going to kick off this review with the fully integrated running line version

Impressions from actual testing
Starting with a subtle color called horizon they extruded a slick, durable, short, micro skagit head while ending it into an easy to see, in any light, black marker section and finally seamlessly integrates into a thin diameter subtle horizon color running line.

S/A added one additional feature with texturing on the black head marker section to create an audible reference which indicates the head has reached the tip top. At first I didn't give this much thought but after using it I started to realize I was locating the head with my ears and no longer needed to watch for the head marker. The small subtle section of textured line created no interference and the added reference proved to be a cool benefit. The textured section starts immediately at the end of the head and runs about 3 feet of line. Note that this is the only textured part of this full integrated skagit line and the head only version does not have this feature.

Casting Performance

Very Impressive! This is a real deal micro skagit! I put the integrated version skagit through a variety of test subjects including actual two hand trout spey rods as well as four and five weight single hand rods. I easily adapted to all my test rods with many styles of cast including Snap T's, Reverse Snap T's, Snap C's, Reverse Double Speys, T&G's and Single Hand forward hauls. All cast where easy to execute with appropriate tips applied. The Spey rods of course handled T-8 with ease while the single hand rods are best to be equipped with polyleaders. I was able to cast 8' of T-8 with a 9' 5 weight rod with relative ease. I not going to elaborate more into this area because it is a grey area. Limitations of sink tip choice have more to do with the power in the rod being used and ones casting ability. With my equipment and ability I could easily push the limits beyond the printed S/A recommendations found in the product specs.

I'll save you the squalls of smooth, tight and precise analogies and tell you the way it is. It's a skagit! By design they are created to chuck spey cast with relative ease while utilizing sink tips and weighted flies. Spey Lite Skagit performs these duties precisely and effectively.

Test Subjects
Aside the qualities we already talked about this line also benefits from a very slick integrated shooting line. I measured the running/shooting line diameter on both a 210 and 240 grain lines and it micrometers at about .028".  I found the handling and shooting ability of the integrated running line to exceed my expectations on both trout spey two hand rods as well as single hand spey rod setups.

Specs -
Item #Head WeightHead LengthColorSink RateLength
128568
150gr
11ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128575
180gr
11ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128582
210gr
12ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128599
240gr
13ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128605
270gr
14ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128612
300gr
15.5ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128629
330gr
17ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft
128636
360gr
18ft
Horizon/Black/Horizon
Float
100ft


I feel the integrated version of this line really benefits single handed spey rod setups. With the Spey Lite Integrated Skagit on a (for example), 9 foot 5 weight fly rod I can swing flies with mild sink tips or polyleaders and strip them in all the way to the leader. I can also add a "haul" to my forward cast for ease of distance without a loop connection interference. Whether fishing single hand rods, switch rods or trout spey rods the Spey Lite Integrated Skagit gives the angler more versatility "in tighter", on smaller water.

Brownie Likes the swing

Spey Lite Skagit Heads

For many anglers, separate heads and running/shooting/mono lines are better for their purpose. S/A Spey Lite Skagit also comes in a head only configuration. Same great subtle horizon color with black marker rear section. The head version does not have the textured audible section. The head lengths are identical to the integrated version and I found in testing, performance matched exactly.

Specs -
Item #Head WeightHead LengthColorSink Rate
128643150gr11ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128650180gr11ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128667210gr12ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128674240gr13ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128681270gr14ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128698300gr15.5ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128704330gr17ftBlack/HorizonFloat
128711360gr18ftBlack/HorizonFloat

Line Identification

One simple feature I really like about S/A lines is their vertical printed line identification. I find vertical is much easier to read then the horizontal printing others use. Also with the black rear section there is no guessing which end is what on the head only versions. 

Line identification easy to read

I think the integrated version is a slam dunk for those interested in single hand rod spey techniques and also a great choice for those wanting to get into trout spey and not be hassled with loops or too many running line and head choices. The head only version is perfect for those are already accustomed to these systems and/or want that versatility of head and running line choices. Either way they are both excellent performing and high quality that we've come to expect from Scientific Anglers.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the guys at Scientific Anglers for both reading my past trout spey line articles and also taking the time to listen and allow me to demonstrate current trends with trout spey. This New Spey Lite Skagit is clear evidence these guys are paying attention. 


Gorge Fly Shop 
Internet Sales Manager
Product Specialist

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