Jan 18, 2017

RIO Favorite Fly Fishing Knots DVD

RIO Favorite Fly Fishing Knots
I grabbed a copy of this new DVD called RIO's Favorite Fly Fishing Knots. I feel as if I already know the knots I need in order to go fishing but it never hurts to learn a new knot or just find out what you don't know.

Do you really need a DVD to learn to tie knots? Maybe KNOT!!!

But! I did find many advantages to a DVD form of learning over the many pocket guides I've studied over the years.

The main advantage is get to see real anglers actually tying knots. Demonstrations are done by Simon Gawesworth and Zach Dalton, both are masters of the trade and these gentlemen possess proven teaching skills.

Another advantage with video is being able to pick up on hand placement techniques that can make any knot easier to tie. I find that it's not just the sequence of moves to tie a knot but equally important in learning is the placement of hands and use of fingers to hold the knot in the many stages leading to completion.

Also included in this video is actual knot break strength test. This really can show a knots strengths and weaknesses. For instance I have long been a fan of the Trilene Knot for Bass Buggin. As demonstrated in this video it's easy to see why with its 99% break strength. When Bass fishing one needs a knot that can take the force of powerful hook sets and the strength to pull free from shoreline jungles. The Trilene knot lives up to that and its strength is proven in this video.

Complete list of knots demonstrated. There is also a section about Understanding Tippet that I found quite informative

>>Fly to Leader Knots
  • Clinch Knot
  • Improve Clinch
  • Turtle Knot
  • Davy Knot
  • Non Slip Loop Knot
  • Homer Rhodes Knot
  • Belize Loop
  • Trilene Knot
  • Pitzen Knot
>>Leader to Tippet
  • Blood Knot
  • Improved Blood Knot
  • Double and Triple Surgeon
  • Albright Knot
  • Slim Beauty
  • Uni Knot
>>Loop Knots
  • Double Surgeon Loop
  • Perfection Loop
  • Loop to Loop Connection
  • Bimini Twist
  • Spider Hitch
>>Other Knots
  • How to make a Braided Loop
  • How to attach a Braided Loop
  • How to use a Nail Knot Tool
  • Nail Knot
  • Needle Knot
  • Reverse Blind Splice Loop
  • Arbor Knot
  • Wind Knot

For the $19.95 Price I found the RIO Favorite Fly Fishing Knots DVD to be quite a bargain. I'm sure I have spent more than that in various pocket guides that in comparison just don't even come close to what is demonstrated on this disc. I'm securing a copy in my library of fishing material.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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Jan 15, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (01/15/17)

A video posted by Ryan Van Duzor (@the.bearded.pescador) on

If you can't get out fishing, it's a great time to tie flies!
Well, Old Man Winter has yet to release his icy grip on us in the Gorge.  We haven't seen temps above freezing in quite a while and there is close to 3 feet of snow in my yard in Stevenson.  As my caption above states, I don't think I'll be bass fishing anytime soon, gotta give those fish a break anyway! But, there is still water flowing, and there are winter steelhead and hungry trout to be had!

An absolute winter beauty from the Yak.  Photo by Jeremy Leder
Winter trout fishing can be phenomenal and, in fact, some of the best of the entire season.  Trout have to eat all year to keep their metabolism going and the fishing pressure is low which can equal epic fishing for those brave enough to get out in the cold.  There can be really steady midge hatches as well as BWO activity.  The blue wings particularly like the nastiest weather to get going.  Tiny nymphs (18-20) dropped behind a juicy restless stone can be a deadly combo.  Streamer fishing is my go-to technique in the winter, especially when the insect activity is low.  Swing and stripping streamers can produce some real brutes.

Winter steelhead are certainly around and if you can get to your river you will likely find the pressure on the fish is lower than usual.  A lot of our moisture is locked up in the snow at the moment, but even a small warm up can get fish moving as the flows increase.  Smaller flies fished deeper can be more effective in the cold clear water.  I have heard of some good fish being caught on the Oregon coast and the Olympic Peninsula, so if you have the time and the weather cooperates I recommend getting out to those rivers and escaping the tundra for the few days.

A beauty from the Sandy!  Photo by Sam Sickles

You can be comfortable winter fishing with the right gear and clothing.  Check out Greg's article on winter weather gear for some helpful pointers.  Breathable layers and good outwear/waders will make a huge difference in your comfort level.  You also want to pay close attention to your feet and your hands.  Two or more sock layers (I prefer wool) and a good set up gloves will keep you in the game.

Remember COTTON KILLS!!  Leave your Ducks sweatshirt at home and stick with synthetic materials and wool which will keep you warm even when you are wet.

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"


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Jan 12, 2017

Sage Motive - USA Built Under $500


USA Built Under $500 - Article 1122017

This article series is intended to review Fly Fishing Rods and Reels under $500. The criteria for these reviews is that the actual product is tested in real world fishing conditions. They are not just wiggled in the showroom or cast in parking lot / show pond setting.

In doing some research I realized there are a few rods that demand our attention. They fit a budget, provide fish-able actions and are made in USA by top well known manufactures such as Sage, Scott and Winston. My goal is to fish a few of these rods and report what I find. In this article I will review the...

Sage Motive 890-4

Tamed with Motive
$450 (Scale Weight 3.8 oz) (Published Weight 4 oz)
There is no doubt this is a saltwater stick. Sage publishes this rod as Fast in their description and Medium-Fast in the rods features. I consider it fast. If you have the skills to extract the power it will surely prove its worthiness with tight loops on the salt flats. The Motive is a serious saltwater fly rod and should be treated as such.

I didn't get the opportunity to give this stick a workout on the salt flats but let me assure you I put it through some demanding fishing situations.

Mouth full of Swinging D
I fished this rod for Pike and Bass with both a S/A Wavelength Titan WF8F and a RIO Coastal Quickshooter WF8i fly lines. From my boat deck I was throwing fast tight loops with weighted Clousers and Swinging D's. I really liked the Motive with the intermediate Coastal Quickshooter and sub-surface flies. It's action allowed me good hook sets at a distance and also provided a lot of feedback through the grip which can be so critical to success while fishing blind sub-surface.

The Cool Blue Motive handles magnum short headed lines such as the RIO Outbound Shorts and the New RIO Coastal Quickshooter with relative ease. It performs with a little more line speed using tapers like RIO Bonefish and RIO Summer Redfish. In the right hands the Motive could certainly be a parking lot champion.

I wouldn't call the Motive easy to get in tune casting but I wouldn't call it difficult either. It rides tight on the middle ground providing good saltwater speed/power and yet retains intuitive fish-ability. It greatly reminds me of the Sage Xi2 of days past. We respected the Xi2 for its deep strong flats power while retaining enough feel that it could be mastered by many.

One of the great attributes the Motive has going for it is it can adapt to various types of fly lines giving an angler ability to adapt it for various situations. An example of this would be load it with a RIO Winter Redfish line which is short headed and extra weight in the front and the Motive will load easy and short which is so important for those Louisiana Big Bull Reds. Then switch to a RIO Bonefish Taper and and gain some line speed and distance for longer casts and softer presentations needed for Bahamas Bonefishing.

Feather Game Changers

Final Thoughts

Just a couple years ago we would have paid premium for a stick this good. It's a great combination of power and grace and looks incredible with the blue blank color and black accents. While it is a saltwater destined rod I believe the action can carry over well into freshwater fishing including big streamer and big topwater fishing.

When strong winds, double hauls, tight loops and sensitivity are all in a days fishing this is a stick that will get the job done. It's USA built, powerful, modern, includes a Sage Ballistic Nylon divided rod tube and Sage's lifetime warranty.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Jan 9, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report- (01/09/17)

Photo Credit: Matt O'Connor
Well if you've been at a desk with the blinds shut living like a hermit crab you might be wondering how the fishing is...

Here's what I know:
If you can play catch up on shoveling snow and make it out of your driveway, down the road and get access to fishable water there are fish to be caught. This is the word buzzing around the shop and from our resident Fish Boy Gabe in last weeks report. "Can't catch fish from the couch".

Be Advised:
Hood River and the entire surrounding area is getting slammed with new snow. My brother in-law a local tow tuck driver is on call and currently in chains. So be smart, fish smart.

As of 2:09PM I-84, Ainsworth State Park MP 22 - 18 - Closed:
Historic Columbia River Highway is closed between Ainsworth State Park and Multnomah Falls due to snow slides, use an alternate route. Check Trip Check before you go and be prepared. If you can make it to the river, safe access is key. Text a friend where you will be going.

It's cold and it's snowing. Dress right dummy.

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

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 6, 2017

Fish Boy Gabe Fishing Report - (1/6/2017)

Hood River Steelhead
This is Fish Boy Gabe. I'm visiting home on my Christmas break from college. Not having fished for Steelhead in over four months I couldn't wait to hit my home waters in search of my favorite species. 


Fishing conditions have been less than ideal the past couple weeks in the gorge. I arrived to temps averaging the low teens to just below freezing, with a foot of snow on the ground and more in the forecast. I knew my only opportunity would be fishing the Hood River which is always hit and miss this time of year. With the river running a very cold and clear 700 cfs, I knew that my chances of catching fish on a swung fly were pretty low. 

Hatchery for Harvest
This called for breaking out the dead drift techniques. I found surprisingly decent fishing once I found what type of water they were hunkered down in. I had most of my success fishing deep holes that you would find salmon sitting in. 

Look For

Holes with a turbulent drop at the top of the pool that quickly deepens to 4-12 feet deep and cover every square inch of the spot. I focused on fishing the top of the pools on the boily looking seams and in the deepest and slowest portion of the spot. The most critical thing before achieving a good drift was first finding the bottom and setting my presentation approximately 6 inches off the bottom knowing the fish wouldn't move very far to eat something. 

With a lack of rain, not too many true Winter Steelhead are in the system. That being said there are still plenty of late summer run fish dispersed throughout the system. This was the majority of my catch with one fish being a hatchery winter. 

Can't catch fish from the couch

This was a good reminder for myself that even though the weather is nasty and cold, there are still fish to be had. You just have to put in the time and keep your confidence high and you will find success.

Gabe - aka: Fish Boy

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 2, 2017

Dress for Winter Fly Fishing Success

Wet and Cold

If I've learned one thing in fly fishing it is you never know how something is going to work until you're out on the stream in real life. Layering for cold weather is surely one of those areas of trial and error. I'd like to share what has been working for me. This has been my layering program through a couple winter seasons now and it seams to be working pretty well.

Starting with feet

I start with a good pair of wading socks. I only use one layer of socks. I find that the more I can move my toes the warmer they will stay throughout the day. Matter of fact if your wading boots are too tight with your winter socks I would recommend you start with a new pair of wading boots and go a size bigger than your summer wading boots. This may sound like a extra expense but trust me, if your toes can't wiggle your feet and your fishing are going to suffer.
Back to socks...
I like one pair. I think they wick better, I think they are less restrictive on circulation and one pair is less likely to fall down and bunch up causing discomfort. I also like wool, just be sure to buy them plenty big and hang dry them so they don't shrink. Most normal late fall and spring cool temps I go with Simms Wading Socks and when the temps really fall I reach for Simms ExStream Wading Socks. Hint: On really cold days carry an extra pair and change out in the middle of the day. A fresh dry pair of socks can take your attitude from "I'm ready to be done" to "Let's fish till dark."

Lower Half

For my lower half I like Simms Cold Weather Pants. Most days I don't need anything else. The inner fleece wicks and feels warm and the outer shell provides a nice barrier from cold waders. If I feel like I need more then I'll put on a pair of Simms Waderwick Core Bottoms as a base layer under the Cold Weather Pants. The best part of the Cold Weather Pants is they are pants. Complete with pockets and belt loops. Wear them wherever you go.

Upper Half

For my upper half I have developed a four layer system. Base, Mid, Mid Outer and Outer.

For a base layer I start with Simms Waypoint Hoody, (Now known as Solarflex Hoody). Yes, my upper base layer is a summer piece. I like this hoody year-round because it breathes and wicks moisture. Also it moves with me, not against me! I also like having the hood for an additional wind or sun block.

For a second layer I reach for either a Simms WaderWick Thermal Top or Simms Montana TechWool Zip-Top. Both of these pieces can really lock in your core warmth and with the Solarflex Hoody as a base layer you never get the scratchy feeling or fleece feeling directly against your skin. There is something about fleece or wool directly against my skin that really bugs me. With the base layer I never have that problem.

Third I go with a good Quilted Primaloft Jacket such as Simms Fall Run. Simms has some other good choices for this layer too such as Downstream Sweater, Downstream Jacket and the Kinectic Jacket. I like the good old Quilted Fall Run. It's light, moves easy and pack-able. I believe this is an essential layer piece for year round success.

The Outer Shell

If you fish in cold wet weather then I recommend Simms Gore-Tex outerwear. There is a bunch of choices such as G4,  G3 and Guide jacket. For extremes wading conditions I like the Simms Slick Jacket. It has a clean front which goes well with two hand spey fishing. If you fish really wet winter environments like the PNW don't skimp on this layer. Save some money on your middle layers but not the outer shell. For my boat angling I go with a Simms ProDry Gore-Tex Jacket and Bibs.

The Beauty of the Four Layer Top System

What I have figured out is that with these four top layers one can dress accordingly for any condition. Even if you don't start your day with all four layers you should pack the layers you don't start with. Layer up and layer down as needed.

Solarflex Hoody - Puffy Jacket

Always starting with base layer Hoody build it up from there. Many days all I need beyond the base is my puffy jacket. Both pieces are light and work extremely well together. If I need a little more warmth I add the fleece layer between them. If it gets warm than remove the Puffy and you still have sun protection and hoody for sun and wind protection.

Solarflex Hoody - Fleece - Puffy Jacket

By putting the fleece layer between the slick poly/nylon layers of Hoody and Puffy I prevent the old incompatible fabrics issues. You know the issues I'm talking about right? Fleece on Fleece and nothing moves! The key to my 4 layer system is the fabrics never fight each other.

Solarflex Hoody - Puffy Jacket - Gore-Tex Outer Shell

These 3 layers work well together when you are dealing with wet but not too cold. I feel the Primoloft insulation of a puffy style jacket breathes better than fleece. I save the fleece for when I really need it.

Solarflex Hoody - Fleece - Puffy Jacket - Gore-Tex Outer Shell

When you need it all it's hard to beat this combination. Everything moves and breathes as needed. Get too warm and just remove your choice of  middle layers.


Much of this is personal preference but I do have some thoughts. Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall you need gloves.

Summer Gloves

I see too many anglers fishing without Sungloves in summer weather. Three reasons to wear sungloves:
  1. Obviously to prevent sun damage to your hands 
  2. Provide a stripping finger that will help hard stripping and double hauls. Here's a helpful hint, you can apply some line dressing to your glove stripping finger and improve your stripping and casting. 
  3. Avoid sunblock on your fly lines, rod handles and flies. I don't know if the latter makes a difference in fishing but I'm not taking any chances. 
Simms Solarflex Sungloves and/or the Simms Solarflex Guide Gloves gets the job done. Both fit really well. I feel the Solarflex Glove is best in the summer heat with its open palms and the Solarflex Guide Glove is a better shoulder season glove due to having more coverage.

Spring and fall Gloves

Most of the time I get away with using my sungloves in the shoulder seasons. I might need a warmer layer in the cool mornings and evening. Simms ExStream Half Finger, Tight Lines and the trusty Wool Half Finger can cover those cooler mornings and beyond.

Winter Gloves

Tough call on this one and largely depends on the angler. I know a lot of guys are reaching for the all out waterproof gloves. I for one have a hard time fishing in full finger waterproof gloves. I do find good use for the Simms G4 Glove for driving or rowing boats. For fishing I just use my Half finger gloves and carry extra dry pairs to change out.

No matter what you choose for gloves I recommend always carrying extra pairs. I can usually revive my cold hands pretty quick with a fresh pair of dry gloves and a bit of shoreline walking for circulation.


Another area that really comes down to angler preference. To start off you always need a good cap. I suggest once you find the style that you really like make it you designated fishing cap. I spent too many days fighting a new cap that didn't fit or feel right. Even on cold days when I need a beanie or anything warmer than a standard cap I still always carry my fishing cap in my pack, that way if I get too warm I can switch out.
Beanies are great but not necessarily great for fly fishing. If the sun is bright you are missing the bill to block it out of your eyes. I have an old Patagonia fleece cap with a good visor for my winter fishing and I would swim for it if needed in order to keep it around. Too bad they don't make them any more.
Some popular cold weather Simms Hats we sell are the Gore-Tex Extream Hat and Wool Scotch Cap. Both feature fold down ear flaps.
Don't forget Buffs. Buffs are great around your neck and/or ears for extra warmth on those bone chilling days.

That's what I have come up with and it seems to be working pretty good for me. I consider this a system incorporating parts that all work together and/or by themselves. After years of clothing failures I finally feel like I have come up with a not only stuff that works but also no longer waste valuable time worrying about what I will need for a successful day of fishing. I keep all my fishing clothes in one place separated from daily street clothes. I treat these clothes in the same way as I treat my fishing equipment. To me they are just as important as my fly rods, fly reels and fly lines.

I'm sure you have some of your own thoughts and ideas on this subject. Please share in the comments.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Dec 26, 2016

Scott Tidal Fly Rods - USA Built Under $500

Boogle Bug Bassin'

USA Built Under $500 - Article 12262016
This article series is intended to review Fly Fishing Rods and Reels under $500. The criteria for these reviews is that the actual product is tested in real world fishing conditions. They are not just wiggled in the showroom or cast in parking lot / show pond setting.

In doing some research I realized there are a few rods that demand our attention. They fit a budget, provide fish-able actions and are made in USA by top well known manufactures such as Sage, Scott and Winston. My goal is to fish a few of these rods and report what I find. In this article I will review the...

Scott Tidal 890-4

$495 (Scale Weight 4.2 oz) (Weight not published)
Handcrafted in Montrose, Colorado
While designated a saltwater stick I found these rods to have tons of soul. I call the action mod-fast. Yes I know it is listed as "Fast" on Scott's website. Now before you go and correct me let me just say I tend to rate rod actions lower then what the industry considers them. You see for me I didn't learn on rod actions that require a nap between strokes. So what the industry today calls moderate (yawn) I personally find to be painfully slow. I consider a mod-fast action rod to load rather deep and provide quite a bit of feel but still respond with quite a bit of power. I feel a mod-fast action as "wait for it" but no time for a nap!

This statement describes the Scott Tidal. I had to slow my stroke a little and "wait for it" but it recovers strong and delivers the goods with authority. I feel this rod action is ideal for situations such as winter redfishing, bass bugging and large streamers. It loads progressively deep while providing the angler with ample feedback to adjust one's stroke to match the required cast. The same action is super friendly with a short cast so often associated with winter redfishing. I would consider the Tidal to be a great rod for less experienced casters but not at all disappointing to a seasoned parking lot champion.

Deer Hair & Toothy Critters
I could cast this rod all day and never tire and I did just that on a couple of occasions this past summer while throwing bass bugs from the deck of my boat. Eight or nine hours straight of non-stop power casting and I never tired. I favored the S/A Wavelength Titan WF8F line for the Tidal. This double bump line does further slow the Tidal down but the key to the combo was the Tidal's power found down deep in the rod blank. This rod/line combo was really easy and effective for turning big wind resistant bass bugs like the frog in the picture.

Is the Tidal a 100 foot tight loop pro casting stick? No! If that's what you want/need then get the Scott Meridian. The Tidal is a rod that will let you relax, breathe and take in the scenery and don't fret over making "the cast". Just reach for it and let it happen. It probably is a stick that fits more anglers than most anglers are willing to admit.

Feather Game Changers
Finished in the natural look Scott Fly Rods has become known for the Tidal includes a cordura rod tube and Scott's lifetime warranty.

A bit about line choices

For the upcoming 2017 year you are going to see many new articles from us on this subject of line choices. No longer is it as easy as just buying the weight line that matches the rod. Most lines today are bumped in size, some as much as 2 line sizes and I even know of one line that is bumped 3 sizes. It's not all a bad thing. Modern high modulus graphite rods work over a wider grain range than ever and we as anglers further push the limits of fly size that places greater demands from rods and lines.

I'll write more about this subject in the near future but for now I challenge you to try something. If you have a few rods and line choices in similar sizes I want you to take a 7 weight line and try it on an eight weight and vice versa. Or a 5 on a 6 weight or a 6 on a 5 weight. Whatever you have to test this out with. You might be amazed at the results. You might find a new personality in your favorite rod or you may find a love with a rod you previously couldn't connect with.

Ditch the Yarn...
When it is necessary to parking lot / yard test fly rods I use actual flies that I would be fishing with. I use old half worn out flies and cut the hooks off. Make it as true as possible to the conditions you will be using the rod for. Most times casting yarn does not provide accurate results unless you're buying a rod for dry fly work.

Wrap it up! I'll take one!

Seriously, I'm adding an 890-4 Tidal to my boat quiver as a big fly bass/pike rod this year. The Tidal is a super fun easy rod. It has a ton of soul and also exhibits a ton of crossover. It can easy be tuned with different fly lines to match anglers casting preferences and fishing conditions. It's got the great qualities all Scott Fly Rods are known for including the lifetime warranty and hand built in the USA.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

Dec 21, 2016

Korkers Women's Wading Boots - BUCKSKIN MARY - New for 2017

Korkers BUCKSKIN MARY Wading Boot

Women anglers have long-appreciated Korkers innovative and versatile approach to wading footwear. While many women actively wear and trust Korkers boots, for others finding the right size sometimes required a compromise. Well, compromise no more - Korkers new BuckSkin Mary™ women’s wading boot is here. Now women now have a versatile, performance-packed boot that is specifically designed and styled to fit a woman’s needs.

Shown with Kling-On Rubber and Studded Kling-On Rubber Soles
Korkers new BuckSkin Mary™ boot is lightweight and athletic, yet rugged and durable. It comes in sizes 5-11 and is built on a slightly narrower last that better contours to the shape of a woman’s foot, providing better retention, fit, and supreme comfort. Women are sure to appreciate the versatility and performance traction this boot offers based on Korkers patented OmniTrax™ Interchangeable Outsole System, which allows for customized on-demand traction.

“Women have been loyal supporters of Korkers over the years, but unfortunately due to a limited size range we have not always been able to accommodate the needs of all women anglers. By expanding our sizes and engineering this boot around a woman’s foot, we have created the ultimate option for women at an affordable price,” said Korkers Director of Development Drew Linth.

The BuckSkin Mary™ will be offered in sizes 5-11 and comes standard in two different package options: Black Felt and Kling-On ($139.99 MSRP) and Kling-On and Studded Kling-On ($159.99). Women can enjoy additional traction performance soles such as AlumaTrax™ aluminum bars, Studded felt, and Studded rubber, which are offered as accessories and sold separately. The BuckSkin Mary™ will be available through fishing tackle retailers beginning December, 2016.

Media provided by Korkers

The Gorge Fly Shop Team

"Fly Fish The World With Us"

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