May 22, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (05/22/2016)


May 22, 2016

It has been a great spring for fishing in the Gorge so far and the fishing outlook improves even more in the next week or two.  The Oregon general season trout opener for rivers and streams is next Saturday, so our favorite small streams like the East Fork Hood and Eagle Creek will be open on May 29.

Other streams in Washington open in the next few weeks too.  The Klickitat opens June 1, while other streams in WA like Trout Lake Creek open on the first Saturday in June (June 4).

Rainbow Trout fishing on the Deschutes continues to be good.  The best fishing has been around the Trout Creek area and upstream to Warm Springs, but good trout fishing can be found anywhere along the river now.  While fish are still eating bigger stonefly imitations, refusals are common with the big bugs.  Try smaller stoneflies like a Yellow Sallie on the surface.  Trout are certainly eating PMD nymphs during the day, as well as caddis pupa in the evenings while snacking on the occasional stonefly and maybe even some caddis surface action before dark.

Lost Lake is the closest place to catch a nice brown trout.

Trout fishing in the local lakes has been really good too.  The flying ant hatch is in full swing at Lost Lake among others, and the fish are happy.  Have some black ants, woolly buggers and parachute adams and you will be a happy fisherman too.

Early summer steelhead fishing has been occurring, but reports are spotty.  The Clackamas seems to be kicking out some fish as well as the Kalama, but there has been very little action reported in the Gorge as is typical for our area.  Summer steelhead wont arrive in numbers for a couple of months, but there are always a few hanging around if you can find them.  The Klickitat opens next Wednesday (June 1), so that will at least provide more options for local anglers looking to swing into an early chromer.

Spring Chinook fishing has been good throughout the area.  Many locals put down the spey rod and pick up a baitcaster this time of year, but it is possible to swing a fish or two.  The locals that hang around the mouth of the Hood River have been catching the occasional Springer lately.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been fantastic lately, although Ryan's trolling motor has been broken, so we haven't been getting on the bass this week.  Other anglers have been crushing 'em though.  The full moon really gets bass riled up.  There are a few spots along the Columbia that someone could get them from shore, but having a boat helps tremendously.

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 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
541.386.6977





"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 19, 2016

Wilderness Steelhead - Sandy River, Alaska

Live your dream!

There are very few Summer / Fall Steelhead Rivers where the fish come in on fire straight out of the sea and take over the river. The Sandy River, Alaska on the Aleutian Peninsula is that place.


Available Dates: September 23-30, 2016
Rate: $6900 per angler and includes Charter Flight from Anchorage to Lodge


We wade and fish for Steelhead from the mouth on upstream. Fishing is accessed by jet boat and very experienced guides. The fishing is typically done by swinging flies with 2 handed rods. This particular week there is a shot to skate a fish up with a floating line.

 Accommodations are in comfortable cabins an the food is great. They take only 6 anglers this week. If you go you should bring an extra outfit as the first one may get ripped out of your hands by a chrome wild animal, headed back to sea.




My week on the Aleutian Peninsula 3 years ago was memorable and outstanding. That is why I am going back this year. The rate is $6900 per angler and includes the charter flight from Anchorage to the lodge in a Pilatus.









Jerry Swanson
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC
jerry@fishheadexpeditions.com

503-539-1451

"Fly Fish the World with Us"



May 15, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (05/15/2016)

What a sunset in the Deschutes River Canyon!  


Local fishing has been superb lately!  Rainbow Trout fishing is still the best bet for a day of great fishing in the area.  The Salmonfly/Stonefly hatch on the Deschutes is going strong from Maupin up to Pelton Dam.
Salmonflies are popping from Maupin to Madras
The bulk of the bugs were up around Trout Creek, but they were flying thick throughout the entire stretch.  I noticed many anglers fishing nymphs under bobbers during my float last week.  I am not sure how they were doing, but I fished a Clark's Stone for three days and had no issues getting fish to come to the surface.  I am heading back out to do Trout Creek to Harpam again this week and planning on fishing all dries again.  I am prepared to fish smaller yellow sallies as they are starting to pop too.  I saw a couple of green drakes, a pile of PMDs, and a huge caddis hatch also, but the fish were sure eager to eat a stonefly all day.  Camping upstream of North Junction on Thursday night, I have never seen so many stoneflies flying at once right before dark.  The sky was nearly black with bugs, birds and bats were happy.  It was definitely very impressive.

Wild Horses rule the Warm Springs Reservation!

Spring Chinook Salmon fishing is still moving along in the Gorge.  There is very little effort from the fly anglers towards salmon.  They are not the most aggressive fish, nor do they tend to sit in spots that are easily accessible for most fly anglers, but they are in the local rivers and plenty of anglers catch them given the time and energy.



Smallmouth Bass fishing has been great too!  The Hood River Marina is a great place to go catch a pile of fish on a lunch break.  Without a boat, bass fishing is a little more difficult, but there are plenty of places in the area to pull off the road and catch some smallies.  Fish are definitely in shallow water, looking to spawn during the full moon this next week.  They turn on to poppers more after the spawn.  I seem to do better right now stripping buggers slower near the bottom for big fish, but if you can find them, they will likely eat a variety of flies throughout the water column moving at various speeds.  

Golden Stones are everywhere on the Deschutes.
Local lakes have been fishing really well too.  Laurence, Lost and Kingsley have all been kicking out loads of fish on dries, nymphs and buggers.  I am sure other lakes are fishing really well too but we haven't heard much from them in the past week or two.  Most anglers are hitting the Deschutes while it is good.  

Shad are starting to pick up.  By the first of June, they should be in the Columbia in catchable numbers.  

Summer Steelhead are starting to trickle in.  There are always early fish in rivers like the Sandy, Clackamas and Kalama, but the big runs of fish in the Deschutes and Klickitat don't start moving in until late July or August.  Westside rivers get more early steelhead than the Eastside rivers. 

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 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
541.386.6977





"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 12, 2016

Scientific Anglers Sonar Series Lines - 2016



Let me start this article with the one most important piece of knowledge you need to know...

All Scientific Anglers Premium Sinking fly lines from hover to full sink are now identified by the title Sonar. 

This includes hover, intermediate, sink tip or full sinking lines. So if your looking for your old Streamer Express, they're here, looking for your Lake Line, they're here too. New in the Sonar Series is a whole lineup of powerful Titan Taper Textured sinking lines. These new Titan's are already having a huge impact in the sinking line game.

Sonar Titan


The sinking Titans have arrived!
Several options here that I want to spend some time on. First understand that all Sonar Titan lines have the Mastery Textured surface. This alone clearly separates them from the other Sonar Series lines which have a smooth surface. Personally I think the next 3 lines I describe have a significant place in the future of sinking lines due to the popular taper design and the benefit of the textured surface.


Sonar Titan Clear Tip
Think powerful clear streamer tip!
Sonar Titan Clear Tip is a weight bumped, powerful taper for easy turnover of big flies, three color for easy length determination, textured for easy pick up and long distance shooting ability and formulated to suit most temperate environments.

Sonar Titan Intermediate
Many Streamer Anglers are discovering the benefit of going all in with full intermediate lines. Getting the running line under the surface improves your connection to the fly and allows for truer swimming action of streamers.

Sonar Titan Int/Sink 3/Sink 5
Triple Density Sinking fly line?! I am already hearing major buzz following this line. It starts with an intermediate running line section that seamlessly transforms into a type 3 sinking mid section that flows into a type 5 sinking Titan tapered head. Triple Density, full sinking, powerful Titan taper, braided core, made for temperate environments and textured for reduced friction allowing for easier pickups and longer cast. Streamer anglers even if you're not a textured line fan you might ought pay attention to this one. We could easily be looking at a game changer!
Triple Density

Non-Textured Sonar Lines

Sonar Sink 25 Cold - replaces Mastery Wet Tip Express
A 25' extra fast sinking tip with floating running line. The running line incorporates a large diameter handling section for better mending and line control. With a braided multi-filament core and Shooting Technology Plus the Sonar Sink 25 provides an excellent low tangle design which increases shooting distance. An excellent streamer line for trout. Measured in grains and formulated for cold-water.

Sonar Sink 30 Warm and Sonar Sink 30 Clear Tip - replaces Mastery Streamer Express
Two version of this popular sinking line. First the Sink 30 Clear is a 30 foot clear intermediate tip with a colored intermediate running line. The Sink 30 Warm is a fast sinking 30' tip with a colored intermediate running line. Formulated for warmer climates and ideal for big streamer fishing. Both lines feature different colors in running lines between various sizes to make identification easy. Sink 30 Warm uses a braided multi-filament core to aid in better sinking and strike detection while the Sink 30 Clear uses a Mono-filament core for clear tip stealth.

Sonar Sink Tip
Sonar Sink Tip
Exactly as the names implies. Sinking Tip, Floating body and comes in 3 different sinking densities, Type 3, Type 4 and Type 5. On this Sonar Series line actual sink tip length increases with line size. It makes sense to me that length of tip would be dictated by rod weight. The bigger more powerful rod can handle more sinking tip and larger flies. The benefit to the angler is you can now set up multi rods to better handle different fishing situations and remain with comfortable casting conditions.

Editors note: 

Too often I see anglers use the biggest sinking tip line they can get on smaller weight rods. We tend to always assume that we match our rods to our quarry. An approach that I have found that works better for me is to match my rod to the type of line and size of fly I wish to fish. An example is I will use up to an 8 weight rod for bass fishing. Most anglers I talk to think 8 weight is too big for bass angling but what an 8 weight can do for me is allow me to fish bigger flies and/or sinking tip lines all the while making casting much easier and less tiring and allowing me to reach further distances to provide more opportunity. Sure if a particular fisheries average size is 12" than an 8 weight is certainly overkill but in that type of fishery I am probably not going to be fishing as large of a fly or have the need to get down as deep. It's something to think about when choosing a rod for a particular species, also consider fly size, fly weight. fly wind resistance and type of line needed.

Sonar Specialty Lines

Sonar Titan Big Water Taper (Slow Sink and Max Sink versions) - This big water Textured line is created to be the strongest of its kind. With a 100lb tropical formulated monofilament core and the strong turnover power of Titan taper the Big Water is designed for species such as Giant Trevally, Arapaima and all Blue Water species. Two formats, Slow Sink and Max Sink

Sonar Saltwater Intermediate - Clear head for stealthy presentations

Sonar Stillwater - Full clear intermediate sink line ideal for lake angling

Sonar Hover (Freshwater and Saltwater versions) - When you just want to get your line under the surface chop. Both versions are built with hover tips and floating running lines.

Sonar Uniform Sink - A graduated sinking line to get a straighter connection to your fly designed for lake and stillwater applications

Sonar Custom Tip - Lets and angler customize a heaving sinking tip line to their own personal needs.


A lot of changes with Scientific Anglers for 2016 and while many changes also bring some confusion I can easily say after learning all the changes, today's Scientific Anglers is much easier to understand and has much more to offer. S/A has always built high quality durable fly fishing lines and continues this tradition and commitment into the future.

Please don't hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a call with fly line questions. Remember this, the right fly line matched to your rod will bring out it's best qualities! The wrong line on the best rod will make you question your ability as a fly angler.

BassProGreg
Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist


"Fly Fish the World with Us"


May 8, 2016

The Lake Line Shootout!

Feel lost in a sea of lake lines?

There comes a time when things need to be broken down and analyzed.  Sometimes the choices in fishing and life can be totally overwhelming. While preparing for our annual desert lake fishing extravaganza I was having a hard time choosing which lines to bring.  If I work at a shop and felt that way, anyone who doesn't work in a fly shop would certainly be feeling the same way or even more distraught.  

Decisions, decisions...  Let me help you avoid the lake line conundrum.



My goal in this article is to give you recommendations for lake lines from each of our major companies: Rio, Airflo, and Scientific Anglers.  Each company (Thanks Georgie, Eric and Garry!) was kind enough to supply me with an assortment of lines to cover most any lake situation you might encounter, from floating to fast full sink. 


Here is the starting lineup!

Rio InTouch Trout LT WF5
Rio Gold WF6
SA Mastery SBT WF5

Rio InTouch Camolux WF5
Airflo Camo WF6
Airflo Ridge Clear Delta Slow Intermediate WF6/7
SA Sonar Stillwater WF6

Rio InTouch Deep 6 WF6
Airflo Sixth Sense Sink 7 WF6/7
SA Sonar Titan Int/Type3/Type 5 WF7

It's hard work, but somebody's got to do it!



Killer Callibaetis Hatch = Pure Fun


Floating lines:

I use the floating lines primarily for chironomid/bobber and dry flies in lake fishing scenarios.  I fished a Winston LT 8'9" 5wt, a Winston WT 9' 6wt  and a Winston Boron IIIx 9' 5wt for these lines.


Rio InTouch Trout LT WF5

Rio describes this line as " The ultimate line for delicate presentation", which I think is fairly accurate, though I believe they are limiting themselves as it can do much more than that, especially on softer rods.  This line has the braided low stretch ConnectCore.

Pros:

The Rio Trout line has always been one of my favorites.  The new InTouch is no exception.  This is an excellent all around trout line, especially on less fast rods like Winstons, Loomis LPs and even the Sage Ones.  It has an elongated taper that turns over nicely and will present small flies really well.  It will also handle nymphs and smaller streamers with ease.  I fished this line a lot both with chironomid/bobber rigs and with dries (midges and Callibaetis).  This line helped me take advantage of the killer Callibaetis hatch we ran into, and the low stretch core definitely helped me hook some long distance fish that I would have probably missed with a "regular" line.  If you are unfamiliar with the ConnectCore, it has minimal (4%) stretch, while other Rio lines have up to 22% stretch at breaking point.

Cons:

It certainly handled the dry flies better than the bobber rig, but never was it so bad that I didn't want to use it for that technique.  It is also the rod I switched back and forth from midge larvae/pupae to dry flies throughout the day, so it was important that it do both.  This line gets heavy on long casts too, which for a fast rod is no problem, but on slower rods, like my Winston LT and WT, it is too much weight.  That being said, on shorter casts, it is butter.  It is super delicate on my softer rods, and any rod for that matter.

Rio Gold WF6

Rio proclaims this line as "The ultimate all around floating line for trout"  and I would have to agree. 



Pros:

This has been my go to floating lake line for a long while now.  It casts beautifully, especially on longer casts that are the norm on lakes.  It handles nymph rigs better than the Trout LT too, with some sacrifice in delicate presentation.

Cons:

It doesn't cast short distances particularly well.  It is clunky at those short casts, with dry flies especially.



Scientific Anglers Mastery SBT WF5

The is SA's "Short Belly Taper" line.   A pretty unique short head taper for delivering flies at short to medium range and made to turn over weighted flies but will lighten up with long leaders for delicate presentations.  This line has a braided multifilament core.


Pros:

This was the sleeper line of the group and one I wouldn't have considered for lake fishing had Garry our SA rep not recommended it.  The beauty of this line becomes apparent when you put a long leader and 2 or 3 chironomids on the end.  It has such a short head that it can turn over super long leaders which essentially add to the front taper.  I was able to turn over a 15ft leader with 3 midges and a bobber.  Pretty remarkable!

Cons:

This is not an all around floating lake line.  It struggles with longer casts and normal length leaders and dry flies.  It is a specialty line really, which is not a bad thing, but when looking at your setups it is important to know it's limitations.


Intermediate Lines:
Buggers fished on intermediate lines are so money!

Intermediate sinking lines are my go to for most lake fishing scenarios.  If you are going to have one line for lakes fishing, make it an intermediate.  I use these for everything from Callibaetis and damsel nymphs to buggers and streamers.  I fished these lines on my Winston WT 9' 6wt, a Sage ONE 9' 6wt, and a Sage XP 9' 6wt.


Rio InTouch Camolux WF6

This is Rio's go-to intermediate InTouch line and is the only low-stretch intermediate line that we tested. 





Pros:

Great line to cast and fish.  Shoots like crazy and can make quick accurate casts with little effort.  Handles the wind beautifully.  The InTouch core does indeed increase strike sensitivity and helps you hook fish faster with less missed fish.  Though the least transparent if the intermediate lines I tested, the fish didn't seem to care at all, even in the clearest lakes.  I think the broken camo coloration works well and looks good in many different water turbitities.  This line was easily my favorite intermediate line of the bunch.

Cons:

There is some amount of stiffness and memory in the coating.  There are times where your line will knot up if not handled properly.  The use of a stripping apron or basket will certainly help, and it was never so bad that it made me curse.

There is a "hang tag" that is a one inch section of tubing/heat shrink on the line twenty feet or so from the end of the line that indicates when to pick it up and re-cast or fish the "hang".  I think the hang tag could be better implemented if it was part if the line as opposed to glued over the line.  It wasn't as annoying as with the Rio full sink, but there were a few times where I thought I had a bite when I stripped it through the guides and I have little doubt that it does affect the sink rate of that section of line to some degree.

Airflo Camo WF6

Airflo recommends this intermediate line for fishing in weed beds for spooky fish.  It has a very supple camo mono core and has an elongated delta taper.




Pros:

This was a real hopeful for me.  I like the camo/clear look and the delta taper sounded appealing.  This line was the most supple of all of the intermediate lines I tested.  It was easy to handle and strip.  I primarily fished this line with buggers, Callibaetis nymphs and leaches.  This line really excelled when you needed to make long casts and have a more delicate presentation.  We ran into a lot of rising fish that wanted nothing to do with any of our dry fly offerings but would take a well presented mayfly nymph.  This line certainly helped with that.  In very cold clear conditions this should be your line of choice.

Cons:

The delta taper is not a quick casting line.  It takes 2-4 back casts to get the taper to a point where you can make a reasonable cast and turn over the fly.  So the caveat with this line is that it is not for tight quarters or quick casting scenarios.  It also struggles a bit in the wind, again because of the elongated front taper delta design.  Once you get the head outside of the rod tip it works better in the wind, but as anyone who fishes in the wind knows: more backcasts = you're going to have a bad time.  The coating on this intermediate was also the stickiest of the intermediates I tested, though not nearly as bad as the clear "goo" lines of old, when dry the line stuck a bit in the guides and fingers.  When wet though, it shot very well.

Airflo Ridge Clear Delta Slow Intermediate WF6/7

Airflo recommends this line for clear water lakes and for making longer presentations to wary fish.  It has a mono core and their ridged coating along with their elongated delta taper.



Pros:

This line performs well in very similar scenarios as the Camo line above.  It has the same delta taper, but is built with a clear ridged coating.  I didn't find the ridge line to be that noticeable and didn't think about it much while fishing it.  The line shot fine and handled well.  The slow intermediate sink rate was really nice for fish that were hanging in very shallow water as you could work a fly slow enough without getting hung in the weeds.

Cons:

The cons on this Airflo line are pretty much identical to those of the Airflo Camo.  The delta taper has it's limits and does not work very well in close quarters, windy days, or for quick one backcast presentations.  I found there was a bit more stiffness in this line as compared to the supple Camo line. This line takes up a large amount of space on a reel because of the long delta taper and ridge coating. If you are switching lines out often, it requires you to remove some backing from your reel compared to a typical floating line.

SA Sonar Stillwater WF6

This is the only truly "clear" line in the bunch I tested.  SA recommends it for windy conditions and stealthy presentations.  It has a stiff mono core.




Pros:

When stretched out and untangled this line shoots like a laser.  It makes quick and effortless casts.  The line is very sensitive due to it's stiff core and coating.  I rarely missed a fish.  The all clear line may be an added help in spooky fish/ultra clear water situations, though the jury is still out on this hypothesis.  All of us in the shop are in agreement that line color matters very little and that presentation is far more important.

Cons:

Well I hate to dog on it, but the curse factor was very high with this line.  The monofilament core and stiff coating make this line nearly unmanageable in cold water.  I had to re-stretch the line every time I reeled in, and the times the line snarled outnumbered the times that it didn't.  It was a major bummer, especially when I felt how good the line could cast when it didn't knot up.  I am going to try this line again in the heat of the summer as I think it will be an absolute awesome warm/tropical line.  I am thinking carp and bonefish...  I unfortunately can't recommend this line for cold water use.

Sinking lines:

Casting and trolling deep weed edges with a sinking line
 is a killer midday technique

These are the deep water fishing lines.  In the heat of the summer you need to get down to the fish, and they will generally move up and down vertically in the water column as the day progresses.  These lines are designed to help you find that zone and stay in it.  You can fish just about anything on a full sinking line, but I find buggers, streamers, and larger nymphs to be the most effective.  I fished these lines on a Sage ONE 9' 6wt, a Sage XP 9' 6wt, and a Winston BIIIx 9' 7wt.

Rio InTouch Deep 6 WF6

This is one member of Rio's extensive InTouch Sinking Line series.  It has their braided low stretch ConnectCore, a hang tag marker and a 30ft WF head.



Pros:  

Very easy casting full sinker.  A couple back casts and let her fly!  Sinks fast and keep a nice straight line to the fly with the density compensation.  An overall very good full sinking lake line.

Cons:  

The hang tag.  **ATTENTION RIO**  Please find a better way to mark the line.  The idea is there, but the raised hang tag seems to alter the sink rate and creates a slightly buoyant spot that does seem alter the presentation and defeats the purpose of density compensation.

Airflo Sixth Sense Sink 7 WF6/7

This is one of Airflo's storied Sixth Sense series lines.  It has their low stretch Power Core and has a very unique marking system at 10', 20' and rear taper (40ish').  This line again has their delta taper and is the only line without any welded loops in the group.



Pros:

Sinks like a rock.  Great density compensation.  The line markers are color indicators that tell you when you're at 10', 20' and around 40' (rear taper).  I immediately found myself using the line markers both in casting and during the retrieve or troll.  You could instantly know when you are far enough in to pickup and cast, but more importantly I could duplicate fishing depth by let the line out to certain distance.  This is an incredible tool for lake fishing, and I will be adding a type 3 into my arsenal to compliment the type 7 dredger.

Cons:

All type 7 lines are weird to cast.  They are super heavy and a bit awkward.  You will find that less is more when casting this line.  just get a good backcast loaded and let it fly.  A welded loop should be added to this line too.  It was the only sinking line or intermediate line I tested without one.  Not a big deal, but certainly convenient.

SA Sonar Titan Int/Type3/Type 5 WF7

This line is part of SA's SONAR series of sinking lines and has their Titan taper as well as a triple density design that has a type 5 tip, type 3 mid section and intermediate running line.  It also has a braided multifilament core.




Pros:

The best casting full sinking line I have every used!  The triple density sink rates really give you a straight line presentation and certainly help with line management and in casting ease.  The Mastery texturing is not annoying and I have no doubt that it helps with line shooting and durability.  I could cast the entire line if I wanted to.  Throws big flies much better than the other full sinking lines too, but I fished a #10 bugger and smaller Callibaetis nymphs on it with no problem.  The triple density also give you 3 color ques, which, like the Airflo sixth sense, is a huge asset to lake fishing and depth control.

Cons:

Honestly, not really any cons other than maybe not the most delicate full sinker, but none of them really are.



Game time...
OK, so I have broken down most of my thoughts on each line for you.  Sometimes numbers help folks get a better handle on things so I came up with a totally subjective rating system for these lines.
Here are the breakdowns on each rating category:
The full arsenal

Color- This refers to line color, pattern, shade etc.  I rated the color mainly on how it helped me fish, not necessarily the color itself

Casting Ease- How hard you have to work to cast each line

Handling- How the line handles/coils/limpness/stripping etc

Short casts/Long casts- Pretty self explanatory. Short= 5-30ft Long= more than 30ft

Sensitivity- How easy it is to detect a strike or weeds/bottom

Versatility- How well the line works with multiple scenarios/techniques/flies

Shooting- How well the line shoots during casting

Fishyness- This is a misc. category, mainly to describe how well the line fishes in general.  Some lines integrate really well into your fishing program and some can hinder your intentions




So that's the tail of the tape.  Here are my conclusions and awards:

Lake fishing for trout certainly requires some specialty gear and unique techniques just as river fishing does.  Most likely your floating line will pull double duty, but if you are serious about lake fishing you need to get some intermediate and sinking lines.  With all the advances in fly lines in the last decade there are a multitude of excellent choices, and most any line will work pretty well.  That being said, here are my top choices...

Best Floating Lake Line:  RIO GOLD!  

           Though the ratings came out close, if I had to choose one, it would be the Rio Gold, and with the new InTouch version it would have rated higher than the Trout LT.  A killer all around floater for midging and dries!



Best Intermediate Lake Line:  Rio InTouch Camolux!  

          There are a lot of excellent lines in this category, but the Rio Camolux shines above the rest for pure fish catching mojo.  Easy to cast and deadly effective!





Best Sinking Lake Line:  Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan!

         The SA Sonar Titan is just awesome!  Very easy to cast and will handle anything.  The Airflo Sixth Sense is an excellent line as well, but has some of the limitations of traditional sinking lines.  The Titan taper is just so user friendly it's hard to beat.


Overall Best in Show:   ...  Rio InTouch Camolux!


Now let me preface this by saying that any real lake badger worth his/her salt should at minimum have a floating line setup and a sinking line setup at all times.  But if you are on a one line budget, or just want to dip your finger in for a taste of lake fishing, buy the Rio InTouch Camolux.   It is easy casting, easy handling, fish catching goodness. This line will help you put more fish in the net!


So there we have it.  Hopefully you have a better handle on the lake line options out there and can make an educated decision.  I also hope that this article might inspire you to try lake fishing for trout.  It is a totally unique experience and provides some interesting challenges not found in river fishing.  I find that spending some time before a trip to get things in order pays off in the end and not having to concern myself with my equipment while fishing makes for a more enjoyable fishing experience. The most important thing is that you have fun, and your gear shouldn't get in the way of that!



Get out there and explore!





Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist | Lover of Carp
541.386.6977


Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"





"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (05/07/2016)

Salmonflies a plenty on the Deschutes!

The fabled Salmonfly hatch on the Deschutes River is now in full effect on the upper river.  Sam Sickles of Steelhead Outfitters and I, along with our buddy Jamie did an overnight float from Trout Creek to Maupin on Wednesday and Thursday (May 4-5).  We were not expecting to see the hatch moving along as quick as it was, but were happy to have the river mostly to ourselves with very eager fish snapping at our flies with gusto.

The biggest concentration of the insects were from North Junction to Whitehorse.  Nymphs were crawling all over, Golden Stones were more prevalent farther downstream, but there were an incredible number of bugs around the entire 30+ mile stretch of river.

Sam does have a few openings coming up during May if you want to fish with one of the best on the river during this fantastic time of year.  You can do a camp trip, a day float or a jet boat trip (on the lower river).  No matter how you go, it is worth it to get expert advice and a world-class experience.

This fattie was eager to eat a Clark's Stone
The fish we caught  mostly ate dry flies. They seemed to like smaller flies more than the big mamas that get thrown alot.  They should turn onto the bigger patterns soon as they are seeing more and more adult flies everyday.  Our three best flies for the trip were a #10 Yellow Stimulator, a Clark's Salmon and a #10 Purple Chubby Chernobyl.  Sam caught his biggest Deschutes trout to date on a Clark's, while I caught my biggest Deschutes trout to date about ten minutes later on a Stimulator.

We did use the nymph rods a couple of times when they were not responding well to the dries.  On Wednesday, rapidly declining weather caused the fishing to be a little spotty, so we used the nymphs a about a third of the day.  On Thursday, it was just for an hour or so in the morning before they started eating on top and we never looked back.  A competent angler should be able to crush fish for the next couple of weeks on dries, especially if fishing from about 10:00 to dark.  Early mornings can be tough during the hatch before the bugs get moving as it warms up.  Late evenings can also see a slowdown in activity; some days they eat all day and some they don't.

Salmon Fishing continues in the Gorge for Spring Chinook.  Drano Lake has been tough, but anglers are catching enough fish to keep most everyone happy.  When the Columbia is high and cool, salmon don't move into the lake as much as they do when the water is low in the big river.  The big reason that Drano is so popular is that it can be a cold water refuge for salmon as they migrate up the Columbia.  They will pop in for a day or two, cool off and then head up the big river.  They don't seem to be doing that as much this year as others because of good conditions in the Columbia.

A few fish have been caught on the Hood River as well.  There are few fly anglers that put in any effort towards salmon on the fly.  The chances of hooking one is pretty minimal, but it certainly does happen occasionally.  There is not much of a salmon run on the Hood, but it is open until the end of June.

The Klickitat is another option for salmon anglers in the area.  There is only one good spot open for salmon: the famed Pine Tree Hole about one mile upstream of the mouth.  The river is closed above Lyle Falls (1.4 miles upstream of the mouth), which is just upstream of the Pine Tree Hole.  It is only open three days a week until June 1 (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday)

June 1 is just around the corner and the Klickitat opens for Summer Steelhead.  While there are very few fish around before August, it is nice to get back out on one of the most scenic rivers anywhere after a long winter.  Just a note:  The Stinson Boat Launch is gone.  It collapsed into the river this winter.  Here is a post from Rolf of Klickitat Trader showing the damage.  No word on rebuilding efforts.  Anglers will have to launch at Leidl Bridge three miles upstream of Stinson if they want to float the canyon section this year.

The Clackamas is a great river to float in May and June to look for early Summer Steelhead as that is when the bulk of the summer fish return to the Clack.

Ole One Eye Sally put up a great fight
Smallmouth Bass fishing is still incredible right now on the Columbia River and it's impoundments.  Fish are pushing into the shallows, scouting out spawning beds, and generally being aggressive.  The fishing is best when the Columbia is high, which it has been, but regardless of water levels the bass fishing is great right now.  They love just about anything that is moving, from big buggers to clousers to poppers and I bet that they would eat just about any winter steelhead fly in the box.




The Loomis GLX Crosscurrent
is very impressive
Tom Larimer and I went out to a little impoundment on the side of the Columbia last week for a few hours in the morning. Bass fishing was great.  We caught some nice fish and I was able to try out a couple of G. Loomis rods that I had wanted to cast.  The 8'8" 8wt Shorestalker was a fun rod to pound the banks with.  It is very accurate and easy to pick up big flies.  I was a little concerned that it would be too short for the float tube, but it was great.  The other rod that I really, really liked was the GLX Crosscurrent 9'0" 7wt.  It was very impressive, lightweight, and powerful.  A fabulous streamer rod for trout, saltwater rod and bass rod.

The John Day River is a great place to go whack some Smallmouth Bass.  It is better from about mid-June through the summer, but it is available right now.  People have been catching them but water clarity and levels have been less than ideal.

Lost Lake is fishing well for rainbow trout, as well as Kingsley Reservoir and Laurence Lake.  I would imagine that Goose Lake should be accessible any day now.  The May 5 road report from the USFS in Trout Lake says that the lake is still inaccessible, but it shouldn't be long before the last of the snow clears off the road.

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 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
541.386.6977



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May 7, 2016

Best of Kamchatka - Two Yurt River Float

Two Yurt River
The Two Yurt River is set in perhaps the most beautiful valley on the Kamchatka Peninsula. This is a wilderness experience with no other people around. With a huge run of Sockeye and King Salmon, Rainbows gorge on eggs and flesh growing to large proportions. Two Yurt combines many streams and offers every imaginable type of water, from freestone pocket water to long spring creek glides.

Thick with Rainbows
By late June the mighty King Salmon enter the river pulling Rainbow Trout up stream from both the Yelovka and Kamchatka river drainages. From early July to early October, the 50 miles of river below the lake become thick with Rainbows. These bows like to feed on the surface, eating the daily hatch and chasing mice.

This is not tent camping!
 A small group of six anglers per week will travel between stationary cabins located strategically along the river. With hot showers, large dining facilities, electricity and heat, nothing is forgotten except the hustle and bustle of the outside world.



Available: (reduced to $5800)
Week of July 25-August 1
Week of August 1-8

Due to a cancellation the regular price of $6895 has been reduced to $5800.
Does not include the flight from Anchorage to Petro or Gratuities.

Contact:
Jerry Swanson
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC
jerry@fishheadexpeditions.com

503-539-1451


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