Oct 25, 2016

RIO Winter Redfish Fly Line - New for 2017

Loads easy at short range
Travis and Lyndsey were a little early this year for the Big Winter Bull Reds but that doesn't mean there is no action!

Travis loaded the New RIO Winter Redfish Line on his reel to get a feel for it. A little concerned with early fall mild temps but no handling issues were noted.

Big Louisiana Bulls are targeted through the fall months right into winter. Cast are generally pretty short and your line needs to load a rod quickly.

The New RIO Winter Redfish line was built for this fishery. Quick loading and easy shooting are the main attributes for this new line. Although not intended for a distance casting line the slick shooting XS Extreme Slickness coating really lets this line fly.

Specs -
SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21016WF8FGrey/Orange35ft / 10.4mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21017WF9FGrey/Orange35ft / 10.4mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21018WF10FGrey Orange35ft / 10.4mFloat100ft / 30.5m

The short powerful heads turns over large flies with ease and loads rods quickly. Supple Core handles well in cooler conditions. Front and rear welded loops for quick line or leader changes. Dual tone coloring for quick head recognition letting you find the max loading point quickly.

Winter Redfish should be on everyone's bucket list. Be sure to equip yourself for the challenge with the New RIO Winter Redfish Line.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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Oct 22, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (10/21/2016)

A rainbow just before the storm on Laurance Lake on Tuesday (10/18/2016)

Important Note: the Columbia River is now closed to all salmon and steelhead fishing due to lower than expected returns.  Read about the closure and sign up for the Columbia Basin Bulletin, it's very informative.

The weather is starting to settle down, and the rivers are hovering around fishable.  Summer Steelhead fishing is about a month from over in the Gorge.  The Klickitat and the Hood are both brown as of Friday, but surprisingly there was 18"-24" of decent visibility on the Klickitat on Thursday.  Sometimes the color can be deceiving.  We could easily see our boots at knee deep despite what appeared to be terrible visibility... and fishing was decent.  Conditions worsened as rains Thursday night added more color to the river.  We should see improvement in the rivers throughout the week although unsettled weather patterns could put a hamper on that with one good shot of rain.
Fall colors distract Sam Sickles on the Klickitat

The Deschutes has been a little colorful, but it's the water level that is the issue for many anglers.  It is much higher than normal due to increased flows from Pelton Dam, along with the tributaries being high.  It's not unfishable by any means, but its higher than many anglers are familiar with this time of year.  This isn't terribly bad, it really just pushes the fish closer to shore and makes the wading a little more hairy than it normally is.  Steelheading on the Deschutes was far from stellar this year, but it has been consistent in that fishing is just as good (or bad) now as it was a month ago.  Lots of open water and very little pressure, and yes, there are steelhead in the river.

Conditions are not ideal anywhere, but there are plenty of options in the area right now, so get out there while you can.  There isn't much time left for quality summer steelheading in our area.

Brown water w/ 2' of vis on the Klick
Fishing on Laurance Lake was good this week, despite the wind and rain... I wouldn't hesitate to get in one last trip to the lake (it closes Oct. 31).  I had one really big rainbow chasing an olive bugger around for a few minutes.  He grabbed it several times and was even on for a second and still wanted to eat it again.  All very visual as the lake was very clear and the fish were very colorful.  It was like watching golden submarines coming out of the depth.  I think we would have done very well if we hadn't been blown off the lake by heavy winds and sideways rain an hour after arriving.

Many of our small streams and lakes will close on Halloween, so get in your trout fishing while you can, and be sure to check the regulations before venturing into a new area in the next few weeks.  This is an excellent time of year to explore lakes and streams because fishing is great and there are very few people out.

Rainbow Trout fishing on the Deschutes has been superb as of late.  There are Mahogany mayflies, Caddis galore and Blue Wing Olives on cold, dreary days.  Fish are also very actively chasing streamers and are being aggressive in general.  I'd stick to the upper part of the river above the White, but White should start to clean up as our weather improves, but nights are colder on the glacier, which will open up some options for anglers.

Customer photo of the week:  Rob caught this beauty of a fish on the last day of a six day float in BC.  Just wanted to share an actual fish picture... blurry and soaking wet or not, its a  good pic, a great fish and it looked like a fun trip.  Thanks for sharing!

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 there 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"

Oct 20, 2016

Finding a Cure Through the Great Outdoors

There has always been one constant in my life, one thing that no matter what was going wrong I could always count on to keep my stress in check: 

the great outdoors. 

 The thing about being outdoors and in nature is that even if the weather is poor, or the fishing is sub par, it still works its magic.  I think a huge part of that is realizing what and where you are in the grand scheme of things, and that the big picture helps you to stop looking at the little corner that is off focus.

My first wild steelhead, only months after completing our journey.

Being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to share our story, with the hopes that it will give people some respite and hope as they or someone they love battles cancer.

The day we found out that my wife, Julie, had breast cancer I was hours away from leaving on a fall musky trip with 2 of my best buds.  Obviously, the trip was canceled, and it would be a long winter of pain and struggle as we battled through the stages of breast cancer treatment and the side effects.  My wife is an amazingly strong woman and persevered through it all.  Of course, it was one of the worst winters Chicago had in recent memory, but what I remember most are the first trips back into the great outdoors after going through this ordeal.

The horrendous winter, countless doctor visits, time in the chemo ward and a scary trip to the ER on Christmas eve had certainly taken a toll on us.  By the time spring had begun to show itself, we both needed some time back out in nature.  Some time to recenter ourselves.  We got out and flew our daughter's first kite and my great friend Bill and I made it up to the Driftless area in SW Wisconsin for the early season trout opener.  It was cold, the fishing wasn't easy, but just being outside, in a beautiful valley and a special spring creek that day is something I will never forget.  It re-energized me.  It helped me remember our place in the world.  Being the primary caretaker of my wife and our then 2-year-old daughter I needed a little respite from the struggle, and it worked!  I came back reinvigorated and ready to help Julie tackle the last stages of her treatment.  Had I not had this trip, and a friend alongside me, I don't know how I would have endured and been able to keep caring for both of my girls as well as I could.

The end of my winter of struggle was kicked off by this SW Wisconsin Spring Creek Brown

I don't remember much of the last stages of treatment we went through together, but I do remember our first family camping trip after the end of her chemo treatments.  It was an impromptu trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  Julie was sporting a fuzzy head, but her spirits were high and her strength was returning.  The weather was glorious, especially for the often unpredictable weather in Northwoods in May.  We had the time of our lives.

We felt like a family again.  We watched our daughter play on the beach of an idyllic Northwoods lake, watched her reel in her first smallmouth and we felt good.  It is hard to explain, but the moments you get like this after going through something of this nature are so sweet.  The fragility of life is so crystal clear that you really learn to appreciate every moment when things are good and everyone is healthy.

The day she was diagnosed I told myself that if we survived it, we had to make a change.  Julie and I had longed for a life somewhere where we could be part of nature as opposed to driving 4+ hours to visit it.  The traffic, the rat race, the industrial nature of Chicagoland had taken its toll on our souls.  Well, being the nuts that we are, we moved 2000 miles to the PNW a month after her treatments had ended.

Our post cancer mantra!

Soon after our move in, we decided that we should have our first camping trip on the beaches of the Oregon coast.  Again, I don't really remember all the stress of the move and the huge changes in our lives, but I will never forget seeing my daughter and my now healthy wife running and playing on the beach.  I have this photo as my phone wallpaper to remind of that day, and it will certainly be one that I will never forget.

Since our move 2 years ago we have fully embraced the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Northwest as a whole.  The three of us have had more adventures in the last 2 years than in most of our lives. We have "sucked the marrow" from life through the great outdoors.  Julie has been lucky enough to be involved with great non-profit organizations that center around getting cancer survivors into the outdoors and into new experiences.  I would personally like to thank Send It, Athletes 4 Cancer, First Descents and Casting for Recovery for all the work they have done and the amazing experiences they have given to cancer survivors, including my wife. The last couple years have had  more scares, more surgeries, and continued treatment, but one step back into the great outdoors brings us back to sanity.  To me, and to Julie, this is the real cure.  Maybe someday we will find a physical cure for cancer, but in the meantime, go fishing, go hiking, go camping, go surfing, take some photos, run on the beach, but most of all, get outdoors!

The Bearded Pescador

1st Surf with Send It!

Here is a bit of a tribute to my wife, a survivor in the strongest sense, and a total badass!

1st Trout on the Fly!

1st Whitewater Kayak Adventure with First Descents!

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Oct 18, 2016

Tibor Fly Reel Highlights For 2017

With over 850 IGFA records to its name, Tibor is a legend in the world of fly fishing.

2017 brings some nice changes to the line of Tibor reels. Nothing major but certainly some things to take note of. The big news is the New Frost Finishes that cost less. Not very often you see a price fall on a fly reel and here's the exciting news...you're not getting any less of a reel for that lower cost. Also New for 2017 is a Signature 11/12S (Slim). The New Slim Model is designed for Tarpon Hunters who seek sealed drag performance in a package reminiscent of the Tibor Gulfstream. In other news the new custom color Aqua is now available in all models. The Moss Green color got the axe this year.

Frost Finish

New Frost Finish

It's not Polished and it's not Matte but somewhere in between is the best way I can describe this new finish. Available in Silver and Black the new finish utilizes Certified Mil-A-8625 Type II Anodizing creating a tough durable finish. Because the process uses fewer polishing steps Tibor is able to produce the finish with less production time therefore decreasing the overall cost. Most reel companies would just call it a new finish and sell it to you at the same price but not Tibor. Instead they are offering this new finish in Signature, Tibor and Tibor Light Series of reels for less than standard finished prices.

Signature 11/12S (Slim)

Thank your Tarpon guides for this new size. The original Tibor Series won the hearts of Tarpon anglers for over 20 years and it's still going strong. The only lacking component of the series is a sealed drag system. The Signature Series took care of that. But the Signature 11/12 was missing something found in the original Tibor Gulfstream feel. To get that back Tibor reduced the spool width of the 11/12 to reduce weight but yet retained the diameter for fast line pickup. Lighter, Slimmer, Faster is what this new "Slim" model is all about!

Tibor Light in New Aqua Blue

New Finish - Aqua

The New Polished Aqua finish is available as a custom color in the Tibor, Tibor Signature and Tibor Light Series fly reels. This new color could really be interesting in the Signature line of reels were you choose the Hub color of your choice. I'm thinking Aqua with a Lime or Violet 3d Hub would look great!

What Didn't Change

It thrills me to report that in a world of ever changing products all geared to drive more sales that a couple companies have chosen to stand behind their already excellent products. This is Tibor! Build the best product possible and let time prove its excellence. With over 850 world records and growing it would be hard to dispute what Tibor has contributed to the world of fly fishing we know today.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Read more of Greg's Post

More pictures
New Aqua and Matte Charcoal on the Right

Oct 14, 2016

Kast Gear Boat Sweepstakes

Kast Gear Boat Giveaway!

Win this boat!

That's right, we are giving away a custom 2016 Kast Low Pro XL Hyde Drift Boat. For every $5 spent on Kast Gear your customers will get one (1) entry into the drawing for the boat. For example if they buy a $25 hat they will receive five (5) entries into the drawing. The promotion will run from 10/01/2016-12/15/2016 and we will announce the winner on 12/20/2016 live on social media!

Check out the video above for all of the details.

For more information about the sweepstakes please visit Kast Gear:


Disclaimer: This is not a Gorge Fly Shop contest or sweepstakes, contact Kast Gear for any help beyond the scope of their rules listed above and in the video. Good luck!

Oct 8, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - (10/09/2016)

***Monday addition***  I previously forgot to mention the world premier of the new fly fishing movie Providence at Andrews Pizza/Skylight Theater this Saturday, October 15.  6:30 and 8:30 shows are $10 each.  This is the new movie from Confluence Films, the makers of Drift, Rise, Connect and Waypoints.  These are some of our absolute favorite fly fishing movies.  They always feature great scenery, incredible adventure, and some dandy fishing.  Please join us for a show, have a beer or two, meet other local fisherpeople and enjoy the best pizza in the Gorge.  Call us or Andrews Pizza for details and I will see you there.

Fishing reports have been sparse this month because we have been out fishing!  I spent a week trout fishing on the Kenai River.  Despite the crowds, the fishing was as good (better) than I had imagined.  TJ Dawson from Lakeview Outfitters really showed me a good time and put me on some dandy fish.  I did also fish several days with Jeff Heiskell from Alaska Troutfitters.  He is alright I guess...  Just kidding Jeff, love ya buddy.  Thanks for the good times.  It really should be on every angler's bucket list.  What a beautiful river with some amazing fish.
Jeff with a "its too small for a picture"
Kenai Rainbow

As far as what is happening around the Gorge:  We finally got a healthy dose of the fall rains that we have been asking for.  This did cause some clarity issues on the Klick and the Hood.  That's OK because the summer steelhead run on the Hood is mediocre at best, but it should get the fall chinook into full spawn mode and flush out the older salmon that are hanging around.  I don't put in much effort on the Hood this time of year, but if I only have an hour or two to fish, it is available and gives up a steelhead every once in a great while.

There are no winter steelhead in the Hood River yet... the earliest that winter steelhead have been found in the fish trap on the Hood has been mid November, and that is always after heavy rains.  The winter steelhead really get moving into the Hood well after the New Year.

Dave with a nice hatchery Steelhead
caught on  his brand new Nautilus!
The Klickitat did color up a little bit, but it is reported to not be as bad as expected (as of Saturday).  More rains are coming, but I am not sure how it will impact the local rivers.  The Klick has been producing, but as we are all aware, numbers are very low compared to the ten year average.  This doesn't mean that you won't catch fish, but expect to put in some time and effort for your fish.

The Deschutes seems to have held up pretty well from recent rains.  Clarity is not perfect, but we like a little color to our rivers.

Confluence of the Russian and Kenai Rivers, gorgeous!
Trout fishing has been at near epic levels on the Deschutes however.  Reports of Mahogany Dun Mayflies, October Caddis and even some Blue Wing Olives (on those crappy, cloudy mornings) are all signs that point to good fishing.  Stripping streamers on trout spey rods has been productive too.  For my time and money I am focusing more on the upper river between Warm Springs and Trout Creek, but the fishing has been good throughout the river.

Fall Chinook should be finishing up their spawn here shortly, so opportunities for fresh, hot salmon are about over, but there are a few Coho Salmon around the tributaries.

October trout fishing!
Lakes are still fishing very well.  We heard of a couple of guys at Timothy Lake tying into some monster trout.  Clear Lake can be very good too for big brookies this time of year.  Lost and Laurance are both fishing very well for smaller "stocker" trout and Goose Lake has been pushing out some fish in the 16" range with consistency.

The East Fork Hood River is very colorful right now... but trout fishing (its always closed for steelhead/salmon) has been decent when it has been clearer.  Time shall tell when it clears up, but it closes on Halloween so get in your small stream trout fishing while you can.

Ryan has been slaying nice smallmouth bass on the Columbia lately.  He isn't giving up any secrets, but he appears to be the only person bass fishing out there...

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"

Oct 6, 2016

Lamson Releases New Lightspeed Micra 5 Fly Reels

Lamson Litespeed Micra 5

The New Lamson Litespeed Micra 5 Edition for 2017 is now showing up on our doorstep. At time of writing this we have size #2's ready to ship. Other sizes will start filtering in throughout October. 

What's new and different with the Micra 5 generation of Litespeed? And what does the term "Micra 5" refer to?

"Micra" refers to a brand-new finish, never before used on any fly fishing reel except by us on the 20th Anniversary Force reel. This new finish is 20 times more impervious to corrosion than standard anodize, and is as hard as Type III Hard Alox. The "5" in "Micra 5" refers to the fifth generation of Litespeed.

The drag housing is made from the same solid bar stock as the frame -- no separate threaded cassette. This allows the reel to be narrower, reduces mass and strengthens the frame.

Though larger in each line weight vs. the prior generation, it's actually lighter in mass through integrated drag housing and more frame porting.

More aggressive ratios (larger diameter/narrower spool) means faster retrieve and easier line management.

New and improved drag knob with zero snag points features full diameter with aggressive serrated knurling.

Altogether, the best Litespeed we've ever made!

Check out how Lamson Reels are made in this Vimeo

Since Litespeed’s inception in 1998 the relationship between it and Force reels has been a constant one. Inventive ideas that first take shape in the Force have been put to work in Litespeed’s more conventional structure, which has over time resulted in one of the most successful and influential fly reels of the last two decades.

We’ve learned from history, and we’re repeating it with the Generation 5 Litespeed. In 2016 we introduced design changes to the Force SL that resulted in engineering alchemy: A fly reel structure that is larger in diameter, stronger and yet lighter.

  1. By integrating the drag housing into the frame, the housing itself becomes a structural member, increasing stiffness and strength.
  2. Eliminating the cassette and the threaded overlaps reduces material and thus weight.
  3. The integrated housing is much narrower and the frame /drag unit much lighter.
  4. A narrower drag can support a narrower spool, which results in additional weight reduction.

But what if the reel we’re talking about is already the lightest full drag reel in the world? Perhaps then, as a designer, you think about weight savings as money in the bank, and maybe you decide to spend it elsewhere – by increasing the overall diameter of the reel and trading weight savings into improved retrieve rate.

Hence the new Litespeed: Higher retrieve rate, narrower spool for improved line handling, stiffer frame. Specific to Litespeed you’ll find enhanced 3D milling for better material distribution and an improved ergonomic drag knob for better grip.

Lastly, the Gen 5 Litespeed comes wrapped in a spectacular new finish process first used on the Force SL 20th Anniversary edition, called Micralox. Far more environmentally protective than Type III anodize and even more scratch resistant, Micralox is a proprietary process found only on specific Waterworks and Lamson reels.

We invite you to meet Litespeed Micra 5. As something Yogi Berra might have said, it’s like history repeating itself all over again.

Gorge Fly Shop Team"Fly Fish The World With Us"

Sep 30, 2016

Fishpond Thunderhead Sling Review: The All Purpose Waterproof Bag

      Ever had a fly box full of water?

Ever had your extra change of clothes get soaking wet?  

Ever ruin a phone or camera with an accidental spill or drenching rain?

 Ever had your PB&J get soggy but you're so hungry that you eat it anyway?

Perfect for Wet Wading
I certainly have, and after years of frustration with dry bags and ziplocks I decided it was time for a truly waterproof pack.

There are a lot of waterproof packs to choose from these days.  So many so that it can difficult to choose a winner.  Luckily I have all of them here in the shop to play with and pour over.

After much debate and ridicule from coworkers as I struggled to figure out how each bag was made to be worn, I settled on the Fishpond Thunderhead Sling.

These are the key features that stuck out to me:

  • Fully waterproof zippered large compartment 
  • TIZIP® submersible zipper
  • Durable TPU welded fabric
  • Tons of attachment points, d rings and pull loops
  • Net sleeve
  • Comfortable, adjustable, easy to swing around
  • External water resistant quick access pocket

The simplicity of the design is also something that I greatly appreciated.  There aren't a million little pockets and compartments for things to get lost in and it makes loading/unloading the bag a breeze.   The large compartment also gives me the piece of mind to take my DSLR and an extra lens while I wade without worrying about ruining it.  The simplicity also means the pack is light; which after a long day of fishing makes a huge difference on the back and shoulders.
Thunderhead is right at home on the Olympic Peninsula (and my beautiful wife sure makes it look good!)

Versatility is the name of the game with the Thunderhead:  High mountain trout streams one day, waterfall hiking the next, and swinging for steelhead the day after that!  It has become my go-to day pack and my wife has tried to lay claim to it as her favorite hiking pack... from my cold dead hands!  I also used this pack for a week straight in Disney World schlepping around my camera, lenses, phone, wallet and my wife and daughter's junk.  I was able to take my valuables with me on every water ride!

Perfect pack for mountain trout streams, Tenkara, and wet wading

The wide shoulder strap and simple buckles and adjustments make the Thunderhead easy to use and comfortable all day, even heavily loaded.  The 2 quick release buckles make access and removal easy.  You will notice quite a few orange TPU pull tabs spread out on the bag.  At first you may think they are randomly placed, but after a few days of use you quickly find that each loop was put there for a reason.  The loops at the top and the bottom of the bag are the most important as they allow you to pull hard on the TIZIP zipper, which needs some leverage to open and close.  The loops are strong and well made and will certainly last the life of this bag.

There are two small pockets on the Thunderhead: one clear pocket inside for small items like tippet, leaders, knife, etc and one outside with a water resistant zipper external pocket, which I like to put my phone in when it isn't raining and I won't likely take a big spill in the drink.  It is also handy for putting your wallet/license/small fly box in.

There are numerous tool attachment points on the Thunderhead.  The tube shaped ones are designed for the Fishpond Swivel Retractor and Barracuda Clippers, and it works perfectly with those items.  I have also attached the Fishpond Floatant Bottle Holder and Dry Shake Holder to the front strap d-ring for easy access.  To the back d-ring I setup my old Fishpond tippet holder, but the Headgate Tippet Holder would work just as well, is easier to load, and has a built in line cutter.  What I really like about this setup is I can take these items off quickly to convert it to a steelheading bag, daybag, or for hiking.

Fully Loaded!
The final major feature in the Thunderhead and a number of other Fishpond bags is the net holster.  It is an angled sleeve that is in the back pad of the bag.  I finally have a way of bringing a big net with me that isn't totally cumbersome.  I can get the Fishpond mid length boat net in there and carry it around all day without it getting in the way.  I also love it for my smaller trout nets as it keeps them from banging around and getting caught on every branch as I bushwhack.  It fits every net I have tried in it, and I barely notice it in there when it's holstered.

Some sling packs are a pain to use and often require you to just take it off to access the pockets.  I can say that the Thunderhead is not one of those slings.  One easy to use buckle, a quick slide around your torso using those pull loops and you have easy access to the large and small pocket, all of your tools, your tippet and anything else you attach to the bag.  If you haven't tried a sling pack, or are looking for a way to keep your gear dry but easily accessible, the Thunderhead certainly fits the bill.
The bottom line is the Thunderhead is, in my opinion, the best waterproof sling bag on the market!

The Bearded Pescador

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

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