Jan 19, 2019

RIO Big Nasty Fly Lines

Since the original InTouch Big Nasty was introduced 2 years ago, its legacy carries on with exciting new formats including Multi-Density configurations and LumaLux Glow options. Here is a review of the current lineup options.

InTouch Big Nasty 3D F/H/I

This Triple Density version features an Intermediate sink tip with a "Hover" body and a Floating run line. It is a great line to fish just below surface in the top 2 feet. Good option on shallow streamer stripping and can really help your success by getting under the surface on choppy water days.
SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21534WF5F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange39ft 12mFloat/1ips/2ips90ft 27.7m
6-21535WF6F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange39ft 12mFloat/1ips/2ips100ft 30.5m
6-21536WF7F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/1ips/2ips100ft 30.5m
6-21537WF8F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/1ips/2ips100ft 30.5m
6-21538WF9F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/1ips/2ips100ft 30.5m
6-21539WF10F/H/IGreen/Gray/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/1ips/2ips100ft 30.5m

InTouch Big Nasty 4D F/H/I/S3

This Four Density version features a Type 3 Sinking Tip joined to an Intermediate to a Hover and finally to a Floating run line. This configuration is a great choice to fish up to 4 feet deep while keeping a straight line contact to your fly for maximum sensitivity. The unique taper design helps to smooth out your casting with the seamless density transitions.
SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21934WF5F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange39ft 12mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips90ft 27.7m
6-21935WF6F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange39ft 12mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips100ft 30.5m
6-21936WF7F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips100ft 30.5m
6-21937WF8F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips100ft 30.5m
6-21938WF9F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips100ft 30.5m
6-21939WF10F/H/I/S3Black/Gray/Green/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/1ips/2ips/3ips100ft 30.5m

InTouch Big Nasty 4D F/I/S3/S5

This Four Density Version is designed to get you deeper. Fish this on a tight line in 4 - 8 feet water and let the InTouch Ultra-low stretch ConnectCore keep you connected through your entire retrieve. A perfect choice line for days when fish won't move far and getting in their zone is the equation for success. It starts with a deep sinking S5 sinking tip into a S3 sinking tip to an Intermediate to a Floating run line.
SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21945WF6F/I/S3/S5Black/Dk Gray/Lt Gray/Orange39ft 12mFloat/2ips/3ips/5ips100ft 30.5m
6-21946WF7F/I/S3/S5Black/Dk Gray/Lt Gray/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/2ips/3ips/5ips100ft 30.5m
6-21947WF8F/I/S3/S5Black/Dk Gray/Lt Gray/Orange40ft 12.2mFloat/2ips/3ips/5ips100ft 30.5m
6-21948WF9F/I/S3/S5Black/Dk Gray/Lt Gray/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/2ips/3ips/5ips100ft 30.5m
6-21949WF10F/I/S3/S5Black/Dk Gray/Lt Gray/Orange41ft 12.6mFloat/2ips/3ips/5ips100ft 30.5m

example: 4D WF6F/H/I/S3

InTouch Big Nasty - Floating

The original InTouch Big Nasty Floating features a short powerful front taper that is slightly heavier then AFTMA standards. It uses the DualTone Marking system to make it easy to identify the loading point in the line. 
For 2019, InTouch Big Nasty expanded to include a WF5F size in Moss/Orange and WF6F & WF8F in the LumaLux Glow in the the dark models for night time mouse'n. 
Specs -
SKULine SizeColor30' Head LengthHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21533WF5FMoss / Orange
39ft 12mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21171WF6FMoss / Orange175gr40ft 12.2mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21172WF7FMoss / Orange200gr40ft 12.2mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21173WF8FMoss / Orange230gr40ft 12.2mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21174WF9FMoss / Orange260gr40ft 12.2mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21175WF10FMoss / Orange305gr40ft 12.2mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-21652WF6FLumaLux Glow175gr40ft 12.3mFloat100ft 30.5m
6-211653WF8FLumaLux Glow230gr40ft 12.3mFloat100ft 30.5m

Big Nasty Leaders and Tippet

In addition to a complete range of InTouch Big Nasty lines RIO also has supplied us with leaders and tippet up to the task. 

Made from medium stiff nylon material with high abrasion resistance these new leaders and tippet provide strong turnover power for easy casting of streamers, terrestrials and bass bugs in all kinds of weather conditions. 

If you find yourself chucking terrestrials or hucking meat consider and upgrade to RIO's lineup of Big Nasty fly lines, leader and tippet.

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977
GorgeFlyShop.com Join our TeamContact Us

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 17, 2019

Bauer Fly Reels - Smoothest in the World

Bauer Fly Reel Company has a strong following pf passionate anglers worldwide. They all unanimously agree that it's hard to find a reel as smooth as a Bauer. Check out video... 

Find Bauer Fly Reels at Gorge Fly Shop


"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 15, 2019

Fishing Report 01/15/19: Guide Edition

Currently fishing for winter steelhead is still pretty slow on local rivers which is pretty normal for this time of year. We’ve had a high pressure system sitting on us bringing big winds form the east, sunny skies and low cold and clear fishing conditions. These are the toughest conditions that exist for winter steelhead fishing. The good news is rain is on the way at the end of the week along with some warmers weather.

Local fish hatcheries are recycling some hatchery steelhead, as well as the North Fork Nehalem. For now, I would concentrate my effort on the North Coast rivers, many of these rivers fish well when our local rivers approach too low conditions. When the rains hit we hope to see some decent numbers of steelhead show in the local rivers like the Clackamas, Sandy and Hood Rivers.

If you do go chase chrome focus on the spot where there is enough water to provide cover, fish heavy tips and pair your flies down a bit.

Trout fishing will be good all winter on the Deschutes and other east side rivers. Standard winter tactics should include swinging sculpins and other streamers on heavy sink tips, nymph fishing, and an always open eye for blue wing olives mid day. The weather system moving in should bring some good opportunities to fish blue winged olive mid day.

Sam Sickles
(541) 400-0855

Jan 8, 2019

ODFW Licensing Help

Help! I need a license! Does this sound familiar?

New System, New Year!

Most States are migrating to a DIY Print your own and Digital system. Welcome to Oregon. Are you annoyed yet with the new process or just confused? We hope this helps. First off, let us say we understand many of you usually go into a storefront like a Walmart or Bi-mart to obtain your license. We suggest you try to login at home first. We have had many reports that some people end up with a new account. Losing all their old data and preference points if that applies to you. ODFW no longer prints out licenses on waterproof paper. Be warned, if you go into a store be sure to use your ODFW ID number. If your not an Oregonian and only require a day license it's not an issue but still advisable to download the app listed below, especially for the in app offline "catch card" feature.
"I am a new customer or have not purchased an ANNUAL license in the last 3 years"

If this is you, click this link RIGHT HERE.Once you have created a new account you will be on the home screen. Scroll down for purchasing. Or

Moving Forward: If you had an Annual Oregon fishing license in the past 3 years?

You must VERIFY/LOOK UP your account FIRST. See the brown tab in the above image? That's it, CLICK IT. Now this is important, we have found the easiest NEXT step is to obtain your ODFW ID number and use this option in the drop down. We have come across fewer issues using this method. If you can't find it or obtain it, you do have a few other options. Email and Phone number. More on that later. The video below will walk you through the required steps to verify your account if need be.

If you do not have a phone number or email associated with account and don’t know your Hunter/Angler ID#, call or email ODFW (odfw.websales@state.or.us / (503) 947-6101) or visit a license sales agent and ask them to find you in the system.

Verify / Look Up your Account First with your ODFW ID Number
After finding your account and verifying everything you will find yourself on the HOME screen. See image below. 

Once logged in, this is now your Customer Home Screen
Ready to Purchase your License?
Hang on! You made it this far. Let's double check your profile information first. See that box just above. It says "YOUR ACCOUNT". Click on Your Profile and verify that everything looks good. Email, Phone number and Address. I noticed my email was wrong (probably my fault) so any future correspondents or more importantly, if I needed to reset my username or password those would never reach my inbox. Now that everything is verified, click save and go back to the Home Screen.  

Purchase from the Catalog: If your ready to purchase a license you may do so by clicking the "PURCHASE FROM THE CATALOG" image. You'll see something that looks similar to the image below. https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/customer/catalog

Annual Options
One, Two, Three day Options. One day endorsements can also be found under the endorsement tab.
For myself, I'm a hunter angler. So it's slightly cheaper for me to get the Annual Combination License now and be done with it. If your out of State or in need of the SportPac those options will be available to you as well. Read everything carefully, but for the most part it's fairly straightforward. When you ADD an item, it's automatically added to the shopping cart. A pop up window will verify and ask if you would like to go to the shopping cart or keep shopping (Add more options). At the same time, items in your cart will be visible on the right hand side of the screen.

Be sure to add your Endorsement if this applies to you. Remember this is the Columbia River and their tributaries.
I also added my Shellfish License because we enjoy crabbing. You may also need a Harvest Card.
Quick note on Harvest Card. If you download the app. It is available Offline.
From here it's as simple as verify your cart. Make sure it's what you want and continue to the payment page and pay for your purchase.

- GFS Webmaster


"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 7, 2019

Fishing Report 01/07/19 Guide Report

An average Deschutes Redside
The quick down and dirty fishing report. People are catching steelhead on local rivers…but not very many. We had some nice spikes in river levels over the last couple of weeks and it brought a few fish into the rivers. As of this week river levels are all at prime levels, ie, very fishable. We have a couple nasty days of rain on the way which is always good for fishing but not real fun to fish in. The rivers will not rise much from the rain with a freezing level around 2000'. This week should bring some of the best sustained conditions for steelhead fishing we’ve had. There are not a lot of fish around so be thorough, fish well and with sharp hooks. Look for the next big spike a drop for larger numbers of new fish.

Trout fishing will be good all winter on the Deschutes and other east side rivers. Standard winter tactics should include swinging sculpins and other streamers on heavy sink tips, nymph fishing, and an always open eye for blue wing olives mid day.

Sam Sickles
(541) 400-0855


Jan 3, 2019

The Dirt on Fly Lines Series - Part 1 - Tapers

A brief history

Long ago, a fly line was just a level line originally made from braided horse hair. At some point silk entered the picture. The weight in the line itself was only increased by the diameter of the line. These lines were just level in construction.

Line tapers were being experimented with but it wasn't until the advent of nylon and pvc that line tapers really became popular. By tapering off the ends of the fly line, a better, softer presentation was found.

It should be noted that in 1961 system for measure using grain weight was founded by AFTMA (American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association). Before this fly lines were measured by diameter.

As fly rods moved into more powerful graphite forms weight forward lines became the norm. By moving the mass to the forward part of the line and tapering it off at the front and rear ends, creating a head in the line. Weight forward lines gave us the advantage of better rod loading, improve presentation and increase line shooting ability. Most lines we fish with today are of weight forward design.

While the weight forward fly line is a modern marvel, it does however create much confusion and complication. Choosing a taper that works for your situation can be a difficult decision unless one understands how these tapers work for us.

This my attempt to break down some basic tapers and how they affect our casting and fishing. I'll reference Scientific Anglers line taper photos as examples.

Level Lines

Modern level lines can be found today in the form of euro nymph lines and shooting/running lines such as used in switch/spey/two hand fishing systems. Outside of these uses there really is no reason to seek out a level line.

Double Taper

Mastery Double Taper
Double tapers can be found in trout line sizes from Scientific Anglers, RIO and Airflo. While not completely versatile, they do perform certain task quite effectively. Most notably is they roll cast extremely well. This is accomplished by the thick body which in turns carries itself well through the roll. In addition they present dry flies very well in short to medium distances again due to the stability of the thick body. They also have an added advantage of a double life. When one end wears out the line can be reversed and the angler benefits from a fresh start.

Trout Taper

Amplitude Smooth Trout Taper
Enter the weight forward class of line tapers. Trout tapers, such as this S/A Amplitude Smooth are generally long headed and gradual in tapering especially the rear taper. They are constructed this way to provide great presentations and stable flights. Light, long heads give us great ability to aerialize line which enables accuracy. Do to the long head they roll cast well. If there is a downside to trout tapers it is that they don't carry bigger flies very well and they don't always load modern fast action rods very well in short cast situations. Trout taper lines are at their best with modern trout action rods and in general tend to favor dry fly fishing.

Nymph Tapers

Amplitude Smooth Anadro
Nymph tapers have several different names across the industry such as S/A's Anadro, RIO's InTouch Salmo/Steelhead or just plain nymph/indicator. Nymph tapers are designed to carry a trunk load of stuff. Think weighted flies, multi-fly rigs, split shot and/or indicators. In order to accomplish this nymph tapers are generally over weighted by one or two line sizes. Notice the quick front tapering and straight into the mass of the fly line. This mass is what carries the payload. Also in addition to carrying mass, nymph tapers are often tasked to efficiently mend line on the water. These needs require that nymph tapers have long rear tapering in order to supply enough body to move when a mend is requested by the angler. They are extremely versatile for drift boat style fishing.

An overlooked great use of this style of line is for the wade angler who is fishing heavy, fast sinking flies such as targeting big brown trout. The massive taper can load fast action rods short while the long rear taper gives good casting stability for distance with an added benefit of powerful roll casting and mending
This taper can be versatile and effective in a wide range of demands. It was my personal choice of line for migratory brown trout fishing in Chile. Oh, and I never even considered using indicators or split shot. Unfortunately, I feel like I have to add that statement because often times this taper gets pigeon holed as a dirty nymphers line.

General Presentation Tapers

Amplitude MPX Taper
This taper, while general in idea, it would seem that every manufacturer has their own idea of what is the best approach for a general presentation line. The general ideal of this style of line is to have presentation qualities of a trout line while providing load, power and shoot-ability for modern fast action rods creating an all around line for majority of fishing situations.
I apologize now if I miss-categorize any of these as being a part of this group. Lines of this taper are commonly known as S/A MPX, RIO Grand and maybe even the RIO Gold, and Airflo's Super-Dri Xceed. Their are probably many more lines that could loosely fit this category.

These tapers are generally front weighted to load easy and shoot well while rear taper is somewhat gradual for flight stability and gentle presentation. They tend to "do all well" but nothing extraordinary. One most recent newcomer to this crowd is S/A Amplitude Smooth Infinity taper. It is quickly proving itself for being an incredibly, enjoyable casting line with all the qualities needed to be a great all around fishing line.

For average angling, especially trout angling, general presentation lines are all one usually needs. They can handle dry flies and small streamers. They can perform basic trout nymphing with a good ability for mending. General presentation tapers can fit the needs of most anglers, most of the time provided our demands, such as fly size stay within reason.

Shooting Head Tapers

Mastery Titan Taper
These Tapers can be your best or worst friend depending on how you intend to use them. The design is intended to shoot line and fly to your target while loading fast action rods deeply. Although there are plenty of variations, in general the heads of shooting taper lines are usually 30 foot with some leaning toward 40 foot. Most error on the side of 30 foot.
As you can see from the diagram the head is massively weighted but virtually little to no tapers on front or rear. These shooting head tapers are generally over-weighted pretty large with 2 line sizes and in many cases 3 line sizes heavier over AFFTA line standards. The running line part beyond the head is usually quite thin in diameter allowing less friction for distance shooting.
What this taper does extremely well is load fast action rods very quickly and can propel large flies effectively. Anglers that are proficient with them can usually load a rod in one or two false cast and send the payload on it's way.
These tapers are very effective while fishing streamers from boats, long distance shoreline casting and flats fishing where one shot cast are often times required. Actually if I understand correctly RIO Outbound was born on the premise of shooting head shoreline casting.
What these tapers fail at is fish-ability. As long as the angler only requires to cast and strip flies straight back to them then all is fine, but request a mend or roll cast with the thin shooting line outside of rod guides and forget it. The thin shooting line part does not have enough body to be able to move the massive head. The angler will need to strip back to the point that the back side of the head is at or inside the rod guides in order to pickup line, roll line or make a mend. That's going to be about 30 feet depending on length of head. These tapers have their place in fly fishing, just not every place!

Examples of shooting head lines are RIO Outbound Series, S/A Titan Series, Airflo Forty Plus Series and keep in mind too many to list tapers with names such as streamer, tarpon, bonefish, striper

Modified Shooting Taper

Amplitude Smooth Titan Long
I added this category with purpose. Just as I mention that shooting head lines have a bit of trouble in the fish-ability department, there is in fact a trend to help with this issue. In the taper above, Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Titan Long is an added benefit of extending the rear taper several more feet.
We benefit from this in a couple ways including that we don't have to strip as far in to re-cast and we get a little extra length to pick up or mend with. Another benefit the "long" feature helps with is they tend to be a bit less clunky to cast. I've personally been testing these lines in warm water boat fishing situations with large streamers and they have proven to be quite beneficial over traditional shooting head tapers.
This design can be found the S/A Amplitude Tropical Titan, Amplitude Smooth Titan Long, Sonar Titan Sink Tip, Mastery Titan Long and Mastery Bass Bug.

How to recognize tapers

Over time I have developed my own quick evaluation of fly lines. It goes something like this.
  1. How long is the head? Start at front of line and run it through your fingers as you stretch out an arms length of line. Continue doing this while feeling the diameter change as you go. Count how many arm lengths it takes to reach the back side of the head. Most lines today will change color at this transition. Not only will you determine the head length but also feel how the line tapers. A little practice and you will be able to recognize how tapers differ. 
  2. Is it over weighted? Most line descriptions will tell you if a line is over-weighted. Fact is most modern lines are over-weighted to some extent. Whether that is good or bad has become a touchy subject that I'll take on is another article.
  3. Long front taper? Long front tapers are for presentation such as dry flies.
  4. Long rear taper? Long rear tapers provide flight stability, roll and mending.
  5. Mass toward the front? Carries payload.
I could continue on with more taper diagrams and but I don't feel that is really necessary. In general these tapers described here are found in most fly lines within some form or variation. The important thing to note from this is to hopefully gain the ability to recognize different tapers and how to apply them to your specific fishing regime.

While it is true, some rods respond better or worst to specific tapers and it helps the angler to match lines to rods provided the matching line can still perform the necessary functions that will be required for the destination intended. From personal experience I can tell you on many occasions I showed up to fish with a line that didn't fit the needs and that can create a frustrating day on the water.

I think we often look for lines and line tapers that we can cast well but I often see anglers choosing lines for casting instead of fishing. The line taper itself could play a bigger part in actual fishing and your outcome. In other words the line that makes you a parking lot champion may not be the line that leads to a memorable fishing experience.

In the next article we'll cover matching lines to rods and how that can make or break your experience.

Greg Darling 

"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

Jan 2, 2019

The Dirt on Fly Lines - Introduction

True, always clean your fly line but that's not what this article series is really about.

The intention of this series is designed to help you choose fly lines that will improve your fly fishing experience.

The better we understand fly lines the better anglers we can be on the water. Can you think of a time that your line just didn't work for you or maybe a time when you were struggling only later to find out that you just wasn't equipped with the right fly line?

Feel free to leave questions/comments and I'll do my best to answer them. Meanwhile follow my series as I present some facts and some personal opinions from years of testing and fishing fly lines

Key points that I intend to write about will each be a separate short article of which all will be combined in one central location. By breaking this down in specific topics hopefully you will be able to go straight to the key point to find the answers you'll looking for. Another words save you the trouble of reading a book.

Fact is today,  a book could be written just about fly lines. They have become a blessing and a curse. I will say this, if you are just one of those who believes a fly line is a fly line, you might want to rethink that! I hope you find this helpful in understanding that we can really benefit from knowing the finer details of fly fishing lines.

Key Points

These are just posible ideas, I'm open to suggestions. This introduction is just a start to a series of articles that have not yet been determined. I'm just taking them as they come and I'll wrap it up when we run out of fly line topics
  • Tapers - What are they and how to choose?
  • Saltwater vs Freshwater - Whats the real difference?
  • Head Weights - 
  • Matching Fly Lines - Why does my $1K fly rod feel like crap why my buddy's $100 fly rod feels great?
  • Finishes and Coating - Why would I care?
  • Color Importance - Or not?
  • Specialty Lines - Nymph, Double Tapers, Shooting Lines, etc
  • Spey - Skagit, Scandi, mid, long, tips
If you can think of more topics please drop me a note. I'll be glad to address the key point and maybe even make it it's own article. 

Start reading the series with:
The Dirt on Fly Lines Series - Part 1 - Tapers

Greg Darling 

"My Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

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