May 24, 2019

Avoiding Rod and Line Tangles

In this short video RIO ambassador Jon Cave shows tips that help avoid fly line tangles while transporting or storing rods not in use such as in drift boats. These tips can really help alleviate stream side frustrations and ultimately may even save your rod from a unfortunate event.
Watch Video

An item that can help protect your rods while in transit is a rod sleeve. Check them out here...

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"



May 23, 2019

Sage Trout Schools

Sage On The Water Trout School Overview

Gorge Fly Shop is proud to announce Sage continues to offer great opportunities by offering these Sage Trout Schools provided for the 2019 angler season. Dig deep in all the details below and be sure to click the Book Now or Contact links to have an agent contact you directly to go over any questions you may have.

  • July 21 – 26, 2019
  • August 11 – August 16, 2019
  • September 29 – October 4, 2019
School Overview

The Sage On The Water Trout School is the ultimate educational course to improve an angler’s trout fishing. The school combines on-site instruction and education with on-the-water guided fishing, for a holistic approach to learning and improving your fly fishing for trout. The location – Sage Lodge in Paradise Valley, Montana – is paramount, offering easy access to several different fly fishing venues: the Yellowstone River, the famous Paradise Valley spring creeks, and Yellowstone National Park. Students will have guided fishing days in three distinct methods – from a drift boat, walk-and-wade fishing on a freestone river, walk-and-wade fishing on a spring creek – with location-specific instruction prior to each.

The School’s format is a mix of presentations and discussions, instruction, and guided fishing. Venue-specific educational modules prepare students for the following day’s instruction and fishing.

May 22, 2019

New Trout and Trout Spey Reels from Sage

This classic looking reel was first introduce fall 2018 in spey models. So well received that the line has been extended into trout spey sizes as well as single hand trout sizes.

All models feature machined, anodized aluminum construction with sealed drag systems.

Full frames with minimal porting for heavier balance and a classic look.

Spools are large arbor with concave machining for increased backing capacity. Spools are locked on with knurled aluminum thumb screw.

Machined drag knobs feature one revolution with numbered and detented stops for repeatable drag settings.

All Spey, Trout Spey and Trout sizes come in classic looking Bronze or Stealth/Silver.

Everything was carefully considered on the construction of this reels series.

Trout sizes include:
MODELWeight (oz)CapacityDiameter (in)Width (in)
2/3/44 3/4WF3+100yds/20lb3 3/161 1/4
4/5/65 3/8WF5+100yds/20lb3 1/21 1/4
6/7/87 1/8WF7+100yds/20lb3 13/161 3/8

Trout Spey sizes include:
MODELWeight (oz)CapacityDiameter (in)Width (in)
1/2/35 3/4275 skagit+100ft SL + 150yds/203 11/161 7/16
3/4/57 1/4375 skagit+100ft SL + 150yds/203 13/161 1/2
***Interesting Note; Trout spey size 1/2/3. Size 1??? And Sage is getting ready to introduce an all new line of Trout Spey Rods. I know what my conclusion is!

Spey sizes:
MODELWeight (oz)CapacityDiameter (in)Width (in)
6/7/89 13/16600 skagit+100ft SL + 150yds/204 1/81 11/16
7/8/910 7/8700 skagit+100ft SL + 150yds/304 7/161 3/4

Most sizes are in stock now or will be very soon.
Call us 541-386-6977

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 20, 2019

Predator Hunt - Rigging and Fishing Crawfish Patterns

Columbia River Smallmouth Bass

Crawfish, Crayfish, Crawdads or Clawdads...Whatever you wish to call these armored, tasty creatures!

It's my belief that crawfish pattern flies are greatly misunderstood. So, to make a bold statement like that you'll demand I back that up. Here's my take on this and I'm going to start with shooting a bullseye right at the fly tying industry first.


I've found a lot of crawfish in nature but I've yet to find a live one colored orange. Unless you have crawfish in a pot of boiling water their color is NOT orange! But yet every fly shop fly bin has orange crawfish patterns in them.

Yes, there are red crawfish in the south regions but most of us have crawfish in the brown or olive coloration. They might have hints of orange but all orange is rarely ever found in nature. If you have orange crawfish in your fly box, take them out now and let's start over, pronto!

Colors to look for are tans, browns, chocolate browns, olives, dark olives, blacks. Highlight with hints of red, chartreuse, blue and copper. My "go to" crawfish flies are brown with copper highlights or black with blue highlights or dark brown with olive highlights.

My general rule is your pattern should closely match the the bottom of where you are fishing or go with black for an increased silhouette in stained water.

Catfish Eat Crawdads


While it would seem bigger is better I prefer to keep them small and slim. Small and slim profiles sink better and since I want this fly on bottom bulky material will just slow down the sink rate or even prevent your fly from reaching bottom. I see some crawfish patterns having big bulky claws, these are not necessary. Matter of fact a crawfish pattern could not have claws at all and still be effective. Often in nature crawfish will have just one or no claws at all most likely lost in defense of predators.

Back to the fly

Crawfish patterns need to have strong hooks that are tied to ride up. These characteristics along with strong tippet will give you the ability to work around heavy structure.

Heavy Fly and Heavy Tippet

Along with a slim body a crawfish pattern will need to be heavily weighted in order to sink well when attached to heavy tippet.

Largemouth Bass eat Crawfish

Fish it like you intend to lose it

Crawfish survive by their ability to run and hide from their prey. They scurry under rocks, boulders and wood structure and will remain relatively close to hiding spots.

To make natural presentations flies need to be cast right on these structures and allowed to fall in and around them. Too many anglers spend all their efforts trying to avoid such situations when they should be aggressively going after those tough presentations.


Once you have presented the fly try to keep sight on it as long as possible on the initial drop. Many strikes occur at those first descending moments. Don't be in a rush to start stripping. Maintain a taunt line without moving your fly. Keep on the alert for any tick movement at all times.

Next action is to make 2-3 very short strips like 2-3 inch strips, short and quick! Pause....2-3 more short strips! Pause. At this point if nbo strike has accured go ahead and lift fly quickly and recast to next location.

Avoid presenting/stripping your fly all the way back to you. The longer you dredge bottom the more likely you will snag the fly. Most strikes occur on or after the initial drop and strips. No need to continue. Cast to a new spot and keep moving.


Things to cast on include, rocks, logs, root wads, quick drop offs, points and man made structures.
When sun is high fish the shady sides. Imagine there is a fish under every boulder you see, More than likely there is!

About leaders and tippet

In this type of fishing I tie my own leaders. Start with a 30" section of heavy nylon monofilament in the .024" - .026" range and nail knot that directly to your fly line. No loop to loop in this setup. You want NO possible slack in this system. Hatch Professional Med/Hard Monofilament leader material is a good choice.

Next slip on an indicator such as RIO's Kahuna LT. Slide that right up to the nail knot. This indicator is not intended to float your fly instead, together with the mono butt section it is to keep the tip of your fly line on the waters surface and provide sight reference to help detect those slightest of strikes.

Next tie on 30" of 30# Hatch Fluorocarbon Leader, then 30" of 25#, then onward to 20# and in most cases I'll end in 16#. You got to be the judge of what your final tippet needs to be in order to avoid detection. Hatch Fluorocarbon Tippet works great for all of this.
Personally I believe if you fish this fly correctly you won't have tippet shy problems.

All blood knots, no loop to loops. Tie fly on direct with a improved clinch knot. No loop knots!

The idea of this leader is to keep your fly line tip afloat while the rest of the leader is free to sink as deep as needed. The indicator will help keep the fly line floating, provide strike detection, and if it sinks you will know that depth has exceeded your leader length.

Even Crappie will eat a well presented Crayfish

The Strike

Strike detection is the utmost importance to succeed in this fishing. Big predators that eat crayfish typically engulf and crush the crawfish in order to kill it and avoid being pinched. Strikes are usually not an eat and run ordeal. One slight tick on your indicator my be the only sign of a strike you will get. Don't hesitate, hook set immediately.

I've watched countless many times anglers detect the initial strike and remain still waiting for something bigger to happen. I always say the next tick in the line will be him spitting it out. Hook sets are free, all day long! Take advantage of that. I'd rather find out I set on nothing than miss a possible catch of a lifetime.

Hint...the biggest bass will strike the lightest

It took me years to feel confident in fishing craw patterns on fly rods. I hope this info can help advance you along much quicker path than I did. It's become one of my favorite ways to fly fish for  big predators.


Greg Darling 

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

May 17, 2019

Sage MOD Spey Rod Sale

Original Retail Price was $1050. Buy it now for $549.95
Buy Here...

The Sage MOD Spey is a soulful, moderate action with deep loading ideal for skagit style casting.

Features -
  • Konnetic Technology® 
  • Moderate action 
  • Jade blank color 
  • Yellow-Green thread wraps with Black trim wraps 
  • Fuji ceramic stripper guides 
  • Hard Chromed snake guides and tip-top  
  • Gloss Black anodized aluminum up-locking reel seat  
  • Super Plus cork fore grip and rear grip 
  • Black rod bag with Jade logo and model tag 
  • Black powder coated aluminum rod tube with Sage medallion

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 16, 2019

Deschutes Fishing Report 05/16/19: Guide Edition

Although the weather is turning back to early spring conditions, the fish had enough time seeing big bugs fly around to get keyed in.  The fishing has been the best all season as of late. The big fish have moved to the banks and they are keyed on dries.  We did real well on Clark Stones and Chubby Chernobyl's.  We did not do well on the dropper nymphs or swinging, more proof they are on the big bugs.

Jim Greenleaf is nailing them on dries

Look for conditions to stay prime with this cooler weather.  The cooler weather will put the breaks on the hatch and keep it moving slow.  Keep an eye out for yellow stone (little sallies) PEDS, caddis and BWO’s.

Sam Sickles
(541) 400-0855

May 14, 2019

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report 5/13/2019

Austin Duddles is on the stillwater game


Deschutes Salmon/Stone fly hatch is on! It has been a good week of fishing in the lower river. The bugs are popping out pretty heavy up around Maupin now, with reports of bugs all the way to Trout Creek. I would fish the old standby’s; Norm Woods #6-8, Norm Woods Rubber Legs #6-8, Larimer’s Golden Stone #6 and don’t forget the Chubby’s Golden #6-10. The secret weapon can be the Chubby Purple #6-10. Nymphs; Pat’s Rubber Leg’s in Black, Brown, Olive #4-8, Tungsten Pat’s Rubberlegs Black/Brown #6-8, Trout Retriever in all three colors (Yellow Lab, Choc. Lab, Black Lab).

If they are not on the big bugs don’t forget the following; Caddis, PMD Mayflies and Yellow Sally’s. These hatches can produce great numbers of fish and can save the day when the fish are not eating Stones.

We have some cloudy weather coming up this week which is what I like to see for streamer fishing. That is my favorite way to fish the Deschutes. May not always produce big numbers, but it can be big fun! I like to fish my little 3 weight two hander with 10’ of T-8 sink tip along with the following flies. Sculpzillia # 8 (Olive, White or Natural), Kiwi Muddler, Precious Metal and Aqua Flies Char-mer Zonker.
Deschutes Salmon Fly Dry Kit


Laurance Lake has been fishing well after being closed last year, well worth the trip. Lost lake is it’s usual consistent self. The higher country lakes are still snowed in, but you should be able to start getting into most of them in the next week or so.

Best results have been fishing an intermediate or slow sinking line with a variety of #8-10 leach patters in Black or Brown. Suspending a Balance Leach under an indicator with a floating line has been lethal to. Dry fly fishing has been good in the mid-morning or in the evening with Parachute Adams #14-16, Tilt Wing Callibaetis #14-16, Black Ants #8-12
Stillwater Trout Selection


We are seeing a few early summer fish in the Hood, Sandy and Clack. Not much pressure on them this time of year, it can be worth a trip.

Look forward to Klickitat River season opening on June 1st
Klickitat Super Slammer Kit


Smallmouth in the Columbia have come alive, fishing has really picked up. You will find lots of fish in the shallows and back waters of the Columbia. Best results are with a variety of streamers like; Sculpins, Crayfish, Baitfish, ect. Also try jigged flies like the Jaw Breaker under a indicator on a floating line, it can be really good.

The John Day is pretty high right now, there are fish being caught, but not ideal.
Bass Flies


Travis Duddles
Owner and CEO | Gorge Fly Shop

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

May 10, 2019

Fly Fusion Cast Like a Pro Series: #7 Pick Up and Lay Down

 Fly Fusion Cast Like a Pro Series: #7 Pick Up and Lay Down

In this short video is the basics of fly casting form starting with how to pick up line, make a cast and lay down line for a gentle presentation.

Watch Video...

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

  © 'and' Mike Prine 2009-2014

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