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Jul 15, 2019

Thomas and Thomas Exocett SS Rod Series Review


Big Flies! Big Fish!

We place big demands on fly rods in this modern day of extreme fly fishing. Flies are bigger, lines are more aggressive, our casting is more aggressive and we go after big payoffs! It's no wonder we are in constant search for the next better fly rod to appear on the market.

A bit over a year ago my friend and guide Lance handed me a rod to fish that I will say without hesitation has since changed my understanding about rod actions.

You see, I'm a big fly junkie! If I need magnifiers to tie on a fly than that fly is too small! I don't even like flies in the double digit range unless it's on the big (?/0 = aught) size. Streamers, sliders, frogs, beetles, hoppers, sculpins and crawdads, whatever is on a predators menu is fair game.

The rod that I experienced was the Thomas & Thomas Exocett SS 250gr.

The game was for big migratory brown trout in Chile. The freestone river was extreme in diversity from high winds to slot canyon bluffs. Casts were either short and precise to pockets or across stream long.

No Tip Quiver

The first characteristic I picked up on with Exocett SS was it's ability to make short upstream one backcast flips and not express a tip quiver. Up till that time with my personal rod each flip ended with a disturbing little tip quiver that inherently pulled my fly a foot from target every cast. No matter how much I tried to adjust my cast my rod did this. Guess what, most of today's fast action rods do this with heavy flies.
Exocett SS has amazing dampening action and does not quiver.

Lifting Power

Next, I notice the extreme power to lift. Heavy flies and lines don't always pull easy from the water. This fact can consume a lot of your arms energy throughout the day. Exocett SS is way easier to lift heavy flies and lines from water. Like quite noticeably easier.

Since this first encounter I've tested this rod against many others in lifting power alone and the next best rod I found is still no comparison to the Exo SS.

Fighting Power

On my last day at end of day I hooked a giant! Due to the big browns advantage in situation I still can't believe we landed it.

We were fishing boulder pockets and a big brown thrashed the surface hard just downstream from where I was wading. Lance yelled to me to throw across stream and swing my headbanger fly across where that brown just jumped. I did! He nailed it, hard! I returned a hard hook set. Immediately he turned head for downstream.

The quarters where tight in a canyon with rapid after rapid. If he would have made it past the first downstream rapid there would have been no way to hang onto him.

With rod bent through the cork, butt in my gut and two hands on the grip I battled that brown from rapids and brought him to lance's hand. He was the star of the trip easily surpassing 30". I don't think the rod I brought could have done it.


Since that first encounter with the SS250 I've also had the privilege to experience the SS160 and the SS350 grain models.

The Exo SS160 is a hopper/popper dream rod. Precise and easy, cast after cast. On missed strikes it will pick up gobs of line and make one shot recast back on target with precision. It also handles mid size streamers with ease.


I took an Exocett SS350 to New Orleans and battled some bull reds. It's was absolutely perfect for this fishing. Easy short, precise cast with powerful hooksets and quite capable of reaching out to those far out targets in the wind.


Our last day was a fish frenzy. With my regular rod I would have had my arm in a sling by the end of that day but I wasn't sore at all. The Exocett SS powered through every fight and begged for more.

The Exocett SS's will adapt to many lines but my favorite "big power" line thus far is Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Titan Long. The rod is quite capable of shooting the entire line. For the SS250 run the WF7 for easy flies but go up to the WF8 for the heavy stuff. Run a WF5 or WF6 on the SS160 according to your needs. These rods adapt well to lines so be willing to match line according to fly size and worry less about the rod.

The Exocett SS also comes in a 200 gr and a 450 gr both of which I've not yet had the pleasure to fish. I'd like to change that soon.

For your viewing pleasure



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I'll see you on the water...But you won't see me!











Greg Darling 


"Passion For Fishing Is A Lifelong Pursuit Of Discovery"

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - 7/15/19

A nice rainbow that couldn't resist a Jigged Balance Leech pattern

COLUMBIA GORGE FISHING REPORT - 7/15/19

Trout:

Laurance Lake:  Still fishing well, putting to rest the idea that the season may not be so good from the closure and maintenance from all of last year.  Some folks have come in and said that they have had some of the best fishing they've experienced in years.

Remember: You can only keep fin-clipped trout (hatchery produced) and can only use artificial lures and flies. These rules were put in place to protect native Cutthroat and Bull Trout also found here, which must be released unharmed. There's no limit on Smallmouth bass you may catch.

Lost Lake:  Consistency, is the word here.  Now's a great time to fish the higher mountain lakes before it get's too warm and the fish turn off.  During the hot days, carpenter ants hatch and the trout go crazy for a good ant pattern.  Don't recommend going to a lake without any, if they are present, you can do well to have them in your fly box!

We are getting calls daily regarding the status of Lost Lake’s Hex hatch. Nothing yet to report as the hatch has not started, but don't fret, the hatch typically shows up about the end of July. It has been a rather cool summer and this typically means the hatch will start around the end of July or so. We may see a few early bugs in the next week, but doubt if it will be very intense. Trent, who works up at the lake said that he would let us know when they see the first few start to show.

Effective techniques include fishing an intermediate or slow sinking line with a variety of #8-10 leech patters in Black, Brown or Olive.  Indicator fishing with a slip bobber set up and a floating line has been deadly. Recently I fished a lake (not Lost Lake) and caught about 35 trout and all but one was caught on a Balanced Leech and a Chironomid set up. On this particular lake, I didn't witness much top water action during the time I was there.  Dry fly fishing at Lost Lake 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. Also be on the look out for Damsels.


This fine specimen (Hexagenia limbata) landed on my truck as I was preparing to load the pontoon at the end of my fishing time! Wouldn't you know it.  Look for the hatches to get stronger in the days to come.

Small Mountain Streams:  About the same as last reported.  Smaller mountain streams have been fishing well.  Trout Lake Creek, Lewis River above Swift Reservoir, the East Fork of the Hood, and the White River to name a few.  Fish in these locations are small, 6” to 8” average, but they are always looking up. Not super picky when it comes to fly patterns and because of this it can offer great dry fly fishing.  Take your light rod, some Caddis flies and have yourself a big time.

Steelhead: 

The counts over The Dalles Dam have been between 200 - to 300 per day, which typically means good fishable numbers in the lower parts of the Deschutes and Klickitat Rivers.  Early Summer Steelhead fishing can be good, even with somewhat low numbers because the crowds aren't as high in number and the fish seem to be good biters.  These early fish are energetic and full of gas!

A hot little ticket...an early summer Steelhead on the Klickitat River! Some of the best fighting Steelhead you will ever encounter this far from the ocean!

Klickitat River:  H
ad been seeing some good fishing for the early season, consistently finding fish with pretty much all tactics working, says our long time friend and guide Travis Wallace of Western Waters Guide Service.  There have been a surprising number of fish coming into the system on a daily basis, unfortunately the heat and wind as of late have made the river unfishable.  Keep an eye out for cooler temps, because when the river comes into shape there will be a bunch of new fish that have not had any pressure, that combination can make for some special days with HOT fish! To learn more about what is "FISHABLE WATER" and what isn't, check out my past blog articles where I break down the early, mid and late season strategies for the Klickitat River and show photos of what I would fish and wouldn't.  This has a wealth of information for you from years of guiding it.  You will see at the end of the blog links to the other articles:

An excellent fly selection for the Klickitat River: Klickitat Super Slammer Kit

Guided fishing for the Klickitat River:
  • Travis Wallace: (509) 850-5125
  • Sam Sickles: (541) 400-0855

Smallmouth: 

Columbia River:  Has been good.  You will find many of the bigger fish starting to hold more in the deep drop offs and rock walls.  These conditions do make it more important to use a boat of some type.  Best results are with a variety of streamers like; Sculpins, Crayfish, Baitfish, Bead Head Wooley Buggers etc, fished on a full sinking line.  Also try jigged flies like the Jaw Breaker under a indicator on a floating line, it can be really good, especially on rock ledges.


A full sinking line, a Crawfish pattern, and a tantalizing retrieve scored for a few fish!


John Day:  Summer fishing for Smallmouth on the John Day River, if you haven't already heard about it, can be a boat load of fun. Why you ask...because lots and lots of top water action using poppers and such. It doesn't matter if most of the fish you catch on the popper are on the smaller side, it's still a kick in the pants.  If you really want to tackle trying to catch the bigger Bronzebacks and forgo the top water feeding frenzy, try using a sinking tip or a weighted Clouser Minnow to get down where the big boys live.  Otherwise take a light gear rod and play the game of seeing if you can cast somewhere that you won't catch a fish! It is best to float it for sure, but there is good walking access at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.

That's it till next time.  Have fun whatever your pursuit and stay safe out there!

John Garrett
Gorge Fly Shop

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"




New from RIO - DirectCore Permit Fly Lines

New for 2020, RIO gives us DirectCore Permit

RIO DirectCore Permit


RIO's DirectCore Permit an easy to straighten, true laying, tropical formulated fly lined with an easy casting taper capable of gentle turnover of crap patterns.

Specs -

SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21583WF8FSand/Orange/Aqua47ft / 14.3mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21584WF9FSand/Orange/Aqua48ft / 14.6mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21585WF10FSand/Orange/Aqua49ft / 14.9mFloat100ft / 30.5m

Find all the New for 2020, RIO Fly Lines at "The Gorge"

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 14, 2019

RIO InTouch 3D MOW Tips - New for 2020

Available NOW!!!


Fishing anything but surface is all about getting your fly into the ZONE! It's one thing to swing a sinking fly but it takes the right mental connection to put your fly in the path of your quarry. RIO may have just taken some of the guess work out if it.

RIO InTouch 3D MOW Tips
Using a Multi-Density design the 3D MOW tips now feature three densities within a 10 foot sink tip. These New 3D MOW's come in Light, Medium and Heavy configurations with three different sink rates available in each configuration.

The Light MOW 3D Tips work well with heads under 475gr
SKUMOWTotal GrainDensity LengthColorTotal LengthSink Rate
6-19147Light80gr3ft/3ft/4ftDk Green/Blue/Trans Green10ft 3mI/S3/S4
6-19148Light80gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Green/Blue10ft 3mS3/S4/S5
6-19149Light80gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Black/Black10ft 3mS5/S6/S7


The Medium MOW 3D Tips work well with heads in the 475gr to 575gr range
SKUMOWTotal GrainDensity LengthColorTotal LengthSink Rate
6-19150Medium110gr3ft/3ft/4ftDk Green/Blue/Trans Green10ft 3mI/S3/S4
6-19151Medium110gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Green/Blue10ft 3mS3/S4/S5
6-19152Medium110gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Black/Black10ft 3mS5/S6/S7


The Heavy MOW 3D Tips work well with heads 575gr  and up
SKUMOWTotal GrainDensity LengthColorTotal LengthSink Rate
6-19153Heavy140gr3ft/3ft/4ftDk Green/Blue/Trans Green10ft 3mI/S3/S4
6-19154Heavy140gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Green/Blue10ft 3mS3/S4/S5
6-19155Heavy140gr3ft/3ft/4ftBlack/Black/Black10ft 3mS5/S6/S7

InTouch 3D MOW Tips also feature EasyID and Color Sleeved Loop Connections for easy identification

Features

  • POWERFUL MULTI-DENSITY TIPS designed to cast large flies
  • Multi-Density Control for maximum casting & fishing performance
  • Ultra-low stretch ConnectCore 
  • Front Loop
  • Rear Loop
  • EasyID
Find all your MOW TIPS at "The Gorge"

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 13, 2019

New from RIO - DirectCore Tarpon Fly Lines

New for 2020, RIO gives us DirectCore Tarpon


RIO's DirectCore Tarpon an easy to straighten, low memory, true laying, tropical formulated fly lined with an accurate design to turn over tarpon flies.

Specs -


SKULine SizeColorHead LengthSink RateTotal Length
6-21416WF9FSea Grass/Orange/Sand39ft / 12mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21417WF10FSea Grass/Orange/Sand40.5ft / 12.3mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21418WF11FSea Grass/Orange/Sand40.5ft / 12.3mFloat100ft / 30.5m
6-21419WF12FSea Grass/Orange/Sand40.5ft / 12.3mFloat100ft / 30.5m

Find all the New for 2020, RIO Fly Lines at "The Gorge"

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jul 12, 2019

Jul 11, 2019

Zapata Cuba and Yacht Georgiana


Dates: February 22-29, 2020

If your desires are calling you to fly fish Cuba I wouldn't look any further then this hosted trip headed up by Jon Covich.

This will be Jon's 21st trip to this incredible saltwater destination. In addition to amazing fishing you will benefit from Jon's wealth of knowledge in local culture as well as his first hand experiences in navigating Cuban affairs. No one is more experienced with this international destination.

Watch this video...


Price: $4699 pp based on double occupancy rooms, and 3 days single skiff, 3 days double skiff

Give us a call or click on...
More info

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

 

 

Jul 10, 2019

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - 7/10/2019

Trout: 

I know everyone likes to see lots of changes on fishing reports, but the honest truth is that fishing has really not changed much on the Deschutes, the whole river is still fishing very well. Caddis have been the most productive for most anglers and will continue to be for the several weeks or so. I would fish Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis and Outrigger Caddis in tan and grey, sizes #16. For pupa I would use #16 tan or grey; Deep Six Pupa, Sparkle Pupa, Bead Head Sparkle Pupa and Prime Time Caddis Pupa. Be ready to stay out late, the fishing the last 45 minutes or so of the day has been very good as Caddis come back to the water to lay their eggs. In addition to dry’s swinging soft hackles can be very productive.

When ever we get the higher humidity days be ready for a good mayfly hatch like pale morning and pale evening duns. Don’t forget about midges. Small flies like midges are greatly over looked on the Deschutes and can be very productive.

In low light or cloudy days don’t forget streamers. 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.

Small Mountain Streams:

Over the last few weeks the smaller mountain streams have started fishing well. Places like Trout Lake Creek, Lewis River above Swift Reservoir, East Fork of the Hood, White River to name a few. Fish in these locations are small, 6” to 8” average, but they are always looking up. These waters offer great dry fly fishing. Take your light rod and have a blast.

Lakes: 

Laurance Lake has been fishing well after being closed last year, well worth the trip. Lost lake is it’s usual consistent self. This is the best time to hit the small higher mountain lakes before the heat slows them down. This is a great time of year to fish our local lakes, they fish really well right now. During the hot days the carpenter ants will hatch. These ants drive fish crazy.

The question of the day is anglers asking the status of Lost Lake’s Hex hatch. No bugs yet reported, but I don’t expect to see the peak of the hatch until about the end of July. It has been a comfortable average to cool summer here which generally means the hatch is the fourth week of July or so. We may see a few early bugs in the next week, but doubt if it will be very intense. I have people at the lake that will let me know when they see the first few.

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

Steelhead: 

The Dalles counts have hit the magic number of 200 a day, which generally means that there are good fishable numbers in the lower part of the Deschutes River. You don’t need many of these early Summer Steelhead to have good fishing, they are not stressed out and tend to be good biters. I would stay in the lower 10 to 15 miles of the river. Be ready these early fish are HOT!!!

Fishing on the Klickitat had been good for the early season Summers, but the river colored up to the point many are not comfortable fishing it. I checked it this morning and the it is grey/tan and about 15 inches of visibility. It has been cooler this summer, so must have been a slide up on the glacier. I personally would fish it, but that is me I tend to really like colored water. Growing up fishing the Hood and Klickitat I have caught many fish in these conditions. Hopefully the river will clear up in the next few days.
Klickitat Super Slammer Kit

Smallmouth: 

Smallmouth in the Columbia has still been good. You will find many of the bigger fish starting to hold more in the deep drop offs and rock walls. These conditions do make it more important to use a boat of some type. 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.

John Day is a great river the fish this time of year for smallmouth. Take a light rod and a pile of small poppers, hang on! No need to fish any sinking flies on the JD, non-stop popper action out there. It is best to float it, but there is good walking access at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.

Trav

https://www.gorgeflyshop.com/store/pc/Sale-Closeouts-c38.htm

"The Gorge"

Gorge Fly Shop Team - 541.386.6977


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

  © 'and' Steelhead.com Mike Prine 2009-2014

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