Seasons Greetings from the Metolius River

“The colors are gone. It’s now a tableau of black and white and shades of gray. The water is inky black with a silver screen of snow reflected on its surface. There are little mists rising. Yet, even in the midst of the worst storm, right at the water’s edge there is a little band of green where the grass is as bright as if it were spring. This little oasis never goes away because the water temperature, still at 48º F, fresh from the headspring, warms the ground, leaving a little patch of land that never knows winter.”
-John Judy, Seasons of the Metolius

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Late fall and winter can be a marvelous time on the Metolius River. The crowds thin out, as most people are unwilling to wade waist deep into the river when the air temperature is barely breaking the 20º F mark. And you can hardly blame them; it is cold out there right now. Frozen guides, frozen fly lines, and frozen hands are provided at no extra charge when you spend a day on the Metolius this time of year.

The fishing remains a challenge, as always, on this perplexing and humbling stream. The fish certainly react to the brisk air temperatures, as do the bugs, primarily because there is less sun striking the surface during the increasingly shorter days that define December. Typically they wont move as far for a fly, whether that is correlated to the ambient temperature or their biological clocks beginning to shift toward an urge to move into the upper river to spawn in the coming months, who knows. That being said, you can still have some awesome afternoons full of beautiful, willing fish right now.

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The past few outings have proven that. Concentrating our efforts during the afternoon hours when the sun is on the water and the outside temperature is more bearable, rainbows, whitefish, and a few bull trout have been eating a variety of nymphs. There have also been small mayflies fluttering around in the back eddies, and if you get a period of sunshine on the water, the trout have been feeding on the surface as well.

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Mayfly nymphs are a good choice this time of year on the Metolius. The most important thing is that your setup is heavy enough to get down to the fish in the deep, turbulent water in which they often hold. Pheasant Tails, Possie Buggers, and Morrish’s Anato May are good places to start in combination with a heavier stonefly for the depth charge. In terms of dry fly patterns, small Thorax BWOs and small Parachute Adams are the ticket.

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If you’re looking for an opportunity to get your fix, remember that the spring-fed Metolius remains an option 365 days a year. Keep your eye on the forecast, as warmer temperatures will bring heightened insect activity and more eager trout.

As always, the mantra of my mates and I when we venture to this river is be prepared for absolutely anything and be prepared to catch absolutely nothing. The joy of the Metolius comes from standing on the bank, the sun warming your face, the old growth trees towering what seems like an infinite height above your head, and Mt. Jefferson looming ever present in the distance. An elk bugles upstream, mergansers soar downstream, and here you are situated in the middle of it all.

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Andy Archer

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report | Leave a comment

New Options for an Old Favorite: UV and Pastel Bucktail by Spirit River and Hareline

Spirit River UV2 Bucktail

Spirit River UV2 Bucktail

Fly Tying Materials Review: Hareline Pastel and Spirit River UV2 Bucktails.

I am a regular and frequent user of bucktails and am always on the lookout for variations or specifics when it comes to acquiring bucktails to tie my salmon Clousers.

I recently learned that Hareline is now offering UV2 Bucktails (Spirit River) and Pastel Colors in Bucktails.

Hareline Pastel Bucktail.

Hareline Pastel Bucktail.

Both of these new options are promising and I naturally added to my bucktail inventory by adding several colors of these two products.

Here are but a few of the pastel bucktail colors by Hareline.

Here are but a few of the pastel bucktail colors by Hareline.

As far as the Pastel Colors go, I really appreciate the subtle muted colors and will have freshly tied Clousers featuring several of these colors when spring Chinook season rolls around in 2018.

Here are a few of my favorite Spirit River UV2 Bucktail colors - many more options are available.

Here are a few of my favorite Spirit River UV2 Bucktail colors – many more options are available.

I have already been playing with a selection of Clousers tied with the Spirit River UV2 Bucktails. These colors are vibrant and sure to draw the salmon’s attention. With these two options (UV2 and Pastel) available, I will be able to more fully stock my fly boxes with Clousers that meet my preferences for different water conditions.

Jay Nicholas Pastel Bucktail 5

Naturally, fly tyers who are specializing in bass, musky, panfish, and so forth will be intrigues to look over these bucktail options for their tying preferences.

Tarpon flies? Bonefish flies? Permit flies? I’m betting that these will all be home for UV2 bucktails and Pastel bucktails, so the trout, steelhead, and salmon fly niche is not the only place where these tails will provide great color options to the adventurous tyer.

Jay Nicholas, late 2017

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Jay’s Crafty Bird Fly Tying Video

Jay demonstrates how to tie a Sand Eel pattern using an EP Craft Fur Brush. The Sand Eel is a killer baitfish imitation for fresh and estuarine waters.

crafty-bird

Crafty Bird

Tube: Nanotube Sink 4
Cone: Pro Cone XSmall Red/Orange
Flash: Ice Wing Pheasant Tail
Hook Guide: Lavender Medium
Hook: Glo Bug #6
Overwing: Ostrich Olive
Weight: Drop Weight Medium
Body/Wing: EP Craft Fur 3″ Brush Sand/Brown
Thread: Veevus Thread 6/0 – 10/0

Posted in Fly Tying | 1 Comment

Safina: Pebble Mine is a Death Wish

On a day after the president just enacted the the largest reduction of public-lands protection in U.S. history, we need to again take up the fight against the Pebble Mine. You may have thought it was dead, but it is not.

July 26, 2010 Stunning wetlands

From the L.A. Times:

For more than a decade, a Canadian mining company, Northern Dynasty Minerals, has wanted to gouge one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines into the heart of the watershed, putting its rivers on a centuries-long poison drip. The company has failed to move forward with the project, known as Pebble Mine, due to intense and sustained opposition. It has also been burdened by proposed restrictions recommended by the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency — the result of a four-year review.

But President Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, has rejected his agency’s review and moved to withdraw its proposal to impose restrictions on the mine, thereby reviving the company’s prospects for federal permitting. Pruitt is poised to take this action imminently, showing a flagrant disregard for the public’s overwhelming opposition.

Now, in what could very well be the most important land-use decision in North America in our time, an essentially eternal supply of food is pitted against an essentially eternal supply of poison.

The fly fishing industry has been fighting this tooth and nail, but you can get involved directly here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 2 Comments

Updating ODOT’s Culvert Repair Program

Earlier this year, federal courts ruled in favor of salmon and steelhead against the state of Washington, requiring the state to replace poorly designed culverts.

Culverts are pipes under roadways that carry streams and runoff. When a culvert becomes plugged by debris or crushed, salmon cannot pass through to reach their spawning grounds, and young cannot migrate to sea.

Some culverts are too small, and others are perched, or too high from the level of the stream bed for salmon to negotiate.

Government Creek's fish-friendly culvert

Oregon has laws on the books to prevent obstruction of fish passage, but the Oregon Department of Transportation is currently allowed to repair culverts without allowing fish passage. The Native Fish Society, WaterWatch and The Conservation Angler recently released a statement, calling out ODOT for setting a poor example and doing so little to help fish recovery.

“ODOT will spend a total of approximately $35 million on fish passage over the next five years. While that may sound like a lot, it is less than one percent of ODOT’s highway repair budget. To put things in perspective, ODOT is proposing to spend $450 million to widen just two miles of freeway near Portland – more than 10 times what it is proposing to spend statewide on fish passage over the next five years.”

ODFW’s Commissioners are reviewing the regulations December 8th.

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Jay Nicholas at the tying bench – December 2, 2017

 

Jay Nicholas & Boomer at the Fly Bench

I hope that you will be able to drop by and join me sometime between 11 AM and 4 PM on Saturday, December 2nd. No, Boomer will not be with me at the Shop, but I’ll be tying trout streamers and steelhead flies on micro tube – with some new twists added to the game.

I’m pleased with the new fly options I’ve developed this autumn and believe that several or all of the patterns I’ll be tying will be of interest to trout and steelhead fly tyers.

As usual, I’m always looking forward to re-connecting with my friends – and this will provide an opportunity while we are discussing the state of affairs with tube flies.

Hope to see you there!

Jay Nicholas, December 2017

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 1 Comment

The World of Syd Glasso: Redsides Meeting Dec 4th

The Redsides Chapter of Trout Unlimited is proud to announce that Dave McNeese will be presenting:”Syd Glasso’s Hidden Flies.” December 4, 2017 at 6:30 at Roaring Rapids Pizza.

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Dave is known for a long history in the Fly Fishing Community as a Shop Owner, Fly Designer, and Fly Tying Mentor. His flies have graced the pages of numerous books including several publishings from Trey Combs. Currently, Dave is researching and writing a book about Syd Glasso. In his research he has uncovered a vast treasure trove of Mr. Glasso’s flies and how they were created.

Please join us at Roaring Rapids Pizza for what will be an eye opening experience into the world of Syd Glasso.

Brief general member meeting to follow.

Posted in Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events | Leave a comment

Plan D Fly Boxes and How to Use Them

Pocket-ArticulatedPlus-2

We are super excited to be working with Dylan at Plan D Fly Boxes this year as he introduces his latest line of fly boxes designed specifically for intruder and tube style flies. The latest versions of Plan D Boxes have improved durability and design.

Pocket and Pack boxes have clear lids so you can see what you are selecting before you open the box. Pocket Max and Pack Max boxes have dark gray lids and bases to double the capacity of the boxes.

PackMax-ArticulatedPlus

The coolest thing about these boxes is manor in which they hold flies that are notorious for getting mixed up tangled up and “balled up” in a standard fly box. With Plan D Boxes your flies are fixed on a hook or tube mandrel so they stay lined up, visible and organized. The articulated fly box is pretty simple you use the “j-hook” to hold the fly shank or eye and the foam base pad to hold the hook. Depending upon the box you can carry 10-40 articulated patterns in a super organized fashion.

PackMax-Tube

The “Tube Plus” versions of the new Plan D Boxes allow for some customization. Dylan Stanley Plan D’s owner has given us detailed instructions that I thought I would share in this post.

1. To get started you will need: (1) pair of wire cutters, (1) Plan D mandrel kit, (1) Plan D tube fly box and your flies.

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2. Insert a mandrel through the back end of the fly until the clip at the end of the mandrel clips over the junction tubing (or the tube itself if not using junction tubing.)

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3. Measure exposed mandrel against the tube block in the fly box and cut mandrel to length using wire cutters. Leave some exposed mandrel sticking out of the end of the tube block.

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4. Insert the exposed mandrel into the slotted silicone tube block. Repeat with the rest of your flies! Flies are held securely in the silicone block . The box can even be used to rinse and dry flies that were used in salt water. The small foam pad is for your tube fly hook storage.

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Gamakatsu Fly Tying Hooks – A Review

Let’s get one thing straight: it is impossible to tie a first class fly of any sort on a sub-standard hook. It is also true that the best tyer who applies virtually identical materials to five different hook styles will produce five different-looking flies. Thus the shape of the hook has an incredibly strong influence on the overall appearance of the finished fly, this in addition to considering the quality and performance of the hook itself.

Over a period of some five decades when I have tied flies, Gamakatsu fly tying hooks have ranked at the top of my materials list since they were first available to the US tyer’s market.

Gammie logo

My interpretation of the Gamakatsu hook manufacturing company’s history follows: (Please note that this summary is gleaned from my perusal of information available on the Internet, including from the Gamakatsu website.)
1955: First hooks produced by Gamakatsu – all produced by hand. Gamakatsu was the smallest Japanese hook producer.
• 1963: mechanized wire-tempering technology established.
• 1974: established automated technology to manufacture hooks.
• 1976: Gamakatsu was ranked as the leading Japanese hook producer.
• 1986: Redesign and improved technology in hook production & automation process.
• 1988 – 1992: Gamakatsu expanded production and distribution of their hooks from an Asian focused market to an International market.

My fly tying in the 1960s and 1970s was almost entirely based on the use of Mustad and Eagle Claw hooks. It is worthy of note that my tying in those years was entirely directed to freshwater flies tied for trout and steelhead. The Mustad 94840 and 36890 were standards, along with the Eagle Claw 1197-B, 1197-G, and 1197-N. Somewhere in there, I frankly don’t remember when, I became aware of hooks like TMC and Gamakatsu. My tying of trout flies and freshwater patterns seemed in retrospect focused on TMC hooks. My exposure to Gamakatsu fly tying hooks occurred rather late in my life when I developed an intense interest in fly fishing for Chinook and then when I was introduced to saltwater fly fishing from dory boats launched from the beach at Pacific City, Oregon.

Bluntly, the world of high-quality hooks that one may use for bait, lure, and fly fishing is complex. I’ve gone to the websites of various hook manufacturers and read the technical specifications of hooks and manufacturing processes. All this has achieved is an advanced state of confusion. All of the manufacturers use high-quality wire, advanced hook tempering and point sharpening technologies. I can not read the tech-specs of any of these various manufacturers and determine objectively which hook brand might be superior to others.

On a practical basis, however, I have tied flies with a fair number of different hooks and have developed strong opinions regarding the performance of specific hooks. When I judge the performance of any hook, I consider many factors.
• Hook wire diameter
• Sharpness of the point
• Height of the barb
• Flexibility or stiffness of the wire
• Design of the hook bend, durability of the point
• Durability of the hook finish
• Craftsmanship of the hook eye
• Ability to sharpen the hook

This is where I’ll get to the punch line of this review.

I have found Gamakatsu hooks in general, and fly tying hooks in particular, to be absolutely superior to many of the patterns I tie. I see no value in touting the carbon content of the hook steel, the tempering processes, and the sharpening technologies. Far as I’m concerned, the reader can look those features up and decide whether or not they understand the technicalities. Personally, I do not.

What I do understand is that I’ve tied on and fished Gamakatsu hooks for over two decades. During that period, I have found Gamies ultra dependable, and I have only had one Gamakatsu hook fail (it broke on a fish). During this same period, I’ve had two TMC hooks break on me (one in a fish and one on a log). Over the course of my five decades tying flies I’ve found hook deficiencies were barely more common in Mustad, Eagle Claw, and Daiichi hooks. Overall, the instances of outright hook failures are scant compared to design features. I’ve not ever had complaints about the sharpness of Gamakatsu or TMC hooks. I can not say the same for other hook brands.

This is not to imply that I don’t prefer other fly tying hooks for specific flies. For example, I’ll almost certainly reach for a TMC fly tying hook if I’m about to tie an Elk Hair Caddis, a Stimulator, a Bugger, or a Muddler. My hand might waver when reaching for a hook to tie traditional steelhead wet flies, however, and I may just as often choose a Gamakatsu or a TMC hook interchangeably to tie a Silver Hilton.

When it comes to tying the vast majority of saltwater fly patterns, however, I’ll far more often reach for Gamakatsu fly hooks. Here are some of my most dependable hooks.
Gamakatsu SL12S
Gamakatsu SL12S 1X Short
Gamakatsu SC 15
Gamakatsu SC15 2H
Gamakatsu B10S
Gamakatsu Octopus
Gamakatsu SC17

Ultimately, I know that personal opinion plays a role in each angler’s choice of the hooks they use to tie and fish. I can tell you without reservation that the hooks I’ve listed above are excellent performers.

I hope this helps up your confidence regarding your hook choices for your specific needs.

Jay Nicholas, November 2017

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JAY’S RABID WABBIT (shiner) Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay uses a jig style hook to add action to his streamer fly. The “Rabid Wabbit Shiner” is an excellent trout, bass and more fly pattern. This super durable fly uses natural and synthetic materials to attract fish from distance.

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JAY’S RABID WABBIT (shiner)

Hook – #4 Umpqua S506H Jig
Eyes – IBalz eyes medium
Tail – Brown Barred Rabbit Strip/flesh
Brush – Senyo Chromatic Live Bait 3”
Flash – smolt blue Krystal Flash
Rubber (white) Life Flex
Body: Cactus Chenille Lg Pearl
Thread: Danville 210D white
Glue: Loc Tite brush-able glue

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 4 Comments

Spring 2017 at Cedar Lodge NZ

Cedar spring 2017

It’s been nearly two weeks since we touched down in Queenstown and made the drive to Cedar Lodge for our fifth season. The weather was absolutely awful upon arrival. All of our local friends were blaming us for bringing the rain and snow to summer again and I was beginning to believe them after last years “worst summer in 30 years”. We spent a few days at home doing what we could to prepare when your power is out and its dumping rain…..and snow. Finally, a cold southerly wind finished us off with snow down to 400 meters, and a gorgeous clear morning. It’s been stunning spring weather since. Rivers have dropped into shape and despite not traveling far from the lodge we have caught fish every day we have tried.

Cedar spring 2017

Cedar spring 2017

Cedar spring 2017

We had a bit of time before the first guests arrived so a tennis tournament in Dunedin was on the slate. Dunedin reminds me a bit of Eugene as it has approximately 21,000 students in a town with a population of 130,000 people. Patsy’s won all of her matches to contribute to her Southern Lakes team.

Cedar spring 2018

Cedar spring 2018

Cedar spring 2017-3

After the tennis tourney, it was back to work getting the lodge ready for guests. The helicopter got a complete rebuild(ouch), the kids bedrooms and laundry room received facelifts, we needed to “move back in” freezers, beds etc.. Meanwhile the walk-in fridge at the lodge needed a quick fix(nothing is quick out here), the lawn mower belt snapped, my computer’s screen failed, the phone line at the lodge was out, meat slicer needs a fix, smoker needs a repair, golf cart isn’t charging, deisel in the petrol mower(mislabeled jerrycan) and more. Oh the joys of lodge ownership. As I write this I have all but the slicer fixed but there were a few days there where I felt like everything I touched was going to sh….

Cedar spring 2017-3

Cedar spring 2017-3

Cedar spring 2017-3

We continue to develop the landscaping around the property. Gardens are in and producing, the bark mulch from the removal and chipping of 10 trees around the property has been spread. The golf course is ready and mowed. We have filled numerous trailers with clippings from the native garden around the outside dining area.

Cedar Lodge Spring 2017-4

As I said earlier the weather has turned for the better and water conditions have been fantastic. We have managed to catch a few fish out walking or driving short distances from the lodge. The suggestion is that it’s going to be a hot dry summer. Despite a few windy afternoons, it’s been sunny and gorgeous. After some tractor/mower therapy by “yesterdays days end” the lodge was looking and feeling better than ever and we are stoked for a great 2017-2018 season!

Cedar Lodge Spring 2017-4

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Writers on the Fly – The Cascadia Tour 2017

Join our favorite fly fishing author Chris Santella and many more fantastic creators for Writers on the Fly. Events can be seen in both Bend and Portland. Check out the entire schedule at this link.
http://www.syzygyflyfishing.com/the-cascadia-tour.

Anatomy of a Fishing Story from Jason Rolfe on Vimeo.

When: Wednesday November 15, 2017 @7 PM
Where: Migrating Brewing Annex at 2828 NE Glisan Street
Why: To celebrate literature and art inspired by flyfishing
How (much): Tickets are $10

Posted in Fly Fishing Books | Leave a comment

ECHO Bad Ass Glass Fly Rod Review – November 2017

ECHO BAG and EPR fly rods with a nice catch of Pacific Albacore in Pacific City.

ECHO BAG and EPR fly rods with a nice catch of Pacific Albacore in Pacific City.

As a total aside, the reels I’ve been fishing with the ECHO BAG and EPR include the
*Nautilus
*Hatch 11 Plus
Both are SUPER FINE – TOUGH – DEPENDABLE fly reels. Note please that I was fishing olcer models of these reels than I have linked to – the old reels still work just fine and I’m sure that the new reels will perform as well if not better.

ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rod review: I will start by noting that I’ve had a modest level of practical experience with several ECHO fly rods that you could consider power house rods. When I say this I mean fly rods that I would fish for hard-pulling species. Some of these rods accommodate finesse casting, some accommodate chuck-and-duck casting.

The fly rods I’m using as a comparative base include the following:
*Sage Xi3
*Sage Salt
*Sage One
*Sage X
*Winston B2x
*Winston B3x
*Winston B3x lus
*Scott Radian
*Echo Boost
*Echo 3 SW
*Echo Prime
*Echo EPR
*Echo BAG Bad Ass Glass
I will note here that I found all of these fly rods performed well enough, not one of these broke or failed me in any way when put under severe strain. The price points of these rods range from under 300 to over 800 bucks. The finish components of these rods is obviously very different with the higher priced rods outfit with the best reel seats, best guides, and nicest rod tubes.

Things get crazy when you are offshore fishing for Albacore.

Things get crazy when you are offshore fishing for Albacore.

When I say that all of these rods performed well enough here is what I mean. As a caster of intermediate skill, I am able to present my fly at a modest fishing distance in the bracket of 50 – 80 ft. All of these rods will also present a fly in the 20 – 50 ft range.

This might seem like a crazy way to introduce a fly rod review, but I’m a little crazy so why the heck not. One issue I have with fly rod reviews in general is that they may leave the impression that the subject of the review is the one and only fly rod that merits endorsement of any kind. I decided to start this review with a very general overview of the BAG:

You can not possibly go wrong with the ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rod if you want a rod that is
*fantastically strong
*bends super deep into the cork
*looks so hot that it literally shines on the water
*will cast fly lines in a huge grain weight range
*is saltwater resistant
*will execute casts with floating and fast sinking fly lines
*executes casts as short as 20 ft and as long as 60 ft with a 450 gr fast sink fly line
*will probably execute longer distance casts with the right fly line, especially by a better caster
*capable of delivering a huge smile factor on the part of the fly rod user

 

ECHO Bad Ass Glass in the grass in Pacific City.

ECHO Bad Ass Glass in the grass in Pacific City.

Here you go: a nice photo and rod specs for the ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rod.

Here you go: a nice photo and rod specs for the ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rod.

This is my brief review of the ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rod. My written remarks in this post include the reaction of my friend Jack Harrell. Jack fished the 10 wt. for Pacific albacore and I fished the 12 wt. for albacore a few weeks later.

This screen shot from my Go Pro shows the BAG under heavy strain. Unfortunately, my camera was aimed poorly, so the video is nearly a total waste. Big Sigh.

This screen shot from my Go Pro shows the BAG under heavy strain. Unfortunately, my camera was aimed poorly, so the video is nearly a total waste. Big Sigh.

 

Several very nice Pacific albacore that tested the ECHO Bad Ass Glass and EPR fly rods, both in 12 wts.

Several very nice Pacific albacore that tested the ECHO Bad Ass Glass and EPR fly rods, both in 12 wts.

Bad Ass Glass under strain offshore Pacific City.

Bad Ass Glass and Hatch fly reel under strain offshore Pacific City.

My deepest thanks to my friends Kevin and Ed for getting me offshore (Kevin's dory; Ed's tuna processing; Kevin and Ed's time and effort preparing the dory to fish ad cleaning it up after the trip while I napped and tried to recover from the pounding we took in a rough ocean).

My deepest thanks to my friends Kevin and Ed for getting me offshore (Kevin’s dory; Ed’s tuna processing; Kevin and Ed’s time and effort preparing the dory to fish and cleaning it up after the trip while I napped and tried to recover from the pounding we took in a rough ocean).

The albacore we tussled with this year are large, with many over 30 pounds. These big fish put the strain on our tackle and these ECHO fly rods were up to the challenge of pressuring tuna and getting us back in the water so we could try to catch another.

Jack and I are both impressed with this fly rod and recommend it very highly.

Not much strain in the rod here because the darn tuna was rushing our dory!

Not much strain in the rod here because the darn tuna was rushing our dory!

 

Official AIRFLO line recommendations.

Official AIRFLO line recommendations.

 AIRFLO line recommendations are shown above.

I fished the
SA Sonic 25 Sink 350 – 450 gr
AIRFLO Depth Finder Big Game 400 – 500 gr
RIO Outbound 10 wt (425 gr)
All of these are good fly line choices.

In closing, let’s look at the following rod chart from ECHO.

this shows the EPR as the fastest most powerful rod in the ECHO quiver, and the BAG is mid range in both power and speed. Here is my take home on this analysis. The EPR will be a superior rod for the angler who is seeking line speed, distance, accuracy and lifting strength in a fly rod. TH

The BAG will be an excellent choice for the angler of beginner and intermediate casting skill level (as well as the most experienced caster) because the glass rod will tolerate a very wide range of casting strokes and fly line weights.

if I were to note one down-side of the Bad Ass Glass rod in the 10 wt and 12 wt fly rods – this is it: The rod is heavier in hand than a fly rod like the EPR, the Sage Salt, or the Winston BIIIX, or the Scott Meridian. All of these fly rods are fast action graphite or composite fly rods that are engineered to be very light and generate very high line speeds.

If you are looking for a rod that will deliver the fastest line speeds, the greatest casting accuracy, and be the lightest in hand for making hundreds of casts in a day, I would recommend the ECHO EPR or another high-end fly rod.

This ECHO chart reveals the power versus action matrix for the range of single hand fly rods

This ECHO chart reveals the power versus action matrix for the range of single hand fly rods.

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RIO’s new HOW TO VIDEO. “How to make an Overhead Cast”

Check out some great basic tips in this new video from Rio Fly Lines.

S2 E1. How to Make an Overhead Cast from RIO Products on Vimeo.

Posted in Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Nicholas’ Marabou Steelhead Tube – Purple/Blue/Black

Nicholas' Marabou Steelhead Tube Fly (black/blue/purple)

Nicholas’ Marabou Steelhead Tube Fly (black/blue/purple)

This is another very effective steelhead fly pattern—tied on a Pro Sportfisher Classic Tube—one that I have caught summer and winter steelhead on. Like Jeff Hickman’s Fish Taco Series, these simple tube flies are not weighted.

Un-weighted tubes will fish the softest water on the inside and at the hang down position, the places where we often get the steelhead’s grab.

Here are the basic ingredients for this pattern

Thread – Veevus 8/0 black
Preferred cement – Brush on Lok Tite
Tube Mandrel – Pro Sportfisher Flexineedle, large
Tube – Pro Sportfisher Classic Tube (med fl. Blue)
Butt – Senyo’s Fusion Dub Pink Lady
Butt Collar – Purple Schlappen
Butt Horns – Blue MFC Premium Plume Ostrich
First Collar – Fish Hunter Marabou Spey Blood Quills, Silver Doctor Blue
Flash – holographic pink #6988 Flashabou
Second Collar – Fish Hunter Marabou Spey Blood Quills, Black
Cone – Pro Sportfisher Metallic Purple Ultrasonic Disc, medium

The hook for this tube fly  should be rigged on a loop, with the knot pulled into the rear of the tube. By precise adjustment of the loop size, you will be able to place the hook as close or as far back from the body of the fly as you wish.

I have had fun with this fly —  it’s general color cast, size, and materials are all proven to be attractive to summer and winter steelhead.

Jay Nicholas, Autumn 2017

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | Leave a comment