April March Browns Still Going Strong on the Lower McKenzie River

IMG_3821

March Brown mayflies continue to hatch from 2-4pm on the lower McKenzie. Dry fly fishing has been everything from challenging to very good. Setting up on a “feeding lane” during the hatch and presenting sparse mayfly imitations seemed to be the most effective strategy the two days I spent out on the lower river this week. Cooler afternoons are seeing Blue Winged Olives mix in the later part of the March Brown hatch. Presenting smaller Parachute Adams or Olive Haze patterns has also been successful.

IMG_3823

Nymphing with larger stonefly patterns (Pat’s Rubber Legs), and smaller mayfly nymphs Rowley’s Mayday Mayfly Nymph and Jigged Frenchie has also been very effective.

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 6.12.15 AM

Water levels have come up a a bit since the 6th of April but they are still excellent for spring angling. Enjoy!

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River | Leave a comment

Justin Helm’s McKenzie Green Cornfed Caddis Variation Fly Tying Video

Today, Justin Helm ties for us an exciting variation of Lance Egan’s heralded Cornfed Caddis. Sure to fool trout on our local waters, this size and color specific pattern will closely resemble the natural McKenzie Green Caddis. These green caddis will start showing up soon, so it is a great time to start filling your dry fly boxes with some of these killer flies. If you enjoyed the video, feel free to comment, like, and subscribe for more.

Resized_20210330_114015

Materials list:
Hook: TMC 100, Sz 8
Thread: Ultra Thread 70D, Dark Grey
Body: Chicone’s Fettuccini Foam, Chartreuse
Wing: Select CDC, 2 Feathers Grey, 2 Blue Dun
Post: McFlylon Flo. Green
Front Hackle: Select CDC, 2 Feathers Grey, 2 Blue Dun
Key Tools: Swiss CDC Clamp

Materials are available at https://www.caddisflyshop.com/​

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo | Leave a comment

OPST Demo Day – Free Clinic April 9th, 2021

image0

When: April 9th 9am-12
Where: Armitage Park
Cost: $0
Limited Space: Call to reserve your spot 541 505 8061

James Millard from Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics or OPST as they are known will describe and demonstrate how OPST lines fit into both single hand and two hand angling in our local area.

OPST lines are truly innovative and do differ from other lines on the market. He will reveal where and how he fishes a lot of OPST products within a couple hours from the shop, including the local stuff like the Mckenzie and Willamette.

Along with his discussion of single and two handed casting he will help folks with their casting, and line matches. He will have most of the OPST lines on reels and folks can experiment with OPST lines on their own rods or with OPST rods.

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Early April McKenzie River Report 2021

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 8.45.12 PM

I’ve gotten out the past week a few times with success. Days can be slow at first, but they’ll begin to pick up once it warms up a little.
Dry-fly hatches have been as early as 11 a.m. or just begin mid-afternoon.
Be sure to have nymphs, drys, and even soft-hackles (I saw a guide out there with a client crushing it every cast).
Overall, Good.
-G

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 8.51.54 PM

Drys:
Parachute Purple Rooster Sizes 14 & 16
Hi and Dry Western March Brown Size 14 & 12
March Brown Western Size 14 & 12
Purple Haze Size 14

Nymphs:
Sens Improved Jigged Twenty Incher Size 12 All colors
Possie Bugger Size 10
Mega Prince Size 8 & 10
Cooper John Size 14 Cooper

Wet Flies:
Sen’s March Brown Wet
Soft Hackle March Brown Size 12 & 14

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 9.07.36 PM

March Brown Fly Patterns

Posted in Fishing Reports | 1 Comment

Native Fish Society Annual Benefit Auction – Big Fish Tickets On Sale Now

mail

From Native Fish Society

HOMEWATERS: RECONNECT
Big Fish Tickets Available Now & Going Fast!

If you haven’t already purchased your 1 in 100 chance for any single auction item in our lineup, what are you waiting for??! For ONLY $100, you could take home a beautiful handcrafted Anderson Custom Rod, or experience the fish-filled waters of Andros South in the Bahamas. Or maybe you and the family would prefer a few days on the open road with a fully loaded Roamerica Campervan? How about a hot air balloon ride with your sweetie?

Well, if you are the lucky holder of the winning BIG FISH TICKET, you can have your choice of any one item from the Homewaters: Reconnect Auction lineup, regardless of its value!

But be sure to get your tickets while they last as they sell out quick! Only 100 BIG FISH TICKETS will be sold and your final day to purchase is coming up quick! Last call for tickets will be Friday, April 16th at High Noon. Winner will be drawn at 3pm.

Get your BIG FISH TICKETS by following this link or by giving Tracy a call at Native Fish Society HQ. 503.344.4218

Then, starting on April 18 we will be auctioning off local (and not so local) guided fishing trips; rods, reels, and gear; Yeti coolers; fly boxes loaded with flies from some of the Northwest’s most talented tyers; outdoor excursions; wine, art, and more. And all the money we raise will directly support the revival of abundant wild fish.

Join us as we reconnect with the wonder of wild!

Register Now!
Bidding Begins Sunday, April 18th

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Jay’s Five Inch Predator Tube Fly Tying Video

Using Pro Sportfisher Predator Tubes, Jay Nicholas ties another great looking fresh & salt water tube fly.

Incorporating a Fair Flies 5D Brush, this fly has “life” to it as it is stripped, drifted, or swung. With different color combinations the possibilities are endless.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 9.03.40 AM

ProSportfisher Predator Flexineedle
Hook: Ahrex Big Game Predator 4/0
Thread: Veevus GSP 150D or Danville 210D
Glue: Loc Tite Brush On
Body/Belly: Fair Flies 5D Brush
Back: SF Blend Bronz Back
Lateral Line: Holo Flashabou Silver/Black
Cone: ProSportfisher Nickle/Silver Predator Cone

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

RIO Sink Tips For Two Handed Rods – 2021

Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 5.52.53 AM

George Cook’s discussion of RIO MOW Tips and Sink Tips.

Add this info to the previous posts on line matches and two handed lines and you have everything spey from SAGE and RIO.

The Genius of RIO’s Skagit MOW and iMOW Tips
2021
By George Cook

Originally brought forth by the “3 Speyketeers” as I call them, Mike McCune, Scott O’Donnell, and Ed Ward (Hence the name MOW…McCune-O’Donnell-Ward). The MOW System is nothing short of brilliant!!

Available in Light (T-8 format 7.0 ips), Medium (T-11, 8.0 ips), Heavy (T-14 format @9.0 ips) and Extra Heavy (T-17, 10.0 ips).

Each MOW Family (Series) has 6 “Family Members” consisting of the following:

10’ Floating Tip
10’ Sinking Tip
12.5” Sinking Tip
THEN….the 3 MOW’s…..7.5 x 2.5 (7.5 Floating integrated into 2.5 of given make up say medium as an example in T-11). 2nd MOW is a 5 x 5 (5’ of Floating integrated into 5’ on sinking).MOW #3 is a 2.5 x 7.5 (2.5 of Floating Integrated into 7.5 of sinking).

There are two ways to get these 6 family members, either individually or in a MOW Kit (Say, a MOW Medium Kit as an example).

Practical Usages as prescribed below….

10’ Floating Tip: The MOW system is built for use with Skagit Style Spey Lines. Regardless of Skagit “Type” (RIO formula’s include Max Launch/Max Power) the MOW’s are formulated to play in the Skagit line theater. The 10’ Floating Tip is a quick way to “Ala Carte” your Skagit Line into a Full Floating use line.

10’ and 12.5’ Sink Tips: Available throughout the MOW Range (Light/Medium/Heavy/EX Heavy), these practical length sink tips play incredibly well with a wide range of Spey and switch rods making them a wonderful addition to the standard “Traditional” 15’ sink tips (Intermediate/Type 3, 6 and Type 8). These 2 sink tips will provide the Angler with sink rates from 7.0 ips (Light T-8) all the way to 10.0 ips (EX Heavy T-17)that will cover a wide range of use from Alaskan Kings to Tierra Del Fuego Sea Run Browns as well as the full gamut of Steelhead application.

The 3 True MOW’s

Here is where the absolute Genius of the MOW boys shines brightest! Given that any “Cut” sink tip under 9’ is likely going to basically become a boomerang/tumbler within the cast that will prove to be ugly at best and ultra-frustrating at worst. The “Integration Format” that McCune/Scotty O and Ed brought to the table from their “Chop Shop” artistry days providing the stability/cast-ability of a 10’ common denominator in overall length coupled with the desirable “Baby Tips” making for one of the all-time great innovations.

7.5 x 2.5 (2.5 being the Sinking Portion): True “Rock Garden/Tail Out Probe Tool”. One could think of a 15’ Type 3 in this instance but the beauty of the MOW idea/format is that the mere 2.5 sinking portion is simply unrivaled when it comes to sliding around and thru such haunts. The traditional 15’ sink tip or even the 10’ and 12.5” MOW Sink Tip family members are all prone to “Swing Drag Thru” often catching/hanging up and killing any real chance at a follow and/or GRAB.

5 x5 (5’ Floating with 5’ Sinking): Again, another Rock Garden probe but long enough to provide quick drop for given slots particularly in ledge rock environments found in many Steelhead streams. The 5 x 5 MOW Heavy (T-14 Format) is a great one for such a task where the angler needs a quick drop into a slot where he’ll need to engage quickly in order to be in that zone/slot target area. Lots of Pacific Northwest watersheds feature just such places making the 5 x 5 MOW a handy tool.

2.5 x 7.5 (7.5 being the sinking portion): My personal favorite in both the standard MOW as well as IMOW (See Below). This “Baby Tip” if you will has tons of application for a host of fisheries most certainly including the trout game. Given water depth and speed considerations often play perfectly into the hands of the 2.5 x 7.5 MOW quite often in the MOW Medium (T-11) format. Incredibly versatile sliding thru the boulders and swinging “All The way In” giving both “The Long Followers and The Down Below You” Critters time and opportunity to run down or run into your swung offering.

iMOW Family

I personally love the iMOW’s, as a general MOW use tool as they can, and do have their place covering a host of angling waters particularly where you know going in, that the bottom format is relatively clean but needing “Less” of a given sink tip. iMOW’s come in LIGHT/Medium and Heavy. Kits have 6 family members with the previously mentioned 10’ floating Tip subbed out for a 10’ Intermediate tip.

iMOW Family:

10’ Intermediate Tip
10’ Sink Tip
12.5” Sinking Tip

The 3 iMOW’s
7.5 x 2.5 (7.5 is intermediate integrated to 2.5 of given sink tip say iMOW Heavy T-14 as an example)
5 x 5 IMOW
2.5 x 7.5 IMOW

3D MOW Tips (Available in Light, Medium, and Heavy)

The 3D Story Line: The Success of the Skagit Game Changers (3D, 4D Skagit Heads), have provided the inspiration for a family of 3D MOW Tips. Increased “Swing Dig” is a hallmark trait of these 10’ tips. Available in 3 sinking formats (Light, Medium, Heavy). These new 3D MOW’s will find themselves as the new tip in many a sling pack, be it trout, steelhead, or salmon.
Light (8 grains per foot) with sink rates of I/S3/S4, S3/S4/S5, S5/S6/S7
Medium (11 grains per foot): with sink rates of I/S3/S4, S3/S4/S5, S5/S6/S7
Heavy (14 grains per foot) with sink rates of I/S3/S4, S3/S4/S5, S5/S6/S7

15’ Format MOW’s

The 15’ Storyline: The MOW revolution has become an omni-present item for anglers throughout the global spey theater. Over these last 10yrs it has become increasingly apparent that within this tremendous popularity, coupled with its incredible angling success that the 10’ basic length format is at times fundamentally too short. Not short in a fishing sense but rather in an execution of cast sense. It is noteworthy to understand that the original Skagit heads of 2003 were 27’-32’ across the original range. Today’s Skagit head lengths from all manufactures are largely in the 20’-26’ range. Depending on Spey rod length, coupled with head length, there can be, and is the potential for a percentage of casts to fall victim to a blown anchor within the D-Loop set. As rods reach 12’9” and beyond (Especially 13’-13’6”), a short head in that 20’-24.5” range is susceptible to this phenomenon. Given the overall popularity of 13’-13’6” spey rods, the need for a second-generation MOW system is well founded. This day has arrived.

15’ MOW TIPS. Available in Medium (T-11), Heavy (T-14), and Extra Heavy (T-17). Each MOW Family will have 6 family members. Consisting of the following:
15’ Floating
10’ Floating x 5’ Sink
7.5’ x 7.5’
5’ Floating x 10’ Sink
2.5’ Floating x 12.5’ Sink
15’ Full Sink

The Sinking lengths of these new MOW’s are based on proven sinking lengths which have not only become standard, but legendary. It is worth noting that the 15’ full sink tip may prove better at 12.5’ to 13’ to which an angler can feel free to custom cut back in order to achieve great casting coupled with wicked sink length. We say this because T-14 and T-17 have a known history of super effectiveness at 13’ in length, “where castability and sink rate meet on the curve.”

All in all, the MOW Families have a lot to offer the Spey and Switch Rod enthusiast. I can tell you with absolute confidence that every angler out there has and knows places that are “Made To Order” for MOW use, in particular the 3 True MOW tips. The Spey community owes a lot to the genius of the 3 “Speyketeers” Mike McCune, Scott O’Donnell and Ed Ward.

Sorting Out Sink Tips In The Modern Era

For a good decade (1993 thru the early 2000 period) the conventional (Now Traditional) 15’ sink tip was the “Tip Of The day” so to speak. Here the angler was typically armed with an array of 15’ Sink Tips in Type 3, 6, 8 and even a clear version Intermediate. Both Single Hand as well as Spey Anglers employed their use plying waters from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. Such tips, particularly in the Type 6 and 8 sink rates were extremely common in the Pacific Northwest. Such popularity was well deserved and fully earned as these sink Tips (The Brainchild of RIO Founder Jim Vincent) were simply indispensable be it winter or summer assignment. The beauty of these 15’ tips was that they cast extremely well and play wonderfully throughout the Steelhead range of the west coast. In this, the classic and beautiful gliding runs from the Rogue to the Babine and all points in between were covered by single hand (Versi Tip Line sets) and spey anglers alike, (Windcutter and Skagit lines of era). The selection of these tips by the Steelhead and at times the King enthusiast, was well thought out on any given run. The study of a given run (Head/Body/Tail out) closely coincided with just how these tips would play out in such waters and the education/selection/use understanding was well under way. Available in various Grain weights from 95-190 with the #9 (129 Grain) and 150 grain (#10 Weight) leading the way these tips while not as popular today these still have their place in every anglers shooting head wallet.

15’ Intermediate Tip

Use: The sleeper tip in your wallet. The intermediate has a reputation as a “Slicer/Wind Cutter” that can and will serve the summer angler well from dawn to mid-morning even during the day as it provides what I like to call slicer line speed that often makes the difference on a turned over fly on such haunts as Oregon’s Deschutes or Idaho’s Clearwater (Same goes for an Intermediate Spey-Freshwater Versi-leader used on a Scandi style line).

15’ Type 3

Often overlooked but has a distinctive place in the Steelheaders wallet with Silver Salmon use as well. The obvious use is classic tail out scenarios both winter, and summer; unobvious use is for what we lovingly call “Frog water” which many of these Pacific Northwest Rivers have and Big Ol’ Late winter Runs have a penchant for hanging in. These often “Given Up On” portions of bottom end runs can hold Big Nasty Steelie Bucks that can only be swung up with lesser sink tip or MOW type animal. Anything beyond a Type 3 (3.0 ips /inches per second sink rate) sink tip is simply too much, dragging bottom and out of the game.

15’ Type 6

A Longtime, prime time sink tip player. To be sure, loads of Steelhead and Kings have been subdued with these 6.0 ips tips. When in doubt upon arriving courtside on a classic northwest Steelhead run string up a 150 grain (#10) 15’ type 6 sink tip and proceed with CONFIDENCE. Truly a tip to not be missed as it will serve one well in the global spey theater.

15’ Type 8

7.0 ips provides for high line speed charged cast coupled with a sink rate that has become the new standard in historical 15’ tips. #9 @129 Grain along with the vaunted 150 Grain (#10) are the go to players here. Long classic glide runs are possibly the foremost targets with these tips.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips, Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing | Leave a comment

All Things RIO Spey Lines for 2021 – Skagit, Scandi, and More

633d8777-9357-428f-855b-cad1cd55d7ed

To follow up on the rod/line match post shared earlier the following describes design and usage of RIO Spey Lines. I will have one more post from George and Erik regarding all things sink tips.

Skagit/ology 4.0

“Generation 4 has arrived”

2021

George Cook/Erik Johnson

Almost two decades have passed since the introduction of the vaunted, original Ol’ Yeller Skagit Line. However, despite its effectiveness and popularity, misconception, confusion, and lack of overall clarity of the use of Skagit Lines remains. The following is a short but specific conversation regarding the history and usage of the various Skagit lines in the worldwide spey fishing theater.

History- Beginning in the 1990’s many of today’s most recognizable spey authorities independently where developing Skagit type lines. Noted casters and anglers such as Ed Ward, Mike Kinney, Scott O’Donnell, Scott Howell. Mike McCune, Jerry French and the legendary Harry Lemire among others were at the forefront of the Skagit revolution. Along the banks of Northwest rivers coupled with late nights in the depths of fly-tying rooms of the Pacific Northwest the chop-shop artist and line theologists were hard at work developing what would become today’s Skagit Lines. Some would cut and splice their way; others would utilize bumped up WindCutter bodies to perfect the craft. The shorter belly approach was underway. The day had come to maximize the spey rod for winter Steelhead conditions as well as Alaskan and B.C. Kings with large, outsized flies. The use of Northwest hybrid and Skagit Casts such as the Snap T, Perry Poke, Snap Z and Wombat lent themselves to a shorter more powerful approach. Today the Skagit line is THE approach to sinking line endeavors worldwide. Be it Kings in Alaska to Sea Run Browns of the Rio Grande from the Umpqua to the Babine and all points in between. The Skagit Line has become the omnipresent tool. Originally developed purely as a sink tip asset, the Skagit line also can be an effective full floating line particularly on 12’ to 13’9” rods. To be sure, the spey caster will endure a greater level of stripping of line to recast (applies to all Skagit lines versus mid to long belly lines) but the reward is a undeniable highly energized, long and straight cast.

Types- The original RIO Skagit Line worked from a 27’ body that today in the era of the NEW Skagit Max Launch is found in a 23’ to 25’ length. In 2009, the Skagit Short came onboard providing an ideal line for switch rods as well as shorter spey rods in the 12’-12’9” range. These lines are specialized shorter 17’ to 20’ Skagit lines now known today as the NEW Skagit Max Power. Often times the Max Power serves the ardent spey caster well in strategic tight corridor situations often found in such Steelhead haunts as the Oregon Coast, Olympic Peninsula, and Vancouver Island.

Usage- Specific Skagit Line size (grain weight) matchups come with a degree of variability coupled with angler opinion. Line speed versus load, moderate versus fast action all add up to a witch’s brew of variables that must be fleshed out on any given rod regardless of manufacturer. The great casters often find themselves 25 to 100 grains apart on any given rod. In the end the angler must boil it down and get the details. All in all, most spey rods 12’ to 15’ in length will have as many as three different Skagit Lines that will work. For example, the TCX 7126-4 the famous “Deathstar” can work with a Skagit Max Long in 525, Skagit Max Launch 550 and even 575. The 525 offers the line speed choice while the 575 offers the max load choice. Overall as it relates to this rod, we found that the 550 Skagit Max Launch is the everyday choice. Generally, one will be ideal. To discover this, the angler must seek out opinion within the spey community, be it a guide, angling buddies, factory rep or retail representative, as well as GET OUT AND CAST!

Skagit Trout Spey- Skagit Trout Spey lines are an ideal choice for trout spey rods that are gaining popularity throughout the West. Available as fully integrated lines along with traditional heads spanning 200-375 grains these new lines hit the mark dead on for trout spey rods in 2wt through 4wt along with the smaller switch rods in 4wt and 5wt. The integrated version allows for seamless transition between head and running line allowing the streamer enthusiast should they desire to strip the fly without incurring any loop “clang.” Heads are available and will work with a multitude of floating, mono, or hybrid style shooting lines. Overall available weights and dialed in lengths make these ideal for fishing various poly-leaders, conventional 10’ sink tips, along with MOW light systems. Usage with 4wt and 5wt switch rods along with 4wt Trout Spey can include the whole of MOW Medium Systems. To be sure, the trout spey revolution is upon us, and ideal lines are now found in spades.

NEW Skagit Max Power- Ideal for switch rods in the 10’6” to 11’9” range along with application for shorter spey rods in the 12’ to 12’9” range, 9 weights and under. These are specialized shorter 17’ to 20’ Skagit lines. The Max Power is available in 25 grain increments from 325 grains to 650 grains.

NEW Skagit Max Launch- The Max Launch is the go-to Skagit line from the Pacific Northwest to Western Alaska to the wind-swept plains of Tierra Del Fuego. Featuring RIO’s exclusive connect-core technology, along with a new taper that produces outrageous line speed with wind slicing tight loops. Available from 400 grains up to 750 grains, these revolutionary 23’ to 25’ heads are destined to become a Northwest favorite.

Skagit Max Gamechanger 3D/4D. These strategic use heads feature multi-progressive sink rates that serves to sustain an acquired swing depth. For those of you who have cast and/or fished the F.I.S.T. line, these take 3D/4D (D=Density) technology to the next level. Coupled with various sink tips, (10’, 12.5’, conventional sink tips/custom cut 9’,11’,13’) and IM.O.W. (limited to 3D systems), these lines can serve the angler well for deep lies for winter Steelhead, spring and summer Chinook, and South American Sea-Run Browns.

Building a la carte Skagit Floating Lines- The Skagit line as a floating line is both an effective and practical match up particularly on 12’ to 13’9” spey rods. The a la carte construction for a full floating line works as follows; Skagit Max Launch 550 as an example (23’) with a #9, 15’ replacement floating tip or a 10’ Floating Medium M.O.W. tip. This format gives you a complete Versi-Tip approach with your Skagit line in the a la carte floating line approach.

No doubt spey casting has more opinions out there than any other sport other than maybe Archery. In this, one thing remains true to form. Sink tip lines, in conjunction with intruder type flies get free flight lessons, long and straight with the Skagit Max Family of tapers. Floating line enthusiasts upon acceptance of extra line strip will enjoy the benefit of highly energized long straight casts with dries and summer patterns as well.

SCANDI/OLOGY 2.0

George Cook/Erik Johnson 2021

Rivers of the Pacific Northwest pose incredible yet rewarding challenges to the steelhead enthusiasts who pursue these great game fish from mid-May through October. Conditions can and will vary with a steady diet of both wind and fly size variance. Rivers led by the Deschutes of Oregon, along with the Grande Ronde, Rogue, Klickitat, Clearwater, and main stem Snake are prime examples of the need for today’s Scandi style heads.

RIO Scandi Lines are designed for the spey and switch rod steelhead anglers specific and focused Northwest needs. These lines feature an overall shorter head length 28’ to 40’ across grain weights from 180 grains to 640 grains. RIO Scandi lines are ideal for casting popular steelhead flies with 10’ & 12’ Spey VersiLeaders. RIO’s Spey VersiLeaders come in 6’, 10’ along with Scandi Light 10’ versions with 10’ being the default length of choice. Multiple varieties from floating, along with 1.5ips through 7.0ips are available. These heads will produce blistering line speeds coupled with positive turn over. Steelhead anglers can step into the Deschutes or Clearwater and proclaim, “What? Wind? No Problem!” RIO’s connect-core technology along with extreme slickness additives make these new heads the slickest shooting, greatest wind slicing lines available today.

RIO’s Scandinavian Series also features the Scandi Versitip lines. The Scandi Short Versitip features a 33’ head in 275-540 grains and provides the switch rod enthusiast with a high line speed offering to tackle summer and fall fisheries. Unlike the RIO Scandi heads these Scandi Short Versitips work off a 10’ interchangeable tip system that comes with a set of four 10’ tips featuring floating, intermediate, and type 3 and type 6 density compensated sink tips. These lines also play well on 12’9” and under spey rods particularly 5-7 weights. NOTE: It is critical that the angler understand that the overall fly size and weight lean towards smaller, lighter, and un-weighted, in order to effectively realize the line speed and turnover capability of these Versi-tips, along with Scandi lines in General.

The Scandi Versitip available in 445 through 700 grain weights also come with four tips of a 15’ variety. This new line plays particularly well for spey rods in the 13’ to 15’ range in 6-10 weight line sizes.
Trout (Scandi) Spey

RIO InTouch Trout Spey: Make no mistake these are Scandi lines, but in a Trout Spey Formula. Featuring a 22’ Taper these are simply wicked on today’s trout spey rods in 1wt-4wt. In addition, Switch rods in 4wt, 5wt, and even 6wts work wonderfully with these lines. Available in two formats, there are traditional heads (200-375 grain) along with an integrated version available in four grain weights (230/265/305/350). These new lines can be fished as full floaters utilizing either a floating poly-leader, a 10’ replacement tip (Floating #5), or even a 12’-15’ trout leader. Sink tip use can be of Poly-leader variety or conventional 10’ sink tips in a size 5 or 6, MOW Light Systems can see some employed here as well. Whether you are swinging soft hackles, Classic old school Streamers, or swinging/stripping a Sculpzilla (size 8 version) or micro mini intruder you will find these lines to produce blistering speed producing positive and repeatable turnover to which the Scandi concept is famous. All in all, for the trout spey enthusiast these are great casting and fishing lines, simply not to be missed as the Trout Spey Revolution forges forward.

One Final Note:

It should be noted that Scandi lines as a whole, are incredibly good tools for summer and fall endeavors but posing fly size/weight limitations. In this, an angler must understand and get his hands around the fact that while the Skagit style line approach provides the best anecdote to large intruder style flies, compared to the elegant, high line speed, and laser like loops produced with the Scandi style line approach. Given this, fly selection is a critical factor in getting the best performance from your Scandi style line. Traditional steelhead patterns working up through such vaunted summer run patterns as the Hoh Bo Spey, and smallish, lightly weighted, Micro intruders round out both an effective and productive fly to line strategic approach. All in all, an angler in the Pacific Northwest should expect to have a two-line battery for any given spey rod in his quiver. A single running line such as the Connect-core or Grip Shooter from RIO form the base of which a Skagit head along with a Scandi head can form a complete 12-month steelhead system.

Traditional Spey Series:

In Touch Short Head Spey (Looped 15’ Versi-Tip)
Old meets new in the form of the Short Head Spey line from RIO. This is an easy casting, traditional style spey line which is ideal for Northwest spey casters moving up from Scandi and Skagit style heads. Head length varies between 40’ and 50’ (available in a 5/6 through 10/11 weights) depending on line size. The longer head lengths allow for less stripping post swing, which for both the traditionalist and the “E-FISH-ENT” angler equates to less stripping and more fishing. While not a true mid-belly in the historical sense, the Short Head Spey is a modern day compact mid-belly that plays to today’s popular 12’ to 13’6” Spey Rods. This is a classic Versi-Tip format that can be utilized with traditional 10’ and 15’ sink tips (Type 3, 6, & 8). In addition, the MOW Light and Medium family will find a place at the table here as well. From a full floating line spanning the versatility of a multitude of sink tip types the Short Head Spey now becomes an all season line.

InTouch Mid Head Spey
RIO’s NEW In Touch Mid Head Spey features a progressive head in varying from 52-60 feet that provide today’s 13’-15’ rods in 6 through 10 wt. in ideal traditional mid length spey line. In a full floating integrated line featuring a 115’ overall length traditional casts like the single spey, double spey , and Snake roll can be performed both easily and with a high performance level. Whether you find yourself on Idaho’s Clearwater, BC’s Bulkley, the N. Umpqua, or Southern Oregon’s Rogue. Your traditional Spey line is here.

InTouch Long Head Spey
RIO’s InTouch Long Head Spey features head lengths from 64’-70’ (64’ at 7/8, 70’ at 10/11) with overall lengths from 110’ to 120’. More often than not rod length with these lines starts at 13’6” but hits a premium at 13’9” to 15’. The Sage 7140-4 X (14’ for a 7 Line) is a good example of ideal rod length coupled with expected steelhead use (Think Idaho’s Clearwater, Mainstem Snake/WA or Idaho sides and even Oregon’s Deschutes). The rear weight distribution ensures easy load while the unique front taper allows energy to unroll effortlessly to the fly.

RIO Switch Lines

George Cook/Erik Johnson 2021

To Switch, or not to Switch? What a silly question. Switch rod mania has fully arrived. Despite the beauty found with the versatility of such tools, lies a state of confusion. Switch rods mean many things to many anglers; an indicator rod fishing beads on the Kenai in late August; skating a dry fly on the North Umpqua in the same time period; an Oregon Coastal rod in the dead of winter; a Great Lakes stick of choice; the bomber beach rod on Puget Sound transcending to an extreme distance or “Spey Game” Rod from the pontoon boat on Eastern Washington lakes. Lots of fisheries, lots of methods, one tool. No one line will cover all these needs, however the RIO Switch Chucker Line covers two of the most predominant uses: nymph/indicator fishing along with spey style swing fishing. The Switch Chucker will prove to be the best foot forward as a one line “Does Most,” covering an array of uses that have popularized the switch rod craze. There is no compromise here as the Switch Chucker is a Super Legit spey casting line that gives up no ground for the nymph/indicator enthusiast as well. Available in 225 to 570 grain weights (#2 thru #9).

Traditional Switch line: RIO’s InTouch Switch Line brings connect core technology to the all-important switch category. RIO’s InTouch switch line features a 55’ head which answers the call for nymph fishing, and a little overhead when called upon. The 55’ foot length allows for short to mid range nymph fishing with plenty of body and back taper to spare for the tactical advantage of stack mending. The thick diameter tip turns over big flies and indicator rigs with ease, allowing the most ardent nymph enthusiast the ability to turnover all the “junk in the trunk.” This is the go-to line for the pure indicator angler whether wading or fishing from a drift boat. Available in sizes 4/5 through 8/9 to meet your switch rod needs.

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Coastal Steelhead Fishing, Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Fly Tying Review – Nicholas’ Tips on Winter Steelhead Flies

Wouldn't we like our flies to look like this fly wallet of my friend Rob's?

Wouldn’t we like our flies to look like this fly wallet of my friend Rob’s?

Unless you are a professional fly tyer, or if you are at your bench several times each week, I think it makes sense to go through a technique review at every oopportunity you get to share ideas with another fly craftsperson.

In this spirit, I will present several photos here to illustrate some of our technical work, and invite each of you to share your alternatives on all of these points.

All of the technical aspects of tying this fly are routine, but all of these are elements of our tying art that any of us can become so comfortable with that we cut corners and produce less than superior flies.

Securing our hook properly in the vise.
This is taken for granted, but I see many tyers who become overly casual. This can result in chipped vise heads, prematurely worn vise jaws, and the frustration of a thread clopping off a slopped hook shank.

Touching wraps.
We should all strive to use touching wraps unless some aspect of the fly’s construction argues against it. Taking short cuts and using widely spiraled thread winds can decrease the time we spend on a fly, but our product is inferior.

Stripping chenille to the core.
This takes time, and we can usually cover up our naughtiness, but again, quality calls for this step.

Precise placement of chenille and tinsel wraps.
Again, the fish will forgive us for less than perfect, but why not strive to develop constantly improving tying skills?

Proper selection of hackle feathers.

There might only be 50% of the feathers in a package of Schlappen that are superior to tie our flies with. Maybe the percentage is lower, depending on the size of our flies. The point here is this, I would rather tie a fly that looks GREAT, meaning that I can’t use all of the feathers in a package than have a dozen steelhead flies that look a little “off.”

Unconventional winging materials.
Don’t be shy about experimenting. I love my bucktail, but I have learned that there are some materials available to tie wings with, materials that make excellent wings very consistently.

I will follow up shortly after this post with a review of many options for wing materials. Promise I will.

Talk to your fly tying friends!
Each of us might know a lot, but when we exchange ideas, we all come away from the experience of knowing so much more.

Thanks very much for your patience. I hope you found a little of interest here.

Jay Nicholas, March 2021

The fly I have tied here is a great winter and summer steelhead fly, and as always, there are many ways to get this fly tied. Here we go!

Ahrex NS 115 NOrdic Salt Deep Streamer Hook, size 2.

Ahrex NS 115 Nordic Salt Deep Streamer Hook, size 2.

The thread I'm using here is the Danville 210D Flat Waxed Shrimp Pink. you can see how the thread is actually flat and spreads our for a very low profile.These winds are not touching-wraps. Creating a fly base like this is OK, but your fly will be more durable and you should strive to achieve touching-winds with your thread.

The thread I’m using here is the Danville 210D Flat Waxed Shrimp Pink. you can see how the thread is actually flat and spreads out for a very low profile. These winds are not touching-wraps. Creating a fly base like this is OK, but your fly will be more durable and you should strive to achieve touching-winds with your thread.

If you compare the two photos above, you will see how this fly hook is covered with touching wraps; this is a superior base for every fly you tie.

If you compare the two photos above, you will see how this fly hook is covered with touching wraps; this is a superior base for every fly you tie.

This is the base of a schlappen feather that will be used for the tail on the fly. YOOu can see that the lowermost part of the feather is fluffy like marabou, and this is the part I have stripped  off already to use for the tail.

This is the base of a schlappen feather that will be used for the tail on the fly. You can see that the lowermost part of the feather is fluffy like marabou, and this is the part I have stripped off already to use for the tail.

This photo shows the small pinch (i/2 inch on the stem) of webby hackle barbvules that were stripped off the schlappen feather. These are wound onto the hook with 3 touching wraps, and the entire base of the tail will be covered next.

This photo shows the small pinch (i/2 inch on the stem) of webby hackle barbules that were stripped off the schlappen feather. These are wound onto the hook with 3 touching wraps, and the entire base of the tail will be covered next.

This photo shows how I have styripped off the fuzz of thge chenille for 1/2m inch, exposing the thread core. Securing  the core of the chenille with touching wraps of thread is superior to winding over the intact chenille, because it will not create a lump on the body where the chenille is tied on.

This photo shows how I have stripped off the fuzz of this chenille for 1/2m inch, exposing the thread core. Securing the core of the chenille with touching wraps of the thread is superior to winding over the intact chenille because it will not create a lump on the body where the chenille is tied on.

The thread core of the chenille is tied in with 3 touching wraps of thread. Note that the chenille is tied in at the front of the hook, not the rear. I will wind all the way to the rear with touching wraps of chenille, and then wind with widely spaced wraps of chenille to the front of the fly. This will create a body with "valleys" in the chenille that I will lay my medium oval tinsel into.

The thread core of the chenille is tied in with 3 touching wraps of thread. Note that the chenille is tied in at the front of the hook, not the rear. I will wind all the way to the rear with touching wraps of chenille and then wind with widely spaced wraps of chenille to the front of the fly. This will create a body with “valleys” in the chenille that I will lay my medium oval tinsel into.

Here is the chenmille body, with two layers ofchenmille wound, first to the rear, then back to the front. The chenille is tied off with 3 touching wraps of thread.

Here is the chenille body, with two layers of chenille wound, first to the rear, then back to the front. The chenille is tied off with 3 touching wraps of thread.

The excess chenille has been timmed off, and the oval silver tinsel (already secured at the rear of the fly, but not visible) will be wound forward through the "valleys" in the chenille.

The excess chenille has been trimmed off, and the oval silver tinsel (already secured at the rear of the fly, but not visible) will be wound forward through the “valleys” in the chenille.

This photo shows the tag end of the ovel silver tinsel I have wound on the fly body. I have 3 touching wraps on the tinsel, and will trim the loose end close to the thread.

This photo shows the tag end of the oval silver tinsel I have wound on the fly body. I have 3 touching wraps on the tinsel and will trim the loose end close to the thread.

this is a hot orange schlappen feather Iwill use to wind a collar on this fly. I picked out a feather that has nice soft web at the base of the hackle stem.

this is a hot orange schlappen feather I will use to wind a collar on this fly. I picked out a feather that has a nice soft web at the base of the hackle stem.

This photo shows the place where i cut the stem of the schlappen feather. I will tie in the stem at this location.

This photo shows the place where I cut the stem of the schlappen feather. I will tie in the stem at this location.

This is an unconventional material to use for steelhead fly wings, and I think this is only because there is little crossover between fresh and saltwater fly tyers here in Oregon. his material is Sculpting Flash Fibre. Color 08, light pink.  Enrico Puglesi also offers a material just like this, it has just the hint of flash in it, and is about 8-9 inches long. You can tie all of the steelhead wings that call for any color hair with this stuff.

This is an unconventional material to use for steelhead fly wings, and I think this is only because there is little crossover between fresh and saltwater fly tyers here in Oregon. his material is Sculpting Flash Fibre. Color 08, light pink. Enrico Puglesi also offers a material just like this, it has just the hint of flash in it and is about 8-9 inches long. You can tie all of the steelhead wings that call for any color hair with this stuff.

This photo shows how I tied in the wing material facing forward,and trimmed off the butts of the wing material. I wanted a sparse wing but you could make this hank of sculpting flash fibre as dense as you wish. By facing the wing forward, I will wind my hackle over the base of the wing, and then fold the wing. back while i whip finish the head of the fly. This is a winging technique that all steelhead fly tyers should learn as part of your craft skills.

This photo shows how I tied in the wing material facing forward and trimmed off the butts of the wing material. I wanted a sparse wing but you could make this hank of sculpting flash fibre as dense as you wish. By facing the wing forward, I will wind my hackle over the base of the wing and then fold the wing. back while I whip finish the head of the fly. This is a winging technique that all steelhead fly tyers should learn as part of their craft skills.

This looks messy; it is after I wound on the schlappen feather and took one wind of thread over the hackle stem before trimming off the excess.

This looks messy; it is after I wound on the schlappen feather and took one wind of thread over the hackle stem before trimming off the excess.

I will reach in here to the middle of this ungainly mess, carefully cutting the stem of the scghlappen feather, and take a few extra touching wraps of thread to secure the trimmed feather stem. Careful not to cut the thread!

I will reach in here to the middle of this ungainly mess, carefully cutting the stem of the schlappen feather, and take a few extra touching wraps of thread to secure the trimmed feather stem. Careful not to cut the thread!

Now it is time to fold the wing and hackle back, pinching them all for conrol with your fingers. You can see how close my bobbin is to the hook, This is so I can very  precisely know where I am winding my thread to push both wing and hackle back from the hook eye - and it is now time to whip finish the fly.

Now it is time to fold the wing and hackle back, pinching them all for control with your fingers. You can see how close my bobbin is to the hook, This is so I can very precisely know where I am winding my thread to push both wing and hackle back from the hook eye – and it is now time to whip finish the fly.

All secure, time to trim the thread. This is where sharp, fine point scissors come in handy.

All secure, time to trim the thread. This is where sharp, fine point scissors come in handy.

uUr finished winter steelhead fly. The Polar Shrimp.

Our finished winter steelhead fly. The Polar Shrimp.

 

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

Sage/Redington 2021 Spey Write Ups

20e4ea6e-a4fc-4c81-8451-06d94f74dbab

For years our Sage/Redington/RIO sales representative George Cook has provided the following guides to us in our “product catalog binder”. In 2021 the digital versions (thanks to covid no doubt) are now available. I thought I would share the rod, reel, line matches per George Cook. This document is extensive and has evolved over the years. Rod models, actions, and line tapers/designs have changed thus recommendations have shifted as well. I will follow up with another post specifically related to the lines themselves. Enjoy!

SAGE’s Spey and Switch X rods let you experience the remarkable benefits of Konnetic HD Technology. Efficient, effective load carry enhances the casting stroke. Unrivaled recovery optimizes the line speed equation which produces consistent, smooth, long, and most importantly straight casts.

X 5120-4 12’ 4pc 5wt: The awaited 5wt Spey X has arrived. The summer run Steelhead enthusiast now has a unique combination of light weight in hand coupled with line speed. From Northern California to the Kenai Peninsula small ball with power is now available. Scandi dry line work along with sink tip probing via Skagit heads will make this a fall Steelhead and Big Alaskan Rainbow classic.

• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 425, Skagit Max Power 450, RIO Scandi 360
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 109 Grain type 3, 6, & 8, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10, 12.5.’ Spey and Scandi Light VersiLeader 10’ all types
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum Max 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8

X 6120-4 12’ 4pc 6wt: Ideally suited for a multitude of steelhead, light salmon and big trout duty. A really good choice for the brace rod below the #8 that everyone owns. A Deschutes favorite along with a Tierra del Fuego small rod.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 390, Skagit Max Launch 450, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 450, Skagit Max Power 475, Short Head Spey 6/7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 grain tips in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11 10’ and 12.5’, Spey and Scandi Light Scandi-VersiLeader 10’ all types
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum Max 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8, Tibor Signature 7/8

X 6139-4 13’9” 4pc 6wt: The ultimate Big Water, Summer/Fall Steelhead rod is here. From the Rogue to Idaho’s Clearwater this shall become the kings crown of 6wt Spey. Naknek, Kvichak, and Middle Kenai big Rainbow chasers will most certainly find this rod to their liking both Spring and Fall.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 450, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 475, RIO Scandi 435, InTouch Mid Head Spey 6/7, InTouch Short Head Spey 6/7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 grain tips in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11 10’ and 12.5’, Spey and Scandi Light Scandi-VersiLeader 10’ all types
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum LT 9/10

X 7120-4 12’ 4pc 7wt: Kick ass all-purpose #7 Weight for the Pacific Rim and beyond. Everything from Steelhead, Giant Rainbows to Tierra del Fuego browns are all on the menu for this stellar performer.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 510, Skagit Max Launch 550, Skagit Max Game Changer 550, Skagit Max Power 575, Short Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 and 150 grain in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10, 12.5.’ Spey and Scandi Light VersiLeader 10’ all types
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum LT 9/10, Spectrum Max 9/10

X 7130-4 13’ 4pc 7wt: The Steelheader’s Choice, be it Oregon or Washington here’s your stick. Travel with Confidence knowing that you’re sitting in the “Just Right” Length and Line weight for both winter and summer endeavors. At 13’ you’ll cast distance with ease yet in the canopy it’ll still work flawlessly. Step on in, the water’s ready… So Are You!
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 550, Skagit Max Game Changer 550 Scandi 510, Short Head Spey 7/8, Mid Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 and 150 grain in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10, 12.5.’ Spey and Scandi Light Versi-Leader 10’ all types
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum LT 9/10, Spectrum Max 9/10, Tibor Signature 9/10

X 7140-4 14’ 4pc 7wt: The casters delight 7wt has arrived. Given the popularity of the 7wt spey rod throughout the Pacific Rim it is only fitting to bring this long-anticipated rod to the steelhead theater. No longer will you wonder if you could have just reached another 10’. Dial the distance and cast…summer runs beware.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 550, Skagit Max Game Changer 550, Scandi 510, Mid Head Spey 7/8, Long Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 and 150 grain in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10, 12.5.’ Spey and Scandi Light Versi-Leader 10’ all types
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum LT 9/10, Tibor Signature 9/10

X 8120-4 12’ 4pc 8wt: Super tactical spey rod. From Kings in Alaska to winter runs on the Sol Duc to tight casting quarters on the North Umpqua. This is an ideal 2nd rod for winter spey enthusiasts. Don’t be fooled by the 12’ length, long casts come surprisingly easy with minimal effort.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 510, Skagit Max Launch 600, Skagit Max Game Changer 600, Skagit Max Power 625, Short Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip Match: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-11/T-14 10’,12.5’ & 15’. T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’ lengths. Spey and Scandi Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
M.O.W. Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum LT 9/10

X 8130-4 13’ 4pc 8wt: From the Umpqua to the Babine this is an ideal all around spey rod as we’ve seen in years. No stone shall be unturned as you take the river step by step and ultimately by storm. In addition to steelhead this will prove a versatile 8wt from TDF to Western Alaska (Kings).
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 600, Skagit Max Game Changer 600, Scandi 520, Short Head Spey 8/9, Mid Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14 in 10’, 12.5’& 15’ lengths T-17 in 11’ & 13’ lengths. Spey Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
M.O.W. Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Tibor Signature 9-10, Spectrum Max 9/10, Spectrum LT 9/10

X 8140-4 14’ 4pc 8wt: Big water, Big time Performer. Be it British Columbia in the Fall, various Olympic Peninsula Rivers in the Winter, Oregon’s Nehalem and Clackamas come March and April, This is the stick you want. This is Geo’s go to spey rod in Western Alaska nowadays. Never before has a rod this light weight, and with such stunning capabilities been available. Uncharted ground will soon turn to uncharted casts as you cover runs like never before.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 600, Skagit Max Game Changer 600, Scandi 520, Mid head Spey 8/9, Long Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14 in 10’, 12.5’& 15’ lengths T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’ lengths. Spey Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
• M.O.W. Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Tibor Signature 9/10, Spectrum Max 9/10, Tibor Riptide, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9,

X 9120-4 12’ 4pc 9wt: King Salmon are nervous everywhere. From Bristol Bay to Chile the King Tamer is fixing to travel, Divide and conquer. Not since 1990 going back many years has this caliber/length of Spey rod been available. Ideally suited for king salmon but equally at home in wind swept TDF this rod is soon to be the traveling angler’s close companion.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 650, Skagit Max Game Changer 650, Skagit Max Power 675, Scandi 610
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-11/T-14 in 10’ 12.5’ and 15’ lengths. T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’. Spey Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
• M.O.W Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum LT 9/10

X 9140-4 14’ 4pc 9wt: The ideal Big winter steelhead, King Salmon combo rod has arrived (for those traveling to the Kola Peninsula this is your stick). The Clackamas to the Skagit, the Kispiox to the Kola, this is the rod to “get-er-done”.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 700, Skagit Max Game Changer 700, RIO Scandi 640, RIO Mid Head Spey 9/10, Long Head Spey 9/10
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-11/T-14 in 10’ 12.5’ and 15’ lengths. T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’. Spey Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
M.O.W Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9
X 10150-4 15’ 4pc 10wt: A focused specialty rod for big rivers and big fish like B.C.’s Thompson River, B.C. & Alaskan Kings, Norwegian and Kola Peninsula Atlantic Salmon.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 750, Scandi 640, In Touch Long Head Spey 10/11
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150, & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14/T-17 in 12.5’, 13’ and 15’. Spey Versi-Leader 10’ all types.
• M.O.W. Match: Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Tibor Gulfstream, Spectrum Max 11/12, Tibor Signature 11/12S

Blistering line speed coupled with reserve power marks this newest generation of performance spey rods. When the chips are on the table and conditions and opportunity demand performance wade on in knowing that you are armed with the highest performing spey rod of all time!

Igniter Spey Rods

Igniter 6126-4 12’6” 4-piece 6wt. A Super Charged classic Northwest 6 wt Spey Rod. When the wind blows hard, Wade out Proud and Yell out Loud, “Who Cares” because this rod will cut right through it.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 400, Skagit Max Launch 475, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 450, Short Spey Head 6/7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129gr type 3, 6, & 8. T-8/T-11 in 10’, 12.5’. 10’ and 12’ Spey Versi-Leaders All Types.
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11.
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum Max 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8

Igniter 7126-4 12’6” 4-piece 7wt. The #1 requested line weight that generates insane, blistering line speed. Destined to become a true favorite of the Pacific Rim Spey Clan. Steelhead anywhere, everywhere. Tierra del Fuego and Big Alaska Rainbows.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 550, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 525, RIO Scandi 510, Short Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 12.5’ and 15’. 10’ and 12’ Spey Versi-Leaders All Types.
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11 & Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum Max 9/10, 9/10, Spectrum LT 9/10

Igniter 8136-4 13’6” 4-piece 8wt. An enduring 8wt Spey Rod. Might be the single best rod for Tierra del Fuego, and equally at home on the Kispiox in October, The Olympic Peninsula come February, and the Umpqua all winter long. A true sleeper King Salmon stick!
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 600, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 600, RIO Scandi 520, Mid Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6, and 8. T-11/T14 in 10’, 12.5’, and 15’. T-17 in 11’ 13’ 15’, 10’ and 12’ Spey Versi-Leaders all types.
• M.O.W. Match: Medium/T-11, & Heavy/T-14, and even Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum LT 9/10

Igniter 9140-4 14’ 4-piece 9wt. In the gun world, they call this an Ultra Mag. So, welcome the new magnum 9 weight spey. Alaska Kings, Alta Atlantics, B.C. and big Winter Runs everywhere. The Method 9wt spey, all the power without weight or fatigue.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 725, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 725, In Touch Long Head Spey 9/10, RIO Scandi 640
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14/T-17/T-20 in 10’, 12.5’, 13’ and 15’ lengths. Spey Versi-Leaders 12’ All Types.
M.O.W. Match: Heavy/T-14, Extra heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9

NEW Igniter 9140-6 14’ 6-piece 9wt. In the gun world, they call this an Ultra Mag. So, welcome the new magnum 9 weight spey. Alaska Kings, Alta Atlantics, B.C. and big Winter Runs everywhere. The Method 9wt spey, all the power without weight or fatigue.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 750, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 725, In Touch Long Head Spey 9/10, RIO Scandi 640
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14/T-17/T-20 in 10’, 12.5’, 13’ and 15’ lengths. Spey Versi-Leaders 12’ All Types.
• M.O.W. Match: Heavy/T-14, Extra heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9

Igniter 10150-4 15’ 4-piece 10wt. How far do you want to cast? Whatever the MAX job that awaits your angling adventure, this is the tool to bring to the party! The largest rivers, the biggest challenges from the World’s great Anadromous game fish.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 750, In Touch Long Head Spey 10/11
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 166 or 190 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14, T-17, T-20 in 13’, 15’ and 17’
• M.O.W. Match: Heavy/T-14, Extra heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 11/12, Tibor Signature 11/12S Tibor Gulfstream

NEW for 2021 Igniter Switch Rods

The NEW Igniter Switch feature 6-9wt Switch rods in the Classic Baby Spey 11’9” length. These ultra-light-weight powerful tools cast like 13’ Spey Rods but feel like a 10’ single-handed rod. Sage’s Proprietary Konnetic HD Technology, has once again raised the bar in today’s switch rod world.

NEW IGNITER 6119-4 11’9” 4 piece 6wt. Small but Powerful. Pacific Rim Steelhead, Alaskan Rainbows, & Fall Browns swingin’ stick, lake and beach too, small steelhead use for such haunts as the Rogue, Grande Ronde and John Day.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 450, Max Launch 425, RIO Scandi 390, Switch Chucker #7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’129 Type 3, 6 & 8. T-8/T-11 in 10’ & 12.5’. 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types.
• M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light, T-11/Medium
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8

NEW IGNITER 7119-4 11’9” 4 piece 7wt. As with most Switch rods, the #7 represents the 30.06 of Switch. From Alaska Rainbows to Oregon Coastal Steelhead to Tierra Del Fuego Sea-Run Brows, the 7 plays big. Not overkill for Trout but big enough for Anadromous Critters, here is your all-purpose player.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 500, Skagit Max Launch 475, RIO Scandi 435, Rio Switch Chucker #7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 Type 3, 6 & 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’ & 12.5’. 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types.
• M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8

NEW IGNITER 8119-4 11’9” 4 piece 8wt. Talk about power in a light package. Focused Anadromous Switch rod, steelhead anywhere, smaller Atlantic salmon venues, Sea-Run Browns, Coastal Steelhead. You will be shocked at the distances this rod will produce.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 550, RIO Scandi 480, Skagit Max Launch 525, Skagit Max Game Changer 525, RIO Switch Chucker #8, Rio Switch 8/9, Outbound Coldwater WF-9
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 & 150 grain Type 3, 6 & 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 11’ & 12.5’, 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types.
• M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8 Spectrum Max 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8

NEW IGNITER 9119-4 11’9” 4 piece 9wt. WOW, it is finally here the “Chrome Crowbar!” In the rifle world they call this a short Magnum, this rod is truly such. B.C. and Alaska Kings, Strategically used in some of the bigger steelhead haunts as well. California, and Jersey Shore Striper Boys may have a pet rod here too.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 600, Skagit Max Launch 575, RIO Switch Chucker #9, Skagit Max Game Changer 575
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain Type 3, 6, & 8. T-11/T-14/T17 in 10’ and 12.5’. 10’ Spey Versileaders all types.
• M.O.W Match: T-11/Medium, T-14/Heavy, T-17/Ext Heavy
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8 Spectrum Max 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8

SAGE Trout Spey 2021

1109-4 10’9” 4pc 1wt: Historically, 2wt Trout Spey was the lightest available but Little guy Little has arrived. The smallest of the small Trout Spey rods is now available and ready for action. Be it East or West baby spey is here to stay. Fly selection and use will dictate the boundaries for this light tackle specialty rod. Swinging soft hackles is assured but classic streamer patterns along with carefully designed micro intruders will see action as well.
• Line Match: RIO Trout Spey #1 (Scandi Style Line at 190gr), Skagit Trout Spey 200gr
• Sink Tips: 10’ conventional (Replacement) Tips, Floating, Intermediate, Type 3 & 6 in 55 grains, Scandi Light Versi-Leaders 7’ all types.
• Reel Match: Sage Trout Spey Reel 1/2/3

2109-4 10’ 9” 4pc 2wt: Today the 2wt Trout Spey rod represents ultralight versatility based on specialized lines coupled with well thought out fly patterns. The angler’s ability to harness fun and effectiveness is found here.
• Line Match: Skagit Trout Spey Integrated 225gr, (Head 250gr), Trout Spey #2 (Scandi) 230gr
• Sink Tips: 10’ Floating, Intermediate, Type 3&6 in 55 grains, Scandi Light Versi-Leaders 7’ all types.
• MOW Match: MOW Light through 10’ sink tip.
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 1/2/3

3103-4 10’ 3” 4pc 3wt AND the 3110-4 11’ 4pc 3wt: The 3wt Trout Spey represents the step right in and get after it Trout Spey rod. For the spey caster the transition from conventional spey rods is found with ease here. While there are two 3wts listed here, it should be noted that the shorter of the two (3103-4) is targeted toward smaller water, and a versatile offering, the 3110-4 sits in the historical length of a 3wt Trout Spey. Destined to become a favorite of the trout chasing crowd, be it east, west, north (Alaska Trout, Dollies, and Grayling) and south (South American and New Zealand trout). Sweet swinging is on the way.
• Line Match: Skagit Trout Spey #3 275, Trout Spey #3 (Scandi) 265gr
• Sink Tips: Scandi Light VersiLeaders 7’ all types.
• MOW Match: MOW Light through 10’ Sink Tip, MOW Medium through 10’ Sink Tip
• Reel Match: Sage Trout Spey 3/4/5

4113-4 11’ 3” 4pc 4wt: The biggest of the SAGE Trout Spey offering, the 4113-4 is also the Work Horse of the Trout Spey Kingdom. This rod will see a myriad of angling opportunities throughout the west along with Alaska adventures as well as favorite haunts of both South America and New Zealand. The beauty of a 4wt Trout Spey is your fly selection, and use expands greatly along with casting expectations (distance). Northern California and Southern Oregon ½ Pounders will indeed find themselves posing for photos as well. Come cast this gem and see how little plays BIG.

• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 350, Trout Spey #4 (Scandi) 305gr, Skagit Trout Spey (integrated) 325gr, Skagit Trout Spey (HEAD) 350gr
• Sink Tips: 10’ Spey Versi-Leaders, all type (Scandi 300). 15’ 109 grain sinktips in type 3, 6 & 8. (Skagit Max Power 350)
• MOW Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Sage Trout Spey 3/4/5, Spectrum LT 7/8

Sage Pulse Spey/Switch Rods for 2021
George Cook/Erik Johnson

6126-4 Pulse 12’6” 6wt 4pc: Ideally suited for a multitude of steelhead, light salmon and big trout duty. A really good choice for the brace rod below the #8 that everyone owns. A Deschutes favorite along with a Western Alaska small rod.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 390, Skagit Max Launch 425, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 450, Skagit Max Power 450, Short Head Spey 6/7
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 129 grain tips in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11 from 10’ and 12.5’, Spey Versi-Leader 10’ and 12’ all types
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8, Spectrum 7/8

7130-4 Pulse 13’ 7wt 4pc: Pulse…Feel your heartbeat when you first step into the morning mist, knowing performance and value have met on the curve and you are ready to be on the water. Step into the summer of Spey with confidence with the preferred spey rod in the legendary 7wt. Whether you choose the Power of the Skagit Line or the Grace of the Scandi you are in business with the new Pulse Series.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 525, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 525, RIO Scandi 480, Short Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tips: 15’ 129 and 150gr Type 3,6, & 8 Density’s, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’ and 12.5’. 10 and 12’ Spey Versi-Leaders, all Types.
• MOW Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 9/10, Spectrum 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 6/7/8

8136-4 Pulse 13’6” 8wt 4pc: Value and Performance play big here. The winter steelhead angler has an ideal stick here. In Washington State along with BC this is an all-purpose spey rod. Go ahead, Step in and start Hucking
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 575, Skagit Max Game Changer 575, RIO Scandi 520, Short Head Spey 8/9, In Touch Mid Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip: 15’ 150gr Type 3,6, & 8 Density’s, T-11/T-14 in 10, 12.5, 13’, and 15’ lengths
• MOW Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 9/10, Spectrum 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9

Sage Pulse Switch Rods
3110-4 Pulse 11’ 3 wt 4pc: Trout Spey arrives in a price point version geared for the angler looking to try out this relatively new angling format. In the Trout Spey Theater the 3wt becomes the Omni-present tool. With a host of lines available, versatility abounds with this Trout Spey specialty stick.
• Line Match: Trout Spey #3 (Scandi) 265, Skagit Trout Spey #3 275
• Sink Tips: Scandi Light Versi-Leaders 7’ all types. 10’ conventional sink tips all types 55gr
• MOW Match: MOW Light through 10’ Sink Tip, MOW Medium through 10’ Sink Tip
• Reel Match: Sage Trout Spey Reel 3/4/5, Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8

7114-4 Pulse 11’4” 7wt 4pc: It’s been said that the 7wt switch rod is the 30-06 of switch. To be sure this is a versatile statement as well as a versatile fact. Steelhead, Bruiser Rainbows, Sea Run dollies, and even Silvers all make the menu here. Whether you are using an indicator or swinging your favorite run, this is an ideal switch rod to have.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 475, RIO Switch Chucker #7, RIO Scandi 435, In Touch Switch 7/8
• Sink Tip: 15’ 129gr Type 3, 6, & 8. T-8/T-11 in 10’, 12.5’. 10’ Spey Versi-leaders all types
• MOW Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8

8114-4 Pulse 11’4” 8wt 4pc: In the realm of switch rods the 8wt kicks over into a true anadromous switch rod. Here you have a focused steelhead stick that will battle the smaller salmon with ease be it Silvers, and Chums. Rigged up with a Switch Chucker #8 the indicator enthusiast can throw everything short of a hot air balloon.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Power 525, Skagit Max Game Changer 4D 500, Switch Chucker #8, RIO Scandi 450, In Touch Switch 8/9
• Sink Tip: 15’ 129gr Type 3, 6, & 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’ and 12.5’. 10’ Spey VersiLeaders, all types.
MOW Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-14, Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8, Sage Spey Reel 6/7/9

Comprehensive Guide to Sage Sonic Spey Rods
Spey/Two-Handed Rods 2021
George Cook/Erik Johnson

As you read about the various offerings of Sage Spey Rods, along with line and reel match ups, please take note that the different line match variations do have specific usage. Line choice will be dictated by such factors as seasonality, method, casting style, water temperature and fly type. In other words, an ideal line for the Deschutes on Labor Day is a different animal than the ideal line for the Hoh/Queets/Sol Duc in early March.
• RIO Scandi: A
• Pure Northwest Steelhead Use Scandi Taper. *See Scandi/ology 2.0 for details*
• Skagit Max Line: The focused tool for Sink-tip use with the ability for pure full floating fly line adaptation. *See “Skagit/ology” for more details.*
• PowerSpey Line: The summer/fall floating line of the traditional long line caster.
• Short Head Spey: Lovely, Modern day compact mid-belly that excels on 12’ to 13’6” Rods.

7136-4 Sonic – 13’6’’ 4 piece 7wt. The perfect summer run rod that can see duty for big Alaskan rainbows and TDF Sea Run Browns as well. Grande Ronde, Deschutes, Rogue or Umpqua this is the ideal year round rod in Oregon. This is a rod every spey enthusiasts everywhere-should own.
• Line Match: RIO Scandi 480, Skagit Max Launch 525, Short Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 12.5.’ Spey VersiLeader 10.’
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 9/10, Sage Spey 6/7/8, Spectrum 9/10

8136-4 Sonic 13’6” 4 piece 8wt. The perennial steelhead spey rod has arrived. Be it spring or fall, summer or winter this rod will prove hard to beat anywhere in the steelhead theatre. Whether it’s your first Northwest spey rod or another arrow in the quiver, this light, smooth, powerful tool excels without fatigue places this rod atop the list of stellar Sage steelhead spey rods.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 575, RIO Scandi 520, Short Head Spey 8/9, Mid-Head Spey 8/9
• Sink Tip Match: 15’ 150 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-14 in 10’, 12.5’& 13’ lengths T-17 in 10’ & 12.5’ lengths. Spey VersiLeader 10’all types.
• M.O.W. Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Spectrum Max 9/10, Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum LT 9/10 Spectrum 9/10,

9140-4 Sonic 14’ 4 piece 9wt. The ideal Big winter steelhead, King Salmon combo rod has arrived (for those traveling to the Kola Peninsula this is your stick). The Clackamas to the Skagit, the Kispiox to the Kola, this is the rod to “get-er-done”.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 675, RIO Scandi 640, Short Head Spey 9/10, Mid-Head Spey 9/10, Long Head Spey 9/10
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-11/T-14 in 10’ 12.5’ and 15’ lengths. T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’. Spey VersiLeader 12’ all types.
• M.O.W Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum Max 9/10

Now Available two super travel sized 6 piece spey rods

7136-6 Sonic 13’ 6” The perfect summer run rod that can see duty for big Alaskan rainbows and TDF Sea Run Browns as well. Grande Ronde, Deschutes, Rogue or Umpqua this is the ideal year round rod in Oregon. This is a rod every spey enthusiasts everywhere-should own.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 550, RIO Scandi 520, Short Head Spey 7/8
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 grain in type 3, 6 and 8. T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 12.5.’ Spey VersiLeader 10.’
• M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14
• Reel Match: Spectrum LT 9/10, Sage Spey 6/7/8, Spectrum 9/10

9140-6 Sonic 14’ 6 piece 9wt. The ideal Big winter steelhead, King Salmon combo rod has arrived (for those traveling to the Kola Peninsula this is your stick). The Clackamas to the Skagit, the Kispiox to the Kola, this is the rod to “get-er-done”.
• Line Match: Skagit Max Launch 700, RIO Scandi 640, Short Head Spey 9/10, Mid-Head Spey 9/10, Long Head Spey 9/10
• Sink Tip Use: 15’ 150 & 166 grain type 3, 6 and 8. T-11/T-14 in 10’ 12.5’ and 15’ lengths. T-17 in 11’, 13’ & 15’. Spey VersiLeader 12’ all types.
• M.O.W Match: Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14, Extra Heavy/T-17
• Reel Match: Sage Spey Reel 7/8/9, Spectrum Max 9/10

Sage Sonic Switch Rods 2021
Strategic. Effective. Fun
George Cook/Erik Johnson

Application for Switch Rods in the Pacific Northwest stretches both far and wide. Switch Rods allow the Northwest Angler to pursue a multitude of specific fisheries as well as fishing methodologies with one tool. Examples of this abound:
• Strategic, tight-corridor Spey use
• Beach overhead casting on Puget Sound, Lake fishing in Eastern Washington
• Single hand/Two Hand nymph fishing for both trout and steelhead
• Small “Baby” Spey rod for Steelhead, Sea-Run Browns, Sea-Run Dollies, Silvers and Chums

Specific examples of these methods and the applicable versatility could be seen as…
Alaska-SE Alaska coastal steelhead fisheries, along with Spring Rainbow fishing, spey or overhead, swinging sculpins or leeches. Overhead Beach fishing for Dollies and Salmon (Outbound Cold Water Line). Transcending to fall fishing with indicators for both Rainbows and Dollies as well as fall Steelhead fishing in South Central Alaska.

Washington-Lots going on in the Evergreen State-overhead casting on the beaches of Puget Sound (Outbound Cold Water Line) for resident Coho, Sea-run Cutthroat, migratory Coho and Chum salmon; nymph fishing trout on the Yakima transcending to nymph fishing for Steelhead on the Klickitat or Methow; strategic single-hand spey-use for summer-runs on the Stilly; tight corridor Spey-use on the Sol Duc in February; bombshot cast with the Outbound Line on Eastern Washington lakes.

Oregon- Nymph fishing for Steelhead on Saturday on the Rogue transcending to single hand Spey or tradition spey casting swinging flies on the Umpqua for Steelhead on Sunday. Also Coastal Oregon Winter Steelhead.

All in all, the Switch Rod concept allows for a single tool for multiple tasks. Versatility is at a premium, as these rods excel in both the single hand as well as the two hand approach. Be it fishing the swing, indicator game, or bomb shot beach use, angler’s throughout the Pacific Northwest will come to treasure the use of a switch rod.

SAGE SONIC 7116-4
For those in pursuit of Steelhead, outsized Sea Run Dollies, big Alaskan Rainbows along with TDF Browns this rod is a true trout/anadromous cross over, “the .30-06 of switch”.
Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8
Sink Tip Use: 15’ in 129 grain type 3, 6 & 8 densities. T-8 & T-11 in 10’ & 12.5.” 10’ Spey Versileaders: All types.
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11
Line Matches:
• General Spey: Skagit Max Power 475, RIO Scandi 435, Switch Chucker #7
• Tight Quarters Spey: RIO Skagit Max Power 475
• Beach/Lake: RIO Scandi 435, RIO Cold Water Outbound WF-8-F/I
• Focused Nymph Fishing: RIO Switch Chucker #7, RIO Switch Line 7/8

Sage Sonic 8116-4
A true Anadromous performer, the 8116-4 is ideal for Alaskan rainbows, Steelhead and Silvers alike. Couple this as a true “double threat” switch rod covering such diverse environments as Oregon’s Rogue one day and the Umpqua the next. The TDF crowd has its Sea Run Brown rod; along with a wide range summer run and Alaska cross over stick.
Reel Match: Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum 7/8
Sink Tip Use: 15’ in 129 grain type 3, 6 & 8 densities. T-8, T-11 & T-14 in 10’, 12.5’
M.O.W. Match: Light/T-8, Medium/T-11, Heavy/T-14 10’ tip
Line Matches:
General Spey: Skagit Max Power 525 (can combine with Medium M.O.W. Floating Tip for nymph fishing), RIO Scandi 480
Tight Quarters Spey: Skagit Max Power 525
Beach/Lake: Outbound Cold Water WF-9-F/I, RIO Scandi 480
Focused Nymph Fishing: RIO Switch Chucker #8, RIO Switch Line 8/9

Redington Claymore Trout Spey Rods 2021
George Cook/ Erik Johnson

2110-4 11’ 4pc 2 wt: The little guy trout spey is upon us. Bringing performance and value to center stage the 2wt Claymore brings true trout spey to the west, be it an easy-going soft hackle swing session, or select streamers swung mid-current the delightful ultra-lightweight toy has arrived.
• Line Match: RIO Skagit Trout Spey (Head) #2/3 250gr, RIO Trout Spey (Scandi) #2 230gr, Single Hand Spey WF5F
• Sink Tips: 10’ MOW Light Sink Tip, 10’ Scandi Light Scandi Versi-leader’s All Types
• MOW match: MOW Light Series (all types)
• Reel Match: Rise 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum C 7/8

3113-4 11’ 3” 4pc 3 wt: Trout Spey in a 3wt provides versatility across a wide range of angling pursuits. From mid-current salmon fly endeavors, to Sculpzilla (size 8) sneaky swims, the 3wt Trout Spey is destined to become a western favorite. Be it Trout, Southern Oregon, Northern California half pounders the 3113 Claymore will find its place in haunts both near and far.
• Line Match: Trout Spey (Scandi) #3 265gr, Skagit Trout Spey (Head) #3/4 300gr, Single Hand Spey WF6F
• Sink Tips: 10’ Standard Sink Tips (55gr) Matches with Trout Spey (Scandi/Skagit), 10’ MOW Light Sink Tip, 10’ Scandi Light Scandi Versi-leader’s All Types
• MOW match: MOW Light Series (all types)
• Reel Match: Rise 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8, Spectrum C 7/8

4116-4 11’ 6” 4pc 4wt: Small plays big here. 4wt in trout spey takes the angler straight to the men’s tees for trout, West Coast half Pounders along with sea-run Cuts and Dollies. Summer time swings for aggressive smallmouth makes the menu as well. In the 4wt. theater fly use size takes a jump up providing a list of targets and success stories for the taking… start the truck, Launch the boat.
• Line Match: Skagit Trout Spey (Head) #4/5 350gr, Trout Spey (Scandi) #4 305gr, Single Hand Spey WF7F, Skagit Max Power 325
• Sink Tips: 10’ Standard Sink Tips (65gr) Matches with Trout Spey (Scandi/Skagit), 10, 12.5’ MOW Light and Medium Tips, and Scandi Versi-Leader’s All Types.
• MOW Match: Light and Medium MOW Series
• Reel Match: Rise 7/8, Spectrum 7/8, Spectrum LT 7/8

Additional line match info is available from RIO here.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | 1 Comment

Willamette River Report March 2021

Willy 214

Headed out to enjoy a beautiful day on the Willy. March brings crazy weather patterns which bring some the best early hatches of March Browns and Caddis. The hatches were tan caddis and occasional March Brown. However, the fish were targeting the Western March Brown pattern. The hatch was strongest from 2pm to 4pm. Fish continued to rise through out the day and it was a fine start to the season.

It’s officially spring in a few days….time to get out there! Stay safe, be well!

LV

Willy 211

Willy 213

Willy 212

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River | Leave a comment

March Brown Wet Fly Tying Video – March 2021

Resized952021031795100022

March Brown Wet Fly tied by Jim Sens

Today Jim is tying a fantastic spring wet fly. Imitating a March Brown, this fly can be fished on the swing, in a nymph rig, or underneath a high-floating dry fly. It’s tied on a curved nymph hook, which complements the fly shape nicely. A small brass bead hidden in the thorax will help the fly get under the surface and fish like an emerging adult. If you enjoyed the video, please like and subscribe for more!

Materials
Hook: Daichi 1760 Curved, or TMC 2302 Sz 12
Thread: Veevus 10/0 Brown
Tail: Hungarian Partridge
Ribbing: UTC Copper wire in Amber, Brassie
Body cement: Loon UV Flow
Wing: Midge Flash Ghost Grey
Bead: 7/64″ Brass Countersunk Bead
First Hackle: Hungarian Partridge
Second Hackle: Whiting Brahma Hen in March Brown
Head cement: Loon UV Flow

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Colombia Peacock Bass Trip Report – March 2021

IMG_3392

Cash and I joined Jon Covich of Flywater Travel and three other anglers for a Peacock Bass adventure in remote eastern Colombia. Flywater Travel handled our booking with Afloat Tours. Our trip was fantastic. Filled with new discoveries and exciting fishing I highly recommend this trip.

We flew through Miami to Medellin where we stayed in a nice hotel ( Hotel Diez ) in the EL Poblado neighborhood of the very large ( Pop. 6.5 million ) city of Medellin. The hotel is located in a great neighborhood with numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and retail shops. It was easy to walk to dinner our first night and last night.

IMG_3097

jon-covich-photos31

The next morning our group was transported by an Afloat representative to the regional airport where a charter plane flew us approximately 1.5 hours east to the agricultural hub of La Primavera. After a quick lunch we drove approximately 3.5 hours to the “Gavilon” River (meaning Osprey in the local Spanish Translation). The long drive over rough road took us through rough farmland and scattered jungle along waterways. The Afloat Camp staff greeted us and after quickly loading supplies and our gear motored us up river about an hour to camp.

IMG_3134

IMG_3126

IMG_3149

IMG_3162

The Afloat Camp is highly organized and powered 24 hours a day by generators. The three owners of Afloat Adventures are young enthusiastic service-oriented guys looking to expand their tourism operations throughout Colombia. We found Simone and his crew to be thoughtful and willing to jump at any request. Two anglers shared a floating cabin complete with shower, toilet, lighting, two power outlets, fans, basic beds, mosquito netting (we never used) and a small storage unit. Each morning you were picked up and dropped off from your floating cabin deck.

jon-covich-photos-6

IMG_3225

Breakfast was served each morning between 6am and 6:30am. Coffee was available earlier if needed. The camp is well located on a massive beach, perfect for enjoying sunset and sunrise from your cabin or while sitting around the fire. Traditional Colombian food, pork, arepas, eggs, potatoes, fruit and much more were served for breakfast throughout the week. The food was really good, not fancy but really good. Often for lunch one of the camp boats would come up river to meet our group of anglers and prepare a wonderful shoreside lunch of chicken, pork, rice, salad and other tasty dishes. It was a nice touch that saved fishing time. Dinner was served around 7pm and again was largely Colombian fair. Wine, beer, water and soft drinks were always available in camp and on your boat. Temperatures often exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and never really got cooler than the high 60s at night. It was hot!

IMG_3353

IMG_3268

jon-covich-photos24

The fishing program we booked included 6 full days and 7 nights in camp along with two nights in Medellin one on each side of our stay. Fishing days began around 7am where our guide Jorge would pick us up. Rods loaded we would head up or down river depending on the beat assigned. Peacock Bass fishing is a blast! I have no idea how many thousands of casts we made but the tactic employed largely consists of casting an 8 or 9wt rod with a floating, intermediate tip, or fast sinking tip line towards structure, cover or defined depth, and retrieving your large baitfish pattern. Each cast brings hope that a lively and color Peacock Bass will abruptly interrupt your retrieve. Leaders consist of a single piece of 60lbs mono or fluro tippet 3-5ft in length, super technical I know… Our fishing was very good. Overall the guides, owners and Jon, who had done the trip the same week last year, felt that the fishing was much tougher this year. Nonetheless we had a great time catching plenty of fish every day. Fish ranged in size from 1-20lbs. The river color varied from clear to brown depending upon depth and location. Most of the time your fly was visible early in the retrieve and then would disappear in depth but vicious strikes were visible despite the water not being clear. We did have some really cool sight fishing on shallow clear water beaches where we cast to sighted Peacocks. Each fishing day included a stop for lunch and ended around 6pm, sunset in this part of the world. Days are long and enjoyable. You are in the heat all day with very little shade, hydrating is critical. Coolers were loaded and then loaded again at lunch with water, Gatorade, and beers.

IMG_3455

IMG_3257

jon-covich-photos-9

jon-covich-photos28

jon-covich-photos27

jon-covich-photos18

jon-covich-photos-15

jon-covich-photos11

jon-covich-photos-5

jon-covich-photos-4

jon-covich-photos-3

The bird life in this area of Colombia is mind boggling. Each day we observed new species and when I return it will be with a bird I.D book in hand.

IMG_3273

IMG_3299

jon-covich-photos20

Caymans, iguanas, snakes, Tapir, Capybara, Jaguar, and monkeys inhabit the jungle edge of the river. We saw all but snakes and Jaguars during our stay. Most mornings the guttural calls of the Howler Monkeys were in full effect, it was awesome. There are undoubtedly more species here than I am mentioning. As with the inhabitants of the water I was amazed at how many species resided in the area. Other than Peacock Bass we caught Bicuda, Arawana, Pirana, Catfish and Plako ( last two by collecting sunken logs ).

IMG_3965

IMG_3437

jon-covich-photos17

IMG_3557

jon-covich-photos26

jon-covich-photos23

IMG_3337

jon-covich-photos-1

There are innumerable insects and some do bite, so covering yourself both from the sun and the bugs is vital. After the sun went down the bugs subsided but during the day we were covered from head to toe in lightweight angling apparel. We even wore socks while in the boat as to protect feet from bites and burns but still be able to tell whether you were stepping on the line or not.

IMG_3541

Gear:

Fast action 8 and 9wts

RIO or SA Jungle Lines, must have floating, intermediate and fast sinking versions with you.

60lbs Mono or Fluoro

Flies should be 1/0-4/0 – our best flies were Rainy’s CF Baitfish, CF Whistler and variations of “Bulkhead” ties on the new Ahrex PR378 hook. EP Jungle streamer and baitfish in 2/0 to 4/0 are also great. Key colors seemed to be white and chartreuse, white and olive, white and sand, white and chartreuse, orange and chartreuse, black was not liked by the guides at all.

Sun gloves and stripping finger protection critical.

jon-covich-photos19

Notes:

The Afloat season is short, only 12 weeks Jan-March. It’s the dry season in this region so the later in the season the lower the water. How this translated to fishing I really can’t say.

Having a couple of extra days in Medellin would be a good idea and Jon Covich can help with organized tours.

Guides spoke almost no English so having Spanish language or an app on your phone would be really helpful. Even just brushing up on “fishing Spanish” would be a good call.

Embracing the camping feel was really fun, showers were river water piped into your room, water temps are between 80-90 degrees. Evening campfires before and after dinner were great. Local musicians came and played traditional music one night.

IMG_3274

IMG_3637

Despite the heat we did have two epic night time storms and the floating cabins handed the rain and wind with ease.

We loved this trip and are planning on doing it again in 2022. If you have interest in joining us in early March of 2022 please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. caddisflyshop@gmail.com

Chris

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

NFS Pacific Northwest Hatchery Release Dashboard Tool

From Native Fish Society

Screen Shot 2021-01-30 at 7.12.12 AMLINK TO LIVE TOOL

The science is clear: the widespread use of hatcheries to replace wild fish contributes to their decline. But wrapping your head around the individual and cumulative impacts of dozens of hatchery programs across the Pacific Northwest is a daunting task. To better quantify the impacts, both ecological and fiscal, of hatchery programs, we turned to John Zemrose—a Native Fish Fellow specializing in data analysis—who created the NFS Pacific Northwest Hatchery Release Dashboard. The Dashboard is a public tool—free to use and available to anyone who would like to see the numbers on Pacific Northwest hatchery programs in their homewaters and across the region.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

The Euro Nymph, Step-by-Step Tying Instructions

Everyone knows how to tie Euro Nymphs, right?

Maybe not.

Well everyone watches YouTube when they want to learn how to tie flies, right?

Maybe not.

Each of us has our own way of learning, and our own experience level, and our own reasons for learning to tie new flies.

Some readers might like to see the step-by-step photos that depict the tying of Euro Nymphs. So I decided to take a break from a MONSTER BLOG POST I am currently working on. The big feature will be a head-to-toe, toe-to-head discussion of synthetic winging materials. From EP, Craft Fur, Ice Fur, Strung Fuzzy Fiber, and on down the list to Steve Farrar’s Flash Blend and beyond.

So I headed out to the garage, tied up a Euro Nymph with accompanying photos, came back inside, downloaded the images, cropped the images, began to write, and realized that my Euro Nymph did not look the way I wanted it to, especially not under the harsh revealing perspective of the Macro Lens.

Back at it again this week, and I’m happy with the results.

So here goes.

Here is my Gammie Jig Hook,  a size 14. This is a good size to start with, but you will be tying size 16s and 18s eventually.

Here is my Gammie Jig Hook, a size 14. This is a good size to start with, but you will be tying size 16s and 18s eventually.

Here is my Gammie Jig Hook, a size 14. This is a good size to start with, but you will be tying size 16s and 18s eventually. There is a bead on the hook too.

I have added my thread to the hook, using neat, touching wraps. The touchinbg wraps are not 100% essential, but these are a mark of crafts-personship, and I like the touch.

I have added my thread to the hook, using neat, touching wraps. The touchinbg wraps are not 100% essential, but these are a mark of crafts-personship, and I like the touch.

I have added my thread to the hook, using neat, touching wraps. The touching wraps are not 100% essential, but these are a mark of crafts-personship, and I like the touch.

This is my tail materialCoq de Leon Feathers. These are beautifully marked. I only need three fibers for the tail. This doesn't sound like much, but it is plenty.

This is my tail materialCoq de Leon Feathers. These are beautifully marked. I only need three fibers for the tail. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is plenty.

This is my tail material Coq de Leon Feathers. These are beautifully marked. I only need three fibers for the tail. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is plenty.

You see?  Not much material here, but it is plenty, trust me please.

You see? Not much material here, but it is plenty, trust me please.

I have attachted the tail fivers to the hook in this photo. I am using Damville FlyMaster 70D thread. I could be tying this fly with a Veevus  8/0 or 10/0 thread just as well.

I have attachted the tail fivers to the hook in this photo. I am using Damville FlyMaster 70D thread. I could be tying this fly with a Veevus 8/0 or 10/0 thread just as well.

I have attached the tail fivers to the hook in this photo. I am using Damville FlyMaster 70D thread. I could be tying this fly with a Veevus 8/0 or 10/0 thread just as well.

Nothing fancy here, I only continued wrapoing my thread forward on the hook, I will want to build-up the thread base to provide a taper to the body and this is a good time to start.

Nothing fancy here, I only continued wrapoing my thread forward on the hook, I will want to build-up the thread base to provide a taper to the body and this is a good time to start.

Nothing fancy here, I only continued wrapping my thread forward on the hook, I will want to build-up the thread base to provide a taper to the body and this is a good time to start.

I have added a piece of Brassie size copper wire, but this is a nice chartreuse green color wire to contrast on the body. I am showing this here because the wire is wrapped neatly on the top of the shank from just at the bead clear to the back of the body, and the wire is on top of the hook.

I have added a piece of Brassie size copper wire, but this is a nice chartreuse green color wire to contrast on the body. I am showing this here because the wire is wrapped neatly on the top of the shank from just at the bead clear to the back of the body, and the wire is on top of the hook.

I have added a piece of Brassie size copper wire, but this is a nice chartreuse green color wire to contrast on the body. I am showing this here because the wire is wrapped neatly on the top of the shank from just at the bead clear to the back of the body, and the wire is on top of the hook.

Now the story gets interesting. In this photo, I have added a piece (make it 6-inches long so you can hang on to it) of Veevus clear Pearl Tinsel. Make sure you wrap this down securely because you will put some tension on this when you begin winding it on the hook shaft.

Now the story gets interesting. In this photo, I have added a piece (make it 6-inches long so you can hang on to it) of Veevus clear Pearl Tinsel. Make sure you wrap this down securely because you will put some tension on this when you begin winding it on the hook shaft.

Now the story gets interesting. In this photo, I have added a piece (make it 6-inches long so you can hang on to it) of Veevus clear Pearl Tinsel. Make sure you wrap this down securely because you will put some tension on this when you begin winding it on the hook shaft.

Alright. I took hold of the pearl tinsel, which is really a plastic-like material, and wound it around the hook nearly to the bead. You do not need to go all the way to the bead because you will next put on a thorax and cover the area next to the bead, but get at least close, OK?

Alright. I took hold of the pearl tinsel, which is really a plastic-like material, and wound it around the hook nearly to the bead. You do not need to go all the way to the bead because you will next put on a thorax and cover the area next to the bead, but get at least close, OK?

Alright. I took hold of the pearl tinsel, which is really a plastic-like material, and wound it around the hook nearly to the bead. You do not need to go all the way to the bead because you will next put on a thorax and cover the area next to the bead, but get at least close, OK?

This photo shows that i have added the green wire rib on top of the pearl tinsel. What you can not see is the fact that I applied considerable pressure to the pearl tinsel and made it deform or should I say conform to the hook and not be loose and saggy. The wire rib is the same process, and I put as much pressure as reasonable to seat the rib into the body. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of pressure. Too much and the material will break. Too little and the material will be loose and slip on the hook.

This photo shows that i have added the green wire rib on top of the pearl tinsel. What you can not see is the fact that I applied considerable pressure to the pearl tinsel and made it deform or should I say conform to the hook and not be loose and saggy. The wire rib is the same process, and I put as much pressure as reasonable to seat the rib into the body. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of pressure. Too much and the material will break. Too little and the material will be loose and slip on the hook.

This photo shows that I have added the green wire rib on top of the pearl tinsel. What you can not see is the fact that I applied considerable pressure to the pearl tinsel and made it deform or should I say conform to the hook and not be loose and saggy. The wire rib is the same process, and I put as much pressure as reasonable to seat the rib into the body. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of pressure. Too much and the material will break. Too little and the material will be loose and slip on the hook.

This photo shows how little dubbing i will use for the thorax on this nymph. This is peacock ice dub. Ok, it isn't really, but I forgot what it is and  I know that you can use almost any dubbing and the fly will fish so there is no real harm done by saying it is peacock ice dub. the most important matter is that it only takes a very small amount of material to tie the thorax, and I will rub it between my wax-moistened fingers to get it on my thread.

This photo shows how little dubbing I will use for the thorax on this nymph. This is peacock ice dub. Ok, it isn’t really, but I forgot what it is and I know that you can use almost any dubbing and the fly will fish so there is no real harm done by saying it is peacock ice dub. the most important matter is that it only takes a very small amount of material to tie the thorax, and I will rub it between my wax-moistened fingers to get it on my thread.

This photo shows how little dubbing I will use for the thorax on this nymph. This is peacock ice dub. Ok, it isn’t really, but I forgot what it is and I know that you can use almost any dubbing and the fly will fish so there is no real harm done by saying it is peacock ice dub. The most important matter is that it only takes a very small amount of material to tie the thorax, and I will rub it between my wax-moistened fingers to get it on my thread.

Here it is. That miniscule pinch of dubbing is on my thread and ready to wind around my hook.

Here it is. That miniscule pinch of dubbing is on my thread and ready to wind around my hook.

Here it is. That minuscule pinch of dubbing is on my thread and ready to wind around my hook.

Here is my first thorax. This is not as full as I want it, so I will add a little.

Here is my first thorax. This is not as full as I want it, so I will add a little.

Here is my first thorax. This is not as full as I want it, so I will add a little.

Here is my thorax with the PERFECT bulk. Next, I want to add a color-spot made of my tying thread.

Here is my thorax with the PERFECT bulk. Next, I want to add a color-spot made of my tying thread.

Here is my thorax with the PERFECT bulk. Next, I want to add a color-spot made of my tying thread.

I counted - it took me 30 turnjs of thread around the hook and behind the bead to build my color spot. I will now add a dot of cement, SG, or depleted uranium to secure the thread at this point.

I counted – it took me 30 turnjs of thread around the hook and behind the bead to build my color spot. I will now add a dot of cement, SG, or depleted uranium to secure the thread at this point.

I counted – it took me 30 turns of thread around the hook and behind the bead to build my color spot. I will now add a dot of cement, SG, or depleted uranium to secure the thread at this point.

Done. Ready to catch big trout> PINCH THE BARB PLEASE. IT IS EASY WITH THESE GAMMIE MICRO BARBS. THANK YOU. GAMMIE MAKES A BARBLESS HOOK EXACTLY LIKE THIS TOO.

Done. Ready to catch big trout> PINCH THE BARB PLEASE. IT IS EASY WITH THESE GAMMIE MICRO BARBS. THANK YOU. GAMMIE MAKES A BARBLESS HOOK EXACTLY LIKE THIS TOO.

Done. Ready to catch big trout> PINCH THE BARB PLEASE. IT IS EASY WITH THESE GAMMIE MICRO BARBS. THANK YOU. GAMMIE MAKES A BARBLESS HOOK EXACTLY LIKE THIS TOO.

Perfection held in the palm of my hand.

Perfection held in the palm of my hand.

Perfection held in the palm of my hand.

I hope this helps ….

May each of you find and share some measure of kindness this day.

Jay Nicholas, February 2021

 

 

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