President Obama protects Bristol Bay

President Obama took action to protect one of Alaska’s most powerful economic engines and one of America’s greatest national treasures: Bristol Bay.

He signed a Presidential Memorandum that withdraws these beautiful and pristine waters from all future oil and gas drilling. “These waters are too special and too valuable to auction off to the highest bidder,” the President said.

Great post here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Caddis Fly Christmas Party December 18th 2014 4-8pm

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new zealand fly fishing

Patsy, Cash, Shauna and Chris wish everyone a very merry holiday season.

Please join us for our annual Christmas party at the shop on December 18th from 4-830ish. A discount of 10% will be extended to all in stock purchases during party hours.

Food, beverage, cheer and last minute gift specials will be served up at the shop. Please stop by and let us say thanks to you for your patronage over the years.

Posted in Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Harrop’s CDC Bubble Back Variant

This wonderful Caddis imitation is from the desk of famed fly fisherman and tier, Rene Harrop. His creations have been fooling fish for years, and this pattern is no exception. I discovered this fly online while researching Eastern Oregon streams I haven’t fished yet. “Harrop’s Bubbleback Caddis” kept popping up as a primary pattern, and for good reason. This fly has become my go to pattern for big selective trout during the emergence of caddis flies. This caddis emerger is simple to fish, just dead drift like a dry, or as a dropper behind a visible dry. A delicate emerging caddis pattern, but will get those “big slurpers” to eat when all else fails.

T. Torrence

November 2014

Harrop’s CDC Bubble Back Variant

Hook: TMC 206BL 14-20
Thread: Veevus 12/0
Tail: Lemon Wood Duck Fiber, Tan STS Trilobal Dub
Front hackle: Partridge I a ½ collar on bottom
Thorax: Senyo’s Lazer Dub, Dark Tan

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

Parasol Zebra Midge Fly Tying Video

A funny little pattern I discoverer on the web while researching Midge patterns. While at first appearance it seems to be a lot of work to tie, and prone to fouling, nothing could be farther from the truth. Whip out the parasols at one time, and then sit down at the bench to tie. It is important to note that no matter what material you use for the parasol, it must have a floatant applied if you are not using a material like Hareline’s Parapost. Para post has Hareline’s Water shed Treatment.

T. Torrence
November 2014

Parasol Zebra Midge

Thread: Black Veevus 12/0
Hook: TMC 2487, 18-26
Parasol: 3x Fluorocarbon to white, black grey or fl. Orange Parapost wing
Rib: Small Veevus Pearl Mylar
Body: Black Veevus Thread
Head: Black Hareline Micro Fine Dry Fly Dub
Body Coating: Clear Cure Goo Hydro

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

Reminder, December 12 & 13 – Rob Russell and Jay Tying Flies at Shop

Reminder: December 19 & 20, Jay’s at Shop – with Rob Russell on the 20th.

Rob Russell will be at the fly bench on Saturday too, and it will be fun to re-connect and pry some great new fly patterns out of this guy.  He will also be able to talk about a book he and I are working on – “Modern Steelhead Flies”, scheduled for release by Stackpole in 2015.

 

I’ll be tying flies and displaying published copies of 5 new books and any books ordered will be delivered to the shop the following weekend with personalized signatures.

Fly Fishing Book of Revelation: The Ultimate Irreverent Illustrated Fishing Glossary.

Super Flies:  The 52 Best for Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and Cutthroat Flies Since 1962.

Super Flies ~ Color:  For Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and Cutthroat.

Sea Flies: For Salmon, Sea Bass, Lingcod, and Albacore.

Sketch: Flies, Fish, Fly Fishig

December 12 – Tying winter steelhead tube flies (Friday 10 – 4)

 

I’ll demonstrate use of the HMH Tube Fly Adaptor, ProSportfisher, and NOR Vise Tube fly tying tools to compose several basic tube flies that would be appropriate to fish this winter for steelhead.

December 13 – Rob Russell will tie anything you request, from Intruders to salmon flies.

Jay – Tying flies featured in Super Flies book (Saturday 10 – 4)


 

These will include flies for trout, steelhead, salmon, and sea-run cutthroat and I will be happy to take requests from folks who have interest in particular flies.

While this is the plan – I’ll have a full range of my fly tying materials at the shop and be prepared to shift gears if there are special requests for different fly styles or patterns

From coastal lake trout to albacore and salmon in between, let’s have fun tying flies and sharing our experiences and discoveries.

Hope to see you there.

Jay Nicholas

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Glossary | 2 Comments

Calapooia Watershed Video

Check out this great video on the Calapooia Watershed Council by Freshwaters Illustrated.

Calapooia Watershed Portrait: Finding Natives from Freshwaters Illustrated on Vimeo.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Holiday Gifts for the Fly Fisher 2014

The holiday shopping season is in high gear. The Caddis Fly has ramped up it’s inventory with all the best fly fishing gifts around.

I prepped a video with some highlights but our bandwidth is just not enough for YouTube uploads from Cedar Lodge.

Here are a few gift suggestions for the fly fisher in your life this Christmas season. There is still time to come down to the shop or have any of the items listed below shipped.

Reminder: Our Christmas Party will take place on the evening of Dec 18th 4-8pm. Please come by and enjoy food, beverage and great deals on everything in the shop.

“Stocking Stuffers”

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Hatch Fish Tail Bottle Opener is a must for any boat, tackle bag, kitchen drawer, vest, key chain… you get the point. The Fish Tail Bottle Opener is as solid as Hatch Reels.

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The Tacky Fly Box employs a heat resistant silicon pressure fit for your flies. Magnetic closures are easy to open and shut tightly. The slim design fits in most any vest, pack or sling pocket.

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The Fishpond Headgate Tippet Holder/Dispenser keeps your tippet handy, visible and organized. It’s a super cool innovation from our friends at Fishpond.

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Air Lock indicators allow for easy depth adjustment when you are nymphing, if you are planning on grabbing a few flies for a stocking stuffer add some Air Lock indicators to prep for winter and spring nymphing.

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Hatch Professional Series Tippet is high quality fluorocarbon perfect for any saltwater trip. If your gift recipient has a saltwater trip on the horizon Hatch Tippet is a great addition for the stocking.

These won’t fit in the stocking but are fantastic gifts for the angler.

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Keep reels safe and organized with the Fishpond’s newest reel and gear case. The Fishpond Sweetwater Fly Reel Case XXL is padded and divided to keep your gear visible and protected.

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The Portable LED Fly Tying Light doesn’t require a cord. It’s compact and runs on batteries. It attaches to most any vise and allows you to direct ample light to your work.

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Sage’s newest fly rod offering is the ACCEL Rod Series. It’s butter smooth action is moderately fast and a pleasure to fish with. Of course the ACCEL looks great and comes with Sage’s Lifetime Warranty.

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The Simms Coldweather Shirt is a fall/winter classic. A technical flannel you can wear on the stream or around town.

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The newest in Fishpond’s very successful line of Nomad nets. The Fishpond Native Net is perfect for the wading angler and is very manageable lashed to a vest or pack.

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The Lamson Waterworks Remix Reel has a machined frame and cast spool to go along with a proven drag system. It’s an excellent value in the very competitive reel market. You can add additional “color sleeves” to the Remix to spice up your reel.

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The Sage Salt fly rod is constructed with the Sage’s “Konnetic Technology” and performs best when conditions are against you. Wind and heavy flies turn over at distance when it counts. For the Saltwater angler the Salt is as good as it gets.

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For the angler with one of everything we present the Winston’s new Micro Spey Rods. Elegant lightweight swinging tools that are perfect for trout and small water “steelheading”. These are an absolute joy to cast and land fish with. Constructed beautifully by the skilled crafts people in Twin Bridges Montana.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips, Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

December Events with Jay Nicholas at the Caddis Fly Shop

December Events with Jay Nicholas at the Caddis Fly Shop

Let’s have some fun and visit and tell some fishing stories.  I’ll plan on doing some fly tying demos and answering questions about everything from dory fishing, tackle for salmon, steelhead, trout and saltwater, and books.  I’ve been fishing a lot this year and not in the Shop much so this will be nice to visit with people and share stories about the seasons past and future.

I’ll be at the Shop on December 12, 13, 19 & 20 tying flies and showing off some new books I have in the works. The first 4 books scheduled to come out are:

Fly Fishing Book of Revelation: The Ultimate Irreverent Illustrated Fishing Glossary.

Super Flies:  The 52 Best for Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and Cutthroat Flies Since 1962.

Super Flies ~ Color:  For Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and Cutthroat.

Sea Flies: For Salmon, Sea Bass, Lingcod, and Albacore.

I’ll have proof copies of all 4 books at the shop – and I’m still figuring out how to make signed copies available for purchase.  All in good time. This is new territory for me and since I’m self-publishing there is a lot to learn

December 12 – Tying winter steelhead tube flies (Friday 10 – 4)

I’ll demonstrate use of the HMH Tube Fly Adaptor, ProSportfisher, and NOR Vise Tube fly tying tools to compose several basic tube flies that would be appropriate to fish this winter for steelhead.

December 13 – Tying flies featured in Super Flies book

These will include flies for trout, steelhead, salmon, and sea-run cutthroat and I will be happy to take requests from folks who have interest in particular flies.

December 19– Tying intruder style winter steelhead flies

I’ll demonstrate use of OPST Intruder Shanks and Senyo’s Intruder Shanks, tying several basic magnum size flies with the key ingredients to bring the grab from winter steelhead.

December 20 – Tying Saltwater flies featured in Sea Flies book

These include flies for Pacific black rockfish, salmon, lingcod, and albacore.

My fly tying skills are rusty at the moment.  All of the videos featuring the saltwater flies that have been posted this year were shot in 2012.  Since then I have been tying a little of this and a little of that and consequently, my hand-brain connections are very jumbled up because I don’t know if I’ll be tying a size 12 chironomid or a size 4/0 Albacore cast fly. So these demonstration sessions should give added confidence to tyers of all skill levels by seeing me fumble around and do my best as I shift from one pattern to another.  We are all learners on the path and we all have moments when we shine and when we struggle with the fly in our vise.

Drop by the Shop and visit, there is  much to talk about and ideas to share too.

Jay Nicholas December 2, 2014.

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Glossary | 4 Comments

Silvey’s Primetime Caddis Fly Tying Video

Tony Torrence demonstrates how to tie Silvey’s Primetime Caddis. If you are trying to imitate an emerging Caddis, look no further. Fished on the swing or dead drifted as a dropper, this fly is the ticket. Brian Silvey spends his life trying to imitate these flies for his clients…enough said!

Silvey’s Primetime Caddis, Tan

Thread: Veevus 12/0
Hook: TMC 206BL 14-18
Body: Veevus Pearl Mylar; Antron envelopes mylar
Wing: Starling
Thorax: Hareline Tan Grizzly Marabou
Antennae: Wood Duck Flank
Head: Rust Hareline Micro Fine Dry Fly Dubbing

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

Caddis Crawler Fly Tying Video

I found this pattern about 8 years ago in an eastern Oregon fly shop. I’m not really sure of the name, but I know that it catches fish! When fishing this fly, I usually use it as a dropper off a big stone or other large nymph. It seems to fish best when there are large populations of small caddis in the river. That being said, I’ve fished this fly in desperation when nothing seemed to work, and had this fly save the day.

T. Torrence
November 2014

caddis crawler

Caddis Crawler

Thread: Black Veevus 12/0
Hook: TMC 3761 12-18
Rib: Small Copper Wire
Body: Bronze Quick Decent Dubbing
Thorax: Insect Green Hareline Dubbin
Legs: Black Krystal Flash
Head: Black Haretron Dubbing

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

RS2 Emerger Variant Fly Tying Video

So simple this pattern makes you mutter, why didn’t I think of that! Don’t let the simplicity of this pattern turn you away. This is an absolute fish catcher!!!! You can fish this fly with a light dressing of floatant in the surface film, as a dropper off your dry fly, or as a dropper behind a small flashy nymph. Choose your mayfly, match color and size, and then give them a try. You may be surprised!

T. Torrence
November 2014

RS2 Emerger Variant

Thread: 12/0 to 16/0 Veevus to match dubbing
Hook: TMC 3761 16-24
Tail: Two Light Dun or White Antron Fibers Split
Abdomen: Hareline Micro Fine Dry Fly Dubbing
Comment May be tied in an array of colors to match your hatch.

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 2 Comments

Fly Tying: Pacific Krill fly pattern from Puget Sound

This fly is one I developed after reading about euphausiid pattern that a fellow tyer angler tied and fished successfully for Coho Salmon in Puget Sound. This fly is a little different but substantially the same effect as his – and this fly has earned its keep here offshore Oregon of late.

Like any non-batfish fly, this is an offshore fly to consider when Rockfish and salmon seem un-receptive to their usual and typical prey types. Shrimp, Krill, Crab Spawn and all the terms anglers use referring to such foods can be a selective target to ocean predators, and when they want the little stuff, you’d better be offering it up on your tippets, cuz the best Clousers and Deceivers will often be ignored over a fly of this style.

Sometimes I will tie this fly with bead Chain (black of course) or Black Pseudo Eyes, but when fishing in the top few feet of the ocean or estuary, the EP eyes will give me a fly that will stay in the proper depth zone longer than a fly with heavier eyes.

The EP shrimp dub brushes are a marvelous discovery to me, and I’ll be surprised if you don’t find a lot of uses for them in your tying as well.

Jay Nicholas

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Thread: Fine Mono
Hook: #6 Daiichi X-Point
Eyes: EP Mono Crab & Shrimp Eyes
Body: Chartreuse Ice Dub
Gills: EP Shrimp Dub Brush
Cure Goo: Hydro

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

Bringing Innovation to Tradition

Tony Overstake is introducing new technologies to a traditional sport one customized rod at a time.

Fly rod builders are often thought to be grizzled wise men who harbor the ancient secrets of fly-fishing. They’ve lived a thousand years and the river flows through them like the force through a Jedi. They refine their style and art over decades of fine-tuning, and stick to methods of creating traditional products that don’t break with convention.

Not Tony Overstake.

At 33 years old, Tony has a thick mat of curled black hair and a square face devoid of wrinkles, save for a few laugh lines around the eyes. His athletic build is a byproduct of his days wrestling for the University of Oregon, and his short clipped sentences indicate a man who’s pressed for time and on the verge of a breakthrough. He may be the baby of fly rod building, but he’s got plans to turn the industry on its head.

As the owner and sole builder for True West Rods in Eugene, Ore., Tony has been building custom rods for four years. His choice of new and different materials sets him apart from the competition, and his futuristic view of fly-fishing has prompted him to start experimenting with new styles of rods.

Tony standing in front of his work station at his home in Cottage Grove, Ore.

“Fly fishing has this real ‘this is the way it should be done’ mentality,” he said. “There’s an older generation that has a vein of ‘you don’t change it.’ But there’s all these great components and new technology out there.”

Tony starts with a blank, or the stock rod without guides, of the customer’s choice. From there he attaches the most state-of-the-art guides using an assortment of threads or silk, which he then lacquers. Next he uses the highest quality cork to fashion a handle to the end of the rod and finishes by creating a rod seat of wood or antler.

Tony wrapping guides for a custom rod he's building for a customer.

This is the general process, which takes on average a month, but where the beauty and art comes in is the customization he adds to personalize each rod to its owner. For example, last year he built a rod for University of Oregon lineman Ryan Clanton. The color scheme is green and gold and has Clanton’s jersey number 60 next to the handle.

Personalization is one of many perks of a custom rod, but what sets TWR apart from the competition is their mentality of innovation. Nathan Woods, Tony’s business partner, joined TWR after graduating from the UO excited to be part of something so innovative and new. He now handles the business and marketing end of TWR and is quick to highlight what makes them different.

“We are part of this new generation of fly fishermen,” he said. “No longer is it a sport for a past generation. We love the rebellious nature of the sport, which is why we are changing the way we see and use the fly rod.”

As a result, Tony and Nathan plan on introducing a new style of rod never before seen on the U.S. market. The switchbutt is a conventional one-handed rod that has an extendable end piece to give it Spey casting capabilities, perfect for the brushy bank sides of Pacific Northwest rivers. Tony says it will greatly increase the rod’s versatility while adding almost zero weight.

A few completed rod seats and grips.

“All I can say is that this is revolutionary,” Nathan said. “We never want to lose site of why TWR was started, but the switchbutt can be much bigger than a custom add-on to a fly rod. It could become a mainstream fly rod.”

Another way TWR is moving forward is by looking backward. Their new lineup of fiberglass rods has people reevaluating the “old school” material. Before graphite came onto the scene fiberglass was the go-to material for rod blanks. However, when graphite was introduced it was stronger, stiffer, and seen as a superior material to make rods from.

Tony and rod blank builder Swift Fly Fishing are staging a comeback for fiberglass rods. These Elite Fastglass rods are defined as “light and crisp,” and “not grandpa’s sloppy glass.” Tony says he’s indicator fished for trout, and even swung flies for steelhead. It is also possible to add on the switchbutt extension to give them two handed switch rod feel and casting capabilities

“Fishing Epic blanks gives you the best of both glass and graphite,” Tony said. “Like the modern graphite you get a fairly fast, tip-flex loading rod when casting these blanks (especially the 580) that can handle heavier flies and longer casts. Then at the same time get to enjoy the feel of glass when fighting a fish, as they will bend down into the butt section.”

Who knows what the fly rod will look like when Tony is an old wise sage himself? New technology is always being created, tested, adopted and disposed of. With his rebellious nature and knack for innovation, Tony takes advantage of these new opportunities.

“I’m willing to do anything on a fly rod and I’m not worried about what the rest of the industry says about it,” he said. “I step outside the box, use different materials and challenge the status quo.”

Want to know more? Check out truewestrods.com for more information and ways to contact Tony with questions about products. Also check out a selection of Tony’s custom Epic Fastglass rods at the Caddis Fly Shop and online! Hurry because only a limited supply is available.

By Bryan T. Robinson

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

O&C and Klamath Bills Pass Out of Committee

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This past Thursday, November 13th, Senator Ron Wyden passed two key pieces of legislation through the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee that will have major impacts for the management of natural resources in Oregon.

The Klamath Basin Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act passed out of committee and “will implement key elements of three landmark agreements between tribes, farmers and ranchers, fisheries advocates, federal and state resource agencies, and the utility company PacifiCorp that resolve water sharing and management issues in the Klamath River basin,” according to a Trout Unlimited press release on the bill.

Also passed out of committee on Thursday was Wyden’s O&C Lands Act amendment, which sets the direction for logging on publicly owned BLM lands. The bill contains protections for many of Oregon’s iconic fisheries through “Conservation Emphasis Areas”, while allowing for increased harvest of timber and revenue for rural Oregon counties through “Forestry Emphasis Areas.” Maps of the proposed designations are available on the Senator’s website here.

If passed, Wyden’s bill will roughly double the amount of timber harvested from BLM-owned O&C lands, while placing old-growth forests off-limits to logging and protecting rivers by requiring the same riparian buffers used in the Northwest Forest Plan. The bill would also designate 87,000 acres of public lands as wilderness and add 252 miles of rivers to the Wild and Scenic Rivers system.

The O&C debate has received much attention in local and statewide media over the past week. North Umpqua legend, Frank Moore, weighed in on the O&C debate with an op-ed in Friday’s Oregonian. The Register Guard also offered up some perspective in an editorial in Saturday’s paper, and the Statesman Journal weighed in with an editorial yesterday.

With both bills approved by the Senate ENR committee, they are now eligible for action on the Senate floor, but would also need to be approved by the House before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

We at OregonFlyFishingBlog.com strongly support both of Wyden’s legislative acts. Protecting and managing our O&C Lands is vital to maintaining clean water, fish habitat, recreational opportunity and economic viability to numerous communities around the state.

Wyden’s O&C Lands Act amendment supports logging interests as well and recreational interests. It lays out a plan that will increase riparian zone buffers that are so critical in maintaining quality fish habitat and it doubles timber harvest on BLM owned O&C lands, this is a win, win for Oregon.

I urge you to comment in support of Wyden’s O&C Lands Act.

To comment on natural resources legislation in Congress, contact Oregon’s congressional delegation:

Sen. Ron Wyden: 221 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, (202) 224-5244, fax, (202) 228-2717; 911 NE 11th Ave., Suite 630, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 326-7525, fax, (503) 326-7528; 707 13th St. SE, Suite 285, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 589-4555, fax, (503) 589-4749; wyden.senate.gov

Sen. Jeff Merkley: 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, (202) 224-3753, fax, (202) 228-3997; 121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1400, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 326-3386, fax, (503) 326-2900; 495 State St., Suite 330, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 362-8102; merkley.senate.gov

Rep. Kurt Schrader: 108 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-5711, fax, (202) 225-5699; 544 Ferry St. SE Ste. 2, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 588-9100, fax, (503) 588-5517; schrader.house.gov

Rep. Earl Blumenauer: 1111 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-4811, fax, (202) 225-8941; 729 NE Oregon St., Suite 115, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 231-2300, fax, (503) 230-5413; blumenauer.house.gov

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: 439 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-0855, fax, (202) 225-9497; 12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton, OR 97005, (503) 469-6010, fax, (503) 469-6018; bonamici.house.gov

Rep. Peter DeFazio: 2134 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-6416, fax, (202) 226-3493; 405 East 8th Ave., Suite 2030, Eugene, OR 97401, (541) 465-6732, fax, (541) 465-6458; house.gov/defazio

Rep. Greg Walden: 2182 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-6730, fax, (202) 225-5774; 14 N. Central Ave., Suite 112, Medford, OR 97501, (541) 776-4646, fax, (541) 779-0204; house.gov/walden

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

My Best Boat Bag Ever – Simms Dry Creek

Two guy’s daily gear in boat bags, with rods and reels handy

I’ve reached a place in life where I fish from boats far more often then I wade fish.  Whether I fish out of my own boats or as a guest in a friends boat, having access to the right fishing gear each day is a crucial aspect of being prepared for the conditions I may face.

For decades, the vest was my best friend, and then I found sling packs, and managed to carry what I needed, although at times I may have looked silly with vests and pack stuffed with more than I really needed, but I was happy and prepared.

Lately, however, my days wade-fishing days have diminished rapidly, and I’ve devoted considerable time to researching and testing so-called “Boat Bags” over this period. I have used boat bags by FishPond, Sage, Umpqua, Simms, and Patagonia too.  Every one of these had features I appreciated.  Waterproof bags are “generally” waterproof, and all had nice interior and exterior features to accommodate our tendencies to fiddle with gear organization.

I have also at times used aluminum gear boxes and Yeti Coolers in my boat to provide absolute waterproofing and quick access.

My greatest irritation with waterproof gear bags was their zippers.  The zipper was never easy to use, but failure to do so left all of the boat bags I used vulnerable to periodic downpours.  My white water boating days are behind me, but I routinely fish in high winds and driving wind and hail storms, and more evenings than I would like to admit find me in our cabin removing all my gear to sop up water inside my boat bag, opening fly boxes, and wiping off every piece of my gear.  This was all my fault, because I figured that it would be OK to just snug the lid over the bag, instead of taking the time to wrestle with the zipper.  If I did the full-zip, my gear was sure to be dry, if not, all bets were off.

My eyes popped when I saw a picture of the new SIMMS Dry Creek Boat Bag a few months ago.  I knew, IMMEDIATELY, that this was the bag of my fishing dreams.  I ordered one, put it to use and have retired my former favorite gear bags to store tackle in the shed.  This new boat bag is everything I had hoped for, and here are a few reasons why.

The lid of the bag overlaps and acts like a neat roof, so no matter how hard it rains, the interior stays dry, without requiring me to zip the zipper to seal out the water.

When I do want to zip the bag, when carrying it into and out of the boat, the zippers are simple to use.  Grasp the zipper loops on both sides, pull ‘em forward, and the zippers follow my wishes obediently, with no struggling at all.

I can carry this bag with a handle or use the shoulder strap. these are not features unique to SIMMS, but both are well designed and right-sized.

Now here is another neat feature when I want to move the bag around in the boat: there is a strap on front of the bag with a magnet, and this snaps into a socket to hold the lid on the bag if I grab the handle to lift it, moving the bag around the boat – without needing to zip the bag or carry it in both hands as is required by many boat bags.

SIMMS calls this feature a magnetized catch and release buckle.  I call it simple genius.

The lid functions to keep rain out of the bag, and it has a small fly patch and a small depressed (recessed) area that will generally keep little items from rolling off the lid.

Two vertical  interior dividers are movable and allow me to decide how wide I want the compartments, but I’ve found no reason to change it from the symmetrical shape it was in when I bought the bag.  One large zippered pouch in the lid and a slim elastic  pouch on the side of each interior divider let me slide in – hummmmm – “slim” items.

All this passionate droning-on about a boat bag may seem silly but  for serious anglers who head out in the worst of weather, it is not trivial.  This is the onlybag that measures up to my aluminum boat box and Yeti Cooler in terms of being both waterproof and providing quick access without having to wrestle with a zipper.

My new SIMMS DRY CREEK Boat Bag is lighter, easier to transport, and still keeps my gear close at hand and dry. I carry to Cliffs Bugger Beast Junior fly boxes, two RIO shooting head wallets, three spare fly reels, a fillet knife, plastic bags, three jars of cured eggs, two cartons of sand shrimp, and five vacuum sealed bags of tuna bellies, plus seven Kwikfish and fifteen spare bobbers.

Rain? Bring it on, I’ll be ready and my gear will be dry.  Thank you SIMMS, but what took you so darn long anyway?

JN, November 2014

JN

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment