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

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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

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2014 Fall Fishing Report

Its officially fall 2014 and with Thanksgiving on the horizon plus some recent rains to increase and drop river levels in both the valley and the coast….its time for a report.

Mckenzie River
Fishing has been fair to good from Hendricks to Hayden. Hatches are between slim and none depending on air temp. Currently, the air temp is enough to question your sanity about going outside, but hey, we fly anglers are a crazy bunch!

Nymphs have been the best producers with the usual suspects: mega prince and the infamous posse bugger. Anglers need to be aware of Mohawk River flows below Hayden adding muddy water. Recent rains have increased the flow of the Mckenzie. In a few days with water levels dropping (hopefully) the Mckenzie should offer some fair fishing. It is the Fall and expectations should adjust accordingly for this time of year.

North Fork Willamette

Not much to report here other than keep a keen eye on the levels and watch for the drop. Nymphing prior to the cold weather, with mega prince and posse bugger were producing. The North Fork of the Willamette is open all year round for fly fishing only. Check the regulations for details.

The Coast

Recent rains have pushed Coho’s and Chinooks from the tidal areas into the lower sections of the Siuslaw, Yachats, Alsea and Siletz. Anglers are should be checking out Jay’s fly tying videos on which patterns are working well. Anglers should also be very aware of the regulations regarding harvesting of fish for all coastal streams.

If you bring your own space or wish to wait in line to cast, the Sixes and Elk have had mixed reports. Anglers are using the Rio Outbound Short Intermediate to make some decent catches. Clousers and Comets are the flies of choice.

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Another fishery little spoken, but widely know is Siltcoos Lake. The lake is a remnant of the Siltcoos River delta that existed before the most recent ice age. The lake was formed after melting glaciers caused a rise in sea level that created most of Oregon’s coastal rivers. The lake has tributaries and an exit to the ocean. Hence, a nice Coho run exits within the lake and near its tributaries. Both hardware and fly anglers are reporting decent catches of Coho. In addition to Coho’s, the lake is home to a good bass fishery and trout. Not a bad place to hang out while the coast rivers might be blown out.

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LV

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | Leave a comment

Stars, Moon, Fish Allign in the Bahamas

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Our kids are growing up and their interest level in fishing has been developing. For 10 year old Patsy it’s a challenge she takes seriously. Casting has been our focus but fishing in the drift boat on the McKenzie or Willamette does not require long casts most of the time. At Cedar Lodge we practice on the lawn and her skills have improved greatly. For 7 year old Cash fishing is more about discovering new things including fish, rocks, plants, bugs you name it, it’s about being outside for him. Our last trip down to the Bahamas I brought a couple of small spinning rods. We found a dead squid on the beach and caught bonefish, snapper and jacks right off the beach at Casuarina Point. Patsy cast and caught snapper from the boat with a fly rod last year and was ready to catch a bonefish this year.

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We asked our friend and local guide JR Albury to take the family our for a day in the Marls. After stocking up on chips, mini snickers bars, Gatorade, and even a sandwich to accompany all the items you never get unless you are with mom and dad in a boat all day, we were ready to go. It was mid day and Patsy was up, JR poled here into a school of bones, she cast our old favorite 9ft 8wt B2X far enough to coax a small bonefish to a crazy charlie like imitation her and her brother had been tying the day before, and it was off to the races! She landed the bonefish without bloodying her knuckles and everyone in the boat was thrilled with her success! Proud parents then attempted to explain to her what she had just done!

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Back up to the beginning of the day. We motored to an outer island looking for the tide to start to move lower and bring a few fish out of the mangroves. Shauna was up and right away we spot a small Permit. One cast near it and it spooked out of the area, nothing new here that’s what Permit do right? Next fish we see is a bonefish, she casts and hooks the fish who quickly runs into the mangroves and breaks off the already 4 day old leader that was a bit questionable to start. I hand Shauna the SAGE SALT 8wt and begin to re-work the leader on the 8wt Winston. New Rio leader and Hatch 12lbs tippet tied on we pole around the corner looking for bones. It’s beautifully calm and in the distance JR sees what he immediately identifies at a large ray with at least one Permit on it. Now we are about 150 meters away from the ray, plenty of time of change flies. I tie on an Avalon Permit fly and step onto the bow and have a look. JR poles us to with 60 feet or so, I make one cast that JR and I both think is to long, fortunately my leader is about 15 feet so the line doesn’t splash over the top of the fish. In retrospect I am not sure it would have made any difference. By now we have figured out there are about 7 permit feeding like reckless Jacks around this ray that is kicking up enough sand, crabs and shrimp to keep there attention focused on the meal not the approaching 18ft skiff. I make a long quick strip to get my line a bit shorter and mid-way through the strip the fish explodes on the fly that is ripping across the surface at mach 10. JR and Shauna are freaking out that the Permit has smashed the fly. I am in total dis-belief and contend that it’s not a Permit but rather a Jack. Permit don’t act like that right? Wrong! Thirty minutes later the fish to hand.

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The rest of the day was filled with bonefish a few snapper and a double of small Barracuda’s for the kids. The day was spectacular and will certainly be one of the most memorable fishing experiences of my life.

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CD

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 3 Comments

Post Cards From the Oregon Coast – November 2014

Managed to tear a tendon in my left foot.  Sounded like a twig snapping and hurt a lot.  Jack and Mary Harrell kindly came and loaded my boat, brought me a cane, and got me back to my cabin after I fished out the afternoon.  The foot hurt a lot, but I thought I might catch a salmon, so I fished on, but failed to get even a tug that day.

Since then, I tape trash bags on the walking cast and hobble down to the boat each day.  Awkward but it works.

There have been many days when salmon fishing has either been out of the question, or limited to fishing upriver, and I pretty much stay in tidewater these days, so I have been fishing for trout in nearby coastal lakes.

Working on a soon-to be self published book, Super Flies, I acquired some vintage tackle and re-lived my trouting days in the 1960s.  This is a vintage Shakespeare wonder rod, a Perrine No. 80 Automatic fly reel, lined with an AIRFLO Elite DT6F and tipped with a RIO 5X Tapered leader.  There is a nice big hatchery rainbow on the end of the line too.

The Oregon coast is a wonderful place to fish.  I have had smiles, sun, rain, trout, and an occasional salmon to keep me busy with my foot in a bag each day. Some salmon are bright, some not, but every one pulls hard and is a treat to encounter.

I’ll have news about some books I’m working on shortly, including Super Flies, Super Flies ~ Color, and the Fly Fishing Book of Revelation, formerly introduced over the years dating back to 2009 as the Fly Fishing Glossary.

Stay tuned, there is much of fun follow.

Jay Nicholas – November 2014

Posted in Fishing Reports | 4 Comments

A New Season at Cedar Lodge Underway

Our second season at Cedar Lodge is just underway. In preparation we’ve been painting, planting, mowing, fencing, burning and getting a bit of fishing in. There has been a mixed bag of spring weather with everything from warm howling “norwesters” to spitting snow and early morning frost.

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A couple of early season gear notes…..

Trouthunter tippet has been awesome, 4.5x is perfect for most of our dry fly and dry dropper rigs. Knots are clean and strong and it comes of the spool very straight.

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I have had a chance to fish the new Winston Nexus rod and the 9ft 6wt has a sweet moderate action. The 9ft 6wt is not as fast as most of it’s counterparts. Not only is the casting a bit more relaxed but the fish fighting with a 6wt is still very enjoyable.

BTW: If you haven’t had a chance to follow Cedar Lodge on Facebook, I’d encourage you to connect here. We’re posting photos and links regularly.

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Rainbow Warrior Nymph Fly Tying Video

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Rainbow Warrior

Hook: TMC 2457 16-18
Thread: Veevus 12/0 Red
Tail: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Body: Veevus Small Pearl Mylar Tinsel or Pearl Flashabou
Wingcase: Veevus Medium or large pearl mylar tinsel
Thorax: Hareline Rainbow Scud Dub

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

Trout Unlimited Wild Steelhead Initiative

From Trout Unlimited: On Nov. 20, Trout Unlimited will launch the Wild Steelhead Initiative, a project to protect and restore the wild steelhead and the fishing opportunities they provide throughout their native range in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Winter Steelhead Trip

At the heart of the initiative is Wild Steelheaders United, a home to anyone who believes in the common quest to protect these fish and the incredible fishing opportunities they provide.

The Initiative will focus on river systems that could support robust, fishable wild steelhead populations, while accepting that properly managed steelhead hatcheries may be appropriate for fishing and harvest opportunity in rivers that can no longer support wild steelhead.

The Initiative will address both habitat protection/restoration and steelhead policy and management to align all of the “H’s” (habitat (including hydro), hatcheries, and harvest) so that wild steelhead can thrive.

Please join us to kick-off this initiative at simultaneous events in five “steelhead states”. The events are free and open to the public.

Portland
Lucky Lab Taphouse — 6:30p.m.
1700 North Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR 97217
PHONE: (503) 505-9511

Seattle
Earl Harper Studio — 6:30p.m.
5531 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
PHONE: (206) 763-9101

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

The Redsides Annual Membership Meeting

McKenzie River Fly Fishing

Monday, November 10th, Rogue Ales Public House (lower level), 844 Olive St, Eugene

It’s election day, and it’s election time for The Redsides as well. This month is our annual membership meeting where you will have an opportunity to nominate and vote for those who will lead the chapter for the near future.

Following the election process there will be a presentation by The Suislaw Watershed Council.
Present slate of nominees:

President – Lou Wentz 2 years
Vice President – Geoff Shipley 2 years
Secretary _ Jack Wheeler 2 years
Treasurer – Todd Mullen 2 years.
Education Chair Monica Mullen 3 years
Resource Chair Vacant (accepting nominations) 3 years
Conservation Chair 2 years (accepting nominations)
Board member at large 1 Mike Doberthein 1 year
Board member at Large 2 1 year (accepting nominations)

Nominations taken from the floor from those members present.

Hope to see you there!

Jack Wheeler
Secretary, The Redsides, TU Chapter 678

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events | 1 Comment

Silvey’s Visible Caddis Fly Tying Video

Some of the finest Caddis hatches occur on our Deschutes River. Fishing blizzard Caddis hatches and trying to get a fish to eat can be tricky. Brian Silvey’s Visible Caddis has the perfect combination of flash and marabou movement to produce fish all others won’t. Tony Torrence demonstrates how to tie this very productive Caddis imitation.

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Silvey’s Visible Caddis

Hook: TMC 100 14-18
Thread: Veevus 12/0
Body: Hareline Tan Pearl Core Braid
Legs: Hareline Tan Grizzly Marabou or Grizzly Soft Hackle
Hackle: Barred Ginger Dry Fly Hackle
Thorax: Hareline Tan Micro Fine Dry Fly Dubbing
Wing: Elk Hair, White Antron

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

Beginning Fly Tying Classes for 2014 Fall Season

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Beginning Fly Tying Classes start on Sunday November 16 and run 5 consecutive Sundays, each class begins at 4pm. Each class will build upon the previous session in complexity of flies tied. You will learn the basic elements of tying, work with tying tools, and develop skills such as dubbing, palmering hackle, tying hair wings and much more. Locally important fly patterns are covered each evening. All equipment, tools and materials are included in the price of $55 per student. Call the shop at 541-342-7005 and sign up now!

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

Postcards from the Oregon Coast

Yes folks, here we are on the cusp of the fall Chinook salmon season. The weather is on and off, wet and dry, calm and windy. One day I’ll fish eleven hours and never get a tug – not one – and end the day exhausted. The next day I might get a tug, hook the fish and then loose it for no reason other than the hook pulled free. The next day I’ll fish 7 hours, get three tugs, and land all three salmon. That’s the way it goes. Salmon fishing is an addiction for some of us. No way escaping the facts.

Here are a few frames from a recent GoPro video plus a fairly random assortment of scenes from the last several weeks fishing in the ocean and in the estuary and just general stuff I found when I downloaded photos recently. I hope you enjoy the non-fish scenes as much as the fishy ones.


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On the topic of Chinook salmon, these are among the most spectacular gamefish I have ever had the honor to pursue.  Occasionally I’ll catch one, and every fish is precious.  If you fly fish for Kings you understand already.

Jay Nicholas, September 26, 2014.

Posted in Oregon Salmon fly fishing, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | 6 Comments

Sun Valley 2014

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The last day of the trip. We are now in Sun Valley and on the way stopped and checked out Silver Creek. Serenity and peace are not often used words but Silver Creek brings out those words. We saw some moose wandering about and captured some pictures. We had a conversation about our last day and where we would go. We had a choice of Silver Creek and or the Big Lost River being great choices.

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Our trip had one common theme….we were the only anglers fishing each area, each day. We wanted to keep it that way. Our walk 20 minutes rule and see nobody would not work on Silver Creek this day, we chose The Big Lost River. The rule worked held true for the Big Lost.

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Choosing the Big Lost River on this day proved to be a very good choice. We were once again, the only anglers. We waded up stream and found our first West Slope Cutthroat trout holding up in small pockets. For us, it was very exciting to catch a new species of trout. With some October Caddis flying around the choice of using a Orange Stimulator proved to be successful.

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Like any trip, it has to end sometime. However, we shall return with a much better understanding of the waters we saw and what surrounds. We have returned to our beloved Oregon. We have accumulated fresh lifetime memories and a very healthy understanding for those who claim, ” I fished Montana”, “the ranch was awesome” or have you seen Silver Creek?” or “the Big Lost River is a great fishery”…..we now understand.

LV

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Green Butt Steelhead Stinger Fly Tying Video

On my home waters here in the Portland metro area this fly has proven successful for both winter and summer steelhead. It is an adaptation of a traditional Green Butt Steelhead Fly tied on a Scott Howell Steely Shank rather than a hook platform. Traditionally I tie this fly in a black and blue color palette, as seen in the video, but I also enjoy substituting the colors with a purple and pink combination, as well as, an orange and red combination. With twelve feet of Rio T-11 Sink tip and three feet of 12 lb. Maxima Ultra Green this fly rides true and has a profile that the steelhead can’t resist.
This fly has also proven successful on the Deschutes when the weather begins winding down and cooling off in the autumn months.

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Green Butt Steelhead Stinger Recipe

Thread: 10/O Veevus Black
Shank: Scott Howell Steely Shank cut to length
Hook: Mustad Drop Shot Sz. 1 or Gamakatsu Octopus Hook
Butt: Bright Green UNI Yarn
Tail: Hareline Blue Buck Tail (Stacked)
Body Material: Black UNI Yarn (consider applying a rib of Mylar for extra flash)
Hackle Under-Body: Hareline King Fisher Blue Schlappen
Hackle: Hareline Extra Select Marabou Black
Front Hackle: Hareline King Fisher Blue Schlappen
Wing: Hareline King Fisher Blue Ostrich Herl (This can be substituted with another blue of choice)
Flash: Hareline Blue Krystal Flash
Dressing: Jungle Cock (you may also consider using Hareline Real Fake Jungle Cock Eyes)

Thomas Ranger

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