Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act

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From Native Fish Society

Earlier this month, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, of Oregon, and Jared Huffman, of California, reintroduced the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act. The act would make permanent the protections provided by the twenty-year Southwestern Oregon Mineral Withdrawal. If passed, the act would safeguard the headwaters of several South Coast streams from nickel strip mining and, in doing so, it would protect clean drinking water for communities, important fish habitat, and superb recreation opportunities. These cherished rivers deserve permanent protection from destructive mining practices.

+ Please take a minute to thank Representatives DeFazio and Huffman for proposing this important legislation!

+ The Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act builds on legislation passed in 2017, after NFS River Stewards rallied their communities and called on the federal government to issue a twenty-year moratorium on strip mining.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

“LIFE” ON A TIN CAN – Fishing on the USS KIDD

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The fishing, the camaraderie, the adventurous voyages . . . ! We often kid ourselves – sailors – that our ships are “Tin Cans,” floating about on King Neptune’s Domain, at His Whim.

Long time customer Lou Olton share this grand tale of catching fish off his navy ship. Thanks for your service Lou and thanks very much for sharing.

. . . Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature . . . . . WAIT, wrong Intro ! Now let’s get “reel”! Actually, best I can recall, it nearly was close to the Holidays, circa 1997. We, that is the USS KIDD, DDG-993 was scheduled for dry dock in Norfolk Naval Yard, where “she” was stationed, but the reasoning behind it unclear to the crew, which I was a “Plank Owner” of, and Sonar tech./operator 2nd-class (STG2 extraordinaire!).

Long story short, Captain Kearley informed us via internal comms that we were going to be doing a Drug Op on the West Coast. Great yet another Holiday Period away. This would be my 4th trip through the Panama Canal. Best I recall, as I previously said, Thanksgiving was approaching so we knew it would be warm at our destination – a Large rectangle running North-South from off the NW corner of Columbia to Panama’s Northern border.

My Navy career started in San Diego but quickly became an East Coast thing – 1985 through 1998, when USS KIDD finally did get the Dry Dock appointment; this time it was to Decommission “her”! That is a tale left for another time.

Being an Easterner, I was all too familiar with the Beach Fishing scene, but not with a Fly Rod . . . yet! That all started once I got to my 1st ship after boot camp my 1st Sonar C-school in San Diego. That got me to Jax. Florida and Mayport Naval Station and my 1st Fly Fishing Beach Style along all that golden sand. The Saint Johns River wasn’t far away. Pretty much self taught with my experiences as a freshwater trout guy growing up on Long Island (NY).

Now that you have some back-story, on with the Joys of Fly Fishing From a “BIG Yacht”! Turns out that our Captain was also a Fly Fisher and what we like to call – “a crew-members Captain”. Traditional Sundays-at-Sea would be an all day BBQ on the Flight Deck affair with civilian clothes optional if you were not On-Duty.

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As you see from the 2 photos, one day I was soon to be On Duty and the other I was not. As we patrolled our “box” doing phenomenal trolling speeds I quickly got into the Fantail Fishing Mindset more often than not, but never diminishing my responsibilities as Sonar Watch Supervisor, Division Damage Control Petty Officer or Division Safety Petty Officer. Needless to say, when not Fly Fishing off the Fantail, I was a Very-Busy-Camper.

Floating Flotsam or “peoples floating junk” as it was, was all too prevalent, and in my eyes welcome, as it was (and will always be) a “Fish Magnet”. Fact is, the 2 Mahi Mahi were as a result of quick-casting to trash piles or pallets floating alongside the ship.

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Catching Mahi Mahi became 2nd-nature, sort of, once the Boatswain-mates got the “Grease Monkeys” to make a long gaff to be able to snag the catch and hoist on deck. Then one beautiful Sunday-at-Sea I was at my usual starboard-fantail railing corner with my homemade sinking fly line set out to about 75 yards. Then I got stupid, remembering like it were yesterday, I feel embarrassed all over again telling this. It was “Hungry Time” and I needed a burger and coke. Here is the stupid me; setting the Sage RPLXI 10wt propped on the steel rail I made for a “mad-dash” toward the Flight Deck Ladder to fetch that “pale of water” (coke and burger). No sooner than halfway across the Main Deck (about 20 feet from the rail, and the rod), I hear a crew member fishing buddy YELL; “Petty Officer Olton!” – a simple Lou would have done. I turn and see My Fly Rod Quiver and Jump, seemingly as though it were Going Overboard . . . but it didn’t. Then I looked up and out to sea to see what I could see; following my Fly Line Backing, and there it was. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think “OF THAT”! Turns out I hooked a Sailfish. Average sized I supposed. After all it was Sooo-far away in that instant it all took place. It was like that scene in Hemingway’s Novel when the Black Marlin made its first appearance with that leap out of the sea! Well, that image came later, but, you get what I mean, right?

With the rod and reel intact, I would live to fight another day . . . thankfully. That day would come, not surprisingly on another Sunday-at-Sea (when most of the fishing was done). SO, probably the next week? Kind of a dreary day, rain off and on and now nearing dust – about an hour away. The BBQ Crowd had thinned and mostly diehard fishermen remained, with a few interested bystanders watching the sun slowly sinking. Some Dark Low-Hanging Clouds off in the distance had me startled . . . then I saw IT!

I wasn’t sure at first what the disturbance was on the surface as it seemed so far off – guessing 2 or 300 yards. But this Disturbance was Moving from Right to Left – looking aft out over the railing. I, again in my favorite Left-hand corner, said to the other 6 or so fishermen, “Get ready guys, that is a sea of tuna and they’re heading our way!” Yup, pretty much just what I remember saying!

Sure enough, that “Wall of Wondrous” Fish turned a bit toward KIDD. I quickly let out more line and lowered my rod tip as close to the water as I could – still about 3 feet away. My Fly Line Rig consisted of a Very Heavy Sinking Head – I’m thinking it was 30 to 40 feet long; from a Saltwater Cortland Fly Line that I cut the HEAD from and attached to as much 30lb. Backing as I could fit on my Reel.

That was about 300+ yards. Point being; it worked, by golly it worked just as intended. Sadly though . . . I was the only one to get a Hook-Up. Now, I was in the Fight of My Life . . . Literally it seemed as though at the time! IF you’re familiar with those knobby cloth painters gloves (?). I had make-shifted a pair of Fingerless style (cutting the tips off, plus sewing a Leather Pad on my Reel Hand (Left hand Retriever) as a Drag Aid. Half Hour into the fight, those gloves were a “Godsend”. Whatever this fish was – thought I had a good idea it was a Yellowfin – you can’t be certain. It Dogged me bad, and the Drag was set all the way, and yet the line kept going and going and going, like the Eveready-Wabbit.

Seriously I was at wits-end and I asked a young Lieutenant JG, standing watch at the time / radio comms in-hand, if there was any way he could get the KIDD slowed or stopped so I could land the fish. No Joke, that is how it went down, . . . and with a grin on his face (me too), he called to the Bridge and asked JUST THAT ! Surprise, Surprise, surprise . . . Captain Kearley Came Through. Then HE showed up on the Fantail . . . “Oh Boy,” I thought; shits gonna hit the fan now. This is when I 1st learned that OUR Captain was indeed a Fisherman’s Fisherman and fly fisher too-boot. It took, all told, about 45 minutes (guessing) to get that Yellowfin alongside and gaffed. I had to bang the head into the deck a few times to stop the insane thrashing about, but once I was able to lift it up, I could tell it was gonna be a Big Feast come Next Sundays at sea BBQ.

The “Boardroom” officers-mess got their sushi fix and some steaks and the crew did just as well that next Sunday at the Tuna-BBQ Feast . . . yea there were still hot dogs and burgers. Gotta say, of ALL the Navy Cruises I’ve been involved with – 3 ships, trips to the Mediterranean, off West Africa, Bermuda (triangle), Cuba, Caribbean, All of South America (around the Horn / UNITAS), Louisiana (Mardi Gras), Panama, NYC (Fleet Week) . . . hmmm, what am I forgetting? Needless to say MY time in the Navy was a “Circumstantial” Dream Come True . . . and by that, I’ll have to end it — for another “story” could be brewing . . . . . . !?.

FlyFInaticLou.

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 4 Comments

Steelhead Shrimp Spey Fly Tying Video – Alex Worth 2021

In this video, Alex ties a steelhead shrimp fly that could be used both for winter and summer steelhead.

Tie them in different sizes appropriate for the river or stream you’ll be fishing. With different colored patterns this fly could be deadly in estuaries, coastal streams, and PNW rivers.

Alex uses Alec Jackson hooks that are sharp, set deep, and are strong. Proven again and again.

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Steelhead Shrimp Spey

Hook: Daiichi 2050 Alec Jackson Bronze Size 1.5
Thread: Uni Thread 6/0 Wine
Tag: Danville Silver Tinsel Size 14
Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest Hot Orange
Golden Pheasant Tip Hot Orange
Body: Lagartun Oval Tinsel Silver Small
Chinese Saddle Hackle Red
Uni Floss Orange
Angora Goat Dubbing Burnt Orange
Wing: Golden Pheasant Hot Orange
Mallard Flank Natural
Chinese Saddle Hackle White
Super Glue

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

Because Our Words Matter – Sexual Violence and the Fly Fishing Industry

This is a saltwater fly. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog post.

This is a saltwater fly. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog post.

I’m sitting here at my keyboard, paralyzed. My hands trembling. Heart pounding. Squinting at the monitor through tears. I’ve written hundreds of posts for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, but this is the highest stakes article I’ve ever had the courage to write. And that’s odd, because it shouldn’t require courage to write this, but somehow I know that writing about this topic involves breaking a taboo. The taboo of calling out my fellow anglers and our industry for inexcusable behavior.

Here goes.

Sex Dungeon.

Read the words aloud, please. Now tell me what the words mean.

I know it is a fly name. Anyone who fishes for trout with streamers knows what it is, but I want you to stop for a minute, think, and tell me what the words mean. Do you think the words are funny?

What do you think goes on in dungeons?

I’d be willing to bet that most people know that bad things happen in dungeons, and …. sex dungeons?

Let’s step back for a minute and try a game of imagine if

Imagine you are a grandpa, sitting at your fly bench, with your seven-year-old granddaughter standing beside you, watching how you blend materials and craft your masterpiece streamer fly.

“What’s that fly called, Grandpa?” She asks.

“This is a Sex Dungeon,” you answer.

“What’s a Sex Dungeon?” She asks.

How will you answer her? Will you lie? Will you change the subject. Will you laugh it off?

Are you still with me here? Are you still reading? Have you dismissed me and this blog post as over-reaction to harmless locker-room banter?

If so, you are part of the problem, and you need to change your behavior because the words aren’t harmless. This kind of talk normalizes sexual violence. Harsh words? Yes. True? Yes.

The demographic realities of fly fishing say that if you are reading this blog, you probably identify as male. Could gender influence a person’s perceptions?  What if you were a grandma instead of a grandpa?

“Grandma, look at this pretty fly that Grandpa tied for me!”

“Why, that is a beautiful fly,” you answer. “What is it called?”

“It’s a Pole Dancer, Grandma. What’s a Pole Dancer?” Your granddaughter asks. “Grandpa just laughed and said I should go ask you.”

How do you feel, Grandma? Is this harmless?

Let’s play Imagine if again.

Imagine that you are a mid-twenties male, out in the drift boat with two male friends, floating down the river one fine autumn afternoon. The trout are biting and you’re having a great time with your buddies, when someone says, “I think I’ll try a Pearl Necklace.”

Do you think anyone will laugh? Do you imagine any one of you will say anything about the meaning of the phrase? Perhaps you think it is OK to use some of these names because they are double entendres and the real meanings can be debated?

dou·ble en·ten·dre
noun
A word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent.

Just because it is a double entendre doesn’t make it OK. The language serves to endorse and coddle and perpetuate a culture of male sexual dominance.

Excuse me. I’m under the impression that the fly fishing industry is making a determined effort to recruit women and children as fly fishers. Is this how we plan on making them feel welcome?

I’m not an expert. I’m not even a great writer, and I have no credentials to have researched these issues. But I know how I feel when I see these fly names. I know the meaning behind the names. They are intended to catch the consumer’s attention. They are meant to sell a product to a consumer that is usually a white male.

But the words hurt everyone, regardless of gender. The words convey the approval of sexual dominance and violence in our society.

Let’s play Imagine if again. Pretend for a moment that you’re a female who is a professional fishing guide with two male clients. You are packing up after a riverside lunch, getting ready to resume the afternoon’s fishing. One of your clients passes you their fly box and begins telling you about the contents. “That top row is filled with Stacked Blondes. Next row down is loaded with my Barely Legals.
And the last three rows hold my Lap DancersT & A Bunkers, and Bottoms Up.”

In case you didn’t know, the English language dictionary says this.

T&A
in American English
noun
Informal
Entertainment, as TV programs or movies, characterized by the deliberately titillating display of the female form.

Remember, you are the female guide, hired by two male clients. How do you feel about these fly names? How do you feel about your clients?

Or more to the point, how do you feel about your fly fishing industry that allows this to go on? These fly names are not new. The fact that the industry hasn’t had the guts or the courage or the smarts to put a stop to this bullshit says something.

Some people will claim it says that the industry is OK with this. Others will claim that this is only a tiny little naughtiness. And certainly some people will say that I’m making a fuss where none is warranted.

Well, it isn’t a little transgression, and it isn’t just naughty. These names and associated visual images don’t belong in a box of fishing flies. These fly names reflect a culture of male dominance that expects superiority in all things, sex included.

And if this is a problem, then who is to blame?

Here’s the thing about these little flies, all of them sitting so innocently in their fly bins in shops and in people’s fly boxes and fly fishing vests and boat bags and strung on their fly rods: No one and everyone is responsible. It is you and it is me and it is every one of our fly fishing buddies; it is all anglers of all genders. Every one of us who has heard or seen these fly names and not spoken up is to blame.

I’m pissed at every one of my friends who has never stood up to this issue.

I’m pissed at myself, and I’m embarrassed that I’ve been too cautious to take a stand on this issue before now.

I’m pissed at every professional fly fishing guide, regardless of gender, for not taking a stand on this.

I find it difficult to understand the silence in the fly fishing industry on matters like this. I’ve been searching the Internet for a week, trying to find anyone who has called attention to the connection between the language we use and tacit approval of sexual violence.

Instead, I found articulate revelations by female fishing guides who are constantly on their guard to avoid situations where they might be vulnerable to male dominance (verbal and physical).

It makes sense. It makes perfect sense.

When female fly fishing guides work for male clients who live in a world populated by Stacked Blonde Pole Dancers who would love to get a Pearl Necklace in their Sex Dungeon, well, what else would you expect?

I’m done. No apologies.

Jay Nicholas, February 22, 2021.

P. S. When I finished writing this blog, I could not find a category that seemed to fit the content. So I listed it under Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Glossary, Fly Fishing Travel, and Fly Tying.  I decided not to use the category Fly Fishing Porn; that category has always bothered me.

P. P. S. Oh heck, maybe we men should all go out and grab ‘em by the pussy. A pussy is just a little cat, you know.

Posted in Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Glossary, Fly Fishing Travel, Fly Tying | 75 Comments

NEW RIO’s Skagit Max Launch & Skagit Max Power Spey Head Review

In this video, Greg discusses RIO’s new Skagit Max Launch and Max Power series.

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Skagit Max Launch:
23′ Long
Amazing front taper design to easily cast large flies and tips and load the rod with ease and sensitivity.
Grains 400-750 in increments of 25gr.
Slick Cast Coating
Light blue color w/indicator backend dark blue
Welded Loops
Low Core Stretch
Easy ID printed line weights

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Skagit Max Power:
Ideal for switch-rods/short spey/tight quarters
20′ Long
Amazing front taper design to easily cast large flies and tips and load the rod with ease and sensitivity.
Grains 325-650 in increments of 25gr.
Slick Cast Coating
Salmon pink color w/indicator backend dark blue
Welded Loops
Low Core Stretch
Easy ID printed line weights

#flyshopstrong

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Hrabik’s Balanced Leech Patterns

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Fly fisher Rob Hrabik stopped by the shop to drop off a few of his balanced leeches he fishes on Pyramid Lake, but these flies work great for Cascade and Klamath Lake trout, Umpqua & John Day bass, and many other species.

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Hrabik’s Balanced Leeches

Posted in Fishing Porn | Leave a comment

Spend a week on the Babine for just $100! – Benefit Native Fish Society

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British Columbia’s Babine River is the hallowed homewaters of some of the largest wild steelhead swimming on the planet. Don’t miss this week-long dream trip, including guided fishing with some of the best guides around, delicious home-cooked meals, and tranquil river-side lodging, which could be yours for just $100! We’re talking about your best (and most economical shot) at some of the best dry line (even dry fly) wild steelhead fishing anywhere.

That’s right, the one and only Babine Steelhead Lodge has generously donated a week of steelhead fishing on the Babine River for 1 angler to support the Native Fish Society’s work reviving abundant wild, native fish across the Pacific Northwest.

How does it work? Native Fish Society is selling 250 tickets for $100 each. We’ll draw the lucky winner on March 16th and then they’ll get ready for the time of their life!

Details:
1 angler / August 27 – September 3, 2021 / Guided steelhead fishing on the Babine River.
*Does not include travel to Smithers, B.C., taxes, tip, or licenses.

Raffle tickets on sale: February 15 – March 15, 2021
Drawing: March 16, 2021 @ 3pm

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

Posted in Coastal Steelhead Fishing, Fly Fishing Contests, Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

A History of Violence: Brown Trout and the Broken Promise of Conservation Angling

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
-Aldo Leopold

European Brown Trout and fly fishing are inextricably entangled. They’re the basis of the sport, the techniques developed for these fish. They thrive in our man-made waterways like tailwaters of dammed rivers, and they are less vulnerable to the warming trends we’re imposing on the planet. They’ve been stocked in every water that would support them, in every beautiful place, for us rich white dudes to play out our fantasies.

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Aquatic biologists are starting to look at this species through this lens. Brown Trout have been included in the top 30 worst invasive species on the globe (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). The data shows Brown Trout outcompete native trout (and a host of other unintended species), often displacing them. Then they get bigger and turn piscivorous, feeding on large fish including smaller versions of themselves.

And to that end, I find myself carrying a fly box of 7-inch Game Changer fly patterns, chasing cannibalistic monsters. Streamer fishing strips away the façade we carefully apply, the story we tell ourselves about what it is we are doing out here in the river.

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We all make these choices regarding what lives are important in every moment. But streamer fishing throws it into full contrast. I’ve got half a gray squirrel tail wrapped up in one of these fucking things that invariably is going to wind up in a tree or pinned in some fish’s face. Another fly has a bunch of pheasant rump feathers, stained olive with a dye that surely must have been rinsed back into somebody’s river.

The synthetics aren’t much better. Every time I walk away from the vise after trimming the plastic bullshit into a fish shape, I’m covered in goddam mylar dust. I think about the microplastics floating instead of plankton in oceans.

But I convince myself not to worry about it. I drive to the river.

There is something illicit in this act. I am going to the river to snatch life out of it.

I’m not putting anything back but tobacco ash, maybe a few beads of lead shot, coffee pissed out on the side of the creek.

At best, my license dollars go towards paying small salaries for biologists who look a lot like me to figure out how to keep as many brown trout in the damn river as possible, with no funding to look at what impact that has on anything else.

The dams on the river I fish were put there by dudes who look a lot like me. They got to decide what was important and we’re all living with those decisions. The dams are why there are brown trout in the southeast. The dams are why I am standing here on this water.

I’m starting to learn a section of this river. It’s braided with boulders and islands covered in horsetail. There are some big fish on it, definitely over twenty inches. There are smallmouth bass and kingfishers, beavers and herons – all of them doing what it is they were born to do.

And then there’s me, conflicted.

In my late twenties I thought things were pretty simple. Stop putting hatchery fish on top of wild populations. Stop damming rivers. Put conservation dollars towards habitat restoration. Get the bank-anglers to stop gut-hooking wild trout with bait.

I fought hard for those values. It’s pretty much all that I fought for then. And the fishing was so good in Oregon, I might have never grown out of it.

I never really thought about how much of the “good” I was seeking to impose on the world was really just making things better for myself, for the lives I chose were deserving of reverence. I never really looked at the harm I was doing, that we all do, each of us every day consuming life so we can live. And so I turn to the trout again in my river here, consuming life so that they can live.

A big hen brown takes the game changer. It’s not a fancy one. All of the fancy ones I tied broke because I used the wrong damn wire for attaching the articulated segments. It was the last one in the box, a white chenille body, no trailing hook. It smacked the bait in the head as I it twitched over a pool full of submerged boulders.

Immediately, the fish somehow swung itself around a root-wad at the bottom of the pool. It was really big. I could see it flailing in the current. I called my buddy over, took his net, handed him my tangled rod.

There was snow on the ground, damn cold. But I went in over my waders. I got my hands around the fish but couldn’t get it off the wood. Somehow, it was still hooked, but in the fast current and cold water, I couldn’t get my fingers to work, I couldn’t unwrap the line. I couldn’t pull the hook out of its mouth. There was so much water in my waders, I could barely move.

I’m risking my life to hold this fish. To show you this fish. As if catching this thing changes the story I get to tell about myself, as if my life depends on it. I’m a father of three drowning in February for a stocked fucking trout on a tailwater.

I broke the fish off and it drifted downstream. I hope it was OK.

I was rattled by that experience. Losing a big fish is always hard. But I was struck by how important I thought it was to catch it. How I’ve shaped nearly my whole life, to do this thing, which arguably isn’t very good for the world.

The old saws don’t work anymore. Not for me at least. The idea that rivers need to be saved by rich dudes like me, putting pennies into programs that really only make things better for other rich dudes like me isn’t working.

Conservation angling is broken. It’s not enough to conserve things, to try to keep things the way they are, the way they were. Angling needs to be regenerative, to make things better. I’m not sure what that means yet.

But I can tell you, if fishing is something I’m willing to risk my life for, it needs to be better. It’s not enough to recycle waders into more waders. It’s not enough to teach inner city kids to tie wooly buggers. We need to de-center ourselves, to offer something of value, not to us, but to the multi-species communities we are embedded in.

If I keep fishing (which seemingly I am), I am going to have to find what “regenerative angling” vs “conservation angling” actually means.
-MS

Posted in Fly Tying | 7 Comments

2021 Introduction to Fly Fishing Class Schedule

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Classes will be held per latest COVID guidelines set by Caddis Fly Shop owners and the CDC.

The Caddis Fly shop enters 2021 with a strong focus on COVID protocols. The dates set for the 2021 Introduction to Fly Fishing Class are listed below. We have been introducing anglers to basic casting skills for almost 30 years. Inspired by the original casting classes held by Les Eichorn, Bob Guard, Lefty Krieg, Jeff Carr, and Mel Krieger this 6 hour class will have interested anglers on their way to fly casting mastery. Basic tackle discussions, casting, knots, entomology, locations to fish, and fly selection will be covered. All tackle, textbook is included and we maintain a one instructor to 5 student ratio. Four hours of the course will be on water casting. Cost is $65, all equipment is provided, please pay at sign up at the shop or call 541-342-7005 to sign up.

Class Schedule for 2021 : Classes on two dates are Friday evening (6-8PM) at the shop and Saturday at Alton Baker Park (9am-12:30pm).

2021 Schedule

March 19,20
April 23,24
May 7,8
June 4,5
July 9,10
August 6,7
September 24,25
October 15,16

Please call the shop at 541 342 7005 to reserve your spot.

Posted in Classes and Instruction | Leave a comment

Peacock Bass Trip Jan 2022 – Caddis Fly Hosted Trip Jan 9-16, 2022

I have been hesitant to promote any sort of travel throughout the pandemic. The fly fishing travel business, like so much of the worlds travel, has been putting out more fires than filling spots for fishing trips over the past year.

The video below highlights a trip we had booked in Jan 2021. We have now moved that trip to 2022. Currently there are 4 available rods for the week of Jan 19-16 2022. We booked this trip through Untamed Angling.

Untamed Angling is the leader in “Jungle Fly Fishing”. Untamed does a fantastic job with trip logistics across he board, in addition they have provided aid to local communities well before covid. It has been a company policy to work with native peoples near the waters they fish, conserving lands, improving medical aid, transportation and much more. Because of Untamed commitment to it’s local waters and communities I am confident they will be successful in managing covid issues for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.

If you would like more info on this trip, costs, itinerary etc. please reach out to me at caddisflyshop@gmail.com.

CD

UNTAMED ANGLING – BRAZIL OPERATIONS NEWS. Feb 1st.

Vaccination for COVID-19 already started in Brazil, and U.S. citizens are currently allowed to enter the country. Air borders are open, commercial flights are authorized to operate, and hotels are welcoming guests now and for the future.

But even better news is that in all Indigenous Lands in Brazil natives started to get the vaccine as of January, and specifically the areas where Untamed Angling projects run – Kayapos (of Kendjam and Xingu), Pirarucu, and Rio Marié are getting vaccinated in Jan and February since they are in the priority vaccination schedule group. That means we will have our seasons up and running for 2021 for sure.

This is excellent news for the Rio Marié, Kendjam, Pirarucu, and Xingu programs and for the anglers that are planning or looking to fish with Untamed Angling Brazil in 2021.

To ensure the safety of everyone including indigenous populations, there will be biosafety protocols in effect that must be followed, but travelers will essentially need to obtain a negative PCR test less than three days before arrival in Brazil.

Other biosafety protocols include:

Travelers must have face masks while in the Indian Villages
Social distancing measures will be in effect
The implementation of sanitary mats at native lands entrances to disinfect footwear
Disinfection of hands prior to entering the Indian Village.
In addition, Untamed Angling has stepped up over the past eight months to continue to support the indigenous tribes by providing a substantial amount of medicine, COVID-19 tests, non-perishable food, fuel, and more. We’re looking forward to a great 2021 season, and we are now booking all weeks and rods spots that remain for the 2021 season.

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

The Game Changer as a Reflection of the Psyche

Fishing with large streamers is a strange thing. It amplifies all of the weird psychological aspects of fishing. If you’re doing it right, you might catch really big fish. But even if you don’t, you get this opportunity to look at yourself, and wonder, how the hell did we get to this point?

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For example, how many of you have looked at your streamer in the water and said, damn that’s sexy? I say it all the time. Now what the hell is going on there? Do I find the streamer… attractive? Or am I projecting myself on the streamer? Am I a sexy little bastard shimmying in the water? Are we slipping into the role of some archetypal trickster here? Is this drag? We’re trying to look sexy to convince someone to do something. That’s pure Bugs Bunny shit right there.

It feels weird when you start to look at it. You’ve got this jumble of desires you can barely disentangle.

There’s this bizarre dance between the desire for sex, for sinuous movement, and the desire for eating something (someone?) I guess? Y’all as anglers, we’re literally a handful of psychological revelations away from becoming a vore community.

I mean, the first big articulated streamer I ever seen was called the Sex Dungeon. Take a hard look at yourselves people.

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Now back on more familiar territory, I can tell you the Game Changer pattern works well for big predatory brown trout. You probably could’ve guessed that, but I think it’s worth putting it into context: I am dude who has barely fished for the past 10 years. I tied a bunch of them and went to a river I didn’t know, and got the fish to bite them. That’s wild. It could’ve gone differently. Luck was involved. But the flies are solid.

A few lessons learned so far. Buy more fishspine shanks than you think you need. Buy the small ones (I love the 10mm), but maybe not the micro shanks (they seemed cool, but it’s not for me). Seems like stacking the small segments together allows for maximum movement and control of the taper.

These Fish Skull Masks are cool as hell. I was a little skeptical, but I’m on board now. Especially since I tried messing around with making my own epoxy heads. These are way easy to deal with and look better.

Also, I’m starting to understand the thinking behind the gamechanger chenilles. You want to have that 90-degree, stiff, trimmable, lightweight structure to build the body around. It is a big part of how the movement is created, that density is pushing the current, that swags the fly behind it. It’s a weird lesson to teach yourself, if you like me, have been struggling not to “overdress” your flies. I’m primarily fishing “Feather Changer” style flies. Soft hackles veiling a body. This stuff works.

I’m putting in my next order for materials. Post any comments if you can about your experiences tying and fishing these. Or tell me what strange depths of your psyche streamer fishing has illuminated for you.
-MS

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

River Democracy Act – Wyden and Merkley Introduce Legislation to Protect 4,700 Miles of Oregon Rivers

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River Democracy Act introduced after years-long public process led by Wyden allowing Oregonians to submit their favorite rivers and streams to be considered for inclusion in legislation.

Senators say ‘River Democracy Act’ will be a boon for rural jobs and the recreation economy, protect communities and watersheds from catastrophic wildfire risks.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced the River Democracy Act to add nearly 4,700 miles of rivers and streams in Oregon to the national Wild and Scenic Rivers system – the largest Wild and Scenic Rivers effort in our nation’s history.

Those named rivers and streams were among more than 15,000 nominations submitted by 2,500 Oregonians as part of Wyden’s statewide public effort to protect more of Oregon’s waterways and reduce catastrophic wildfire risks, improve drinking water and expand recreation access to boost rural jobs and economies.

Wyden said he looked forward to keeping the public process going and to continue getting feedback as he and Merkley work to get the River Democracy Act through Congress.

“Rivers and streams are Oregon’s lifeblood, providing clean drinking water for our families, sustaining our thriving outdoor recreation economy, and nurturing the quality of life that brings new investments, businesses and jobs to our state,” Wyden said. “Oregonians made it loud and clear: they cherish Oregon’s rivers and want them protected for generations to come. More protected rivers and clear management objectives means more jobs, improved wildfire resiliency and a guarantee for the livability of Oregon. The River Democracy Act represents the best of the Oregon Way, and I looked forward to continuing the conversation with our neighbors.”

“Our rivers and streams are some of the most special natural treasures Oregon has to offer, and have always been integral to the health and vitality of our communities and rural economies,” said Merkley. “By expanding Wild and Scenic designations, we can protect the health of these delicate ecosystems and strengthen access to high-quality drinking water, all while increasing wildfire resilience, bolstering our recreation economy, and ensuring that generations of Oregonians to come can enjoy the magic of our waters.”

The River Democracy Act builds on legislation Congress passed in 2019 that added more than 250 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers in Oregon. The state now has 2,173 miles designated in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system, but that total remains only a small fraction of Oregon’s 110,994 miles of rivers and streams.

Oregon’s rivers and streams fuel outdoor recreation, an economic engine in Oregon. According to the Outdoor Recreation Industry, outdoor recreation supports 224,000 jobs and generates $15.6 billion in consumer spending.

The River Democracy Act:

Designates nearly 4,700 miles of rivers in all corners of Oregon as “Wild and Scenic Rivers” to expand recreation access and boost local economies, protect drinking water for families, reduce wildfire threats, and sustain endangered fish and wildlife species;

Requires federal land managers to assess wildfire risks in Wild and Scenic River corridors, implement a plan to reduce wildfire risks to homes and businesses near Wild and Scenic Rivers, assist local governments mitigate wildfire risks and restore water quality should a fire strike near a Wild and Scenic River;

Encourages federal land managers to develop river management plans in collaboration with Native American tribes and ensures Native American tribes have a voice in how rivers are managed; and

Ensures that only federal lands are affected by Wild and Scenic designations, while protecting private property rights, water rights and existing permits and rights of way on federal lands.

A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.

A section-by-section summary of the legislation can be found here.

Legislative text can be found here.

A map of proposed rivers can be found here.

Here’s a sampling of what Oregonians are saying about Wyden’s River Democracy Act:

Representative Pam Marsh, Oregon House District 5: “Healthy clean rivers are the essence of my district. Whether you’re floating down the world renowned Rogue River or hiking along Jenny Creek, rivers in my district provide clean drinking water to our communities, offer recreational outlets for all, entice visitors who support our local businesses, and give us solace to play, heal, and teach. I thank Senator Wyden for his leadership on the River Democracy Act of 2021, and in protecting Oregon’s most precious resource – our waters.”

Dan Courtney, Chairman, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians: “The Cow Creek Umpqua People have lived on the land and fished our waters since time immemorial. Our people have suffered through Removal, Termination and finally restored to manage our forests once again. We applaud Senator Wyden for including elements of management in his Wild and Scenic legislation that consider the sobering risks that wildfire poses to our river corridors. Careful management around our rivers is necessary to maintain good drinking water, healthy fish runs and the beauty that our rivers offer to us and our guests.”

Liz Hamilton, Executive Director, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association: “Wild and scenic rivers are at the heart of Oregon’s natural healing beauty they have been part of our family vacations for generations. Hunting, fishing, rafting and camping along the miles of breathtaking, protected rivers, we forged priceless family memories that will stay with us—forever. By expanding protections for rivers, Senator Wyden is safeguarding one of our state’s most valuable resources and also protecting the future of Oregon’s outdoor recreation industry.”

Zac Kauffman, Owner, Sawyer Paddles & Oars: “The Rogue was one of the original eight rivers designated as Wild & Scenic in 1968 and is a huge economic driver for our company, its employees and the Southern Oregon region. People from across the country and the globe come here to enjoy Oregon’s fishing and paddling opportunities and our business relies directly on the health of the river for these opportunities. River-based recreation on the Rogue River alone accounts for more than $30 million in total economic output. Sawyer Paddles and Oars supports Senator Ron Wyden’s bill to protect some of Oregon’s most treasured rivers as Wild and Scenic Rivers with its broad support from small business owners like myself, water-sports enthusiasts and other community members who all depend on these waterways.”

Chad Brown, U.S. Navy Veteran, Founder & President, Soul River Inc.: “Senator Wyden’s leadership to champion and protect Oregon’s rivers is an affirmative action! A warrior mission for veterans and our next generation to have the opportunity to benefit from what nature provides our souls. Thank you, Senator Wyden for your strength to protect Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Rivers for us all.”

Chris Daughters, owner, The Caddis Fly Angling Shop, Lane County: “Oregon’s storybook rivers draw people from across the world for all of the recreation opportunities they offer. The protection of these rivers and their stream-side environments ensure certainty into the future for river-dependent businesses like The Caddis Fly Angling Shop, and that is why we commend Senator Wyden for introducing legislation to create safeguards for our outstanding, yet unprotected, rivers and streams across the state.”

We encourage you to say thanks to Senators Wyden and Merkley. Use this link provided by Oregon Wild.

Posted in North Umpqua River Fishing Reports, Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Salmon fly fishing, Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing, Southern Oregon | Leave a comment

How the Game Changer is Hacking my Life

Way back in February of 2008 (thirteen freaking years ago), I wrote the first blog post on this site.

In the intervening years, I’ve been on a journey. Moving from Eugene to Cleveland to the Carolinas. I’ve had a billion kids, wrote a book about fortune telling, somehow stayed married. But fly fishing slipped further and further back into the list of priorities and habits for me.

There was a time I spent every single night on the vise, and every day I could on the water. But as I got further away from the salmon on the Oregon coast, the wild rainbows on the McKenzie, winter steelhead on the Coast Range, the less I found myself caring how (or if) I caught fish.

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It’s not been a bad ride. People grow and change, but there was a time when I would have risked everything for a weekend on the Deschutes or an afternoon on the lower McKenzie during the March Brown hatch.

I still wanted to see what lurked below the water’s surface, but often as not, I just brought a spinning rod. I gave away mountains of fly tying materials to friends. I took up birding and identifying moss species.

But the pandemic has left us all fragile, open to nostalgia, reliving past glories, and rethinking what’s important. And what is important to me now – pushing aside family obligations, work and a half-finished novel – is tying and fishing articulated streamers.

I blame my brother Captain Nate, Carter my fishing partner in the Carolinas who feels like a mirror of 2008 me, Blaine Chocklett and Chris Daughters for bringing me back to this point. Nate and Carter specifically recommended the Game Changer book to lure me back in; and in the way of these things, the activity gained its own momentum.

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They laid a trap to get me obsessed again. It worked. So here I am with feather scraps all over the kitchen floor, fingertips crispy with strange glues and adhesives, checking the water levels everywhere within an hour’s drive of my house.

I’m going to be writing about my experience tying and fishing these big articulated streamers over the coming weeks. Right now, I’m really enjoying the thematic overlaps between the Game Changer fly platform, and the patterns of my brain, my life.

I love that they dug Larry Dahlberg out of whatever gear-fishing purgatory he’d been hiding in to write the forward to the book. I love how connected streamer fishing is with the quarry, how you are embodying the bait to interact with the fish, the sense of play, cat and mouse. I love the balance of the synthetic with the natural. I love the fact that it’s essentially stacking a bunch of over-dressed wooly buggers onto a chain of paperclips to make something profoundly tantalizing.

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There’s a tailwater stream an hour north of me that is full of hungry brown trout, a few warm water streams in my own watersheds that I haven’t given the level of attention they deserve, and a coast full of marshy tidewater I haven’t even really touched.

It’s not going to be easy. I was on the trout stream a week ago and fell in deep enough to soak my goddamn hat. I put together rod, line and leader combinations that fished like shit. My cast was garbage, my focus was worse. But it’ll come back. I’m obsessed now. I hope you’re all happy with yourselves.

-MS

Posted in Fly Tying | 2 Comments

Alberta’s Blue Ribbon Trout Waters Need Your Help

Many reader are familiar with the Oldman, Livingstone, Highwood and Bow rivers. We thought sharing the current conservation issues in this region was important. Below you will find some of the key information regarding the battle to protect some of the wildest areas of Alberta.

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The Alberta government in 2020 rescinded the Alberta coal policy that was put in place in 1974 which disallowed all coal mining in the rocky mountains. They did this without consultation to the public and now (in the map above) leases have been sold and exploration and drilling has started in the headwaters of all of these watersheds.

Protecting the Alberta Rockies from open pit coal mining.

https://www.stopcrowsnestmines.org

The Stop Crowsnest Mines Organization is an independent group that wants to STOP all the proposed open pit coal mines in the Crowsnest Pass and the Eastern Slope of the Alberta Rockies. We want to preserve the Alberta Rockies for future generations.

GRASSY MOUNTAIN COAL PROJECT

The Alberta Environmental Network (AEN) connects Albertans and environmental groups that are dedicated to preserving and protecting Alberta’s environment. As a non-profit and non-partisan organization, the AEN supports collaboration of the environmental community throughout the province.

https://www.aenweb.ca/news/grassy-mountain-coal-project

Loads of Coal Disinformation from the Kenney Government
How Alberta’s energy and environment ministers misled on open-pit mining plans.
READ MORE

Currently 75km to the west in Fernie British Columbia, the company “Teck Coal” who has been open pit mining near the Elk river for years has been leaching Selenium into the rivers of Montana through the Elk River.

U.S. demands explanation from province over river pollution from B.C. mines
READ MORE

Voice your concerns about the expansion of coal mining in Alberta HERE.

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel, Oregon Conservation News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kendjam – Heart of the Amazon by Todd Moen – Amazon Fly Fishing

Another fantastic film from Todd Moen and Catch Magazine is now available on Youtube. Todd makes the best films in the fly fishing industry hands down and Kendjam is another example. If you don’t subscribe to Catch Magazine you can start using this link: Catch Magazine.

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment