Come see the 2016 Fly Fishing Film Tour in Corvallis on Saturday February 20!

2016 Fly Fishing Film Tour Trailer from The Fly Fishing Film Tour on Vimeo.

Location: LaSells Stewart Center/OSU Conference Center

Doors open at 6:30 so you can enjoy a pre-event social gathering with beverages from local breweries, ciderhouses, and distilleries. The event will include door prizes, a silent auction, and a raffle. The films start promptly at 8:00.

Tickets are available online.

All proceeds from the event will benefit The Bluebacks Trout Unlimited chapter’s environmental and conservation projects.

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

Native Fish Society Homewaters Auction and Banquet

Mark your calendars for the Native Fish Society Homewaters 20th Annual Benefit Banquet + Auction, Saturday, April 16, 2016 5:00pm, Montgomery Park, 2701 NW Vaughn St., Portland, OR. Registration/pre-sale tickets available here.

NFS

Proceeds from the event and auction support the Native Fish Society. The Caddis Fly has donated a Guided McKenzie River trip this year. It’s always an excellent event.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Flexi Tube Mini Leach Fly Tying Video

Bruce Berry of Pro Sportfisher demonstrates how to tie a really cool trout and steelhead mini leach.

mini leech

Flexi tube mini leach

Tube: Flexitube 40/40 black
Weight: Pro raw weight small
Body: Black uV polar chenille
Wing: Rabbit Strip “Tapercut” black
Collar: Black Pro opossum
Collar 2: Black Schlappen
Disc: Pro Ultra Sonic disc Medium

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

Patagonia Rio Gallegos Wader Review

winter steelhead fly fishing in oregon

For 2016 Patagonia has redesigned and improved their line of waders and boots. In this review I will be focusing on the Rio Gallegos wader. Even though these are new waders I was able to get my hands on a pair of these babies in December and have been able to put a fair amount of days on the water with them. These waders were used bank angling, so they have received more use than just floating down the river.

The first thing that I noticed about them was the change in fit from the previous years model. They are a much slimmer fit , meaning less bagginess and excess material. They are by no means a slim fit wader, but slimmer than they were. The second thing I noticed was how comfortable the booties are. Patagonia uses a poly-grid lining for increased comfort. These really seemed to mold to my feet after just a few uses, and are honestly the “comfiest” booties on the market.

Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders

Aside from fit and comfort, Patagonia has integrated some really cool features that I found functional as well as useful. The shoulder straps are stretchy and have a quick release buckle that is easy to use allowing the whole wader to drop down in a matter of seconds. This feature is great for changing layers and for easier “relief”. Inside the wader there are 3 pockets; one waterproof and 2 stretch pockets with daisy loops above them for hanging tools. The waterproof pocket is big enough for a big fancy smartphone or even a camera, and the two stretch pockets can hold anything from extra sink tips to large fly boxes and the all important flask of your favorite whiskey or scotch. The redesigned outer pocket is no longer mesh but a solid piece with a water resistant zipper; a welcome change especially if you wade too deep. The knee area of the wader even has a pocket that includes padding for kneeling down and releasing your catch. These pads are easily removable if you are a tough guy and don’t need the added protection.

As far as construction goes, Patagonia uses a 4- layer H2NO barrier throughout the entire wader with a DWR ( durable water repellent) for elevated protection that allows for quicker drying and keeps the outer fabric from becoming bogged down with moisture so the breathable layer can do what it’s suppose to. A heavier 4 layer is used on the lower portion in the increased wear areas and a lighter 4-layer up high where durability is usually not as much of an issue. I have put the durability of these waders to the test on numerous occasions of bush whacking through the woods and sticker bushes in the dense barrier of tangles and logs that live on our Oregon coastal rivers and streams. I have took several luge trips down the steep banks on my rear end as well. I have not had any issues with wear and tear or any pinholes or leaks, which is a testament to how durable these waders are. I really like that Patagonia uses a material that is thinner and a lot less bulky than some other wader manufacturers. Its nice to have a durable wader that is easier to move in and is also durable. If you are in the market for a great pair of waders, Patagonia definitely has you covered. They also make several other models that are worth looking into including the Rio Gallegos zip front wader, Skeena wader, Rio Azul wader and the Women’s Spring River wader.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | 1 Comment

Unexpected delights – totally random Product reviews

Well, it’s time to fish again and Guy Allen released a beautiful wild winter steelhead today and it is 11:08 PM and I’ve been up since 3:30 AM and can’t sleep and I didn’t get a grab but maybe tomorrow and i’ll start with a tube intruder I tied this morning at 4 AM.

Jay's 0400 Hours  Tube Intruder.

Jay’s 0400 Hours Tube Intruder. This fly incorporates T-4 sink nanotube, Senyo’s Fusion Dub, Senyo’s Barred Predator Wrap, MFC ostrich, Pro Sportfisher Jungle Cock Imitation, and OPST Barred ostrich.

I decided to lay down my thoughts on  several new products or techniques to share with folks, these are just going to flow so bear with me please.

1.  Adding more wiggle to your bunny strips. Wow this is a simple technique that really works—first cut your rabbit strip and I use a 1/8″ but you may prefer a 1/4″ depending on circumstances. hold the tip of the strip securely in your fly vise, and mark the hide with a black sharpie or some other color of your choice, then with a razor blade, carefully and slowly slit the strip down the middle. Now tie in the un-split end as you normally would. You will find that the twosides of the split strip wiggle independently and you basically get twice the wiggle and motion from your rabbit strip flies. Deadly.

Rabbit strip marked with sharpie before splitting.

Rabbit strip marked with sharpie before splitting.

Rabbit strip marked with sharpie after splitting.

Rabbit strip marked with sharpie after splitting.

 

2.  Eumer Tube adaptor as dubbing pick and hackle folder tool. Yes you heard it here. This has become my favorite dubbing pick plus the rectangular butt is fantastic (the best I’ve ever found) for folding hackles from saddle to schlappen to guinea prior to winding them by the tip. I prefer the small and medium sizes and find that I like these better than any of the tools Ive used before.

Eumer tube adaptor small and medium sizes.

Eumer tube adaptor small and medium sizes.

3.OPST Dumbell shanks. These are very nice shanks with a return eye that is perfect for lashing on dumbbell eyes especially when tying Intruder style shank flies. I also tie unweighted flies with a trailer hook on these shanks.

OPST Dumbell eye shanks small and medium sizes.

OPST Dumbell eye shanks small and medium sizes.

4. Greg Senyo’s Fusion Dub. Egads. As if this madman didn’t already confuse me with the range of his products—I was in the shop recently and saw some of this new Senyo material in an customers order ready to ship. This material provides without question my most favorite colors for steelhead flies hands down. The Eat a Peach shines, the surf is super steelhead blue. The Grape is a purple beyond hope. I formerly was driven to blend my own dubbing to achieve these colors but Greg Senyo did the work for me on this one. Try it, you can not fail to love the colors.

Senyo's Fusion Dub - amazing colors (mtg favorites) and great texture and sparkle).

Senyo’s Fusion Dub – amazing colors (mtg favorites) and great texture and sparkle). If you tie steelhead and damon flies you must have this stuff.

5. Ostrich. OK let’s face the facts. Ostrich is tricky stuff. The various distributors struggle to get the best ostrich they can, but the nature of the plumes each distributor can obtain varies day-by-day. Month by month. Whatever. Point is the marabou you buy today may look different than the ostrich you buy a month from now. I’ve been tying steelhead flies with ostrich lately, and using OPST and MFC brands most often. I found that the OPST ostrich quality seems to have taken a turn for the better of late, and the MFC seems to alway always be of uniform nature. OPST is generally fluffier, and the MFC is very slender, a property based on how it is processed—so it is very much like Rhea. OPST offers barred and spotted ostrich. MFC offers a wide variety of barred and solid colors. I use both OPST and MFC ostrich and recommend it highly.

OPST Barred Intruder ostrich

OPST Dotted ostrich plumes

MFC barred premium ostrich

OPST and MFC Marabou.

 

Jay Nicholas OPST ostrich a.

Jay Nicholas OPST ostrich c Jay Nicholas OPST ostrich b Jay Nicholas MFC ostrich b Jay Nicholas OPST  & MFC ostrich a

6. Senyo’s Barred Predator Wrap. This stuff is crazy good incorporated in composite dubbing loops to provide both substance and motion to the fly’s body or hackle. You can wrap the stuff if you need it long or spin it in a loop if you want it shorter. I love this stuff.

Jay Nicholas Senyo's Barred Predator Wrap aJay Nicholas Senyo's Barred Predator Wrap bJay Nicholas Senyo's Barred Predator Wrap c

7. EP Game Change UV Blend. Im a big fan of Steve Farrar’s Blend materials for my saltwater flies and immediately recognized that Enrico Puglesi is now providing a very attractivve alternate that has slightly different properties and color shades to add to our palate of baitfish pattern materials. The EP Gamechange does NOT have UV Ice fibers added but the Gamechange blend is very sparkly. I’m just getting started with these materials but I guarantee that my boxes this season will feature many flies with this stuff, It is moderately stiff and will hold its shape well and can be trimmed as you wish. I’d venture that the textures of these two materials is more consistent than you see from color to color in the Farrar’s blend—where three different colors can have three completely different textures.

EP Game Change Blend assorted colors.

EP Game Change Blend assorted colors.

I hope you find something interesting here and are able to incorporate the inspiration into your own flies this season.

Jay Nicholas, January 2016.

 

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

Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Update

Buck winter steelhead on the gravel bar - a very nice hatchery fish.

Buck winter steelhead on the gravel bar – a very nice hatchery fish.

I’ve had the good fortune—finally—to get out and swing flies the last two days. The hatchery steelhead in the photo here is NOT one that I caught. This fine fish was laying on a gravel bar where another angler had stashed his backpack, lunch, thermos, and assorted tackle. I took this photo as a facsimile of two steelhead that were released by my friends over the last two days.

Joe unleashed with his Echo 3 Switch rod.

Joe unleashed with his Echo 3 Switch rod.

Beautiful swing water.

Beautiful swing water.

Two of us fished about two hours the first day and four of us fished five hours the second day. One wild buck came to hand for release on day one and one hatchery fish almost came to hand the second day. These two fish represented two grabs, no more. Oh yes, there were a few cutthroat in the mix both days. We had a great time, fished perfect water high in a coastal river, and found a few players. I think the catch-per-angler ratio was a little higher for folks fishing conventional gear lower in the river, based on rumors I’ve heard. A few of the fly anglers I’ve spoken with are beaming with big grins and hinting that there are good numbers of winters around anytime the water conditions permit fishing.

Nice power application by Guy.

Nice power application by Guy.

Luke launches a cast to cover a tailout.

Luke launches a cast to cover a tailout.

Jay's looking intent on the task at hand.

Jay’s looking intent on the task at hand.

The wind howled all night and there was rain too, but not as much as we’ve seen recently. I just checked the river level (7 AM  January 8th) and the rivers on the north coast are on the raise. I might get out and swing flies for at least a few hours this morning—but I’m weighing the fact that every bone in my back, knees, hips and shoulders aches. Maybe I’ll give it a rest and get back to it in a few days. This current river raise is not predicted to be very large and I should be well recuperated and ready to fish next week.

How to find a place to fish when the water is on the raise or higher than optimum? Here are my basic strategies.

1. Go high in the system. The farther you venture into a watershed the smaller the catchment basin is and the less water you’ll find. At this time of the season it could mean fewer steelhead also, but at least you will be fishing.

2. Fish tributaries. Check the regulations first, but tributaries will be fishable sooner than the main stem of large river basins.

3. Fish the smallest rivers. Smaller basin means less water and more likely to be in shape. Small rivers mean shorter rods down-sizing lines and tips, but these places can provide a refuge for the angler with cabin fever.

4. Go north or south. The rain often hits the Oregon coast in odd patterns and there are ties when the north coast will be un-fishable, but the central and south coast rivers will be in perfect condition.  The angler who is prepared to drive the coast will have more opportunities than a person like me who waits until the water is perfect in a close radius on the north coast.

Have fun and wade safe—my big accomplishment of the last two days was to make it up and down the riverbank without falling down or falling in. Life’s small joys these days.

Jay Nicholas Winter Steelhead update g

Wild winter steelhead ready for release

Just got this photo of the steelhead Guy released and have updated the post. Thanks Guy.

Best to you all.

Jay Nicholas January 28, 2015

Posted in Fishing Reports | Leave a comment

Diamond Lake Tiger Trout to take out Tui Chub?

For those lake anglers, an announcement from ODFW about Diamond Lake. It appears after spending millions of dollars in 2006 and killing off the tui chub, they have returned! Having to do this type of work does not help an already financially strapped organization (ODFW) get healthy anytime soon.

Stocking changes in Diamond Lake’s future

January 15, 2016
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Photo by ODFW

TIger Trout

ROSEBURG, Ore – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to add tiger trout to its standard Diamond Lake rainbow trout stocking this June. These brook and brown trout hybrids are reproductively sterile and known to prey on smaller fish – biologists are banking on them to help keep tui chub in check.

A single tui chub was found in a trap net this past fall, and biologists know all too well their life history of explosive population growth in Diamond Lake.

“We know what chub are capable of in Diamond Lake, and we are working with our partners to get ahead of the curve. We looked at many options, and tiger trout came out on top,” says Greg Huchko, Umpqua District Fish Biologist. “We wanted to stock a mix of brown and tiger trout, but only tigers are available this year. We will be looking into sterile brown trout for next year in addition to tiger trout.”

Huchko said he’s been meeting with the Umpqua National Forest, Douglas County, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss stocking, and biologists agreed that stocking sterile tiger and/or brown trout was the best choice. Both species are known to prey on smaller fish.

“Many strains of rainbow trout have been stocked in the past, but unfortunately, our creel surveys showed that even those we thought would prey on tui chub were feeding primarily on insects,” Huchko said. “In the early 2000s, we also experimented with a stocking of North Umpqua strain spring chinook with the hope they would eat tui chub, but most of them migrated out of the lake.”

Fisheries biologists will monitor tiger trout abundance in Diamond Lake although they expect minimal numbers of these trout to migrate into Lake Creek.

“Our goal is to design and implement a stocking strategy that controls tui chub to maintain water quality and angling opportunities. Any tiger trout that may leave or be removed from Diamond Lake are sterile so there is not the risk of these fish species reproducing in the North Umpqua watershed or elsewhere,” said Jason Wilcox, Umpqua National Forest fisheries biologist.

Pending funding, ODFW plans to purchase up to 20,000 three-inch and 5,000 eight-inch tiger trout from Cold Springs Trout Farm, a private hatchery in Utah. The tiger trout would be in addition to ODFW’s regular stocking of 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings and will likely be catch-and-release only to protect these fish and maintain their numbers.

ODFW and partners also outlined a stepped-up monitoring plan for Diamond Lake, including hiring two seasonal technicians to conduct additional removal of tui chub and golden shiners via beach seines, fyke nets, electro-fishing, and trap nets. Also, ODFW plans to monitor the tiger trout population by continuing creel surveys and operating a smolt trap near the lake’s outlet.

ODFW applied for grants to fund monitoring and fish stocking. The Umpqua Fisheries Enhancement Derby is also helping raise money by holding a “fish frenzy” at its annual derby banquet and auction Friday, January 29.

For every dollar donated, funds will be split to purchase both fish and capture nets for monitoring. A nights lodging in a cabin at Diamond Lake Resort and use of two large, two-person snowmobiles for the day comes with each $1,000 donation while a $500 donation receives a night’s lodging and use of two single-person snowmobiles.

In September 2006, ODFW successfully treated Diamond Lake with rotenone to eliminate an estimated 90 million tui chub at a cost of nearly $6 million, restoring water quality and the recreational rainbow trout fishery.

###

Contact:

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Contact: Greg Huchko, 541-440-3353

Umpqua National Forest Contact: Jason Wilcox, 541-957-3360

LV

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report, Oregon High Lakes | 2 Comments

Join Jay Nicholas at the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council Meeting Tomorrow

Join the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council Tuesday night, January 26th, for a very special event featuring salmon biologist, fisherman and philosopher Jay Nicholas. Named Oregon’s “Salmon Czar” by Governor Kitzhaber in 1996, Jay was the principal author of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds–the guiding document for watershed councils state-wide. He is also the author of the scientific monograph Chinook Salmon Populations in Oregon Coastal River Basins, and of Oregon’s recently adopted Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan. But Jay’s interest in salmon has always gone much deeper than mere profession. He has been a fanatical angler and fly tyer his entire life, and he has written extensively about his philosophies concerning salmon fishing and conservation. We are excited to host him here in Tillamook, where he spends a great many of his fishing days each year.

Jay

This event is the kick-off for the TBWC’s 2016 Speaker Series, and it heralds an amazing year to come. Attendance is FREE and open to the public. I will be providing smoked steelhead and other snacks, and there will be coffee, tea and soft drinks as usual. Jay’s talk will go from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, and will be followed by the Council’s regular monthly business meeting. Guests are encouraged to stick around for the meeting and learn about the many habitat restoration projects happening in our great watershed.

What: TBWC Speaker Series Kick-Off with Jay Nicholas
When: Tuesday, January 26th from 6:30 to 8:30pm
Where: Tillamook Public Library, 1716 3rd Street in downtown Tillamook
Why: Because we love our watershed!

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

Tube Fly Tying Class Jan 30th – Pro Sporfisher’s Bruce Berry – Winter Steelhead Tube Fly Patterns

pro sportfisher tube flies

Bruce Berry of Pro Sporfisher will instruct six fly tiers on the art of tying Winter Steelhead flies on tubes Jan 30th from 1-5pm. Bruce will have all the tubes, weights, cones and more to create flies during the class. If you have your favorite vise and tools please feel free to bring your own gear.

bruce berry fly tying pro sportfisher tube fly materials

Call the shop at 541 342 7005 to sign up!

Patterns will range from basic to advanced during the class. This is a great opportunity to learn from a signature fly tier. Bruce will help enhance your winter and summer steelhead “swing fly selection” and techniques to create innumerable tube flies.

pro sportfisher flies bruce berry

pro sportfisher flies fly tying materials

Where: The Caddis Fly Angling Shop – 168 West 6th ave -Eugene
When: Jan 30th, 2016 1-5pm
How Much $35 per person 6 folks max
What to bring: your favorite tying vise and tools (optional)
How to sign up: Call the shop 541-342-7005

bruce berry steelhead

CD

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events, Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

Saltwater Fly Fishing Class – Feb 6th at Shop

Frank Amato Joined me last year (2015) and had a great time dory fly fishing at Pacific City.

Frank Amato Joined me last year (2015) — we had a great time dory fly fishing at Pacific City.

Anyone who is interested in fly fishing the ocean offshore Oregon will find entertainment and education value in this class. This is a three hour class (10 AM – 1 PM) and I’ll be available after the class for follow up questions and one-on-one coaching regarding tackle, tactics, and so forth.

I’ll show a 45 minute video that will help stimulate questions that Ill review regarding tackle, tactics, seasons, species, flies, and the like. The season offshore Oregon at Pacific City runs February through October, all dependent on weather and surf conditions. 2015 marked the first season when a dedicated fly fishing dory charter service was offered by Capt. John Harrell of Pacific City Fly Fishing.

Everyone who chartered with John is currently in the process of booking trips for 2016. Universally, they were thrilled by the fact that they spend more time with fish yanking on their lines than they had ever experienced while fishing for steelhead and salmon. In addition, if the season is open for crabbing, John usually finds a lot of prime ocean Dungeness Crab in his pots for charter clients.

Mountain of Pacific rockfish fillets ready to bag and ice.

Mountain of Pacific rockfish fillets ready to bag and ice.

Several limits of cooked prime Dungeness Crab ready to distribute to angler's  coolers.

Several limits of cooked prime Dungeness Crab ready to distribute to angler’s coolers.

This will be a fun session and I’ll bring a ton of my rods, reels, lines, and flies to provide examples of the gear and techniques we use fly fishing in the ocean.

Considering a Kayak to fish offshore? I’ve never fished from a Kayak, but these are available for rent from Nestucca River Outfitters, and I see many anglers offshore fishing from Kayaks. All, so far, of the Kayak anglers I’ve seen have been using gear but I assure you that fly fishing in the ocean is not a long-shot – it is extremely effective.

Julie Cyr and Red Kulper fishing the ocean in 2015.

Julie Cyr and Red Kulper fishing the ocean in 2015.

I invite you to join me at the Caddis Fly Shop on Saturday, February 6th, and step into 2016 with the resolution that you’ll fly fish the ocean  for sea bass, lingcod, coho, chinook, or albacore (depending on the month and local conditions) soon.

Cost: $50 per person – limited to 12 persons.

$30 discount to each class attendee on their first 2016 dory charter to fly fish with John Harrell in the dory Gold Comet.

On the fence about whether or not fly fishing n the ocean is for you?  Come find out how easy and fun this is.

Hope to see you there: JN

 

Posted in Classes and Instruction, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Kisaralik River Trip

Ever think about a trip to Alaska? Caddis Fly Shop customer, Jim Reichman is looking for a few anglers to accompany his group on a trip to the Kisaralik River. Jim has graciously given all the details regarding the trip. Please contact Jim directly if you have any questions. Read below for further details and information.

K river 1

“A Kisaralik River Alaska float trip offers the unparalleled fishing that we experienced up here 25+ years ago. This is a pristine wilderness river, consistently providing Alaska rainbow trout and salmon fly fishing that is off the charts. The only way to truly access the potential of the Kisaralik River is to float it; there are no lodges on the river. For this reason we rarely see other people out there, making the Kisaralik River ideal for an Alaska wilderness fly fishing float trip.
K river 3

Our Kisaralik River Alaska float trips start with a DeHavilland Beaver flight from the community of Bethel, taking us across the tundra and into the mountains, 110 miles to Kisaralik Lake. From there our Alaska rafting and fishing adventure continues 80 miles down the river to the west, through the Kilbuck Mountains. The scenery is varied and beautiful and wildlife abound: bear, caribou, wolf, moose, beaver, waterfowl; even wolverine. The solitude is complete; perfect campsites are readily available, and at our secret locations incredible Alaska fly fishing lies just outside the door of your tent.
A Kisaralik River Alaska float trip provides a variety of fishing experiences: pools, “aquariums”, holes, back channels, spawning beds, pot holes, log jams, tail outs, sweepers, root balls and a variety of holding waters loaded with beautiful rainbow trout, dolly varden, arctic char and grayling. Major runs of Alaska king salmon , chum and silver salmon provide sport fishing opportunities and later give nourishment to the jaw dropping numbers of very large rainbow trout that reside in the Kisaralik (commonly caught at 16-24 inches, occasionally up to 26+ inches). Not only is this a great river for mousing big ‘bows, but the silver salmon will consistently rise to surface flies. This is a one of a kind Alaska float trip”

Note: This adventure has been termed an “intimate” trip, which is similar to many of the wilderness float/fish trips in Alaska. That is, all of the gear is carried in the anglers’ rafts – there is no bag boat that precedes the anglers downriver to set up camp. Anglers will be expected to provide some assistance setting up and taking down camp, and there is one very short portage where everyone will help move the equipment.

2 – 4 anglers invited

Kisaralik River, Alaska Float/Fish
August 20-27, 2016

– 80 river miles, 8 days, 7 nights
– $4,600, based on double occupancy
– Silvers, Rainbows, Grayling, Dolly Varden, Char
– Scenery, solitude, wildlife abound
– Variety of fishing – pools, holes, back channels,
log jams, root balls, tailouts, holding water
– Depart from Bethel
- http://frontierriverguides.com/Western%20Alaska.html

We need 2 additional anglers for the trip to go, and prefer 4 additional. Interested?

Contact Jim Reichman
541-729-8002
ojreichman@gmail.com

K river 2

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Composite Dubbing Loop Steelhead Fly – Part II

Winter (summer) steelhead fly tied with composite dubbing loop.

Winter (summer) steelhead fly tied with composite dubbing loop.

First thing I’d like to do is thank folks for your encouragement on our recent post on composite dubbing loops. Second thing is to note that I had a nice conversation with Ben Paull of OPST and thanked him for the great YouTube videos produced by him and his mates, especially Jerry French. Many of us who are tying Intruder style flies and fishing  using Skagit style casts owe these fellows a debt of gratitude for paving the path many of us take for granted now.

Composite loops have always been a mixed bag for me—Jerry French’s vast experience has ben an inspiration as well as a huge help—I’m still far from catching up to his skill level and probably never will. What’s most important  is for each of us to learn fun and useful new techniques, and this is precisely why I’m creating these posts—to inspire others like me who are struggling with composite loops.

What I’m about to do is lay out the process of tying a steelhead fly that will fish for winter and summer fish, using a single composite dubbing loop—starting with the recipe.

Shank: OPST 32 mm dumbbell eye shank

Wire: OPST Trailer wire

Hook: #4 Gammie or OPST Swing Hook

Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil eyes – small

Thread: Danville’s 210 D white

Wing: navy blue rabbit strip

Trigger point dubbing: STS Dub Fl. Pink and Ice Dub UV Purple

Substrate: UV Ice Dub Lavender

Motion first stage: Senyo’s Barred Predator Wrap(trim to 1.5 inch)

Flash accent: Ice Dub Steelie blue

Motion second stage: OPST Barred Ostrich Drab (trim to 2.0 inch)

Scrim topping: Ice Dub UV Purple

The two materials shown here will form the first stage of our dubbing loop - a brightly colored trigger point at the butt of the fly.  I’ve used two materials, the STS and the Ice Dub, because they make a very sparkly sheen and I’m a fan of blending dubbing colors to make unique color shades.

The two materials shown here will form the first stage of our dubbing loop – a brightly colored trigger point at the butt of the fly. I’ve used two materials, the STS and the Ice Dub, because they make a very sparkly sheen and I’m a fan of blending dubbing colors to make unique color shades.

In this photo, the two dubbings are roughly laid together on a 3x5 index card.

In this photo, the two dubbings are roughly laid together on a 3×5 index card.

•In this photo, the two dubbings are neatly aligned at the top of the card, acting as a guide for composing the loop.

• In this photo, the two dubbings are neatly aligned at the top of the card, acting as a guide for composing the loop.

This is a section of Senyo's Barred Predator Wrap ready to trim to 2.0 inches.

This is a section of Senyo’s Barred Predator Wrap ready to trim to 2.0 inches.

Trim to 1.5 inches.

Trim to 1.5 inches.

Lay down a scrim layer of UV Lavender Ice Dub—make it about one inch long.

Lay down a scrim layer of UV Lavender Ice Dub—make it about one inch long.

The Senyo's Predator Wrap fibers are neatly laid on the base (scrim) with 80%/20% relation to the centerline.

The Senyo’s Predator Wrap fibers are neatly laid on the base (scrim) with 80%/20% relation to the centerline. This photo shows a dab of Steelie Blue Ice Dub ready to place on top of the Predator Wrap. This will serve to add blue flash to the composite.

 

The Steelie Blue Ice Dub is placed on the Predator  Wrap.

The Steelie Blue Ice Dub is placed on the Predator Wrap.

Now it is time to lengthen the base layer (scrim) of the loop by adding a one inch section of UV Lavender Ice Dub.

Now it is time to lengthen the base layer (scrim) of the loop by adding a one inch section of UV Lavender Ice Dub.

Trim a section of OPST Barred Ostrich Plume from the stem, probably 2.0 inches, then trim the loose material to a length of 2.0 inch.

Trim a section of OPST Barred Ostrich Plume from the stem, probably 2.0 inches, then trim the loose material to a length of 2.0 inch.

Lay the ostrich plume fibers on the Ice Dub layer neatly with the same 80%/20% relationship to the centerline.

Lay the ostrich plume fibers on the Ice Dub layer neatly with the same 80%/20% relationship to the centerline.

This is a pinch of UV Purple Ice Dub that I will place on top of the Predator  Wrap and ostrich Plume sections of the composite.

This is a pinch of UV Purple Ice Dub that I will place on top of the Predator
Wrap and ostrich Plume sections of the composite.

The Purple UV Ice Dub is laid on top and will act as a binder to keep the Predator  Wrap and Ostrich fibers from falling off when I pick this material up and place it in a waxed loop.

The Purple UV Ice Dub is laid on top and will act as a binder to keep the Predator
Wrap and Ostrich fibers from falling off when I pick this material up and place it in a waxed loop.

This is a 32mm OPST Dumbell shank, in a regal vise. When available (soon) the OPST shank Chuck will make this even more secure. I've used Danvilles 210 D white thread to lash down OPST Intruder Wire and super-glued the material after doubling it back.

This is a 32mm OPST Dumbell shank, in a regal vise. When available (soon) the OPST shank Chuck will make this even more secure. I’ve used Danvilles 210 D white thread to lash down OPST Intruder Wire and super-glued the material after doubling it back.

Lash on the Double Pupil Dumbell Eyes on the underside of the shank. Use a figure 8 and wrap around the base of the criss-cross wraps and add super glue at this stage.

Lash on the Double Pupil Dumbell Eyes on the underside of the shank. Use a figure 8 and wrap around the base of the criss-cross wraps and add super glue at this stage.

Form a dubbing loop at the rear of the shank, I agree with Jerry French's recommendation of a 5 inch loop.

Form a dubbing loop at the rear of the shank, I agree with Jerry French’s recommendation of a 5 inch loop.

I pick up the trigger point portion of the dubbing and slip it into the loop, the wax will hold it in place. I also prefer to use an OPST Dubbing Tool because it is heavier and makes the spinning process more reliable.

I pick up the trigger point portion of the dubbing and slip it into the loop, the wax will hold it in place. I also prefer to use an OPST Dubbing Tool because it is heavier and makes the spinning process more reliable.

Holding the loop open with my right hand, and the dubbing tool hooked onto the thread, I pick up the rest of the loop in my left hand and insert it into the loop.

Holding the loop open with my right hand, and the dubbing tool hooked onto the thread, I pick up the rest of the loop in my left hand and insert it into the loop.

This is how my loop looks when I first spin it. Jerry's loops look much nicer. I will gently pick this out and release the long fibers with a bodkin or the point of a whip finish tool.

This is how my loop looks when I first spin it. Jerry’s loops look much nicer. I will gently pick this out and release the long fibers with a bodkin or the point of a whip finish tool.

Much nicer now that I have picked the long fivers loose. Next step will be to fold the material before winding it around the shank.

Much nicer now that I have picked the long fivers loose. Next step will be to fold the material before winding it around the shank.

I keep a small bowl of water   at hand and wet my fingertips to help fold the material prior to winding it like a hackle.

I keep a small bowl of water at hand and wet my fingertips to help fold the material prior to winding it like a hackle.

I'm starting to wind the composite and have just about finished wrapping on the trigger point in this photo.

I’m starting to wind the composite and have just about finished wrapping on the trigger point in this photo.

I have finished wrapping the composite and it looks like heck, all wadded up, but I will gently pick it out in the next step to free the long fibers.

I have finished wrapping the composite and it looks like heck, all wadded up, but I will gently pick it out in the next step to free the long fibers.

Much better—now that I've picked the loose fibers free to flow.

Much better—now that I’ve picked the loose fibers free to flow.

Here is my rabbit strip wing, placed loose on top of the fly just to measure before tying it in. I will shift from white thread to Fl. blue to match the rabbit strip now. and lash about 1/8 inch of the tip of the strip on top of the dumbbell eyes.

Here is my rabbit strip wing, placed loose on top of the fly just to measure before tying it in. I will shift from white thread to Fl. blue to match the rabbit strip now. and lash about 1/8 inch of the tip of the strip on top of the dumbbell eyes.

The rabbit strip is tied in and super glued with blue thread. Note that I rigged the hook point up but it can be rigged down also.

The rabbit strip is tied in and super glued with blue thread. Note that I rigged the hook point up but it can be rigged down also.

Here is a view of the fly as it will swim. The rabbit strip will wiggle and flow in the current but must not be long enough to foul the up-turned hook. Rigging the hook down would allow me to use a slightly longer rabbit strip.

Here is a view of the fly as it will swim. The rabbit strip will wiggle and flow in the current but must not be long enough to foul the up-turned hook. Rigging the hook down would allow me to use a slightly longer rabbit strip.

I hope these step by step photos help. These flies swim nicely and wiggle enticingly. The steelhead approve too; I’ve hooked two fish on this fly so far (three days on the water) but have yet to bring one close for a photo.

This is a modest sized fly tied on a very short shank, and I will next tie a larger Intruder style fly on a longer shank. Can these composite loops be used on tubes?  You bet they can. More to follow, and thanks for your interest, support, and patience.

Jay Nicholas January 2016

Posted in Fly Tying | 8 Comments

Time to book your Travel for 2016. How about Cuba?

becker cuda

We have two separate weeks booked in Cuba this coming July of 2016. Both on “live a board” boats. This past June we found the food and service level to be outstanding on the “live a board”. Over the past 8 years we have seen numerous operations around Cuba fishing with the Avalon Group at different locals, the “live a board” is really an ideal way to fish the rich and largely unspoiled waters around the Cuban mainland. The fishing in Cuba is fantastic and something to be experience sooner rather than later. With travel restrictions eased anglers now have zero worries coming and going from Cuba.

The week of July 2-8 2016 is aboard the Perola Yacht.

This luxury yacht will take you to the most remote and pristine flats and distant waters that collectively surround Isla de la Juventud. The Perola is a beautiful 75-foot luxury live-aboard yacht that is utilized for weekly trips to the most remote areas of the Canarreos Archipelago. Areas that are accessed and fished by the Perola include Cayo Campo, the Cantilles islands and Cayo Rosario, which is renowned for some of the most outstanding flats fishing in all of Cuba. The Perola is a recently refurbished classic wooden yacht, perfect for a group of up to six anglers. There are five comfortable air-conditioned cabins below deck, most of which have a private bath with good showers and plenty of hot water. Anglers will really appreciate the large amount of storage space available in each of the rooms. 

This is an impressive yacht, with polished hardwood floors and teak paneling. Circular stairways take you downstairs to the cabins or upstairs to the dining area atop the open-air deck. The top deck is covered and always remains in the shade, but open to the sea breeze, ensuring guests a very comfortable and insect-free environment. Clear plastic side coverings are utilized if harder winds or inclement weather become an issue. Several comfortable rope hammocks are hung from the ceiling and can be lowered after lunch or dinner for a nap in the breeze or a very relaxed cocktail hour. A full-sized, air-conditioned salon on the main deck level can be utilized as a living and dining area in extremely harsh weather. Fly tiers will like the full tying table in the salon, and sinking into one of the salon’s plush couches with a good drink is the perfect end to a long day on the flats. 



IDJ 1

Cuisine on board the Perola is exceptional. Fresh fish of the day is offered for most meals, either caught by the anglers themselves or brought in by the crew. Lobster and conch are abundant can be enjoyed on a daily basis or upon request. Salads with fresh vegetables and a variety of fruits are always available as well. Other menu items include pork and chicken entrees served throughout the week, fresh sashimi for appetizers and some of the finest frozen Daiquiris in all of Cuba. 

Anglers arriving on Isla de la Juventud will stay aboard the Perola on the first night, anchored at a private marina on the Jucaro River. Early the following morning, anglers will meet their guides, jump in the skiffs, fish, and make their way east to meet up with the Perola that evening in one of the outer anchorages. On the final fishing day, anglers will fish their way back to Gerona, reboard the Perola at the marina with time to take a refreshing shower and pack before departing on the evening flight back to Havana.

cayo-largo-permit

The week of July 8-16 is aboard the Avalon II Yacht.

Avalon II is a brand new, state-of-the-art mothership with 10 staterooms and all the amenities and offerings you would expect from a high-end, private yacht. 

The ship’s overall capacity is 20 passengers and 9 crewmembers, although all trips are limited to groups of between 10 and 16 anglers. The boat offers the perfect balance of substantial exploration capabilities, functional style and total comfort, and offers guests a unique platform for an exclusive voyage through the Jardines de la Reina. 

All staterooms offer plenty of space, private bathrooms, individual air conditioning and heating controls, electricity plugs, and panoramic windows to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Caribbean. 

There is also a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the main deck. This is the ideal option for large groups and families.

gardens-of-the-queens5

Food and Beverages

Dining on board Avalon II is always amazing. The menu typically combines fantastic Continental Italian cuisine, fresh seafood every day, and traditional Cuban favorites like rice and beans, black bean soup and fried plantains. If you are someone who enjoys fresh seafood, then you will be in heaven. Beverages available on board include bottled water, various soft drinks, beer, rum and imported wines. If you prefer liquor other than rum, you can bring this with you.

avalon 1 food

Typical Length of Stay

A typical stay in the Jardines de la Reina area is seven (7) nights / five and a half (5.5) fishing days, starting on Saturday and ending on Friday. A normal week includes five full days of fishing and one or two half days (depending on your schedule and mode of transportation to and from Jucaro). Additional days in Havana or on other parts of the island can easily be arranged and itineraries can be fully customized. Combo trips between the Jardines de la Reina and other fishing areas can also be arranged.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

These are a remote live-aboard operations located in the mangrove wilderness of the Jardines de la Reina. This means that non-angling (and non-diving) activities are limited. If you are interested in diving, Avalon’s dive program is incredible and the Jardines are considered by many to be one of the finest, most pristine dive and snorkel destinations in the entire world. Even anglers can participate in a shallow-water dive program on a few afternoons of their trip. This can be taught after your day of fishing, and can culminate in a trip where you dive with the area’s famous Silky Sharks. Overall this specific destination is best suited for anglers and divers.

Internet/Communications
Wi-Fi via the Avalon Hot Spot is available free of charge to guests on Avalon II. While this satellite internet access is slow and at times spotty, it is available! Guests should bring their own laptop, iPad or other device to access the internet. Keep in mind that U.S. cell phones currently DO NOT work anywhere in Cuba. Also, satellite phones are strictly prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport on arrival.

We have some exceptional rates for these trips and welcome any inquiries. Please contact me directly at caddiseug@yahoo.com.

Chris Daughters

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

2016 Fishing Regulaitions

Happy New Year to all Anglers!

Reg 3

An old dude, named Socrates, once said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” With this quote in mind, our beloved ODFW bring us the new regs for 2016.   These regs were not an easy task by any means.  ODFW is attempting to make our fishing regs more simplified.  I have to admit, they did a very good job under a lot of pressure and input.   For certain, you should get or read a copy of the 2016 fishing regs.  Its professionally  done and packed with change.  Here are few excerpts to get you going to read them and hopefully, embrace the new!

Reg 2

Yes, Warm Springs to Trout Creek is now open ALL YEAR ROUND!

Reg 1

This reg is testing my embrace of change for certain.   However, it is what it is, and let’s get  on to 2016, tight lines to everyone for a safe and fish filled year!

LV

 

 

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report, Fishing Reports | 1 Comment

2016 Carp Update: Malheur Wildlife Refuge

In case you have not seen the news or read about it…there is a lot of activity at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge these days. However, all you carp anglers should be aware of this article from the Eugene newspaper last week. Having spent time at the Refuge the last few years, I can assure you the carp are very plentiful. Could this be the answer to the carp problem?

From the Register-Guard: BURNS, Ore. — Biologists hope commercial fishing will end a carp invasion at Malheur Wildlife Refuge, years after the bottom-feeding fish completed a takeover of Malheur Lake.

Carp

The carp have created an ecosystem that no longer supports the plants and insect life that birds rely upon for food and habitat.

Managers of the migratory bird sanctuary south of Burns have tried dynamite, poison, putting screens across the waterways and suffocating the fish by draining water from lakes and ponds.

“Every time, it would be two, three, maybe four years before they’d repopulate,” refuge manager Chad Karges said. “They’re the perfect invasive species. There’s very little that will kill them.”

Now they’re going to try fishing the carp out of there, with help from the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation and Tualatin-based Pacific Foods, best known for boxed soup and soymilk.

A five-year contract began this year, but drought kept lake waters too low to start fishing. But by spring 2016, the team hopes to begin removing thousands of fish from the water each day.

As many as 4 million pounds of carp could come out of the lake next year. The meat, which most Americans won’t eat, will be used to fertilize Chuck Eggert’s crops.

Eggert, who owns Pacific Foods, has formed a side company, Silver Sage Fisheries, to deal with the castaway carp. Once taken from the lake, the fish will be trucked to Burns for processing before being spread across alfalfa fields that feed Eggert’s dairy cows.

“It’s been enjoyable to get a broader partnership going to address what has become a longstanding issue, while putting the waste to use,” said Tim Greseth, the executive director of Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, who worked with Eggert to develop the fertilizer concept.

Unlike past carp control efforts, the goal this time isn’t to eradicate the fish. Instead, workers hope to remove enough carp to trigger an “ecological tipping point,” loosening their stranglehold so plants and insects can rebound and then provide enough food for the millions of birds that historically have rested here during their migrations.

Organizers hope a few years of intensive fishing will do the job. In subsequent years, lighter maintenance fishing should keep the fish at bay.

“We’re trying for a more sustainable carp control, instead of the shotgun approach,” said Linda Beck, the refuge’s fish biologist.

LV

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

Posted in Eastern Oregon | 2 Comments