Postcards from the Oregon Coast

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

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


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

Jay Nicholas, September 26, 2014.

Posted in Oregon Salmon fly fishing, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Sun Valley 2014

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

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

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

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

LV

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Green Butt Steelhead Stinger Fly Tying Video

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

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Green Butt Steelhead Stinger Recipe

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

Thomas Ranger

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Abaco Bahamas Fly Fishing Trip 2014

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We missed our annual Bahamas trip last year. With our first year at Cedar Lodge approaching we had a couple irons in the fire and thought it best to concentrate on the new venture. This year our trip to Abaco is serving as a respite before our second season. A chance to regroup before we head south. Sunshine, home school, fishing, beaching and a few online meetings were on the docket.

One if our favorite beaches #abacopalms

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Casuarina Point is a perfect spot for a family vacation that mixes fishing in at your leisure. We stay at Abaco Palms, one of four very well appointed homes available for rent from Kathy Heacock. Each home is ideally suited for families or couples and comes with a boat for “do it yourself bonefishing”. Kathy has thought of everything inside each home, washer, dryer, internet, cable, vonage phone, a/c and a very complete kitchen. In addition to a very user friendly Carolina Skiff there are paddle boards, kayaks and all kinds of odd “floaties” for the kids. You can view all of Kathy rentals on the same beach at this link: ABACO PALMS

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Dick Matteri and Laura Parrish have joined us again this year and are fishing with our good friend JR Albury of JR’s Bonefish Abaco. JR has a new boat this year and has been taking Dick and Laura to the “marls” each day. The bonefishing has been consistently good as you would expect with 5-10mph winds and clear skies.

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Dick caught this Permit on a crazy charlie pattern in between who knows how many bonefish for the day. Fishing has simply been outstanding this week!

I brought a few new products down with me this year. Hatch lines, and tippets, the new Bauer RX reel and the Sage Salt 8 weight.

Hatch Fly Fly Lines caddisflyshop.com

The Hatch Professional Series Tropical Fly Line is made by Airflo and employs “ridged technology”. The line casts beautifully! It’s taper is very friendly in close, and when you need to reach out to those tailing bonefish that seem to be just out of reach. The line seems slightly over weighted to me, not a bad thing with most saltwater rods on market being on the fast action side of things. I have been casting the 8wt Hatch line on the Sage 8wt Salt which certainly qualifies as a fast action rod and the Hatch fly line easily loads it. At first glance the olive colored head or forward section of the line struck me as a bit “trouty” in color. But having fished the line over sand and turtle grass the olive head to tan running line is quite stealthy and yet visibly enough for me to track the line.

Hatch Professional Series Tippet Material is fluorocarbon material. It comes on a large spool and comes off the spool surprisingly straight. It’s strangely supple for a super strong fluorocarbon. I have found it to be incredibly strong both in knot strength and abrasion resistance. The 12lb is perfect for bonefish in the Bahamas.

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The New Bauer RX Series fly reel has enough drag to stop any fish you might encounter on the flats. I have been using the RX5 on my 8wt and have loved it’s super smooth out going drag mechanism. John Bauer has “beefed up” the drag on the RX when compared to his Rogue series of reels. The drag knob is large and easy to get at for adjustment, but does not catch line or get accidentally adjusted while casting or fighting fish. The RX has elegant looks but is super tough. The size 5 is great for an 8wt but will easily take a 9 or 10 for a very nice Tarpon reel. The RX will play nicely on a switch or spey rod in sizes 5, 6 and 7 as well.

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I am a huge believer in Sage’s “Konnetic Technology” graphite, like the SAGE ONE, METHOD, and CIRCA series the new SAGE SALT employs the Konnetic story. The SALT is a fast action powerful rod capable of casting in serious wind with large weighted flies. The SALT has all the lifting power to manage fish that try to beat you at the boat. Saltwater fly fishing demands speed, accuracy and strength from you rod the SALT takes care of all three as well as any rod I have used in saltwater. The SALT has a new reel seat design, a beautiful blue color, large stripping guides and a larger tip top to accommodate some of the large short headed lines of today. We have an 8 and a 10 available for demo, stop by and give one a cast!

More from the Bahamas coming soon!

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

Clear Cure Goo Purple Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph Fly Tying Video

Purple has been very effective color for us this season, on the surface and subsurface. The Purple Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph is a great all around nymph imitation that can be used in sizes #12-18. We believe the Purple Pheasant Tail imitates small mayfly and stonefly nymphs, a constant in the drift of most rivers. Give it a shot!

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Clear Goo Cure Purple Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph

Hook: TMC 3761, Sizes 10-18
Bead: Gold or Copper Cyclops Bead
Tail: Purple Pheasant Tail
Rib: Copper UTC Wire—size appropriate
Wingcase: Pearl Mylar, Brown Medallion Sheet
Thorax: Purple Peacock Herl
Legs: Purple Pheasant Tail
Wingcase coating: Clear Cure Goo

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

Cuba is Coming!

Just a friendly reminder to attend our informational meeting on fishing Cuba this Wednesday, October 22, at 7:00pm. Join Matias Gimenez, of Avalon, to hear and see his presentation on fly fishing Cuba. Matias will cover all aspects of this unique fishery. This is an opportunity to ask all the questions you ever wanted to ask about fishing Cuba. Please join us!

CUBA

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

Fall Guide Special Starts Today October 21st, 2014

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Starting this coming Wednesday the 21th of October we will be offering special pricing on our local guided fly fishing trips. Instead of our standard $450 per day we will be running a prime part of the day “3/4 guide day” for two anglers for $325 per boat (2 anglers per boat). The trip includes gear, flies, leaders, tippet and water. The trip does not include lunch. As we get deeper into fall the “prime part of the day” is the warmest part of the day. We are having our best success from around 10-4pm.

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Give us a call to take advantage of some of the great fishing on the lower McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. October Caddis, Blue Winged Olives and Short Winged Stoneflies have some of the very best fish of the year showing themselves. Beautiful fall days lie ahead. To book our guide special give us a call at 541- 342- 7005.

Posted in Fishing Porn, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Cuba Comes to the Caddis Fly Shop!

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Think about a place where you can fish more than 100 miles of flats without seeing another fisherman, a place where the flats fishing is so good, you can catch seven species of fish in one day. A place where big bonefish run toward your fly even when it hits the water too hard rather than streaking off the flat in the other direction. A place where you have a legitimate chance for a Grand Slam every day of the year. A place where big permit are as plentiful as they were in the Florida Keys 30 years ago. A place where you can wade miles of white-sand flats in your bare feet for big bonefish. A place where you’ll find enough big tarpon, jacks, and ’cudas to wear you out!

We have a unique opportunity at the Caddis Fly Shop on October 22, 2014 at 7:00pm.

Please join us and Matias Gimenez of Avalon, Cuban Fishing Centers. Matias presentation promises to answer all you ever wanted to know about Cuba and fishing in Cuba. Matias will go over agenda items such as legal entry into Cuba for US citizens, and a host of other topics.

Keep the date open and join us on
OCTOBER 22, 2014 AT THE SHOP!
7:00PM

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Mongolia Fall 2014 Taimen Fishing Report

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Matt Ramsey was kind enough to share another Mongolia guide season report with OregonFlyFishingBlog.com. Thanks so much Matt.

Another season in  Sweetwater Travel Company’s Mongolian Taimen Camps is in the books.  After last season’s high water and tougher fishing, this year the taimen population on the Eg river proved to be healthy and resilient.  With perfect river conditions and stable weather, the 2014 Fall season reminded us why this truly is the world’s best taimen fly fishery.

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Week 1:  Arrival

This season, I was joined in the lower camp by Oregon homey and second-year taimen guide, Matt Carter, South African Seychelles veteran, James (Jame-o) Topham, Big Fish Bayaraa, and Ganzorig.  Matt, Jame-o, Bayaraa, and I decided to take Bayaraa’s jeep for the 13-hour drive out to camp from Ulaan Baatar.

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Which is not to say that there wasn’t any traffic.

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As we finally rolled into camp, the boys shook off the long drive by flexing their tenkara rods (newly acquired from the “black market” in U.B.) in front of camp.  It was great to see that the river was in prime shape and that the grayling and lenok were abundant.

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After a few days of fluffing the camp and boats, we were ready for the arrival of the first group of guests.

Week 2:  The Dries Have It!

Our first group was composed of the original six Texans who had diverted their trip last season when they learned of the blown-out river conditions.  Literally pulled from the airplane, they had audible to a fall-back adventure in Alaska.  That trip had been a success, and now they were stoked to finally be wetting lines in the Land of the Giants.

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These guys were all solid fly fishermen, and they wasted little time in getting stuck into some great fish.

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Even the pike were biting dry flies.

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Back at International Guide H.Q., beer-fueled fly tying sessions lasted each night until the generator shut down.

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The Cyclops was an early-season favorite.

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As the week progressed, we had some amazing fishing.  One day, however was unforgettable:  I was guiding Kerry Hagen from Portland, OR, a single angler that had joined the Texans for the week.  Kerry had so far experienced less spectacular fishing than the others and wondered aloud if he was doing something wrong.  I advised him to hang in there (what else can you say?), that his day was coming.

The day was cloudy and overcast.  One of the Texans had reported finding a dozen dead mice in a weed bed near one of our favorite log-jam pools downriver the day before. Hmmm. . .  Additionally, the nightly dance-party of rodents (and the morning’s casualties) in the cabin suggested that this might be a big rodent year.

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Tying on a fresh mutant mouse pattern, Kerry and I headed down to the aforementioned log jam and waded in.  What happened next still defies description.  Kerry quickly rose, hooked and landed a nice fish in the 3-foot range, his best of the week so far.  And then, it happened: taimen began rolling and porpoising in the pool.  Kerry cast again and immediately hooked and landed another 3-footer.  In the course of the next 30 minutes, Kerry rose 7 more taimen including a couple pretty big ones, landing 5 more in and around 3-feet long. The taimen were clearly interested in the mutant mouse fly.

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Finally, the pool quieted, and we moved on, both of us shaken and shaking from the experience.  Kerry went on to raise several more fish throughout the afternoon landing so many that I was popping three-footers off the fly like they were McKenzie planter trout.  In the end, Kerry had raised 20, hooked 16 and landed 12 taimen.  The mutant mouse was a little chewed up after the experience, and it had earned a new name: the “Hairy Kerry.”

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By the end of the week, the group’s official tally was an astounding 119 taimen landed.  Even though everyone landed trophy-class fish for the week, the true giants risen and lost haunted our nightly debriefing sessions in the cabin.  Truly a historic week!

Week 3:  Elvis is in the Building

Jame-o left us after the first week to head back to Norway to return to his regular job guiding for huge Atlantic salmon.  Matt, Bayaraa, Ganzorig and I remained in camp to handle the smaller group of four anglers for the week.  No matter what you are expecting when you come to Mongolia, it is still a bit disorienting when your guide ties on the first taimen fly for the afternoon session.

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This week the fishing remained strong.  One angler landed a 42″ trophy in the Home Pool in front of camp on the first afternoon.  While several very big fish rose to flies during the week, none made it to the bottom of the net.  Matt and I were co-guiding when we both witnessed the rise of a giant taimen (well north of 50 inches) to a dead drifted Hairy Kerry.  Despite our combined “fervent encouragement,” the fish was not hooked.  This was the theme of the week, with the guides lamenting the “one(s) that got away,” every evening.

Each day dawned foggy and cool with gorgeous afternoons and some amazing sunsets.  And the week settled in to its own rhythm.

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Fly tying sessions every night led to overstocked boxes in anticipation of the next week in the “taimen mines.”

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The next week’s guests hailed from Sao Paolo, Brazil, and most spoke almost no English.  I foolishly said I knew Spanish, leading many of the guys to speak nothing but Portuguese and Spanish with me, while the other guides got to speak English.  These were great guys.  Four of them were serious anglers, good fly casters with lots of experience chasing big fish in cool places around the world.  The other three guys (the “three amigos”) were total novices in all things fishing (let alone, fly fishing).

Fishing this week was tougher. While the serious guys got after it, enduring the punishment and emotional challenge of taimen fishing, the “three amigos,” had it dialed: trips to town and the inscription rock, visiting local families, riding horses, some days fishing a run or two in the morning, followed by lunch and a nap back in camp, maybe fishing another run in the evening, or wandering the gravel bar looking for cool rocks.  They rose a surprising number of taimen despite not really working that hard.

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The other guys put in their time. . .

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And ultimately they were rewarded with taimen encounters that will stay with them the rest of their lives. On the second-to-last day out, group leader, Jose “Big Plum” Godiano had a great afternoon, landing a pair of trophies on surface flies, one of which was the best of the season.

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At the end of the Brazilians’ week, I packed my gear and hopped on the chopper to head home.  Leaving the boys in camp for one last week of guests, I turned my attention to family, friends and fall fishing in the Valley.
Coming through Incheon Airport in South Korea, I was reminded that our economic society has become increasingly specialized.  What do you get for friends who already have everything?  Look for a store that caters to their specific needs.

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Once again, the 2014 Fall Taimen Fishing Season in Mongolia affirmed my faith in the fish, the fishery, and the future.  Conservation efforts implemented by Sweetwater Travel Company and  Hovsgol Travel Company, and carried today with religious zeal by Charlie Conn at the Taimen Fund, are working.  The long-held dream of establishing a fly-fishing-only taimen sanctuary on this great river system may actually be in reach.
The Taimen of Outer Monglia are settling in for another winter under the ice.  May we all be fortunate enough to meet again.

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 3 Comments

Harriman Ranch Fall 2014

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It may be Idaho, but if your looking for an example what “big sky” means, check out the Henry’s Fork, Island Park, Idaho. Its just a few miles down the road from West Yellowstone. After casting streamers in Montana and “normal size” dries….we now found ourselves upon the Henrys. It was kind of like a baseball pitch….a change up.

Let me best describe fly fishing the Harriman Ranch on the Henry’s. It is a place where the most challenging, delicate presentations, casting the smallest flies on the edge of human visual recognition, exist on mother Earth. No joke.

First, the good news; there’s plenty of room for your back cast. The water is shallow. Easy wading. The river bottom is flat. There is a ton of space to land a fish. The water is slow moving. The water is very clear. Prolific hatches coat the river. It’s easy to see the fish. A sight fly anglers dream. A place of scenic beauty.

Hey, what could possibly be the bad news? Here we go; Size 20 or 22 flies are the norm. You must have 6x or 7x tippet. Due to low water in the fall, moss or long weeds create pockets where fish hang out. Your casts have to be “money” over rising fish. If you hook a fish, the first place it seeks…the moss!

If you have become “more mature” in your life, and require visual assistance (i.e. glasses or “magnification devices”) you will be cursing your eye doctor for a stronger prescription on your next visit. When the hatch goes off, it not just a few places, it coats the entire river. Fish are in pods gulping away.

Oh, the fish, they are simply, huge. “Mongo” is seen among many other good size fish, rising within casting range. After a cannonball slurp to a size 20 mahogany dun and a simple hook set, one fish headed to the moss and broke off. The fish’s run was only about 4 feet but enough for me to see a good side view. Yep, it was him.

So, there are no pictures of large fish from the Henry’s Fork. However, Ken did catch nice fish using a hopper dropper combination of a 14 dry with a size 20 dropper. In all, it was a great experience and we learned more about “the ranch”. Vowing to return next year, we headed out to Sun Valley.

LV

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Two Fly Tournament Results 2014

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This years Two Fly Tournament raised $6574 for the McKenzie River Trust. Nine teams enjoyed a friendly, best three fish of the day competition.

Special thanks to all those who participated and especially the guides who donated their time to the event. Thanks so much guys, without your help the event simply doesn’t exist.

Kyle Duke
Lou Verdugo
Andrew Sidelinger
Brian Marz
Bryson Fairlamb
Clay Holloway
Ty Holloway
Todd Weck

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The winning team was Doug Hoff and Jeff Woolsey. Doug and Jeff have won the tourney two years in a row now and were brimming with confidence at Friday nights dinner and Saturday’s after tourney get-together at Ninkasi. It would seem the outcome was never in doubt in their minds. Ty Holloway guided the winning team and has now guided three winning teams!

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Second Place went to Erik Brudvig and Jake Deglee. Todd Weck guided Eric and Jake, and took them down to the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette in his sled. Rumor has it that the guys used heavy nymphs and switch rods to “nymph up” some really nice fish.

Third place went to Joan McCreery (former champion) and Kathy McCartney guided by Lou Verdugo.

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All three of the winning scores were garnered on the lower McKenzie. The lower river continues to impress with it’s high quality wild trout population.

We will be setting the date for the 2015 McKenzie River Two Fly Tournament early in 2015 so be on the look out!

Posted in McKenzie River, Oregon Conservation News | 2 Comments

The Firehole 2014

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Having yet to fish inside the park, on our Montana trip, Ken C. and I headed out to the Firehole River. The one thing we continually did on our trip;    walk 20 minutes and you will enjoy the most scenic solitude…ever!   Worked every time, and we had the place to ourselves.

The Firehole captures many fly fishing calendars and several fly fishing videos.  It’s easy to see why.    If an angler ever wanted to fish Dante’s Inferno, the Firehole would be as close one could get.

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It would be good to mention, caution while hiking around the Firehole. Yes, its scenic, but the bubbling puddles are not to be taken lightly.   Its scalding hot water and for sure, the edges of the puddles are cut back banks with skinny overhangs. We used caution when approaching steaming holes and were very alert about our back casts.

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Oh yeah, the fishing? It was good! We landed many browns and rainbows to hand. We were fortunate to find a caddis hatch in the afternoon and were not disappointed.  The size of the fish were not in the mongo range, but enough to make the day and experience complete.

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Last, but not least, we also learned how to fly fish while being accompanied by buffalo.  Sounds a bit strange?  Yep, it was!  Here’s the deal with buffalo…they can do whatever they freaking want!  Giving them plenty of space and adjusting to the “harmonious sounds” buffalo make while grazing, was very easy.

Bottom line, we had a great day,  caught fish on dries all day, and looked forward to our next stop…Henry’s Fork.

LV

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Psycho Prince Fly Tying Video

The Psycho Prince is an excellent all season nymph to fish as the dropper in a hopper dropper rig or a second nymph when going deep under an indicator. It can be tied using various colors of Ice Dub as the body and thorax. Durable and dense, the version in this video has been proven on our local rivers and beyond.

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Psycho Prince

Thread: Brown Veevus
Hook: TMC 3761 #12-18
Tail: Brown Goose Biot
Rib: Small Copper Ultra Wire
Shellback: Pheasant Tail fibers
Body: UV Purple Hareline Ice Dub
Wingcase: Yellow Hareline Shimmer
Wing: White Goose Biots
Thorax: UV Brown Hareline Ice Dub

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

Local Trout Unlimited Chapter Activities

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Eugene and Corvallis Trout Unlimited Chapters are gaining steam and need your support in their conservation efforts. The Eugene Redsides Chapter and the Corvallis Bluebacks are having meetings and events outlined below.

October meeting

Monday, October 13th, Rogue Ales Public House (lower level), 844 Olive St, Eugene –

The Redsides October meeting will be held in the lower level of the Rogue Ales Public House on October 13th. The board meeting is at 6:00PM and all members are welcome to attend. The general meeting starts at 7:00PM and is open to the general public.

This month’s presentation will be given by Jared Weybright, Project Coordinator McKenzie Watershed Council. Jared will give an overview of the watershed and discuss specific projects, rehabilitation and improvements throughout the watershed.

There is usually street parking available, but there is also a parking garage in the 900 block of Charnelton that is free after 6:00PM. It’s an easy 2-block walk to Rogue.

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The Corvallis-based Blueback Chapter of Trout Unlimited is at it again, hosting the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at the Whiteside Theatre on Saturday, October 11th. Doors open at 7pm (but get there early, as the line at F3T was pretty massive by the time the doors swung open), movie starts at 8pm. This year, adult beverages will be served upstairs at the Whiteside, with the lower level reserved for families. Upstairs, the Bluebacks will be joined by Ninkasi Brewing Company, Nectar Creek Honeymead, 4 Spirits Distillery, Vivacity Spirits, and other local beverage makers to ensure everyone has a great time at the film.

Tickets are $10 advanced, available online by clicking here, or $15 at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit coldwater fisheries conservation in Oregon. To learn more about the Bluebacks, their chapter meetings, and upcoming events, see www.bluebacks.org.

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

Oregon Albacore Highlights Part 1

Fishing the trolled and cast fly for Albacore offshore Oregon this year has been fantastic.

Fantastic means that something is going on all the time, I learn something new every time out, we see porpoise, whales, sharks, sunfish, jellyfish, and sometimes even jumping Albacore.

Fishing for these sleek speedsters can be desperately slow at times, because we 1) can’t find the fish, 2) can’t find the right fly to entice a grab, or 3) the fish just aren’t on the eat.  But when Albacore are receptive to the fly, action can be furious.

These fish are strong and fast, take a lot of line, and you will work hard to get them to the boat. It is nothing unusual to see well over two hundred yards of backing plus fly line disappear on their first run.  With fish ranging from a little under twenty to a little over thirty pounds, – wow, what fun fly rod fish.

I’ve been playing with a GoPro camera this year, with very mixed results.  A few moments on the memory card here allow me to share a tiny fraction of the fun we have experienced, from porpoise, to a double on the fly.

There will be time to blog about tackle and technique later, after the flies are tied and the season is over.  here are the basics:

Rods: twelve wts are the right size.  The only ten wt I have found practical to fish for Albacore is the Echo PRIME one piece rod.  Most of ten wt fly rods just don’t have the lifting power you will want.  A new SAGE SALT rod is a perfect match for Albies, and I have pulled hard on this rod with Albacore pulling right back.

Reels:  I have been consistently fishing a Hatch 9 and a Hatch 11.  Of these two reels, I prefer the 11 because of its deep backing capacity and larger diameter to increase my retrieve speed.  There are many very good reels out there, but I don’t own them all – yet (ha ha).

Lines:  Fast Sinking lines have been my best producers both trolling and casting.  The AIRFLO Big Game Depth Finder and RIO Leviathan are longer lines (about 150 ft) and have a stronger core.  The long length allows you to get the line on the reel sooner and the core means you stress your line less.  I’m fishing 25 lb fluorocarbon leaders and most normal fly lines have cores in the 30-35 lb strength range which means there isn’t much difference between your leader and your fly line.  The SA Streamer express has also performed well for me too, but I have not researched the core strength on this line.  That said, my friends have fished the RIO Striper lines and Custom Cut t-14 lines by both RIO and AIRFLO and done just fine fishing 20 lb Maxima UltraGreen leaders.

Flies?  All of the Albacore flies that have been featured recently in our video series have produced, plus clousers as long as 7-inches.  There will be times when the Albies seem to want smaller flies and times when the bigger flies seems to be more effective.

Enough for now, I hope this little video clip allows you to share a tiny fraction of the fun we have been having offshore.

Jay Nicholas, September 2014

Posted in Oregon Saltwater Fishing | 1 Comment