We had a great trip this October at Pluma Lodge. We booked our trip with Fly Water Travel and Untamed Angling. The jungle experience aspect of this trip is absolutely mind blowing. Spending time with the Tsimane and excellent guides at Pluma was a highlight of the trip for sure. We met Tsimane peoples that literally did not know their age! The fishing program and staff at Pluma is first class and any need that could be met was.
We got to try out some new tackle on the trip as well. Notes below.
Scott Sector Rod: Scott has absolutely hit it out of the park with their latest saltwater and big game Sector Series of rods. The Sector is the easiest loading fast action powerful rod you will cast. Golden Dorado flies are not small. We were casting huge 3/0 and 4/0 streamers all day on this trip, and the Sector excelled. Scott’s Meridian rods were superb, but the Sector is lighter and stronger. Carbon web technology adds strength and sacrifices nothing in terms of performance. If you need a new saltwater style rod this coming season, you will not do any better than the Sector.
Sage Payload: The Payload was designed to cast the big flies we were heaving for Golden Dorado, and it got the job done with ease. Not only did the Payload cast our mega streamers it was a beast when it came to fighting the predators we were after. The Sage Payload was the work horse for the sinking Jungle Tapers we used when making long casts, and swings. At $550 the Payload is a sweet big fish, big fly rod, for salt and other predators.
Lamson Speedster S Fly Reel: The Speedster S from Lamson Waterworks had plenty of drag and was incredibly light. I was a bit hesitant to get away from my Nautilus N/V reels but the Speedster S had plenty of guts without the weight.
Ahrex Hooks: The Ahrex PR320 and PR370 60 Degree hooks were fantastic hooks for the bulky streamers the group used on this trip. I had numerous streamers patterns get absolutely destroyed but the Ahrex hooks remained solid.
Finally got out and fished the Willamette below Crossroads and found the day to be very rewarding.
Blue Winged Olives were rising from 10:30 to 2:00. With the lower river level and overcast it was fun to get some fish on top. Parachute Adams, Purple Adams, and some Lou brew soft hackles (brown, grey, and olive) trailing behind proved some great results. Also, just swinging soft hackles brought fish to chase. We found most of the fish in very shallow water in the riffles and rising mid river. The weather shows showers this weekend, but the river level is projected to remain the same. On the way out we Euro Nymphed and landed a nice fatty on a pink Lucent jig fly.
The weather man is saying “heavy rains possible first week of December”? Time to get out there!
New Premium Hungarian Partridge Feather Packs from Hareline are quality, hand selected, premium feathers from the neck and back which make great wings, legs, tails, and wing-cases for your nymphs and wet-flies.
These packs are loaded with a healthy quantity of feathers and come if four colors: Black, Brown, Olive, and Natural.
The Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and without input from community members like you, this HCP won’t adequately increase streamflows to levels that will restore and protect the river’s natural beauty and the health of its fish and wildlife. Comment here.
November Volunteer Planting Day at Green Island
Sunday, November 17th, 10:00-2:00
The Redsides, and our new Five Rivers Chapter at U of O are partnering with the McKenzie River Trust to host a planting day at Green Island! We’d love to see you out there! Make sure you register below.
The positions of President, Vice President and Conservation Chair are open. Thanks to those members that served in these positions for many years. Paul Wagner, Monica Mullens and Mark Robershaw have made significant contributions to the chapter and I wanted to thank them for their service.
The chapter provides a vital link between the various conservation and angling groups in the McKenzie basin and is positioned to provide members the opportunity to weigh in on the many policy issues that affect fish management. The Oregon Council and TU staff are available for support, training and tools needed to be an effective volunteer leader.
Contact Terry Turner for more information at: email@example.com
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is a man on a mission. It’s a mission that should put a smile on the face of many readers of OFFB and all who care about protecting Oregon’s rivers and fisheries. In meetings, townhalls, and private conversations over the past few months, Senator Wyden has consistently voiced his ambition to overtake Alaska as the state with the greatest number of Wild and Scenic river miles in the country.
With 2,173 Wild and Scenic river miles designated across the state, Oregon currently trails Alaska by about 1,000 river miles. In pursuit of the top spot, Senator Wyden recently put out a public call for Wild and Scenic River nominations, giving Oregonians the opportunity to achieve federal protection for their favorite rivers and creeks.
A list of Oregon’s existing Wild and Scenic Rivers can be found here, although that list doesn’t include about 250 river miles that were recently added to the W&S system through passage of the John D. Dingell Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act earlier this year. Many of Oregon’s most well-known rivers are already protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, so anglers and river enthusiasts with intimate knowledge of smaller rivers and creeks are well-suited to help Senator Wyden get to his 1,000-mile goal. Please take the opportunity to nominate your favorite piece of water, for the benefit of current and future Oregonians and the rivers and fish that we all know and love. Submissions are due by January 20, 2020 and should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We find ourselves living in a time when there are legitimate questions regarding the salmon’s future in a world where climate and oceans seem to be acting in ways unlike they have in at least the last few thousand years. Maybe I have the time scale right and maybe I’m off. Without belaboring who did what and what should be done at this point in the earth’s evolution, I’ll simply say that the next twenty or forty or sixty or maybe even ten years could hold some unpleasant surprises for salmon and for us humans who are affected by weather around the world.
I always always always loved to fish when I was a kid, and I still do to this day. I never doubted that fishing would be part of the future of the citizenry of North America. I never considered the possibility that rivers in Oregon might not always provide a home to salmon in the future – at least I thought the rivers where I’d always found salmon would hold salmon in perpetuity.
Now I’m not so sure.
Please don’t get me wrong. This is not a doom and gloom prediction. But my sense of confidence isn’t what it once was. My role in fisheries management seemed to require that I put on a public face of confidence in the future of salmon and salmon fisheries and wild salmon and hatchery programs and science and managers, and so forth and so on.
For me to have been a half-full thinker was, it seemed, untenable. I had to have genuine hope and optimism and confidence. If I, the salmon guy, wasn’t confident, who else should be, after all.
So I exuded confidence in the ecological system.
Confidence in people and government and anglers and management plans and environmental laws and law enforcement and all that.
And confidence in the salmon too.
At least I think I did.
Now I’m not so sure.
The salmon have been a vital part of my life. Of course there is much beauty and meaning in life without salmon. Of course there are more important issues to humans on this planet than the health and the future of salmon. Perhaps salmon are a placeholder of sorts, an iconic representation of uncountable matters, good and ill, that people will encounter in the future.
Still . . . . . while the 2019 salmon season draws to a close. I’m pausing to reflect on our shared history, rocky as it has been, and express my hope for our shared future, whatever that may be.
Many of you will remember Nate Stansberry. Nate worked at the shop and did a ton of fishing around the Pacific Northwest. Nate returned to his Great Lakes roots in 2010 and he has been fishing his brains out since. He also got married, has a couple of girls and works full time in HR for an apparel company.Capt. Nate and I caught up on the phone the other day and here is the latest.
It’s been a record high water year in the great lakes region and in an area with no shortage of water that is saying something! The world’s largest freshwater delta feeds into Lake Saint Clair creating some of the bluest water I’ve ever seen anywhere…
Along with it you’ll find some of the most spectacular warm-water fly fishing on the planet… While this is nothing new it is still so vast and teaming with life that continues to astonish me as I’ve grown to learn this strange fishery on the fringes of Detroit. The delta saves itself by being nearly unusable by commercial standards and is in stark contrast to the urban landscape on her southern shores… There are islands in the delta and some have small homes on them. These places are inundated with water and likely will be for the foreseeable future as the delta expands and swells with the record water.
Strange fisheries continue to pop up all over the great lakes… I keep thinking back to the quote in Jurassic Park “nature will find a way” when I think about the fisheries surrounding the rust belt. As I’m writing this I’m nursing bitten fingers from spending the night before fishing the
break-walls of Cleveland for walleye in the middle of the night. While not a new fishery it has gained popularity in recent years with an influx of anglers and fish.
Walleye have enjoyed banner years thanks to wetter and colder springs with record spawning numbers. I imagine my daughters talking about how many there were when they were kids. Strange winners and losers are everywhere but, booms and busts are nothing new to fishing and the region. The current thinking has catfish eventually dominating the watershed, but who really knows.
Still, tucked away in hidden pockets you’ll find special fisheries… Those that go largely ignored, but are still intact. In those places you are likely to find the ancestors of giants…
In this video, fly tier and author Jay Nicholas ties a simple Olive Soft Hackle using new hen capes from Hareline. In a variety of colors, each pack contain serval feathers for soft hackles, wings, nymph backs, etc.
Many new materials including Hareline Hen Capes and more at Caddisflyshop.com Links below.
On Wednesday, October 30 we will be releasing our feature film, Artifishal, for free!!
Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature.
Learn more at: patagonia.com/artifishal
Usually when we discuss line management in fly fishing terms, we refer to line control on the water and handling line while wading or in a boat. Today, we are going to look at line management in a different way. In short, what do we have to do to preserve the life of our fly line and achieve optimum performance?
During use, fly lines pick up material that is in the water. This happens anywhere we fly fish- in trout streams, bass ponds, saltwater flats, and more. There is a build-up of residue that adheres to the line, creating friction that slows the line as it passes through the rod guides. This same residue can also increase the density of line, making it float lower in the water and become harder to pick up. Bottom line- the performance of the line is compromised.
The fly line is arguably, the most important part of our entire outfit. The line weight determines the type of fishing we can do and the outfit is assembled around that line weight. You can have the finest fly rod made with a proper weight line, but if the line is dirty or sub-standard in some way, casting becomes difficult at best or possibly even impossible.
A good line will make any rod perform to its maximum potential. Having the line balanced to the rod with a proper taper design are keys to this. A modern, premium fly line is a precision tool and just like most tools and equipment, needs periodic maintenance. We are fortunate that this is a quick and simple process.
Scientific Anglers fly lines are made of a proprietary formulation of PVC coating that is adhered to one of several type cores, depending on what the line’s primary purpose is. We feel that PVC is the best all-around coating for fly lines at present. The addition of microscopic glass bubbles make the line float, while tungsten powder makes it sink.
Various additives help to increase the slickness of the line and increase durability. Scientific Anglers AST and AST Plus are impregnated through the entire line, from the core to the outer surface. They are not just a coating which wears off over time causing the line to “drag” through the rod guides and decrease casting efficiency and distance.
AST and AST Plus last the entire life of the fly line and are designed to move to the surface of the line, passing through microscopic pores, to maintain the slickness and UV protection of the line. Over time and depending the type of water where the line is used, these pores can become clogged and the performance of the line is affected. This is most prevalent in places with a lot of vegetation, algae, or suspended matter in the water.
To clean the line and open these pores, the best item to use is Scientific Anglers Fly Line Cleaning Pads. These have a micro-abrasive side to them, very similar to a polishing pad. They can be used on all fly lines from any manufacturer. Wet the pad, pinch it over the line, and run it up and down the line. Do this until a bit of the line color shows on the pad. At this point the line is clean and ready to fish. This will also restore slickness and floatation to any line containing AST or AST Plus. You can rinse of the pad and store it for future use.
In this short video, Scientific Anglers R&D Manager, Josh Jenkins gives us a look at using the Line Cleaning Pads.
If the line is really dirty, say lots of caked-on scum or after extended saltwater use, an extra pretreatment may be necessary. In this case, Scientific Anglers Fly Line Cleaner is the perfect thing to use. This is a biodegradable soap specially designed for fly line cleaning and will quickly and easily restore line performance.
A few drops of the cleaner are added to a gallon of lukewarm water and mixed. Strip off the amount of line you want to clean and put it into the soap solution. Let it set for several minutes, then take a Line Cleaning Pad and wet it in the solution. Pull the line through the pinched cleaning pad to remove all of the dirt and grim on the line. Rinse the line in clean water and you are good to go with a line that will float and shoot again.
Here, Josh Jenkins of Scientific Anglers shows us the proper procedure for cleaning a dirty fly line.
If you are using a fly line that does not contain the AST or AST Plus additive, you will likely have to apply a coating to the line to enhance both floatation and shootability. Scientific Anglers Fly Line Dressing comes with a cleaning pad as part of the package. This is a hydrophobic (water repelling) solution that will noticeably increase the performance of the fly line.
A bit of the dressing is squeezed on to the foam or sponge side of the cleaning pad. Pinch the pad over and pull the fly line through the dressing. Apply more dressing if you feel the line begin to “drag”, but try not to use too much. The dressing can be used for a number of additional line treatments.
Josh Jenkins shows the correct way to apply line dressing here:
It is important to note that both intermediate and sinking lines also benefit from periodic cleaning. Although we are not concerned with floatation, using Scientific Anglers Line Cleaning Pads and Fly Line Cleaner will help these lines shoot better and increase longevity. Here a build-up of dirt may actually impede the line from sinking properly. Using these products will keep sub-surface lines performing at their best.
Scientific Anglers Fly Line treatment products are designed to keep your fly line functioning properly. A clean line will shoot easier and float higher, allowing you to present the fly more effectively. These products are simple to use and can quickly improve the function of ANY fly line. If you have a line with AST or AST Plus, no dressing is necessary. A proper cleaning will restore the line to maximum performance. A clean line matched to rod makes both casting and fishing an enjoyable experience, allowing us to focus on our primary purpose of catching fish.
My final day of guiding locally for 2019 was a memorable one. Good friend Pat Banks and I put my Ambush raft in at Armitage Park around 11am yesterday. Soupy fog enveloped the river and most the the Willamette Valley. Mahogany Duns had already begun hatching and fish were rising in the flat below the I-5 bridge. Pat made a couple of casts and a 17″ white fish took the #14 pheasant tail jig dropped off of a size #10 Parachute Madam X Rusty Orange. That was the last white fish of the day, we stuck cutthroat after cutthroat on the PT after that.
Down the river a bit and Pat hooks into something that stays down. I am thinking big rainbow a short while later Pat lands a small steelhead.
Banks, shallow riffles and mid-stream gravel bars all held fish. We fished what we thought was ideal trout water all day. Around 12 noon the fish really began to rise and we switch to size #14 Parachute Purple Rooster. The fish loved that until the sun popped out and then we went back to the Madam X with the Pheasant tail jig dropped off of it about 24″.
Just below the Wildish gravel conveyer belt now and we are still catching trout in a variety of water types. The sun is out and it’s turned into one of those glorious fall days. Pat makes an upstream cast into a nice run and his rig is immediately ripped upstream and another steelhead is leaping and cartwheeling on the surface. No idea how this fish stays on the 4x dropper tippet but Pat manages to skillfully work the fish into shallow water and I tail our second steelhead of the morning. Wow!
More trout as we quietly run down through the riffles and bars of the water approaching the Willamette confluence. Fish are rising in many of the broken riffles and we switch back and forth between dries and hopper dropper tactics. When we are on the move we generally employ the hopper dropper. With the water low and clear reading the superb looking trout water in the lower stretch is a piece of cake. Not having steelhead fished at all this year my head is definitely in steelhead mode.
I tuck the boat in behind a huge downed cottonwood midstream and Pat runs a drift just in front of the raft (10 feet from the boat) down goes the Parachute Madam X, bottom? Nope. He lifts the moderate action Winston rod and the fish slowly swims out of the perfect trout slot and into the main river. I am in total disbelief, thinking again a nice rainbow or maybe a sucker? Nope, another steelhead! This one is bigger and a buck that stays down during the 15 minute fight with a 5wt. Another steelhead to the bank and we are reveling in the moment and the day.
How nice are Oregon fall days? So much to do all over the state and right in our own back yard.