Purple Zonker Intruder Fly Tying Video

When you need to get the fly down, whether it is during a high, off colored flow in the winter months or if you are trying to swing a deep pool when the water is low, this fly will do the trick. The fly has a combination of materials that allow it to keep maximum profile and it wiggles like crazy. When fishing this fly I like to pair it with an Airflo Skagit Intermediate Line and sink tip of choice depending on the water you’re fishing.


Purple Zonker Intruder Recipe

Thread: 10/O Veevus Black
Shank: Waddington 30mm
Hook: Mustad Drop Shot Sz. 1 or Gamakatsu Octopus Hooks
Eyes: Hareline Nickle Plated Lead Eyes
Butt: Light Pink UNI Yarn

Body Material:

Hareline Krystal Flash Purple

Hareline Ostrich Herl Purple

Hareline Extra Select Marabou Purple

• Jungle Cock for dressing (consider using the Hareline Real Fake Jungle Cock as a cost effective alternative)
Wing: Hareline Rabbit Zonker Strip Purple and Black
Flash: Hareline Krystal Flash Purple
Head: Cross Cut Rabbit Black

Thomas Ranger

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20% Discount for Prime weeks at Cedar Lodge New Zealand

There are still spots available for 7 nights, 6 days of fishing! We are offering a 20% discount on our two opening and closing weeks for the 2014-15 season. November 9-22nd and March 9-21st. Book before October 1st to take advantage of the 20% discount.

Now is the time to make your plans to be in the sun down under on New Zealand’s South Island. At Cedar Lodge, our fishing program includes daily heli-flights to some of the most beautiful trout water in the world. Each fishing package includes guided fishing, daily heli flights (weather permitting), meals, drinks and lodging.

For more information, please visit us on the web at CedarLodge.net or give us a call at 541-510-4365.

We look forward to sharing an adventure with you!
Chris and Shauna Daughters.




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Lower Deschutes Steelhead

Now that we have entered the middle of September, its starting to feel a little more like Fall everyday. The days become shorter and shorter, and the nights cooler and cooler. This bodes very well for summer steelhead fishing across the state, especially on the Deschutes. Cooler weather and shorter days lead to cooler water temperatures, which creates better conditions for the fish to move and thrive in. It also leads to more consistent fishing from morning to night.

By now you have a good shot at a steelhead anywhere from the mouth to Maupin. The fishing at the mouth remains the best and most consistent because it is where a vast majority of the fish are; however, the stretch of river between Maupin and Macks Canyon has been really picking up, too. We just haven’t been seeing the same numbers up there as we have at the Mouth, which is typical for this time of year. Until we start to get some consistent, cooler weather, swinging the morning shade will be your best bet. Fishing with sink tips in the afternoon will get better once the water cools a bit.

Some patterns that have been doing well on the Deschutes for us this season are the: Pick’Yer Pocket, Miles Davis, Morejohn’s Tempest, and the Steelhead Muddler in Black and Purple.

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report | Leave a comment

Middle Fork Willamette Bull Trout

Besides working in the fly shop this Summer, I have been doing an internship with the Forest Service at the Middle Fork Willamette Ranger District out near Oakridge. I have been interning as a fisheries biologist and have had the opportunity to work beside, and shadow an extremely knowledgeable and experienced fisheries biologist, Matt Helstab. Together we have been investigating and learning as much as we can about the bull trout that inhabit the Upper Middle Fork Willamette river above Hills Creek Reservoir. The work primarily consists of monitoring movement of tagged bull trout, maintaining tagging stations, snorkeling, and doing a host of other biotic and abiotic surveys. Below is a quick GoPro edit of a snorkel that Matt and I did earlier in the Summer. We use snorkeling primarily as a presence/absence survey to observe bull trout and hopefully see bull trout of many different life stages both within the main stem Willamette and the many creeks that join it. Whether I’m snorkeling a small, shallow pocket within a spawning creek or floating through a 10 foot deep pool on the main stem river, I have been amazed by the world that exists underneath the surface.


Andy Archer

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 5 Comments

Nymph Head Evolution Pheasant Tail Nymph Fly Tying Video

Tony demonstrates how to tie a “modern” Pheasant Tail nymph utilizing a super cool new style of bead from Nymph Head Evolution. The mayfly specific tungsten bead head provides a super cool realistic profile for your flies.


Nymph Head Evolution Pheasant Tail Nymph

Hook: TMC 3761 #10-18
Thread: Veevus 12/0 Brown
Bead head: Nymph Head Evolution Mayfly Clinger Crawler Tungsten
Tail: Hareline Brown Pheasant Tail
Rib: Ultra Wire, Copper
Abdomen: Hareline Brown Pheasant Tail
Wing case: Hareline Brown Flashback Sheeting, Clear Cure Goo
Thorax: Hareline Ice Dub, Peacock
Legs: Hareline Micro Grizzly Legs, Root Beer

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

Central Oregon Fly Fishing Report

Lower Deschutes
It’s starting to feel like Fall more and more over there, which is good. The nights are longer which bodes well for the water temperatures therefore fishing the mornings remains the most consistent for Steelhead. Anywhere from the town of Maupin down to the mouth has produced consistent, good fishing as long as the White River stays in shape. The last week or so it was pumping out “chocolate milk” colored water which clouds up the river downstream and really puts a damper on the fishing. As of yesterday it is clear and the river is back in shape. Keep an eye on it though because this next week has very hot weather in store which could cause it to act up again. Overall, there are good numbers of fish in the river and they are moving into the river daily, so now is the time to be down there.

Crooked River
The Crooked River continues to fish well with consistent hatches of Caddis and PMD’s, especially on Cloudy days. The 7 mile section of the Crooked below Bowman Dam is virtually all public and there is a lot of great water in there. Nymphing has also been productive using small zebra midges and caddis pupa.

Metolius River
Word has it the Green Drakes are back on at the Metolius! If the weather cooperates we will see these bugs out there into October. Throughout the day there have been tons of small Caddis and Mahogany Dun hatches which means you can fish dries all day. Drakes will be most active in the afternoon until about 4pm, and in the late evening (around 7pm) olive and mahogany dun spinner falls can be sweet. The parachute green drake has been a good one when the drakes are out, other than that fishing mahogany comparaduns has been the evening go-to. Subsurface fishing has been good, I recommend fishing jigged nymphs because of the no split-shot regulations on this river. The jigged flies sink quickly, which is import when no added weight is allowed.

Fall River
September-October is one of my favorite times of the year on the Fall. With longer nights bringing about cooler temperatures, you don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes out there like you do in Late June through August, which is nice! Furthermore, from a fishing standpoint it can be awesome too. On warmer, windier days don’t hesitate to throw grasshopper patterns such as Morrish’s Hopper Other than that we have been still seeing caddis, PMDs, and a few mahogany duns and BWO’s as well. The latter two will increase in abundance as we get closer to Autumn.

East Lake
East has picked up again and the fishing has been very good. Strong, consistent callibaetis hatches have been coming off daily allowing anglers to fish dries all day long. The extended body callibaetis have been great but they don’t float too well after a few hookups so be sure to have your Dry Shake handy. Small, black ant patterns are good, too. If the hatch slows or the bugs aren’t out, cast and strip callibaetis nymphs with a clear, intermediate sinking line.

Crane Prairie Reservoir
Crane has also been fishing well primarily with chironomids fished under Strike Slip Indicators in the channels. Stripping damsel and calibaetis nymphs, as well as sparse leech patterns has been decent as well.

The moral of the story is: you have a lot of options in the Central Oregon area right now. While our local waters continue to fish great as well, if you find yourself on the other side of the Mountains, be sure to bring your fly rod along.

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Fall Fishing Coming to Your Local Rivers Soon


Fall has been creeping in, edging out a gorgeous dry Summer in the Willamette Valley. Shade, shadows, and mid-afternoon midges have been increasing daily. Grey Drakes, Blue Winged Olives and tan Caddis have been sporadically emerging. Waters are still low and very accessible by boat or on foot. Fishing has been good and is slowly shifting to very good. Despite a few more days of hot weather on the way it’s one of the very best times of the year to get out and enjoy some of our beautiful wild trout on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers.


Best patterns to be fishing are: Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis in Tan, Orange and Brown, Missing Link Caddis, Possie Bugger, Jigged Prince, Klinkhammer Blue Winged Olives and Grey Drakes.

More Patterns to be thinking about as is cools and we get into full blow Fall: Morrish’s Foam October Caddis, Chubby Chernobyl’s in Tan, Golden, Purple, Orange Soft Hackles, Mega Prince, and Royal Wulff.


Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment

Slough Creek Gold


For a year, Rick Bocko and myself have been planning to return to Slough Creek in search of gold; Yellowstone cutthroat trout. It has been four years since our last presence in the area when we tackled the Henry’s Fork and did a day hike to Slough Creek’s 1st meadow. This year, we would have family in tow who would not take kindly to us slipping out to hit the Gibbon, Lamar, Yellowstone, Firehole, Madison…you get the point. Slough Creek was our sole fishing destination and we had to make it count.

Rewind 1 year. Must…hop…on…treadmill. Must…get…in…shape…for…Slough.

Plan was to hike to 2nd meadow, stay two nights, and fish from there up to 3rd meadow. With backpacks loaded and bear spray strapped, Rick and I looked up the mountain and just knew the first hour would kick our asses.

Rewind 6 months. Still…must…get…in…shape. Must…hop…on…treadmill.

We began lumbering our sea level asses up the “mountain.” Within 30 minutes, an older couple from Livingston was hot on our boots. They weren’t packing in supplies and they were gaining hard. Those bear bells getting louder and equally more annoying as they approached.

Rewind 2 months. How hard can the hike possibly be?

Rick and I decided to stop (rest) and let them pass, but not before learning that the gentleman was hiking with a newly collapsed lung. From then on, we bucked up, moved onward and were compelled to not complain about the hike again.
Upon arrival to 2nd meadow, we set up camp in a totally exposed area (more on that later). While setting up camp, a geriatric group of fly fishermen (and women) showed up. It was clearly their first time with a fly rod. Somehow, Slough was losing some of its mystique. I recalled that Theodor Roosevelt intended for the park to be used by all no matter their economic backgrounds or skill level, correct?

As the newbies behind us were absorbing their casting lesson in an open field, Rick set out 30 feet from the campsite with his beetle; posted-up above a deep, fast run and on his first cast takes a 16” meaty cutthroat. I think to myself, “that fishy mother….”


From the campground up towards 3rd meadow for about a mile, we fished the rest of our first day and absolutely hammered the gold. The conditions were perfect. A five to ten mile per hour up stream breeze for a little chop making the fish less wary resulted in scores of 14 to 18” beautifully fat fish. Terrestrials ruled the day as Moorish hoppers, beetles, and cinnamon ants took fish after fish. The takes were very light which led to two missed takes per fish to hand. Lack of structure forced us to approach Slough very differently than most of our Oregon waters. Fish hung in plain view requiring a very stealthy approach and careful fly presentation. Drag equals NO FISH FOR YOU!! Perhaps the most productive type of water was on an outside bend and below a grassy embankment with an upstream stacked cast to minimize drag. These fish were clearly waiting for yellow hoppers to fall their way. As evening drew closer, we expected a caddis hatch which didn’t really materialize. Terrestrials fished well into the early evening.


I crawled out of my tent to discover a gorgeous morning. I have to create a little tributary to the Slough while thinking to myself, “must find rock to relieve myself on to because that’s how the park ranger told me to pee.” No kidding. I do my business, walked past my tent to our bags hanging 10 feet in the air, dropped the bags and grabbed my camera. While heading back towards the tent, I noticed a bull bison 15 feet from my tent. Rule number one while in the backcountry; scan your environment before approaching said environment. Scratching his head so silently on a fallen tree, I cautiously skirted him and rustled up Rick. If necessary, I knew I could outrun Rick. After several minutes, tatanka moved along as though he had no idea he was being admired.

slough creek 4

slough creek 6

Second day of fishing proved to be more challenging as the wind didn’t kick-up for several hours. Slough presented completely different without her cloak. Fish were quick to scatter and simply appeared to cease to exist where they were just hours earlier. Catch rate was half the prior day’s which was still impressive. We made the hike up the Slough to just beyond 3rd meadow where the water started to hold large boulders.

slough creek 2

To 3rd meadow and beyond, there were trout around almost every bend, behind most rocks and against whatever outside bend. Come 3:00, we turned back towards our campsite and sporadically fished our way back. The fish came off the terrestrials in favor of a small mayfly hatch. If it was tan and size 20, then it served us well.
Continuing the trek back, I was suffering from a raging lack-of-caffeine headache and decided to throw in the towel once back at the campsite. Rick headed off and scored 6 more trout in his final hour of fishing.

slough creek 3

Sitting on a large boulder watching two bull bison squabble over 50 square feet of land within this 3,500 square mile park, we hear thunder to the distant south. Not much to worry about as all the weather that had approached Slough skirted us nicely. We downed a couple power bars, lit a fire to say we did that, and then headed to bed around 8:30.

slough creek 1

Remember earlier about pitching our tents in an exposed area? Well, the weather didn’t skirt us this time. On our last night, lightning struck continually in one to five second intervals with 40 second periods of rolling thunder. All this was very entertaining until we began to wonder, “Is that thunder or wind coming our way?” The wind was sweeping down the valley like a freight train. It hit our exposed campsite with a fury I’ve never experienced. The rain only added to the wind’s inertia. I lied down, outreached my arms and legs and pinned down the sides of the tent as best as I could and just waited for it all to be done.
The hike out the next day revealed only a slightly moist ground as a clue to the prior night’s madness. We counted around 15 fishermen hiking up the trail while offering advice to those that asked. I felt excited for them while at the same time a bit bummed that “my trout” were in for a full on assault.

slough creek 5

Slough Creek will likely always be one of my life long favorite streams to fish. I’m partial to site fishing which this stream readily offers. The surroundings can’t be beat. And for the most part, it gets little pressure if you’re willing to hike. Do watch out, however, for that damn grunting bison that blocked the trail on our way out.

Sam Parker

Thanks again to Sam and Rick for sharing their adventures with OFF readers.

Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel | 2 Comments

East Lake September 2014

2014-08-31 12.59.56

It was a quick trip to East Lake over the Labor Day Holiday.   Fall was in the air with a chill but those callibaetis were still hatching!  We tossed thorax callibaetis dries most of the day and were rewarded.

2014-08-31 13.00.09

Took along Ken and my son-in-law Brad.   It was a first time for Brad in our Cascade Lakes.  He was not disappointed.

2014-08-31 17.55.13

Ken was catching fish on callibaetis  nymphs with a slow strip and casting dries.   As the day got longer so did the shadows and the temperature dropped accordingly.  Yet, near the shore line we continued to see swirls for callibaetis.

2014-08-31 11.46.32

As for myself, it was great to be out enjoying time with family and good friends.  A special “shout out” to one of the infamous Holloway Brothers, Clay, and my Cuba fishing buddy, Jim T.   I broke down and used a slip strike indicator, with a combo of callibaetis nymph and  red Choronomid.   I was pleasantly surprised to land a few fish!  So, the fishing was not red hot like June but with clear skies and fall in the air….it was all good!


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

Fly Fishing Cuba 2014

I have been fortunate enough to take two trips to Cuba this year, one to Cayo Largo with a group of 12 anglers and more recently a trip to Jardines De La Reina or “the gardens of the queen”. Both trips were excellent and are highly recommended for the angler looking for a unique saltwater fly fishing experience. Both locations are owned/managed by Avalon the primary operator of fishing and diving for the country of Cuba. I have written about Cayo Largo before (see links to trip reports below) so I won’t go into to much detail on Cayo Largo in this post.




Suffice to say that Cayo Largo is a wonderful fishing program with chances for tarpon, bonefish and permit. We had a great group of folks, many from Eugene and Missoula and even an Aussie thrown into the mix. Cayo Largo photos below.



My most recent trip I was accompanied by our very own Peter Cadigan “the most polite man in the fly fishing industry”. Peter and I traveled to Cuba this year through the Cayman Islands on a “cultural exchange visa” via Avalon and The Ocean Foundation. The trip was completely legal and when Peter presented his documents to the customs officers they were more interested in his trip report than his visa number. The rest of our group had zero questions regarding there trip when returning through Miami.

Peter with Cubera Snapper at Jardines De La Reina

From Grand Cayman we arrived in Havana where we spent a short night, just long enough to realize that my luggage would not be with me for the next week. Brutal! Fortunately I had packed my reels and one change of clothing in my carry on. I had carried my rods most of the way and they had arrived. I was without flies, leaders and more than one clean shirt. Early a.m. from Havana we drove 6 hours across the fertile Cuban countryside to Jucaro where we hopped a boat headed to the floating hotel called Tortuga. Tortuga is located 48 miles to the southeast of Jucaro in the Jardines De La Reina. Our boat ride was reasonably comfortable but abnormally long, 5 hours long, apparently the fast boat (3 hours) was not available although we did get it on the way home.

Tortuga floating hotel at Jardines De La Reina

Weary but exited we quickly rigged our gear and hopped in the dolphin skiffs Avalon uses to fish the Jardines De La Reina and in it’s other operations. Peter and I in a boat, Andy from Chicago Fly Shop in a boat and Karl and Emilee from the Urban angler in New York in another. It was dead still and we immediately found bonefish. Of course I had neglected to wear long pants, hat, or a long sleeve shirt, the welts are still present a week later from the white winged “no see-ums” that bit all exposed flesh. The next five days were spent chasing bonefish, tarpon and permit. The weather was incredibly hot 90 plus degrees, high humidity and little wind. Most afternoon/evenings included a wicked thunderstorm often producing high winds and booming thunder and lightening.

back deck of Tortuga Floating Hotel at Jardines De La Reina

Storm coming fast on the Tortuga

Our accommodations were more than adequate given the location and ease in which business is done in Cuba. The Tortuga is a floating hotel with 8-9 rooms, each with 2-4 beds. Rooms have showers, toilets and enough room to be comfortable. Honestly you spend so little time in your room the fact that the toilet and shower are a bit close together is not a big deal and is very much expected on a fishing hotel/boat. We were joined by 5 divers enjoying the fantastic diving on the reef that runs alongside Jardines De La Reina.

Lobster on the Tortuga

Snapper on the Tortuga Jardines De La Reina

The boats manager(s) took us great care of us. The food was outstanding with lobster and sashimi served 4 of the 6 dinners we had.

Jardines De La Reina Jack Crevalle

Permit Jardines De La Reina

Bonefish Jardines De La Reina

Peter on the deck of the tortuga

Permit Jardines De La Reina

Small Tarpon at Jardines De La Reina

As part of all of the Avalon fishing packages we stayed in Havana for two nights. Havana is a fascinating city and it’s easy to spend every moment you have exploring the sites, sounds and smells of the city.




I highly recommend the trip to Jardines De La Reina. While traveling to the Tortuga is a bit more involved that some of the other destinations in Cuba it is truly a remote and untouched area for saltwater fly fishing.

If Cuba is on your list we are hosting trips to Cayo Largo, Jardines De La Reina and Cayo Cruz in the coming 2015-2017 seasons. Feel free to contact me with more detailed information about dates, costs and travel.


Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

The Redsides September Meeting

wild mckenzie river rainbow trout

Monday, September 8th, Rogue Ales Public House (lower level), 844 Olive St, Eugene

Trout Unlimited Redsides Chapter meetings are now being held on the second Monday of each month. The board meeting is at 6:00PM and all members are welcome to attend. The general meeting starts at 7:00PM.

This month’s presentation will be given by Eve Montanaro, Executive Director, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council

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.

Hope to see you there!

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

Got Feathers in Stock?


It’s been a long time since we have had a selection of high quality fly tying feathers in the shop. But as we speak the selection is superb and it includes some really diverse stuff that will help you tie everything from Fall beatis patterns to Winter Steelhead Intruders.


Some of the highlights include full Whiting Guinea Fowl Skins, Whiting Black Laced dyed Hen Saddles, and Dyed Whiting High and Dry Hackle Capes.


For dry fly saddles we now have plenty of Metz #2 saddles in Grizzly, Cream, Ginger and Dun. In Whiting dry fly saddles we have High and Dry Saddles, full saddles, half saddles in bronze, Pro Grade Midge Saddles and Pro Grade Capes.


If your hackle selection is in need of an upgrade come on by or order online today.

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

Greetings from the Upper Midwest

Just a few recent photos of summer fishing in the Great Lakes Region, including a great day of muskies on the fly with Capt Nate. Here’s hoping everybody is having a great summer out there.






Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

Tip of the Day: Handling Running Line and Utilizing the “Turn Out” Method when Spey Casting

George Cook furthers our previous video discussion of handling running line. He adds the “turn out” method in order to help the caster maximize his or her running line “shoot-ability”.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips, Summer Steelhead | Leave a comment

Salmon Slam 2014

Sekiu 2014 — Julian just bought a new Striper SeaSwirl, a 24-foot monster with twin 115 Yamaha outboards. We trailered the huge boat for the first time across the wilds of Greater Seattle rush hour traffic and the rugged topography of the Olympic Peninsula.

We pulled into town at 11pm, dead low tide. Nowhere to put the boat in the water at this low level, at this dark hour. The town seemed deadly quiet. The gas station had a sign in the door, “Closed until the fuel truck arrives.”

The moon on the horizon was beet red, not even blood red – something brighter, arterial — hanging there huge, and half lit. Creepy. White gulls wheeled and whined off the docks where the remains of the day’s fish bobbed in the swell. The flags barely rustled. Dead calm.

That was the last time I’d see the sky for a couple days. By 5am the fog had rolled in so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. By some miracle of fate, Julian had not only bought a boat with real electronics, but he’d managed to learn how to use them. It was the only way we could have fished at all. All day long the Coast Guard talked to people on the radio, smashed up on rocks or another group that had lost a scuba diver in the soup.

Nonetheless, we persevered and caught lots of salmon, drank lots of whiskey and even a few rockfish. A few days they were really up on top, smacking the bucktails. Other days the were caught by less elegant methods. The sun broke through here and there. Salmon Slam forever!







Blood on the deck #salmonslam14


Finished rye indeed #salmonslam14


Prehistoric dog #salmonslam14


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