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STEELHEAD SALMON TROUT FISHING

EARLY SEASON TROUT FISHING

CHROME

ON

TWO HANDED RODS

SUMMER RUN STEELHEAD

$2.95 US $3.95 CAN

A CLOSE EYE ON VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1, 2010

TUBE FLIES


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Kype Magazine VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1, 2010 Kype Magazine Castle Douglas Productions.LLC PO Box 2024 Anacortes, WA 98221 360.299.2266 Publisher: George Douglas Streamside@kype.net

www.Kype.net COPYRIGHT Kype Magazine Copyright © 2010 Castle Douglas Productions LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. May no part of this publication or DVD be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher.

Publisher’s Cast...................................4 Early Season Trout Fishing....................6 Winter Chrome, Two Handed Rods........8 Swinging Flies on the Kenai.................10 Ice Water Steelhead..........................12 Grand Daddy of Ohio..........................14 Eyes on Tube Flies.............................16 Faith to Move Salmon........................20 Summer Run Steelhead......................22 Fly Fishing Festival.............................25 North Carolina, Who Knew?...............28

had been talking to Jamie Clous (head guide for Fullers North Branch Outting Club) about how we hardly get to fish together. So we set a date aside and blocked it off--no guiding, we were going to fish!! That day we decided on the Big Manistee River. We both guide it and it is especially beautiful in the fall. We met in the morning (I was late) and packed the gear in the boat. We motored down stream to the first run we thought should hold fish. Out come the Spey rods. Third swing in I get swatted HARD! Just a tug, nothing else in that run. We drop down to the next run. Jamie’s first cast, fish on! A beautiful 6 pound fall run steelhead. So not only was I late getting there this morning, I now have to listen to Jamie tell me how to fish too! Ohh well, 10 minutes later I have my first one of the day on a streamer he swore would never work! That makes this cover shot that much more special! A nice chrome Michigan steelhead-Jed Litwiller guides West Michigan, Alaska and PA. www.peremarquetteguide.com

I

Photo by Jamie Clous

CONTENTS OF KYPE


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Page 2

Kype Magazine VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1, 2010 Kype Magazine Castle Douglas Productions.LLC PO Box 2024 Anacortes, WA 98221 360.299.2266 Publisher: George Douglas Streamside@kype.net

www.Kype.net COPYRIGHT Kype Magazine Copyright © 2010 Castle Douglas Productions LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. May no part of this publication or DVD be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher.

Publisher’s Cast...................................4 Early Season Trout Fishing....................6 Winter Chrome, Two Handed Rods........8 Swinging Flies on the Kenai.................10 Ice Water Steelhead..........................12 Grand Daddy of Ohio..........................14 Eyes on Tube Flies.............................16 Faith to Move Salmon........................20 Summer Run Steelhead......................22 Fly Fishing Festival.............................25 North Carolina, Who Knew?...............28

had been talking to Jamie Clous (head guide for Fullers North Branch Outting Club) about how we hardly get to fish together. So we set a date aside and blocked it off--no guiding, we were going to fish!! That day we decided on the Big Manistee River. We both guide it and it is especially beautiful in the fall. We met in the morning (I was late) and packed the gear in the boat. We motored down stream to the first run we thought should hold fish. Out come the Spey rods. Third swing in I get swatted HARD! Just a tug, nothing else in that run. We drop down to the next run. Jamie’s first cast, fish on! A beautiful 6 pound fall run steelhead. So not only was I late getting there this morning, I now have to listen to Jamie tell me how to fish too! Ohh well, 10 minutes later I have my first one of the day on a streamer he swore would never work! That makes this cover shot that much more special! A nice chrome Michigan steelhead-Jed Litwiller guides West Michigan, Alaska and PA. www.peremarquetteguide.com

I

Photo by Jamie Clous

CONTENTS OF KYPE


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4

supported me and my work over the years that contributed to my recent induction into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. It is a great honor to be among the other forty seven legendary communicators for this great sport.

Publisher’s Cast GEORGE DOUGLAS am writing this letter with only a few hours left in 2009. As we approach the New Year, we do so with great optimism and fishing plans that will take us from coast to coast once again. As this issue’s film illustrates, we sold most of our belongings, packed the rest in a storage locker, and converted all of our computers and communications to compact and mobile devices. Although we have done a couple of six month trips before, this is certainly uncharted territory for Kype. There are no plans to end this journey. Who knows, we may be able to continue this for a few years, at least I’d like to think so. I enjoy being on the road and seeing the different fisheries and meeting the diverse anglers and personalities in each region. Currently, we are still fishing and filming on the Great Lake tributaries and plan to finish out the season here. In June, we’ll be heading back west to fish Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In late summer, our journeys will take us further west as we target more of the salmon and steelhead runs on the pacific coast. BY

I

Kype News and Announcements

The Fly Fisher 5622 Pacific Ave SE # 9 Lacey, WA 98503 360-491-0181 For all your fly fishing needs, stop in and see us Shops

Boggan's Oasis Anatone, Wa. (509) 256-3372 www.boggans.com Steelhead fish on the Grande Ronde River Lodging

Steve's Guided Adventures Pro Fishing Guide Washougal, WA Salmon & Steelhead 360-835-7995 Stevesguidedadventures.com

Guides

Accommodations

I would like to thank all the great hotels and lodges that worked with us during our 2009 Film Tour. We searched for the nicest places to stay for the money, not only for us, but for our readers who travel to the best destinations along the Great Lakes. These are listed in the order we visited them on our trip: Fairfield Inn & Suites - Traverse City, MI. A great place to stay that’s conveniently located for fishing the Betsy and the Big Manistee River, and still only an hour from the Pere Marquette. You know it’s the right place to stay when the GM is nicknamed “Steelhead Fred.” Best Western Lawnfield Inn & Suites - Mentor, OH. This location is perfect for access to the Rocky River and the lower Grand River. Beautiful antiques and decor with a friendly staff made this hotel very comfortable. Wingate by Wyndham - Erie, PA. This hotel places you right in the heart of Erie’s Peach Street which has unlimited restaurants and stores, yet only fifteen minutes from the heavy hitters of Elk and Walnut Creek. Looked like a brand new facility with a great pool and hot tub. Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Dunkirk, NY. This place is not just a hotel, it’s an experience. It’s an old hospital that was converted into a hotel. Driving Steeldreams Guide Service Steelhead Fishing on the Snake & Grand Ronde Clarkston, Wa. 509-869-9694 SteelDreamsFishing.com Guides

up, I was a bit skeptical, but upon entering I knew this was a special place. The bar and restaurant are unbelievable, overlooking Lake Erie. This is the place to stay when fishing the Cattaraugus Creek and the other western NY tribs. Best Western Crown Inn & Suites Batavia, NY. This location is a gem. I know there are closer accommodations to Oak Orchard and the other tributaries, however, with all that Batavia has to offer, the extra thirty minute drive is well worth it. Batavia Downs Casino is a two minute drive and has horse racing through the fishing season. The hotel was fantastic with a nice pool and awesome breakfast. The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake Geneva on the Lake, OH. Well, there is not much more I can say about this place than I already said on the film. This place is a first class resort that offers anglers an affordable package with wine tasting and packed lunches for the river. Bring the family or even a few fishing buddies, and prepare to be impressed. Eagle Cliff Inn - Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH. For apartment style lodging in Ohio give this place a look. Across the street from Lake Erie and reasonable prices.

Triple “S” Guide Service Fishing SW Washington & Oregon Contact Lee Freeman to discuss your fishing adventure today. 503-312-9844 salmonfishingnorthwest.com Guides

Brazda’s Fly Fishing - # 10393 Trout & Steelhead Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington Fly Fish Montana with Jeff this year! 253-307-3210 jeff@brazdasflyfishing.com

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON

The second volume of Kype Fishing Magazine has some obvious changes such as the new 6 by 9 format. This size will package the with DVD’s better as tighter packaging allows our distributors to handle the product without the complications of the previous, more clumsy packaging.

There is no doubt that Kype Magazine is slanted more towards migrating fish, as opposed to fishing traditional trout streams. In order to cover all three species in a more complete fashion, we are joining forces with Eric Stroup who owns and operates one of the most successful guiding operations in the country. He’s one of the most well known fly fishing guides and fly tiers in the United States, and his articles have appeared in multiple national magazines. This year he added his first book to his resume, Common Sense Fly Fishing. With his professionalism and expertise, Eric will be the new Managing Editor of Kype Magazine. As Eric and I are still ironing out the details, his services will not take place until the next issue of Kype. Nonetheless, we are very excited about these changes that will catapult Kype to a class of its own. Over time, Eric has plans to orchestrate a staff of writers and a compilation of articles that will be epic. We will be running special guide / video trips in Ohio this spring. To kick off this season, we are planning a special night on March 14th at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland. There will be special speakers and Kype films will be displayed on the big screen for the first time. Furthermore, this winter we will be vendors at multiple trade shows that will feature our darkened theater. Check our website for the dates and locations. A special thanks to all of you who have

Scene from our latest film “Rivers of Many Fish.”


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1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 4

5

4

supported me and my work over the years that contributed to my recent induction into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. It is a great honor to be among the other forty seven legendary communicators for this great sport.

Publisher’s Cast GEORGE DOUGLAS am writing this letter with only a few hours left in 2009. As we approach the New Year, we do so with great optimism and fishing plans that will take us from coast to coast once again. As this issue’s film illustrates, we sold most of our belongings, packed the rest in a storage locker, and converted all of our computers and communications to compact and mobile devices. Although we have done a couple of six month trips before, this is certainly uncharted territory for Kype. There are no plans to end this journey. Who knows, we may be able to continue this for a few years, at least I’d like to think so. I enjoy being on the road and seeing the different fisheries and meeting the diverse anglers and personalities in each region. Currently, we are still fishing and filming on the Great Lake tributaries and plan to finish out the season here. In June, we’ll be heading back west to fish Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In late summer, our journeys will take us further west as we target more of the salmon and steelhead runs on the pacific coast. BY

I

Kype News and Announcements

The Fly Fisher 5622 Pacific Ave SE # 9 Lacey, WA 98503 360-491-0181 For all your fly fishing needs, stop in and see us Shops

Boggan's Oasis Anatone, Wa. (509) 256-3372 www.boggans.com Steelhead fish on the Grande Ronde River Lodging

Steve's Guided Adventures Pro Fishing Guide Washougal, WA Salmon & Steelhead 360-835-7995 Stevesguidedadventures.com

Guides

Accommodations

I would like to thank all the great hotels and lodges that worked with us during our 2009 Film Tour. We searched for the nicest places to stay for the money, not only for us, but for our readers who travel to the best destinations along the Great Lakes. These are listed in the order we visited them on our trip: Fairfield Inn & Suites - Traverse City, MI. A great place to stay that’s conveniently located for fishing the Betsy and the Big Manistee River, and still only an hour from the Pere Marquette. You know it’s the right place to stay when the GM is nicknamed “Steelhead Fred.” Best Western Lawnfield Inn & Suites - Mentor, OH. This location is perfect for access to the Rocky River and the lower Grand River. Beautiful antiques and decor with a friendly staff made this hotel very comfortable. Wingate by Wyndham - Erie, PA. This hotel places you right in the heart of Erie’s Peach Street which has unlimited restaurants and stores, yet only fifteen minutes from the heavy hitters of Elk and Walnut Creek. Looked like a brand new facility with a great pool and hot tub. Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Dunkirk, NY. This place is not just a hotel, it’s an experience. It’s an old hospital that was converted into a hotel. Driving Steeldreams Guide Service Steelhead Fishing on the Snake & Grand Ronde Clarkston, Wa. 509-869-9694 SteelDreamsFishing.com Guides

up, I was a bit skeptical, but upon entering I knew this was a special place. The bar and restaurant are unbelievable, overlooking Lake Erie. This is the place to stay when fishing the Cattaraugus Creek and the other western NY tribs. Best Western Crown Inn & Suites Batavia, NY. This location is a gem. I know there are closer accommodations to Oak Orchard and the other tributaries, however, with all that Batavia has to offer, the extra thirty minute drive is well worth it. Batavia Downs Casino is a two minute drive and has horse racing through the fishing season. The hotel was fantastic with a nice pool and awesome breakfast. The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake Geneva on the Lake, OH. Well, there is not much more I can say about this place than I already said on the film. This place is a first class resort that offers anglers an affordable package with wine tasting and packed lunches for the river. Bring the family or even a few fishing buddies, and prepare to be impressed. Eagle Cliff Inn - Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH. For apartment style lodging in Ohio give this place a look. Across the street from Lake Erie and reasonable prices.

Triple “S” Guide Service Fishing SW Washington & Oregon Contact Lee Freeman to discuss your fishing adventure today. 503-312-9844 salmonfishingnorthwest.com Guides

Brazda’s Fly Fishing - # 10393 Trout & Steelhead Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington Fly Fish Montana with Jeff this year! 253-307-3210 jeff@brazdasflyfishing.com

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON

The second volume of Kype Fishing Magazine has some obvious changes such as the new 6 by 9 format. This size will package the with DVD’s better as tighter packaging allows our distributors to handle the product without the complications of the previous, more clumsy packaging.

There is no doubt that Kype Magazine is slanted more towards migrating fish, as opposed to fishing traditional trout streams. In order to cover all three species in a more complete fashion, we are joining forces with Eric Stroup who owns and operates one of the most successful guiding operations in the country. He’s one of the most well known fly fishing guides and fly tiers in the United States, and his articles have appeared in multiple national magazines. This year he added his first book to his resume, Common Sense Fly Fishing. With his professionalism and expertise, Eric will be the new Managing Editor of Kype Magazine. As Eric and I are still ironing out the details, his services will not take place until the next issue of Kype. Nonetheless, we are very excited about these changes that will catapult Kype to a class of its own. Over time, Eric has plans to orchestrate a staff of writers and a compilation of articles that will be epic. We will be running special guide / video trips in Ohio this spring. To kick off this season, we are planning a special night on March 14th at the Cedar Lee Theater in Cleveland. There will be special speakers and Kype films will be displayed on the big screen for the first time. Furthermore, this winter we will be vendors at multiple trade shows that will feature our darkened theater. Check our website for the dates and locations. A special thanks to all of you who have

Scene from our latest film “Rivers of Many Fish.”


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7

6

Early Season Trout Fishing BY

ERIC STROUP piled on your tying desk either because you’re too lazy to put it away, or because you thought you might actually finish what you were tying last. If you’re a guide, you begin to realize that time is running out to get your fly orders done, and you begin to have some serious thoughts about completing them in time for the season. The early season is one of my favorite times of the year and my fondness for this season stems from several factors. From a professional standpoint, it is important that I get as much fishing in as possible before the guiding kicks into high gear. Just last year, I found a particular nymph pattern that was working really well through the entire month of March. This was a very generic olive NEW BOOK nymph that I tied out of dyed RELEASE BY squirrel and was really nothERIC STROUP ing special, except that it featured a shiny black wing“[Stroup’s] seven common case. This pattern was deadly sense principles along with the everywhere on the river, and illustrations by Dave Hall take when the first spring hatch a lot of the frustrating and (the Grannom Caddis) came guesswork out of what many into full swing, and the fish consider a difficult sport. . . .

Just about the time the ‘shack-nasties’ are so bad that you can’t stand it any longer, you start to notice that the days are becoming a bit longer, the wood stove doesn’t require as much wood at night, and the accountant is reminding you to get your receipts together. For the first time in months, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and thoughts of warm spring days on the stream start to dominate your thoughts. If you’re like me, every material you’ve tied with over the last two months is still

Reading the book is like having a guide accompany you on every trip to a stream, and it should be valuable addition to your fly fishing library.” --Charles Meck

Davis Sport Shop, Inc. 120 Route 17 Sloatsburg, NY 10974 Steelhead & Salmon Gear 845-753-2198 www.davissport.com

Shops

Urban Angler The Source for Everything Fly Fishing 206 Fifth Ave. 3rd Fl. New York, NY 10010 212-689-6400

Shops

Orleans Outdoor Oak Orchard and Western NY Trout and Salmon fly, float & spin 1764 Oak Orchard Rd Albion, NY 585-682-4546 www.orleansoutdoor.com

All Season’s Sports 3733 RT. 13 Pulaski, NY 13142 Salmon and Steelhead Gear. NY Fishing Licenses. 315-298-6433

Shops

Fat Nancy's Tackle Shop 3750 RT. 13 Pulaski, NY 13142 Right off the Pulaski Exit. Everything you’ll need. 315-298-4051

Shops

Malinda's Fly & Tackle Shop 3 Pulaski St. Altmar, NY 13302 Full line of Spin, Fly, Spey Rods and Reels. 315-298-2993

SALMON R. NY

NEW YORK

WWW.SPRUCECREEKFLYCO.COM

weren’t taking them, I resorted to using the and work it over. If you’re not moving olive nymph and my clients had great fish, keep moving. days. Chalk the success up to the early seaPATTERNS AND TACTICS son reconnaissance. I heard so many anglers complain that the fishing was no Early season patterns depend greatly on good because they weren’t catching any- your home water. If your home water is a thing with the usual go-to bugs during the stocked fishery, bright attractor patterns such as glo-bugs, San Juan worms, sucker hatch. The early season is a great time to be on spawn and green weenies will often prothe water because you’ll run into fewer duce fantastic results. I could go into a long anglers. This allows you to move and scientific explanation as to why these patterns work, but I would just be another self cover more water without restriction. Most everyone knows that April in cen- professed ‘expert’ claiming to have a rhyme tral Pennsylvania can be great, but very and reason for all that trout do. The fact of few folks have any idea of how great the the matter is, trout eat eggs, worms and assorted other things. They are also attractfishing can be in March, and even ed to certain colors such as chartreuse and February. This is true for many waters as spring nears, the desire to feed makes around the country that support trout, and them vulnerable to almost anything that one of the things that I enjoy most about doesn’t look like a stick or piece of debris. the early season is that there are very few This is true of wild fish as well, but often in anglers to share the water with. This wild trout water there is a natural menu allows me to move when I fish and if I’m available to the fish, and sometimes the not finding fish in a particular type of CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 water, I can move into another type to try my luck there. Often, at this time of year, trout will be stacked in Eric Stroup certain places for specific reasons. For example; last spring I found trout in any moderate current that had a depth of around three feet. The water was of consistent flow with very little structure in nearly every case. If I was able to find this condition anywhere on the river, I was assured great catch numbers, and it lasted well over a month. Other years, I have found them in different conditions, such as tail outs, riffles or deep, slow pools. The point is, move to the fish in the early season. Once you catch some in a particular water type, stick with it


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6

Early Season Trout Fishing BY

ERIC STROUP piled on your tying desk either because you’re too lazy to put it away, or because you thought you might actually finish what you were tying last. If you’re a guide, you begin to realize that time is running out to get your fly orders done, and you begin to have some serious thoughts about completing them in time for the season. The early season is one of my favorite times of the year and my fondness for this season stems from several factors. From a professional standpoint, it is important that I get as much fishing in as possible before the guiding kicks into high gear. Just last year, I found a particular nymph pattern that was working really well through the entire month of March. This was a very generic olive NEW BOOK nymph that I tied out of dyed RELEASE BY squirrel and was really nothERIC STROUP ing special, except that it featured a shiny black wing“[Stroup’s] seven common case. This pattern was deadly sense principles along with the everywhere on the river, and illustrations by Dave Hall take when the first spring hatch a lot of the frustrating and (the Grannom Caddis) came guesswork out of what many into full swing, and the fish consider a difficult sport. . . .

Just about the time the ‘shack-nasties’ are so bad that you can’t stand it any longer, you start to notice that the days are becoming a bit longer, the wood stove doesn’t require as much wood at night, and the accountant is reminding you to get your receipts together. For the first time in months, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and thoughts of warm spring days on the stream start to dominate your thoughts. If you’re like me, every material you’ve tied with over the last two months is still

Reading the book is like having a guide accompany you on every trip to a stream, and it should be valuable addition to your fly fishing library.” --Charles Meck

Davis Sport Shop, Inc. 120 Route 17 Sloatsburg, NY 10974 Steelhead & Salmon Gear 845-753-2198 www.davissport.com

Shops

Urban Angler The Source for Everything Fly Fishing 206 Fifth Ave. 3rd Fl. New York, NY 10010 212-689-6400

Shops

Orleans Outdoor Oak Orchard and Western NY Trout and Salmon fly, float & spin 1764 Oak Orchard Rd Albion, NY 585-682-4546 www.orleansoutdoor.com

All Season’s Sports 3733 RT. 13 Pulaski, NY 13142 Salmon and Steelhead Gear. NY Fishing Licenses. 315-298-6433

Shops

Fat Nancy's Tackle Shop 3750 RT. 13 Pulaski, NY 13142 Right off the Pulaski Exit. Everything you’ll need. 315-298-4051

Shops

Malinda's Fly & Tackle Shop 3 Pulaski St. Altmar, NY 13302 Full line of Spin, Fly, Spey Rods and Reels. 315-298-2993

SALMON R. NY

NEW YORK

WWW.SPRUCECREEKFLYCO.COM

weren’t taking them, I resorted to using the and work it over. If you’re not moving olive nymph and my clients had great fish, keep moving. days. Chalk the success up to the early seaPATTERNS AND TACTICS son reconnaissance. I heard so many anglers complain that the fishing was no Early season patterns depend greatly on good because they weren’t catching any- your home water. If your home water is a thing with the usual go-to bugs during the stocked fishery, bright attractor patterns such as glo-bugs, San Juan worms, sucker hatch. The early season is a great time to be on spawn and green weenies will often prothe water because you’ll run into fewer duce fantastic results. I could go into a long anglers. This allows you to move and scientific explanation as to why these patterns work, but I would just be another self cover more water without restriction. Most everyone knows that April in cen- professed ‘expert’ claiming to have a rhyme tral Pennsylvania can be great, but very and reason for all that trout do. The fact of few folks have any idea of how great the the matter is, trout eat eggs, worms and assorted other things. They are also attractfishing can be in March, and even ed to certain colors such as chartreuse and February. This is true for many waters as spring nears, the desire to feed makes around the country that support trout, and them vulnerable to almost anything that one of the things that I enjoy most about doesn’t look like a stick or piece of debris. the early season is that there are very few This is true of wild fish as well, but often in anglers to share the water with. This wild trout water there is a natural menu allows me to move when I fish and if I’m available to the fish, and sometimes the not finding fish in a particular type of CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 water, I can move into another type to try my luck there. Often, at this time of year, trout will be stacked in Eric Stroup certain places for specific reasons. For example; last spring I found trout in any moderate current that had a depth of around three feet. The water was of consistent flow with very little structure in nearly every case. If I was able to find this condition anywhere on the river, I was assured great catch numbers, and it lasted well over a month. Other years, I have found them in different conditions, such as tail outs, riffles or deep, slow pools. The point is, move to the fish in the early season. Once you catch some in a particular water type, stick with it


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Winter Chrome on Two-Handed Rods BY

CHRISTOPHER LESSWAY

W

Salmon River Sport Shop 4826 Salina St. Pulaski, NY 13142 On Salmon River’s “Town Pool” 315-298-4343 Salmonriversportsshop.com

Shops

motor upstream from the boat launch and spend the day concentrating on a few different runs, instead of floating the entire section. We were going to swing flies on twohanded rods and focus on a few certain runs that had been good to us in the past. I am a firm believer that fishing a few select runs, or overly crowded runs, two or three times will be far more productive than running and gunning as much river as possible. Many beginner anglers tend to make this mistake, forgetting that these more crowded runs earned their popularity for a reason, which is they contain features that attract and hold steelhead. As we motored up river, we passed another boat heading downstream. The two men in the boat looked over and gave a friendly nod with that frozen steelhead stare. I really didn’t expect to see anyone up there, and they were the only other anglers we saw all day. The first run we fished was a long, slow trough at the end of a riffle, about 6 feet deep and chock-full of boulders, a perfect run for swinging flies to winter steelhead. After two unsuccessful passes through the run we decided we would give it one more try, only this time we decided to change things up a bit. We used a more heavily weighted fly. By my third cast I had a nice tug on the end of my line, but did not hook the fish. This goes to prove that sometimes a small adjustment, such as getting down a little deeper or swimming your fly more

Whitaker's Sport Shop and Motel 3707 Rt.13 Pulaski, NY 315-298-6162 Check out our web site at: www.whitakers.com

Lodging

Steelhead Lodge & Empire State Outfitters 3178 Rt. 13 Pulaski, NY (866) 948 4371 steelheadlodge.com Overlooks the Salmon River!

Angler's Lodge For Those Who Enjoy A Secluded Natural Setting Altmar, NY 13302 (315) 298-6028 stonehouseinnlodging.com

Lodging

run. I headed up stream to the top, while my buddy started down lower in the run. After about 2 or 3 casts. I heard my buddy yell “fish on!” Not even two seconds later Wham! I hooked up too! We had a double! Both fish came cartwheeling out of the water, chrome as chrome can be. I couldn’t believe it. That’s what it is all about! When it comes to winter steelheading, patience is key. Sometimes you may cast for hours or even days between fish, other days you may hook multiple fish. Regardless, you need to be persistent. While the winter steelheader is an indomitable breed, braving the harsh elements in search of elusive winter chrome, you must be prepared to tolerate the unpredictable weather and changing river conditions. A slight temperature change can be a huge factor in fishing productivity. As the day progresses, the surface water may warm up one or two degrees which can make the steelhead more active. I’ve had many days steelheading when I went all day without a single tug and then, in that last magical hour of daylight, when the surface temperature of the water is at its warmest, my rod was nearly ripped out of my hands. A bright chrome steelhead came boiling out of the water. “Fish on!” Persistence pays off again.

Brenda's Motel and Campground 644 County Rt. 48 Altmar, NY 13302 1 mile from Pinneville Br (315) 298-2268

Lodging

Fox Hollow Salmon River Lodge 2740 State Route 13 Altmar, New York 13302 Roger Wolfe - (315) 298-2876 Foxhollowsalmonriverlodge.com

SALMON R. NY

SALMON R. NY

ith the onset of winter, many anglers put away their rods and start to think about the holidays or going somewhere warm. They may even tie up a few flies for next season. But if you’re anything like me, a diehard steelheader, you’re getting out your cold weather gear and getting ready for some winter steelhead action! Cold blustery winds and bone chilling water temps of 33 degrees? Ahh, that’s just the life of a winter steelheader here in the Great Lakes! Yes, some say we’re a different breed, wearing layers of clothing and polar fleece while our fingers and toes go numb. Some describe us having a distinct look in our eyes. You might know what I’m talking about, that wild and crazy stare we get from spending hour after hour, day after day in pursuit of these chrome, bottom hugging denizens of the winter. We are a persistent bunch! One of these typical days hit in the middle of January. The weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 24 degrees with little to no wind. Compared to the previous week and a half with temps in the lower teens and wind chills below zero, this seemed like the perfect day for a winter steelhead trip. I called up my buddy and we got the boat in the water by 11 a.m. I took a quick water temperature reading before shoving off. The thermometer read 33 degrees, which was about what I had expected. Since the days were short this time of year, we decided to

slowly, makes a world of difference. Two –handed rods can be a great asset during the winter. Rods in the 13 to 15 foot range meet most winter steelheader needs. They’re ideal for putting the fly in the zone with very little effort and great for handling heavy sink tips and casting larger flies, which tend to be the norm during the winter. These rods also have remarkable line handling capabilities. They will mend your fly line like no other and will maximize the time your fly is in the water. My rod of choice that day was a 15 foot, 9 weight with a Skagit line and about 17 feet of T-14 sink tip, perfect for the river conditions. When swinging flies for winter steelhead, you want your fly to swim as slow as possible without hanging on the bottom. If I notice that my fly or sink tip start to catch the bottom, then off it comes. I go back to a lighter sink tip with a lighter fly. Some of the more popular flies I like to use for winter steelhead are Intruder style flies, or Marabou speys in brighter colors, tied on brass tubes with a little bit of flash in them. I believe the pulsating Marabou and brighter colors tend to catch their attention and trigger them to strike. We continued to fish two more runs using the same approach with no success. We decided it was a good time for a lunch break. I fired up the propane stove and heated up some homemade venison stew. I often bring a hot lunch with me on winter steelhead trips. It’s a good way to stay warm and keep your spirits up on slow days. After lunch we headed down river. We had a few more runs to fish and only a couple more hours of daylight. We fished each and every run methodically with nothing to show for it. We had only one more run left before the take out. If it was going to happen, it was going to have to happen there. We anchored the boat and waded out to the


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Winter Chrome on Two-Handed Rods BY

CHRISTOPHER LESSWAY

W

Salmon River Sport Shop 4826 Salina St. Pulaski, NY 13142 On Salmon River’s “Town Pool” 315-298-4343 Salmonriversportsshop.com

Shops

motor upstream from the boat launch and spend the day concentrating on a few different runs, instead of floating the entire section. We were going to swing flies on twohanded rods and focus on a few certain runs that had been good to us in the past. I am a firm believer that fishing a few select runs, or overly crowded runs, two or three times will be far more productive than running and gunning as much river as possible. Many beginner anglers tend to make this mistake, forgetting that these more crowded runs earned their popularity for a reason, which is they contain features that attract and hold steelhead. As we motored up river, we passed another boat heading downstream. The two men in the boat looked over and gave a friendly nod with that frozen steelhead stare. I really didn’t expect to see anyone up there, and they were the only other anglers we saw all day. The first run we fished was a long, slow trough at the end of a riffle, about 6 feet deep and chock-full of boulders, a perfect run for swinging flies to winter steelhead. After two unsuccessful passes through the run we decided we would give it one more try, only this time we decided to change things up a bit. We used a more heavily weighted fly. By my third cast I had a nice tug on the end of my line, but did not hook the fish. This goes to prove that sometimes a small adjustment, such as getting down a little deeper or swimming your fly more

Whitaker's Sport Shop and Motel 3707 Rt.13 Pulaski, NY 315-298-6162 Check out our web site at: www.whitakers.com

Lodging

Steelhead Lodge & Empire State Outfitters 3178 Rt. 13 Pulaski, NY (866) 948 4371 steelheadlodge.com Overlooks the Salmon River!

Angler's Lodge For Those Who Enjoy A Secluded Natural Setting Altmar, NY 13302 (315) 298-6028 stonehouseinnlodging.com

Lodging

run. I headed up stream to the top, while my buddy started down lower in the run. After about 2 or 3 casts. I heard my buddy yell “fish on!” Not even two seconds later Wham! I hooked up too! We had a double! Both fish came cartwheeling out of the water, chrome as chrome can be. I couldn’t believe it. That’s what it is all about! When it comes to winter steelheading, patience is key. Sometimes you may cast for hours or even days between fish, other days you may hook multiple fish. Regardless, you need to be persistent. While the winter steelheader is an indomitable breed, braving the harsh elements in search of elusive winter chrome, you must be prepared to tolerate the unpredictable weather and changing river conditions. A slight temperature change can be a huge factor in fishing productivity. As the day progresses, the surface water may warm up one or two degrees which can make the steelhead more active. I’ve had many days steelheading when I went all day without a single tug and then, in that last magical hour of daylight, when the surface temperature of the water is at its warmest, my rod was nearly ripped out of my hands. A bright chrome steelhead came boiling out of the water. “Fish on!” Persistence pays off again.

Brenda's Motel and Campground 644 County Rt. 48 Altmar, NY 13302 1 mile from Pinneville Br (315) 298-2268

Lodging

Fox Hollow Salmon River Lodge 2740 State Route 13 Altmar, New York 13302 Roger Wolfe - (315) 298-2876 Foxhollowsalmonriverlodge.com

SALMON R. NY

SALMON R. NY

ith the onset of winter, many anglers put away their rods and start to think about the holidays or going somewhere warm. They may even tie up a few flies for next season. But if you’re anything like me, a diehard steelheader, you’re getting out your cold weather gear and getting ready for some winter steelhead action! Cold blustery winds and bone chilling water temps of 33 degrees? Ahh, that’s just the life of a winter steelheader here in the Great Lakes! Yes, some say we’re a different breed, wearing layers of clothing and polar fleece while our fingers and toes go numb. Some describe us having a distinct look in our eyes. You might know what I’m talking about, that wild and crazy stare we get from spending hour after hour, day after day in pursuit of these chrome, bottom hugging denizens of the winter. We are a persistent bunch! One of these typical days hit in the middle of January. The weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 24 degrees with little to no wind. Compared to the previous week and a half with temps in the lower teens and wind chills below zero, this seemed like the perfect day for a winter steelhead trip. I called up my buddy and we got the boat in the water by 11 a.m. I took a quick water temperature reading before shoving off. The thermometer read 33 degrees, which was about what I had expected. Since the days were short this time of year, we decided to

slowly, makes a world of difference. Two –handed rods can be a great asset during the winter. Rods in the 13 to 15 foot range meet most winter steelheader needs. They’re ideal for putting the fly in the zone with very little effort and great for handling heavy sink tips and casting larger flies, which tend to be the norm during the winter. These rods also have remarkable line handling capabilities. They will mend your fly line like no other and will maximize the time your fly is in the water. My rod of choice that day was a 15 foot, 9 weight with a Skagit line and about 17 feet of T-14 sink tip, perfect for the river conditions. When swinging flies for winter steelhead, you want your fly to swim as slow as possible without hanging on the bottom. If I notice that my fly or sink tip start to catch the bottom, then off it comes. I go back to a lighter sink tip with a lighter fly. Some of the more popular flies I like to use for winter steelhead are Intruder style flies, or Marabou speys in brighter colors, tied on brass tubes with a little bit of flash in them. I believe the pulsating Marabou and brighter colors tend to catch their attention and trigger them to strike. We continued to fish two more runs using the same approach with no success. We decided it was a good time for a lunch break. I fired up the propane stove and heated up some homemade venison stew. I often bring a hot lunch with me on winter steelhead trips. It’s a good way to stay warm and keep your spirits up on slow days. After lunch we headed down river. We had a few more runs to fish and only a couple more hours of daylight. We fished each and every run methodically with nothing to show for it. We had only one more run left before the take out. If it was going to happen, it was going to have to happen there. We anchored the boat and waded out to the


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Swinging Flies on the Kenai BY

KLINT BOROZAN

n the extended hike down to the river, I ran into two elderly people in their 70’s. The man was in a wheelchair, being pushed by his wife who was on oxygen. They were making their way on the trestled metal walkways of the Russian River, then downriver to the confluence with the Kenai River on a half mile path. It was a truly endearing sight. I offered to help them down the trail, and they responded proudly, “No, thank you, we have it.” The man had fished for sockeyes for over fifty years, and would not miss the opportunity for any reason. His wife loved him so much, she pushed him down to the river and back, just for those moments of excitement and satisfaction. I hope my wife will do that for me in 30 years. When most people think of catching sockeye salmon, the Combat Zone on the Kenai River or the Russian River in Alaska come to mind. It’s elbow to elbow, three deep, waiting for a turn, whipping the water with spinning rods. Crowds like that are not my idea of a great time. Try putting a little distance between yourself and the crowd, going downstream by boat or on foot. Not only will you find the stunning beauty of the Kenai entirely hypnotic, but you’ll find some of the most memorable angling you can have in a lifetime of fly fishing. Smart fly fisherman avoid the fishing metropolis of the “Combat Zone” and seek the road less traveled, looking for open water to launch a sink tip and a fly into the

Best Western Crown Inn & Suites Fish Oak Orchard by day and hit Batavia Downs by night! Batavia, NY 585-344-8882 Lodging

run where a sockeye will take it. I’ve found this as much fun as steelheading, but with the rush of catching ten times as many fish per day. Sockeyes are strong, acrobatic, and very tough. They will run 100 yards downstream. They will jump five feet in the air. Any imperfections in your knot or leader will let you down. And worst of all, you can only get little more than two seasons out of a single handed , 7 weight graphite fly rod. (Trust me on this one…) Some mistakingly think that sockeye salmon, in general , don’t or won’t hit flies, believing the way to catch them is to cast repetitively until the leader “finds” its way into their mouth, and ultimately the fish hooks itself. I have a friend who again passed on to me the rhetoric that sockeyes are almost always “snagged.” My response is “Sure, if you’re in the top 2/3 of the water column.” Misconceptions like these might be said for chinooks or even steelhead. However, if you ask the best steelheaders from the Northwest, they know that is not the case with those monsters either. I always stress to people: experiment, watch, and learn the fish’s specific patterns of behaviors such as types of holding water, depth, colors and light preferences . When questioned, the best steelheaders I know can tell you, for any time of the year, what patterns, colors, size, nymph, egg or streamer and depth to raise steelhead. I study salmon the same way. If you can chase fish in water where you see their behavior, you will learn Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center 30 Lake Shore Drive East Dunkirk, NY Best choice for fishing the Cattaraugus River! (716) 366-8350 Lodging

Elk Creek Sports Store Lake City, PA 814-774-8755 Cast a line from our shop & grab the hottest Flies on Steelhead Alley!

Lake Erie Ultimate Angler 3737 West 12th St. Erie, PA 814-833-4040 Fishing is our Passion and we want it to be Yours! Shops

Screaming Reels Guide Service Guiding "Steelhead Alley” in Ohio, New York & PA! Bob Williams Call 216-491-9543 www.screamingreels.net Guides

PENNSYLVANIA

WESTERN NY

O

that sockeyes have patterns of aggressive- Kenai River. I would recommend at least a ness and aloofness. I’ve learned they will 14 foot 7 weight rod, with a Skagit head hit flies only in the lowest parts of water appropriate for that equipment. If you are fishing for the late run sockeyes, which tend column. That is where the story begins. I leave most of the people behind and to be bigger with some over 10 lbs, full of head for the stretches of the Kenai River, frustration because their mission has not yet between 2 or 3 miles below the Combat been accomplished, I would recommend a Zone, either walking or floating to a place 14 foot, 8 weight rod. The Kenai is a big where there are more bears than people, and river, with strong current and lots of room, a beach where I can work with a spey rod so having a minimum of 100 yards of and sink tip. Starting in June, the Kenai is dacron backing is important if you get in filling with early run sockeye running up to trouble with a fish that heads downstream. I the Russian River, en route to Russian Lake have seen coho run downstream with the where they will spawn. In mid-summer, the current 75 yards in only few seconds, so a Kenai fills with larger sockeyes seeking to good drag is also a priority. Begin to fish by working the seams and spawn in the other lakes along its flow. Volumes of fish are typically very good for swinging into areas that appear to be “fishy” both the Kenai and the Russian Rivers, but holding areas. It is best to approach from personally I prefer the bigger river, with lots well above the target area. A successful cast of room to play. Between the runs on the is usually straight out, with a BIG mend, and Russian and Kenai, almost one million fish a step or two downstream to make sure the sink tip is getting down and swinging into come through the Kenai. I like to fish with a two handed spey rod, CONTINUED ON PAGE 27 rigged with a heavy sink tip and short leader, with a streamer on the end that I Cindy Glassmaker keep very sharp. holds a bright Sockeye. Experience, including some sight fishing, has proven that swinging the streamer at the right level in water column will illicit strikes from sockeyes. The most important aspect of rigging is using enough sink tip to get it down. I make my own with both T-14 and T-17, with loop connections, in lengths of 10, 14, and 18 feet for use on the Mark Glassmaker


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Swinging Flies on the Kenai BY

KLINT BOROZAN

n the extended hike down to the river, I ran into two elderly people in their 70’s. The man was in a wheelchair, being pushed by his wife who was on oxygen. They were making their way on the trestled metal walkways of the Russian River, then downriver to the confluence with the Kenai River on a half mile path. It was a truly endearing sight. I offered to help them down the trail, and they responded proudly, “No, thank you, we have it.” The man had fished for sockeyes for over fifty years, and would not miss the opportunity for any reason. His wife loved him so much, she pushed him down to the river and back, just for those moments of excitement and satisfaction. I hope my wife will do that for me in 30 years. When most people think of catching sockeye salmon, the Combat Zone on the Kenai River or the Russian River in Alaska come to mind. It’s elbow to elbow, three deep, waiting for a turn, whipping the water with spinning rods. Crowds like that are not my idea of a great time. Try putting a little distance between yourself and the crowd, going downstream by boat or on foot. Not only will you find the stunning beauty of the Kenai entirely hypnotic, but you’ll find some of the most memorable angling you can have in a lifetime of fly fishing. Smart fly fisherman avoid the fishing metropolis of the “Combat Zone” and seek the road less traveled, looking for open water to launch a sink tip and a fly into the

Best Western Crown Inn & Suites Fish Oak Orchard by day and hit Batavia Downs by night! Batavia, NY 585-344-8882 Lodging

run where a sockeye will take it. I’ve found this as much fun as steelheading, but with the rush of catching ten times as many fish per day. Sockeyes are strong, acrobatic, and very tough. They will run 100 yards downstream. They will jump five feet in the air. Any imperfections in your knot or leader will let you down. And worst of all, you can only get little more than two seasons out of a single handed , 7 weight graphite fly rod. (Trust me on this one…) Some mistakingly think that sockeye salmon, in general , don’t or won’t hit flies, believing the way to catch them is to cast repetitively until the leader “finds” its way into their mouth, and ultimately the fish hooks itself. I have a friend who again passed on to me the rhetoric that sockeyes are almost always “snagged.” My response is “Sure, if you’re in the top 2/3 of the water column.” Misconceptions like these might be said for chinooks or even steelhead. However, if you ask the best steelheaders from the Northwest, they know that is not the case with those monsters either. I always stress to people: experiment, watch, and learn the fish’s specific patterns of behaviors such as types of holding water, depth, colors and light preferences . When questioned, the best steelheaders I know can tell you, for any time of the year, what patterns, colors, size, nymph, egg or streamer and depth to raise steelhead. I study salmon the same way. If you can chase fish in water where you see their behavior, you will learn Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center 30 Lake Shore Drive East Dunkirk, NY Best choice for fishing the Cattaraugus River! (716) 366-8350 Lodging

Elk Creek Sports Store Lake City, PA 814-774-8755 Cast a line from our shop & grab the hottest Flies on Steelhead Alley!

Lake Erie Ultimate Angler 3737 West 12th St. Erie, PA 814-833-4040 Fishing is our Passion and we want it to be Yours! Shops

Screaming Reels Guide Service Guiding "Steelhead Alley” in Ohio, New York & PA! Bob Williams Call 216-491-9543 www.screamingreels.net Guides

PENNSYLVANIA

WESTERN NY

O

that sockeyes have patterns of aggressive- Kenai River. I would recommend at least a ness and aloofness. I’ve learned they will 14 foot 7 weight rod, with a Skagit head hit flies only in the lowest parts of water appropriate for that equipment. If you are fishing for the late run sockeyes, which tend column. That is where the story begins. I leave most of the people behind and to be bigger with some over 10 lbs, full of head for the stretches of the Kenai River, frustration because their mission has not yet between 2 or 3 miles below the Combat been accomplished, I would recommend a Zone, either walking or floating to a place 14 foot, 8 weight rod. The Kenai is a big where there are more bears than people, and river, with strong current and lots of room, a beach where I can work with a spey rod so having a minimum of 100 yards of and sink tip. Starting in June, the Kenai is dacron backing is important if you get in filling with early run sockeye running up to trouble with a fish that heads downstream. I the Russian River, en route to Russian Lake have seen coho run downstream with the where they will spawn. In mid-summer, the current 75 yards in only few seconds, so a Kenai fills with larger sockeyes seeking to good drag is also a priority. Begin to fish by working the seams and spawn in the other lakes along its flow. Volumes of fish are typically very good for swinging into areas that appear to be “fishy” both the Kenai and the Russian Rivers, but holding areas. It is best to approach from personally I prefer the bigger river, with lots well above the target area. A successful cast of room to play. Between the runs on the is usually straight out, with a BIG mend, and Russian and Kenai, almost one million fish a step or two downstream to make sure the sink tip is getting down and swinging into come through the Kenai. I like to fish with a two handed spey rod, CONTINUED ON PAGE 27 rigged with a heavy sink tip and short leader, with a streamer on the end that I Cindy Glassmaker keep very sharp. holds a bright Sockeye. Experience, including some sight fishing, has proven that swinging the streamer at the right level in water column will illicit strikes from sockeyes. The most important aspect of rigging is using enough sink tip to get it down. I make my own with both T-14 and T-17, with loop connections, in lengths of 10, 14, and 18 feet for use on the Mark Glassmaker


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Ice Water Steelhead BY

Robert J. Spoerke, Jr.

I

Guides

Wet Fly Waterguides 814-341-0946 or 814-322-4755 Central & North Central Fly Fishing Trips. Old School with Modern Twist wetflywg@gmail.com Wetflywaterguides.com

Wingate by Wyndham Erie, PA 8060 Old Oliver Rd. - I-90/Exit 24 Tell them Kype Magazine sent you! 814-860-3050 Close to Elk and Walnut Creek with all the modern conveniences. Lodging

Efinger Bound Brook, NJ 732-356-0604 Proudly Celebrating A 100 Years of Dedication to Sportsmen & Athletes Shops

12

$ .95 US Funds Free shipping

Order at Kype.net

ERUPTING SCENT FORMULA

Tight Lines Fly Fishing & East Coast Spey Pine Brook, NJ 973-244-5990 Spey Classes Available www.tightlinesflyfishing.com

Guiding

NEW JERSEY

Freestone Fly Fishing 717-337-0734 or 717-855-8057 Fly Fishing for Steelhead Salmon and Trout. South Central & North Central PA Streams freestonefly-fishing.com

dom hold fish under ice water conditions. However, deep, slow stretches that require some line mending to keep the bait moving often hold a lot of fish. I like to work a small bait of eggs through every foot of a target stretch of water, concentrating on current edges. A drop or two of scent sometimes makes a difference. Focusing my fishing on the more productive times and temperatures has increased my catch and decreased the numb semi-hypothermic mornings spent mostly shivering and fishless. As my fingers thaw and my back muscles relax with the warming late morning sun, I now fish with intense concentration anticipating the gentle tap of ice water steelhead.

Trout • Salmon • Steelhead

I reminded myself that steelhead make physical discomfort into adventure. My frustration was compounded at the river’s edge when I observed small ice shards blanketing the river’s surface from bank to bank, with slush appearing like over sized Booking Salmon River Trips! cotton balls clinging to rocks in the riffles. Salmon River Sport Shop Not only would the cold make for some Pulaski, NY uncomfortable fishing, it would likely hamper effective drift fishing. Driftboat and Bank Guiding The following three hours proved a true 4826 Salina St. test of endurance. Drift after drift the On Salmon River’s “Town Pool” 315-298-4343 spawn sac rode the surface, buoyed by ice Salmonriversportsshop.com shards, and only occasionally sinking through the slush and ice particles to the fish holding zone. With each drift the eggs accumulated a thin layer of ice and required deicing after five or six dunkings. At mid-morning I walked back to the car, cold and discouraged. I experienced nothing resembling a hit, tap or take in those first few hours of diligent drift fishing. While warming up with a cup of coffee, I considered my Jeremy Botting of western NY options: drive to an lands this nice winter steelhead. upstream section that

PENNSYLVANIA

pulled into the riverside parking lot and turned off the radio in frustration. The DJ reported the daybreak temperature in the mid-teens. Early morning fishing was certainly going to be less than comfortable.

might have less ice, try another Lake Michigan tributary, or concentrate on a downstream hole that regularly holds fish, in hopes that it was ice-free. With minimal confidence, I decided to walk downstream to the productive hole. Twenty minutes of warming up in the car revived my ambitions. I buttoned up, gathered my equipment and made the halfmile trek downstream, arriving at my destination about eleven. The hole seemed ice-free but the bright morning sunlight zapped my enthusiasm. I had been conditioned to believe steelhead rarely bite other than at first light or during heavily overcast periods. Diligent but not optimistic, I methodically worked the hole, varying the position of the drifts to cover every corner. About noon I instantly reacted to a sensation of heaviness midway through a drift, setting the hook into a sleek, dark male steelhead of about five pounds. An hour later I beached a silvery female maybe two pounds larger. Two weeks later the scene repeated itself when I encountered mid-teen daybreak temperatures, ice and slush on the river, and a cloudless sky. Morning fishing produced nothing, but from noon to one o’clock I managed to hook and land two respectable fish. These two experiences led me to rethink my approach to steelheading in frigid conditions. Looking back on numerous early season outings, I realized almost every fish was taken in late morning or early afternoon. So I stopped feeling compelled to make the first toss at daybreak when the fish are rarely active, and ice and slush often hinder proper presentation. Now I concentrate on pools and holes, working them with increased diligence as the late morning sun warms the air and water. This approach produces in late fall too. Rapids, riffles and shallow runs sel-


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 12

13

12

Ice Water Steelhead BY

Robert J. Spoerke, Jr.

I

Guides

Wet Fly Waterguides 814-341-0946 or 814-322-4755 Central & North Central Fly Fishing Trips. Old School with Modern Twist wetflywg@gmail.com Wetflywaterguides.com

Wingate by Wyndham Erie, PA 8060 Old Oliver Rd. - I-90/Exit 24 Tell them Kype Magazine sent you! 814-860-3050 Close to Elk and Walnut Creek with all the modern conveniences. Lodging

Efinger Bound Brook, NJ 732-356-0604 Proudly Celebrating A 100 Years of Dedication to Sportsmen & Athletes Shops

12

$ .95 US Funds Free shipping

Order at Kype.net

ERUPTING SCENT FORMULA

Tight Lines Fly Fishing & East Coast Spey Pine Brook, NJ 973-244-5990 Spey Classes Available www.tightlinesflyfishing.com

Guiding

NEW JERSEY

Freestone Fly Fishing 717-337-0734 or 717-855-8057 Fly Fishing for Steelhead Salmon and Trout. South Central & North Central PA Streams freestonefly-fishing.com

dom hold fish under ice water conditions. However, deep, slow stretches that require some line mending to keep the bait moving often hold a lot of fish. I like to work a small bait of eggs through every foot of a target stretch of water, concentrating on current edges. A drop or two of scent sometimes makes a difference. Focusing my fishing on the more productive times and temperatures has increased my catch and decreased the numb semi-hypothermic mornings spent mostly shivering and fishless. As my fingers thaw and my back muscles relax with the warming late morning sun, I now fish with intense concentration anticipating the gentle tap of ice water steelhead.

Trout • Salmon • Steelhead

I reminded myself that steelhead make physical discomfort into adventure. My frustration was compounded at the river’s edge when I observed small ice shards blanketing the river’s surface from bank to bank, with slush appearing like over sized Booking Salmon River Trips! cotton balls clinging to rocks in the riffles. Salmon River Sport Shop Not only would the cold make for some Pulaski, NY uncomfortable fishing, it would likely hamper effective drift fishing. Driftboat and Bank Guiding The following three hours proved a true 4826 Salina St. test of endurance. Drift after drift the On Salmon River’s “Town Pool” 315-298-4343 spawn sac rode the surface, buoyed by ice Salmonriversportsshop.com shards, and only occasionally sinking through the slush and ice particles to the fish holding zone. With each drift the eggs accumulated a thin layer of ice and required deicing after five or six dunkings. At mid-morning I walked back to the car, cold and discouraged. I experienced nothing resembling a hit, tap or take in those first few hours of diligent drift fishing. While warming up with a cup of coffee, I considered my Jeremy Botting of western NY options: drive to an lands this nice winter steelhead. upstream section that

PENNSYLVANIA

pulled into the riverside parking lot and turned off the radio in frustration. The DJ reported the daybreak temperature in the mid-teens. Early morning fishing was certainly going to be less than comfortable.

might have less ice, try another Lake Michigan tributary, or concentrate on a downstream hole that regularly holds fish, in hopes that it was ice-free. With minimal confidence, I decided to walk downstream to the productive hole. Twenty minutes of warming up in the car revived my ambitions. I buttoned up, gathered my equipment and made the halfmile trek downstream, arriving at my destination about eleven. The hole seemed ice-free but the bright morning sunlight zapped my enthusiasm. I had been conditioned to believe steelhead rarely bite other than at first light or during heavily overcast periods. Diligent but not optimistic, I methodically worked the hole, varying the position of the drifts to cover every corner. About noon I instantly reacted to a sensation of heaviness midway through a drift, setting the hook into a sleek, dark male steelhead of about five pounds. An hour later I beached a silvery female maybe two pounds larger. Two weeks later the scene repeated itself when I encountered mid-teen daybreak temperatures, ice and slush on the river, and a cloudless sky. Morning fishing produced nothing, but from noon to one o’clock I managed to hook and land two respectable fish. These two experiences led me to rethink my approach to steelheading in frigid conditions. Looking back on numerous early season outings, I realized almost every fish was taken in late morning or early afternoon. So I stopped feeling compelled to make the first toss at daybreak when the fish are rarely active, and ice and slush often hinder proper presentation. Now I concentrate on pools and holes, working them with increased diligence as the late morning sun warms the air and water. This approach produces in late fall too. Rapids, riffles and shallow runs sel-


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1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 14

15

14

Grand Daddy of Ohio GEORGE DOUGLAS bout five years ago, my friend Mark and I went on a quest for fish that started in Pulaski, NY. The Salmon River was low and we decided to head west to seek out some higher water flows. We ended up on the Cattaraugus in Western New York. This river had plenty of water. Actually, it had a bit too much with a chocolate tint. We exhaled in discouragement as we looked over the bridge. Another angler walked up next to us with the same mission, although he was driving from the opposite direction. He was delivering products from Chicago to Albany, and had taken the opportunity to drive along the Great Lakes to check out the rivers along the way. He was tall, thin and a bit jumpy – a resemblance to the famous Major League Baseball pitcher, Randy Johnson. His hands shook with every inhale of his Parliament Cigarettes. I remember this because he kept referring to BY

Kames Sporting Goods 8516 Cleveland Ave. N. North Canton, OH 44720 Catch it, climb it, hunt it, or ride it, we have it! 800-446-4906 Shops

them as “parlies.” He spoke very fast, but with a low mumble and a high pitched laugh following every statement he made. We told him that there is not much east of the Catt, and not to waste his time. He was disappointed and I could tell that he didn’t fully believe us. Perhaps he thought that we didn’t know what we were doing, and he would surely have success finding fish where we did not. He began to tell us some fish stories from his trip thus far. “I wa’ standing on the bank, puffin’-aparlie, wham”! Giggle. “I stuck her good.” Laugh. “12, 14 pounds, Ohio, past Erie – fish after-fish.” Giggle. “Steelhead.” Laugh. Mark and I stood there looking at this nut as he spit out random words while looking down at his feet, kicking up clouds of dirt. “Did you say Ohio?” I asked with a smirk of disbelief. Mark loudly interrupted, “Alright, have a good one!” Walking back to the truck, Mark and I gave each other a quick look. We were thinking the same thing, that this guy was full of crap! In the truck we went over our options. “No on Ohio?” Mark asked. “Man, the guy was bent that we said there weren’t any fish. He just wants to send us on a wild goose chase through Ohio...Are you serious, Ohio?” As it turns out, Randy Johnson was the man, and we just didn’t know it yet. Years later I got my first glimpse of the rivers from the PA border to the Cleveland area. Wow! It’s not too often

Briquettes Smokehouse Pork, Chicken, Beef Brisket, & Ribs Dine-In or Take-Out In historic Ashtabula Harbor 440-964-2273 briquettessmokehouse.com

Martinis Restaurant & Lounge Spacious Lounge & Dining Overlooking the Golf Course 440-964-2800 harborgolfclubashtabula.com

Restaurants

Biscotti’s Restaurant Casual Authentic Italian Dining Located in historic Conneaut Harbor, close to the river! 440-593-6766 biscottisrestaurant.com Restaurant

Lakes. It’s basically undiscovered and under-fished. Sport and fly shops are far and few between. There are a couple in Painesville and a small shop adjacent to the dam in Harpersfield. Joe Pniewski, the owner of the shop was nice enough to give me a ride in the morning down to the ramp below. Nice guy with a conveniently located shop. Fishing Licenses can be purchased at the Gander Mountain Sports in Mentor. One warning: Don’t fish on private property. Fines are given like parking tickets here: a few hundred dollars a pop. Apparently, property owners own the land under the water that extends to either halfway across the river or in some cases, all the way across. Therefore, anglers cannot enter into a public fishing area, then hike into private waters. Due to these private property concerns, it is recommended to hire a guide or to do your homework on where and where not to fish. Other than that, this region is ripe for the picking. Upon arriving in Ohio, check out the tributaries from the PA Border to the Rocky River. It won’t be too long before you are locked into a Manistee strain steelhead. Please see the ads below and support these businesses and this great region.

Best Western Lawnfield Inn & Suites Great location for fishing the Grand and Rocky River. 8434 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, Oh 440-205-7378 Lodging

Eagle Cliff Inn Cottages & Suites Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 10% off for Steelhead Fishermen, Ask for Lu and mention this ad. 440-466-1110

OHIO

OHIO

A

when you stumble upon a region that is teeming with fish, yet has very few anglers. You’d think that it would take a float plane or a long hike into the backcountry in order to find such treasure. But, surprise, it’s right off of the I-90 corridor in northeastern Ohio. As I said in this issue’s film, this is the “Steelhead Mecca of the Great Lakes.” Not to take anything away from the other fisheries, but think about this...Ohio only has steelhead, that’s it! There is no more salmon program and no more brown trout. Those species did not take, but steelhead did, and the state is keyed in on this species. They chose the Little Manistee strain out of Michigan, and what a good choice that was. Those Manistee’s have big shoulders and are powerhouses. Ashtabula County features the upper Grand River and the Conneaut. More towards Cleveland you’ll find the lower Grand River, the Chagrin and Rocky River. These are all excellent choices and will usually provide good fishing opportunities through the spring and fall. Unfortunately, the clenches of winter will lock up these rivers barring a temporary thaw. The Grand River is the largest, the grand-daddy of the region. The river features many twists and turns from the mouth of the river near Painesville, to the dam at Harpersfield. There are many stretches of slow moving water that can be great for pinning. I prefer the sections of pocket water and typical steelhead pools with fast runs at the top, spilling into a deep, luscious pool. These sections are perfect for drift and fly fishing. Steelhead are scattered through the river in abundance. Most of the fish are in the 10 lb range with an occasional 15 lb pig. You have to understand that you will not find the conveniences of a typical fishery. Why? Well, for starters it is not fished compared to other popular rivers on the Great


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 14

15

14

Grand Daddy of Ohio GEORGE DOUGLAS bout five years ago, my friend Mark and I went on a quest for fish that started in Pulaski, NY. The Salmon River was low and we decided to head west to seek out some higher water flows. We ended up on the Cattaraugus in Western New York. This river had plenty of water. Actually, it had a bit too much with a chocolate tint. We exhaled in discouragement as we looked over the bridge. Another angler walked up next to us with the same mission, although he was driving from the opposite direction. He was delivering products from Chicago to Albany, and had taken the opportunity to drive along the Great Lakes to check out the rivers along the way. He was tall, thin and a bit jumpy – a resemblance to the famous Major League Baseball pitcher, Randy Johnson. His hands shook with every inhale of his Parliament Cigarettes. I remember this because he kept referring to BY

Kames Sporting Goods 8516 Cleveland Ave. N. North Canton, OH 44720 Catch it, climb it, hunt it, or ride it, we have it! 800-446-4906 Shops

them as “parlies.” He spoke very fast, but with a low mumble and a high pitched laugh following every statement he made. We told him that there is not much east of the Catt, and not to waste his time. He was disappointed and I could tell that he didn’t fully believe us. Perhaps he thought that we didn’t know what we were doing, and he would surely have success finding fish where we did not. He began to tell us some fish stories from his trip thus far. “I wa’ standing on the bank, puffin’-aparlie, wham”! Giggle. “I stuck her good.” Laugh. “12, 14 pounds, Ohio, past Erie – fish after-fish.” Giggle. “Steelhead.” Laugh. Mark and I stood there looking at this nut as he spit out random words while looking down at his feet, kicking up clouds of dirt. “Did you say Ohio?” I asked with a smirk of disbelief. Mark loudly interrupted, “Alright, have a good one!” Walking back to the truck, Mark and I gave each other a quick look. We were thinking the same thing, that this guy was full of crap! In the truck we went over our options. “No on Ohio?” Mark asked. “Man, the guy was bent that we said there weren’t any fish. He just wants to send us on a wild goose chase through Ohio...Are you serious, Ohio?” As it turns out, Randy Johnson was the man, and we just didn’t know it yet. Years later I got my first glimpse of the rivers from the PA border to the Cleveland area. Wow! It’s not too often

Briquettes Smokehouse Pork, Chicken, Beef Brisket, & Ribs Dine-In or Take-Out In historic Ashtabula Harbor 440-964-2273 briquettessmokehouse.com

Martinis Restaurant & Lounge Spacious Lounge & Dining Overlooking the Golf Course 440-964-2800 harborgolfclubashtabula.com

Restaurants

Biscotti’s Restaurant Casual Authentic Italian Dining Located in historic Conneaut Harbor, close to the river! 440-593-6766 biscottisrestaurant.com Restaurant

Lakes. It’s basically undiscovered and under-fished. Sport and fly shops are far and few between. There are a couple in Painesville and a small shop adjacent to the dam in Harpersfield. Joe Pniewski, the owner of the shop was nice enough to give me a ride in the morning down to the ramp below. Nice guy with a conveniently located shop. Fishing Licenses can be purchased at the Gander Mountain Sports in Mentor. One warning: Don’t fish on private property. Fines are given like parking tickets here: a few hundred dollars a pop. Apparently, property owners own the land under the water that extends to either halfway across the river or in some cases, all the way across. Therefore, anglers cannot enter into a public fishing area, then hike into private waters. Due to these private property concerns, it is recommended to hire a guide or to do your homework on where and where not to fish. Other than that, this region is ripe for the picking. Upon arriving in Ohio, check out the tributaries from the PA Border to the Rocky River. It won’t be too long before you are locked into a Manistee strain steelhead. Please see the ads below and support these businesses and this great region.

Best Western Lawnfield Inn & Suites Great location for fishing the Grand and Rocky River. 8434 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, Oh 440-205-7378 Lodging

Eagle Cliff Inn Cottages & Suites Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 10% off for Steelhead Fishermen, Ask for Lu and mention this ad. 440-466-1110

OHIO

OHIO

A

when you stumble upon a region that is teeming with fish, yet has very few anglers. You’d think that it would take a float plane or a long hike into the backcountry in order to find such treasure. But, surprise, it’s right off of the I-90 corridor in northeastern Ohio. As I said in this issue’s film, this is the “Steelhead Mecca of the Great Lakes.” Not to take anything away from the other fisheries, but think about this...Ohio only has steelhead, that’s it! There is no more salmon program and no more brown trout. Those species did not take, but steelhead did, and the state is keyed in on this species. They chose the Little Manistee strain out of Michigan, and what a good choice that was. Those Manistee’s have big shoulders and are powerhouses. Ashtabula County features the upper Grand River and the Conneaut. More towards Cleveland you’ll find the lower Grand River, the Chagrin and Rocky River. These are all excellent choices and will usually provide good fishing opportunities through the spring and fall. Unfortunately, the clenches of winter will lock up these rivers barring a temporary thaw. The Grand River is the largest, the grand-daddy of the region. The river features many twists and turns from the mouth of the river near Painesville, to the dam at Harpersfield. There are many stretches of slow moving water that can be great for pinning. I prefer the sections of pocket water and typical steelhead pools with fast runs at the top, spilling into a deep, luscious pool. These sections are perfect for drift and fly fishing. Steelhead are scattered through the river in abundance. Most of the fish are in the 10 lb range with an occasional 15 lb pig. You have to understand that you will not find the conveniences of a typical fishery. Why? Well, for starters it is not fished compared to other popular rivers on the Great


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 16

17

16

Kype Vise Eyes on Tube Flies BY

DON MATHEWS

I

Four Season's Fly Shoppe 10210 Wallowa Lake H.W. La Grande, OR 97850 Specializing in Spey Rods, Reels, and Gear. 541-963-8420/888-819-7299 Shops

for new flies to entice a steelhead into doing a Jeckle and Hyde on those tough days when I’m with a diehard swinger. Over the years there have been a few rows in my fly box that empty out first, the ones that bail me out on those tough days. Those patterns possess some magical power to get locked-jaw fish to suddenly take. What makes these flies tick? We spend hours on end tying them but we really never know what they look like from the fish’s eye - until now. with the dawn of the fly testing tank. I have no idea who came up with the idea of a fly testing tank. They might have been around for years, but I first saw one last spring at a show in Chautauqua NY (www.tubeflytech.com). As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one. I built mine out of a five-gallon fish tank with a powerful adjustable flow pump that works very well. I have become obsessed with my new fly testing tank. My wife thinks I’m crazy for staring hours on end, mesmerized by the flies in the tank. I found out those magical streamer patterns in my box all had one thing in common: They performed well in the testing tank. On the other hand, some of the most beautiful patterns in my fly boxes are history

Bob Toman Guide Service Oregon Sportfishing 503-658-6493 Clackamus & Deschutes Salmon & Steelhead fishing www.bobtoman.com Guides

Bert's Guide Service & McKenzie River Inn Float down the world famous McKenzie River 503-579-8236 www.bertsguideservice.com

Portland Fishing Guide.com Experience Oregon guided fishing at its best! Columbia, Clackamas, Willamette Scott@portlandfishingguides.com 503-730-3392

fished on the swing. Regular streamer hooks have an up or down turned eye that keep the flies riding upright in the current. With a tube fly, the lightweight hook plays little into keeping the fly upright, so the other components must balance the fly. Many tube flies are tied with patterns that spinning will not affect. I prefer patterns that more closely resemble our baitfish with white colored belly sections and darker backs, and these flies would be less effective if they spun up-side down. With some of the materials available to today’s fly tier it’s not hard to find materials that breathe, flow, or wiggle as one might say. Minnows or baitfish have a rocking or wiggling motion when they swim, especially when being chased by a big-toothy predator. This is undoubtedly why lure designers discovered years ago

Brian Silvey’s Fly Fishing Guide Service Deschutes and Sandy Rivers Steelhead and Trout Fly Fishing 800-510-1702 silveysflyfishing.com Guides

OREGON

OREGON

f you’re going to be a steelhead guide on the Great Lakes Tributaries these days, you better have a few switch rods and sink tips in your arsenal. The interest in swinging flies is huge. It’s all about the take. Steelhead gently sip up your nymph or egg offerings, but when a steelhead has a baitfish in its sights, it violently strikes to kill. That’s why you feel those bone jarring takes on the swing. I do best swinging natural looking baitfish imitations to our steelhead. Sure, I catch them on big ugly purple patterns, but when I’m swinging flies it’s the realistic looking Chub or Shiner patterns that put fish in my net. Make no mistake, if you’re a numbers guy, stay with the high stick nymphing and you will catch more fish most of the time. As a steelhead guide who is used to easy money nymphing in “Steelhead Alley,” I’m now faced with a growing clientele of swingers. All it takes is a few good strikes to make the day. I’m constantly searching

now. You know the flies I am talking about. The dogs, or as we like to call them “show flies,” that are beautiful when you open your box around the guys, but they just never seem to put fish in the net. Yet you still keep them there because maybe someday... I found out that most of my show flies were “spinners” in the tank. They wouldn't track true and their action was poor. Once I really started to understand how a fly works in the current, I could spot a design flaw in almost every non-performer. That was enough for me to rip them out of my fly box for good. The naysayers to the testing tank idea might say flies aren’t going to act the same in a stupid fish tank as they do in the river, but they do. In my experiments, they do behave the same in the feeder stream behind my house as they do in the tank. When I tethered them in the current, I get the same results as I do in my testing tank. It’s just a whole lot colder and I can’t see them from a side profile as I can with the tank. Sure, it’s not a perfect picture of how the fly behaves while being swung in a river current, but I’m a believer in the concept of the testing tank. To help me fill all the new empty spots in my fly boxes, I have been working with Guide Mark DeFrank. He shares my obsession with fly design and beer drinking. Being a commercial tier, he has a good knowledge of the materials available in today’s market. In our ongoing quest to develop the ultimate fly for swinging to Great Lakes steelhead, we settled on the tube fly design. We chose tubes for several reasons, but the leverage and holding power of the shortened hook is the biggest plus. We realized that wing construction and balance are critical on flies that will be


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:49 PM

Page 16

17

16

Kype Vise Eyes on Tube Flies BY

DON MATHEWS

I

Four Season's Fly Shoppe 10210 Wallowa Lake H.W. La Grande, OR 97850 Specializing in Spey Rods, Reels, and Gear. 541-963-8420/888-819-7299 Shops

for new flies to entice a steelhead into doing a Jeckle and Hyde on those tough days when I’m with a diehard swinger. Over the years there have been a few rows in my fly box that empty out first, the ones that bail me out on those tough days. Those patterns possess some magical power to get locked-jaw fish to suddenly take. What makes these flies tick? We spend hours on end tying them but we really never know what they look like from the fish’s eye - until now. with the dawn of the fly testing tank. I have no idea who came up with the idea of a fly testing tank. They might have been around for years, but I first saw one last spring at a show in Chautauqua NY (www.tubeflytech.com). As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one. I built mine out of a five-gallon fish tank with a powerful adjustable flow pump that works very well. I have become obsessed with my new fly testing tank. My wife thinks I’m crazy for staring hours on end, mesmerized by the flies in the tank. I found out those magical streamer patterns in my box all had one thing in common: They performed well in the testing tank. On the other hand, some of the most beautiful patterns in my fly boxes are history

Bob Toman Guide Service Oregon Sportfishing 503-658-6493 Clackamus & Deschutes Salmon & Steelhead fishing www.bobtoman.com Guides

Bert's Guide Service & McKenzie River Inn Float down the world famous McKenzie River 503-579-8236 www.bertsguideservice.com

Portland Fishing Guide.com Experience Oregon guided fishing at its best! Columbia, Clackamas, Willamette Scott@portlandfishingguides.com 503-730-3392

fished on the swing. Regular streamer hooks have an up or down turned eye that keep the flies riding upright in the current. With a tube fly, the lightweight hook plays little into keeping the fly upright, so the other components must balance the fly. Many tube flies are tied with patterns that spinning will not affect. I prefer patterns that more closely resemble our baitfish with white colored belly sections and darker backs, and these flies would be less effective if they spun up-side down. With some of the materials available to today’s fly tier it’s not hard to find materials that breathe, flow, or wiggle as one might say. Minnows or baitfish have a rocking or wiggling motion when they swim, especially when being chased by a big-toothy predator. This is undoubtedly why lure designers discovered years ago

Brian Silvey’s Fly Fishing Guide Service Deschutes and Sandy Rivers Steelhead and Trout Fly Fishing 800-510-1702 silveysflyfishing.com Guides

OREGON

OREGON

f you’re going to be a steelhead guide on the Great Lakes Tributaries these days, you better have a few switch rods and sink tips in your arsenal. The interest in swinging flies is huge. It’s all about the take. Steelhead gently sip up your nymph or egg offerings, but when a steelhead has a baitfish in its sights, it violently strikes to kill. That’s why you feel those bone jarring takes on the swing. I do best swinging natural looking baitfish imitations to our steelhead. Sure, I catch them on big ugly purple patterns, but when I’m swinging flies it’s the realistic looking Chub or Shiner patterns that put fish in my net. Make no mistake, if you’re a numbers guy, stay with the high stick nymphing and you will catch more fish most of the time. As a steelhead guide who is used to easy money nymphing in “Steelhead Alley,” I’m now faced with a growing clientele of swingers. All it takes is a few good strikes to make the day. I’m constantly searching

now. You know the flies I am talking about. The dogs, or as we like to call them “show flies,” that are beautiful when you open your box around the guys, but they just never seem to put fish in the net. Yet you still keep them there because maybe someday... I found out that most of my show flies were “spinners” in the tank. They wouldn't track true and their action was poor. Once I really started to understand how a fly works in the current, I could spot a design flaw in almost every non-performer. That was enough for me to rip them out of my fly box for good. The naysayers to the testing tank idea might say flies aren’t going to act the same in a stupid fish tank as they do in the river, but they do. In my experiments, they do behave the same in the feeder stream behind my house as they do in the tank. When I tethered them in the current, I get the same results as I do in my testing tank. It’s just a whole lot colder and I can’t see them from a side profile as I can with the tank. Sure, it’s not a perfect picture of how the fly behaves while being swung in a river current, but I’m a believer in the concept of the testing tank. To help me fill all the new empty spots in my fly boxes, I have been working with Guide Mark DeFrank. He shares my obsession with fly design and beer drinking. Being a commercial tier, he has a good knowledge of the materials available in today’s market. In our ongoing quest to develop the ultimate fly for swinging to Great Lakes steelhead, we settled on the tube fly design. We chose tubes for several reasons, but the leverage and holding power of the shortened hook is the biggest plus. We realized that wing construction and balance are critical on flies that will be


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 18

19

18

Mack's Sport Shop 212 Lower Mill Bay Rd. Kodiak, Alaska 99615 907-486-4276 SHOP ONLINE! www.mackssportshop.com

Shops

When swinging flies I prefer my weighted sink tip to get me down near the bottom. I want my tip to pull the fly down, not the other way around. Lightweight flies get way more action, so we gave up on bottle tubes and most of the metal tubing. After spending hundreds of dollars on expensive components we discovered the tube flies that performed best in our streams were tied on inexpensive small lightweight plastic tubing. We found the patterns that perform best are slightly weighted at the front and very light at the tail. Too big of a hook just kills the action. We’re also finding that different types of cones or heads can make a huge difference in the action. Unfortunately, many of the radical cone designs we tried were “spinners” in the tank. The fly slowly spins and occasionally darts to the side, and the action it gets is best described as erratic. Probably okay for bass, bluefish or some other chase species but not what I’m looking for in a steelhead fly. We felt that we needed a differently designed cone head than those currently available. What I needed to do was find a head design that would balance a tube fly tied with soft breathable materials, the Alaska River Adventures Lodge & Guide Service Alaska’s Upper Kenai River & Kasilof River www.alaskariveradventures.com 1-888-836-9027 Guides

end goal being a fly that stays horizontal and doesn’t spin without adding a stiff upper hair wing. We also wanted it to deflect current much like the bill on the Rapalla style lure. I tried bead chain and dumbbell eyes on tubes with good success. They did a good job of keeping the tube upright and they do deflect the current, giving the fly a rocking motion. Next we started altering our existing cone heads by grinding material off the topside, making the cones lopsided. This was a major breakthrough. When they are used in a fixed position on the tube with the ground flat side up, they work as a counterbalance and keep the fly upright. The tier also has the option of tying in a wing or material in front of the head to help balance the fly further. We liked the results when we ground the top 1/3 of the Medium Eumer Monster Cone off. This gives the fly a very nice rocking motion. It’s so radical even stiffer materials will wobble. With the topside of the Eumer cone removed, they seem to track better than using a whole cone. Problem was the Eumer cone once altered was on the light side and didn’t keep the fly as upright as we wanted. We liked the results but thought a heavier cone was in order. I searched all over the Internet and couldn’t find what I wanted. So off to the metal lathe I went armed with a section of 3/8-inch brass bar and some hand drawn blueprints. I repeated the procedure over and over: hand turn a custom head in the lathe, put it on a tube, tie the tube-fly, put it in the tank and see what happens. It’s still a work in progress, but we found a less radical head angle makes it track true and still moves the light breathable materials we prefer in our patterns. I can’t wait to try my new creations. Mystic Waters Fly Fishing 907-227-0549 Fly fishing guides for Trout and Salmon on Alaska's Upper Kenai R. www.mysticfishing.com Guides

Ice out is weeks away. I’m betting that they will catch fish since they look so real in the tank. I just hope I don’t lose many of the hand turned heads. It’s going to be hard explaining the purchase of a CNC Lathe to the wife. If you don’t have a metal lathe and a hundred spare hours don’t worry. We had excellent results altering the commercial tube heads out there, especially the Frodin x-small turbo cone (F.I.T.S.). There are several manufacturers making cones that fit tubes. Most brass cones can be altered easily with a dremel tool. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just be careful, it is tough holding small parts while grinding them. Don’t try it on tungsten cones they are too hard to grind. Once ground, your altered cone will need to be held in a fixed position on the tube. Tie it in tight and use super glue or Zap a Gap to hold it in place. A top wing balances the fly and secures the cone in place. Just be sure to hold on tight when you swing it thru the pool--it’s all about the explosive take.

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www.kype.net Rapids Camp Lodge King Salmon, AK Legendary Alaska Fishing 907-246-8345 rapidscamplodge.com Lodging

ALASKA

ALASKA

how effective it is to add a bill to the front of a minnow style lure. Look at the proven track record of the wobbling Rapalla lure. Almost every species of fish that swims has fallen victim to one. To catch fish, a Rapalla must track true and remain upright and horizontal in the current. Get a few weeds on the back treble hook and the weight kills the action and you don’t catch squat. I can guarantee you that a Rapalla spinning circles in the current doesn’t catch fish, so I must assume that a spinning fly would appear unnatural to fish as well. Last spring we played around quite a bit with tube flies on our guided trips. We felt that most of the tube fly patterns that we tried were too heavy for our “Steelhead Alley” tributaries. Most of the patterns we tried were tied on bottle tubes. I guess if you were swinging them on big water like the west coast’s Quinault or Skykomish they would be great, but on our small streams, they are the equivalent of a bottom bouncer. In the test tank, most of these patterns exhibited a lot of “hang down” and did not stay horizontal in the current. Most of our experiences with them were poor.


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 18

19

18

Mack's Sport Shop 212 Lower Mill Bay Rd. Kodiak, Alaska 99615 907-486-4276 SHOP ONLINE! www.mackssportshop.com

Shops

When swinging flies I prefer my weighted sink tip to get me down near the bottom. I want my tip to pull the fly down, not the other way around. Lightweight flies get way more action, so we gave up on bottle tubes and most of the metal tubing. After spending hundreds of dollars on expensive components we discovered the tube flies that performed best in our streams were tied on inexpensive small lightweight plastic tubing. We found the patterns that perform best are slightly weighted at the front and very light at the tail. Too big of a hook just kills the action. We’re also finding that different types of cones or heads can make a huge difference in the action. Unfortunately, many of the radical cone designs we tried were “spinners” in the tank. The fly slowly spins and occasionally darts to the side, and the action it gets is best described as erratic. Probably okay for bass, bluefish or some other chase species but not what I’m looking for in a steelhead fly. We felt that we needed a differently designed cone head than those currently available. What I needed to do was find a head design that would balance a tube fly tied with soft breathable materials, the Alaska River Adventures Lodge & Guide Service Alaska’s Upper Kenai River & Kasilof River www.alaskariveradventures.com 1-888-836-9027 Guides

end goal being a fly that stays horizontal and doesn’t spin without adding a stiff upper hair wing. We also wanted it to deflect current much like the bill on the Rapalla style lure. I tried bead chain and dumbbell eyes on tubes with good success. They did a good job of keeping the tube upright and they do deflect the current, giving the fly a rocking motion. Next we started altering our existing cone heads by grinding material off the topside, making the cones lopsided. This was a major breakthrough. When they are used in a fixed position on the tube with the ground flat side up, they work as a counterbalance and keep the fly upright. The tier also has the option of tying in a wing or material in front of the head to help balance the fly further. We liked the results when we ground the top 1/3 of the Medium Eumer Monster Cone off. This gives the fly a very nice rocking motion. It’s so radical even stiffer materials will wobble. With the topside of the Eumer cone removed, they seem to track better than using a whole cone. Problem was the Eumer cone once altered was on the light side and didn’t keep the fly as upright as we wanted. We liked the results but thought a heavier cone was in order. I searched all over the Internet and couldn’t find what I wanted. So off to the metal lathe I went armed with a section of 3/8-inch brass bar and some hand drawn blueprints. I repeated the procedure over and over: hand turn a custom head in the lathe, put it on a tube, tie the tube-fly, put it in the tank and see what happens. It’s still a work in progress, but we found a less radical head angle makes it track true and still moves the light breathable materials we prefer in our patterns. I can’t wait to try my new creations. Mystic Waters Fly Fishing 907-227-0549 Fly fishing guides for Trout and Salmon on Alaska's Upper Kenai R. www.mysticfishing.com Guides

Ice out is weeks away. I’m betting that they will catch fish since they look so real in the tank. I just hope I don’t lose many of the hand turned heads. It’s going to be hard explaining the purchase of a CNC Lathe to the wife. If you don’t have a metal lathe and a hundred spare hours don’t worry. We had excellent results altering the commercial tube heads out there, especially the Frodin x-small turbo cone (F.I.T.S.). There are several manufacturers making cones that fit tubes. Most brass cones can be altered easily with a dremel tool. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just be careful, it is tough holding small parts while grinding them. Don’t try it on tungsten cones they are too hard to grind. Once ground, your altered cone will need to be held in a fixed position on the tube. Tie it in tight and use super glue or Zap a Gap to hold it in place. A top wing balances the fly and secures the cone in place. Just be sure to hold on tight when you swing it thru the pool--it’s all about the explosive take.

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how effective it is to add a bill to the front of a minnow style lure. Look at the proven track record of the wobbling Rapalla lure. Almost every species of fish that swims has fallen victim to one. To catch fish, a Rapalla must track true and remain upright and horizontal in the current. Get a few weeds on the back treble hook and the weight kills the action and you don’t catch squat. I can guarantee you that a Rapalla spinning circles in the current doesn’t catch fish, so I must assume that a spinning fly would appear unnatural to fish as well. Last spring we played around quite a bit with tube flies on our guided trips. We felt that most of the tube fly patterns that we tried were too heavy for our “Steelhead Alley” tributaries. Most of the patterns we tried were tied on bottle tubes. I guess if you were swinging them on big water like the west coast’s Quinault or Skykomish they would be great, but on our small streams, they are the equivalent of a bottom bouncer. In the test tank, most of these patterns exhibited a lot of “hang down” and did not stay horizontal in the current. Most of our experiences with them were poor.


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Faith to move Salmon BY LEM JAMES

I

Great Lakes Fly Fishing Co. 8460 Algoma Ave NE Rockford, MI 49341 616-866-6060 www.troutmoor.net

then... I get weird looks and mocking comments. Who stands for an hour or two on the same rock? Who casts one color and size spinner until dark, from the same rock without moving or rummaging around in their vest or box for a different option? I do because I know dead drifting catches fall chinook, and both winter and summer steelhead. With other fishing, you have to switch things up, on a trout stream or lake things change. Sometimes they change right before your eyes - wait twenty minutes and the surface is covered with rises and your fly is getting ratty from fish. Right here and now nothing is changing. It’s constant now and will be until the next blow out. It’s a bright cloudless day but the sun has already sunk behind the hill, and the water is glassy, giving a soft illusion similar to a bass pond at night. It’s fishy. Splut, swing, splut drift, smack swing, splut, swi... tug! The tug is as inevitable as the season, electrifying as a first kiss. It J&J River Guides Inc. Baldwin, Michigan Fish the Big Manistee & Pere Marquette 231-578-0946 MichiganRiverRaiders.com

Shops

Guides

Jeff’s Guide Service Drift & Jet Boat - Fly & Spin Fishing Muskegon River – Steelhead & Salmon 616-204-4999 jeff@muskegonriverguide.com muskegonriverguide.com Guides

upstream to prevent direct line drag on the nymph. This direct connection enables the slight pull needed to turn the spinner blade and also the immediate recognition of the bottom and/or a strike. Expect strikes from the time the spinner hits the water until the spinner starts to lift at the downstream end of the drift from the current’s pull. During this time, the spinner is drifting roughly parallel with the bank and the fisherman. Cast slightly upstream and across the current. Let the spinner settle in and draw the slack out of the line (sometimes a twist on the reel is needed). Once the line is straight, let the lure fish through the drift. The rod tip should be held approximately at eye level or just above, and the tip should always make a straight line, following the direction of the drift. This orientation allows the most direct contact with the lure and the least interference with the drift. The rod tip following along with the drift allows for a solid and direct hook set. When dead drifting, your lure will often hit the bottom and become snagged. Many times the lure will “lift” off the rocks from the drag of the current or with a slight lifting twitch of the pole. Hesitating a moment allows the line to load up. If the lure lifts off, reel once and continue the drift. If not, at least you were fishing right and maybe you can save the spinner. Moving upstream often allows a tough snag to pull out. Higher in the rivers, dead drifting spinners in the current is also an underutilized way to catch steelhead. In slower runs where dead drifting would let the lure settle to the bottom, a very slow retrieve can be effective. Let the current do as much of CONTINUED ON PAGE

Fairfield Inn & Suites 3701 North Country Dr. Traverse City, MI Close to the Betsy and Big Manistee River 231-922-7900

30 MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

am fishing for chinook and steelhead on the Umpqua and the thought keeps popping up in my head, this takes faith. In a positive way this kind of fishing is like a mantra, an article of faith. Today I will mostly fish this slot, that’s 5 feet deep, moderately fast water. I cast the spinner 20 degrees upstream, splut, into the water next to the far bank, then I let it swing downstream until the current pulls harder. Reel in and... splut, dead drift, recast, splut, swing, splut. This would be boring if you didn’t believe. I have fished here with non believers, not fish-less people but the uninitiated. If someone hooks one it becomes a different ballgame, but until

usually takes about 7 seconds to be sure. The first second rules out a snag, the second moment it could be a smallmouth bass which isn’t all bad. The third second and into the fourth, you can tell if it’s a steelhead or jack chinook, which is great...or a suckerfish which is all bad. Sometimes by the fifth second, but always by seven ticks, it’s CHINOOK!!! The pole now has a heavy bend and line is peeling out, and sometimes it’s line you never get back. This is fast water and the midstream rocks are 40 yards downstream. The fight is always dramatic -- a 30 lb fish in fast current is hard to control. There’s a lot to lose! Lean into it and keep the fish above the rocks. Sometimes you have to put too much pressure on, but if you can’t turn him, it’s over. The kings here average 15-25 lbs but run up into the 40s, and a big fish with a “good head” will take you past the rocks for the loss. Even if I lose one or let it go, I’ll sit down for a minute to recover from the adrenaline. Then it’s back to the chant of whir, splut, swing, splut drift. On a good night I’ll get two or three good bites in a couple of hours of fishing. Dead drift fishing imitates most of the natural food in rivers and streams. Dry flies and nymphs can be fished either dead drifted or drag free for trout and steelhead. Egg and yarn baits work well dead drifted for steelhead. This technique is very similar to dead drifting spinners. The current creates all of the motion for the bait. Dead drifting spinners varies slightly from nymph fishing, and even drifting eggs, because there is a direct connection between the rod tip and the hook. The direct connection when dead drifting eggs is with the weight--with nymph fishing the line is mended

Lodging


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1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 20

21

20

Faith to move Salmon BY LEM JAMES

I

Great Lakes Fly Fishing Co. 8460 Algoma Ave NE Rockford, MI 49341 616-866-6060 www.troutmoor.net

then... I get weird looks and mocking comments. Who stands for an hour or two on the same rock? Who casts one color and size spinner until dark, from the same rock without moving or rummaging around in their vest or box for a different option? I do because I know dead drifting catches fall chinook, and both winter and summer steelhead. With other fishing, you have to switch things up, on a trout stream or lake things change. Sometimes they change right before your eyes - wait twenty minutes and the surface is covered with rises and your fly is getting ratty from fish. Right here and now nothing is changing. It’s constant now and will be until the next blow out. It’s a bright cloudless day but the sun has already sunk behind the hill, and the water is glassy, giving a soft illusion similar to a bass pond at night. It’s fishy. Splut, swing, splut drift, smack swing, splut, swi... tug! The tug is as inevitable as the season, electrifying as a first kiss. It J&J River Guides Inc. Baldwin, Michigan Fish the Big Manistee & Pere Marquette 231-578-0946 MichiganRiverRaiders.com

Shops

Guides

Jeff’s Guide Service Drift & Jet Boat - Fly & Spin Fishing Muskegon River – Steelhead & Salmon 616-204-4999 jeff@muskegonriverguide.com muskegonriverguide.com Guides

upstream to prevent direct line drag on the nymph. This direct connection enables the slight pull needed to turn the spinner blade and also the immediate recognition of the bottom and/or a strike. Expect strikes from the time the spinner hits the water until the spinner starts to lift at the downstream end of the drift from the current’s pull. During this time, the spinner is drifting roughly parallel with the bank and the fisherman. Cast slightly upstream and across the current. Let the spinner settle in and draw the slack out of the line (sometimes a twist on the reel is needed). Once the line is straight, let the lure fish through the drift. The rod tip should be held approximately at eye level or just above, and the tip should always make a straight line, following the direction of the drift. This orientation allows the most direct contact with the lure and the least interference with the drift. The rod tip following along with the drift allows for a solid and direct hook set. When dead drifting, your lure will often hit the bottom and become snagged. Many times the lure will “lift” off the rocks from the drag of the current or with a slight lifting twitch of the pole. Hesitating a moment allows the line to load up. If the lure lifts off, reel once and continue the drift. If not, at least you were fishing right and maybe you can save the spinner. Moving upstream often allows a tough snag to pull out. Higher in the rivers, dead drifting spinners in the current is also an underutilized way to catch steelhead. In slower runs where dead drifting would let the lure settle to the bottom, a very slow retrieve can be effective. Let the current do as much of CONTINUED ON PAGE

Fairfield Inn & Suites 3701 North Country Dr. Traverse City, MI Close to the Betsy and Big Manistee River 231-922-7900

30 MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

am fishing for chinook and steelhead on the Umpqua and the thought keeps popping up in my head, this takes faith. In a positive way this kind of fishing is like a mantra, an article of faith. Today I will mostly fish this slot, that’s 5 feet deep, moderately fast water. I cast the spinner 20 degrees upstream, splut, into the water next to the far bank, then I let it swing downstream until the current pulls harder. Reel in and... splut, dead drift, recast, splut, swing, splut. This would be boring if you didn’t believe. I have fished here with non believers, not fish-less people but the uninitiated. If someone hooks one it becomes a different ballgame, but until

usually takes about 7 seconds to be sure. The first second rules out a snag, the second moment it could be a smallmouth bass which isn’t all bad. The third second and into the fourth, you can tell if it’s a steelhead or jack chinook, which is great...or a suckerfish which is all bad. Sometimes by the fifth second, but always by seven ticks, it’s CHINOOK!!! The pole now has a heavy bend and line is peeling out, and sometimes it’s line you never get back. This is fast water and the midstream rocks are 40 yards downstream. The fight is always dramatic -- a 30 lb fish in fast current is hard to control. There’s a lot to lose! Lean into it and keep the fish above the rocks. Sometimes you have to put too much pressure on, but if you can’t turn him, it’s over. The kings here average 15-25 lbs but run up into the 40s, and a big fish with a “good head” will take you past the rocks for the loss. Even if I lose one or let it go, I’ll sit down for a minute to recover from the adrenaline. Then it’s back to the chant of whir, splut, swing, splut drift. On a good night I’ll get two or three good bites in a couple of hours of fishing. Dead drift fishing imitates most of the natural food in rivers and streams. Dry flies and nymphs can be fished either dead drifted or drag free for trout and steelhead. Egg and yarn baits work well dead drifted for steelhead. This technique is very similar to dead drifting spinners. The current creates all of the motion for the bait. Dead drifting spinners varies slightly from nymph fishing, and even drifting eggs, because there is a direct connection between the rod tip and the hook. The direct connection when dead drifting eggs is with the weight--with nymph fishing the line is mended

Lodging


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first making their way up the river and lashing out against every #3 Blue Fox that hits the water, snowmelt is still cooling the rivers. But as the summer wears on, the snow dissipates, the sun goes from occasional to blistering and the water temperatures slowly start creeping up. The temperatures get so high that by the dead of summer, that same cold-blooded steelhead that was happily cruising around a river in June is overheated and gasping for air in August. Once the rains of autumn begin to fall and the salmon start their epic migration, drawing anglers from all over to the coast, the showers are also cooling summer steelhead. They begin to slip out of their comatose state and back into smash-anythingthat-moves mode, leaving them more susceptible to a fly fishermen than ever before. These fish have spent an entire summer in the river so expecting chrome sides with reflective bright scales is a little unrealistic, but these fish are far from spent. Their blush cheeks and faint red stripes paint their swollen spots so beautifully that I’ve always felt like these are the fish Jesus would pursue. It’s this color of fall painted across a 6 to 10 pound canvas that signifies the changing of the seasons and leads me year after year away from the coast to spend a few more weeks pursuing steelhead in the canyons. Locating these fish is as simple as going up. Drive high into the mountains towards

water so narrow and boulder strewn that no drift boat would dare to float. Summer steelhead have the tendency to fly up river as far as they can swim in search of the coldest water possible. So to find these fish, going as high as you have to is the way. I’ve personally found myself barely downstream of deadlines on more than one occasion trying to find my quarry, and often finding them in good numbers. Because of the extreme upper stretches these fish tend to inhabit and the tiny water they hide in, when I say trying to find my quarry I usually mean with my eyes and not always with my rod. Sight fishing is a major part of what makes summer steelhead fishing in the fall so much fun. It’s a mix of hunting and fishing at the same time. I can’t think of a fishing experience much more exciting than scanning likely holding water only to spot a steelhead resting in the shadows along a solid rock wall. Staying low, you carefully sneak into position, making sure the fish doesn’t catch your movement as you make a perfect cast upstream of the beauty and feed your drift right to him. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll watch your indicator sip under or feel the belly of your line tighten. Then you’ll be in for quite the ride and have a memory you won’t soon forget. There are two major tips to being successful when looking for steelhead. The first is buying quality polarized glasses. Glasses are one of the few things that I can honestly say are worth

spending more money on. Personally I like to find the lightest tint on my polarized as possible so they don’t diminish too much light, and I can start using them as early as possible in the morning. This almost always means I end up with yellow or amber lenses, but if you can find a pair of glasses with interchangeable lenses you can have light lenses for low light fishing and something darker for recreational use. The other important thing to remember when scanning for steelhead is that you can’t look for an entire fish just lying there. Sometimes it’s that easy, but more often than not you’ll only see a little black line or a flick of the tail. There’s no doubt recognizing a fish with only a tiny flicker of movement is an acquired skill, but like any talent, you’ll get better with practice. It’s also important to note that being elevated above the water always makes spotting fish easier, but it also makes it increasingly easier for them to see you, which almost always induces lock-jawed fish. If you’re going to get high and look for fish, it’s

Nevada City Anglers 417 Broad St # C Nevada City, CA 95959 Guided Float Trips on Feather & Yuba Rivers 530-478-9301

Cast River Guide Service Steelhead*Salmon*Trout Fishing N Cali & S Oregon (707) 487-CAST (2278) www.smithriverfishing.com I fish From Dusk’till Dawn

Sierra Drifters Guide Service Guiding Eastern Sierra Year round Drift Boats (760) 935-4250 www.sierradrifters.com

Summer Run Steelhead BY

JOSIAH DARR

E

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd South Lake Tahoe, CA Reserve a Fly Trip Today! 530-541-8208 Shops

Shops

Guides

Shorts, t-shirt and steelhead!

CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA

very fall the weather starts to cool. The days shorten more with each sunset as if the horizon was pulling on the sun. Fishermen from all up and down the west coast can almost feel the mirrored-sided chinook and electric silvers starting to flood in and out of every bay from California to Alaska. The excitement of the salmon onslaught that is about to relentlessly pound the coast is exactly what it takes to get a many fishermen’s blood pumping. They’ve been looking forward to going coastal all year, pursuing their piece of the action while quietly, another breed of fishermen is simply waiting for them to leave. Summer steelhead get their fair share of attention when they are pouring through the lower river systems or surging up the Columbia. They’re willing to smash just about anything that comes within sight, but as the water warms and the fish go from aggressive eating machines to docile shadows at the bottom of a coastal canyon, and the summer steelhead hype fades away. What only a few months before were so active and energetic now sit almost motionless, as if they’re totally void of life and merely a shell of what they once were. It’s this misconception that can leave fly rod toting fishermen all alone deep in a coastal canyon feverishly pounding pinkcheeked summers. Water temperature is the key to unlocking the summer steelhead mystery. In the spring and early summer when the fish are

Guides


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Page 22

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first making their way up the river and lashing out against every #3 Blue Fox that hits the water, snowmelt is still cooling the rivers. But as the summer wears on, the snow dissipates, the sun goes from occasional to blistering and the water temperatures slowly start creeping up. The temperatures get so high that by the dead of summer, that same cold-blooded steelhead that was happily cruising around a river in June is overheated and gasping for air in August. Once the rains of autumn begin to fall and the salmon start their epic migration, drawing anglers from all over to the coast, the showers are also cooling summer steelhead. They begin to slip out of their comatose state and back into smash-anythingthat-moves mode, leaving them more susceptible to a fly fishermen than ever before. These fish have spent an entire summer in the river so expecting chrome sides with reflective bright scales is a little unrealistic, but these fish are far from spent. Their blush cheeks and faint red stripes paint their swollen spots so beautifully that I’ve always felt like these are the fish Jesus would pursue. It’s this color of fall painted across a 6 to 10 pound canvas that signifies the changing of the seasons and leads me year after year away from the coast to spend a few more weeks pursuing steelhead in the canyons. Locating these fish is as simple as going up. Drive high into the mountains towards

water so narrow and boulder strewn that no drift boat would dare to float. Summer steelhead have the tendency to fly up river as far as they can swim in search of the coldest water possible. So to find these fish, going as high as you have to is the way. I’ve personally found myself barely downstream of deadlines on more than one occasion trying to find my quarry, and often finding them in good numbers. Because of the extreme upper stretches these fish tend to inhabit and the tiny water they hide in, when I say trying to find my quarry I usually mean with my eyes and not always with my rod. Sight fishing is a major part of what makes summer steelhead fishing in the fall so much fun. It’s a mix of hunting and fishing at the same time. I can’t think of a fishing experience much more exciting than scanning likely holding water only to spot a steelhead resting in the shadows along a solid rock wall. Staying low, you carefully sneak into position, making sure the fish doesn’t catch your movement as you make a perfect cast upstream of the beauty and feed your drift right to him. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll watch your indicator sip under or feel the belly of your line tighten. Then you’ll be in for quite the ride and have a memory you won’t soon forget. There are two major tips to being successful when looking for steelhead. The first is buying quality polarized glasses. Glasses are one of the few things that I can honestly say are worth

spending more money on. Personally I like to find the lightest tint on my polarized as possible so they don’t diminish too much light, and I can start using them as early as possible in the morning. This almost always means I end up with yellow or amber lenses, but if you can find a pair of glasses with interchangeable lenses you can have light lenses for low light fishing and something darker for recreational use. The other important thing to remember when scanning for steelhead is that you can’t look for an entire fish just lying there. Sometimes it’s that easy, but more often than not you’ll only see a little black line or a flick of the tail. There’s no doubt recognizing a fish with only a tiny flicker of movement is an acquired skill, but like any talent, you’ll get better with practice. It’s also important to note that being elevated above the water always makes spotting fish easier, but it also makes it increasingly easier for them to see you, which almost always induces lock-jawed fish. If you’re going to get high and look for fish, it’s

Nevada City Anglers 417 Broad St # C Nevada City, CA 95959 Guided Float Trips on Feather & Yuba Rivers 530-478-9301

Cast River Guide Service Steelhead*Salmon*Trout Fishing N Cali & S Oregon (707) 487-CAST (2278) www.smithriverfishing.com I fish From Dusk’till Dawn

Sierra Drifters Guide Service Guiding Eastern Sierra Year round Drift Boats (760) 935-4250 www.sierradrifters.com

Summer Run Steelhead BY

JOSIAH DARR

E

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd South Lake Tahoe, CA Reserve a Fly Trip Today! 530-541-8208 Shops

Shops

Guides

Shorts, t-shirt and steelhead!

CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA

very fall the weather starts to cool. The days shorten more with each sunset as if the horizon was pulling on the sun. Fishermen from all up and down the west coast can almost feel the mirrored-sided chinook and electric silvers starting to flood in and out of every bay from California to Alaska. The excitement of the salmon onslaught that is about to relentlessly pound the coast is exactly what it takes to get a many fishermen’s blood pumping. They’ve been looking forward to going coastal all year, pursuing their piece of the action while quietly, another breed of fishermen is simply waiting for them to leave. Summer steelhead get their fair share of attention when they are pouring through the lower river systems or surging up the Columbia. They’re willing to smash just about anything that comes within sight, but as the water warms and the fish go from aggressive eating machines to docile shadows at the bottom of a coastal canyon, and the summer steelhead hype fades away. What only a few months before were so active and energetic now sit almost motionless, as if they’re totally void of life and merely a shell of what they once were. It’s this misconception that can leave fly rod toting fishermen all alone deep in a coastal canyon feverishly pounding pinkcheeked summers. Water temperature is the key to unlocking the summer steelhead mystery. In the spring and early summer when the fish are

Guides


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24

Steamboat Flyfisher 507 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs, CO Fly Fishing is our focus 970-879-6552 www.steamboatflyfisher.com

Shops

style, you have endless possibilities as to what you can present. A Prince Nymph, Copper John, or single egg pattern are the top choices if you’re planning on a dead drift or fishing an indicator. Anglers who’ve had experience painting beads in Alaska for trout will quickly learn that the magic trout beads that crushed Rainbows on the Kenai are just as devastating on steelhead. For those of us who love the grab when a fly is swung across the slot, the classic Egg Sucking Leech in black, olive, or purple is probably the most commonly thrown pattern. Although, with so many different patterns invented by curious fishermen at their bench, it’s hard to say what pattern is the best. The one thing most will agree on is that the best pattern is most likely 3 to 4 inches long, dark in color, and has a few strands of flash to grab some attention. Mountain climbing for summer steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart and can leave fishermen scratching their heads, wondering where the fish are or how to get them to bite once they’ve been found. It can be frustrating and leave a bad taste in your mouth the first few times you try it, but once you get all the details worked out and you start having multiple fish days, the onset of fall sending most fishermen towards the coast will get you thinking about heading the other way.

Bob's Fly Shop 406 So. Lincoln Ave. Loveland, CO 80537 Contact us at: 970-667-1107 bob@bobsflytying.com www.bobsflytying.com

Shops

Press Release

2010 Virginia Fly Fishing Festival

ly anglers from across the country will celebrate the 10th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival April 17-18, 2010. Held on the banks of the South River in Waynesboro, the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing event in the country that offers on-stream instruction. Only here can you learn all the latest techniques from the experts and then walk right over to the river and try them for yourself. Festival sponsor Orvis returns this year with their Orvis Instructional Tent complete with gear for attendees to try out streamside including their new Hydros series of fly rods. Other festival sponsors include Temple Fork Outfitters, Eastern Fly Fishing, the City of Waynesboro, Fly Fishing Benefactors, Montana Fly Company, Virginia Sportsman, Red Fish Roy, Virginia Living, Appomattox River Company, Mid Valley Press, New Dominion, and Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. The highlight of the weekend is the Festival Foundation Dinner, at which the 2010 Virginia Fly Angler of the Year Award will be presented. Tickets for the all-youcan-eat prime rib buffet are $50 a piece and sell out well in advance of the festival. Last year many attendees enjoyed smallgroup casting classes with fly fishing and fly tying expert Bob Clouser. Bob’s classes are back—don’t miss out! A new set of casting classes with master casting instructor Ed Jaworowski will also be offered. The $100 fee includes admission to the festival. The 2010 festival will feature noted fly anglers from across the Mid-Atlantic, including fly fishing icon Lefty Kreh, Ed Jaworowski, Bob Clouser, Beau Beasley, King Montgomery, Dusty Wissmath, Capt.

F

Brian Shumaker, Mike Smith, Eric Stroup, Gordon English, Colby Trow, Tom Brtalik, Bryan Kelly, and festival artist Tye Krueger. Several expert fly tyers will also be on hand, including Captain Tommy Mattioli and Walt Cary. Kayak expert Captain Cory Routh will autograph copies of his first book, Kayak Fishing: The Complete Guide, and provide riverside kayak demonstrations. Between lectures, classes, and lunch, sample fine wines from a number of noted Virginia wineries (tastings included with festival admission). Live riverside music will help you wash down that wine. New this year is a Children’s Catch and Release Trout Pool. Members of the Federation of Fly Fishers will help children catch native brook trout from an on-site pond and then release them into the South River (with the help of their parents). Members of the Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders Club, the largest FFF Club in Virginia, will provide free spey casting classes and offer basic fly tying tips to beginners. Feeling lucky? Try your hand at winning over $10,000 worth of raffle prizes. This year’s Grand Prize is a $1,000 gift certificate from Orvis. Other prizes include kayaks, high-end rod and reel outfits, artwork, and guided trips. The Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is a one-of-a-kind event: Monies received from sponsors, vendors, ticket sales, and raffles are used to cover the cost of next year’s festival with the remainder going to the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival Foundation. Daily admission to the festival is $15 per person, and the festival runs from 9 AM-5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. For more information about the festival, visit www.vaflyfishingfestival.org.

Fly Box Outfitters 840 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW, Suite 568 Kennesaw, GA 30144 678-594-7330 www.flyboxoutfitters.com

Shops

GEORGIA

COLORADO

never a bad idea to wear subtle colors and even take it to the extreme of crawling back and forth from your viewpoint to keep a low profile. It sounds like overkill, but once you’ve started hooking fish you spotted before casting, you’ll be totally hooked and you’d crawl for hours just to do it again. Once you have the fish spotted, you’ve managed to keep from being seen yourself, and you’ve gotten into a good casting position, the question is what should you throw at this unsuspecting steelhead to induce a grab? This really is a matter of angler preference and talent level. If you’re the type of fishermen who loves the ease of a spinning rod, an 1/8 oz dark colored jig under a very low profile float would be my first choice. A small brown cork pegged in place with a toothpick for clear water summertime fishing is almost unbeatable and the price is right. As far as jig choice is concerned, many different colors will work, but nightmare jigs are my first choice followed closely by a solid red and finally solid white. No matter what color you choose, make sure your casts land far enough upstream of the fish as not to spook it when the float lands. Also make sure you let the cork slide through the water at the same speed as the current and well past the fish before retrieving and making another cast. If you can’t get your fish to grab a jig, a less stealthy approach is the next choice. Size 2 and 3 spinners are excellent choices to get a lethargic fish angry enough to bite. Blacks, blues, and purples are all consistent spinner colors for low water steelheading. If a fly rod is more your


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Steamboat Flyfisher 507 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs, CO Fly Fishing is our focus 970-879-6552 www.steamboatflyfisher.com

Shops

style, you have endless possibilities as to what you can present. A Prince Nymph, Copper John, or single egg pattern are the top choices if you’re planning on a dead drift or fishing an indicator. Anglers who’ve had experience painting beads in Alaska for trout will quickly learn that the magic trout beads that crushed Rainbows on the Kenai are just as devastating on steelhead. For those of us who love the grab when a fly is swung across the slot, the classic Egg Sucking Leech in black, olive, or purple is probably the most commonly thrown pattern. Although, with so many different patterns invented by curious fishermen at their bench, it’s hard to say what pattern is the best. The one thing most will agree on is that the best pattern is most likely 3 to 4 inches long, dark in color, and has a few strands of flash to grab some attention. Mountain climbing for summer steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart and can leave fishermen scratching their heads, wondering where the fish are or how to get them to bite once they’ve been found. It can be frustrating and leave a bad taste in your mouth the first few times you try it, but once you get all the details worked out and you start having multiple fish days, the onset of fall sending most fishermen towards the coast will get you thinking about heading the other way.

Bob's Fly Shop 406 So. Lincoln Ave. Loveland, CO 80537 Contact us at: 970-667-1107 bob@bobsflytying.com www.bobsflytying.com

Shops

Press Release

2010 Virginia Fly Fishing Festival

ly anglers from across the country will celebrate the 10th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival April 17-18, 2010. Held on the banks of the South River in Waynesboro, the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing event in the country that offers on-stream instruction. Only here can you learn all the latest techniques from the experts and then walk right over to the river and try them for yourself. Festival sponsor Orvis returns this year with their Orvis Instructional Tent complete with gear for attendees to try out streamside including their new Hydros series of fly rods. Other festival sponsors include Temple Fork Outfitters, Eastern Fly Fishing, the City of Waynesboro, Fly Fishing Benefactors, Montana Fly Company, Virginia Sportsman, Red Fish Roy, Virginia Living, Appomattox River Company, Mid Valley Press, New Dominion, and Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. The highlight of the weekend is the Festival Foundation Dinner, at which the 2010 Virginia Fly Angler of the Year Award will be presented. Tickets for the all-youcan-eat prime rib buffet are $50 a piece and sell out well in advance of the festival. Last year many attendees enjoyed smallgroup casting classes with fly fishing and fly tying expert Bob Clouser. Bob’s classes are back—don’t miss out! A new set of casting classes with master casting instructor Ed Jaworowski will also be offered. The $100 fee includes admission to the festival. The 2010 festival will feature noted fly anglers from across the Mid-Atlantic, including fly fishing icon Lefty Kreh, Ed Jaworowski, Bob Clouser, Beau Beasley, King Montgomery, Dusty Wissmath, Capt.

F

Brian Shumaker, Mike Smith, Eric Stroup, Gordon English, Colby Trow, Tom Brtalik, Bryan Kelly, and festival artist Tye Krueger. Several expert fly tyers will also be on hand, including Captain Tommy Mattioli and Walt Cary. Kayak expert Captain Cory Routh will autograph copies of his first book, Kayak Fishing: The Complete Guide, and provide riverside kayak demonstrations. Between lectures, classes, and lunch, sample fine wines from a number of noted Virginia wineries (tastings included with festival admission). Live riverside music will help you wash down that wine. New this year is a Children’s Catch and Release Trout Pool. Members of the Federation of Fly Fishers will help children catch native brook trout from an on-site pond and then release them into the South River (with the help of their parents). Members of the Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders Club, the largest FFF Club in Virginia, will provide free spey casting classes and offer basic fly tying tips to beginners. Feeling lucky? Try your hand at winning over $10,000 worth of raffle prizes. This year’s Grand Prize is a $1,000 gift certificate from Orvis. Other prizes include kayaks, high-end rod and reel outfits, artwork, and guided trips. The Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is a one-of-a-kind event: Monies received from sponsors, vendors, ticket sales, and raffles are used to cover the cost of next year’s festival with the remainder going to the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival Foundation. Daily admission to the festival is $15 per person, and the festival runs from 9 AM-5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. For more information about the festival, visit www.vaflyfishingfestival.org.

Fly Box Outfitters 840 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW, Suite 568 Kennesaw, GA 30144 678-594-7330 www.flyboxoutfitters.com

Shops

GEORGIA

COLORADO

never a bad idea to wear subtle colors and even take it to the extreme of crawling back and forth from your viewpoint to keep a low profile. It sounds like overkill, but once you’ve started hooking fish you spotted before casting, you’ll be totally hooked and you’d crawl for hours just to do it again. Once you have the fish spotted, you’ve managed to keep from being seen yourself, and you’ve gotten into a good casting position, the question is what should you throw at this unsuspecting steelhead to induce a grab? This really is a matter of angler preference and talent level. If you’re the type of fishermen who loves the ease of a spinning rod, an 1/8 oz dark colored jig under a very low profile float would be my first choice. A small brown cork pegged in place with a toothpick for clear water summertime fishing is almost unbeatable and the price is right. As far as jig choice is concerned, many different colors will work, but nightmare jigs are my first choice followed closely by a solid red and finally solid white. No matter what color you choose, make sure your casts land far enough upstream of the fish as not to spook it when the float lands. Also make sure you let the cork slide through the water at the same speed as the current and well past the fish before retrieving and making another cast. If you can’t get your fish to grab a jig, a less stealthy approach is the next choice. Size 2 and 3 spinners are excellent choices to get a lethargic fish angry enough to bite. Blacks, blues, and purples are all consistent spinner colors for low water steelheading. If a fly rod is more your


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Early Season FROM PAGE

7

trout can be selective to these items. In many of my home streams, much of the caddis larvae begin to get active as well as the early hatching mayflies such as the Blue-Winged Olives, around the beginning of March. This can make for some fantastic angling opportunities. The trout, depending on the water temperature can still be quite lethargic, but will take a well presented fly. If you’re lucky enough to get a few warm days strung together, the fishing can be over the top. Early season trouting is primarily a nymphing game, especially if you’re targeting bigger trout. Many good trout

KYPE BACK ISSUES VOLUME 1 SERIES

Issue 2, Movie: Issue 1, Movie: Fishing for a Dream Miracle Mile

Issue 3, The Road to Issue 4, Salmon River Dropbacks Steelhead Alley

Back copies of Kype are $19.95 Order at Kype.net

The Traditional Sportsman 814 Main St. Lewiston, ID 208-746-6688 www.thetraditionalsportsman.com

Shops

Swinging Flies FROM PAGE

11

position where you want it presented to the fish. When you find a “lane” that works, and holds fish, work it hard. Even if you catch several, it should refresh with new fish over the course of the day, which makes moving back to the top of the run 5 or 6 times a good idea. It’s not a bad idea to start with a 10 to 12 foot section of T-14, and if that doesn’t produce, then go heavier, or longer. The mend cycle is critical to getting the fly down to the fish, and it’s a key factor to closing the deal. Flies don’t need to be huge, as most use a coho pattern of red, blue or green bucktail over white, on a size 2 streamer hook. Less bucktail is better to help it get down. I have caught sockeyes on most types of streamers, and Dredgers, Deceivers, Freight Trains, Spruce Patterns, Dace, Intruders, and coho patterns all work well. I strongly recommend to anyone who fishes anadromous species to switch to tube flies or patterns that have braided dacron loops down the shank that will allow you put on an octopus hook in a size 1. Long shank hooks give the fish a lot more leverage than one with a shorter shank. Once you start catching fish, experiment with both types of hooks to see the difference. You will find a sockeye is extremely effective at working a long shank free. I recently guided a friend of my father’s on the Kenai, who really wanted to see what the excitement was all about. He has fished for years successfully pursuing trout, but could not catch a “Red” on his own. He brought a 7 weight single handed rod with a trout reel. Even though he could cast well, he found it challenging to get his fly down deep enough using a long heavy tip. I moved him into a better position farther above the target where he could swing

through 4 to 5 feet of water, and a heavy mend would get him down to fish. He was able to hook up some large fish, averaging between 9 to 12 pounds, and experienced first hand what I had warned him about in conversations over a beer. In applying his trout technique - high rod tip fighting style - combined with a weak reel, he kept the fish angry enough to keep them running downstream until it felt less pressure. He lost the first ten fish he hooked up. After landing a few, with vicious battles, he found himself completely overwhelmed and needed a break. He admitted it was the most fun he’d had in years. Most people struggle with many lost fish the first couple of times out. Keep your rod tip low, so the fish is pulling line through the water, against a reasonable drag, and in most cases this causes the fish to stop running downstream and figure out what to do next. That is when you can re-assume control and dramatically improve the odds of landing a great fish. I typically see brown bears every time I go out. When many people harvest sockeyes, stringers full of fish usually abound and attract bears in close. If you choose not to release them, the best way to deal with the bear dilemma is to stringer fish along and under a bank until you can fillet them. A lot of people carry guns, but in my experience, as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and get out of the way of bears, you wont have a problem. Just don’t listen to your iPOD because you won’t hear a bear moving towards you. Once you are away from the crowds of the combat zone, the wild and astounding fishing opportunities on the Kenai and Russian rivers are unequaled. Get your fly down deep and fight smart. Look for me, I’ll be there year after year. If you see a wheelchair with a spey rod, be sure to say hi.

The Humble Fly 1183 Sheridan Ave. Cody, WY "home to thousands of lonely trout" 307-587-2757 www.thehumblefly.com Shops

WYOMING

IDAHO

Canada 21.95 US - Free shipping.

waters will have decent midging opportunities, and fantastic dry fly fishing can be had in the right conditions. In central Pennsylvania, mid-afternoon sun will bring midge hatches and fish to the surface. These fish, for the most part will be small, but I’ve had fifty fish days in mid February with a size 24 Griffiths Gnat. The larger trout take more than a little sunshine to get them active. This is nature’s way of allowing the growing process. Small cold blooded bodies take less to warm than large cold blooded bodies, and so if you want to touch the big boys, you have to go deep. Nymphing in the early season requires persistence and patience. Realize first, that you’re not going to have success on the level of a normal spring day, and although it can certainly happen, it should not be expected. As mentioned earlier, the trout are not as active during this time of year, and it may take twenty good drifts right past a trout before he decides to take the fly. Choose a pattern that is representative of the local insects. Generic patterns such as Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, and caddis larva are fine choices, and I often fish them with beads this time of year. I like those patterns in combination with a pattern like a Prince Nymph, and I will typically fish these patterns in a size 14 to 16 if the flows are good. If the water is low and clear, you may need to drop your sizes. If you’re fishing smaller streams with low conditions, midge larva patterns such as Zebra Midges can be absolutely deadly. Fly selection in the early season, with few exceptions, is not as critical as achieving a good drift. Fish well, be patient, and most importantly, get on the water. Spring is just around the corner!


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1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 26

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Early Season FROM PAGE

7

trout can be selective to these items. In many of my home streams, much of the caddis larvae begin to get active as well as the early hatching mayflies such as the Blue-Winged Olives, around the beginning of March. This can make for some fantastic angling opportunities. The trout, depending on the water temperature can still be quite lethargic, but will take a well presented fly. If you’re lucky enough to get a few warm days strung together, the fishing can be over the top. Early season trouting is primarily a nymphing game, especially if you’re targeting bigger trout. Many good trout

KYPE BACK ISSUES VOLUME 1 SERIES

Issue 2, Movie: Issue 1, Movie: Fishing for a Dream Miracle Mile

Issue 3, The Road to Issue 4, Salmon River Dropbacks Steelhead Alley

Back copies of Kype are $19.95 Order at Kype.net

The Traditional Sportsman 814 Main St. Lewiston, ID 208-746-6688 www.thetraditionalsportsman.com

Shops

Swinging Flies FROM PAGE

11

position where you want it presented to the fish. When you find a “lane” that works, and holds fish, work it hard. Even if you catch several, it should refresh with new fish over the course of the day, which makes moving back to the top of the run 5 or 6 times a good idea. It’s not a bad idea to start with a 10 to 12 foot section of T-14, and if that doesn’t produce, then go heavier, or longer. The mend cycle is critical to getting the fly down to the fish, and it’s a key factor to closing the deal. Flies don’t need to be huge, as most use a coho pattern of red, blue or green bucktail over white, on a size 2 streamer hook. Less bucktail is better to help it get down. I have caught sockeyes on most types of streamers, and Dredgers, Deceivers, Freight Trains, Spruce Patterns, Dace, Intruders, and coho patterns all work well. I strongly recommend to anyone who fishes anadromous species to switch to tube flies or patterns that have braided dacron loops down the shank that will allow you put on an octopus hook in a size 1. Long shank hooks give the fish a lot more leverage than one with a shorter shank. Once you start catching fish, experiment with both types of hooks to see the difference. You will find a sockeye is extremely effective at working a long shank free. I recently guided a friend of my father’s on the Kenai, who really wanted to see what the excitement was all about. He has fished for years successfully pursuing trout, but could not catch a “Red” on his own. He brought a 7 weight single handed rod with a trout reel. Even though he could cast well, he found it challenging to get his fly down deep enough using a long heavy tip. I moved him into a better position farther above the target where he could swing

through 4 to 5 feet of water, and a heavy mend would get him down to fish. He was able to hook up some large fish, averaging between 9 to 12 pounds, and experienced first hand what I had warned him about in conversations over a beer. In applying his trout technique - high rod tip fighting style - combined with a weak reel, he kept the fish angry enough to keep them running downstream until it felt less pressure. He lost the first ten fish he hooked up. After landing a few, with vicious battles, he found himself completely overwhelmed and needed a break. He admitted it was the most fun he’d had in years. Most people struggle with many lost fish the first couple of times out. Keep your rod tip low, so the fish is pulling line through the water, against a reasonable drag, and in most cases this causes the fish to stop running downstream and figure out what to do next. That is when you can re-assume control and dramatically improve the odds of landing a great fish. I typically see brown bears every time I go out. When many people harvest sockeyes, stringers full of fish usually abound and attract bears in close. If you choose not to release them, the best way to deal with the bear dilemma is to stringer fish along and under a bank until you can fillet them. A lot of people carry guns, but in my experience, as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and get out of the way of bears, you wont have a problem. Just don’t listen to your iPOD because you won’t hear a bear moving towards you. Once you are away from the crowds of the combat zone, the wild and astounding fishing opportunities on the Kenai and Russian rivers are unequaled. Get your fly down deep and fight smart. Look for me, I’ll be there year after year. If you see a wheelchair with a spey rod, be sure to say hi.

The Humble Fly 1183 Sheridan Ave. Cody, WY "home to thousands of lonely trout" 307-587-2757 www.thehumblefly.com Shops

WYOMING

IDAHO

Canada 21.95 US - Free shipping.

waters will have decent midging opportunities, and fantastic dry fly fishing can be had in the right conditions. In central Pennsylvania, mid-afternoon sun will bring midge hatches and fish to the surface. These fish, for the most part will be small, but I’ve had fifty fish days in mid February with a size 24 Griffiths Gnat. The larger trout take more than a little sunshine to get them active. This is nature’s way of allowing the growing process. Small cold blooded bodies take less to warm than large cold blooded bodies, and so if you want to touch the big boys, you have to go deep. Nymphing in the early season requires persistence and patience. Realize first, that you’re not going to have success on the level of a normal spring day, and although it can certainly happen, it should not be expected. As mentioned earlier, the trout are not as active during this time of year, and it may take twenty good drifts right past a trout before he decides to take the fly. Choose a pattern that is representative of the local insects. Generic patterns such as Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, and caddis larva are fine choices, and I often fish them with beads this time of year. I like those patterns in combination with a pattern like a Prince Nymph, and I will typically fish these patterns in a size 14 to 16 if the flows are good. If the water is low and clear, you may need to drop your sizes. If you’re fishing smaller streams with low conditions, midge larva patterns such as Zebra Midges can be absolutely deadly. Fly selection in the early season, with few exceptions, is not as critical as achieving a good drift. Fish well, be patient, and most importantly, get on the water. Spring is just around the corner!


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 28

29

28

any hesitation in the drift of the line usually will mean a strike.. I also can have more control in the speed of the drift depending on current or lack of it. It is obviously very effective in a small stream where often the drift must be made according to where the fish should be holding. However, Terry and Marty seem to like the upstream cast with the downstream drift and then hold. I think I'm too impatient for the hold part. However, they do have a lot of success with that technique also. I just prefer my style which works well for me. Hip boots or light waders are needed and parking is normally not a problem along most parts of the river. One does have to be aware of a few area’s that do have posting signs. The State does stock large amounts of Brookies, Rainbows and Browns. They also seem to place the smaller fish in the more easily accessible locations. They will stock larger trout in the lesser accessible parts. And I do mean large trout. I have landed a number of trout close to the 20 inch mark and one fish in particular, of 23 inches. However, I did not have my camera and since they all were released, I think Marty and Terry have had some doubts about the size. All of the regulations for the State can be viewed on-line at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website. Also, a fishing license can be purchased on the same website. Campsites at the New River State Park are on a first come, first serve basis. And if golf is your thing along with fishing like it is with me, the Roanoke, Virginia area, just north of the border has an ample supply of nice golf courses. One in particular that comes to mind is the Hanging Rock Golf Club off of Rt. 81 at the Salem, Virginia exit. But that’s a story for another day.

Spotted Bear Ranch Where the Adventure Begins (800) 223-4333 spottedbear.com Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge & Expedition www.spottedbear.com

The Complete Fly Fisher Wise River, MT 866.832.3175 Five star dining * Private riverside lodging Great Montana fly fishing! www.completeflyfisher.com

Rob Olson’s Madi-Stone Outfitters Bozeman Area Montana Yellowstone*Madison*Missouri*Gallatin (406) 579-3619 Rob@MadiStoneOutfitters.com www.fishingwithrob.net

North Carolina Who Knew? BY

GEORGE DOUGLAS SR.

A

MONTANA

s I was heading south on Rt. 81 through the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia, I was thinking about Stonewall Jackson’s confederate forces marching North toward the battles of New Market, Cedar Creek and Winchester. Jackson was born and raised in the Shenandoah and became my favorite General in that he was able to have huge success with comparatively little resources. The Union soon found out that Jackson was a force to be reckoned with. But my final destination was actually the Northwest corner of North Carolina to do some small stream trout fishing. There, the plan was to meet up with my two friends, Marty and Terry. The three of us all grew up in New Jersey and have remained very good friends through the years. Each year we get together for a couple of fishing trips. Terry, who now lives in North Carolina, found this great location for trout a number of years ago and we have been making this annual trip ever since. The area, located in Ashe County, is mostly farm country. Much of the rolling hills landscape has been converted into Christmas tree farms which appears to be the main industry in the County. That is if you don’t count the churches which seem to be located no more than a mile apart. There are a couple of small towns like Jefferson and Sparta where you can find some motels and restaurants but aside from those towns, the County is very rural. However, there are a couple of State

CrossCurrents 326 N. Jackson Street Helena, Montana 59601 406-449-2292 The Friendly Fly Fishing Experts www.crosscurrents.com

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Lodging

Guides

Guides

MONTANA

Parks that are available for camping. One such park, where we have always camped at, is the New River State Park. Located on the New River, it has about ten to fifteen tent sites directly on the river with a bathroom and showers. The park is run extremely well by the State. It is kept very clean and fire wood is available for purchase. The New River is a large, mostly slow moving river used for canoeing. It is, by the way, the only river in the U.S. that flows from south to north its entire length. Although we have taken a few casts to try our luck, the river is not stocked and does not support any trout population to speak of. We have also found a great place to eat which is not far from the campground. "Shatley Springs", is an old religious retreat that has been converted into a restaurant. The food is great and the prices are more than reasonable. We generally will eat both breakfast and dinner at Shatley. But the reason we travel to Ashe County is not the camping or the food. It is, in fact, for the trout fishing. There are numerous small trout streams that meander through the New River valley and many of them offer a high level of light tackle trout fishing. The State does a wonderful job with their stocking program which begins in March every year and continues into early June. They normally will stock the creeks and streams around the first of each month during those four

months. After June, the creeks get too low and the State terminates the stocking program for that year. Some of the more popular creeks in Ashe County are the Big Horse Creek, Cranberry Creek, Helton Creek and Nathans Creek. Part of Big Horse Creek is regulated as catch and release, artificial lures only. Also, Helton Creek is listed as "delayed harvest" and artificial lures only which is also catch and release until the first week of June. However, on Helton Creek, we have witnessed poaching taking place during the "delayed harvest" months. We have also observed worm containers and bread wrappers along the creek. The State of North Carolina clearly has to increase the policing of these creeks. I have never seen a ranger or fish and game warden in the area. Trout Unlimited has been trying to keep a data base of at least license plate numbers who are suspected of violations on the creeks but this is not going to stop the poaching that is going on. But if a suspected violation is observed, take what information you can get and definitely forward it to Trout Unlimited. Virtually all of the creeks mentioned are what would be classified as a small trout stream. Certainly large enough to hold a large population of trout during those spring months. There are plenty of holes, eddy’s and riffles to make for a very enjoyable fishing experience. We tend to have most success with weighted nymphs, woolly buggers and limited drys. We use a light 4/5 weight rod with Terry sometimes using a 3/4 weight and a nice seven and a half foot light tippet leader. I generally use the technique of the upstream cast with the elevated rod drift and retrieve for the next cast. This technique allows me to drift the nymph just off the bottom where


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 28

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28

any hesitation in the drift of the line usually will mean a strike.. I also can have more control in the speed of the drift depending on current or lack of it. It is obviously very effective in a small stream where often the drift must be made according to where the fish should be holding. However, Terry and Marty seem to like the upstream cast with the downstream drift and then hold. I think I'm too impatient for the hold part. However, they do have a lot of success with that technique also. I just prefer my style which works well for me. Hip boots or light waders are needed and parking is normally not a problem along most parts of the river. One does have to be aware of a few area’s that do have posting signs. The State does stock large amounts of Brookies, Rainbows and Browns. They also seem to place the smaller fish in the more easily accessible locations. They will stock larger trout in the lesser accessible parts. And I do mean large trout. I have landed a number of trout close to the 20 inch mark and one fish in particular, of 23 inches. However, I did not have my camera and since they all were released, I think Marty and Terry have had some doubts about the size. All of the regulations for the State can be viewed on-line at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website. Also, a fishing license can be purchased on the same website. Campsites at the New River State Park are on a first come, first serve basis. And if golf is your thing along with fishing like it is with me, the Roanoke, Virginia area, just north of the border has an ample supply of nice golf courses. One in particular that comes to mind is the Hanging Rock Golf Club off of Rt. 81 at the Salem, Virginia exit. But that’s a story for another day.

Spotted Bear Ranch Where the Adventure Begins (800) 223-4333 spottedbear.com Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge & Expedition www.spottedbear.com

The Complete Fly Fisher Wise River, MT 866.832.3175 Five star dining * Private riverside lodging Great Montana fly fishing! www.completeflyfisher.com

Rob Olson’s Madi-Stone Outfitters Bozeman Area Montana Yellowstone*Madison*Missouri*Gallatin (406) 579-3619 Rob@MadiStoneOutfitters.com www.fishingwithrob.net

North Carolina Who Knew? BY

GEORGE DOUGLAS SR.

A

MONTANA

s I was heading south on Rt. 81 through the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia, I was thinking about Stonewall Jackson’s confederate forces marching North toward the battles of New Market, Cedar Creek and Winchester. Jackson was born and raised in the Shenandoah and became my favorite General in that he was able to have huge success with comparatively little resources. The Union soon found out that Jackson was a force to be reckoned with. But my final destination was actually the Northwest corner of North Carolina to do some small stream trout fishing. There, the plan was to meet up with my two friends, Marty and Terry. The three of us all grew up in New Jersey and have remained very good friends through the years. Each year we get together for a couple of fishing trips. Terry, who now lives in North Carolina, found this great location for trout a number of years ago and we have been making this annual trip ever since. The area, located in Ashe County, is mostly farm country. Much of the rolling hills landscape has been converted into Christmas tree farms which appears to be the main industry in the County. That is if you don’t count the churches which seem to be located no more than a mile apart. There are a couple of small towns like Jefferson and Sparta where you can find some motels and restaurants but aside from those towns, the County is very rural. However, there are a couple of State

CrossCurrents 326 N. Jackson Street Helena, Montana 59601 406-449-2292 The Friendly Fly Fishing Experts www.crosscurrents.com

Shops

Lodging

Guides

Guides

MONTANA

Parks that are available for camping. One such park, where we have always camped at, is the New River State Park. Located on the New River, it has about ten to fifteen tent sites directly on the river with a bathroom and showers. The park is run extremely well by the State. It is kept very clean and fire wood is available for purchase. The New River is a large, mostly slow moving river used for canoeing. It is, by the way, the only river in the U.S. that flows from south to north its entire length. Although we have taken a few casts to try our luck, the river is not stocked and does not support any trout population to speak of. We have also found a great place to eat which is not far from the campground. "Shatley Springs", is an old religious retreat that has been converted into a restaurant. The food is great and the prices are more than reasonable. We generally will eat both breakfast and dinner at Shatley. But the reason we travel to Ashe County is not the camping or the food. It is, in fact, for the trout fishing. There are numerous small trout streams that meander through the New River valley and many of them offer a high level of light tackle trout fishing. The State does a wonderful job with their stocking program which begins in March every year and continues into early June. They normally will stock the creeks and streams around the first of each month during those four

months. After June, the creeks get too low and the State terminates the stocking program for that year. Some of the more popular creeks in Ashe County are the Big Horse Creek, Cranberry Creek, Helton Creek and Nathans Creek. Part of Big Horse Creek is regulated as catch and release, artificial lures only. Also, Helton Creek is listed as "delayed harvest" and artificial lures only which is also catch and release until the first week of June. However, on Helton Creek, we have witnessed poaching taking place during the "delayed harvest" months. We have also observed worm containers and bread wrappers along the creek. The State of North Carolina clearly has to increase the policing of these creeks. I have never seen a ranger or fish and game warden in the area. Trout Unlimited has been trying to keep a data base of at least license plate numbers who are suspected of violations on the creeks but this is not going to stop the poaching that is going on. But if a suspected violation is observed, take what information you can get and definitely forward it to Trout Unlimited. Virtually all of the creeks mentioned are what would be classified as a small trout stream. Certainly large enough to hold a large population of trout during those spring months. There are plenty of holes, eddy’s and riffles to make for a very enjoyable fishing experience. We tend to have most success with weighted nymphs, woolly buggers and limited drys. We use a light 4/5 weight rod with Terry sometimes using a 3/4 weight and a nice seven and a half foot light tippet leader. I generally use the technique of the upstream cast with the elevated rod drift and retrieve for the next cast. This technique allows me to drift the nymph just off the bottom where


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the work as possible. Some guys are even floating spinners like a jig or bait under a sliding bobber in slow water. For salmon and steelhead, the keys are a blade that flicks slowly around and the right color. Colors can vary by water clarity and location, but usually there is one color that stands out from the rest. In my river it’s green, and pink comes in a distant second. In many rivers pink, orange and green spinner bodies with gold silver or black blades are the ticket. When dead

drifting spinners, the blade speed can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing size. Smaller spinners give a quicker spin for slower water. Bigger spinners give a slower spin for faster water. In my favorite run, 3/8 ounce green spinners with a silver blade rule the autumn. Back to the mantra of cast, splut, swing. Remember this is about faith as much as spinners. Once you know what to do, keep doing it. One of the biggest lessons to be learned is that you can’t catch em’ if you aren’t OUT THERE. On the Umpqua and a hundred of other NW coastal rivers, dead drifting spinners will reaffirm your belief. As the leaves turn and the river splashes and surges down, soon enough the rod will be bent over with the powerful tug of bright chinook.

Trip Booking Service Photo by Dake Schmidt

The

sky

is

the

limit

Kype will plan your trip to any destination, FREE ! 360.299.2266 www.kype.net Streamside@kype.net

Yellowstone Horseback Fly-Fishing Trips

Salmon, Steelhead Guide Josh Leach 11106 NE Prescott St Portland, OR 97220 ph: 503-887-7152

Amphibian Skin

Alaska River Adventures Upper Kenai River & Kasilof River 1-888-836-9027 The Complete Fly Fisher Wise River,MT 866.832.3175

$129.95 includes shipping

Waterproof Clothing

Spotted Bear Ranch in Whitefish Montana (800) 223-4333

Waterproof Fishing Shirts $19.95

Neck Guards

Completely Waterproof, Windproof, Stretchable, Warm and Comfortable with a Fleece Lining!

Suggestions for your next fishing adventure...

$24.95

Beanies

NEW PRODUCTS! PANTS AND PARKAS See and order at www.Kype.net

Bob Toman Guide Service Clackamus & Deschutes Oregon 503-658-6493 Bert's Guide Service & McKenzie River Inn 503-579-8236

Fox Hollow Salmon River Lodge RT 13 Altmar, NY (315) 298-2876 Cast River Guide Service Northern CA & S. Oregon (707) 487-CAST Sierra Drifters Guide Service E. Sierra, Ca (760) 935-4250

Portland Fishing Guide.com Columbia-Clackamas and Willamette Steeldreams Guide 503-730-3392 Service Snake & Screaming Reels Grande Ronde Guide Service Brian Silvey’s Clarkston, Wa. "Steelhead Alley” Fly Fishing Guide 509-869-9694 in Ohio, PA & NY Service 216-491-9543 Deschutes & Sandy Steve's Guided Rivers Adventures Freestone Fly 800-510-1702 Washougal, WA Fishing 360-835-7995 717-337-0734 Steelhead Lodge & 717-855-8057 Empire State Boggan's Oasis South Central & Outfitters Where WA, Oregon North Central PA Salmon River, & Idaho meet Pulaski, NY (509) 256-3372 Wet Fly (866) 948 4371 Waterguides Mystic Waters Fly Central & North Angler's Lodge Fishing Central Pa Salmon River 907-227-0549 814-341-0946 Altmar, NY Alaska's Upper 814-322-4755 (315) 298-6028 Kenai R.

J&J River Guides Baldwin, Michigan Big Manistee & Pere Marquette 231-578-0946 Jeff’s Guide Service Drift & Jet Boat Muskegon River Michigan 616-204-4999 Triple “S” Guide Service Fishing SW Washington & Oregon 503-312-9844 Brazda’s Fly Fishing Olympic Peninsula in Washington and Fly Fish Montana 253-307-3210 Rob Olson’s Madi-Stone Outfitters Yellowstone* Madison*Missouri* Gallatin (406) 579-3619


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1/29/2010

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the work as possible. Some guys are even floating spinners like a jig or bait under a sliding bobber in slow water. For salmon and steelhead, the keys are a blade that flicks slowly around and the right color. Colors can vary by water clarity and location, but usually there is one color that stands out from the rest. In my river it’s green, and pink comes in a distant second. In many rivers pink, orange and green spinner bodies with gold silver or black blades are the ticket. When dead

drifting spinners, the blade speed can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing size. Smaller spinners give a quicker spin for slower water. Bigger spinners give a slower spin for faster water. In my favorite run, 3/8 ounce green spinners with a silver blade rule the autumn. Back to the mantra of cast, splut, swing. Remember this is about faith as much as spinners. Once you know what to do, keep doing it. One of the biggest lessons to be learned is that you can’t catch em’ if you aren’t OUT THERE. On the Umpqua and a hundred of other NW coastal rivers, dead drifting spinners will reaffirm your belief. As the leaves turn and the river splashes and surges down, soon enough the rod will be bent over with the powerful tug of bright chinook.

Trip Booking Service Photo by Dake Schmidt

The

sky

is

the

limit

Kype will plan your trip to any destination, FREE ! 360.299.2266 www.kype.net Streamside@kype.net

Yellowstone Horseback Fly-Fishing Trips

Salmon, Steelhead Guide Josh Leach 11106 NE Prescott St Portland, OR 97220 ph: 503-887-7152

Amphibian Skin

Alaska River Adventures Upper Kenai River & Kasilof River 1-888-836-9027 The Complete Fly Fisher Wise River,MT 866.832.3175

$129.95 includes shipping

Waterproof Clothing

Spotted Bear Ranch in Whitefish Montana (800) 223-4333

Waterproof Fishing Shirts $19.95

Neck Guards

Completely Waterproof, Windproof, Stretchable, Warm and Comfortable with a Fleece Lining!

Suggestions for your next fishing adventure...

$24.95

Beanies

NEW PRODUCTS! PANTS AND PARKAS See and order at www.Kype.net

Bob Toman Guide Service Clackamus & Deschutes Oregon 503-658-6493 Bert's Guide Service & McKenzie River Inn 503-579-8236

Fox Hollow Salmon River Lodge RT 13 Altmar, NY (315) 298-2876 Cast River Guide Service Northern CA & S. Oregon (707) 487-CAST Sierra Drifters Guide Service E. Sierra, Ca (760) 935-4250

Portland Fishing Guide.com Columbia-Clackamas and Willamette Steeldreams Guide 503-730-3392 Service Snake & Screaming Reels Grande Ronde Guide Service Brian Silvey’s Clarkston, Wa. "Steelhead Alley” Fly Fishing Guide 509-869-9694 in Ohio, PA & NY Service 216-491-9543 Deschutes & Sandy Steve's Guided Rivers Adventures Freestone Fly 800-510-1702 Washougal, WA Fishing 360-835-7995 717-337-0734 Steelhead Lodge & 717-855-8057 Empire State Boggan's Oasis South Central & Outfitters Where WA, Oregon North Central PA Salmon River, & Idaho meet Pulaski, NY (509) 256-3372 Wet Fly (866) 948 4371 Waterguides Mystic Waters Fly Central & North Angler's Lodge Fishing Central Pa Salmon River 907-227-0549 814-341-0946 Altmar, NY Alaska's Upper 814-322-4755 (315) 298-6028 Kenai R.

J&J River Guides Baldwin, Michigan Big Manistee & Pere Marquette 231-578-0946 Jeff’s Guide Service Drift & Jet Boat Muskegon River Michigan 616-204-4999 Triple “S” Guide Service Fishing SW Washington & Oregon 503-312-9844 Brazda’s Fly Fishing Olympic Peninsula in Washington and Fly Fish Montana 253-307-3210 Rob Olson’s Madi-Stone Outfitters Yellowstone* Madison*Missouri* Gallatin (406) 579-3619


kype vol2 issue 1Extened Bleed.qxp

1/29/2010

2:50 PM

Page 32

Kype Fishing Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1  
Kype Fishing Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1  

George Douglas' Kype Fishing Magazine. The best in salmon, trout and steelhead fishing.