Thursday, March 29, 2012

salmon & steelhead fly tying

im going to take a stab at a little fly tying post for my viewers, This post is about the fly i caught my steelhead on last saturday,  It is a huge part of my success in my first season fly fishing for winter steelhead.  I came across this pattern while browsing the fly pattern library at the Oregon fly fishing blog, i was looking for an alternative fly to use because it seemed alot of the water i was fishing needed a larger presentation that had movement rather then two egg patterns.  i picked a body and head color and started tying away, after switching over to The fly i had a few more hookups and alot more takes then before.  eventually i was able to get one to stick and landed that 20lb monster.
so here it is, a little bit different then the original (i used different eyes ).  it is called the shortly dubbed egg sucking leech

                                               Shortly dubbed egg sucking leech
 This fly deserves a place in every salmon and steelhead fly fishermans box  because you can tie it in dozens of different colors and sizes to best match the conditions you will be fishing. I caught my first winter steelhead on this particular color combo. for best results fish this fly off an indicator  for coho salmon and steelhead. tie it in darker colors for summer steelhead and brighter colors for winter steelhead and coho except when the water is low.

                               Thread: ultra thread 170 white
                               Hook: mustad 3366 or daiichi x510 sizes 2-6
                               Body: shrimp pink crosscut rabbit strip

                               weight : chrome plated lead eyes  large

                                head: sts trilobal  fl.flame             

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oregon coast winter steelhead On the fly

small coastal stream
Today i headed to a small stream in the coast range with my buddy to catch and release wild winter  steelhead on the fly (or try at least)  sadly as i feared the upper river had already cleared for the most part and i knew it was going to be a difficult day of fishing so we set off to start at the last hole ebfore tidewater and worked our way up. At last pool above tidewater i ended up getting a nice fat searun cutthroat on the swing, he fought damn good considering i was using an 8wt rod. after that we headed upriver and hit pullouts  without any luck until we hit the lower part of the upper river  (does that make any sense?) we came to a spot that was deep and fast with alot of converging currents, i figured there were no fish to be had but brad seemed to think so.. he was right. on first cast  with one of his custom steelhead jigs (he gear fishes) there was a bobber down, a chrome flash and then gone.. this was the first steelhead brad had ever lost. after fishing that same area for a while we in worked our way upriver, missing a few  hits but nothing sticking. we headed to the upper river knowing it was clear but hoping to find fish. after a few fishless clear holes we found it. a nice walking speed run shaded all day and not pressured by anyone. Brad hooks a fish on the first cast But breaks off while im trying to land it (wrapped the line around my legs) i sat for a minute while brad re rigs i decide to  pick up my rod and try a few casts. first cast was crappy,but got it out there, then on the second cast it happened. towards the end of my drift my line went tight,indicator was gone and i had a fish on. for the first five minutes of the fight he stuck to the bottom and used his weight like a big old chinook. then i finally gained on the fish, it saw brad and went nuts, the fight really began. 3 sets of rapids and one river mile.this fish wanted off my line.. my reel was screaming and my rod was bent. i didnt know how much more my 10lb test leader could take. i stumbled through the fast and cold water up to the top of my chest waders keeping my line tight and following close behind the fish with my heart pounding and my arm aching as it attempted to snap my line by putting my leader under a rock.. it  shot through two more pools after that and when i looked back for my buddy he wasnt there..around 2 minutes later he came around the corner and replied with "i fell in the water twice " the fish tried to head down more fast water but eventually it tired and we got a hold of its tail.This fish was estimated to be 18-20lbs. took a pic and sent him to the river to go do his thing with the ladies. this was a fish of a lifetime and i will never forget it. i worked hard for my first season hiking probably 20+ miles total along coastal rivers and losing my 6 first fish.  This leaves me excited for next season.  for those who don't know, wild fish are very important and should be handled with as much care as possible while being cradled for a pic and you should always revive them after a long battle. 
my very first winter steelhead on the fly,a fish of  a lifetime.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stocking up

Next month one of my Favorite streams opens for trout, my favorite place to hike along. Rarely seeing anyone else fishing and nobody killing the precious wild fish that swim in its waters.Nobody tossing bait,just fly fisherman and a few lure fisherman catching and releasing wild cutthroat trout. even though there is a 2fish a day 8 inch minimum length bag limit most people that fish this smaller stream see it as a gem and release its trout to be caught another day. It is a very healthy system with cold and fast flowing water throughout the year witch results in a very very good amount of aquatic insects  that the fish feed on.
although there are tons of different bugs the fish can slurp as they float by (topwater and subsurface)
I have always had success using subsurface attractor patterns below i will explain why. Since the water is flowing at a fast rate a trout only has a split second to decide if it is going to bite the fly or bug that is going by them because it goes by so quickly. This is where an attractor pattern will shine. an attractor pattern may have the general profile of one bug, maybe several bugs,or doesn't look like a bug at all, but it always has buggy qualities, most attractor patterns have one of these qualities. flash: some sort of tinsel or flash to get the fishes attention.  Color: a color the fish commonly see float by can be put on an attractor to con a fish into biting. and the final and most important..movement. Rubber legs, marabou, you name it. any type of material that makes a fly more lifelike is a good contribution to an attractor pattern. the combinations are endless, experiment with it.

Here are some attractor nymphs i tie for trout. (pictured below)

Hot Wire Mega Stone

Nymphs i Tie for trout fishing


Friday, March 16, 2012

a new fly rod

Today in the mail i received a new combo, a 5wt rod, a 4/5 reel with a scientific angers gpx line, a tube and even an extra rod tip.. it is from the fly shop out of redding, ca and is their  signature line of gear.the reel is a ross reel stamped with their logo on it and has an excellent drag system, It does not stick when  the drag starts and stops  its very smooth witch is something i need when battling large trout in some of our larger water bodies. the rod is a 9ft 5wt 4pc rod, a dark forrest green blank with green/ black wraps and silver hardware and a dark wood reel seat.. the cork is high quality and feels perfect when casting. the rod loads perfect and shoots 50 +ft of line with ease and lays it out nice and soft..  could not have asked for a better setup

Sunday, March 11, 2012

coastal steelhead fly fishing

Another scenic skunking for winter steelhead in the coast range.. i failed to hook  fish today that were willing to bite, even though the water was cold and quite clear in the upper river there were one or two fish willing to bite, although we did fish dozens of very nice looking runs that did not have any takers..
it was kind of a rough day. Ive hooked 5 fish this year and had multiple missed strikes but haven't been able to land one, closest i have been (twice) i went to tail the fish and it spit the hook..inches from my hand grabbing it's tail then gone... really leaves a bad taste in my mouth very frustrated but ive been told that is good for a first winter steelhead on the fly season, this just leaves me hungry for a winter steelhead..i will be prepared next year, with more knowledge and confidence. on the other hand i saw stoneflies crawling inches from the shore, cutthroat eating mayflies off the top.. and i even had to go down to a t shirt because it got so warm. spring is around the corner and im ready for trout