Ice In The Guides, G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket, Simms WindStopperHalf-finger Gloves

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Ice In The Guides
G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket
Half-finger Gloves
Hand Warmers

Fly Tying Party
Think it's too tough out there to catch steelhead when there is ice floating down the river?  Think again!

As I watch the beautiful eight pound hen steelhead slip back into the icy depths of the river all I can do is sit on a rock, look around, and think “now that was a great day!” As we pack up for the day, high fives are shared, big smiles are worn by all, and even my dog Ranger seems to be smiling behind the ice sickles that have formed over half of his pearly white coat. When I think of a day of steelhead fishing, there are often more adjectives than I can come up with to describe my day on the river, but on this day, I think even the dictionary was short of words to portray this one. Having shared the day with great company, ice bergs in the river, Chukar Partridge in the air, and a couple of beautiful fish, it just may be one of the best days I have ever spent on a river.

The John Day River on New Years flows.
As the day began, we neared the river, after a near-death defying plunge down a snowy dirt road into the fantastic red rock canyon might I add, the anticipation of a day spent swinging flies with good friends grows nearly unbearable. Thoughts of small Spey flies wiggling their way through the storied runs of the John Day are almost instantly replaced by, “what the hell are we doing here?” Ice bergs float undaunted down the river forming shelf ice which seems to grow by the minute on the banks. Snow blankets the landscape and it seems the only sign of life are the small groups of mule deer foraging along the hill sides. It was new years day, and here we are, maybe the only people crazy enough to think we may actually be able to find a fish beneath the ice bergs.
I watched Travis step in to the water as I lagged behind trying to keep my fingers warm enough to get a rod rigged and a fly in the water. He was not far down the run when he exclaimed that he may have had a grab. It was tough for me to comprehend as I watched the shelf ice seemingly form around his legs as he stood in the river and I thought to myself that it was just as likely that an ice berg came by and grabbed on to his line, as it was that a fish had tugged at his fly. As I slid into the river, I came upon the exact same spot where Travis had felt life and had the same experience, was it possible, on a day like this, that there were actually happy fish in the river. We swung the rest of the run with no results, other than frozen guides and a hardy reel so coated in ice that it was completely unusable, and headed back to the heat of the car.
My good old Hardy landed in the river and instantly turned into an ice berg.
We persisted on, covering a couple more beautiful pieces of water, actually I was staring at the spectacular backdrops of the red rock canyon more than swinging flies, but hey, we were fishing. As we ate lunch we noticed that the ice bergs of the earlier part of the day had slowly dissipated to almost none, now we were in business. We had just a few more hours of daylight, and our first opportunity to actually swing flies, without having to fit each cast between cascades of tiny ice bergs. As my fly swung through the tail-out of a long, slow moving run below a heavy riffle, the line came tight, and this was no ice berg. After a short struggle the large buck shook loose and I sat in disbelief as all my persistence had paid off, but only briefly. Travis swung through the run behind me and finished with no results. We retreated back to the car and headed off to fish one last run before heading home.

In the afternoon the air and water warmed a little and our perseverance paid off.
It was a classic John Day run. We had tried to fish it once before that morning but were quickly discouraged by the amount of ice so we aborted. The small creek that dumped into the top of the run ran slightly warmer than the river itself and gave us confidence that it just might hold fish looking to escape the frigid temperatures of the rest of the river. I sat on a rock, still slightly discouraged by having lost, what was easily the biggest John Day steelhead I had ever hooked, and watched Travis work through the run. The swing came across so slowly that it seemed the ice formed in the guides of his Loomis dredger faster than the fly actually swung. We used light enough tips, the new iMOW intermediate tips were perfect, allowing the fly to swing all the way to the bank but not hang up in the slow water, so when I saw his line lift off of the water I knew he wasn’t hooked to the bottom. Minutes later Travis was sliding a beautiful wild hen into hand and the smile on his face after a summer of guiding others into fish was unmistakable.
As Travis re-entered the run and began working towards the bottom, a fish rolled just a few rod lengths away from him. I had left my rod at the car, basically throwing in the towel for the day, when the fish rolled. Travis said “you may want to go and grab that rod!” I retreated to the car and returned to the river with thoughts of one last chance at putting one on the beach. As I neared the spot where the fish rolled, anticipation grew. I know there are no guarantees in steelhead fishing but having seen the fish give up its position only moments earlier, I knew that there was a chance, however slight it may be. The fly swung slowly, as it neared the exact spot where the fish had rolled, wouldn’t you know it, I raised the rod tip and it was fish on. A carbon copy of the fish Travis had just landed, was soon being released back into the river to dodge ice bergs and make its way the rest of the way up river to spawning gravel.

This beautiful wild steelhead had been hooked a couple of times before. 
A good friend of mine once said, “it’s amazing what ten pounds of quivering, chrome, flesh will do to a man.” This quote struck me more today than on most days. Travis and I had persisted through some of the worst conditions I had ever fished in. From terrible driving conditions, to icebergs so thick they would have sunk the Titanic, again, to ice in the guides and frozen reels, we had been through it all in one day. All in all, we hooked three fish, landed two, had some laughs and returned home safely. As I sit here now, and reflect on that day, do I wish it were warmer, or that we had caught more fish? Nope, I just wish I could relive it every day.

G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket

Travis Johnson tests the G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, while fishing Oregon's John Day River 1/1/13.

This may be the most streamlined waterproof breathable wading jacket available.
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Every part of this jacket is made to allow full movement of your body.
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Water repellant cuff is streamlined so as not to snag your fly line.
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Extra cinch-cuff inside your sleeve prevents water from running up your arm.
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The NEW T-Core LX technology which is a 3L waterproof, breathable material forms the shell of this streamlined wading jacket. The jacket is equipped with waterproof zippers that are fully seam taped and innovative water tight cuff construction so water can't penetrate keeping you dry through a full day of fishing. Minimalist pockets (2-outside, 2-inside) are just large enough for enough gear for the Spey Fisher. The whole design concept is to eliminate annoying protrusions that can snag or tangle a fly line, but still allow full movement of your upper body.
Item Description Size Price To Top
G1303LJKTMBK G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black Medium $350.00 Sale Ended
G1303LJKTLBK G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black Large $350.00 Sale Ended
G1303LJKTXLBK G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black X-Large $350.00 Sale Ended
G1303LJKTXXLBK G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black XX-Large $350.00 Sale Ended

Simms WindStopper®Half-finger Gloves
This day of Winter steelheading started with a weather forecast of high winds and possible freezing rain, just the kind of climatic conditions that can be pure misery if you are a fly fisher. Because of an aging body, my circulation isn't what it used to be. But, because of my high-tech clothing, this day was comfortable and productive. In my opinion, the best new clothing item to hit the market in the past several years are the Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves. On the average, I don't even like to wear gloves, especially while I'm fishing. Most gloves impair an angler's ability to feel the rod while casting, etc. Most gloves used while steelhead fishing get wet and stay wet all day, feeling cold and icky, but not the Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves. To my surprise these gloves can get wet and will lose most of their water content within minutes. Within minutes, my hands were warm again. Even more surprising, these gloves were warm and comfortable, even when the outside was covered with fish slime. The palm material is thin and doesn't interfere with rigging, casting or rowing. This material also has the perfect texture for tailing and hanging onto fish.
Many gloves will keep your hands warm while they are dry. Keeping one's hands dry while fishing is nearly impossible. Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves keep your hands warm after they have been dunked. Did I mention that the water temp this day was 34.5-degrees. When tailing large fish, there is little margin for error. Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves are constructed with fabric that makes tailing steelhead easier. My gloves were purposely dunked, slimed and generally abused, just to see what would happen.

WindStopper®Half-finger Gloves - WindStopper®Half-finger Gloves

WindStopper®Half-finger Gloves
 Durable, lightweight, quick drying polyester fleece with DWR finish and WindStopper® membrane
  • Redesigned for more anatomical, comfortable fit with less bulk between fingers
  • Durable, lightweight, quick-drying Soft Shell fabric with DWR finish and WINDSTOPPERr® mebrane
  • Palm and cuff areas feature Polartec® WindPro® Hardface fabric for enhanced dexterity, durability, comfort, wind resistance and water repellency
  • Integrated heater pack pocket located on interior of cuff
  • 3M® light reflective logo details for additional safety
  • Note: These gloves run slightly smaller than average for size designation. Heat Treat Hand Warmers are a non-toxic, non-combustible & environmentally friendly, odorless 7-hour heat source. These warmers fit the integrated pockets in these gloves.
    Heat Treat Hand Warmers
    Model Item Price To Top
    HFM2103320 Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Small $44.95 Sale Ended
    HFM2103330 Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Medium $44.95 Sale Ended
    HFM2103340 Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Large $44.95 Sale Ended
    HFM2103350 Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Extra-Large $44.95 Sale Ended

    Heat Treat Hand Warmers
    Heat Treat Hand Warmers are a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, odorless 7-hour heat source using all natural ingredients that are non-combustible.
    Heat Treat Adhesive Body Warmers
    Air activated, natural heat source for your body. HEAT TREAT Warmers are portable and easy to use-simply open the package and feel instant heat that lasts for over 12-hours. Remove the protective backing and adhere the Adhesive Body Warmer to inside of clothing over area of body that needs relief.
    Use them for warmth in the outdoors and any cold weather environment.
    HEAT TREAT warmers can also be used as a natural heat source for relief of minor aches and pains.

    Instant Natural Heat with no hassles!
    -Air activated
    -Environmentally Friendly

    Do not apply directly to skin. Warmers can reach 127-150 degrees.
    Be sure to have a layer of clothing between between a Heat Treat Warmer and your skin.
    Item Description Price To Top
    WARMER-1 Heat Treat Hand Warmers,
    per 2-pack
    $1.25 Sale Ended
    WARMER-2 Heat Treat Adhesive Body Warmers , per each $1.49 Sale Ended

    January 13, 2013
    The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
    :00 am to 4:00 pm Sunday Afternoon.

    Tying Steelhead Squid Flies & Intruders
    "Proven Designs"

    Featuring Free Tying Instruction From:
    Mark Bachmann and Travis Johnson.

    This program is for new tiers and experienced tiers alike.
    Instructional demonstrations with big-screen TV and PowerPoint projection.
    A custom made fly tying room with perfect lighting
    and special teaching aides are provided.
    Please bring your own tools & materials or purchase what you need from our extensive selection.
    Refreshments will be served. Bring snacks if you want to.


    Fish long & prosper,
    Mark, Patty & Crew

    The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

    1(800) 266-3971

    P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
    Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
    Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490

    © 1981-2012 The Fly Fishing Shop
    We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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