Stinger Flies

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Stinger Flies Program
Andre Scholz
Winston Field Test
Dressing For Winter
Windstopper Softshell
All pictures are Mouse-over.

February 11, 2007, Sunday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
FREE Program!  Learn all about Tying Stinger Flies for Winter Steelhead.
This event has been changed from February 4 to 11 because of Super Bowl Sunday.

Red String Leech

This program starts with a short PowerPoint presentation featuring productive
methods for fishing Stinger flies for steelhead.  Then tying procedures for several proven local favorites will be demonstrated.  String Leech, Metal Detector and Intruder patterns will be tied
 by guys that use them in their guide services.
 The programs and instruction are free.  So are the coffee and snacks.
All of the latest tools and materials used in these demonstrations
will be available for sale.  Feel free to bring your own tools and materials and tie along.
 Or just hang-out and watch.  Bring snacks to share if you want to.
This program will be held in our state of the art class room which is equipped with
close-circuit TV, PowerPoint Digital projector, story board and
superb lighting for tying flies.  Please call and let us know you are coming.
Group Leaders: Josh Linn, Marty Sheppard and Hawkeye Hawkins
At: The Fly Fishing Shop - Welches, OR

Andre Scholz to Appear at The Sandy River Spey Clave
2:00pm - 2:30pm, Saturday, May 5, 2007.
Andre Scholz with an Atlantic Salmon

The R.L. Winston Rod Company is proud to announce the addition of Andre Scholz as a special member of the Winston Pro Staff.  Andre, 27, resides in Bochum, Germany, near Düsseldorf and Cologne.  He has made a name for himself in Germany and Scandinavia as a Two-Handed Casting Instructor.  His exceptionally smooth, almost effortless casting and detailed knowledge of the sport have brought scores of students to his European casting clinics.

Winston rod designer, Sam Drukman, and Andre met at the 2004 FFR Show in Denver, CO.
Sam was immediately impressed with Andre’s masterful technique.  Since then Andre has worked closely with Sam in designing new Boron IIx Spey models.  He is also representing Winston at various domestic and international fly fishing venues. We expect great things from Andre’s association with R.L. Winston Rod Co. 

Andre uses a Vision Ace Scandinavian style line that incorporates Poly leaders.  With this system he creates loops that are so perfect, that all angling spectators are instantly struck with envy and awe. He casts equally well on water or on a mowed lawn.  His anchor is so light, he casts on the grass, without a grass leader.
I took a short Spey casting lesson from him at the 2006 Sandy Clave.  Andre uses lighter weight heads and loads the rod only in the tip. He grips the rod with his top hand very close to the reel, so his hands are close together.  Almost all of his power comes from his bottom hand during the entire cast.  The back loop forms into a tight V-shape.  The forward cast is a narrow bullet that delivers amazing distance and accuracy.

Andre's influence can be felt in Winston's two newest Spey rod models: the 13' 3" 7/8 and the 15' 9/10. These lightweight, crisp action rods have stolen the show in their size categories.  The 13' 3" 7/8 was the most popular two-hand rod model at The Fly Fishing Shop in 2006. This is because it is possibly the most adaptable spey rod ever built.  It accepts all casting styles and throws a huge variety of fly line weights.  All of Winston's spey rods tend to be very forgiving, but are also very high performance. 
You can try any or all of the spey rods at the Sandy River Spey Clave.

Winston Field Test 01/03/07, Mark Bachmann
"One of the best things about my job is being able to use the best tackle the world makes."

Bachmann with a winter steelhead. NOTICE: Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell under the G3 Wading Jacket

The big river had finally dropped back into shape, after being in flood for nearly two weeks. Josh Linn rowed his big pontoon boat through a narrow slot, around a sharp corner, then expertly turned the craft with a flick of an oar and brought it to an abrupt silent stop against the willows.  I quietly slid from the bow into the belt deep water. The footing was solid cobble, the water dead calm.  Two rod lengths in front of me the texture of the surface changed from slick to riffled.  The riffles slowly gained in size and speed as they moved away from me, toward the middle of the river. A 3-inch black and blue cone-head tube fly was fixed to the business end of my short, stout leader.  This in turn was attached to the end of a 15-foot long sinking tip.  My fly was parked an arms length

up the rod, with the hook stuck in a snake guide.  The line made a turn around the foot of the reel.  When I plucked the hook from the guide, the loop to loop connection between the floating Skagit head and the sinking tip was about one foot out side the rod tip; the perfect length of line for my first cast.  That first cast landed dead straight across the gentle current.  I extended the next cast 4-feet, and the next another 4-feet, etc.  Each extension of the cast dropped the fly into faster water.  During each presentation, the fly sunk and swam deep and slow and broad-side to the current.  I think it was about the ninth cast when the line suddenly tightened.  The 7-8 pound hatchery steelhead buck was very energetic and sporting. We barbequed him the next weekend at the Tube Fly Round Table at the Shop.

Granted, there's nothing new or surprising about the story so far.  It was January 3rd in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  There are always a few chromers in the local river in January, and it certainly wasn't the first one caught on a fly. 

The only unique thing about the story was that the water temperature was 37-degrees and the rod in my hand was the same one I had fallen in love with on the Deschutes last September when the water was 62-degrees.  The rod was my thirteen-three, seven-eight, bee-too-ex; commonly referred to as a Winston B2X78133.  This was my third trip of the winter and each trip this rod had proven to be the best tool for a large number of situations even though most two-handers used in winter are longer and heavier. Granted, I still pack a couple of 14'-15' 9-weights in the boat for longer range situations, but the smaller rod covers the water fine out to 70', even with large winter flies.  Currently my B2X78133 is rigged with a Rio Skagit-450, 5' floating cheater and stock type-six, 9-weight Rio sinking tip. This line is very enjoyable and it seems that the new Rio Spey lines have a slicker, better casting shooting line.  The way you can tell the difference is that the newest editions have a green spot at the rear of the line instead of a running line that is all green. A Nautilus #12 reel balances this outfit perfectly. 


Length: 13' 3"       Line: #7/8     Pieces: 4   

An extraordinary lightweight medium-action two-hand rod that will make effective fly presentations at all distances.
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 447-478 grains.

Rod weight: 6 3/4 Ounces.
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
78133 B2X 7/8 Medium Spey $835


Dress Like a Veteran Steelheader
How you dress will make as much difference to your success in winter steelheading as your choice of tackle.  Pictured below are some men who spend a lot of time searching for big steelhead during wet/cold weather.  Anglers who catch fish like these, don't have the time or inclination to use any but the most practical gear.  "We know, because it all came from The Fly Fishing Shop."

Mike Senatra in Freestone Jacket and Guide Model Waders.

Hawkeye Hawkins in Guide Model Waders

Mark Bachmann in G3 Guide Jacket and G3 Waders.

Tony Sjolander in Classic Guide Jacket and G3 Waders.

Winter steelhead weather can mean rain and lots of it. 
The word "rain" turns most people off, because they associate it with discomfort. However, rainy days don't have to be uncomfortable, 
if you dress properly. 
Many rainy days can be beautiful.
Everything is washed and clean. Rain softens the edges of the landscape. It dampens sound, and a rainy day on the river can be one of personal intimacy. But the best reason to fish in the rain, is that steelhead are more aggressive on cloud-covered days.
If you dress correctly, you can be comfortable, even during long days in cold, wet weather. If you don't dress correctly, you can get cold & wet.  As you lose thermal energy, your motor skills will suffer.  Warm muscles perform better than cold ones.  Dress to keep yourself warm and dry.  Keeping your skin surface free from dampness is one of the biggest keys to staying warm.  
Many people think that preparing for rain only means the addition of a rain coat and chest high waders.
The selection of these items is very important, but what you wear under this outer layer is also very important.  Any moisture trapped within your clothing will conduct heat away.  This means that you not only have to keep the rain out, but your clothing also has to have the ability to disperse your own perspiration.  When dressing for cold or wet weather fishing; dress from the inside out.
The layer of clothing next to your skin is the one you will feel all day.

Layer your under-wader garments to stay warm & dry...

Maximum perspiration zones are your arm pits, groin and feet.  All these areas need special clothing.  Your inner layer should be made from synthetic material for maximum comfort.  It should be soft and designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
Never wear cotton clothing under your waders.
Cotton retains moisture and has very little insulation value when damp.  It also becomes a medium for fungal infections.  The organisms that cause infections such a jock itch and athletes foot can not live in synthetic fabrics.  Synthetic materials tend to  "pass-through", rather than "retain" moisture from perspiration.   Nylon, acrylic and polyester do not retain as much moisture as cotton, silk or wool.  Dressing with layers of Synthetic  material can further customize the wicking of moisture away from your body.  A layer of Patagonia Mid-weight Capilene next to your skin with

   a layer of Expedition-weight Capilene or a Simms WaderWick Heavyweight Zip Top over it can keep you roasty-toasty during what would otherwise be inhospitable climatic conditions. Pay special attention to the layers that cover your legs and feet. These extremities are the ones that will be immersed in cold water.  When water temperatures are below 50-degrees double layering is recommended.  Water temperatures below 40-degrees demand heavier double-layering.  Nylon fleece such as Simms Heavyweight WaderWick becomes much more efficient with a layer of Midweight WaderWick or Capilene under it. 

For an intermediate layer next to your rain jacket we suggest a Gore-Tex® WindStopper® Softshell.  This layer has some strategic benefits. In addition to providing one more layer of insulation, the DWR finish is highly water repellent.  The softshell will cover your upper body and will keep you dry during the times when your rain jacket is removed, such as when nature calls.  It is also one more layer of insurance, in case your outer shell springs a leak from wear and tear.  The Gore-Tex® WindStopper® Soft Shell has a large fleece collar which can be pulled up to protect the back of your neck; a highly vulnerable area for heat loss.  This is an attractive athletic looking garment that works better than your rain coat when running errands on your way to and from the river.

Pay special attention to your socks. Water runs down hill and some of your body perspiration will collect at your feet. This happens much less with breathable waders, but is still a factor, especially if you are hiking between pools.  There is no way for wader feet to breath inside your wading shoe.  Wader feet are still made from insulating, but non-breathable neoprene.
We like thick wool/nylon blend socks that have a knitted loop pile on the inside which gives them the capacity to retain a lot of loft, even with the squeezing pressure of your waders around them. They act as a reservoir for migrant perspiration but help keep it away from your skin.  
For years we wore Outdoor Socks by Fox River and they are still very high performance and are economically priced.  Lately we have been wearing
ExStream Socks by Simms.  They are a mixture of 80% Merino wool and 20% nylon.  They are more expensive than Outdoor Sock, but they are also warmer.  All good socks for wearing under waders are knee length so to provide another layer of insulation for the lower leg.  Remember, all socks are made from knitted yarns which tend to wash-out as you launder them, thereby loosing loft and insulating qualities.  Replace them often for maximum comfort.  

Your outer layer is your first layer of defense.
It must be water-proof, but it too must be able to dispel any moisture that might collect inside it.  This is accomplished by a special membrane sandwiched between two layers of protective fabric.  This membrane is porous so it can breath.  The pores are of a diameter that allow smaller gaseous molecules to escape, but will not allow larger liquid molecules to enter.  Non-breathable waders and rain jackets have all but disappeared 
from the steelhead fly fishing scene in favor of newer technology fabrics

such as:  Gore-Tex. Because of a revolutionary immersion technology from W.L. Gore & Associates, Gore-Tex keeps water from getting in, yet is very breathable, even when completely submerged and allows sweat and moisture to escape. This keeps your skin dry and helps you retain your body heat. Gore-Tex does not stretch, but the articulated knee design employed in Simms Guide Waders allows a streamlined fit with full mobility of the angler.  A good fitting pair of waders should mold to your body and give you the most streamlined configuration you can have. This lessens water drag in the currents and makes wading less difficult.  Waders with bent knees enable a closer fit than straight legged waders.  For durability multi-layer construction is nearly mandatory from the crotch down.  Five-layer construction co-developed by  W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and Simms was

 designed specifically for use in fishing waders.  Simms/Gore-Tex® waders feature this laminate which results in the most puncture-resistant, most durable, most technologically-advanced breathable waders you can purchase.

Wading shoes serve three purposes; to protect your feet and enhance your balance and traction. High top leather or man-made leather wading shoes give better support and last longer per dollar spent, than their cheaper canvas counterparts. Felt soles with silicone carbide studs are the best traction you can have on all kinds of bottom structure. Some guides object to having studded shoes in their pretty boats. If yours is that way, get a different guide. Fly-casting, like many other athletic events, depends on good traction.  A selection of proven wading shoes can be found here.

Be sure that your wading shoes fit for maximum support, but have enough room so as not to impair your circulation. Always wear your waders and full under garments when fitting a new pair of wading shoes. Our favorite wading shoes are Simms Guide Boots.  Their new L-2 Model is also becoming very popular.

Your wading jacket forms the roof over all your innerwear. It must have a weatherproof parka hood. A wading jacket must be impenetrable to rain by keeping water from coming through the fabric shell and must also be designed to keep water from running down your neck or up your sleeves. A jacket that is rain proof is also wind proof. If the outer shell material will allow perspiration to pass through without allowing rain water to get in, you can remain comfortable in about any kind of weather you will encounter during productive steelhead fishing.

The G-3 Guide Jacket from Simms has proven itself to the most demanding anglers and has held up against the most demanding conditions. It's made of the same material as the G-3 Guide Model breathable Gore-Tex waders.

  Since your jacket is the outer most shell, it is the most convenient place to carry your gear. Few avid winter steelheaders wear vests. A vest worn on the outside of your jacket gets wet. A vest worn inside your vest is hard to get at. Besides, you don't have to carry that much gear.

For a whole day of steelhead fly fishing, all I carry are: (besides my rod & reel) 1. A lanyard with a leader clipper, hook file, and nail knot-tying tube. 2. (1) Medium size box of flies. 3. Zippered wallet to carry Launcher tips and leaders. 4. Leader dispenser with 10, 15 and 25 pound test hard, abrasion resistant leader material. All of this gear will easily fit in the breast pockets of a properly designed wading jacket. If these breast pockets are equipped with D-rings you can attach your tool lanyard and then drop the tools into the pocket where they can't get tangled in your fly line.

Don't forget to consider your hands. Neoprene gloves are great for cold weather, especially if you are rowing.  Both slit-finger and fingerless gloves are appropriate at times.

The selection of a hat is of prime importance. It too must be waterproof, even though it will be under the hood of your waterproof jacket most of the time.  A baseball cap with a bill will shield your glasses from rain and help keep your face moisture free.  A waxed cotton baseball cap is very practical.  We had these specifically made for that purpose.

Waxed Cotton Hat
Item Description Price To Top
FFS-WAXED Waxed cotton baseball cap with The Fly Fishing Shop logo, Forest Green, one size fits all $25.00


Until Spring Time comes......

Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell

In our opinion, "The best new fly fishing clothing item for 2006
is still the best intermediate layer for winter of 2007"!
Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell - Green

The protection of a shell with the soft comfort of a mid-layer.

Gore-Tex® WindStopper® Soft Shell fabric with DWR finish
  • 100% nylon knit outer fabric and 100% polyfleece lining
  • Deep hand warmer pockets with brushed polyester mesh lining
  • Stretch woven, zippered chest pocket holds small fly box
  • Polypropylene cuff
  • Retractor docking station includes removable retractors
  • Forceps tab at chest pocket level
  • Adjustable shock cord waist
Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell - Blue Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell - Coal

Item Description Color Size Price To Top
OSS1060520 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Blue S $229.95

OSS1060530 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Blue M $229.95

OSS1060540 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Blue L $229.95

OSS1060550 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Blue XL $229.95

OSS1060560 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Blue XXL $229.95

OSS1062120 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Green S $229.95

OSS1062130 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Green M $229.95

OSS1062140 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Green L $229.95

OSS1062150 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Green XL $229.95

OSS1062160 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Green XXL $229.95

OSS1066420 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Coal S $229.95

OSS1066430 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Coal M $229.95

OSS1066440 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Coal L $229.95

OSS1066450 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Coal XL $229.95

OSS1066460 Simms Rivertek Windstopper Softshell Jacket Coal XXL $229.95


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1(800) 266-3971

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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