Simms G4 Pro Guide Jacket, Packs For Fishermen, How Bright Is Your Steelhead, Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Flies

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We have been overwhelmed by subscriptions for our popular Steelhead Schools.
So we have added:
Entry Level Beginners Spey Casting School April 2
Entry Level Steelhead Fly Fishing School April 3
Can be taken as a Two Day School
Simms G4 Pro Jacket
For many years, I was trim and muscular. According to my best fishing buddy Bob, my build is now referred to as portly. Yet, a standard size G4 Pro Guide Jacket fits snug at the waist, but there is plenty of room for my belly, chest, and arms to move effortlessly. I have owned (and wore out) at least three versions of the Pro Guide Jacket. It is arguably the best wading/fishing coat made. They all gave great service. This one is by far the most comfortable one of them. One reason is that the fabric that this jacket is sewn from, is incredibly lightweight and supple. It doesn't bind, chafe or otherwise distract you from the rest of the world. The edge of the hood covers the bill of an ordinary baseball cap, and really keeps you dry. I did have to do some experimenting to get the fit right so it didn't impair my peripheral vision. Once I got it right it was comfortable...and very dry. The high collar keeps water from running down your neck (if you zip it up).
Here is what Simms says about the G4 Pro Guide Jacket
The ultimate wading jacket Dress for absolute angling success in Simms’ versatile, stormproof G4 Pro™ Jacket. Featuring updated GORE-TEX® PRO SHELL fabric, new G4s are 15% lighter than previous incarnations, while boasting an increase in bomber abrasion resistance and tear strength from top to bottom. Slip your hands into the drink, caress the tail of a two-footer, and keep inner sleeves dry thanks to the highly water-resistant Dry Cuff™ system. And source savvy architectural accents via nine storage pockets, including fly-box friendly bellowed and zippered chest options, two tippet pockets, a convenient sleeve stash, internal woven stretch storage, and one heaping back compartment—big enough to swallow your lunch, and then some. Welcome to the unmatched G4 Pro™.
Here is what Mark Bachmann says about this same G4 Pro Guide Jacket
I've worn my new jacket for only 3 days. That is not much time to tell about its over-all durability. But, each day was totally different weather-wise, and some conclusions can be drawn about how this jacket functions in a winter steelhead environment. The first day was the worst, a real frog-strangler. Scott Richmond (West Fly, Owner), and I fished a rising river from dawn to dark, and every minute was like casting under a lawn sprinkler. If any outer garment was going to leak, it would have failed in the first two hours of the eleven hour day. I remained very dry until I took the jacket off, which I did three times within the eleven hours. Each time my fleece shirt got damp, but about a half hour after the jacket was reinstall as the outer layer, my body heat vaporised the dampness and let it escaped into the atmosphere, through the pours in the Gore-tex membrane. Day two, there were moderate showers from time to time. A few times the hood came up, but mostly the hood was down. Day three was foggy and chilly in the morning, but calm and 65-degrees in the afternoon. At 50-degrees the jacket came off, and stayed off until the evening shade came on the river. In retrospect, I probably would have been more comfortable during the warm period if I had taken off the heavy shirt and put on the jacket over my Montana Wool Top.
Packs For Fishermen keep your gear safe and well's why...
Your luggage and packs become the organizers of your fishing-life. If it is in your pack when it leaves home, it is with you when you reach the water. If your pack is in the boat, you have it to use when you reach your fishing spot. Waterproof packs have advantages, even if they are left in the boat. They have extreme advantages as soon as you are out of the boat...wading.

Fishpond Flint Hills Vest

Gore Range Pack

Multiple Colors!

Sagebrush Vest

Yampa Guide Pack

Medicine Bow Chest Pack

Blue River Back

Multiple Colors!

Arroyo Chest Pack

Multiple Colors!

Westwater Packs

Multiple Styles!

San Juan Pack

New Color's!

Tomahawk Fly Tying Kit

Seal Packs

Simms Dry Creek Flats Pack

Simms Headwater Chest Pack

Simms Headwater Guide
Hip Pack

Simms Headwater Hip Pack

Simms Headwater Sling Pack

Simms Headwater Large Sling Pack

Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

Umpqua Steamboat Creek Sling

Umpqua Tongass Waist Pack
How Bright Is Your Steelhead?
The steelhead's tail (pictured above) is from a fish that is only a few days away from the Ocean. The bright rays in the center of the tail are superficial coloring that will fade while the fish is in fresh water. Spotting is distinct, and also there are dark colored lines.
This second fish example has been in fresh water slightly longer that the owner of the tail pictured at top. Notice that the sunburst of rays have faded to become less prominent. Also the background coloring is changing to match the fresh water environment. Darker colored lines in the flesh of the tail are becoming more broken int spots.
The tail pictured above is from a steelhead that is far from the Ocean. It has been in freshwater for more than a month. The superficial silver coloring of the rays in the tail are mostly gone and the background color of the tail has changed from gray to olive. The darker lines are almost completely turned into dark spots. You will notice however, that the scales of this same fish are still bright silver. Back in the days when we harvested many steelhead for the smoke-house, my good friend Herb Forbes disclosed to me that the stored body fat disappears at nearly the same rate as the silver rays. Regardless of the overall color of the fish, when the silver rays are gone, the flesh will be light colored, and of little value for table fare.
Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Flies

Dirk Wiggler
by Jon Hazlett

I'll never forget the first time I saw an Intruder. I was running the fly shop that used to be in the Ashland Outdoor Store. Mike McCune came down to teach a Spey clinic for us. That weekend, while hanging out at my house, he opened one of his fly boxes. I had never seen such a thing. He had a stable of flies up to 5 inches long. And they were awesome!

He referred to them as Intruders. He gave me a brief tutorial on design, function, and rigging.  Mike, being the humble guy he is, gave credit to his buddy Ed Ward. That was the first time I ever saw an Intruder. That is also my formal introduction to the turkey flat, in the form of some custom dyed feathers from Mike. That is when it all changed for me.

Needless to say, I hit the vise pretty hard after that. I made my best attempts at Intruder-esque bugs. Soon they started popping up everywhere. It was the start of the "big fly" movement.

I started experimenting with other patterns that embodied the design functions of the Intruder: a good profile, low bulk, and good movement. That is when the Dirk Wiggler came about. I needed a fly that had those characteristics, was easy to tie, durable, and easy to cast. Part of my inspiration for the Dirk Wiggler were bass spinner baits, which have a rubber skirt and lots of wiggle. Instead of rubber legs, the Dirk Wiggler features Flex Floss which is supported by a big dubbing ball and a palmered turkey flat. Throw in some marabou and flashabou, and you have a squid-like critter that delivers a ton of movement in slow water, maintains it's shape and pulsates in faster water, and just plain fishes. The Dirk Wiggler is a proven steelhead fly that has taken fish from NorCal to BC. Kings, Silvers and Alaska Rainbows can't resist it either.

Don't Miss: Jon Hazlett's Presentation at: Sandy River Spey Clave 2015 !!!

Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Black

This is your basic Lead Eye Intruder in Egg Sucking Leech colors. It has all the appealing traits: wiggle, flash, dark body and brighter head. This is a fly that belongs on every expedition for steelhead at any time of year. The nickel plated lead eyes used in the Dirk Wiggler Series are large and heavy. When casting these heavier flies it is best to use a slightly heavier rod. My favorite rods for fishing Lead-Eye Intruders, and Dirk Wigglers throw 550-575 grain Skagit Heads with 11' of T-14. All of the T-14 M.O.W. tips fit this game. Why T-14 instead of T-11? T-14 throws more accurately and farther because it retains more line speed to turn over the heavy eyes. Leaders of more than six feet are not recommended, as they tend to lose control of the fly. They can also create shock and bounce-back, which creates win-knots and fouled hooks. Leaders of less than five feet in length are ideal.

Item Description Price To Top
ST0265BK Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Black with Red Head 3 for $10.50 Sale Ended
Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Chartreuse
Chartreuse is highly recommended for Chinooks, and Chum Salmon. This is also a sleeper for winter steelhead. Next time your bag of tricks runs dry, try this fly for a couple of runs. It could change the way you think about steelhead. Remember, steelhead have all of the senses of critters that survive in the wild. Pretend that you are hunting elk with a bow. You intended victims have all of the senses of an elk to avoid disaster. They are prepared to bolt from anything that startles them. Be stealthy. Cast with a minimum of slash and splash. Be deliberate. Be premeditated.
Item Description Price To Top
ST0265CH Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Chartreuse with Black Head 3 for $10.50 Sale Ended
Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Pink
This is a killer-looking fly. It has "eat me, eat me, eat me" written all over it. The two steelhead pictures supplied with this article, both display this fly. It is kind of like Scott Howell's Pink Guide Intruder, but with a slightly darker profile, and a lot more wiggle and flash. This fly works any time of the year, where there are steelhead large enough to eat it. The nickel plated lead eyes used in the Dirk Wiggler Series are large and heavy. They are designed to get down in deeper, heavier flows where large dominant fish hang out.
Item Description Price To Top
ST0265PK Dirk Wiggler Steelhead Fly, Pink with Purple Head 3 for $10.50 Sale Ended

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