Mike Kinney

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Mike Kinney At Clave
TFO Press Release
System Reels
Caddis Hatches
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Have you put it on the calendar & booked your motel/hotel room for:
The Greatest Spey Rod Party On Earth?
The Sandy River Spey Clave, May 6, at Oxbow Park on the Sandy River
Don't miss: Mike Kinney 10-10:30am

Mike Kinney with client Ludwig Schmidt.

Mike Kinney
By his own admission, he was there at the beginning of the modern Spey casting era in Northern Washington and started using the short-head (Skagit style lines) early on. Like many of the "old-hands" in the Pacific Northwest, he is essentially self taught because there wasn't any one else around to learn from.  Mike is a steelhead guide on Washington's "S-Rivers": the Skagit, Sauk, Skykomish, Snoqualmie and Stillaguamish.  As a fly fishing instructor, he is much sought after by the rich and famous and is a free giver to the masses.  I asked Mike Kinney if he had other hobbies besides fly fishing?  His reply, "Not really. There is no time."  I asked him what makes a great spey rod.  His reply, "Feel. A great rod lets you feel the cast forming." When asked what are the hallmarks of a good spey caster? His reply, "The things that are important to me are that you can

get your fly to totally turn over before it hits the water and that you can cast on either side of the river from straight downstream to straight upstream and all in between, and that you don't need a lot of room to do it, a good spey caster can tuck into any place and be able to cast. Beyond that, to me, a good Spey caster is the one who looks like he isn't working hard to make these casts."
We couldn't agree more.  If you love to fly fish for steelhead, don't miss Mike's presentation.


Press Release from Temple Fork Outfitters

While some might argue that properly executed Spey casts are the highest art form of fly casting, we would probably all agree that these casts are visually compelling, personally gratifying and a wonderful way to present a fly to a fish.  For a collective 65 years, two Pacific Northwest Spey casters, Mike Kenney and Bob Meiser have perfected this art and have shared their knowledge through guiding, teaching and perhaps most importantly, by designing two-handed rods with casting properties that marry perfectly with modern Spey lines.  Many of you may already be familiar with the custom finished R. B. Meiser fly rod, considered by many to be some of the very finest available. Rest assured, he will continue to produce his exquisite rods as we move forward. 

We at Temple Fork Outfitters are pleased to announce that Mike and Bob will be working with us in two-handed rod design.  In joining our family they have made a commitment to our pledge to offer affordable high performance rods for TFO customers.  They have worked tirelessly and patiently with us in designing the Deer Creek Series of traditional-action two-handed rods that will be available in early May.  Prices for these 4 piece rods will range from $324.95 to $349.95. The blanks are a beautiful translucent dark amethyst color with fittings and components selected by Mike and Bob.  Our initial production run will include a 12’ 6” 4/5 wt, a 13’ 7/8 wt., a 15’ 8/9 wt. and a 14’ 9/10 wt … with more rods to come.

Moving forward, and in addition to two handed rod design, Mike Kenney and Bob Meiser will assist us in increasing this most compelling sector of our sport by working with us to address the needs of fly fishers who are interested in getting started.  Please join me in welcoming them to our TFO team.

TiCrX Two-Handed Convertible Fly Rods

Its big water, the amount you can cover often makes the difference between catching fish and getting skunked.  A two-handed rod with a shooting type head can make this job much less taxing than banging out double hauls all day.  As the day progresses, you decide to move to smaller water or stalk cruising fish in the shallows; this is where all that double haul practice and a great one hander pays off.   

Temple Fork Outfitters introduces a most unique concept…  Imagine a two-handed rod and a 4 piece nine foot rod that will fit in the same length case.  TFO now has two lower rod sections designed to replace the single-handed grip section on existing 7 and 8-weight 9’ 4-piece TiCrX fly rods.  With a total of 6 rod sections of equal length you can now have both, a great 9’ 4-piece traditional fly rod, and a 5-piece 11’3” two-hander for easy overhead distance casting.  Convertible rods.

TFO Advisory Staff member Jay Horton states, “I have fished these TiCrX convertible rods hard over the past two-years for Great Lakes steelhead and Cape Cod stripers and blues, and am amazed at the versatility of the combos. Super-light overhead casting rods for blind casting the saltwater estuaries, or great line control for nymphing steelies, these rods do it all in an incredibly compact and efficient package, and you get both rods for less money than you would pay for many single handers.”

Offered separately from the 9’ 4 piece rod, the TiCrX two-handed conversion sections include a full two-handed grip with Flor grade cork and heavy-duty knurled reel seat, large Titanium Oxide stripping guides and handsome rod sock.  Suggested retail for the TiCrX 7/8 conversion kit is $149.95 and features TFO’s lifetime unconditional warranty; simply return the damaged rod with $25 for shipping and handling, and we will repair or replace your rod.

The pictures above were taken at Portland's first annual Fly Fishing Show, February 18, by TFO CEO, Rick Pope with a hand held camera against the display booth's back-curtain.  These pictures don't do justice to the craftsmanship involved, but they give you an idea of the kind of detailed products this team is shooting for.  Personally, I hope they leave the signature jungle cock eyes in the production models.  While I couldn't take time to cast the rods at the show, I did see a couple of guys working out on the show casting pond with one of the Deer Creek Series prototypes.  The casting loops were very concise, with no noticeable standing waves in the cast caused by tip-wobble.  That indicates a pretty concise state of refinement of materials and tapers.  Rods of this quality offered at the prices quoted above, give these rods great appeal.  MB
Check out our complete selection of TFO Premium fly rods here.


Scientific Anglers System Fly Reels
Practical & Reliable.
Possibly no other fly fishing reel series delivers so much value for the price.
A double on trout, Chickahominy Reservoir, OR.

System 1

For: #4 to #8 systems $59.95
Bonefish, Belize.

System 2

For: #7 to #13 systems
$149.95 - $199.95
Spotted Sea Trout, Texas

System 2L

For: #2 to #9 systems
$114.95 - $129.95

UNDERSTANDING CADDIS HATCHES 
Dozens of cased caddis larvae crawling around on the bottom of a river...

Caddis are abundant in most of the trout waters in the Northwest.  In rivers like the Deschutes, caddis larva and pupa can number in the thousands per square yard of river bed.  In many rivers they are the most consumed food item during the mid-summer months. Caddis flies are of the insect order Trichoptera, which means hair wing. All caddis have fuzzy wings. Like butterflies and moths; caddis go through a true metamorphosis.  They have a larval, pupa and adult stage.  All stages are vulnerable and are eaten by trout.  Essentially a caddis larva fills the role of a caterpillar.  It is this juvenile stage which does the feeding and growing.  In many ways caddis larvae do resemble caterpillars.  They have large heads with well developed mandibles, cylindrical bodies and short powerful legs.  However unlike caterpillars, many caddis species build houses from  gravel or vegetable matter.  Some of these houses are stationary, many are mobile.  Most species of caddis larvae that build houses are grazers that scrape algae from the rocks for food. Some species of predacious caddis larvae roam unencumbered in the substrate.  They eat other smaller smaller aquatic insect juveniles. Some species build funnel shaped webs that are strung between the rocks on the river bed.  The widest part of the funnel faces upstream with the larva living in the down-stream neck of the funnel.  Its head is always pointed upstream into the current.  Food items get caught in the bell of the funnel and the larva can feed at leisure.   By utilizing this web strategy, they are very much like spiders. Some of these net spinning species are herbivorous others are predacious.  

  Caddis larva come in a wide range of sizes and colors. The ones that build housed from solid matter such as stones or woody debris are often brightly colored.  They may even be shades of bright yellow or pink.  Many species of larvae are green.  Some are nearly fluorescent green.  Others are olive tones.  Green tones are prevalent both in species that do and those that don't build houses.  Most species that do not build armored houses are camouflaged with earth tones.  Most of these larvae are olive or brown to tan tones.

  Laval populations of many species go through predictable “behavioral drift” cycles where they are consumed by trout and white fish in great numbers.  Several times while growing up, each house building larva will outgrow it's house, discard it and drift free while searching for a site and materials to build a new larger one.  While in the house hunting/building mode, they are exposed to the elements.  Numerous larvae might outgrow their houses at nearly the same time and be drifting down along the river bed enmass.  You can imagine that a hail of brightly colored juicy caddis larvae might have a similar effect on a population of trout as throwing a hand full of popcorn to a flock of pigeons.  Species that build webs usually use a slightly different strategy for finding new homes.  Since the are able to build a strand of silk, they often rappel themselves down stream like climbers coming down a cliff face or a spider dropping from the ceiling.  In fast currents they can become like kites on the end of a string.  During these migrations many are exposed to feeding fish.

  When each larva has reached maximum maturity it crawls into a protected niche and constructs a cocoon.  Metamorphosis starts to change the larva into an adult insect.  It develops wings, feelers, long legs and sex organs.  This complicated transformation can take weeks.   During this period the insect is unavailable as trout food except during catastrophic drifts caused by floods, wading anglers, etc.

   When the metamorphosis is complete, the newly formed adult insect chews an exit hole in one end of the cocoon and crawls out.  It is now an air breathing organism surrounded by water.  To protect it, the insect is partially covered by a membrane which contains air.  Like most terrestrial insects, caddis breath through tiny holes in the sides of their abdomens.  The air retaining membrane covers the whole body, but is most prominent in the anterior region.  This  air bubble is highly visible to predator fish.  It is often the most distinguishing feature which fish key on.

  Since air is a gas, it may be compressed or expanded.  In deeper flows the pupal membrane is compressed close to the body by water pressure.  As the insect nears the surface, this membrane will expand with the decreasing water pressure. 

  Some species of caddis drift for long distances within inches of the bottom until they achieve the strength and buoyancy to rise to the surface.  During the early stages of the hatch, patterns like the Nori Caddis Pupa or Bead Head Caddis Pupa are most effective when fished close to the bottom. As the hatch progresses and more insects are rising to the surface a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa can become more effective.

   Most caddis hatch by fighting their way through the surface film.  The pupal shuck bursts as it comes in contact with the decreased pressure of air above the surface of the water.  A hole opens in the top of the pupal shuck and the adult insect crawls onto the surface of the water.  At this point some species ride the surface of the water for a short time and then fly off.  However, according to my observations most small caddis species which hatch from the Deschutes don’t fly, they walk across the surface of the water to the bank.  While traveling to the beach they are vulnerable to the trout which often rise and take these insects very quietly.  Fishing a LaFontaine Emergent Sparkle Pupa dead drift, in the surface film with only the wing greased can be very effective.  Also an Elk Hair Caddis can bring strikes.

   Some caddis don’t hatch from the water but prefer to swim to the shore to hatch.  They crawl out of the water with their pupal shuck intact.  A prime example of this activity is the large October Caddis Dicosmoecus.  With this type of hatch dry adult patterns or only useful when the females return to the water to lay eggs.

   Egg laying flights can result in some great trout feeding activity.  There are three major styles of caddis egg laying; dipping, broadcasting and diving.     Dipping caddis fly an erratic path over the water and dip the tip of their abdomens to the surface and deposit one or several eggs at a time.  This flight is unpredictable and hard for trout to time.  Although this type of egg laying activity is easy for the angler to see it usually draws little attention from the trout.  

   Broadcasting can result in huge densely packed flights of caddis flying within an inch of the water, laying eggs as they fly upstream.  Their wings are beating so fast that they look like little balls of fluff suspended above the water.  A Bivisible fly resting lightly on the water and drawn gently up stream can draw savage strikes.  With this technique, it is always preferable to cast to rising fish.  Some species of caddis dive through the surface of the water, swim to the bottom and lay their eggs on the substrate.  These caddis accumulate air bubbles on their wings and body upon entering the water.  This gives them a silvery sheen.  Patterns tied to represent diving caddis should be dressed with Antron or other air collecting material.  The Bead Head Caddis pupa fished on the swing can be deadly during these times.

   After laying their eggs, caddis usually die quickly.  Many fall to the water to collect in back eddies where trout often feed on them between hatches.  Patterns such as the Still Caddis and Parachute Caddis are indispensable at these times.

   When fishing caddis hatches, as with all fly fishing,  careful observation is always your best weapon. 


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