Bead Head Midges, Klaus Frimor, Atlantic Salmon Fly Size, Fly Reel With Free Line Combos, Queets and Quinault River Adventures

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Early Season Lake & Stream Flies - Bead Head Midges
B.H. Chironomid, Black and Red Idyl's Chrome Chironomid Tungsten B.H. Zebra Midge, Red Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Olive/Red
Criss Cross Chironomid, Black Tungsten B.H. Zebra Midge, Black Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Black/Red  
Walk along the shoreline of the Deschutes River and study the vegetation growing on the rocks in the splash zone.  There is a lot of it that is yellowish, greenish, stringy stuff that looks like some kind of algae.  Fact is, much of what you think is plant life is actually midge eggs; zillions of billions of them. Some species of midges lay strings of eggs on anything that is wet at the edge of the water.  This includes not only shoreline rocks, but boats, oar blades, and the waders of wading fishermen; these eggs hatch into midge larvae. Midge larvae are very simple worm-like creatures. You can imagine how many there might be in square foot of river bed- in fact, in a square yard of river bottom there can be thousands. That is a lot of food for trout and other fish. 
The following is quoted from:
Hatch Guide For Western Streams - "Midge larvae are found in all types of water, though those in stillwaters tend to be larger than those found in streams.  They live on, or burrow into, the substrate and feed on algae or decaying plant and animal matter, though a few species prey on smaller insects.  In streams the larvae are found in most water types, but bottoms where debris settles often have dense populations of midge larvae.  Because midges have several generations per year, larvae are present in streams all year and are constantly found drifting in the currents.  Even though they are small, the large numbers found in the "drift" offer trout a steady supply of food when other insects are not available.  In heavily fished streams, trout often feed selectively on midge larvae, even when other insects are hatching."
The flies below are effective midge larvae, and/or pupae patterns for moving water, and for still water.  Fish them dead drift along the bottom of any river, or suspend them under a strike indicator any time of year on nearly any lake. Fine tippets often increase strikes.
Midge larvae and pupae are often the most abundant and reliable food source for trout and bass during the colder months of the year, especially in natural lakes and farm ponds. Juvenile midges are the perfect early-spring and late fall food for game fishes. They are always available, and they don't consume much energy to hunt, and kill. Bead Head Midge Flies can be retrieved very slowly near the bottom or suspended below a strike indicator in still-waters. It doesn't get any easier than that. Suspend your Bead Head Chironomid(midge) under a Thingamabobber, and lean back in your float tube to enjoy the warm spring sun. Keep an eye on your Thingamabobber, and set the hook lightly when the fish pulls it under. Surprisingly large trout are caught this way.
Midges can swim, but often suspend where the water temperature is right for them, or where their food collects, which isn't always at the bottom. For that reason, Bead Head Midge Flies may be retrieved very slowly with a slow sinking or floating line, or fished at extreme depth with a deep sinking line. These flies can also be fished behind a larger Woolly Bugger.

Bead Head Chironomid, Black and Red
Often referred to as a snow-cone because of the pearl white bead used to ad weight and to simulate the white gills of a midge pupa. This is one of the simplest of all flies to tie, but often not tied that well. Because of the simplicity, beginning tiers are broken-in on this fly. That is not the case here. These flies are tied to be authentic for color, and tied for durability as well. These flies cover the gambit of sizes that occur in the natural world, and are have to have in any fly box that goes trout, bass or pan-fishing.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11806 Bead Head Chironomid, Black and Red 10 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
11807 Bead Head Chironomid, Black and Red 12 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
11808 Bead Head Chironomid, Black and Red 14 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
11809 Bead Head Chironomid, Black and Red 16 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Criss Cross Chironomid, Black
Chironomids that inhabit rich alkaline lakes get very large. Patrolling trout actively hunt for them. These trout grow quickly and become heavy, hard bodied with smaller heads. They fight hard and jump high. Often these giant Chironomid pupa flies are fished fairly shallow under a strike indicator. Often wading along the shore and casting with a floating line is easier and quieter than fishing from a boat.
Item Description Size Price To Top
08-0610-10 Criss Cross Chironomid, Black 10 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Idyl's Chrome Chironomid
At one time labeled as: "Premium Skunk Repellent", the Idyl's Chrome Chironomid is one of those fly patterns that wasn't designed to match any hatch. Yet, it was designed to match hatches of many hatches of Chironomids. As the real critters hatch they become very shiny. The Chrome Chironomid is kind of goofy looking, but not when stuck in a trout's jaw. They work!
Item Description Size Price To Top
MDE0064 Idyl's Chrome Chironomid 12 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
MDE0109 Idyl's Chrome Chironomid 14 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
MDE0110 Idyl's Chrome Chironomid 16 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Bead Head Zebra Midge, Black
On many rivers, and lakes, this is the deadliest fly ever invented. Bounce it along the bottom with split shot in rivers, or suspend it under a strike indicator- work the water slowly. Trout often won't move far for tiny flies.
Item Description Size Price To Top
08-0006-16 Tungsten Bead Head Zebra Midge, Black 16 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
08-0006-18 Tungsten Bead Head Zebra Midge, Black 18 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Bead Head Zebra Midge, Red
Deadly blood midge pattern. Several types of midge larvae and pupae have hemoglobin much like our own blood cells and because of it these insects are red in color.
Item Description Size Price To Top
08-0009-16 Tungsten Bead Head Zebra Midge, Red 18 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
08-0009-18 Tungsten Bead Head Zebra Midge, Red 20 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Bead Head Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Black/Red
Zebra Midge flies were apparently first used around Lee's Ferry along the Colorado River in Northern Arizona. Since then this type of fly has found popularity in nearly all slower water streams and lakes world wide.
Item Description Size Price To Top
19236 Bead Head Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Black/Red 20 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended

Bead Head Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Olive/Red
Some midge pupae and larvae are two-toned, Trout in spring creeks and tailwaters can develop acute sensitivity for details such as size and colors.
Item Description Size Price To Top
19243 Bead Head Two-Tone Zebra Midge, Olive/Red 18 3 for $5.85 Sale Ended
Klaus Frimor to present at Sandy River Spey Clave 2015, Saturday, May 16, 3:00-3:30pm

This guy is a wizard with a fly rod. The cast that got my attention was at the Sandy Clave a couple of years ago while I was sitting in the Beulah booth talking to Bruce Berry. Klaus cast from fifty feet away, bent the tip of the line around at a right-angle and dropped his practice yarn in the middle of Bruce's fresh cup of coffee. When Bruce objected that it was pure luck, Klaus with a large grin, calmly repeated the cast, which was even more amazing because both times the leader and yarn passed between a couple vertical rods in the rod display (impossible, but true).

Klaus Frimor has worked as a guide and camp manager in Iceland and Argentina for more than 13 years. Klaus is playing a key role in the R&D department for Loop Tackle Design, and has had his hands in several of the most popular products to come out of that brand in recent years. His work and passion has taken him to countries like, Iceland, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, US and Canada, where he has been a popular lecturer, fly-casting teacher, and a headliner at many Spey Programs and shows around the world. He has also appeared in several fly fishing films.
Size does matter.........In Atlantic Salmon Tackle
By: Klaus Frimor

Or should I say, in this case it might be opposite of what you normally connect with this saying....

In the world of salmon fishing, most fisherman think they definitely have to fish a fly that is BIG enough so NO salmon in the river would miss seeing it- when it swings across..... that is probably the worst mistake ever done by a fisherman, and have saved more wild salmon than the “North Atlantic Salmon Foundation”

If we think about salmon and how they feed in the sea, we just have to look at a calender to see when they are feeding in the sea. They leave the rivers as smolts in the month of May, growing up feeding over the autumn and winter in the North Atlantic, where there's more dark hours than light. Still they are capable of finding the food they need, krill, shrimps or what ever they feed on,  rather small prey to see and catch in the dark, still they're believed to have difficulties seeing a fly on a bright summers day in a shallow clear river...... DON'T WORRY, they see EVERYTHING.....

Fly size and speed.

It's quite interesting how various head-lengths and casting style have influenced the size of flies.
When I first started fishing in Scotland the size of the fly was a lot smaller than any of the flies fished in the Norwegian rivers I fished the same years. I often wondered if the Scottish salmon eyesight is genetically worse than the Norwegian salmon??? But I doubt it.... The rivers are not that much different in clarity, and almost the same color. Scottish rivers are even darker than most Norwegian rivers, so that does not explain the smaller flies. At the same time the depth are nearly identical, so we can't immediately just blame  it on different conditions.
If we look at the traditions in choice of tackle amongst the fisherman on the banks in the countries, there is a dramatic difference in the preferred head-length or belly-length. Traditionally the Scottish fisherman will choose a much longer head/Spey line while the Scandinavian would choose a shorter shooting head.

The shorter heads can cast in wider angles than a longer spey-line (unless you are very very good) and as we all know, casting more across the river will increase the speed on the fly, while the difficulties changing directions  with a longer head if you're close to the bank, forces you to cast more down stream, which makes the fly fish slower. And remember the shortest distance across the river is still 90 degrees, if you can't cast more than 45 degrees due to a bigger D-loop, you need to cast twice as long to cover the same amount of water!!!
In Norway they fish bigger flies than they traditionally did in Scotland, could the speed automatically influence on what size of fly you could use? I sincerely think so. The higher speed – the bigger fly you can use!
Same thing if the the river is narrow or slow flowing, you have to cast down stream in order to not  spook the fish, or can't get enough ”swing”, stripping the fly will increase your success, simply because you increase the speed...... and sometimes you just can't get flies SMALL enough...
Skagit lines are probably the preferred choice amongst most steelheaders, and if used with heavy sink-tips they do their job well, but when using them as a general tool, you will make mistakes.... while they can chuck a heavy tip really well, they are clumsy when presenting smaller flies on a floating tip, at least with any reasonable “stealthiness”
Imagine splashing a great big heavy Skagit line over these fish, and maybe even with a “circle-C” set up 20 feet away from them?
Atlantic salmon are opposite steelhead, VERY spooky when they have entered the river. Even your footsteps or splashing while wading can spook them away.
I know most salmon anglers don't realize this, since they don't move when spooked, they just go in a kind of “high tense mode” but the result is the same, they will not take a fly.
So when I'm fishing for salmon in Iceland I prefer to use an Opti Stream line for my single handed rods, fairly short head for small D-loop, the short head also gives the head a reasonable mass, to move larger flies if needed, while adjusting the leader allowing finer presentations for smaller flies.
Doublehanded rods, I would pick a Scandi Shooting head, GDC any day. Fairly short for a larger angle change, and as with the Opti Stream line, it carries larger flies. For a running line I would always choose the coated 0.032 for line 8/9 or 9/10. If fishing sinking lines I use mono-running lines, which have a smaller diameter that allows the line to sink faster/deeper but at the same time swing slower.
As you probably figured out, you don't need big flies for Atlantic salmon. Same thing I have experienced on the Clearwater River in Idaho, where I fish quite a bit.
But fishing small trebles size 16-20 or doubles size 12-14 and still playing fish up to 20 lbs or beyond, you simply cannot use a rod that is made for casting only! Your rod needs to be sensitive enough not to tear the hook out, and as you could imagine, a size 20 doesn't have much grip. I'm aware a lot of great “casting rods” have been introduced to the market in the recent years, especially single-handed rods has turned into competition, 100 feet mark on the lawn tools, but when playing a larger fish on fine wire hooks you can forget about landing them with a stiff, fast action rod.
Also when fishing, a little extra length gives you the ability to control the line during a swing, and at the same time a little extra length in the same line weight makes for a deeper bending action.
I tend to prefer a 9'6” line #6 Evotec, it is right in the middle, not a stiff 7 weight but, carries a larger variety of flies than a 5 weight. And I love the X-grip.
When fishing doublehanded I want the same fishing tool, but here it also depends on the size of river I'm fishing, or which run/pool I'm fishing; the further away I need to fish the fly, the longer the rod.
So to make it complicated I normally carry 3 rods.
Evotec 12' #8 as a standard tool for medium sized rivers
Cross S1 13'2” #8 covers most of my fishing
Göran Andersson Signature series 12'6” #9 if you only want ONE rod, handles whatever wind or fly you can meet (and fish).
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You can always call for advice. 1(800)266-3971

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Queets and Quinault Adventure
By Mark Bachmann
One of the great things about being a steelhead bum is that you get to spend a lot of time in beautiful natural environments that are complete with wildlife such as th Olympic Elk pictured above in the Quinault River Basin.
Patty and I had arrived early, so we drove the back-roads, stopping at various pull-outs to explore on foot. One trail led us to a shallow clear tributary stream. First noticed were a pair of Bald Eagles feeding on a fish carcass. Then we noticed the spawning salmon. There were about a hundred of them, which was unusual for late February. They appeared to be small Coho.
This is the Quinault River during the evening twilight, upstream from Lake Quinault. Water flows were very low, due to the dry mild winter in the Pacific Northwest 2015. The Olympic Peninsula has many low gradient rivers that are perfect for fly fishing for large anadromous fish.
Patty and I were invited to join Jack Mitchell & Trey Combs at Jack's Steelhead Camp on Lake Quinault. Also pictured is Brian Styskal, long time steelhead guide and tournament Spey caster. Brian, Patty and I share a boat captained by Quinault Tribal Member, Rich Underwood. My comment, "This is a first class operation."
Dinners were excellent. The friendly patrons and crew couldn't resist clowning around. A great time was had by all.

The Queets River was easily navigated with a flat bottom jet boat. I stuck my first steelhead on about my first cast, which was before the boat was even launched. Unfortunately it got wrapped around an underwater stick as we were landing it, so no pictures were taken. Here Brian Styskal is headed back to the boat to join Patty and Rich so we could move to another spot.

Bull Trout are native to all of the Olympic Peninsula Rivers. These native char average 3 to ten pounds, and eat steelhead flies. They are beautiful and provide entertainment between steelhead bites.
Fishing during the bright mid-day periods were tough. As soon as the shade returned to the water, steelhead became more cooperative. This fish is considered small by Queets standards. The top fly was a Orange and Black Foxee Dog, nothing surprising about that. I'm still wear testing the same Simms G3 Bootfoots and G4 Pro Guide Jacket. The waders are 1 1/2 seasons old- over half the felt is warn from the soles. The jacket has spent 9 long days on the water with me inside it. It still looks brand new. It is getting more comfortable with use (I thought it was perfect when it was new). It appears to be a garment that is adaptable to a lot of different temperatures because of the lightweight materials.
The lower Quinault is large by any standards. Longer rods and shooting heads with mono shooting line are aids when covering undefined runs that are 75-yards wide and may be a quarter of a mile long. My buddy Brian was using a 14' 2" 9-weight rod and had the advantage over my 13' 6' 8-weight outfit. Visibility in the water was about 18". Bigger, but more lightweight flies might have been an advantage. A larger advantage might have been heavy cloud cover, and clearer water. Bright sun and turbid water are a tough combination (except for photography). Rumors are that there is a huge log jam near the mouth of the river that is blocking fish passage during low flows.
Quinault Tribal Member, Rich Underwood proved to be a skilled boat handler, and an amiable companion. His boat and equipment were clean, in perfect repair and well organized. Although he has only been Spey casting for a couple of years, Rich throws very good casts, and is a skilled student of the sport. You can tell that he is very serious about what he does, because of what he is wearing: Simms Bulkey Jacket over a pair of Simms G3 Bootfoots. He is also totally punctual. I would recommend him to anyone. MB

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