Mission Impossible Or Fishin Impossible

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Fishin' Impossible
Mastery Spey Skagit
Belize Hosted Trip
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Bass Bug Taper
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Fishin' Impossible
We got to the boat launch and the parking lot was packed with boat trailers.
Al Buhr battles a chrome bright steelhead as Steve Choate watches...

While trying to keep a positive attitude on the outside, I was seething on the inside because I new that there was already a boat sitting where we had caught steelhead yesterday.  In the rig with me were two long time friends, Al Buhr And Steve Choate.  Al wrote the books: Two-Handed Fly Casting and How To Design Fly Lines.  Steve won the International Spey Casting Championship in 2002 and is a member of the G. Loomis Pro Staff.  Al is a member of the Sage Pro Staff.  Both men are members of the Scientific Anglers Pro Staff and are FFF Certified Casting Spey Instructors.  Both these guys spend a lot of time on the water in pursuit of steelhead.  Our mission today was to get some steelhead pictures while these two gurus familiarized me with the new

Al & Steve...

Scientific Anglers new Skagit Line.  Unmolested steelhead are always easier to capture than steelhead that have been pounded on. Heavy boat trafic tends to drive the fish into deeper water.  Since this river was so crowded with other anglers, we decided to fish only places that would be impossible for other fly anglers to fish.  The best of these areas are usually steep banks on the deep side of the river.  Often you are casting with very little room to form your D-loop behind you.  Over hanging alder limbs often preclude elevating your rod tip above eye level.

 The first such stop produced no fish.  Boats had already ran over it. The second stop is an area so tough that I had only ever caught one steelhead from it since I had gone strictly to fly gear in 1980; although I had caught many steelhead here previously with drift gear.  The high steep bank is composed of giant moss covered boulders.  Alder limbs form a nearly complete canopy.  There is no place to wade as the water is five feet deep two feet from shore and then ascends to ten feet deep 30' from

Steve Choate fires a long cast with his G.Loomis trout spey...

shore.  As an added handicap Steve elected to use a 13' 4" G. Loomis Metolius trout spey rod rated for a 5/6 line.  His line was a 450-grain Skagit line with a fast sinking tip and a 4" pink stinger fly with dumb bell eyes.  He explained that he had used this outfit to land several very large steelhead in Canada.  I probably shook my head is disbelief, but didn't comment.  Al chose a more conventional outfit, which consisted of a Sage 8139-4 VT2 rod and a 550-grain Skagit with fast sinking tip.  His fly was about the same size, but was dark purple.  Steve went first with Al following. I watched from high on the bank. 

With limbs at his back and over his head, Al Buhr fires a long cast with the Mastery Spey Deluxe line...

Witnessing the occasional sound of a rod tip connecting with a tree branch or a failed loop collapsing over the water or over a tree branch, it became apparent that the terrain was a match for each anglers skills.  I stayed close to Al, but watched Steve as he worked his way along the bank, while firing fishing loops out over the water.  Some were actually pretty amazing, especially considering the totally unorthodox outfit he was using.  Al had shortened the belly of his line for just such this kind of fishing situation.  His rod was very fast action.  It seemed that this combination of components made a better working tool in these close quarters than did the outfit that Steve was using.  Although, it was obvious that Steve was covering the water very well.  I stayed high on the bank between the two anglers, so as to be in a position to take pictures of both anglers as we progressed downstream.  Al had fished about 50-feet of river when his line came tight.  It just happened that the fish took the fly directly below me and provided the perfect view of its underwater antics.  The nine-pound buck was brought to the beach and Steve tailed him. We did the little photo-op and turned the fish loose.   Later on in the day Steve hooked two steelhead and landed one of them. They both came from deep water over big boulders on the deep side of a run. The in between times the three of us analyzed casting techniques and fly fishing tackle. The Mastery Skagit Spey Deluxe line proved to be the perfect tool for the day.  Both guys gave me pointers on how I might improve my own casting skills.  That will make my days on the river more enjoyable in the future.

Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe Line comes with 4 tips... Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe Line
This line evolved on the winter steelhead rivers of the Pacific Northwest, where casting large flies long distance with little back-cast room is common.  The Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe was first showed to us  by Steve Choate, while fishing for winter steelhead on the Sandy River.  Steve is one of the most talented long distance Spey casters in the Pacific Northwest, and he showed us how to fish areas of the river that had never been probed with a fly before. His ability to cover water that was beyond everyone else's reach really got our attention.  The Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe is technically a changeable-tip shooting head which comes with four tips.  You must add a shooting line to
complete the system.  We suggest GuideLine Shooter as a perfect option.  "Skagit style lines" and "Skagit style casting" are fairly new concepts; first becoming popular in the mid-1990's.  As such, equipment and techniques are still evolving. The Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe is newest "Skagit style line" to hit the market.  It offers some features worth your attention.  First the finish is silky smooth, and the loops are very streamlined and in-line with the rest of the line for smooth passage through the rod guides.  The heads are heavy and designed to bend a rod deep for maximum power.  The taper is designed to work at all ranges, especially long ranges. 

Long front taper design & easy to see color.

Four tips...
Head length and weight with a tip attached:
#6     42'     570-grains
#7     44'     620-grains          Be sure to check out our extensive
#8     46'     710-grains         
Shooting Line Selection.
#9     48'     760-grains         
Skagit Line Specifications
#10   48'     850-grains        
Item Description Price To Top
965843 Scientific Anglers Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe, with four tips in a wallet, ST6 $129.95

965850 Scientific Anglers Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe, with four tips in a wallet, ST7 $129.95

965867 Scientific Anglers Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe, with four tips in a wallet, ST8 $129.95

965874 Scientific Anglers Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe, with four tips in a wallet, ST9 $129.95

965836 Scientific Anglers Mastery Spey Skagit Deluxe, with four tips in a wallet, ST10 $129.95


Belize Flats Fishing, Hosted Trip

February 9 - 16, 2008 timing and moon phase strategically chosen for bonefish!
Review trip report from February 2007. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Book Now! Map

Patty Barnes displays a bonefish caught at Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Join Mark Bachmann And Patty Barnes for a bonefish adventure. We know you would like to catch a bonefish! Bonefish are beautiful, exciting, powerful creatures that live in some of the most beautifully exotic places in the world...tropical saltwater flats. Some of the most productive bonefish flats in the world are in Belize. Bonefish live in very shallow water and fly fishing for them is a highly visual experience.  To make things easier, your first evening in camp is an entry level bonefish school instructed by a staff of instructors who have spent years living with

bonefish.  This package offers the entry level bonefisher a unique opportunity to learn bonefishing the easy way at an affordable price.  The waters around Ambergris Caye abound with bonefish.  Most are smaller schooling fish that are easier for the beginning bonefisher.  You will get lots of shots.  These fish average 14" to 18".  For the anglers who need bigger challenges, there are also larger bonefish to five pounds and other larger species, such as jacks, permit, tarpon and barracuda available.  However, the primary

Mark's reel is screamin' as a bonefish runs into the backing!

draw for this trip is the nearly constant action of smaller trout size bonefish.  Bonefish are much stronger for their size than trout; possibly twice as strong.  Nine-foot rods in the 7/8-weight size are best for these fish.  You might also want to bring 9/10-weight tackle for the larger fish. 

Typical room at The Tides Hotel in San Pedro, Belize.

Lodging & breakfast will be provided by the Tides Hotel.  We stayed there in February, 2007 and they did a good job for us.  It is three story. The rooms are adequate size, secure and clean.  It is on the beach, has a pool, pool side bar and over the water dining. Lunch is provided by your guide.  Since the national language of Belize is English, all the guides are easy to communicate with.  Each guide owns and maintains his own boat.  Every guide in this staff is talented, punctual and polite. The fishing atmosphere is focused, but relaxed.

What can you honestly expect for a days fishing?  For anglers who are just getting started at saltwater flats fishing probably one to three fish a day for the first two days is realistic.  The second two days as you become accustomed to what the fish look like, your production might jump to 4-6 fish a day.  One of the last two days could be a ten fish day.  To play this game you will need to practice your casting until you can put your fly in a three foot diameter circle at 40' most of the time.  If you can achieve the same accuracy at 60', you will do even better. 

Terry and Cathy Luther with a double caught at Ambergris Caye, Belize, February 2007.
How to get to San Pedro, Belize
USA to Belize, to Ambergris Caye, to San Pedro town.

This package includes 7-nights, six days fishing, rooms and boats are double occupancy.  Meals are included, including soft drinks and water with lunches in the boats.  Price is from Belize City and includes air shuttle from Belize City to San Pedro.  Taxi shuttle from airport to you hotel is also included. 
Belize equipment list coming soon.

Item Description Price To Top
BELIZE-08 February 9-16, 2008 Trip: 7-nights, 6-days fishing deluxe package: Full price is $1995 per person,  a deposit payment of $995 holds your dates, an additional final payment of $1000 is required by January 1 , 2008 $995


Bass fishing is more fun with a fly rod.

Scientific Anglers pro Chris King is “somewhere” in California...

Because of their hardy nature and aggressive attitude, black bass are the most popular game fish in the U.S.A. They are natural "fly rod" fish because they spend a lot of time near the surface of the water.
Bass are not native west of the Rocky Mountains.  However, both Small Mouth and Large Mouth Bass have easily adapted to many bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest.
Bass are found in slower moving water and have a much higher tolerance for warm water than do trout.  They easily thrive in most lakes and impoundments. 

Surface Flies
Chewy-Pop Poppers
Mega-Whammy Poppers
Soft Body FrogFish
Deer Hair Bugs
Pan Fish Flies
Saltwater Poppers

This bass ate a popper...
Related Reading:

Sub-surface Flies





Does Size Matter?
Bangin' top water bugs!

How bass locate prey.

Selecting Glasses.

Seeing is believing.

Your next bass rod.

In Oregon, Large Mouth Bass are prolific in many low elevation lakes and farm ponds in all regions. Locally, the Willamette and Columbia River sloughs, as well as Rock Creek and Pine Hollow Reservoirs have good bass fishing. Our favorite is Barnes Butte Lake near Prineville. Here bass fishing starts getting good by mid-April when the water temperature is above 54 degrees. Wooly Buggers fished deep and slow can provide 50 fish days. As soon as the water temperature reaches 60 degrees, these bass start hitting the surface and popper fishing can go all day long.

Small Mouth Bass are also abundant in Oregon. The John Day and South Umpqua are the two best known Small Mouth Rivers in our state. The Crooked River arm of Lake Billy Chinook is another favorite. The mainstay of Small Mouth diet is crayfish. Crayfish patterns are dynamite when fished deep and slow with a sinking line. Small mouths also feed on a variety of nymphs and bait fish. During the warmer months, casting cork body poppers and sliders to grassy banks and rock out crops can provide explosive activity.

Northwest anglers are learning that bass are a lot of fun on a fly rod. A selection of surface bugs coupled with a good collection of leeches, nymphs, baitfish patterns, crayfish and woolly buggers will equip you well for Northwest bass fishing.

No one beats our quality at any price!

Scientific Anglers Bass Bug Taper 
The best line for throwing bass bugs.

Black Bass are the most sought after sport fish in the United States.  While many other species of sport fish populations have been greatly reduced over the last 100-years, bass populations have increased dramatically.  That is because bass been have transplanted to many waters that had been without them.  Also our present civilization has built new bass habitat on a massive scale. Thousands of irrigation, flood-control and hydro-electric dams have impounded gigantic reservoirs. Most have become bass habitat.  Many are near major population centers.  Bass have become the sport fish of the masses.  In many waters bass may be fished with a fly rod as well as any other type of tackle.  Bass can live in very  

shallow water and in the lily pads and edge waters a fly rod is often the best tool to use to catch them.  Fly fishing is the most fun when working from a float tube or pontoon boat.  Surface poppers and hair bugs with weed guards can be very productive much of the spring and summer seasons.  For this kind of fishing you need a line that is customized to the task. The Mastery Bass Bug Taper is the best we've found. It's the perfect design for bass fishing with a powerful head to deliver big, heavy or wind resistant bass flies. This bass bug line has an extended rear taper for smoother distance casting with greater accuracy.                                                                         Buy Now !

Bass Bug Taper. Nice Oregon bass
BASS BUG Specialty Taper
  • Delivers large flies, bass bugs, and poppers smoothly and with greater accuracy
  • Excels in windy conditions
  • Coating excels in warm water
  • Turns over big flies in heavy wind
  • Longer front taper provides smoother casts
  • CORE:
  • Braided multifilament nylon
  • 3M PVC integrated with patented AST
  • COLOR: Optic Yellow
    Bass Fly Fishing Info:  1  2  3
    Item Description Size Price To Top
    546318 Scientific Anglers Mastery Bass Bug Taper Fly Line WF6F $59.95

    546325 Scientific Anglers Mastery Bass Bug Taper Fly Line WF7F $59.95

    546332 Scientific Anglers Mastery Bass Bug Taper Fly Line WF8F $59.95


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    Fish long & prosper,
    Mark & Patty

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