Early Season Trout Lakes

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Early Season Trout Lakes
G. Loomis Lake Guns
Uniform Sink Lines
Tying The OTT Leech
Wasatch Tying Tools
Force Fins
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Early Season Trout Lakes

Wild Billy Lake at Ice-out...

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with hundreds (maybe thousands) of trout lakes. Because of the varied geology and topography of the region, these lakes offer a huge diversity of angling opportunities. Many lakes freeze over during the winter, but become active as soon as the ice leaves in the spring. These lakes often turn-on along the edges first and offer easy shallow water fly fishing as soon as the ice leaves. This is because the sunlight warms the shallow water first and often wave action caused by wind 

increases oxygen levels and stirs up the bottom exposing food organisms. The shoreline of open desert lakes provide great opportunities for wading anglers or anglers fishing toward the shore from boats. Fishing very shallow edges of less than three feet deep is often best accomplished with a floating line and lightly weighted fly. For water that averages one to four feet deep, an intermediate line such as the Rio Aqualux is usually the best choice. If the water is three to six feet deep a Type 2 full sinking line

Jerry Ashland plays a nice rainbow...

Desert lakes provide lots of food for fast growing trout...

is often the best choice. You will also want to carry flies with different sink rates. This will help you customize your sink rate to match the under water terrain you are fishing. As the ice leaves a lake the water is often barely above freezing. In these low temperatures trout metabolism is very low and the fish move slowly. They usually hug the bottom of the lake until the water warms after a few days exposure to sunlight. If nights are cold, water temperatures in lake will remain cold even if day time air temperatures are warm.

Leeches and wooly buggers are often some of the most effective early season flies. Cold water trout won't chase anything that is moving very fast. Therefore your fly must move very slowly. Crawl your fly with very slow strips and long pauses. Try to keep your fly within a foot of the bottom. Within inches of the bottom is even better. Retrieve your fly until the tip of your line is next to your rod tip. Check your fly every cast to make sure that no vegetation has fouled the hook. Trout rarely take a fly that is fouled with 

Wading the edges or casting from shore can be productive when the water is cold...

Early season trout dine on leeches, waterboatmen & damsel fly nymphs...

debris. Another area to look for when fishing a lake, just after ice-out are any springs that enter the bottom of the lake. Often spring holes are warmer than the surrounding water and many trout will winter-over around them. Usually the largest trout will be found there. Maps, thermometers, and fishing buddies can help you find springs. Or simply just covering a lot of water can help you find congregations of trout. as you move to deeper water, you will still want to fish next to the bottom when the water is cold.

Fishing deeper water will require a faster sinking line and/or heavier weighted flies. Having a full array of lines that cover all the depth is essential if you are going to be an efficient lake fisher. The best lake fishers that use boats, have a system of two rods of the same weight and to identical reels with interchangeable spools rigged with floating, intermediate, type-2, type-3 and type-4 sinking lines to cover the full spectrum of water depths.  Many lakes offer the chance of catching really large trout and in the Pacific Northwest there is such a diversity of lakes that there is always a lake not far from you that is "Turned-On".

G. Loomis Lake Guns

StreamDance GLX Max GLX

The average angler will find that either five or six weight rods will suit them best for most lake fishing. I have both sizes of lake fishing systems. When fishing larger lakes a six weight system is preferred because very large fish may be encountered. Six weight rods and lines handle wind better than their five weight counterparts and six weights will cast further because of the greater line mass will retain energy longer. Before a recent trip to Wild Billy Lake in Southern Oregon, I phoned Mike Perusse, our G. Loomis rep to see if I could borrow a nine-foot, six-weight rod to try. He sent me three: a Max Line Speed GLX, a StreamDance GLX and an EastFork. Here is what I learned:

The Max GLX rods are the result of a need for ultimate line speed under the most demanding casting and fishing conditions. Ideally suited to casters that demand fast cycle time, these rods have extra-stiff actions and fast tapers. Casting from a seated position in a pontoon boat, this rod really performs better than any other rod I have ever used...period. I loaned it to several other anglers who were fishing in our group and always had a hard time getting it back. The Max GLX is lightweight, sensitive and throws very tight loops. It has the butt strength to pick sinking lines out of the water and throw long with a minimum of false casts.

StreamDance GLX fly rods feature distinctively beautiful "California Buckeye Burl" wood insert in the reel seats. With RECOIL guides made by REC from a special nickel titanium alloy, StreamDance GLX fly rods are not only beautiful, but a delight to cast. They are consistently rated tops in casting shoot-outs. They have medium-fast tapers, medium stiffness and are the universal answer to most trout fishing situations. The six-weight StreamDance we used on the lake was no exception. It performed very well. I used the rod one whole day and changed lines several times. It was pleasant with all of them. The rod was then loaned to another angler in our group who fished it the next two days. He caught lots of trout with it.

EastFork fly rods are a new range of performance fly rods at less than premium pricing. These rods utilize extra high modulus graphite materials to create a slim diameter profile blank that zings your line out with extra line speed.  The fast taper/stiff design helps the caster to form tight loops for added control and authority under all conditions.  A rich, full body cabernet satin color envelopes the blank. A ported reel seat with burl cork insert is branded with the G. Loomis Skeleton Fish logo.  The reel seat frame is anodized the same bronze color of the EastFork fly reels, for perfectly coordinated outfits. The action of the new EastFork rods is about half way between the Max GLX and the StreamDance. It has great appeal as a "lake gun". At 2/3 the price of the GLX rods it is a bargain.

FR1086-4 MAX GLX

Length: 9'     Line: #6     Pieces: 4
FR1086-4 MAX GLX

This rod does it all.  Small steelhead & salmon, bonefish, bass & trout, this is an ideal rod for the traveling angler.
Weight: 3.9 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11706 MAX GLX 6 Ex-Stiff Fast 145 $630 SALE ENDED

FR1086-4 StreamDance

Length: 9'    Line: #6     Pieces: 4   

FR1086-4 StreamDance

Big dries, weighted flies, streamers, multi flies, long leaders, strike indicators, sink tips, split shot, are all buggers to cast, even without much wind. Add long casts from float tubes and that's why you need some extra horsepower. And should all the stars and mayflies align, and the conditions get calm, you'll want fine diameter tips that can still protect light tippets and offer trout fishing versatility.
Weight: 3.6 ounces
Item Series Line Wt Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11393-01 GLX High Line Speed 6 Med-Stiff Fast 145 $630.00 SALE ENDED

FR1086-4 EastFork

Length: 9'     Line: #6     Piece: 4
FR1086-4 EastFork

The EastFork leaves nothing to be desired as a high performance, high line speed rod.
Weight: 3.5 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11654 EastFork 6 Stiff Fast 185 $420 SALE ENDED

Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Lines
3M technology helps you get your fly right where the fish are feeding.
Type 2     Type 3     Type 4    
Choose the right line for the depth you wish to fish... Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Lines...
Just as Scientific Anglers™ invented modern floating fly lines more than fifty years ago, it wasn't long after that they also introduced the first generation of Wet Cel™ full sinking lines. Today, they continue to lead the industry in quality and reliability - and in providing the ideal sinking fly line for every situation.
  • Fish feed below the surface 90 percent of the time - but at a variety of depths. Every sinking line in this comprehensive selection has been designed to keep you in a specific zone thanks to precise formulations that produce precise sink rates.
  • Each of the Mastery full sinking lines is designed with an effective range of performance. When you reach the limits of a line's effectiveness, you should switch to a different line density. You should also increase sinking-line density when there is an increase in current speed, rate of retrieve, or depth.

  • Type 2 Full Sinking.  Sink Rate:   Color: Blue
    Item Description Size Price To Top
    700512 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type II WF-5S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700529 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type II WF-6S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700536 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type II WF-7S $63.95 SALE ENDED

    Type 3 Full Sinking.  Sink Rate:   Color: Midnight
    Item Description Size Price To Top
    773424 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type III WF-5S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700628 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type III WF-6S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700635 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type III WF-7S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700642 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type III WF-8S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700659 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type III WF-9S $63.95 SALE ENDED

    Type 4 Full Sinking.  Sink Rate:   Color: Midnight
    Item Description Size Price To Top
    923607 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type IV WF-5S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700673 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type IV WF-6S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700680 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type IV WF-7S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700697 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type IV WF-8S $63.95 SALE ENDED
    700703 Mastery Uniform Sink Plus Fly Line, Type IV WF-9S $63.95 SALE ENDED

    Tying The OTT Leech

    This trout ate a claret leech...

    Spirit River On The Take Dubbing was invented by gifted fly tier and angler, Derek Fergus.  OTT (On The Take) contains many long, buggy fibers which can be roughed up and combed out to produce flies with a lot of natural looking movement.  Colors are all dark muted Earth tones.  Many of Derek's flies such as the Hale-Bopp Leech, which is marketed by Spirit River are tied with "On The Take" dubbing.  The Hale-Bopp Leech is one of the deadliest flies for fishing Central Oregon lakes. The fly below is tied much like a Hale-Bopp Leech and this style of fly has been proven in many lakes. During early season, fish this fly very slowly and very close to the bottom. As the vegetation grows as the lakes warm during the summer, fish this fly early in the morning or late in the evening, just above the weeds. Or try our SLF Leeches.

    Pattern: OTT Leech
    Hook: #8 TMC 700
    Tying Cement: Anglers Corner Water Base Head Cement
    Thread: 3/0 black
    Tail: Maroon Marabou
    Tag: none
    Rib: none
    Body: Claret, On The Take Dubbing
    Head Cement: Anglers Corner Water Base Head Cement

    Leeches come in many colors and sizes. This fly can be tied in many color combinations. Maroon or claret is very popular, but this style of fly is also very effective in shades of black, gray, purple, brown and olive.

    Placing the hook level will help...

    Place the hook in the vise. Make sure that it is secure and level. Start your tying thread in the conventional manner. For this fly I used the Wasatch Mitch's Bobbin Whirler. As you will see this tool is perfect for tying this type of fly as it is equipped with a built in shepherd's crook for loop-dubbing.

    More than half the fly is marabou tail...

    Tie in a dozen to two dozen strands of maroon marabou. These strands should be about 1 1/2 to twice as long as the hook. Often long skinny leeches seem to work better than ones that are heavily dressed.

    The Wasatch Mitch's Bobbin Whirler helps speed up dubbing...

    The Wasatch Mitch's Bobbin Whirler comes with a DVD that contains complete instructions for use. The dubbing hook on this custom bobbin is slid up the barrel so it extends past the tip. A loop is formed in the tying thread and caught with the hook on the bobbin. Dubbing is placed inside the loop of thread and the bobbin is spun to capture the dubbing. The dubbing becomes fur-chenille.

    Run dubbing up to the eye of the hook...

    The shepherd's crook rotates on the bobbin barrel so the dubbing can be wrapped on the hook along with the thread that comes from the spool in the bobbin. The trick is to make the dubbing loop just long enough to cover the body and then run out. If you make the loop too long, the excess dubbing can be removed from the loop. The end of the loop is tied off with the thread coming from the spool in the bobbin.

    Tying off the dubbing is easy...

    The head of the fly is then secured with a standard whip finish. There is a tendency to tie this type of fly using too much dubbing material. However much of this dubbing will be removed as the fly is combed out.

    Comb out the dubbed body with the Wasatch Fur Rake...

    A handy tool for putting the finishing touches on the OTT Leech is the Wasatch Fur Rake. This tool helps train the dubbing fur as it thins and sculptures the body.

    A thinned body is often preferred...

    The small fine toothed rake allows the tier to work on specific areas of the body until it is consistently the same diameter and density throughout its length.

    Comb out the body so it blends with the tail of the fly...

    Wetting the fly with saliva will also help train the fibers of both the body and the tail until they appear to flow into each other. OTT Leeches can be tied on many styles of hooks. Hooks that are approximately 2X give this fly the best proportions. We used a TMC 700 hook for this fly because we are anticipating very large trout and don't want the hook to straighten. This fly may also be tied with a brass bead in the front for extra weight. Or it may be tied on lighter weight hooks for fishing shallow water.

    Wasatch Fly Tying Tools
    Wasatch fly tying tools are made in the United States. They are unconditionally guaranteed for the owners lifetime. The wood used in these products is a cocobolo substitute made from compressed, then dyed birch. This process provides a material that can't be distinguished from the real central American variety, but won't darken with age and is very very strong. Real cocobolo is considered endangered. Last year Wasatch won the 2006 Lee Wulff Award given by the Federation of Fly Fishers. This world wide award is given to the one company each year that has contributed the most to our sport. Past winners include Orvis, 3M, Patagonia and other biggys! This is the superior line of fly tying hand tools available available today, and we are proud to offer them at The Fly Fishing Shop!

    Wasatch Mitch's Bobbin Whirler

    Wasatch Wood Trim Saltwater Bobbin

    Wasatch Wood Trim Standard Bobbin

    Wasatch Wood Trim Mini Bobbin

    Wasatch Ceramic Tube Micro Bobbin

    Wasatch Fly Eye Paint Tools

    Wasatch Bobbing Threader

    Wasatch Head Cement Applicator

    Wasatch Bodkin

    Wasatch Thread Splitter Bodkin

    Wasatch Burnishing Tool

    Wasatch Revolving Hackle Pliers

    Wasatch Turbo Dubbing Whirler

    Wasatch Turbo Dubbing Hook

    Wasatch Dubbing Brush

    Wasatch Dubbing Picker

    Wasatch Bullet Head Set

    Wasatch Fly Tying Hook Cup

    Wasatch Fur Rake

    Wasatch Fly Tying Comb

    Wasatch Standard Whip Finisher

    Wasatch Extended Whip Finisher


    Force Fins

    Force Fins are easy to use...

    These are the best fins we've found for propelling your float tube of pontoon boat as you maneuver into casting and fishing position. This newest version of Force Fin is slightly stiffer than previous versions and gives more thrust per kick than any other kind of fin we have tried. The way these fins are constructed, your legs don't need to be extended to get the full thrust, thus fatigue is greatly reduced. Yes, they are expensive, but they are made to last a lifetime from the finest materials available.

    Force Fins float tube fins are side-supported for stability, adjustable over-the-top, toes-free foot pocket that reduces cramping and leverages power from your strongest kicking muscles.  These fins fit over most wader feet an/or wading shoes.  One size fits all.
    Easy kicking, powerful and fast. Simply lift 
    your foot to activate the SNAP of the blade and let the water accelerate through its split-V shape. Upcurved blade focuses water into thrust, instead of bobbing you up and down as when wearing flat fins. Independently moving wing tips let you fine-tune your position in water with small foot and leg movements- just like the fish.  Turned up blade makes them easy to walk in too!
    Fin Blade:
    Polyurethane, stiffness 87/rebound 78
    Colors: Jet Black
    Foot Pocket: Comfort Instep™ included; brings bouyancy to neutral
    Foot Pocket Straps: Parachute webbing with easy on, easy off, side-release buckle and keeper.
    Fin Straps: Parachute webbing with ladder-lock buckle and Comfort Tubing Heel Protector
    Manufacturer's Warranty: 1-year limited
    Vortex Generators™ - the bumps on the underside of the fin- accelerate water flow and reduce drag.
    Item Description Size Price To Top
    FORCE Force Fins, float tube fins One Size Fits All. $162.95 SALE ENDED

    The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

    1(800) 266-3971

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    Fish long & prosper,
    Mark & Patty


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