Free Simms Taco Bag, Deschutes River Salmonfly Hatch, Rods for The Salmonfly Hatch, Black Drum, Fly Fishing Article Contest

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The Deschutes River Salmonfly Hatch Is Early This Year
The water conditions on the Deschutes River for the Salmonfly Hatch are the best in years, and the hatch is also predicted to be the best in recent memory. The river is clear and the flow is 4,000-4,400 cfs. This is unheard of conditions for this time of year. The whole lower 100-miles of the river has salmonflies. The fish are just beginning to look up for floating adults. Salmonfly nymphs are still effective in most parts of the river.
In our region, stone flies hatch from January through August. There are at least two dozen species which are important in the adult stage to the trout angler. These range between the tiny Winter Blacks (3/8") to the giant Salmon Fly (over 2").  The Salmon fly hatch on Oregon's Deschutes in May/June, is arguably the best dry fly fishing the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Historically the hatch started at the mouth of the river in the first week of May, and by May 25th there were usually a few Salmon Flies at Warm Springs. Since 2012 PGE has changed the water flow regime in there hydro electric facilities at Pelton Dam and warmed the river a few degrees during the winter. This has moved the hatch ahead at least two, possibly three weeks. Used to be, that first week in June was peak for the best fifty miles, between Maupin and Warm Springs. Now the hatch may be over by June 1. Or it may trickle off through June as always. No one knows for sure. There may still be some salmon flies around Pelton Dam until the first of July.
The so-called hatch occurs when the nymphs crawl out of the water. It is during this migration from deeper water to the shores that nymphs are most exposed, and nymph fishing is most productive. Certain shorelines provide the best conditions for hatching and nymphs tend to concentrate in those areas. The trout, of course are aware of these places and also congregate there. The nymphs will usually seek out tree trunks or other vegetation or any solid but porous structure where the claws of the nymphal feet will stay fastened securely so emergence of the adult insect can progress with out interruption.  Since this hatch happens on land, it is of small importance to fishing in comparison to May fly or caddis hatches that happen at the surface of water.  Most of the actual "hatching" happens at night or early in the morning. It can continue in daylight hours on cloud cover days or in deeply shaded areas.
It is after the insects have hatched and have become active adults that they become important as trout food.  During the night adult salmon flies become inactive.  Their favorite places to rest or mate is in the stream-side vegetation.  Much of this vegetation over hangs the water.  In the mid to late morning as the air temperatures rise, the adults become active and start crawling and flying around.  They are clumsy and some will inevitably land in the water. It is at the river's edge that the best dry fly action usually occurs.  Since the majority of the salmon flies are concentrated around the water, the trout will take up stations under overhanging trees and grass.  Casting your salmon fly imitation up stream under the over hanging
trees has always been one of the secrets to successfully fishing the hatch. During the warm part of the day there will be a fairly constant rain of fluttering and flopping bugs onto the water.
Pin-point casting accuracy is much more important than delicate presentations. Real salmon flies are heavy and hit the water hard. The perfect set-up is a medium fast action six weight rod, and a 6'-7' long leader tapered down to 3X.
You need to be able to poke the fly under low hanging branches and through holes in the brush.  In many ways fishing the salmon fly hatch has more in common with bass bugging that classic dry fly fishing. 

CDC Salmonfly

Yummy Mummy

Foam Stone, Golden

Rogue Stone, Orange

Stimulator, Orange

CDC Golden Stone

Chew Toy, Golden

Foam Stone Salmonfly

Clark Stone, Orange

Stimulator, Yellow

Chubby Norm

Chew Toy, Salmonfly

Rogue Stone, Giant Black

Clark Stone, Golden

True Salmonfly

Egg Layer

Chubby Chernobyl

Rogue Stone, Golden

Norm Wood Special

True Golden Stone

Golden Stones, Olive Stones and Yellow Sally Stones are important before, during and after the Salmon Fly Hatch. Little Olive Stones tend to precede the Salmon Fly Hatch by a week or two.  They remain available to fish throughout most of the "big" hatch and disappear about the same time as the Salmon Flies. Golden Stones usually linger on for a while. They are replaced by Yellow Sallies which bright yellow and are size #14 to #16.

Consider A Six Weight Rod For The Salmonfy Hatch
Salmonfly patterns are some of the largest dry flies used for trout. The trout that eat salmonflies live under low hanging trees and shrubs, in rivers that often have windy conditions. The trout encountered during the salmonfly hatch are often the largest of the year. For these reasons larger fly line mass is handy for throwing these large flies accurately, and heavier leaders and rods with enough spine to haul large fish from challenging terrain is handy. A nine foot, six weight rod is the preferred tool for the job. The rods offered below are the ones our guides and customers see as the stand-outs. Each has a unique set of attributes. Some have raw power, others exhibit outstanding balance, still others outstanding accuracy, and still others: economy of money spent. All are available for delivery.
Sage 690-4 ONE Echo 690-4 Echo3 G. Loomis 1083-4 FLY NRX Loop 690-4 Xact
Sage 690-4 Approach Echo 690-4 Carbon G. Loomis 1086-4 Pro4X TFO BVK TF 06 90 4 B
Beulah 690-4 GSII Echo 690-4 Base Loop 690-4 CROSS S1 TFO 690-4 Mangrove
Sage 690-4 ONE G. Loomis 1086-4 FLY NRX
Why to buy: Possibly the perfect rod for poking big flies up under the overhanging brush during the salmon fly hatch. Sage ONE is arguably the most accurate rod series avaialable, due to Konnetic Technology. This is probably the best all around dry fly trout rod where the trout average 2-6 pounds.
Rod weight: 2 7/8 ounces.
Why to buy: A very precise, lightweight trout rod designed for casting small dries and nymphs on large freestone creeks and small rivers where long casts are a factor, but where accuracy is the key. NRX makes it as light as the proverbial feather, allowing you to cast all day long and hardly notice the rod in your hand. Whether it's lake fishing or stream fishing... trout or panfish, this may be the lightest, most technical 3-weight on the market. Also in Green.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
690-4ONE Sage ONE Series 9-foot, 6-weight, Include metal rod case.
$795.00 Sale Ended 11914-01 G. Loomis NRX Series 9-foot, 6-weight, includes graphite rod case.
$730.00 Sale Ended
Sage 690-4 Approach G. Loomis 1086-4 Pro4X
Why to buy: A popular size for larger trout.  Most popular size for throwing bass bugs. This rod is a great value. Made in USA by Sage, it costs less than half as much as a Sage ONE. A great entry or back-up rod for the travelling angler.
Rod weight: 3 9/16 Ounces.
Why to buy: This rod is the best choice for fishing windy conditions. It's slightly more powerful than it's 5-weight counterpart and that makes it a good choice for fishing streamers, large dries and bigger nymphs. It has enough power to handle large fish and provides positive line control at all distances.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
690APP Sage Approach Series 9-foot, 6-weight, Includes rod case.
$295.00 Sale Ended 12000-01 G.loomis Pro4X Series 9-foot, 6-weight, Includes rod case.
$360.00 Sale Ended
Beulah 690-4 GSII Loop 690-4 CROSS S1
Why to buy: Looks expensive, but economically priced. Big trout rivers in Alaska, and fishing streamers in Montana, as well as chucking poppers for Oregon bass, shad or carp is what this rod is all about. This is a perfect rod for fishing big lakes and reservoirs from a float tube, or fishing the salmonfy hatch.
Rod Weight in Ounces: 3.7
Why to buy: An incredibly accurate rod made with nano-resin technology. Lightweight, tough as a boot, responsive and precise.This 9ft 6-weight is perfect for casting streamers to big trout, chucking salmonflies in tight quarters, or tossing flies to skittish bonefish in skinny water.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
690-4 GSII Beulah GSII Series 9-foot, 6-weight, Includes rod case.
$295.00 Sale Ended CRO690-4MF Loop CROSS S1 Series 9-foot, 6-weight, Includes rod case.
$795.00 Sale Ended
Echo 690-4 Echo3 Loop 690-4 Xact
Why to buy: These rods are pure joy to fish with. A blend of high modulus graphite and a superb action gives you a feel of what is going on as if the rod were an extension of your arm. Pin-point accracy makes this the perfect salmonfly hatch rod at a fair price. Why to buy: Need something for the next trip for big trout and don't want to break the bank? The 9ft 6WT XACT fly rod is perfect for casting streamers or large dry flies. Super fast graphite and a fast taper produces tight loops. The Xact is made to last with a grip made from rubberized cork.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
E3690 Echo3 Rod, 9-foot, Line Weight-6, 4-piece, complete with rod case
$349.99 Sale Ended XACT2-690-4 MF Loop Xact Rod, 9-foot, Line Weight-6, 4-piece, complete with rod case
$395.00 Sale Ended
Echo 690-4 Carbon TFO BVK TF 06 90 4 B
Why to buy: You've got to love the cosmetics on this rod. What a racey looking reel seat. Carbons are lightweight, medium-fast action "fishing" rods made for young (or older) aggresive anglers. This is precisely the kind of rod you need for fishing the salmonfly hatch. Why to buy: Who knows more about fly fishing than Lefty Kreh? Nobody! This is a very good salmonfly hatch rod. This may become one of your favorite Alaska trout rods. It also shines as a bass rod for both surface and subsurface work.
Rod weight: 3.0 ounces.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
CA690 Echo Carbon Rod, 9-foot, Line Weight-6, 4-piece, complete with rod case
$169.99 Sale Ended TF 06 90 4 B TFO BVK Rod, 9-foot, Line Weight-6, 4-piece, complete with rod sock
$259.95 Sale Ended
Echo 690-4 Base TFO 690-4 Mangrove
Why to buy: A perfect rod where 2 to 6 pound fish are to be expected. Will work as a lake rod where fish might be as large as 15 pounds. The 690 is the all around bass rod for the Pacific Northwest. This is also a great size rod to have when encountering bonefish in places like Belize during calm weather periods. And this one is less than $90. Why to buy: Designed by Flip Pallot. This rod was designed for the angler who loves to pursue small bonefish, snappers, lady fish or sea run cutthroats in the salt. This is a great rod for humpy salmon and small stream steelhead fishing as well. It can't tell the diffence between small snook and redsides, or alders and mangroves. Distinctive cork spacers in handle denote line size needed.
Rod weight: 4.2 ounces.
Item Description Price To Top Item Description Price To Top
BASE-690 Echo Base Rod, Length 9-feet, for line weight 6, 4-peice, complete with case
$89.99 Sale Ended TF 06 90 4 M TFO Mangrove Rod, 9-foot, Line Weight-6, 4-piece, complete with rod sock
$279.95 Sale Ended
Black Drum
Black Drum are saltwater fish, that are native to the eastern United States from Nova Scotia through Texas. They are closely related to Redfish (Red Drum), and often share the same habitats. Far fewer Black Drum are caught on flies than Redfish. Our first involvement was along the Texas coast, near South Padre Island. We noticed them spooking from the boat, as our guide pretty much ignored them. He said that they were very difficult to catch with flies. We also saw them on various trips to Florida, where they were often spotted in shallow waters inhabited by Snook, Redfish & Baby Tarpon. Some fish we saw were fairly large. Many ignored our boat. Every time we asked if any one fly fished for them, we were informed that they were very difficult to catch with flies. During a recent trip to Everglades National Park fishing with my good friend Frank, we observed several large ones every day. They were often less spooky than the Redfish or snook we were targeting. I asked Frank if anyone had caught them with flies. He said that as far as he knew, few anglers had been successful unless they soaked their flies in oils that smelled like crabs or shrimp. Even then, they weren't easy. Naturally that made me want to catch one just to see what they were like. The next morning we stopped by the local bait shop and I bought a bottle of Pro-Cure Super Gel Blue Crab Scent, which I smeared on some beautifully tied crab flies. Then we hunted for Black Drums. It turned out that Frank new where many lived and I put my flies in front of a number of Black Drums. some fed right over the top of my fly. All ignored it. The scent didn't seem to be a key. We finally give up on catching a Black Drum and went back to hunting Snook and Redfish.
About noon of our last day we entered a black-water creek mouth during a howling gale. The morning had been bright and calm. Snook fishing had been pretty good. The winning fly was an olive colored Enrico Puglissi Back Counry Minnow in a size 1/0. I still had it tied to the end of my leader as we entered the creek. Suddenly a school of unidentified fish appeared right in front of the boat. I dropped the fly right in front of them and the line instantly came tight on what turned out to be a Black Drum of about four pounds. It pulled hard, and made several short runs, but was soon over-powered by the Sage SALT nine-weight rod. Frank and Patty congratulated me on my first ever, Black Drum. The school of drum had disappeared and we went back to fishing for Redfish. The day we left Frank and his wife, Yvonne fished with them. Yvonne often poles their skiff, and Frank caught the fish pictured below on the same fly that had taken my fish. As you can see, his Black Drum was much larger. That must have been a brawl landing that fish. Frank used his trusty G. Loomis NRX 9-weight rod and Nautilus NV reel. Everything starts with one.
Steelhead Bob: Entry #3
By: Treg Owings

It is time to tell the truth about .... Steelhead Bob.  I probably should start from the beginning.  I knew Bob before he became .... "Steelhead Bob".  Before, he was just another trout fisherman.  He was pretty good at his sport.  In fact, he was looked upon as somewhat of an intermediate, well, maybe more than that.  But you know, until you earn the title, you’re just another trout fisherman.  Well, I have to start at the beginning.  I finally decided to take Bob to steelhead heaven, The Deschutes River.  Because Bob was use to the best of life I decided to float down to meet him.  This way I could carry everything to make his trip enjoyable (including a toilet).  Because of this, the boat was dangerously loaded.  Floating through the class 3 and 4 rapids became life threatening.  However, I would do anything to make Bob and Judi's first trip to Heaven a great trip.  The first stop was just below Mack's Canyon.  The evening was late and the river did not give up a fish.  However, the morning was better.  I took one hatchery fish of 24" that was to be our first meal with Bob and Judi.  This was my camp the first morning.
That evening I drifted down to Green Light, one of the best spots on the river, a hole that has produced for me in the past.  Not so tonight or tomorrow.  Could this be a curse?  The deadly rapids come next.  But for Bob and Judi, nothing is too dangerous.  Somehow I make it through.  After the last rapid I start to look for Bob.  And there he is, Bobby "Whiteshoes".  I identified him from a 1/2 mile by those trademark white shoes.  He had lived through the roughest part of Oregon and made it to the river.  My relief was plainly visible on my face as he approached the campsite.  Luckily, two other friendly Oregonians from Eugene were holding our spot.

There were some problems with bike transportation for Judi and Bob but those were worked out.  Once these problems were worked out the work of getting "Whiteshoes" into his first real fish began.  To start with I had to cleanse him from the inside.  To do this I had to first pour alcohol into him and then have him eat a fresh Deschutes steelhead.  Once this was done I could let him step into the run.  He was close to being one with the fish.  Bobby "W" went through the "Camp Hole".  This is one of the best runs in Oregon.  The wading is tricky; the currents treacherous, the rocks are similar to greased bowling balls.  Bobby survived but no fish.  He was shaken to say the least.  I told him his only chance to hook up was to go to the

dreaded corner.  Many men have refused to step into this area.  Snakes line the banks, a false step will send you down through rapids that will not release their victims.  Yes, "B" was shaken.  I encouraged him.  He said it was too dark.  I told him he had the fish in him.  He had to let it out.  He stood, with a haunted look in his eyes, he said, "Lead me on".  We headed down for the "CORNER".  We waded in together.  I stayed upstream of "B" to break the current.  I told him, cast out into the dark water.  Let your fly hunt.  The fish will come!  And then it happened!  A wild steelhead grabbed the fly.  It immediately leaped clear of the water.  I had to grab "B's" waders to keep him from following the mighty steelhead into the dark depths.  The large reel held the fish and the rod bent near the breaking point.  With both our best efforts, we made it to shore.  Somehow the fish stayed connected to the fly.  Bobby "Whiteshoes" landed his first wild Deschutes Steelhead!  He had become the fish.  He had become, "Steelhead Bob".

Bob and Judi had to ride out in the dark that night.  Bob had no fear.  He said, "Headlights, we don't need no stinking headlights".  I admired his courage.  However, I decided he should still use the headlights.  As it was, Judi ran over a rattler that almost upset her bike.  She had air coming off that snake as it acted like a ramp on the trail.  Braving porcupines and skunks they made it out safe and sound.

The next day was similar to the first.  I knew "Steelhead Bob" no longer needed my help.  He was one with the fish.  I became one with the fish.  My first fish cleared the water 8 times before coming to my hand.  Some flies must remain a secret.  One in particular must stay in the box.  It is said that this fly must be kept in the box or in the river for fear of fishing jumping on the bank to eat it.  And yes, our hero, "Steelhead Bob" caught another in the corner.
The river turned angry after that.  No more fish were to come to hand.  We had gone to the water enough for one trip.  Oh, don't make a mistake. "Steelhead Bob" will return.  He may get Judi to brave the water next time.  Until then, the fish have a break and Bobby "Whiteshoes" will be forever known in Oregon as, "Steelhead Bob".


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