Kimsquit Bay Lodge - Giant Kings - Unexpected Opportunities Sandy River Spey Clave 2015 in Review, Dan Bailey Wading Staff, Deschutes Steelhead: Entry #5

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Kimsquit Bay Lodge - Giant Kings - Unexpected Opportunities
When the two words "Dean" and "River" are placed together, it elicits a unique response among steelhead fishermen. The Dean River is the world's top destination for steelhead. The river is beautiful beyond imagination and its steelhead are incredibly aggressive. They are truly wild and evolution has them built for speed and power. All of them must navigate a fierce canyon and leap multiple waterfalls to get to their prime spawning grounds. But the Chinook of the Dean are even more respectable. Those brave enough to chase these large and powerful fish are testing tackle and challenging the edge of what is land-able in freshwater. The Chinook here eat swung flies aggressively near the surface, run hard, jump often and they hold in steelhead water which makes them easily targeted with flies.
Kimsquit Bay Lodge is owned and operated by Jeff and Kathryn Hickman. Jeff is a longtime friend of ours and he is a well respected local guide here in Oregon. He grew up on Mt Hood and we have known him as a regular in the shop since he was a little kid. Jeff and Kathryn bought the lodge last year from the Blackwell family. They are making many improvements to the lodge and maintaining the level of customer service that the Blackwell family established 20 years ago. The lodge sits overlooking the saltwater of the Dean Channel and they concentrate their fishing in the lower river below the falls and into the tide water. The fish in this stretch of river are at their peak fitness! Sea lice, clear fins and empty reels are what you will find here. They run a short season and cater to only 6 guests per week. With two excellent guides offering an intimate knowledge of the river, help and instruction.

Kimsquit Bay Lodge has recently had a cancelation and is now offering a $1000 discount for the week of June 26th - July 3rd. Price is now $5150 for a full week of guided fishing. That price includes a floatplane charter flight from Smithers, BC. Do yourself a favor and book this trip. Discounted spots on the Dean are unheard of. This is they bucket list trip!

Jeff Hickman
(971) 275-2269

Sandy River Spey Clave 2015 in Review
Erik Johnson, Charles St. Pierre, John Christiansen & Jon Hazlett in front of the fifty foot long rod rack, comprised of Echo, G. Loomis, Sage, Redington, Hardy, Burkheimer, and TFO rods. There were many brands of Spey rods at this Clave. Other brands included Kane Klassics, Beulah, Anderson, LTS Meiser, Winston, Loop & T&T. In the very early stages of set-up, I snapped

this picture of George Cook and his collection of 100 reels loaded with RIO Spey Lines that were available for trial at the Clave. No doubt there were at least another 150 reels and lines in other booths. there is no better place to borrow complete set-ups for trial on a flowing river than at our Clave. Then you could bring that set-up back to the booth where you borrowed it and then try a different line on the same rod, or borrow a different set-up all together. At any point you could ask for private instructions with any of a couple of dozen of the best instructors in the world.
In edition, there were several brand new Spey rods introduced at the Sandy Clave such as the new Sage MOD (Moderate Action) Series, which won't even be available until next August. There were two each of two of the new models a 6139-4, and a 7130-4. I was able to cast each model for an extended period of time. The 7130-4 is going to be a power house in the Skagit realm for sure. It may be the easiest rod to cast ever designed. This is the first Sage Skagit rod that is designed to be cast with your finger tips. The 6130-4 MOD is the perfect summer steelhead rod for the smaller river east of the Cascades. The MOD Series is constructed with Konnetic Technology for extreme strength, lightness and casting accuracy. The color is an unbelievable bright green, and looks like the finish was done in a custom car shop.

Mia Sheppard & Derek Bachmann teamed up in the announcing tent on Instruction Beach. Annnd Nowww Here's ....
Sage's head rod designer, Mr. Jerry Seim and George Cook teaming up on a program about rod actions...
An astounding thing happened during one of the free classes taught by Mia Sheppard. A young student cast the top two sections of an Echo3 rod off into the river where the water was very swift. The upper half of the rod disappeared, and the student was very distraught. Another group of students over a mile down the river recovered the pieces of the rod when it came floating up to them. How lucky can you get?
The Tying tent just keeps getting more and more popular. Here Bruce Berry is demonstrating how to tie tube flies... 
Jerry French wowed the enthusiastic crowd with some of his Intruder flies...
Lunch dinners and breakfast came off without a hitch, and were served by El Burro Loco...
Back to the future, Kane Klassics are here. Hand made bamboo rods are becoming popular again. Soon to be exclusive at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon will be three modes of single hand trout rods and three Spey Rods.
Greg McMillan gave a great projected presentation about what the Deschutes River Alliance has found while doing scientific research on one of Oregon's favorite trout/steelhead rivers. If you want to know more, click Deschutes River Alliance...
Oh ya, there will be a Sandy River Spey Clave 2016... would tell you more about it, but have to go to bed now because my boat will be on the water early tomorrow morning with two new clients...MB
Dan Bailey's Shock Corded Wading Staff
Remove it from your belt sheath and it automatically assembles itself! Comes with sheath and cord tether with harness snap. Rugged and dependable. River bottoms are getting slicker with algae growth caused by spring/summer sunlight. A staff can help with wading balance and stability.
Item Description Size Price To Top
3143-10 Dan Bailey's Shock Corded Wading Staff 49" $83.95 Sale Ended
3143-11 Dan Bailey's Shock Corded Wading Staff 57" $83.95 Sale Ended
Deschutes Steelhead: Entry #5
By: Craig Gittings

Four friends on a long run to the Deschutes with hopes and dreams of hooking into steelhead on the swing with a Spey rod no doubt, only to be frustrated with casting, casting, and more casting. Nada for our efforts except a sunburn where we missed applying sunscreen. The morning fog coming off the water suggested a cold day at the put in. Mid day was productive for some who switched over to fishing nymphs for redsides with a single handed rod. Trout are better than nothing, as I begin to think the redsides were the reason to be here, and possibly our time is off for chasing a dream. We leap-frog the runs by boat as we pass our comrades chiding and encouraging them along as we fulfill our routine. Cast, swing, cast, swing. We change out flies and repeat. The positive attitude is tested and beginning to wain. Are there fish even in this river? Cast, swing, step, cast, swing becomes the routine. Still feeling somewhat in the discovery phase, I question if this is going to really work. How many more days of this? The evening talk works around comparing notes, questioning what we are possibly doing wrong- too deep, too high in the water column? Did anyone count their casts? It certainly is beginning to look like a fish of a thousand casts and now even more. I wonder if mowing the lawn and working on the honey-do list would have been more fruitful and beneficial than this charade with an illusive fish. I begin to think that I was never cut out for this much rejection. But what about taking the higher road and consider just putting in the time, paying your dues? Yes, that is it, rational thought. Think positive, but for how long?

A freight train in the canyon breaks our early morning slumber. I can hear the echo of couplers as they bang one by one as the train loosens tension to a full stop and reverses its direction taking out the slack. Where are my ear plugs? Is that train just outside our tent or really just across the river? How many more hours before we are on the river going through our routine. Right about now, I am ready to pack it in and head home, not just camp. Why would anyone put themselves through such agony? I begin to slow my pace from being worn down- so much for the hurried aspect taken earlier in the trip. Just look around, enjoy the scenery. You are standing knee deep in the river, chasing an elusive fish. Perhaps it was never about the fish but to just slow down, take in the moment, regenerate the juices that motivate us in our present state. If that is the case, why are we standing in this river? It could be worse. It could be a freezing rain or better yet, snow and sleet with wind to contend with. Just be thankful for your time on the water. Right, do you really expect me to buy into this? Then there is that long ride home. The impending rejection is becoming readily apparent, as no one has touched a fish other than the red bands. Does that really count? How far are we from that motel where a hot shower and comfortable bed awaits?

Towards the end of the day, after the sun is off the water, my fishing partner’s body language telegraphs that he is done. The river has beaten him into submission. He is done, cold and ready for warmer clothes, a bite to eat and hopefully have the strength to do it all over again tomorrow. He is no longer having fun and realizes that it isn’t going to happen for him. I had seen him cast his switch rod all day. If he is done fishing, by chance and more out of curiosity, I ask to try out his rod on moving water. We are both essentially done as he stays in the boat, I even ask the guide if he wants to fish some on his own before heading down river to our campsite. He readily obliges and grabs his rod as he makes tracks downstream. The pressure is off as I pick up the switch rod and attempt to cast close to the boat with no real intention of fishing the rest of the run. This switch rod feels different after throwing my Spey all day. I am a little awkward with the shorter lighter rod and immediately wrap the line or leader around the tip of the rod. Jeezes, what’s wrong? I straighten the line out and try once more. Drats! Fatigue, exhaustion, and now the chill are overtaking me as well and the image of the campsite looks and sounds better with each cast of the switch rod. I look to my friend, who is indifferent and apparently has the right idea- just waiting to make our way downriver to camp. Finally my rhythm returns, the line turns over and swing looks good. Okay, now I am fishing, but to what? The rod feels quite a bit lighter in my hand and I focus on the practicality of the rod. Do I really need another rod? Amazed that I can still cast, the feedback from the rod becomes noticeably peculiar. The swing stops and there is that unmistakable grab as the line becomes tight in its path. I was ready to pack it in and just play with my friend’s rod. This isn’t supposed to happen. The excitement and focus of this elusive fish on the other end of the line is not what we had in mind as I yell out, “Got one!” How many casts had there been? If I had only counted, but readily admit the number is a figurative at best. Embarrassed, the rod had yet to catch a fish for my fishing partner. He is still in the boat hoping we bag the day and make our way and get to camp soon. With the action nearby, he is roused from his seat, fully engaged as if it were his fish. Perhaps it is and he is now helping me along, rooting and basking in the moment. Yes, it was his rod. Do I pass the fish off to him and share the experience? Before we can decide, downstream the fish takes off with this tethered angler in pursuit. After the initial kinks in my casting stroke were worked out, the rod turned over the line flawlessly. The rod performed well under a load as the fish is brought to hand. Do I really need another rod? This is an unbelievable end to the day. I questioned whether this Spey thing was really going to work for me. And perhaps we all should ask to try out our fishing partner’s rod at the end of the day. It couldn’t hurt.

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