Spey Clave 2012 Report, Salmonfly Hatch

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Spey Clave 2012 Report
Salmonfly Hatch
Because of the time and man-power used up by Sandy River Spey Clave 2012,
this news letter will cover both May 21 and May 28.

Sandy River Spey Clave 2012 Report
Photos by: Mark Bachmann & Eric Gunter

Sandy River Spey Clave 2012 came off without a hitch. Displayed above is part of George Cook's estimated $100,000 reel collection, which was available for all to use.

The bright, sunny weather on Friday and Saturday was perfect for on the water demonstrations. Here Al Buhr entertains the crowd with his usual high powered enthusiasum.

Klaus Frimor from Denmark, wowed the crowd with his demonstration on Scandinavian style Spey casting, once again proving that there is more than one way to get the line out there.

Tim Rajeff showed the crowd a new way to fish two-flies at once, off two different lines.

Jon Covich was the very first tackle rep to join the Sandy River Spey Clave 12-years ago.

The winter floods vastly expanded "Instruction Beach".

The "Beach" was expanded both upstream and downstream.

Tim says it's like flicking water off a paint brush and Mia says...

Great coffee was served at the Clave!

Does Cosmic Harmony exist? Does it matter? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!
No doubt there was harmony found at "The Clave". If the rock people did it, we're for it!
Sandy River Spey Clave 2012 has come and gone. Compared to last year, crowds were up 150% on Friday, down 10% on Saturday, even on Sunday. Friday, "Beginner's Day" was a total success. Our first goal was to have 100 students get lessons from 20 instructors. We taught at least 150 students Friday morning. We used up three long beaches and were somewhat overwhelmed everywhere. "Thank you, to both all volunteer instructors and to the students as well.
Jon Covich counted over 290 different models of Spey rods for trial at "The Clave". I watched George cook open a container, which held over $100,000 reels loaded with Spey lines. What I am getting at is that there were several hundred-thousand dollars worth of rod/reel and lines that you could try on the water with qualified instructors to help you. we were told by our European friends that there is nothing else in the world like it.
Saturday still drew the largest crowd, but this year Friday and Sunday were nearly as large.
The folks from El Burro Loco did a great job on the food.
Batdorf & Bronson kept everyone supplied with free coffee.
This year we had the best, and most diversified on the water programs, which offered many views of Spey Casting. The winter floods had greatly expanded "Instruction Beach", which helped everyone. Thanks to all who came. We will plan another Clave for your enjoyment next year.
In the video above, George Cook explains Switch Rods.

Salmonfly Hatch Report
The Salmonfly Hatch Is On and The Fish Are Looking Up
The Salmonfly hatch occurs along the full length of the lower 100 miles of the Deschutes River. Best dry fly action right now is in the section from Maupin to South junction with the hatch progressing upstream. Trout are just getting keyed on the big bugs at Mecca. As of Monday there were few adults showing at Warm Springs. There are probably good numbers there now.
If you have the right fly patterns, casting skills and diligence, you will catch fish! Listed below is only part of our huge selection of Stonefly patterns. Stop by on your way to the Deschutes, or check out our online assortment: Stonefly Dry Flies

Foam Stone, Salmon Fly
This un-sinkable fly is very productive in many situations. The segmented body is made from sealed cell foam plastic. It will float in fast turbulent water. Wiggly legs and Krystal Flash add realism. This fly pattern, like the real Salmonfly adults, hit the water with a plop, thus drawing immediate attention from the fish. Bullet-head flies such as this one are very aerodynamic to cast. This is a very buoyant fly to use with a dropper nymph.
Foam Stone, Salmon Fly

The 2012 hatch looks to be very strong, with adults on the grass in normal numbers, in the usual places.
Item Description Size Price To Top
99501-04 Foam Stone, Salmon Fly 4 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Oregon's Mighty Deschutes River
Look for adult Salmonflies in the streamside vegetation, such as alder hedges. Trout congregate along the edges of the river, under overhanging branches, waiting for Salmonflies to fall into the water.

Clark Stonefly, Orange
The Salmon Fly hatch can be more complex than one might expect. It pays to have flies in a variety of sizes, colors, weights and silhouettes, if for no other reason than to have something different than the last guy who fished your piece of water. Every time a trout gets hooked it becomes more selective. Many years ago, master angler, Lee Clark discovered that a smaller, lightweight fly would often work where more realistic flies failed. This fly is very easy to cast. Cast it back under the overhanging brush as a searching pattern or show it to picky fish that have refused your previous offering.

Salmonfly mating occurs in the streamside vegetation. These insects are clumsy and often fall into the water where feeding trout are waiting. Use shorter, stout leaders for casting accuracy.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12024 Yarn Body Stonefly, Orange 8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Egg Layer Salmon Fly
From our observations, Female Salmon Flies lay eggs several ways. Sometimes they skitter across the surface exuding eggs as they go. Other times they drop eggs while flying. It is the former mode that is of interest to the angler. Salmon Flies laying eggs with their egg ball intact and the abdomen flush with the surface or slightly below the surface can be a prime target for feeding trout. This is a great fly for that reason. The dark peacock butt looks like eggs...breakfast of stonefly & eggs.

Salmonfly egg-laying usually occurs in the late afternoon. This activity puts a lot of insects on the water and a trout feeding frenzy usually ensues.
Item Description Size Price To Top
200755-04 Egg Layer Salmon Fly 4 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly
The Chubby Chernobyl as was designed to be fished as an attractor pattern, which means it might appear to the trout as any number of different food organisms, such as a grass hopper, a stonefly, a cricket, a large beetle, bee, or your neighbor's favorite kitten. To me it looks like a tiny skate board with legs. It does appear that trout on the Deschutes think that it looks very much like a golden stonefly, so much so that the Chubby has replaced the Norm Wood Special as the go-to "searching-fly" with many anglers. There are several reasons for this fly's popularity. It floats low, like a real stonefly, and this makes it very hard to tell from the real live critter. It floats forever, with or without dressing. It is extremely easy to see in all light conditions therefore it is easy to control all aspects of your presentation. The origin of this pattern is claimed by several tiers.
Cubbies on a foam patch...

Chubby Chernobyl

Item Description Size Price To Top
THP0071 Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly 8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
THP0071 Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly 10 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Rogue Foam Stone, Giant Black
The bellies of Salmonflies are not always orange. sometimes they are dark, nearly black with just a hint of orange at the segments. It pays to carry several sizes and colorations of flies. This is a very large fly pattern that looks like female salmonflies that are loaded with eggs. This un-sinkable fly is very productive in many situations. The segmented body is made from sealed cell foam plastic. It will float in fast turbulent water.
Rogue Foam Stone, Giant Black
Item Description Size Price To Top
10803-04 Rogue Foam Stone, Giant Black 4 3 for $6.95 SALE ENDED

Chubby Norm
Last year the Chubby Chernobyl (a golden stone pattern) fly pattern ruled the Salmonfly hatch. This season an improved version called Chubby Norm is the big winner. Chubby Norm is a cross between Chubby Chernobyl and the ever popular Norm Wood Special.
Chubby Norm profile.
Chubby Norm Top View.
Chubby Norm underside.
Chubby Norm Trout View.
Chubby Norm ate by a trout. Photo: Travis Johnson
Chubby Norm Working View.
Item Description Size Price To Top
TFS0108 Chubby Norm 6 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Fishing Stonefly Dries With Dropper Nymphs
By: Travis Johnson
The world famous Deschutes River Salmonfly fly hatch is in full swing. Trout are looking up. There is a seemingly endless biomass of insects littering the stream side vegetation. During the warmer parts of the day, huge quantities of egg laying stoneflies are replenishing the future of the stone fly hatches to come. Salmonflies are joined by golden stones and olive stones. It is a stonefly bonanza.

Often there is even more insect activity under the surface of the water. Caddis are pupating, PMDs are starting to get the itch to ascend to the surface to hatch, even green drakes and Crane flies awaiting their turn to shine. These smaller bugs go unnoticed by most anglers as the large stone flies get all the attention. But the trout see all things in their environment. So don't get stuck with just the advertised hatch.

The truth is that during the Salmonfly hatch, trout can get into a feeding frenzy. Especially when they are focused near the surface, trout will be in tuned to all forms of life in the upper part of the water column. Dropper flies fished under your big Stonefly dry fly can draw a lot of attention, and can really improve the amount of hook-ups you get during a day spent on the water.
What dropper flies should you start with. What back-up patterns should you carry in your fly box during this crazy time on the river??? Today's fly selections can be daunting, but with the amount of pressure that these fish are likely to see, a good combination of species specific and a few attractor patterns can make a huge difference in the time spent on stream.

The best times of the hatch to really focus on fishing dropper are easier to predict than most would think. Before the sunlight reaches the canyon floor in the morning, temperatures are cool and the adult stoneflies are hiding down in the base of the dew covered grass or in tight spots in rocks. During this same time, the phenomenon know as behavioral drift of nymphs and larvae is occurring in many parts of the river. Typically between 6 and 9 a.m. many free living aquatic insects let go of their current living location and drift down stream to a new location to forage for food or find protection. This bug behavior is a daily occurrence form the spring to fall. Morning caddis hatches can also prompt vigorous sub-surface feeding activity. During these cooler parts of the mornings, fish might not be ready to break the surface, but the combination of a helpless nymph placed a couple of feet below a large buoyant stonefly dry fly might just be the double-whammy trick that gets you hooked up.
Several species of mayflies hatch simultaneously with the larger stoneflies. During normal sunlit days these mayflies kind of trickle off and go unnoticed by most anglers. Even though the Deschutes River flows through a desert, spring time rains are not uncommon. A cloudy day can foster intense hatches of mayflies. Trout are inclined to become keyed on mayflies, even during the most heavy stone flies and caddis hatches. Mayflies are the trout's best friend. Each and every stage of the insect's life is an easy meal for hungry tout to prey on. Now let's get things straight. I am not saying you can't take fish on stonefly patterns during a mayfly hatch, but I will say that if there are any number of mayflies like Green Drakes, or PMDs the fish will be drawn toward these food items. With how easy it is for the trout to feed on helpless mayflies, the fish can become more focused on these offerings when they are abundant. Again, with a dropper fished below your Stonefly, you can cover two prolific hatches at once.
Last but not least, and this is a big one, maybe the most common influence on how trout might respond to your flies...fishing pressure! That's right, Fishing pressure can influence when fish feed and mostly how picky they become. This why having we carry 5 different types of stone fly dries as opposed to 50 of one kind. You can easily tell if you are fishing an over fish that have seen a lot of pressure by the way they react to you offerings. If you have cast to pressured fish, you have seen fish come up under your fly look at it, and followed it, scrutinize it and then reject it at the last minute. Usually repeatedly casting with the same fly over that fish will get you nowhere. Once you locate a tough fish this is where the game can get good. I immediately cut off that fly and replace it with a different pattern, then cast again and watch the way the fish reacts. If a similar reaction is noted, I usually have a dropper-fly set up ready to go on my fly patch. In most of these types of situations two feet of 5x tippet secured to the bend of the hook on the dry fly forms the dropper.

This type of combination seems to be about 80% on getting tough fish to eat. The reason being that trout only expend as much energy as they can get from a food item to eat that food item. So a trout coming all the way to the surface to inspect your fly leaving empty handed would be a loss in the trout eyes. So the dropper on the way down is a great choice, and easy to apprehend. I have seen situations where a fish gets super excited and eats the dropper on the way up to the dry and gets hooked with both hooks. I have also seen the fish reject the dropper and then take the dry. All in all, the combination is what make this an effective methodology for trout fishing in these situations
Droppers that have produced well for me over the years are as follows not in any real order but all are great and I would recommend having in your box.
Bead Head Copper
B.H. Thin Skin
Bead Head Bird's Nest
Epoxy Back Green Drake Nymph
deep sparkle pupa's
S's B.H. caddis pupa

Fish long & prosper,
Mark, Patty & Crew

The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490

1981-2012 The Fly Fishing Shop
We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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