Jon Covich

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John Covich
Winston Day
Shad Every Where
More Shad
Poo Goo
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Jon Covich, our Winston Rod rep is one of the most talented angler photographers of out era.
Below is a selection of his works There will be a showing of his photography in each of the next three issues.  They are offered just to let you know what you will be missing if you don't attend Winston Day, June 25.  Come meet Jon Covich.  (Click each each picture to enlarge it).
Christmas Island You will never guess...
British Columbia Sea of Cortez
Jon has caught many different species of fish from a wide variety of exotic places, even our own back yard.  He has helped us with every
Sandy River Spey Clave.


*Try and break a rod by lifting (and guessing) how many pounds are being lifted
*Person closest to the weight will win a pair of Patagonia Watermaster Waders
*All people casting rods will go into a drawing to win a BllX 14’ 8/9 spey rod
*Assortment of all Winston’s latest rods, including the BllX single-handed, as well as recently introduced Spey rods will be available for casting
*Presentation on the Winston factory, and their method of building the world’s finest fly rods *Clinics on solving the biggest casting mistakes, problems, and misconceptions

The R.L. WINSTON ROD CO. has been crafting the world’s finest fine rods since 1929.
Why is it that these rods have produced such passionate loyalty among those who own them?
Is it the uncompromising way in which they are made?
How they cast and fish?
The history and traditions of the company itself?
Or could it simply be the color green?

     Actually, WINSTON believes it is not one, but all of these things. Anglers who own WINSTONS have a true appreciation for quality. They understand that WINSTON rods are designed with specific casting styles and fishing situations in mind. They know that WINSTON is dedicated to upholding a reputation, well over seven decades old now, for building the finest products of their kind. And as for green, we’ve heard some people say they experience feelings of guilt just looking at a rod of any other color.

     On June 25, all are welcome to experience what makes WINSTON so special. All day long, The Fly Fishing Shop will be holding an event that will showcase these beautiful fly rods. Jon Covich, their factory representative for the Pacific Northwest, will be doing his best to impress you with casting clinics, rod lifting and durability demonstrations, presentations on how Winston rods are made, and plenty of free time for you to cast all the fine rods that Winston has to offer. Make sure that you take the opportunity to cast the newest rods in the lineup of the hottest rods on the market….the BllX. These include three spey models that will blow you away with their light weight, smooth action, and surprising power.

     Best of all, there will be two fantastic products given away. The latest and great Patagonia Watermaster Waders will be given to the person who can come closest to guessing what weight they are lifting off the ground with a Winston BllX 12 weight. Even better, every person that casts a rod during this event, will go into a drawing at the end of the day for a BllX 14 8/9 Spey Rod!!


Dear Readers,
Marty, is fishing for small mouths on the John Day River. Pete is off to the the Gaspe for Atlantic Salmon. The salmon fly hatch is in full swing on the Deschutes.  The local mountain streams just opened. Did I mention that the shad are running in the Columbia?  Online orders are flowing.  Seems as though the angling public from everywhere has figured out that The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches is the place to get the best stuff...yea we love it!!!  Thanks a million!!! My jet is getting a last minute tune up for four days on the Deschutes.  Right now I'm sorry to say, I don't have much time for writin'.  Here is one of the things that was a lot of fun last year...shad fishing....copied.... summer is here.
Fish long & prosper,

Columbia River Shad Counts
The 2004 shad run in the Columbia River exceeded the 10-year average by quite a bit.  It appears that the 2005 run is kind of on the same track.  Interestingly the counts at the Dalles Dam are always higher than the counts at Bonneville Dam because many shad go through the boat locks at Bonneville instead of through the fish ladders.  Peak runs through Bonneville are June 1 through June 27.  The peak at the Dalles is nearly the same.  The peak at the John Day dam appears to be about June 6 through July 5.

Fly Fishing For Shad

The largest anadromous fish run in the Columbia River is the run.  At 3-5 million fish annually,  it is the largest shad run in the world.  There are many species of shad world wide. They are members of Herring family.  There are many species that never leave fresh water and rarely exceed 4-inches in length and species that are major food fish that migrate into the tributaries of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and China. The Columbia River Shad (American Shand) Alosa sapidissima are native to the east coast of the United States and were originally planted in the Sacramento River delta in 1871.  From there they spread north into the larger river along the west coast of the U.S.  They are  plankton feeders but will strike small bright colored flies, wobblers and jigs. American Shad spawn in fresh water, but migrate to saltwater to feed and grow. They spend approximately 8 months in fresh water 

before they migrate to the Ocean. Baby shad are a major food source for many predatory Columbia River game fish especially small mouth bass.  Male Shad reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age when they are about 2-3 pounds. Most female shad are sexually mature at  4-years old and weight about 3-6 pounds.  The all-tackle world record is over eleven pounds.  the fly rod record is over seven pounds.  Sexually mature shad begin migration up the Columbia River to spawn when the water temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees. This last week the temperature of the lower Columbia was 57-58 degrees. Shad are broadcast spawners, which means they release their eggs into the current as opposed to digging redd in the gravel to lay their 
eggs. Spawning usually takes place during the low-light evening and nighttime hours. Many shad don't die after spawning and may survive to spawn multiple times.  Usually the largest specimens are females that have spawned several times.  While migrating upstream, shad usually follow the shoreline at depths from 3-15 feet.   Many fish can be found in moderate flows of moderate depth. A fish-finder and a power boat are two of the best pieces of equipment for finding shad. An easy approach is to anchor the boat and let the fish come to you.  Shad are superb fly rod game fish.  Tackle from 4-weight to 8-weight is appropriate.  We like 6-weight the best.  For our favorite shad water a Cortland 175 
Shad Foundation
American Shad
Columbia River Shad
Columbia Fish Counts
grain Quick Decent line or a Jim Teeny T-130 or T-200 line give good control at depths that most shad travel at.  Shad seem to take flies best when the fly is exactly at their level in the water.  The level that shad travel at changes with the flow and the time of day.  Generally the brighter the day, the deeper they will travel or hold.  
During low light conditions shad may be near the surface.  Keep an eye on your fish finder and vary your sink rate to present the fly at the level where your screen displays the most fish. The most popular shad flies are size #4 or #6 fluorescent red, orange or chartreuse with liberal amounts of silver or gold flash although non-reflective patterns such as Teeny Nymphs in fluorescent pink, orange and green are popular with some anglers.  Other anglers report doing well on dark flies such as insect green and even black Teeny Nymphs.  Bonefish flies such as the Puff and and Crazy Charley series are also know shad producers.  Shad seem to take best when the fly is presented with a down and across swing.  Many takes are experienced when the fly is on the hang-down.  Shad strike with a definite grab.  Feeding a shock loop as in steelhead fishing seems to result in more solid hook-ups.

A Shad Tale - how to fly fish in really big rivers.

About 250,000 shad poured through the ladder at Bonneville Dam Thursday, June 3.  The water was perfect temperature, 57 degrees.  Air temperature in the middle of the day was 77, bright sun, very little wind.  The perfect day to catch a boat load of shad, or at least you would think so.  Patty and I, with our friends Jeff and Tilda Runner loaded our gear in my Duchworth and put in a Dodson.  Being newbies to the Columbia River scene, we were in for a bit of a 

shock.  The bright sun produced a hatch of anglers and a horde of boats.  And the river was up two feet since our last trip a week ago.  When we got to our fishing area, there were boats anchored everywhere we wanted be, except one.  Only problem was our anchor wouldn't hold in that spot now that the river was two feet deeper and a lot swifter.  To bad....the fish finder showed shad passing through in a steady stream.  We tried other spots throughout the day.  All the spots where fish showed on the fish finder were to deep and swift for the fly gear that we had brought with us.  Also the bright sunlight made the shad run deeper in the water than last week when the  

weather was heavy overcast.  Meanwhile anglers in every other boat were catching shad after shad.  This went on all day.  People caught fish all around us.  We were the only boat with fly anglers and the only boat not catching fish.  The gear guys could reach the fish.  We couldn't.  I kept moving, looking for a position that had fish, and was shallow enough that we could reach them with our flies and sinking lines.  Finally just after 3:00 in the afternoon (after 9 hours of fishing) Jeff landed our first shad (a little male).  The skunk was off the boat.  We got a couple more strikes in that 

spot, then the shad left.  Our break around four o'clock.  Many boats had left.  I had been eyeing a shallow riffle where it broke around the end of a gravel bar.  A a guy there earlier had caught shad quicker than anyone else.  As the boat taxied into position, dozens of fish lit up the screen on the finder.  We put the boat right on a seam with slow water on one side and faster water on the other.  The results were immediate.  For the next four hours we caught shad after shad.  Now surprisingly, 

the other boats around us weren't doing very well.  For the next four hours we were the only boat with fly anglers and the boat that was catching the most shad.  The tables had turned.  Our persistence had paid off and we were able to turn a humiliating day into a day where some valuable lessons were learned.  The end result was that we wound up catching a lot of fish.  What did we learn?
The old adage is still true. "The fly has to be in the water to catch fish."   If we had given up, we would have quit before we figured the solutions to our problems (and I wouldn't be writing this article). Water level makes a lot of difference.  For me a river the size of the Columbia is hard to read, but it's the same as your favorite trout or steelhead stream, just on a much larger scale.  Position in the river is everything.  If you are in the right spot, fishing gets easier.    Shad will bight  

flies as well as anything else, if the fly can be presented at their level.  Shad don't seem to rise to the fly.  The shad that we caught were the same size as the gear people caught, which averaged two to four pounds.  These are perfect fish for a six weight fly rod.  However these fish don't always travel where you can get at them with with normal six-weight fly lines.  At times it is handy to have a heavier rod and very fast sinking line.  Full sinking lines probably do a better job getting the fly to the fish than do sinking tip lines when fishing from a boat.  We also learned that we still have a lot to learn about shad fishing.

POO GOO Fly Floatant

Exclusive to RIO from Fly Fishing's Grand Kahuna & member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, Andre Puyans. 1/2 ounce bottle of superbly viscous 100% pure silicone. Use as a fly floatant and for greasing RIO fly lines, and is great for tightening knots. Apply sparingly.



Item Model Price To Top
26030 Rio Poo Goo Dry Fly Floatant $4.95


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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