2011 Summer Steelhead Run Predictions,
Morejohn's Bantam Flies, Echo TR Spey Rods

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2011 Summer Steelhead
Morjohn's Bantam
Good Guy
Echo TR Spey Rods
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Summer Steelhead/Salmon Run Predictions and Up-dates!
Summer Steelhead/Salmon Run Predictions
Summer Steelhead Fishing is a key part of the activity around The Fly Fishing Shop. Fishing forays are made weekly to keep us up-to-date with first hand proprietary information. The best part is  that our crew has to collect much of this information in person.
Well that's just the way it is. It's dirty dangerous work, but someone has to do it.
At least we don't have to travel that far from home
2011 Summer Steelhead/Salmon Run Predictions and Up-dates, by River!
Clackamas River Water conditions are good. Still fair numbers of fairly bright summer steelhead. Some very bright Chinooks are still available. Fishing has been good for skilled anglers.
Clear Water River No steelhead activity at present. Will start fishing in September/October. Best period for fly fishing October 1-15. Run expected to be large.
Deschutes River Steelhead are just starting to enter the river now. Fish are scattered in the lower ten miles. Seasonal water conditions should be favorable. White River glacial run-off is always the wild card. Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average. With the Columbia remaining high and cold for most of the season, Columbia river stray steelhead in the Deschutes are expected to be minimal.
Grand Rhonde River No steelhead activity at present. Will start fishing in October/November. Best period for fly fishing is October 15 to November 15. Run expected to be larger than average.
Hood River River There are still good numbers of fairly bright steelhead scattered around. The problem is water color from glacial silt can be unpredictable. Only on the cooler days is the river expected to be fishable. Best period for fly fishing May & June.
John Day River Not much steelhead activity yet. A few fish are at the mouth of the river. Predictions of run size and water conditions are favorable for fall fishing. Best period for fly fishing October & November.
Klickitat River There are fair numbers of very bright steelhead. The run will continue to build through July and August. The problem is that the Klick is in and out with glacial turbidity. When it's clear it can be great. Most predictable period for fly fishing is October.
North Santiam River Water conditions are good. Still good numbers of bright summer steelhead. Some very bright Chinooks are still available. Fishing has been good for anglers willing to cover a lot of water. Fishes well through October.
North Umpqua River A few very bright fish are scattered in the fly-only water now. This run will build throughout the summer. Seasonal water conditions should be favorable. Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average. Best fishing period is August through October.
Rogue River A few half-pounders in the lower river now. This run will build throughout the summer. Adult steelhead run will start in August. Seasonal water conditions should be favorable. Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average. Best fishing period is August through October.
Sandy River There are light numbers of fairly bright steelhead scattered around the river. All Sandy river runs have been late this year. with the heavy snow pack and cool season, the river may stay clear later than normal. Runs have been unpredictable. Best period for fly fishing April, May & October. Expect a very large run of Coho Salmon September/October.

The Fly Fishing Shop has one of the most divers and extensive collections
of steelhead flies to be found anywhere!


Morejohn's Bantum Intruders
Black & Blue Green Butt Orange Pink Purple
Morejohn's Bantam, Black & Blue
Morejohn's Bantum
Within the last decade the popularity of heavy, large profile Steelhead flies like the famous 'Intruder' and others has grown dramatically amongst guides and anglers alike, especially in the PNW.  Many anglers (who are not professionals or strong casters. i.e.: most customers of lodges, guides and fly shops) have found it difficult to master the skills necessary to make fishable casts with heavy flies even when using the right equipment.
The Bantam was designed to be fished with both the longer heavier traditional winter steelhead rods and the newer shorter and lighter “switch” rods.  The idea is to have a cross-over pattern that can be fished effectively for winter (targeted mostly for March and April winters where water temps are starting to rise) and summer steelhead.  The Bantam was also designed to be cast with both a sink tip and a dry line.
The Bantam was designed to have a strong profile, good movement, sink quickly, and yet be smaller, lighter and easy to pick up and cast with either a Skagit line or a Dry line. (With or without a sink tip)  This ability to be fished in dramatically different conditions along with its ease of casting for the average fly consumer is what separates the Bantam from the other intruder style flies currently on the market.
The attached stinger hook provides great hook up to landing ratios helping insure success for customers.
The attached stinger hook provides great hook up to landing ratios helping insure success for customers.

This Chromer fell for a Purple Bantam
How should an angler fish this fly for the best results?
(What techniques should be employed when fishing this fly?)
The flexibility of the Bantam allows the angler to choose the method they prefer in their own fishing situation. Using a floating line with a sinking polyleader is ideal as it is a very enjoyable and effective way to fish the Bantam for summer steelhead or in low clear water conditions. The angler can present the fly to lies that are 3-5' deep with minimum casting effort. Employing the greased line method with a floating line is an exhilarating way to experience the “take” but used almost exclusively when fishing for summer run steelhead.

The relatively small size of the Bantam excels when using a Skagit head with a sink tip especially when the water is low, clear and cold and the fish are deep and skittish.  A lighter Skagit set-up is also very effective with the Bantam when fishing for summer run fish and the sun is on the water and the fish are down.
Note: When using a floating shooting head with long leaders it is important to open the loop slightly on the forward cast so the stinger hook does not foul on the leader.

Morejohn's Bantam, Black and Blue
Black & blue are colors generally associated with glacial colored rivers and cold water. While it's true that this Bantam is a real producer under these conditions, it also works well under many conditions when the water is warmer. Pictured below is a hatchery stray caught from the John Day River, which has no glaciers within the watershed. Bantams have a lot of wiggle when wet and can get most steelhead moving.

Morejohn's Bantam, Black & Blue

Morejohn's Bantam, Black & Blue
Steelhead hit Bantams hard. Check out the corner of the mouth hook-up on this fish.
Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1475 Morejohn's Bantam, Black and Blue #4 -2" 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Morejohn's Bantam, Green Butt
There have been many deadly flies tied in the green-butt theme. The Green Butt Bantam woks any time of year, under most conditions, but is especially productive through the spring and summer months. Try this fly on the Deschutes during periods when steelhead refuse to come to the surface. Use a Skagit line and sinking tip or a Scandi Line with a sinking PolyLeader. It could change your luck.

Morejohn's Bantam, Green Butt

Green Butt Bantum
This Green Butt Bantam landed this late winter fish for one on Mark's clients.
Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1590 Morejohn's Bantam, Green Butt #4 -2" 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Morejohn's Bantam, Orange
The Orange Bantam is a good bet for coastal rivers, especially during the early winter months. This is also a proven color scheme for bright days any time of year. When water flows are low, clear and cold try casting the Orange Bantam slightly upstream and let it dead drift and then broadside swing through calmer water areas.

Morejohn's Bantam, Orange

Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1476 Morejohn's Bantam, Orange #4 -2" 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Morejohn's Bantam, Pink
The Pink Bantam at right has hooked two steelhead. When I inventoried pictures for the Bantam page, it was realized that a pink model hadn't been added to the mix. The two alternatives were to drive to the shop and pick up a new pretty one, or raid my chest-pocket zip-lock for a used one. You know which was the least amount of effort. The best looking used one was a wrinkled looking mess, which of course happens when they are put away wet. So I applied a liberal amount of saliva & preening, along

with some blow drying. And there you have the slightly dishevel, but slim and graceful little pink critter in the picture. Remembering how great it felt, the two steelhead she hooked. One was a screamer, the other was a kelt.
Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1477 Morejohn's Bantam, Pink #4 -2" 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Morejohn's Bantam, Purple
The Purple Bantam is a good bet any time of year, but is a have to have fly for October/November east of the Cascades. Red Band Steelhead love purple. Dredge this fly slow and deep over big cobble. Get read for that good ol' deep hard pull, because it's coming.

Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1491 Morejohn's Bantam, Purple #4 -2" 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Rental Waders & Wading Shoes Now Available
New stock of Rental Waders and Boots available NOW!
The Fly Fishing Shop now has a complete set of Gore-tex chest high waders and AquaStealth sole wading shoes for rent. We can fit most sizes of adult male anglers with top quality wading apparel. Waders with boots rent for $30 per day for a set. This service will be of special interest to the casual angler, as well as the travelling angler who doesn't want to carry wet gear home on an airplane. Call for reservations.
Please have ready for disclosure your shoe size, height, inseam and weight.

Good Guy
Got this email from a good friend this morning. This story is too good not to print. Mark
Mark,
I'll try to keep this story short. Some days you meet the nicest people.
Loaded my Koffler drift boat with 4 days’ supply for trip on Deschutes, my favorite river. It was the peak of the world famous salmonfly hatch, my favorite hatch. At 8:00 a.m. in morning, me and a new found teen age fishing buddy, Alex headed out from West Linn, Oregon. This was the kid's first trip to the river and I had been pumping him up, telling him what a great time he was going to have.
While driving through Damascus we heard a loud crash accompanied by wrenching pull on my vehicle from the rear. The axle had just broke on my boat trailer, and one wheel rolled to the other side of the busy street.
Now we are broke-down on side of the road at a busy intersection where the traffic is already frantic, and we are hindering the flow. I'm not sure what to do. Call a few people I know and ask for advice. Rob Crandall tried his best to call some people and get a trailer for me. He couldn't offered his, because he had a trip scheduled Monday. He called several people with no luck. Great effort on his part though. Unhooked boat/trailer and went up road a few miles and found a U-Haul. No trailer there, but she had one at her farm a few miles up the road that had just gone on Craig's list. She would let me test it for $50. over the weekend. Went to farm. Trailer was quite old and was sitting in a mud hole surrounded by black berries, and didn't want to be pulled out very easily. It was a rusting, ugly thing. Tried pulling it out by hand, but found bees had build a nest in tongue. Dealt with that situation. I saw a tractor sitting in a shed and asked if it ran. Called the woman and she said keys are in it and if I knew how to drive one. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, so that's not a problem. Got the trailer pulled out into the open by hooking on to it with a chain. The traile was ancient and the ball hitch was too small for the ball on my truck. Drove back to town and bought smaller one. Came back to my broken-down trailer and slid boat off of it, on to the pavement. Then figured out that the rented trailer was in too bad of shape, and my boat wouldn't even go on it! By now it's raining and hailing as hard as it could.
I drag my broken-down trailer into the BiMart parking lot to get it off the road, and take rented trailer back to the farm.
Now the drift boat is sitting on the pavement, along side of a very busy road. While I'm gone, Alex has dozens of people stopping and asking if he'd caught any fish...plus a dozen other smart remarks...very annoying. We are totally frustrated at this point, but still not giving up.
I start calling people again. The Clackacraft boat yard is about five miles from where we are bke down. I call them for second time. First time they said all the extra new/used trailers were out. Second call to them I get Bruce, the owner. He said no one had mentioned the situation to him. He says he will be there in 15 minutes! He brings me a trailer to use, for FREE. Also brings a flatbed and loads up my old trailer! It was like an angel appearing from heaven. The "Fishing God" had arrived. He wanted nothing for his efforts. My boat is a Koffler. Didn't matter to him. Twelve hours after we started, we finally get on the river. The big fly hatch is going on as planned, and we caught plenty of fish on dry flies. A great weekend. Thank you "Clackacraft", I'm still amazed at your generosity.  (PS: I got back to Clackacraft and bought the new trailer from them).
Thomas A. Fratzke (Tom)
Just Buy Clackacraft.

Echo TR Spey Rods
"The best line of two-handers for under $400."

No question about it from our point of view. Tim Rajeff has designed and produced a line of superior rods that could easily sell for $200 more than they do. Matter of fact this is one of the most user friendly lines of rods at any price.
**Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head included with each rod.**
12' - 5/6 12.5' - 6/7 13' - 7/8 13.5' - 8/9 14' - 9/10 15' - 10/11
Echo 7130-4TR in action
One of Mark's clients landing a steelhead with an Echo TR7130.
Echo TR rods are incredible casting tools. TR stands for Tim Rajeff. Tim Rajeff likes to throw things like pine cones, rocks, golf balls and especially fly lines. He throws things with incredible speed and accuracy. He is always calculating how to make human powered projectiles travel faster.
Tim is a student of fly casting. His mind is continually quantifying how different parts of a cast influence total line speed. How does the rod/human connection influence fly line dynamics? How can rods be designed to produce even more line speed.
The TR Series of 2-hand rods is designed to fit a wide variety of casting styles. Skagit, Scandi and Skandit styles of casting are all easily accomplished with these rods. This design approach produces rods that fit a wide range of applications in the field. Depending on the line choice, each rod might convey several different actions. The cosmetics of TR (Tim Rajeff) Series are startling at first. There is no glitter. This series was designed for stealth and durability. The basic wear points on the handles are made from rubberized cork, which resists abrasion far better than natural cork, and thus remains easier on your hands. The color and finish on the blank is made to be totally non-reflective. The handle and fittings are very well made. The handle configuration is comfortable.
Echo also makes the popular Dec Hogan Series and Solo Series of Spey rods. The TR Series action is more authoritative than Dec's rods. Both series of rods are big boy stuff. Each design has validity and both designs will have their lasting fan clubs.

Echo TR rods feature:
Four piece travel design
Alignment dots for quick assembly
Premium grade cork handles with composite pressure zones
Handle lengths vary with each model
Black anodized reel seat
Matte army green blank
Black stripper and snake guides
Green Cordura case

ECHOTR5120

Length: 12' Sections: 4 Line Weight 5

Grains: 360-480
This is a crossover rod that is a good choice for large trout and smaller steelhead. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are: Scandi Compact 390-grain, 40+ WF8 and Skagit Compact 420-grain.
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 420-grain included with this rod.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR5120 TR 5 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

ECHOTR6126

Length: 12' 6" Sections: 4 Line Weight 6

Grains: 420-540
This is a slightly larger crossover rod that is a good choice for large trout and medium steelhead where delicacy of presentation figures in to your strategy. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are: Scandi Compact 450-grain, Delta 6/7 and Skagit Compact 480-grain.
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 480-grain included with this rod.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR6126 TR 6 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

ECHOTR7130 Length: 13' Sections: 4 Line Weight 7
Grains: 510-620
This is a very popular size for summer steelhead and smaller salmon. This will prove to be a great rod for Deschutes "A" Run steelhead. So far this model has attracted the most attention of any rod in this series. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are: Scandi Compact 540-grain, Delta 7/8 and Skagit Compact 540-grain.
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 540-grain included with this rod.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR7130 TR 7 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

ECHOTR8136 Length: 13' 6" Sections: 4 Line Weight 8
Grains: 570-620
Maybe the ultimate size if you only (Heaven forbid) had one steelhead rod for winter and summer. This will prove to be a great rod for chucking wooly bugger size flies with sinking tip lines. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are:  Delta 8/9 and Skagit Compact 570-grain
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 570-grain included with this rod.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR8136 TR 8 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

ECHOTR9140 Length: 14' Sections: 4 Line Weight 9

Grains: 630-750
Big water, big fish rod. This will prove to be a great rod for both winter steelhead and spring Chinooks. Has the backbone for throwing big flies with maximum sinking tip lines. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are: Delta 9/10 and Skagit Compact 630-grain.
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 630-grain included with this rod.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR9140 TR 9 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

ECHOTR10150 Length: 15' Sections: 4 Line Weight 10

Grains: 700-800
Big powerfull rod with which to take command of big water and huge fish. A popular size of rod for parts of British Isle, British Columbia and Alaska. Has the backbone for throwing big flies with maximum sinking tip lines. Tim's top picks in Airflo Lines that bring out the best performance with this Echo TR rod model are: Delta 10/11.
Free Airflo Skagit Compact Shooting Head 720-grain included with this rod.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
ECHO-TR10150 TR 10 medium fast Standard $349.95 SALE ENDED

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty