NEW 48-Hour Summer Steelhead School, Dec Hogan Summer Steelhead School, X-Caddis, Resident Trout of Mt. Hood, Steelhead Plan

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48-Hour Deschutes Summer Steelhead School, Entry Level

Take a jet boat ride on the Deschutes River with:  Mark Bachmann
This school will cover a lot of water, and fishing knowledge in 48-hours.
Summer Steelhead will bite any time of the day on the Deschutes River,
however odds go way up during the low light hours of morning and evening.
That is why this school will start and end in the middle of the day,
(actually: 12:00pm, August 6 to 12:00pm, August 8).
Classes will be during the middle of the day and, you go fishing during the four "low-light" periods.
I want to give you maximum advantage
by having as many fish hooked during this school as possible.
Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being where
fish are being hooked and landed.
Emphasis will be on floating line fishing,
but will also cover sinking tip fishing during mid-day periods.
Emphasis will be on two-hand fly rod casting and fishing.
Learn how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it.
Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets
and proven methods that put fish on the beach.
Get a lot of hands on help so that you too can be productive.
Save yourself five years of experimenting on your own.
There will be a small, quiet generator in camp and electric lights in the screened-in dining tent.
Some "class-room" type classes will include PowerPoint projections and/or video.
Many classes will be conducted on the water.
Several classes in two-hand fly rod casting and fishing will also include wading and working fishing areas with limited room.
It would be very helpful if each student had already attended a Basic Spey Casting School.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive, Brunch, Scandinavian Spey Class, Knots & Leaders, Fish Until Dark.
Day 2: Fish The Morning, Brunch, Skagit Spey Class, Fish, Dinner, Fish Until Dark.
Day 3: Fish The Morning, Brunch, Back To Mack's Canyon At Noon.
 

Tents, cots with pads and full accommodations will be provided.
The camp will be based on double occupancy in each roomy sleeping tent.
Be sure to bring a sleeping bag, change of clothes & camp shoes.
Lunch, dinners and brunches will be served. The basic format is two meals per day with lots of munchies available.

Bring your own waders, or Rent Wading Gear from: The Fly Fishing Shop.
Bring your own tackle. Two hand rod/reel outfits will be available for trial.

Deposits (non-refundable) must be received by shopping cart no later than 07/25/14.
Phone orders will not be taken.
5 students per class only!
First come, first served.
Payments are non-refundable, but are transferable to a replacement student taking this school.

Price includes Deschutes Boaters Pass.
Does not include Oregon Fishing License (available from The Fly Fishing Shop)
Meet at Mack's Canyon: 12:00pm, August 6
Depart for Mack's Canyon: 12:00pm, August 8.
Transportation from Mack's Canyon to Camp will be in a big, roomy, safe jet boat.
This boat will make many miles of water available to you and
will transport you back to your car at Mack's Canyon
How to get to Mack's Canyon

Item Description Price To Top
ST08030515 Deschutes Summer Steelhead 101 School with Mark Bachmann, Arrive August 6,  Stay two nights and Depart August 8, cost $795 per student. Price in full
$795
Non-Refundable, transaction will be processed immediately
Sale Ended
 
Deschutes River Summer Steelhead PhD Spey School 2015
We would like to introduce you to one of our favorite Spey instructors: Mr. Dec Hogan, who will be supported by, Mark Bachmann, Ron Walp & Josh Linn, plus, two big jet boats, and the best camp on the river. Mid-September is prime time for Deschutes River steelhead fishing. This school intends that you will graduate with extensive proprietary knowledge of steelhead fly fishing and Spey rod casting.
We will camp on prime water and we will have boat access to miles of steelhead runs that will present a diverse array of angling opportunities and challenges. Classes will be held mid-day. You will fish with a guide each morning and evening.
Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being where fish are being hooked and landed.
You will learn all aspects of Spey rod fishing with both floating and sinking-tip lines. Learn how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it. Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets and proven methods that put fish on the beach. Get a lot of hands on help (4-guides for 8-students) so that you too can be productive. Save yourself years of experimenting on your own.
Your next step toward excellence! Featuring The Best Of The Best!!!
Spend (6) Sessions On The Water With Dec Hogan, As Lead Instructor

Dec Hogan has often been referred to as “a guide’s guide” and “a steelheader’s steelheader.” Why? Because he knows his stuff inside and out. The boon to that is he’s as passionate and adept about teaching and sharing information as he is doing it. Hogan lived the dream guiding steelhead fly anglers year ‘round on many of The Pacific Northwest’s premier rivers from 1989 through 2003. Now Dec is realizing his other dream occupation and is a full-time Firefighter/EMT in Layton, Utah. A retirement pension, health insurance, and job security isn’t such a bad thing either. Hogan’s schedule at the firehouse allows him ample time to continue instructing and entertaining the fly fishing masses and designing rods for Echo, and fly lines for Airflo. He has written, and continues to write, for many of North America’s fly fishing publications as an accomplished photographer, and is one of the worlds foremost -sought after Spey casting instructors. Dec has starred in both Spey casting and fly tying instructional DVD’s, as well as authoring the highly acclaimed must-have book, A Passion for Steelhead, Wild River Press.
Also instructing all schools are: Mark Bachmann, Josh Linn & Ron Walp.
Includes: Luxury river camp with two big jet boats. Six sessions on the water.

Meet at Mack's Canyon Camp Ground at: Noon, September 14, 15, 16, 17 Noon, back at Mack's
Item Description Price To Top
SPEY-SCH-091417-15 4-day Deschutes steelhead school with Mark Bachmann, Josh Linn, Ron Walp and Dec Hogan $1,995
Only 3 spaces open
Sale Ended
 
X-Caddis, trailing shuck caddis cripples
Olive Tan
Seated on the padded engine compartment of my anchored jet boat, I watched the boils in the soft, smooth flows caused by rhythmic feeding of a Deschutes Redside trout. About fifty yards upstream from where the boat was nosed into the densely vegetated bank, there was an island that pinched the currents into a shallow side-channel. Under the boat the water was more than four feet deep and very slow. But, the flow through the small channel made a tongue of slightly faster water that condensed all the floating insects both live and dead into a narrow ribbon. This trout was centered in the middle of this conveyor of goodies, feeding actively.
However, the longer that I watched the more it became apparent that this fish was not eating everything that floated through its feeding lane. It was being very selective. My Leopold 9-power binoculars gave me the perfect picture of how this fish was feeding. The water was littered with insects. There were many tiny mayflies, a few midges and even fewer caddis. After careful study it became apparent the mayflies were all emerging duns, as were the midges, and there were two species of caddis. Most of the caddis were tiny and black, and dead. The other caddis specie was size 16/18 with mottled brown wings.  Most were emerging from the current tongue and were walking across the surface of the water to the nearest bank. The trout simply ignored all of these types of insects. But, a few of the mottled wing caddis were obviously injured or crippled, and it seemed that those were the insects that the fish was targeting. The trout was observed for about fifteen minutes to confirm my suspicions. 
Then a size-18 Tan X-Caddis was knotted to the end of my 6X tippet. I left the boat, and crouched in a strategic position along the bank. The first cast landed the X-Caddis in the center of the fish's feeding lane. The fish ate the fly and was landed,...simple as that. Careful observation and having the right fly were the essential ingredients to that successful adventure. Two more trout fell for the same trick in quick succession.
When caddis hatch, most species leave the stream bed and rise to the surface of the water where they shed the pupal skin and become winged adults.  The pupal skin is then called a shuck.  Some unfortunate individuals are not able to leave the shuck completely.  They are trapped at the surface of the water with the partially discarded shuck trailing from the rear of their abdomen. Most caddis are unable to lift the heavy waterlogged shuck from the water. Trout know that these individual flies are crippled.  Some trout will target these cripples nearly exclusively.  Most trout will rise quicker to a caddis that is crippled than one that is not.  Species of caddis that create dense hatches are more prone to produces higher numbers of trailing shuck cripples. The X-Caddis series mimics these trailing shuck cripples. Having a full selection of X-Caddis flies in your box can make your trout fishing much more productive. Caddis hatches are dense this time of year and will continue through most of August and September.
 
X-Caddis, Olive

Hatches of Rhyacophila and Brachycentrus caddis can produce enough green or olive body trailing shuck cripples to make some trout selective to them.  These hatches occur from May through October. So, this pattern is one of the patterns you will want to have in your vest, in all of the sizes listed below, during the entire spring/summer/fall season.

Item Description Size Price To Top
15769 X-Caddis, Olive 14 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
15770 X-Caddis, Olive 16 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
15771 X-Caddis, Olive 18 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
X-Caddis, Tan

Hatches of Hydropsyche caddis can come off in blizzard hatches from May through October.  Some of these hatches produce an abnormally high percentages of trailing shuck cripples. Sometimes hatches come off sporadically most of the day. These are the caddis that produce the blizzard hatches during spring and early fall seasons. Once again this is a fly pattern you can use most of the season.

Item Description Size Price To Top
15772 X-Caddis, Tan 14 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
15773 X-Caddis, Tan 16 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
15774 X-Caddis, Tan 18 3 for $6.75 Sale Ended
 
Resident Trout of Mt Hood
By: Frank Day

The summer heat brings a great variety of aquatic insects to their winged adult stage.  Mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis contribute to great dry fly fishing. Terrestrial insects, such as ants, beetles and bees also become abundant along timbered mountain streams. This insect biomass becomes key food sources for a variety of animal life with two in particular that capture our attention: The cutthroat trout (Onchorhynchus clarkii) and the rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss).

Because of DNA analysis, many biologists now believe that rainbow trout evolved from cutthroat trout starting about 2-million years ago. This apparently happened in the Colorado River Drainage, which is the main tributary into the Sea of Cortez. During an extreme glacial period when the rainfall was heavier, and the Sea of Cortez was much less saline than the current conditions, these rainbow trout rounded the Baja Peninsula and spread up the coast of North America and finally into Alaska and even to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia. Rainbows and cutthroats are so close genetically that they are able to cross breed, and they often do where populations overlap. Their offspring are fertile, and are called cutbows. The rainbow genetics is apparently stronger, and where long term exposure occurs, rainbows assimilate cutthroats, and cutthroats eventually disappear. This scenario is common at lower elevations where resident cutthroats and sea run rainbow (steelhead mingle). Here cutthroat populations are curtailed. at higher elevations in the headwaters of these same watersheds, the reverse is true. Resident cutthroats are better adapted to this environment.

Cutthroat trout are an easily identifiable fish with a family name describing the scarlet slash on the underside of his lower jaw. Scientifically the family name:Oncorhynchus clarkii was named after William Clark of the Lewis & Clark expedition into the western United States. There are approximately 14 sub-species of cutthroat trout in North America.

The coastal cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) is the cutthroat native to our home watershed; the Sandy river. Within this basin their are both resident and sea run cutthroats. The resident coastal cutthroat is distinguished from the other species by his silver to golden yellow sides with full spots no larger than his pupil his entire length, and there is occasionally faint parring on smaller fish. Unlike many sub species of cutthroat, the coastal cutthroat trout has both resident and anadromous forms. Sea-run cutthroats exhibit a life cycle similar to that of summer steelhead, the sea run cutthroat is born in a freshwater home-stream, and then migrates out to the ocean to feed. However, unlike the majority of sea going trout, sea run cutthroats rarely travel great distances from the mouths of their home rivers once in the ocean. Many spend large amounts of their lives in estuaries. In mid July and into the fall they return home to the tributaries where they emerged from the gravel, to reproduce. Unlike salmon they do not die after spawning and will feed ravenously post spawn. Sea run cutthroat kelts will return to the Pacific Ocean, by drifting tail-first, allowing the current to move them back to the ocean. Only resident cutthroats are pictured here.

The rainbow trout is the most commonly known species of trout in many watershed. Rainbows have gained popularity worldwide and are stocked in the majority of put-and-take fisheries.
Rainbow trout are easily identified by silvery spotted sides and a bright horizontal band that varies in color with each population. These bands vary from the faintest pink to deep scarlet depending on each habitat, and the sex and maturity of each fish. They can look similar to cutthroats and some rainbow trout such as the Deschutes redside (Redband sub-specie), have faint orange stripes under their lower jaws, even furthering to the confusion, however the one way a rainbow can be distinguished from a cutthroat is its lack of teeth on its tongue.

Both rainbows and cutthroats prefer cooler, faster flowing waters and can often be found near structure in the river such as alongside, and in front of large rocks, or particularly with cutthroat, underneath logjams. Always exercise caution when enticing a fish from a holding lie under a logjam because as soon as he takes his prey he will immediately return to his lie underneath the logjam and has broken off many an angler's leader on a sturdy Douglas fir limb, or cedar root.  Both of these species of trout can be taken on dries, nymphs, and streamers, and can provide endless fun in a variety of formats especially cutthroat. Cutthroat are a bit more aggressive than rainbows, and while not as acrobatic as rainbows, they are equal in strength. Cutthroats are significantly less selective in flies, leaving patterns open to interpretation and successful hook sets. Skated flies can even be successful. But remember, cutthroats can be very shy. A stealthy approach is often worth the extra time in planning.

Currently on Mt. Hood, the upper watershed has a variety of hatches including caddisflies, blue winged olive mayflies, little yellow stones, crane flies, midges, and occasional golden stones. Thorax BWO’s and BWO Parachute work quite well, as does a small Adams, Madam-X & Yellow Stimulator.
Larimer’s Yellow Sallie has an incredibly low rejection rate once taken by a fish. I believe that is because of its soft foam body and calf hair wing that gives it a realistic insect- like texture. Parachute Light Cahill flies are also extremely effective.

As always-pinch your barbs flat, and please be respectful of other anglers, campers, and hikers. Also please keep in mind that many small streams have houses or private property near them, and often times property owners are quite happy to let you fish their land as long as you ask. Pack out what you pack in, and remember: if you really enjoyed your experience with a fish and would like to share it, there’s no better way to share a memorable fish with fellow anglers than to release it for them to maybe fool someday, too.

 
 
The Steelhead Plan: Entry #13
By Tim Rawlins

Every successful Steelhead fisherman knows he must have a Steelhead plan.  Not a plan for where to fish or when to go there or even how to cast, mend, step, swing a fly, read water or pack your toilet paper in a water tight plastic bag.  I’m talking about having a rock solid plan for what you will do when a fish takes your fly.

I say this as someone who has in the past displayed the knee jerk reaction of wildly setting the hook at the faintest hint of a nibble.  I’m talking shoulder dislocation here.  I came by it honestly.  As a kid fishing for Trout and Chub in the pristine waters of Pudding creek I was often admonished by my mentors to set the hook to keep from loosing fish that had taken my nightcrawler.  I don't think I had a problem though until I learned to bounce my pencil lead and Okie drifter along the bottom of coastal rivers and swing for the bleachers at even the slightest pause in the bouncing.  I didn't catch many steelhead that way but boy did I sure set my fair share of hooks, mostly into rocks and submerged logs.  Later, dry fly fishing for Kamloops Rainbow, the adrenaline rush of seeing a big trout boil for my Tom Thumb made it all but impossible for me not to snap my tippet.  I did manage to land a few trout with really tough lips which Is exactly how the Kamloops Rainbow Trout got its name. Kam is Latin for tough, and loops means lips. Trust me on this.  

So I have had to reprogram myself to let the fish hook itself.  This has not come easy.  Before my reprogramming, a fish would have to be very subtle, cunning  and stretchy to hook himself and stay hooked while I pummeled away at his lips.  That's how the Steelhead originally earned the Latin name O.mykiss.  It started out, Oh my aching Kisser, but was later changed for brevity by Lewis and Clark who were fierce lip rippers themselves.

Not that I hadn't landed my fair share or at least slightly less than my fair share of fish.  

There was the time my fishing partner and I were sharing a run on a famous Northwest Steelhead river.  We had each fished through the bucket a couple of times and stopped to visit and swap outfits for a little casting competition before walking back up to the car. When he handed me back my rod there was a Steelhead attached to my fly.  Neither of us realized it until I started stripping my line in.  That was the most unsatisfying fish I have ever landed.  It was a little embarrassing. Had I hooked and landed the fish alone I could have done some modest gloating about my stealth and skill at swinging a fly because I had landed a wild steelhead on a crowded river and my partner had not, thereby making me the superior fisherman and possibly a superior being.  Instead, he rolled his eyes at me. Since neither of us could take credit for the catch we both just shrugged our shoulders and meekly released the fish without so much as snapping a single photo.  Photos would have been most inappropriate for such an event.

When one has a concrete plan which does not include ripping the fly away from the fish, and one  implements the plan, it is very rewarding to land that fish-it is for me anyway. Upon feeling a grab, my original style hook set involved a several tiered approach which unfolded in the following order,  1) panic, 2) Jerk violently,  3) (AAHHGGGG!  4) slump,  5) relocate shoulder.

My new plan involves the following: 1) remain calm, 2) do nothing, 3) steady the rod as the fish is allowed to swim away with the fly, 4) nonchalantly set the hook, 5) panic (after the fish is landed)  Some fishermen leave a loop of slack running line hanging off the reel that they let slip through their fingers in the event the fish takes their fly. I do that sometimes but it's very important to double check that your running line has not half hitched itself around the butt of your rod or reel, or partner or anywhere else where it could tie off hard and fast resulting in a do-over of steps 3 through 5 of my original style.

I am not recommending my plan, just my philosophy-which is to stay calm and do as little as possible until the fish hooks himself.   This philosophy led me to my most triumphant and glorious Steelhead landing experience which happened just recently.

I had been fishing a run on another fabled river in Oregon. I stuck fish on several consecutive Friday afternoons on my way home from work but was unable to bring one to hand.  So I had a very good idea of the general vicinity of the best lie in the run.  

On this particular Friday afternoon as I swung my fly through the lie, I felt a faint peck.  I remained calm.  My standard practice of shortening up and swinging a smaller fly through the run produced nothing, but I did manage a funky knot in my aging mono running line.   I decided to loose this mess of running line which I did by way of chopping it off, and ever the conservationist, stuffing it down into my waders.  

I’m now perched precariously on a submerged ledge that I have somehow waded to, seventy feet out in the river, almost directly above the lie.   A young couple on a romantic evening stroll, walks out on a nearby hand bridge.  About 50 yards away as the crow flies, and high above, they are perched in perfect observation of what they will soon come to believe is an expert spey fishermen.  Little do they know, it is only me, stuffing something down my waders.   They watch for five minutes while I fix my running line and bag the comeback fly idea. The water is warming, lowish and clear, but my confidence is murky.  It's Moal leech time-my big, purple, red dumbbell eyed Moal leech with gobs of tinsel.  The single best producer in my box, or in this case, outside the box.  I take a deep breath and compose myself with the thought that my toilet paper is dry.  With fresh mono running line I launch a cast so far that, indeed, the last time I launched anything remotely close to that distance it was the tip section of my partners Deathstar into the Deschutes River, when I tried to impress some young rafters during the waning days of the bikini hatch.  Nothing.  Two more identical casts, only further.  After a big tight line mend, the Mother of all Leech’s swings through the lie so slowly, I could not have replicated the action had I swung it from a sideplaner off a 20’ bamboo pole.  In slow motion the fish hits.  KEEERWUUMP.   I implement my plan by standing there calmly as it peels off a very respectable amount of line. I lift my rod, stop my reel as the fish hits the end and flies plumb out of the water.  I stifle a yawn.  This thing has a tail like a floor broom.  It makes a few mad runs.  Comes out of the water again.  Sounds like a draft horse out there plowing through a swamp.  My caged clicker screams. The mono running line burns my fingers a little bit as I slow the reel down by fingering the spool. I manage to fight this creature while stumbling my way back to shore so I could land it standing flat footed on the beach.  I don't know how long the fight lasted, but it must have been a quite a while because when I tailed the beauty she seemed to have shrunk somewhat from her original behemoth size.  But for once, everything  was perfect.  The couple on the footbridge witnessed almost the entire episode.  They left right before I subdued the beast, presumably to fetch their fishing gear.  I guess they missed the part at the end where I expertly brought the fish to hand; then I panicked-right after I took the photos.  

 

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