B.C. Steelhead Flies, Steelhead Waking Flies, Rio Spey Shooting Head Sale, Winston Spey Rod Sale

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BC Steelhead Flies
Steelhead Waking Flies
Rio Spey Head Sale
Winston Spey Rod Sale!

How To Pick The Best Ammo for BC Steelhead!!
By: Travis Johnson

There are a fair number of great Steelhead Rivers in British Columbia!! We all know that different types of water are more conducive to different styles of fly angling. Now this is where I am going to be completely honest with how I choose my Steelhead flies. I have fished for Steelhead in many different rivers and caught steelhead in almost all of them. What has made me more and more successful is matching the type of fly to the type of water, along with some other easy to read clues one can chose flies for success more often and with ease.


The first of many clues that can help an angler chose a winning fly pattern is water color, and what might cause any turbidity, whether it is glacial, tannin, or mud. Steelhead can only attack what they can see and catch. Nothing is ever perfect in steelhead anglin, but most rivers will fish until there is slightly less than two feet of visibility. Try to pick a color that contrasts with the water color. A rule is that as the visibility in the water decreases, flies get darker in color. Black, black and copper, or black and blue patterns show up best when the water is muddy. Add more flash to your fly to create visibility.  That’s what makes the Prom Dress and Squidro winning patterns for British Columbia .


The next clue in that same line of good forensics that will give you positive steelhead stories, is "gauge height" (water level). The amount of water flowing down a stream can play a big factor in how the river fishes and where steelhead are likely to hold. Lower water pushes fish into the deeper channels, or to the faster more broken water when they are seeking cover. Higher water flows will push the steelhead to the edges of a stream when seeking refuge from the fast currents. In either of these extremes, an angler will need to adapt their fly pattern and presentation. The thing is, that most steelhead anglers chose the opposite fly for the conditions. You will need to fish the deepest or heaviest flies and tips in the lowest water conditions. During low water periods during the fall or winter months, the deep channels hold the fish.  Low rivers are often cold because the sky is clear and cold at night. In heavy flows, the fish are often holding in shallower water. Fishing lighter weight flies, and/or lighter weight tips is often the answer. The two patterns I like best in these "extreme conditions" are the “Hoh Bo Spey” (high water), and the “Signature Intruder” (low water). Pick your colors that fit the water color, dark colors for dirty water and bright colors for clear water. 


Water temperature is the last, and most important piece to the puzzle. A thermometer is almost as important as your rod when heading to your next steelhead adventure. In the lower 48 states, our perfect temperature zone for steelhead is between 48 degrees and 56 degrees. After saying that, someone out there will disagree. But, remember I am writing in a general manner not focused on exact watersheds. The varieties of steelhead that inhabit British Columbia are conditioned to much colder average water temperatures than their brethren to the south. Perfect water temp in most BC waters will be in the 38 to 46 degree range. This is nearly ten degrees colder than the range preferred by Oregon steelhead. With this in mind, most of the patterns in our Winter Steelhead Fly Directory are appropriate for BC steelhead during most conditions.  


Another Note, I would not ever travel to British Columbia without a box of waking flies. Fishing your fly on the surface is considered by most seasoned anglers to be the pinnacle of our sport. Fishing a fly on the surface gives you the opportunity to watch a fish take the fly!!! The two skaters I like are the “Ska-opper” and the “POM” skater. You will never need a thousand of these patterns but having a dozen on you for a serious BC Steelhead trip would not be a bad move on your part.   

Steelhead Waking Flies
POM Skater, Nightshade
POM Skater, Nightshade

Ska-Opper, Black

Ska-Opper, Brown
Gerath's Curb Feeler
Gerath's Curb Feeler
Paulson's Titanic
Paulson's Titanic
 Wake And Bake 
Wake And Bake
Moose Turd Waking Fly
Moose Turd
About Waking Flies
About Waking Flies 
Waking Flies for Steelhead & Salmon, best quality available at any price!
These flies are designed to bring Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon to the surface.

Gerath's Curb Feeler
Curb feelers or curb finders are springs or wires installed on a vehicle which act as "whiskers" to warn drivers that they are too close to the curb or other obstruction.
Item Description Size Price To Top
37-0720-06 Gerath's Curb Feeler 6 3 for $7.49  Sale Ended

Paulson's Titanic
Interview with: Jay Paulson
1. What were you trying to accomplish with this fly design? Or what fishing problem or situation were you trying to solve in designing this fly?
"I got sick of skating flies sinking on me right as they reached the "zone." One day as Ken Morrish and I were planning for a trip to B.C. he challenged me to a friendly contest on who could raise a steelhead to the most unusual fly. After weeks of trying to come up with something, I woke up one morning with the idea of using a boat hull. I brought some prototypes on the trip and actually rose some steelhead to it!"

2. How does your fly solve the problem?
"The design of the Titanic makes it literally dance over the water, even through choppy water that you normally would never dream of skating a fly. I am just starting to explore other applications for this design!"
3. How should an angler fish this fly for the best results? (What techniques should be employed when fishing this fly?)
"Cast down and across and let the fly swing. Try working this fly in faster, choppier water than you would other patterns. Use a bit of floatant to really keep it riding high. If it does go under (rarely!) give it some slack and it should pop back up."
4. When (what conditions) should an angler fish this fly for best results?
"Works well in low-light conditions, but then again, fish may rise anytime!"
5. Where (what kind of rivers? what kind of water?) should an angler fish this fly for best results? "Medium depth to shallow water, pools, riffles, runs and tailouts."
6. Any other information about this fly you would like to share with the general public?
"2006 yielded a 23 pound steelhead to the Titanic on the Babine river -- that was the fish of a lifetime for that angler. The Titanic has also landed atlantic salmon, rainbows, browns, cutthroat, searun cutthroat, bass, dolly varden, and even baby tarpon!"
Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1137 Paulson's Titanic 6 3 for $7.49  Sale Ended

POM Skater, Nightshade
This may be on of the most adaptable waking flies ever devised. The main part of the body is constructed from sealed cell foam, which makes the fly virtually unsinkable un less weight is added. No riffle hitch needs to be added.
I seems this fly wakes best when attached with a small non-tightening loop knot.

Item Description Size Price To Top
ST1888 POM Skater, Nightshade 6 3 for $9.75 Sale Ended
Kenny Morrish says about his POM Skater: "The number one reason that steelheaders don’t catch steelhead on dries is that they fail to tie them on in the first place. The second reason they fail is that when they do tie them on, they lack the needed confidence to fish them hard. Your typical angler will fish a tip for days without a pull but never question the act of fishing a wet fly and tip. That same angler might fish one or two fishless runs with a dry and switch back to a wet fly in hopes of being more effective. Then, by giving the tip and the wet fly more time in the water, they fulfill the prophecy and make fishing the wet fly seemingly more effective. The third reason is bound up in preconceptions about water temperatures. Some anglers draw the line at 50 degrees, others at 45 but all these lines are arbitrary, unfounded and misleading. Likewise, many anglers who fish in BC seem to think that come October 1st that steelhead no longer eat dries! I laugh aloud at that one.
Last season I fished the Sustut and Skeena in mid October through the heart of a brutal cold snap. Water temps were dropping hard but when we came to a legendary tailout on the Skeena, I couldn’t bear to see it fished through first with a tip. It just seemed wrong. So, being a gentleman, I volunteered to fish it through first with the dry. My companions were happy to oblige. The ice had just melted out of the guides minute before, and the water temp was 36 degrees. They watched me gently chug my go-to POM Skater across the greasy water for three casts and on the fourth we all saw the buck’s big nose gently rise and drop, barley leaving ring. And while those were far from the best of dry fly conditions, it proved to be my best fish of the season. The one thing I can say with some certainty is that if I hadn’t tied the dry on and fished it with confidence, I never would have caught the fish pictured on a dry!"

 Wake And Bake
This fly is purely unsinkable
Item Description Size Price To Top
16564 Wake And Bake 3 for $7.49  Sale Ended

This little fly was designed to be riffle-hitched, and is often twitched across the surface by raising and lowering the rod tip. On rivers such as the Deschutes this technique will often raise steelhead that ignore other flies and presentations.


Item Description Size Price To Top
ST315 Twitcher 6 3 for $7.49 Sale Ended

This buck steelhead fell for the Titcher

Moose Turd Waking Fly

Moose Turd Waking Fly
Hook: TMC 7989, #6
Thread: Black 3/0 Uni
Tail: White Calf Tail
Body: Black Dyed Deer Hair
Rib: none

Hackle: none
Wing:  White Calf Tail
Head:  Black, Very Small
Tying Instructions: The bundle of white calf tail is stacked to bring the tips as even as possible.  The tips will form the tail of the fly

and the butts of the hair will form the forward facing wing.  It is imperative to wrap the calf tail to the hook very sequrely and evenly so that it does not turn on the hook shank as the deer hair body is spun on over the top of it.  Lift the forward facing wing 45-degrees to the hook and then wrap the wing base for approximately 1/8" to stiffen it and hold it in place.Wings with larger volumes of hair create more resistance and thus more lift in the

Moose Turd
Click for larger...

currents.  Bulkier flies tend to wake better in rougher water.  For the body choose deer hair that has a fairly coarse texture. Remove any under-fur. Be sure to the hair is dyed all the way to the hide.  Even the butts of the hair and trim off the tips.  The base of the hair is much more hollow than the tips and will spin and flare better.  The black deer hair is spun over the foundation crated by the calf tail.  While spinning the deer hair body, you may have to help it around the hook because of the bulk created by the calf tail foundation.  Pack the deer hair bundles tightly.  Trim body to a fat tapered cigar shape. Denser bodies are slicker when trimmed and will slide across the surface of the river more easily. 
Washington angler, Bill McMillan is credited with developing this "bomber" style steelhead waking fly called the Moose Turd.  The Moose Turd has perhaps become the most popular steelhead waking fly used in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.  The starkly contrasting black and white colors make this fly visible in nearly every light condition.  The stiff up-turned front wing gives this pattern a lot of lift so that it slides across the current. As with most waking flies, Moose Turds perform best when riffle hitched and fished across glassy tail-outs.  Moose Turds also fish well without being "hitched".  They are often effective even when fished on textured surfaces.  On the average, smaller Moose Turds will out fish larger ones.

Item Description Size Price To Top
02184-06 Moose Turd Waking Fly 6 3 for $8.85 Sale Ended
02184-08 Moose Turd Waking Fly 8 3 for $8.85 Sale Ended
About Waking Flies
By: Mark Bachmann
Surface fishing for steelhead is exciting and can be very productive during certain water conditions. These conditions happen on most rivers during the summer months when water temperatures and flows are moderate. Rivers, which contain a high percentage of wild steelhead from June through October, are the best bet. Wild steelheads seem more prone to rise to the surface than do hatchery fish. 

In steelhead vernacular "Dry Flies" are fished up-stream and dead drifted, much like fishing for trout. Some steelhead have been taken by this method. However, flies, which are fished down-stream (under tension from the line and current), have proven more productive under most conditions. All of the flies listed above can be fished as true "dry flies".

A "Damp Fly" rides in the surface film. It is often cast slightly upstream and then led across the current under light tension down-stream of the angler. This method is called "Greased Line Fishing". Flies that are best suited for this approach incorporate semi-buoyant materials in their dressing. All steelhead flies which incorporate floating foam in their basic design are suited to this presentation.

 A "Waking Fly" is usually presented down stream so that it will make a V-shaped disturbance in the surface film. Waking flies are often "Riffle Hitched". A riffle hitch is a series of knots, which changes the attitude of the fly/leader connection so that the fly pulls at an angle to the current. In this way the fly will always seek the path of least resistance, which is the surface. The most commonly used riffle hitch is made when the fly is tied on in the conventional manner and then two half hitches are added behind the eye of the hook. However, these half hitches can be placed behind the head of the fly or even behind the wing to change the angle. In this manner even very slender flies can be riffled…if you have fast smooth water and can cast a very straight line. Flies, which are constructed from buoyant materials and shaped to resist the flow of the water, are easiest to use where the surface is textured. These flies tend to ride higher. Often the entire fly is visible above the surface. All of the flies listed in this section are commonly riffle hitched. The shape of the fly will determine which is best suited for a particular water type. You should carry a complete selection.
Pay close attention to the "POM Skater" as it can be fished with or without a riffle hitch and will wake on many different current speeds.  They are flies that fish a wide variety of conditions very well.
The Twitcher is a deadly fly when hitched in the middle of the orange thread band.

Wheatley Fly Boxes  

Six Colors Choose Your Shell Customize Your Box

Now you can own a genuine English made Richard Wheatley anodized aluminum fly box that has been customized just for you.  The 9601 Series of Wheatley boxes come in 6 colors and with 4 different foam pad inserts or 3 different fly clip inserts.  That gives you the choice of many different combinations and many different configurations.  Pick your aluminum shell color and then pick two of the foam pads to suit your needs.  Peal the backing from each pad insert and stick it into the box.  You may pick two pads that are the same or two that are different.  You may have us install the pads for you at no extra charge by telling us to do so in the "Special Instruction" part of the order form.

Box measurements are:  6" High  x 3 5/8" Wide  x  1 1/8" Thick

Item Description Price To Top
9601SV Wheatley Aluminum Box Shell, Anodized Silver $46.70 Sale Ended
9601BK Wheatley Aluminum Box Shell, Anodized Black $46.70 Sale Ended
9601BL Wheatley Aluminum Box Shell, Anodized Blue $46.70 Sale Ended
9601RD Wheatley Aluminum Box Shell, Anodized Red $46.70 Sale Ended
9601GN Wheatley Aluminum Box Shell, Anodized Green $46.70 Sale Ended

Use these foam inserts to customize your own fly box.
Fits any 6" Wheatley Fly Box. Adhesive backed for easy use.
All foam inserts are snow white.  To Top
Ripple Flat Slotted Castle
Item Description Price To Top
5029LP Wheatley Ripple Foam Adhesive Backed Insert $5.00 Sale Ended
5026FX Wheatley Flat Foam Adhesive Backed Insert $3.00 Sale Ended
5026SF Wheatley Slotted Foam Adhesive Backed Insert $3.00 Sale Ended
5028 Wheatley Castle Foam Adhesive Backed Insert $13.30 Sale Ended

Use these Fly Clip inserts to customize your own fly box.
Fits any 6" Wheatley Fly Box. Adhesive backed for easy use.
All clips are stainless steel.  To Top

Large 7's

Small 7's


5061 Wheatley Small 7's Clip, Adhesive Backed Insert $18.00 Sale Ended
5062 Wheatley Large 7's Clip, Adhesive Backed Insert $18.00 Sale Ended
5063 Wheatley 5's, Adhesive Backed Insert $18.00 Sale Ended

BIIX Series Spey Rods 12'6" 6/7 13' 3" 7/8  
BIIMX Series Spey Rods    12' 3" 7/8    
Mark Bachmann, Deschutes River, Winston B2X67126
Winston Spey Reel Seat

Length: 12' 6"       Line: #6/7     Pieces: 4   

Winston Spey

Mark Bachmann, Deschutes River, Winston B2X67126
New for 2009! Possibly the ultimate light line steelhead rod for the Deschutes, Grand Ronde, North Umpqua, Klickitat, etc. We have already caught a bunch of Deschutes steelhead with this rod. These fish have ranged from 4-11 pounds. We have used both the Airflo Scandi Compact and Rio AFS lines to fish size 4-6 traditional wet and waking flies. There is little discernible difference between the performance of these two lines on this rod. We fished this Winston in some howling winds, which it handled as well as any small rod we have used. It was rigged with a Waterworks/Lamson ULA Force 3.4 reel for perfect balance. The Winston BIIX 12' 6" 6/7 is destined to be one of the most popular two-hand rods ever made. Mark my words: "This is truly a great fly rod."
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 390-420 grains.
Floating Line Recommendations: Airflo Scandi Compact 390, Rio AFS 400, Rio WindCutter 6/7
Use: 390-grain Skagit Compact for sinking tip work.
Rod weight: 5 1/2 Ounces.
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
67126 B2X 6/7 Medium Fast Spey REG $880
NOW $616
Sale Ended

Length: 13' 3"       Line: #7/8     Pieces: 4   

Winston Spey

Patty Barnes, Deschutes River, Winston B2X78133
An extraordinary lightweight medium-fast action two-hand rod that will make effective fly presentations at all distances. Since its introduction in 2007, this has been one of the most popular Spey rods for both summer and winter steelhead. The B2X78133 has the ability to feel very comfortable with a wide range of line weight and fly sizes. It is also adaptable to wide range of fish sizes from 4 to over 20 pounds. Will feel comfortable with tiny skaters and 3" long stinger flies fished with T-11 or T-14.
Our favorite reel to balance this rod is the Nautilus 12.
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 447-478 grains.
Floating Line Recommendations: Airflo Scandi Compact 480, Rio AFS 460, Rio WindCutter 7/8
Use: 480-grain Skagit Compact for sinking tip work.
Rod weight: 6 3/4 Ounces.
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
78133 B2X 7/8 Medium Fast Spey REG $880
NOW $616
Winston BIIMX Series
These rods are have thicker walls and faster tapers than the BIIX Series. They will appeal to casters who like tip action rods.

Length: 12' 3"       Line: #7/8     Pieces: 4   

Winston Spey

New for 2009! This is a very fast action rod with plenty of muscle for handling large fish in tight quarters. Our favorite reel to balance this rod is the Nautilus 10.
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 493-524 grains.
Floating Line Recommendations: Airflo Scandi Compact 510, Rio AFS 520,
Rio WindCutter 7/8
Use: 540-grain Skagit Compact for sinking tip work.

Rod weight: 6 1/8 Ounces.
Itemfont> Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
091015 B2X 9/10 Medium Fast Spey REG.$895
NOW $626.50
Sale Ended

Rio Spey Shooting Head Sale - Save $20 on Each Line - LIMITED TO STOCK ON HAND!
Rio Skagit Short Rio Skagit Flight Rio AFS Rio Steelhead Scandi

Fish long & prosper,
Mark, Patty & Crew

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. 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

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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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