Straight Talk, Sage 7126-4 METOD, Damsel Porn, Kane Klassic Bamboo Rods

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Straight Talk
By Mark Bachmann

Pictured above is college football coach Matt Raivio with the last floating line steelhead landed during the last ten-day trip. The next morning the river turned brown from White River run-off. It was then sinking tip time.
Within the context of steelhead fishing with Spey lines, and swinging flies, this article is about straight casts. If we are lucky, we are talking about straight, accurate casts, or maybe even long, straight, accurate casts. Straight is only accurate if you can look at a spot on the water and make your fly land in the middle of it. By far, the most productive anglers I have ever guided were the ones who could throw perfectly straight lines time after time, we're talking about nearly chalk-string straight.

Only a perfectly straight cast can produce perfectly predictable fly speed, and a totally predictable target for a predatory steelhead. An angler's odds go way up if you can cast a straight line. You are better able to cast straight, only if you can produce line speed. Line speed and straight lines go hand in hand. Unless you can make the line go straight, you can't make it go fast.

A perfectly thrown cast to the perfect angle across a river enables your fly to come under tension as soon as it touches the water. It also allows the fly to maintain a constant speed as the line crosses all but the severest current changes without mending.

It takes perfectly balanced, and perfectly tuned tackle to throw perfectly straight casts. I started experimenting with a Sage 7126-4 METHOD a couple of winters ago. The guts of this animal come from Sage's incredible Konnetic Technology® graphite material combined with a very fast taper. The perfect alignment of individual fibers in the rod-blank combined with Jerry Siem's engineering magic has produced the "sniper-rifle of two-hand rods". The 7126-4 throws long and very straight. It is doubtful however, that Sage designed the 7126-4 as a Skagit rod, yet with a RIO 550-grain Skagit Max Short head, it generates so much line speed that all but the strongest winds can be ignored. Last May at The Sandy River Spey Clave, Simon Gawesworth passed out a variety of bright orange Spey shooting heads to instructors. I was lucky enough to get an ample supply. There is no doubt that bright colored lines help students see what is going on. The Short version of the Skagit Max is complementary to shorter Spey and Switch rods. After experimenting with several shooting lines, I settled on the Frog Hair .024, because of the bright chartreuse color, and the fact that it is large enough in diameter to control during heavy rod loads. (There is nothing that kills a cast quicker than a premature release of your shooting line during your forward stroke.) This set-up casts all the different M.O.W Tips and iMOW Tips with authority. I chose a working-tip made from eleven feet of T-11 InTouch for this rod because it fits the short rod length and puts the fly at depth in the current speeds of the water where the most steelhead seemed to be holding. Of course, my good old reliable gold colored Sage 6010 reel got the honor of rounding out this beautiful "FLY DELIVERY SYSTEM". This is a visually stunning fly fishing outfit, both cosmetically, and performance wise. Hang this combo on the rack at your favorite salmon lodge and watch how often other anglers examine it in detail. Get a set-up like this, put in the time to learn how to cast it, then ignore wind the rest of your fishing days.

Damsel Porn
In the game of fly fishing for trout, the study of aquatic insects is paramount to success. Catching trout becomes easier if you can match the hatch. Average size trout in streams and shallow lakes mostly eat insects. Much of the time, trout will target a specific insect, at a specific stage in that insect's life cycle. Trout try to target insects when they are most vulnerable, and easiest to catch with the least amount of energy drain on themselves. Trout are capitalists. So, the more you know about the aquatic insects that trout feed on, the more you know about trout habits, the easier they become for your own predatory game. This science is called matching the hatch.
Damsel flies are aquatic insects, and trout do feed on them in both the nymphal and adult stages. The video below has everything, and yet nothing to do with that. It was created by the circumstance of being on the water on a day when the wind was blowing hard, and a couple of beautiful and rare damsel flies were mating in the riverside vegetation close to me, and I had a compact camera in my pocket. I first noticed the male damsel while he was flying around me. He was twice as large as most damsel flies, was bright iridescent navy blue with a gold strip down each side. All damsel flies have four clear wings. This damsel's wings were clear at the the base, but with black tips.
It was only after a prolonged period of standing still that I noticed the pair copulating in the grass. Apparently making love in the wind is difficult for damsel flies, yet they have been around and nearly unchanged for 220,000,000 years. They are completely different from us, yet they are alive and totally functional. Isn't the diversity of life truly astounding? And, it isn't classed as porn unless it involves human beings.
Banded Damselflies aren't real common in most parts of Oregon, but I see them along the Deschutes River. There are no ponds or puddles within the canyon walls. so, I must assume that they live in the river during the egg and nymph stages.
Bluetail Damselflies (Ischnura heterosticta) are very common in and around many shallow, weedy lakes in Oregon. In some bodies of water such as Crane Prairie and Davis Lake they can reach astounding population densities. These flies can produce epic dry fly fishing.
The main damsel dry fly fishing happens around the edges of many lake during the months of July and August. This is because adult damsels are laying eggs. The female deposits her egg in the aquatic vegetation. her male clasps her behind the head and drags her from the water. Sometimes he rests, while she works at laying eggs. Then upon command the male takes her to safety.
Before the damsel flies can mate they must leave the water and become air breathers, instead of water breathers. Every damselfly starts life by hatching from an egg, then becomes a predatious, self propelled nymph.
Trout feed on damselflies in both their adult and juvenile stages. Knowing about the organisms that trout feed on can really add to your fishing success.
Kane Klassics Bamboo Fly Rods
Single Hand and Spey rods in stock, and orders taken for custom made.
Spey Rods:
11' 3-piece with extra tip: $1,985.00
12' 3-piece with extra tip: $1,985.00
13' 3-piece with extra tip: $1,985.00
Single tip rods deduct $335.00
Prices include rod case and rod bag.
Trout rods:
2-piece rods with one tip: $1,100.00
Prices include rod case and rod bag.
Extra rod tip.

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