Al Buhr

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Al Buhr
Two-Handed Fly Casting
Design Fly Lines
Great Blue Heron

Two New Books By: Oregon's Al Buhr

Al Buhr has been an avid steelhead fisherman since his youth and was introduced to Spey casting by the late Jim Green in 1982.  Al has since been on the leading edge of rod and line development for many years with Sage in developing two-handed rods and with Scientific Angler in designing several Spey fly lines.  In 2004, Al chaired a committee of line and rod manufacturers that established a manufacturing line-weight designation standard ratified by the Association of Fishing Tackle Manufacturers of America.

    Al is also a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers' Casting Board of Governors' and is chairman of the Two-Handed Casting Instructor program.  He is a FFF-certified Master Casting Instructor and Two-Handed Casting Instructor.  Al has given workshops on fly casting and steelhead fly fishing throughout the United States and at many Federation of Fly Fishers' Conclaves.

Al Buhr
Frank Amato Publications, Aug 2006
Softcover : $22.00
This book unlocks the secrets of 16 different casts that solve many fishing situations.  This is a practical, experience based guide that is ideal for
casters of all skill levels.  This book has casts and helpful hints for the beginning caster, the essential Spey casts and situation Spey casts that will solve many fishing circumstances.  Each cast is laid out in a clear sep-by-step progression, as well as, when and where to use them.  The fault analyst section lays out how to find faults and cure them, list many of the common faults, causes and cures.
Spey casting is a great way to improve your success in fly fishing.  It is an ideal method to present a fly with ease with no back cast.  the rods long length improves line control for better presentations.  In windy conditions, Spey casting provides a level of safety.  Using leverage of the two hands to form the cast is less stressful on the arms and shoulders making it ideal for those who have experienced a loss of strength.  Brute strength is never required.  This is ideal for anyone who may have experienced fatigue casting a large single-handed rod.
12 x 9 Landscape, 80 pages, all color.
Item Description Price To Top
1-57188-395-9 Two-Handed Fly Casting $22.00

1-57188-395-9B Two-Handed Fly Casting with any purchase over $150. That is 20% OFF plus FREE SHIPPING. $17.60


Al Buhr
Softcover : $19.95
All Buhr began building fly lines in the late 1970's as a way to improve his steelhead fishing.  In 1980, he met Jim Green and joined the Fenwick team.  Al mentored under Jim Green in both rod and line design.  In 1989, Al joined Sage rods and shortly after, teamed up with Scientific Anglers.
In 1994, with Bruce Richards of Scientific Anglers, Al designed the Mastery Spey/Salmon Taper and later the Short Head and Mid Head spey lines. In 2004, Al chaired a committee that developed a line weight standard for two-hand fly lines an has become the AFTMA designation. As you can see, Al has a lot of experience with fly line design.  This book puts all his knowledge in you hands; about how to design & build your own fly lines. 
Illustrated; Black and white;
5 1/2x 8 1/2 inches, 28 pgs.

Item Description Price To Top
13523 How To Design Fly Lines $19.95


Buy Airflo Buy Rio
What is a PolyLeader When to use a PolyLeader

What Is A PolyLeader

The term PolyLeader was first used by the Airflo Company of UK, to describe a new leader system they had developed to enhance leader performance.  A leader forms the essential link between the fly line and the fly. A leader must retain just the right amount of energy during the cast to place the fly perfectly on target.  Fly fishing leaders are tapered to retain just the right amount of energy to turn the fly over and then lose that energy so that leader comes straight and then settles to the water.  Most leaders of this period are made by tapering nylon monofilament

strands. Nylon leaders are inexpensive and are fairly trouble free.  However, some times the flow of energy doesn't transfer smoothly where a nylon leader joins a fly line because the line and leader are each made from materials that bend differently. Poly leaders are constructed by using a level core and tapering a coating much the same way fly lines are made.  They become an extension of the fly line itself.  There is also an added advantage for being able vary the coating to float or sink.

When To Use A PolyLeaders

Airflo developed the PolyLeader so that the kinetic energy created by the fly line could be carried further, for longer, smoother, more accurate casts.  PolyLeaders may be the ultimate fly fishing leaders. These tapered leaders are literally an extension of the fly line.  They allow for much better turnover, provide an easy and interchangeable system for adjusting sink densities, and allow you to use greater

Sink Rates
Floating = 0" ips
Clear Hover = .5" ips
Clear Intermediate = 1.5" ips
Slow Sinking = 2.6" ips
Fast Sinking = 3.9" ips
Extra Fast Sinking = 4.9" ips
Super Extra Fast Sinking = 6.1" ips  

lengths of level tippet for line-shy fish. PolyLeaders have a high-strength level monofilament core surrounded by supple, tapered polymer. This unique combination provides the fly fisher with a leaders that almost turns over by themselves! Available in a choice of seven densities, Polyleaders extend your tactics to a degree unrivalled by  traditional mono leaders. The level monocore is exposed at the tip, allowing you to simply add your favorite tippet material and create extraordinary leader lengths.  Floating PolyLeaders are clear with positive buoyancy so that they ride over ripples and not through them.  Sinking leaders come in a wide range of sink rates that give you the latitude to adjust to changing water depths, water speeds and retrieve rates.

Airflo PolyLeaders
Trout PolyLeaders - 5' Spey PolyLeaders - 14'
Steelhead/Salmon PolyLeaders - 10' About PolyLeaders

Trout PolyLeaders

From casting on a turbulent stream to searching the depths of your local lake these leaders cover the full spectrum of trout fishing situations. Smoothly tapered to give easy turn over of dries, nymphs and streamers they open up many new techniques, not only with a floating line but with sinking lines as well.  The 5' version is particularly useful on stillwaters and rivers.
Max. tippets up to 5' long and as strong as 12-pound test may be added.  Normal tippet lengths are 3' to 4' and may be as fine as 6x.  Stealthy presentations are easier to make with long fine tippets.  Larger diameter tippets will retain energy for casting large flies or for casting in the wind.  Best used with fly lines #4 to #6 weight

Item Description Type Price To Top
PFO5T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Floating $7.95

PH5T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Clear Hover $7.95

PI15T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Clear Intermediate $7.95

PSS45T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Slow Sinking $7.95

PFS85T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Fast Sinking $7.95

PSF165T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Extra Fast Sinking $7.95

PESF245T Airflo Trout PolyLeader, 5-feet long Super Extra Fast Sinking $7.95


Steelhead/Salmon PolyLeaders

Available in here in the four most popular densities in 10' lengths to provide complete depth control, so often essential for salmon/steelhead fishing. Floating leaders work well when fishing waking flies and also for fishing wet flies near the water surface.  Intermediate PolyLeaders allow you to fish your wet fly a little deeper or anchor the line tip a little harder to the water for roll casting in the wind. Slow and Fast sinking leaders are perfect controlling the depth you wish your fly to be fished at.  The Extra Super Fast sinking leader gets the fly deep quickly.  It is very popular for fishing in the winter or in bright light conditions.  Max. tippet strength: 24-pound test.  Tippet lengths of up to 4-feet are commonly used.

Item Description Type Price

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PFO10S Airflo Salmon-Steelhead PolyLeader, 10-feet long Clear Floating $11.95

PI110S Airflo Salmon-Steelhead PolyLeader, 10-feet long Intermediate Sinking $11.95

PFS810S Airflo Salmon-Steelhead PolyLeader, 10-feet long Fast Sinking $11.95

PESF2410S Airflo Salmon-Steelhead PolyLeader, 10-feet long Extra Super Fast Sinking $11.95


Spey PolyLeaders

These longer PolyLeaders are popular for Spey rod fishing with many types of lines.  They are especially popular for fishing Scandinavian shooting head lines, as the longer Poly leader provides an easy anchor when fishing short head lines.  Often tippets of up to six feet are added to floating and intermediate PolyLeaders when fish are line-wary.  The extra length in the sinking  leaders allows you to fish your flies deeper than with a 10-foot leader of the same sink rate.  Max. tippet strength up to 40-pound test may be used.

Item Description Type Price To Top
PFO14S Airflo Spey Salmon PolyLeader, 14-feet long Floating $14.95

PI114S Airflo Spey PolyLeader, 14-feet long Intermediate $14.95

PFS814S Airflo Spey PolyLeader, 14-feet long Fast Sinking $14.95

PESF2414S Airflo Spey PolyLeader, 14-feet long Extra Super Fast Sinking $14.95


Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leaders
12 ft sinking leaders with a high tenacity nylon core coated with a super low modulus tungsten polymer mixture. Leaders have little memory or coiling, great turnover plus shock absorption for fish fighting.  These Powerflex core sinking leaders are rated for Salmon with 24-pound test mono core and feature an ultra smooth welded loop making it easy to connect to the fly line. Just add  tippet material.
Sink rates: 1.5 ips (3.7 cm/s), 2.6 ips (6.6 cm/s) 3.9 ips (9.9 cm/s), 5.6 ips (14.2 cm/s), 7.0 ips (17.8 cm/s
Item Description Sink Rate Price To Top
24440 Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leader 1.5 ips $12.95

24441 Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leader 2.6 ips $12.95

24442 Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leader 3.9 ips $12.95

24443 Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leader 5.6 ips $12.95

24444 Rio Powerflex Core Sinking Leader 7.0 ips $12.95


Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Blue Herons have inhabited every every fishing destination that I have fished except for Kamchatka.  They are fish hunting birds that wade the shallow margins of ponds, lakes and rivers. Both fresh and saltwater marshes are also much to their liking.  Herons eat a wide variety of fish, animals and insects.  They prefer small fish and frogs.   I watched the heron at right as he stalked the edge of the Deschutes River.  

USGS Great Blue Heron

After he had left, I examined the shore line and found it to be exceptionally rich in heron food.  Tall canary grass and dead woody debris sheltered a clean narrow, shallow submerged flat sand bar. Then the bank broke precipitously into a slow deep eddy.  Along this natural

wall grew a dense weed narrow bed.  A hoard of minnow fry from 2" - 4" hugged the edge of the weed bed.  The heron cruised slowly down the the path between the terrestrial and aquatic vegetation and picked off minnows one by one in fairly rapid succession.  An angler can learn a lot from herons.  Herons know the landscape of the waters they inhabit in intimate detail.  They know where fish live.  In many ecosystems herons and predatory game fish hunt the same foods.   Someday I will go back to this eddy that herons stalk in the bright light of day.  I want to see what stalks this same eddy when the light levels are lower.

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Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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