RIO MOW Tips are one of the most successful Spey Accessories of all-time. It is hard to believe they they could be improved upon. Fact is, they have been. The 2016 MOW Tips are now constructed with InTouch (no stretch, sensitivity) that can extend from your running line to your leader. The other big improvement is the laser labeling on each tip. Full sinking tips are color coded. MOW Tips have always been super-cool. Now they are super, super, super cool!
An Explanation Of RIO MOW Tips: The first Spey rods used for steelhead in the U.S. and Canada were either imported from UK, or were copies of rods developed in Great Briton. Most were 15' long. Using 15' sinking tips was normal with these long rods. The MOW Tip concept came about because as two-hand fly rods became popular in North America they became lighter in weight and shorter in length. Several astute steelhead guides noticed that many anglers using these newer, shorter rod designs, had problems over-coming the "Bloody-L"from the sinking tip portion of the line while casting. It was also determined that a 15' long tip was unhandy for fishing in many circumstances. The easiest solution was to shorten the sinking tip portion of the line.
Spey-Jedi, Ed Ward was one of the first of an elite group of hardcore steelhead anglers that began utilizing shorter tips in the late 1990’s/ early 2000 period. Mike McCune and Scott O’Donnell had been using custom-made "Cheaters" as length compensators for short T-14 tips on both the Oregon Coast as well as their Grande Ronde fall guide season. Over the course of the last 10 years, other folks had gotten onto this concept via the 3 Amigos allowing the Secret Society to build their own “chop-shop” product. This concept was needed to overcome the boomerang effect of casting 2.5’ to 7.5’ sink-tips that were attached directly to Skagit type heads.
The integrated floating portion of the RIO MOW Tips provide a buffer of smoothness making casting such short sinking tips feasible, smooth and effective. One of the primary reasons for adherence to Skagit Casting principles is its unmatched versatility under a broad range of fishing applications. Not all good steelhead water is of a classic format. Indeed, some of the best water is anything but classic. One of the most difficult aspects confronting the sunken fly angler is developing the ability to see the imaginable third dimension that exists below the water surface and being able to adjust the length of the sinking tip to place the fly perfectly on the fish's level. MOW Tips enable each angler to make the necessary changes to fit the rod they are using, and the water they are fishing.
MOW Tips are looped at each end to facilitate changing tackle quickly. They combine casting and fishing ease with the ability to adapt to many fishing situations.
MOW Tips come in four different weights: Extra Heavy, Heavy, Medium and Light. These weights are designed to integrate with certain sizes of Skagit Heads. Larger diameter tips also retains more energy to propel larger and heavier flies.
The NEW RIO InTouch MOW Tips are the second generation of MOW Tips, which have several advantages over the first generation of MOW Tips. They are built on a non-stretch core, so you can feel bites better, and they are laser engraved with identifying information, so you will have no questions about which tip you are fishing with.
RIO InTouch Extra Heavy Skagit MOW Tips
What RIO says: The Extra Heavy MOW Tips are the heaviest of the MOW series; built with T-17 for the sinking section and with a sink rate of nearly 10' per second, it really gets down when depth is needed. Each of the tips either have a gray floating section, or a gray loop for easy identification. These tips are ideal on the heavier Skagit lines of 675 grains and more.
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, 10ft Float
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, 7.5ft Float/2.5ft T-17
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, 5ft Float/5ft T-17
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, 2.5ft Float/7.5ft T-17
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, 10ft T-17
RIO InTouch Heavy Skagit MOW Tips
What RIO says: The Heavy MOW Tips featured T-14, with a sink rate of 9" per second, for the sinking material. Each of these tips has either a light blue floating section or a blue sleeve on one end for easy identification. The Heavy MOW Tip are designed for the heaviest of flies and are ideal for Skagit lines of 575 grains and more. There are six unique tips that make up the series. From our experience: No doubt that T14 is a good match with 575-grain and heavier heads, but 10' and heavier heads can also be easily cast with 525-grain heads. T-14 is very popular for winter steelhead fishing and may be the most popular size for Alaskan Kings.
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, 7.5ft Float/2.5ft T-14
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, 5ft Float/5ft T-14
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, 2.5ft Float/7.5ft T-14
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, 10ft T-14
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, 12.5ft T-14
RIO InTouch Medium Skagit MOW Tips
What RIO says: The Medium MOW Tips featured T-11, with a sink rate of 8" per second, for the sinking material. Each of these tips has either a light green floating section or a green sleeve on one end for easy identification. The Medium MOW Tip are designed for the heavily weighted flies and are ideal for Skagit lines between 475 and 575 grains. There are six unique tips that make up the series. From our experience: T-11 is the most popular size of MOW Tips for steelhead fishing overall, and is an especially good match for heads from 525-grains and 550-grains.
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, 7.5ft Float/2.5ft T-11
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, 5ft Float/5ft T-11
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, 2.5ft Float/7.5ft T-11
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, 10ft T-11
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, 12.5ft T-11
RIO InTouch Light Skagit MOW Tips
What RIO says: The Light MOW Tips featured T-8, with a sink rate of 7" per second, for the sinking material. Each of these tips has either a white floating section or a white sleeve on one end for easy identification. The Light MOW Tip are designed for the lightly weighted flies and are ideal for Skagit lines of 475 grains and less. There are six unique tips that make up the series. From our experience: T-8 MOW tips is especially good for summer steelhead fishing and for use wit lighter steelhead rods.
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Extra Heavy, All 6 Tips
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Heavy, All 6 Tips
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Medium, All 6 Tips
RIO InTouch Skagit MOW Tips, Light, All 6 Tips
About this photo - "Keys To Success":
Having the right gear in the right place at the right time.
ER Doc, Kenny Dirk fished all day on a crowded rising river in January...without a pull. Then in the last pool of the day, he stuck three chromers in twenty minutes.
How was this possible? Kenny is in good enough physical condition that he can fish long and hard. He has spent a lot of time perfecting his wading and casting skill. He has great equipment acquired over a reasonable period of time. At the core are his Sage TCX Death Star 7126-4 rod, Sage 6000 reel, and RIO Skagit Max line system complete with a full set of T-14 MOW tips.
It was the Skagit MOW Tip, Heavy, 2.5ft Float/7.5ft T-14 tip that enabled him to present the fly perfectly to steelhead, which were following the shoreline in about four feet of water.
...and I am honored that he chose me as his guide and personal photographer, Mark Bachmann
Mark's Deep Eyed Minnow
Work on this pattern started around 2000 on the flats along the coast line of Belize when we started using small Clouser Minnows for bonefish and permit. There really wasn't a Clouser pattern that mimicked the local bait-fish that the Belizian fish were feeding on. Our first olive and white patterns incorporated lead eyes that were factory painted yellow iris with a black pupil. as we became more familiar with the local bait, we noticed that the iris of all the small fish were reflective gold or silver. We changed the painted eyes for gold-plated brass Dazl-Eyes with a black painted pupil. the results were stunning. These flies were dramatically more productive than the originals.
As we explored more and more saltwater destinations, we encountered many sport fish that fed on small fish that had olivish backs and white to silver sides. A size #2 Deep Eyed Minnow became the answer for many encounters with jacks, snappers, sea bass, roosterfish, yellowtails, and a host of other fish the fed along bottom structures near shorelines. At the heart of Mark's Deep Eyed Minnow is the wondrefully sharp, strong, and beautiful X452 Daiichi X-Point Saltwater Hook. For whatever reason, all these fish seemed to prefer flies with grayish-olive backs rather than yellowish olive backs. Fortunately the perfect answer is NB 263. These flies were used with both floating and sinking lines. Sometimes these flies were used with sinking shooting heads to depths of more than thirty feet, and often out-fished fishermen using live bait. I remember one day in November 2009 when we out-fished the live bait guys 20 to 1 off the east side of Coronado Island in the Sea of Cortez. The target were juvenile yellowtail that averaged about 8-pounds apiece. Don't ask me why they liked our flies better than the real thing, but it is true.
Crayfish are native to nearly all freshwater in North America where game-fish live. They are a large part of the diet of most trout and bass. In many lakes in Oregon, crayfish supply much of the protein for trout over 14" long, and even many trout under 9". The first time I fished the Deschutes River in Oregon, in 1966, the guy who took me fishing was an expert at finding crayfish and using them for bait. He had his 15 fish limit in no time. When the fish were butchered, stomach autopsies reveled that every redband trout over 14' had recently eaten at least one crayfish. Now, of course these trout are catch-and-release, but their diet probably hasn't changed significantly.
In the late 1980's I was involved in a research project which caught 78 Eastern Brook Trout from one of the natural high lakes in the Mount Hood area of Oregon. Most of these trout were under 11" long, but most had at least one crayfish in their stomach. Many seemingly barren lakes have big crayfish populations, and these crayfish become the major food source for trout. Even though there are more insects in weedy lakes, crayfish are at the top of the menu in these places too. Many crayfish live in rivers too. Crayfish don't only inhabit the calm water parts of our river. There are also crayfish in some of the fastest water as well. Fishing techniques vary with dept and water speed.
This crayfish was caught in January from the Sandy River and is ladened with eggs. Crayfish eggs are large and are carried under the tail.
This crayfish was caught from the Sandy River during the winter. It was returned to the river unharmed. It has definiteness olive tones. Crayfish can swim at fairly high speed for distances of several yards, but spend most of there time crawling along the bottom. They are found in every water type from little bottom eddies that collect food to stumps, and under boulders in very fast rapids.
Raccoons are experts at catching crayfish by feeling under rocks. This Coon fished during the day time as we fished around it.
The most widespread native species in the Pacific Northwest is the Signal Crayfish(Pacifastacus leniusculus). Signal Crayfish come in a variety of colors: bright red, dull green-brown, or even bluish. They seem to prefer swiftly flowing waters, rather than lazy pools.
This species can be found throughout Washington and Oregon– from the coastal streams to the rivers of the Columbia Basin.
There seems to be some controversy about the Signal Crayfish. Some researches claim that only one species of crayfish is native to the Pacific Northwest. Recent research based on genetic data found that what we call the Signal Crayfish may actually represent four distinct species, each found in a different part of the northwest. Neither fish nor raccoons probably care. they probably eat any crayfish they can catch.