Sage TCX Switch Rods, October Caddis Hatches, Tippet Rings,
Steelhead Fly Fishing

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Sage TCX Switch Rods
October Caddis
Tippet Rings

Steelhead Fly FishingSALE ENDED


Sage TCX Switch Rods New For 2010
A test report by: Josh Linn
"I fished the Deschutes last week with Marcy Stone and Ryan Petzold. Ryan came loaded with new rods and new lines. I like his style. I fished the 7119-4 TCX Switch rod quite a bit. One morning I landed four fish on it. They are powerful, little, light, and can handle fish well. They are called switch rods but I call them baby spey rods. They cast big and fish little. I can't really get behind switch rods. Am I going to overhead cast this thing, nope, am I going to use it with one hand? Maybe, but probably not. So why get a switch rod? Most of the time the handles are awkward,  like an oversized single hand rod. But these rods are different. The rod itself is longer it has a real spey style handle. These rods might be called switch rods but they are little two handed rods and they bomb line."
Ryan Petzold Lands this little Deschutes fish with the Sage TCX 6119-4 

Sage 5119-4 TCX

Length: 11'9"      Line: 5    Pieces: 4

The little guy of the group.  Small but powerful.  Western streamer swingin’ stick, lake and beach too, small steelhead use, for such haunts as the Rogue, Grande Ronde and John Day. 

Line Match
: Skagit Short 325, Steelhead Scandi 310, AFS 5/6, Windcutter 5/6, Outbound WF-6 (beach/lake), Rio Switch 5/6  
Sink Tip Use
: 15’ 109 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS)
Reel Match
: Sage 4580, Sage 4280, Tibor Everglades, Sage 3880
Rod weight:  5 1/4 oz.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
5119-4 TCX 5 Fast C $840 SALE ENDED

Sage 6119-4 TCX

Length: 11'9"      Line: 6     Pieces: 4

Small steelhead, Alaska Rainbows and Dollies, beach weapon de jour/lake tool.

Line Match
: Skagit Flight 350, Steelhead Scandi 350, Skagit Short 375, AFS 5/6, Rio Switch 6/7
Sink Tip Use
: 15’ 109 & 129 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light & T-11/Medium
Reel Match
: Sage 4210, Tibor Everglades, Sage 6080

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
6119-4 TCX 6 Fast C $845 SALE ENDED

Sage 7119-4 TCX Length: 11'9"      Line: 7     Pieces: 4
As with most Switch rods, the #7 represents the 30.06 of Switch.  From Alaska Rainbows to Oregon Coastal Steelhead to Tierra Del Fuego Sea-Run Brows, the 7 plays big.  Not overkill for Trout but big enough for Anadramous Critters, here is your all-purpose player.
Line Match:
Skagit Flight 400, Steelhead Scandi 385, Skagit Short 425, AFS 6/7, Rio Switch 7/8
Sink Tip Use:
15’ 109 & 129 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
Reel Match:
Sage 4210, Tibor Signature 7-9, Sage 6080
Rod weight:  5 3/4 oz.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
7119-4 TCX 7 Fast C $850 SALE ENDED

Sage 8119-4 TCX Length: 11'9"      Line: 8     Pieces: 4
Wow, you gotta try this one!  Talk about power in a light package.  Focused Anadramous Switch rod, steelhead anywhere, smaller Atlantic salmon venues, Sea-Run Browns, Coastal Steelhead tight-quarter focus.  You will be shocked at the distances this rod will produce.
Line Match: Skagit Flight 450, Steelhead Scandi 435, Skagit Short 475, AFS 7/8, Rio Switch 8/9
Sink Tip Use:
15’ 129 & 150 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 11’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
Reel Match:
Sage 6010, Tibor Signature 7-9, Sage 3810, Sage 4210
Rod weight:  5 7/8 oz.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
8119-4 TCX 8 Fast C $855 SALE ENDED

October Caddis Hatches
October Caddis Adult. Photo: Mark Bachmann
Big fish on the surface is the attraction.
The Pacific Northwest has spectacular hatches of giant caddis. Most of these hatches are in the fall, but some cold spring creeks have hatches through much of the winter and into the spring as well. The fat bodies of winged adults are in colors that range from light tannish orange to yellowish orange to bright orange to burnt orange. Wings are usually gray but there are also brown tones. There are apparently a number of different sub-species in what is commonly called October Caddis or Fall Caddis or Giant Caddis.  Most belong to the family Dicosmoecus.
They range from California to Alaska. 
This steelhead ate an October Caddis dry fly. Photo: Patty Barnes
The larva of these giant caddis build tube-like cases.  During the winter months when the larva are tiny, these cases are made from vegetable matter attached to a foundation of silk.  As the larva grows in size through the spring months they abruptly switch to cases made from small gravel.  You can observe these larvae crawling around on the streambed dragging their cases with them as the forage for algae and decaying plant and animal matter.  During the the summer months of June and July Dicosmoecus larvae are important trout foods.  Daily behavioral drift cycles occur in the early afternoon, usually peaking about 4:00 P.M.  They are one of the few families of caddis that leave their cases before behavioral drift cycles.  This makes them extremely enticing to large trout.  In August these larvae seal themselves in their cases and by September they are ready to emerge as adults.
October Caddis Cased Larva (under water). Photo: Mark Bachmann
Emergence occurs from late afternoon until dark. The pupae usually swim and crawl to shallow water, but some emerge mid-river. Many actually crawl from the water to hatch on rocks along the shore.  Even when adults are not active, you can tell if October Caddis have been hatching by observing their shucks on stream margin rocks.  If prospecting with a dry October Caddis pattern doesn't turn up any interest, try a pupa pattern.  Pumpkin orange color is usually the best.   Try fishing your pupa suspended from a dead drifted dry fly.  This technique can be very productive late in the evening when both egg laying adults and hatching pupas are both active. Steelhead as well as trout can be fooled by this trick.
Egg laying occurs in the afternoon and evening.  The big, fat juicy females flop around on the water exuding their eggs.  They are a prime attraction for fish of all sizes.  Fishing a big orange body dry fly can be productive any time of day if you fish in shady spots under overhanging trees.  Some caddis are active during moderate temperature days.  Most of the big caddis rest in the shade of vegetation throughout hot days.  These caddis are perfectly camouflaged to hide during the day and wait for evening flights.

October Caddis, Dry
October Caddis is the big fall hatch. This pattern has a tightly stacked elk hair wing for maximum floatation and feelers for realism.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11461 Sloan's Paralyzer October Caddis, Dry 10 3 for $6.25 SALE ENDED

Tied Down Caddis, Orange
Sometimes called the Full Back Caddis, it is effective for representing both large caddis and stone flies.
Item Description Size Price To Top
5070-06 Tied Down Caddis, Orange 6 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Improved Sofa Pillow
This fly is generally used as a stone fly imitation, however, it is also a very good October Caddis.
Item Description Size Price To Top
6075-08 Improved Sofa Pillow 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Tungsten Bead Head Pupa
Trout and steelhead will target October Caddis pupas. The pupal phase of this life cycle happens inside of a stone encrusted case which is attached to the under side of stream bed rocks. At emergence, the pupa cuts its way out of the case and drifts along the bottom of the river until it reaches a place where it can crawl out of the water. Fish usually target the pupas as they are drifting along the bottom of the river.
Item Description Size Price To Top
18120 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 6 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
18121 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 8 3 for $5.85  SALE ENDED
18122 Tungsten Bead Head October Caddis Pupa 10 3 for $5.85  SALE ENDED

Oct'phat Ass Oct'phat Ass
Heavily weighted October Caddis puppa pattern commonly used for both trout and steelhead. October Caddis usually crawl out on mid stream boulders or stream side vegetation to hatch. However a long drift period can happen before they crawl out of the water. Emergence usually happens strongest during low light conditions.
Item Description Size Price To Top
ST195 Cone Head Oct'phat Ass October Caddis Pupa 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Peaking Cased Caddis Larva
Trout often intercept cased caddis larvae as they are drifting down the river. Best time to fish this fly is May through July.
Item Description Size Price To Top
9115-06 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 6 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9115-08 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9115-10 Peaking Cased Caddis Larva 10 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Anglers Image® Tippet Rings
Sometimes you discover solutions to problems where you least expect to find them. Tippet rings used in trout leaders can become the perfect connection for droppers used in steelhead  fishing. These tiny stainless steel rings are very strong. To build a very efficient "two-fly-cast" for fishing tandem wet flies, start with a Rio 6' - 16 lb. leader and attach your tippet ring to it with an improved clinch knot. To this ring attach 30"-36" of ten pound test Maxima tippet. To the same ring attach a length of 15 pound test Maxima tippet. This will become your dropper.  This dropper should be about four inches long when the fly is attached with a non-tightening loop knot. Usually the largest fly is attached to the dropper and a smaller fly is attached to the tippet. This is a deadly rig when fishing rivers such as the Deschutes.
These Extra Strong Fine Diameter Tippet Rings can be used for many types of fishing.
Allows for faster tippet changes and longer leader life. Tippet rings are only 2.25 mm in diameter. The use of tippet rings originated in Europe. During a fishing match, competitive anglers valued a fast and easy system to change the size of their tippet. Our Anglers Image® Tippet Rings allow the angler to simply knot the tippet end of their leader to the ring (using their favorite knot).
Unlike a blood knot or a double surgeons' knot, the use of a tippet ring allows the angler to connect a tippet that is significantly different in diameter than the end of the leader. For example, it is difficult to connect a 3X leader to a 7X tippet via a knot, but, with the use of a tippet ring, it is possible. The advantage to the angler is that they can rapidly change tippet diameters without the need to drastically rebuild or restructure their leader.

Aside from making tippet changes fast and easy, here are some tricks to employ while on the water:
1: Pinch on your split-shot above the tippet ring so that it will not slide down to your fly.
2: To create a dropper, extend a short section of tippet material off of the ring and connect a fly to it. A split-shot sinker can also be added in the same way.
3: To keep stick-on strike indicators in place, stick them on the tippet ring. The added benefit is a level tippet between your indicator and fly. This will sink the fly faster and make for a natural dead-drift.
4: 9 to 12 ft. leaders that taper down finer than 5X usually have long tippet sections. Knowing this, it is a good idea to cut back the leader 18 to 24 inches before adding the tippet ring and new tippet section.
Anglers Image® Tippet Rings come 10 per pack and are CNC spot welded in Germany.
Item Description Price To Top
ACCTPR Anglers Image® Tippet Rings,
10 per pack
$5.95 SALE ENDED

Steelhead Fly Fishing At Its Peak
The last ten days on the Deschutes I was able to serve two really strong groups of anglers. This allowed their guide to hunt. New water was found, and new equipment and fly patterns were proven. The fruits of our combined labors are displayed in the pictures below.

Dr. Jay Beckstead landed this beauty, while Dr. Walter Finkbeiner  offered encouragement.

First fish of the trip for Dr. Jay Beckstead gets the skunk off the group early in the first day..

Dr. Walter Finkbeiner got this steelhead on his sixth cast after we stopped the boat.

Dr. David Berkeley nailed this buck steelhead right in front of camp.

Dr. Felix Martinez hoists a native that bit just before dark, as Dr. Dave Berkeley looks on.

If your reel is waterproof, you don't care if it gets wet.  Buy a Nautilus!

Because he saw the Mob molesting 3-6 year old rainbows, this angler is under Witness Protection and can not be photographed with a fish.

Zeke Duge landed his first steelhead after his first twenty casts with a Spey Rod.

Tippet Rings are great for attaching droppers. Dropper flies increase your odds for landing steelhead!

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty