Wild Steelhead

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Wild Steelhead
Mark Bachmann photo, 09/05/06.
This picture is offered as a tribute to wild steelhead. 
We hope you enjoy looking at wild steelhead as much as we do.  If you do, we urge you to join the Native Fish Society
and give them your support.
poltically our best hope for wild fish

Bachmann's Yellow Tail Passes Muster With IGFA

Mexican guide, Eulogio Davis Sanchez helps Mark hold the Yellow Tail for a picture.

The International Game Fish Association has certified that the California Yellow Tail caught by Mark Bachmann, Friday, April 28, 2006 off Isla del Carmen in the Sea of Cortez is indeed the new men's 10kg World Record.  It weighed 31-pounds, was 42" long, with a 24" girth. The previous record was 28 pounds, 8-ounces. The tackle used was a Thomas & Thomas HII911S4 rod, Abel Super 11 reel and Teeny TS-450 line. The battle lasted about 45-minutes until the the fish was finally gaffed by Captain Eulogio Davis Sanchez.

Deschutes Steelheading Remains Steady

Don with the first fish of the 10-day session.

My last 10-day Deschutes camp-out started September 11 and ended September 20.  Don Clay met me at noon on Monday and by 12:45 was landing his first steelhead in front of camp.  That's pretty much the way things went for the whole ten days.  Of course steelhead will always be somewhat unpredictable; constantly moving around and going on and off the bite.  This year we have excellent water conditions and a great run of fish.  Best colors on flies have been: purple and orange, purple and pink, and brown and orange.  The October Caddis hatch is just

getting going.  Trout anglers will be interested to know that smaller caddis and midge hatches have been prolific and the trout are active with favorable water temperatures.  Trout fishing pressure is very light as steelhead fishing steels the show.

Sage Z-Axis 6126-4

Sage rod & reel.

Simon Gawesworth on the Deschutes River.

Simon Gawesworth brought a new Sage Z-Axis 6126-4 (12' 6"-6weight) two-hander to the PhD Class.  It got a lot of attention from the students and instructors alike.  A couple of different lines were tried.  The new 400-grain Rio Skagit was great for working around areas with tight back cast room, however most people favored a 5/6 WindCutter.  This new rod is an entirely different animal than the two previous 6126-3 versions.  It has a more powerful kick when loaded properly and will deliver casts with much more authority.  Another

outstanding feature is its light weight.  It balances perfectly with Sage's lightweight 2580 reel. Simon fished some really difficult water with this rod and landed several steelhead with it, including the hot little beauty pictured here.  It took about 30-yards of backing on the first run.  This rod will have major appeal from anglers wishing to fish the John Day and Grand Ronde rivers.  The new 6126-4 rod tests created a lot of interest in the Z-Axis Spey Rod Series. 
Can't wait to try the rest of them.

Item Description Size Price To Top
6126-4ZAXIS Sage Spey Rod 12ft. 6in 6wt $750 SALE ENDED

Steelhead PhD School With Simon Gawesworth (Report)

Steelhead PhD "class room".

The final score was 28 steelhead landed for 42 solid hook-ups.  Steelhead were in the Deschutes River in good numbers and water conditions were near perfect.  The students worked hard and everyone's skills improved tremendously during the school. Dave Corneu got the ball rolling by landing a wild steelhead on about his tenth cast of the first casting practice only minutes into the first day.  That set the trend as every one in camp had hooked a steelhead by dark of the first day.  The next day proved to be even better as a huge

pod of fish passed through our area. That evening Simon, Kent and Bruce were dropped off in a small run and Kent landed two of six fish that came to his fly. The next morning, I took Simon, Jim and Dave a mile upstream with the jet boat and they spread out through a long run.  Simon had the hot hand, landing four out of his five fish that morning.  The next morning I put Simon and Kent in one of the toughest runs on the river.  Deep wading and little back cast room made for hard fishing.  Anyone who can fish this water deserves a

Simon with his 4th for the morning.
Kent Collins

Steelhead PhD.  The boys came through with Kent landing two of his four fish and Simon landing one for two. The anglers who stayed in the camp water and fished with Brian Silvey and Marty Sheppard, all did equally well. Fishing fell off somewhat over the weekend, as the river got really crowed and it was hard to get prime water to fish.  The fish always get shy when there are a lot of people after them.  Even with this added challenge, our students continued to hook steelhead, proving that they were learning new skills quickly.  It

was a joy for us working with such an enthusiastic and talented group of students.  Casting lessons continued every day, (which were mostly conducted by Simon and Brian).  Instruction was given in single spey, double spey, snake roll, snap tee and Perry poke casts.  Students learned how to cast both right and left hand from both sides of the river.  Fishing instruction was was constantly being given by Mark, Brian and Marty while students fished morning and evening sessions.  Steelhead were continually being hooked as skills were constantly being refined.

Jim Clark
Simon Gawesworth & Bruce Craddock admire a fish that Dave Cornue caught during casting practice.

Mark conducted classes on reading water and covering the water, which were illustrated with a story-board in the dining tent .  He also taught a spey leader construction class with the Maxima Leader Kits that were provided free to each student.  Simon donated Rio Fluoroflex Plus Tippet material to everyone. Brian Silvey drew a crowd as he showed the students the finer art of tying Deschutes steelhead flies.  It rained on us a couple of times, but camp was warm, dry and secure.  Probably the biggest hits were the fishing and Marty's camp-kitchen magic.

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes