Muddlers and Buddlers

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Waking Flies
Run Predictions
Burkheimer Rules
Waking Tube Flies
Spey to Z
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Muddlers and Buddlers
By: Josh Linn

Buddlerized !!!

For the most part, I only carry a few flies in my box while wading, with little to get in my way. My wading gear is streamlined and my huge assortment of patterns stays in my Simms Boat Bag in the boat.  In this vast collection every fly has a purpose; dull colored flies, bright flies, dark flies, big flies, small flies and patterns for slick or choppy water, and several kinds of wakers for fishing on top.  Muddlers and Buddlers in purple and black are favorites. They are some of the most versatile flies for fall steelhead. In the riffley water they pop in and out of the

surface film and make it possible to attract fish that won't come to a wet fly. Or you can put a riffle hitch on one and slide tit across a glassy tail-out. I’ve guided people who fished skating and waking flies, and they have been pretty successful, though never having connected with a waking fly myself.   I figured it was because I hadn't put in enough time...hadn't paid my dues.  Last week I fished with my girl Marcy on the Deschutes for a couple of days. I have an advantage over most of the other guides. Normally I camp down in the canyon so I don’t have far to drive to put the boat in the water, which allows me to be first at the boat ramp in the morning. The first angler through the water when the fish are fresh and grabby has a huge advantage.
We where the first boat to Cedar Island and got to watch all of the other boats float by. Later we stuck four and landed two. As the day went on we continued to get hook-ups most everywhere we stopped the boat.  We pulled into our evening water early in the afternoon. Staking out our territory early allowed us to nap and rest-up for the evening hunt.  Making a few casts above the boat while waiting for the sun to go off the water seemed like a good idea. Three casts later a fish was hooked and beached. Enough fish had been hooked that it seemed like a good idea to skate a fly across the top. Digging through my box and knowing exactly what fly to use, a BUDDLER revealed itself to be the perfect type of fly for this water. A riffle hitch was put in place to keep the fly on top thus creating a wake. While working the head of the fly line out, the angle of presentation was tested and tuned. Casting down and across and putting a small mend into the line, the tilt of the rod lead the fly from the center of the river, then into the bank.  It looked so good...the only thing in sight was the little black head of the Buddler and the small subtle wake it left behind...with me holding a long shock loop loosely so a fish would have time to turn with the fly and hook itself. Fishing steelhead like this is very methodical as you get into a rhythm and block everything else out to fully focus on the fly and the swing speed.  A fish exploded on it like a cat pouncing on a ball, it missed it the first time and just kept coming back until it finally got it! A couple of head shakes later it was gone!  Guess it went home mad because it wouldn’t come back. Marcy sat up in the dry grass, awakened by the commotion. Still jazzed up by the fish on the surface, I told her about all of the excitement that happened while she was sleeping. Twenty minutes later she was into a fish,

and I was the photographer. A little later, my waking Buddler was again in the choppy water. The fly waked right between two submerged boulders and a gaping hole opened up as the fly was sucked under in a whirl pool. The steelhead flashed brightly and took the loop from my fingers and became impaled by the hook!!!! Running and jumping down river it didn't appear to be too happy. Ten minutes later it was resting on its side in the shallow water. My first steelhead on a waking fly. Marcy went on to land another fish and then it was dark.

Josh Linn.

Fall Steelhead Run Predictions and Up-dates!

This steelhead outfit has seen a lot of action and is itching for some more.

Our buddy Pete with a little chromer.

Summer Steelhead Fishing is a key part of the activity around The Fly Fishing Shop.  Fishing forays are made weekly to keep us up-to-date with first hand proprietary information.  The best part is that Patty and I have to collect much of this information in person. Well that's just the way it is.  It's dirty dangerous work, but someone has to do it.

Summer Steelhead/Salmon Run Predictions and Up-dates, by River!

Clackamas River Water conditions are good.  Still fair numbers of fairly bright summer steelhead.  An occasional bright Chinook is still available.  Fishing has been good for skilled anglers.  A good burst of Coho came with the last rains.
Clear Water River Steelhead are starting to show in good numbers.  Expect to find fish if you work for them. Best period for fly fishing October 1-15.  
Deschutes River Steelhead are in the river in really good numbers.  The best concentration of fish are from Shears Falls to Warm Springs.  Seasonal water conditions are the best in 20-years.   Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average.
Grand Rhonde River Steelhead are starting to show around the mouth of the river.  Better than average run is expected.
Hood River River There are still good numbers of fairly bright steelhead stacked up in the mile below Power Dale Dam.  The rest of the river from from the dam to the mouth has sparser numbers of fish. Run is beyond its peak.
John Day River Not much steelhead activity yet up river from the falls.  A fish are in the mouth of the river. Predictions of run size and water conditions are favorable for fall fishing.  Best period for fly fishing October & November. 
Klickitat River There are fair numbers of very bright steelhead.  The run will continue to build through the late fall.  Water color is off and on.   Most predictable period for fly fishing is October. 
North Santiam River Water conditions are good.  Still good numbers of bright summer steelhead.  Fishing has been good for anglers willing to cover a lot of water.  Fishes well through October.
North Umpqua River Good numbers of bright fish are scattered in the fly-only water now.  Seasonal water conditions are favorable.  Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average.  Best fishing period is August through October.
Rogue River Seasonal water conditions should be favorable.  Steelhead run is expected to exceed last ten year average.  Best fishing period is August through October.
Sandy River There are still good numbers of fairly bright steelhead stacked up below Marmot Dam.  The rest of the river from from the dam to the mouth has sparser numbers of fish. The problem is water color from glacial silt.  The Sandy went out early this year and is expected to be out much of the summer.  Only on the coolest days is the river fishable. Best period for fly fishing April, May & October. Expect a very large run of Coho Salmon September/October. 

The Fly Fishing Shop has one of the most divers and extensive collections 
of steelhead flies to be found anywhere!

Burkheimer Still Rules

Don Clay tries Mark's 8139-3 C.F. Burkheimer and likes the results.

There is no doubt that Kerry Burkheimer has had a tremendous influence on spey rod design in North America over the last 20 years.  I hear guys say, "When is Kerry going to come out with a new spey rod series? Some of his designs are 10-years old!"  After you spend a day fishing a big winter river with the 9143-3 you bought 10 years ago, you are satisfied, knowing you are still using the best tool that has been made for that task, and that no other designer has been able to produce a better one. Don Clay at left borrowed my 8139-3 and is displaying the results.  He was able to reach water that was previously unavailable to him.  Kerry's designs don't change very often because they are so well thought out in the first place.  Regardless of all the hype on new materials from other manufacturers, Burkheimers are about as lightweight as any

Spey rods available.  And they are fishy because of their exceptional balance.  Burkheimers fish as well as any brand.  Things like extra long ferrules that rarely loosen up while casting, takes that problem off your mind giving you more neurons to use for fishing.  After fishing a Burkheimer, every other spey rod handle feels like a stick. In his factory every step in the production of each rod is performed by a dedicated craftsman and is personally supervised by master rod maker Kerry Burkheimer himself. Each C.F. Bukheimer rod gets two coats of finish whereas most manufacturers apply only one. The results speak for themselves.
Try a Burkheimer!
  They're hard to beat.

CF 7133-3

Length: 13' 3"    Line: # 7    Pieces: 3


Description: The Deschutes grease line rod, a favorite on any steelhead or salmon river where smaller flies are used.
Rod weight: 7 1/2  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF7133-3 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 13 ft. 3 in. 7 $795


CF 8139-3

Length: 13' 9"    Line: #8     Pieces: 3


Description:  All around summer/winter steelhead rod for medium to large rivers and average size fish and flies. Handles sinking tips with authority.  Matches up well with lines from 550-700 grains.  Personal favorite: Skagit 450 + 10' Cheater + 117 gr. tip = 693 grains.  This line is used with both floating and sinking tips from a 7/8/9 WindCutter.  Balances best with a reel that weighs from 9 to 9.5 oz.
Rod weight: 8 1/4  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF8139-3 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 13 ft. 9 in. 8 $795


CF 8141-4

Length: 14' 1"    Line: #8    Pieces: 4


Description: A great summer/winter steelhead rod. Also a very good rod for Atlantic salmon.  Will throw larger flies.  Handles sinking tips with authority.  Matches up well with lines from 550-700 grains.  Personal favorite: stock 7/8/9 WindCutter.  Balances best with a reel that weighs around 10.5 oz.
Rod weight: 8  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF8141-4 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 14 ft. 1 in. 8 $825


CF 9143-3

Length: 14' 3"    Line: #9    Pieces: 3


Description: A great winter steelhead rod. also a very good rod for Atlantic salmon.  Will throw larger flies.  Handles sinking tips with authority.  Matches up well with lines from 600-750 grains.  
Rod weight: 8 3/4  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF9143-3 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 14 ft. 3 in. 9 $795


Waking Tube Flies

One of the reasons that fly fishing for Redband Steelhead is so popular, is that they actively rise to the surface for flies.  There is probably no other fresh water fly fishing experience that is more exciting than watching a large steelhead coming to the surface of a river for a waking fly.  In the past, all waking flies were tied on standard hooks.  Either a special knot was applied to the fly or the fly was dressed in a special way so that it would skate across the surface.  Now flies are tied on special plastic tubes which have a hole in the underside to feed the leader through.  This will make the fly seek the surface as long as it is under tension against the current.  Often a waking tube fly is used in conjunction with a wet fly trailer.  An easy way to accomplish this is to feed both the tippet and the dropper through the hole in the bottom of the tube fly waking fly.  Tie the hook on the dropper and pull it up into the waking fly.  Tie the wet fly on the tippet.  A space of 24" to 32" between the flies is most popular.

"Deschutes Standard" Tube Fly, Caddis Waker
Hatches of giant late fall caddis can get steelhead to start looking up.  This pattern is easy to cast and will wake in nearly every situation.  Try casting straight across the current and with a minimum amount of line mending, let the fly speed up as it swings across the surface down stream from your position.  Strikes are often explosive.
A #4, TMC 105 hook is supplied with each fly.
Replacement TMC 105 hooks.
Daiichi X452 hooks. 
Item Description Size Price To Top
RT005 Deschutes Standard Tube Fly, Caddis Waker 1 1/4" #4 3 for $5.85


Deschutes Standard Tube, Conrad Waker
A proven pattern that will wake in nearly any kind of flow speed or surface texture. This fly leaves a very narrow seamy wake an will bring up fish that are too shy to come to more boisterous patterns.  Is at its best on a smooth surface.  Cast quartering down stream and let the fly come across the surface at a steady speed.  Steelhead often sip this fly with very little disturbance.
A #4, TMC 105 hook is supplied with each fly.
Replacement TMC 105 hooks.
Daiichi X452 hooks. 
Item Description Size Price To Top
RT006 Deschutes Standard Tube Fly, Conrad Waker 1 1/4" #4 3 for $5.85


Spey to Z
Finally a DVD that connects a standard overhead cast with Spey, Scandinavian, and Skagit styles of casting.  A great DVD for anyone who wants to learn about casting two hand rods.  The instructors are Greg Person, Topher Brown, and Way Yin.  The video and sound quality are the best available on the subject of casting with a two-hand rod.  This is a great all round video for casters of any skill level.  One hour plus.
Sample Video Clips:  Scandinavian Shooting Heads     Perry Poke
Here is what Dr. Way Yin says about this video DVD on: Spey Pages:

"Topher Browne, Greg Pearson, and I are pleased to introduce a new instructional casting DVD: “Spey to Z: Understanding Traditional, Scandinavian & Skagit Style Spey Casting with a Single and Double-Handed Rod.”

Topher conceived and organized the project nearly two years ago as a unified presentation of all the major Spey casting styles. The DVD itself has been in the works for more than 18 months, and we spent nearly a year working out the script and teaching points in order to take maximum advantage of the unique capabilities of the DVD format.

From a teaching standpoint we wanted to convey that all fly casting, including Spey casting, is governed by the same fundamental principles. Differences between the three primary styles of Spey casting (Traditional, Scandinavian, and Skagit) simply reflect the adaptation of mechanics to suit specific equipment, which, in turn, reflect specific fishing applications. Because Topher, Greg, and I really enjoy fishing with single-handed rods, we placed single-handed Spey casting up front and center; our goal is to make the transition from a single-handed rod to a double-handed rod as easy as possible.

“Spey to Z” combines much of what we have learned over the years casting, fishing, teaching and demonstrating. We put our own individual spin on what we have learned from all the folks in the U.S. and from abroad that have taught us and inspired us. We hope that an understanding of these principles and how they relate to all fly casts can help anyone improve their casting by recognizing faults and implementing cures based on a solid grounding in fundamental mechanics.

The DVD was entirely filmed on the Deschutes River in November of 2005, and is sponsored by 3M/Scientific Anglers, Scott Fly Rods, Simms Fishing Products, Maui Jim, and Filson. Jeff Pill (the Art of Spey Casting, Joan Wulff’s Dynamics of Fly Casting) directed the DVD, and Dave Drum was the Director of Photography. Sean Glenn (History Channel, Discovery Channel) and Eddie Howells provided additional camera work. Tom Eichler (History Channel, Discovery Channel) provided the sound, and Steve Lovejoy (Art of Spey Casting, numerous TV shows) edited the DVD. Richard Allen from Track Design provided the DVD authoring.

Proceeds from the sale of the DVD will be donated to various charitable and conservation groups, including the BC Steelhead Society, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Trout Unlimited, the Native Fish Society, and FFF Youth Casting Programs.
Item Description Price To Top
583888 Spey to Z,  Spey Casting DVD $39.95


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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