Shock Loop

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Shock Loop
Size Matters
Fly Tyers Rendezvous
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Shock Loop
Sam Corrado fishing the Deschutes River 09/30/08. Photo: Mark Bachmann.
When fishing for steelhead with a floating line, it is often an advantage to carry a "shock-loop". This is a length of line that is pulled back from the cast and held with the rod-hand to be fed to a steelhead at the strike. It might sound complicated, but it's actually fairly simple. Make your cast. Then pull back 1' to 2' of line and hold it between your first two fingers of your rod hand. Your grip on the line should be very light. The trick is not to pin the line to the rod handle when you get a strike. A shock loop gives you a couple of advantages. It will help to prevent break-offs if a very large fish takes the fly while turning down stream and it will allow a fish to turn and pull the hook to the corner of its mouth. Most fish hooked in the maxillary muscle will be landed if the terminal tackle holds together.

Steelhead Flies, Does Size Matter
Steelhead grow fast in the Ocean by taking food in bigger bites than their resident rainbow trout brothers and sisters. That is why the average four year old wild steelhead (2-years fresh water + 2-years saltwater) averages about 27-inches long whereas a resident trout of the same age might be only about 14"-18" long. Marine prey species such as squid, shrimp and krill average much larger than do fresh water aquatic insects. The intake of larger food helps a fish build body mass more quickly. Steelhead that are fresh from the Ocean are often still keyed in on the organisms they were feeding on in saltwater, even though they may be many miles inland. Some strains of steelhead, such as the Redband Steelhead that return to the tributaries of the Columbia River east of the Cascade Mountains may spend many months in fresh water before they spawn and return to the Ocean. The longer they spend in a river, the more adapted to this environment they become. They often become trout-like and feed extensively on organisms within the river. In the past, we have performed autopsies on steelhead that had consumed dozens of caddis pupae as small as size-20. That steelhead feed while within a river has become well known to many anglers who successfully pursue them with dead drifted nymphs as if they were fishing for resident trout. Not so well known is that steelhead will also take very small traditional steelhead flies fished on the swing.
Large flies move winter steelhead... Normal size fly for most of the summer season...
Smaller flies often move dour fish during late fall months... I once observed Bill Bakke land a pair of nice Deschutes steelhead while fishing a #16 Purple Soft Hackle. This was after a dull day of fishing conventional size steelhead flies through the same water to no avail. Last week the fishing was really tough for many anglers. We fished conventionally dressed #4 flies for the first part of the week and got a few fish. During the middle of the week everything went dead. Then we switched to sparse dressed #6 flies and the catch rate picked up considerably. It pays to carry a wide selection of fly sizes and adapt to changes.

Breathable Chest High Waders
Free shipping in the USA, and a free Custom Wader Bag offered with all models
until 01/01/09.
Al Corrado in a pair of Simms G3 waders 10/01/08.
Simms G4 Pro Wader
G4 Pro

Simms G3

Simms Rivershed

Free Wader Bag
Limited offer-Order Now: 
Receive a Free
Fly Fishing Shop 
Logo Wader Bag
valued at $59.95 with each pair of Simms Waders
ordered on-line

The selection of waders is of prime importance to the fly fishing angler. Your wading apparel determines your performance and safety. It is hard to cast accurately if coordination is degraded from being wet and cold, and you're not very stealthy if you are shivering. Unlike many anglers who fish most rivers of the west from a drift boat, the staff at The Fly Fishing Shop wade-fishes some of the most demanding rivers in the world. That is because many of the best rivers in Oregon are regulated to provide sanctuary water for wild fish and fishing from a boat is prohibited. This gives us the perfect laboratory for testing wading equipment. Because of our marketing ability and our buying power, we are receiving promotional waders from different companies nearly constantly. We've field-tested most of the brands on the market today. Some were junk, others okay, but none compared to the models listed above for value and performance. Yes, there is no denying that all waders eventually will leak. Everything wears out from prolonged use. It is how many days it took for the first structural failure, and how the company backed their product when it happened that counts. If you are a professional guide, you soon learn who to trust for the gear you use. The fact that more professional fly fishing guides wear Simms waders than any other brand says all you have to know.

The 11th Annual Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous
will be held Saturday, November 1st, 2008 at Mount Hood Community College.

The 11th Annual Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous This annual event has been growing steadily for the past ten years and will feature the most innovative fly tiers from around the Pacific Northwest as well as displays from the areas best fly shops. We will be there. The event is sponsored by a consortium of local fly fishing clubs. This show will help you get started on your winter tying season with ideas on fly patterns and feature the newest materials and tying techniques. It is being held in a spacious, modern, well lit room at Mt. Hood Community College. The nominal entry fee is used as a fund raiser for projects that benefit the local fisheries.

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty