A Passion For Steelhead

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A Passion For Steelhead
Echo 2 Scandi
ULA Force
Doc Sprately
Sandy River Alaska

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A Passion For Steelhead
From the book: A Passion For Steelhead, a buck steelhead jumping pver a falls...

Dec Hogan's much anticipated book is finally off the press.  From our first assessment, it is the  most important book on the subject of catching steelhead with a fly rod, since Trey Comb's blockbuster, Steelhead Fly Fishing, published in 1990.  A Passion For Steelhead will create passion in every steelheader that opens its covers; a passion that will build with the opening of
each and every page.
Mark Bachmann

Dec Hogan
Subject Category: Steelhead fly fishing
Binding Type: Hard Cover
Retail Price: $59.95
ISBN: 09746427-1-1
Color & B/w photos; 8x11 inches, 320 pgs.
Signed by author.

No other game fish stirs the passion of the dedicated steelhead fly fisher as does this big sea-run rainbow—whether rising to intercept a dry fly skated across a September tailout on a high-desert canyon river in Oregon, or taking a deeply swinging wet fly on a swollen springtime river in coastal British Columbia. From his longtime base on Washington State's legendary Skagit River, highly regarded steelhead guide and fly fisher Dec Hogan has done and seen it all. Now he brings together a lifetime of solid steelheading experience to write a book which, if not the last word on the subject, is destined to be an instant classic. A Passion for Steelhead will cover all the basic techniques proven on thousands upon thousands of steelhead successfully hooked, selecting the best fly for various river conditions, choosing the right tackle for you, effectively covering different water types, learning to spey cast, practical strategies for finding productive streams by the season, and a fascinating and highly original look at how steelhead take (or refuse) a fly, based on the author's personal observations of more than 1,000 summer-run steelhead movements during nine intense seasons. The book will be filled with the author's own impressive color photography and illustrated with many beautiful pencil sketches of two-handed casting and steelhead taking the fly.

Item Title Price To Top
09746427-1-1 Book: A Passion For Steelhead, by Dec Hogan, Signed by author $59.95

09746427-1-B Book: A Passion For Steelhead, by Dec Hogan, Signed by author,  with any purchase over  $500 before November 15, 2006. FREE


Prism Fly

Tilda Runner works at The Fly Fishing Shop...

This week started out with Tilda Runner and John Kotus in camp.  Patty Joined us on day two.  Tilda tied on a Prism and immediately hooked a hot fish that took her into the backing.  The Prism continued to be her fly for the next three days.  And dull, dark colored flies ruled for the next three weeks on the Deschutes.  The Prism was first tied by Mark Bachmann in the early eighties.  He designed it to be an unobtrusive pattern for low, clear water.  However, during the time period mentioned here, the water was medium level with visibility that averaged four to six feet. This

is normal October conditions for the Deschutes during good years.  In October, many summer steelhead have been away from the Ocean feeding-grounds for several months.  They start to forget about the brightly colored marine organisms that nurtured them there, and begin to turn "trouty" in their behavior, looking for things with more freshwater coloration. The Prism turned the trick. Several very large steelhead have been taken on this pattern.  It has proven itself very useful as a come-back fly, after steelhead have risen to, but have refused a brighter colored fly.

Prism Fly

Item Description Size Price To Top
20150-04 Prism 4 3 for $5.95

20150-06 Prism 6 3 for $5.95


Echo-2 Scandi 12' 4" - #7: Love At First Cast

Echo Scandi, ULA reel & wild steelhead...

Tim Rajeff sent a pair of his new Scandi rods for me to try about a year ago. The nine weight rod was tested on Klickitat steelhead the following week.  The seven weight waited for the proper line/reel combination for nearly a year.  The other day I found it lurking in my closet and rigged it up with a WaterWorks ULA Force 3.4 Reel and new Rio 400grain Skagit line.  To the line were added a 5' Cheater and a 15' floating tip for a total of 582-grains, which is probably somewhat heavier than what the rod was designed for.  I tried both the "A" and stiffer "D" rod tips and decided softer "A" tip suited me better.  The first piece of water where the this outfit was tested has a steep bank covered with a five year old alder hedge which severely limits the room for a long D-loop.  To complicate matters even more the wading depth is confined to a narrow strip close to shore.  There are two fish holding areas in the upper end of the run; one very close to the bank only twenty feet down stream from the entry point, the other out in the middle of the river requiring a series of 70'-80' single spey casts.  The first cast was made with six feet of line plus the 9' leader; surprisingly everything turned over and laid out straight.  The second cast was three feet longer with the same results.  Another three feet of line was added to the third cast, and the fly swung at a perfect predictable speed across the current and slid into the cushion next to the bank.  There was a long slow pull as a fish intercepted the fly and continued out into the current. I let it draw a hanging loop of line from between my fingers until everything came tight.  The steelhead panicked when it felt the bite of steel and bolted straight down stream under the overhanging alder branches.  The comparatively short Scandi rod had just the right amount of flex and power to bring the fish under control and keep the line out of the branches.  The seven-pounder was landed and released in short order.  After checking my leader and fly, I made two steps out from the bank to get maximum distance from the vegetation behind me. A deep fast current was directly in front of me with slower flows over shallow ledges beyond.  To cover the ledges, the casts required a straight line, and precise mending to achieve the perfect fly speed.  Again I started with a short line and lengthened each successive cast until all of the 47' head was out.  The rod and line combination worked smooth and easy.  A slight downstream breeze began, making even more precise casting necessary, but more complicated.  Some casts had to be made more than once, but by and large the shorter rod aided me in this situation.  I lengthened the line beyond the head.  Three strips into the shooting line I was rewarded by a very faint pull.  Another cast to the same spot was rewarded with a much heavier pull, but no hook-up.  The third cast resulted in a solid take and a steelhead that stayed on for three jumps and then shook free.  Inspection of my tippet revealed a wind knot and the tippet was replaced and the hook was sharpened.  Casting was resumed and at eleven three-foot strips into the shooting line there was a very hard take that resulted in a nine-pounder coming to the beach with me having to give ground, and land it a hundred yards down stream.  Three fish had been hooked, with two landed in the first hour with the Scandi rod.  It accounted for two more steelhead that evening.  This outfit has been my constant companion on the river for the last 9 fishing days. 

ECHO2-7124fa-4x Length: 12' 4"     Line: #7     Pieces: 4
Echo 7124 ECHO2

ECHO2 12’4” #7 was designed to bring the ease of Scandinavian style Spey casting to people fishing in medium to large rivers where extreme distance is not important. It is also a great rod for overhead casting in the surf zones where heavy rods are not necessary. Like most lighter two hand rods the 7124 ECHO2 will allow a person to fish all day without tiring in the least. . It has a fast action when the “A” tip is used and has a medium fast action when the “D” tip is used. The rod is designed to throw medium to large flies.

Series Item Line Wt. Tim's Power Rating Handle Price To Top
ECHO2 7124fa-4x 7 7.2 6 $349.95


Waterworks-Lamson ULA Force Fly Reels

Freshwater Sizes

Saltwater/Spey Sizes

Mark testing a ULA Force reel with the help of John Day River guide Marty Sheppard. I used my first ULA Force Reel ( a 3X) in South Florida  in 2000 for snook and baby tarpon and was immediately impressed with its smooth drag, fast retrieve rate and light weight. Six years later I am even more impressed with the durability of the ULA Force reels.  Water temperature in the picture at left is 34 degrees. Air temperature is 29. The ULA Force series reels give optimum performance under a wide range of weather and water conditions.  
Mark Bachmann

Doc Sprately Gets Even

This steelhead ate a Doc Sprately fly...

This fly was originally tied as a sedge pattern for fishing British Columbia lakes, but was listed in 1953 as a steelhead fly in Roy Patrick's book, Pacific Northwest Fly Patterns.  It soon gained popularity as a steelhead fly on such divers waters as Washington' Stillaguamish and British Columbia's Thompson Rivers.  It has caught many winter steelhead as well as summer steelhead and has caught steelhead from California to Alaska.  It will often move dour fish when nothing else will.  The Doc Sprately was the top fly in my camps for the last two weeks of the season accounting for 21 steelhead for 9 angler-days. 

Doc Spratley
This is a have to have fly, no matter where or when you fly fish for steelhead in any river that drains the Pacific Rim.  Although it can be tied and fished in many sizes, the two sizes listed here are by far the most popular.  No expense has been spared to to assemble the best specimens of this pattern especially for you.

Doc Spratley

Item Description Size Price To Top
20450-04 Doc Spratley 4 3 for $5.95

20450-06 Doc Spratley 6 3 for $5.95


Josh Linn in Alaska...

Sandy River Alaska
Josh Linn is currently in Alaska, guiding anglers on the remote Sandy River for chromers like the one he is holding here. His latest email read like this, "Fishing is good. A little hard for me.  I am learning the river. We've been hooking fish everyday.  If it was Oregon we would be having great days. Today we hooked 11 and landed 4 the best yet." 
Josh will be back in The Fly Fishing Shop, October 29, and will be able to give you a full report in person. Hey, don't worry, if you can't get to Alaska, there will be plenty of fish like that in our own Sandy River soon.

from A Passion For Steelhead
Some of the great art work from A Passion For Steelhead

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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