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Prom Dress Flies In Wiggle Wart Waters
Text and photos by: Mark Bachman
Late-season summer steelhead fishing is often about waking flies and rising fish, but not on this trip. Last night's hard rain had turned my favorite summer river gray with glacial silt. Visibility in the water had dropped from five feet to two feet. Past experience told me that the great floating line and waking fly fishing we had experienced for the past several days was over. Steelhead in many rivers stop rising for surface presentations when the visibility in the water drops below four feet.
On a somber cloudy water mornig, Doug Robertson sticks a steelhead with a Copper Prom Dress Fly. This is the same kind of water where gear-fishers might fish a Wiggle Wart with a side plainer. When water conditions allow, steelhead often settle into tanky edge water. Wade close to the edge. Wade quietly.
|The evidence is clear, this and two other steelhead, which had already ignored more traditional flies, were landed with Prom Dress Flies. There are a variety of fishing methods that are available to every angler in all situations, and catching fish is more fun than not catching fish. Adaptability is often the key to success, and survival. The steelheader who can adapt to changing situations is usually successful.|
|Everyone likes to land fish, even if unusual flies have to be employed. Often the trips that start out being difficult, then force each angler to adapt to new flies and techniques, are the ones that anglers remember the longest. Adversity conquered, leads to personal satisfaction.|
|This steelhead fell for a Purple Prom Dress. Often changing colors will wake the fish up. The original Prom Dress Flies were tied by Oregon fishing guide, Scott Howell, who admittedly patterned them after lures he had successfly employed for steelhead, during a "gear-slinger" stage of angling development. Which, kind of proves that all methods of angling leads to deeper understandings in humans about nature. More information on Prom Dress Flies...|
|PROMSET-2||Prom Dress Flies Complete Set, 3 OF EACH COLOR, blue, blue and copper, copper, fuchsia, purple, 15 flies in all.||$51.25||Sale Ended|
Sage 7136-4 ACCEL Rod
Text and photos by: Mark Bachman
|The Sage 7136-4 saga continues with the new ACCEL rod, which is new for 2015. As outlined in: Sage 7136-4 Generations, I have owned and fished every model of Sage 7136-4 rod which has been produced (6) since 1992. The progression of this design offers some insights in rod designs and how they have been accepted in the market place. In 1992 a 13 1/2' rod for a #7 line was considered to be lightweight and shorter than average. Now, rods of the same length and weight are considered to be "big-water" rods popular with winter steelhead anglers. The progression of the Sage rods reflect this change as well. The newer 7136-4 are heavier than the older ones, because they are designed with more muscle for throwing bigger flies further (which they do). They also throw Scani lines and smaller flies remarkably well also.
When I got to camp with my new 7136-4 ACCEL, it was rigged with a Sage 6010 reel and a 450-grain RIO Scandi shooting head line. The stroke was easy master, and the performance was smooth. A small steelhead was hooked and landed while I was warming up. The ACCEL proved to have plenty of range with this line as well. Then I changed to a 550-grain RIO Skagit Max rigged with a T-14 M.O.W. tip, and larger fly. In my opinion, this is where the ACCEL rod realy shines. As the rod became more familiar, it was found that a heavier reel was needed for balance, and a Waterworks 3.5 ARC filled the roll. The ARC and the Sage 6010 weigh about the same, but the ARC holds more line, so when full it weighs a little bit more.
|Yvonne (pictured above) arrived in camp with a Sage 7136-4 Z-AXIS rod, which she could cast pretty well. With it she landed her first ever steelhead. The Z-AXIS is still a popular rod, even though it has been discontinued for a number of years.|
|Later on, I asked her to fish with my new ACCEL rod, and to let me know which she liked the best, and to tell me why. After a full day, she said that the ACCEL was the better rod for both distance and accuracy, and was less fatiguing as well. After casting both rods, I would concur.|
I took a Sage 7136-4 Z-AXIS, a Sage 7136-4 ONE, and Sage 7136-4 ACCEL into our shipping department and weighed each on the postage scales. This is what I found:
|7136-4 ACCEL||Sage 1736-4 ACCEL, 13' 6", 7-WEIGHT, Rod complete with case and sock||$750.00||Sale Ended|
Reels for Spey Rod Fishing (A comparison).
All of the reels listed below are steelhead proven!
|Large diameter reels are an advantage when retrieving large quantities of backing. This is especially true when a fish turns and runs at you. Reels should be selected, not only for price and backing capacity, but also for the right amount of weight to balance with the rod(s) you are going to use the reel with. Large, heavy reels are often an advantage when balancing stout, long rods. Lighter reels might feel better with shorter, lighter rods. Your Spey reels can often be used with your 9 to13 weight saltwater rods. If you are planning to use your new reel for this dual purpose, saltwater proof anodized metal, and a stout disc drag are worth your consideration. If you intend to use your disc drag reel for steelhead, using a drag that is waterproofed is a big asset.|
|Abel||Super 9/10 N||6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.220"||8.50 oz.||$825|
Super 11/12 N
|7/8/9 + 150 yd. *||4.700"||10.50 oz.||$880|
|5/6/7 + 150 yd. *||3.700"||8.50 oz.||$480|
|6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.050"||9.00 oz.||$500|
|Echo||Ion 8/10||5/6/7 + 150 yd. **||3.900"||8.80 oz.||$99.95|
|Echo||Ion 10/12||6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.700"||9.60 oz.||$99.95|
|Bouglé MkVII||7/8/9 + 225 yd.*||4.000"||9.0 0oz.||$595|
|Marquis Salmon No. 1||5/6/7 + 150 yd. *||3.870"||7.75 oz.||$275|
|Hardy||Marquis Salmon No. 2||7/8/9 + 225 yd.*||4.120"||9.62 oz.||$295|
|Hardy||Marquis Salmon No. 3||8/9/10 + 300 yd *||4.120"||10.37 oz.||$325|
|Hardy||Perfect Taupo||6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||3.875"||9.90 oz.||$695|
|Hatch||Finatic 7+||6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.000"||8.60 oz||$600|
|Hatch||Finatic 9+||7/8/9 + 225 yd.*||4.250"||10.60 oz.||$750|
|Lamson||ARX 3+||5/6/7 + 150 yd. *||3.750"||7.00 oz.||$439|
|Lamson||ARX 3.5||7/8/9 + 225 yd.*||4.000"||8.80 oz||$469|
|Lamson||ARX 4||8/9/10 + 300 yd *||4.500"||10.50 oz.||$499|
|Lamson||Guru G4||7/8/9 + 225 yd.*||4.250"||7.30 oz.||$269|
|Lamson||LS3.5||6/7/8 + 150 yd. **||4.000"||7.75 oz||$369|
|Lamson||LS-4||8/9/10 + 200 yd. **||4.500"||9.75 oz.||$419|
|Nautilus||NV Spey 400-550||6/7/8 + 150 yd. **||4.250"||8.10 oz.||$690|
|Nautilus||NV Spey 450-750||7/8/9 + 150 yd.**||4.500"||9.10 oz.||$790|
|Nautilus||CCF-X2 8/10||6/7/8 + 150 yd. **||8.6 oz.||$525|
|Nautilus||CCF-X2 10/12||7/8/9 + 150 yd.**||4.100"||8.9 oz.||$550|
|Ross||CLA 4||6/7/8 + 100 yd. *||3.750"||7.6 oz.||$250|
|Ross||CLA 5||8/9/10 + 150 yd. **||4.000"||8.1 oz.||$275|
|Ross||CLA 6||9/10/11 + 150 yd. **||4.250"||9.0 oz.||$270|
|Ross||CLA 7||9/10/11 + 200 yd. **||4.500"||9.7 oz.||$315|
|Ross||Momentum LT 4||6/7/8 + 125 yd. *||3.750"||9.3 oz.||$470|
|Ross||Momentum LT 5||7/8/9 + 150 yd. **||4.000"||9.8 oz.||$525|
|Ross||Momentum LT 6||8/9/10 + 150 yd. **||4.250"||10.3 oz.||$570|
|Ross||Momentum LT 7||9/10/11 + 200 yd. **||4.500"||11.0 oz.||$620|
|Sage||2210||6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.300"||7.8 oz.||$159|
|6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.250"||7.5 oz.||$319|
|6/7/8 + 150 yd. *||4.300"||8.7 oz||$650|
|Sage||6012||9/10/11 + 175 yd. **||4.700"||9.6 oz||$700|
|TFO||Prism 9/11||8/9/10 + 150 yd. **||8.7 oz||$99.95|
If you fished the Deschutes for steelhead this season, no one has to tell you that it has been a little tough, and very spotty. It seems that every fish has been hooked before. Nearly all of the fish we landed through the month of October had net marks from the Columbia River Indian gill net fishery and hook wounds from being caught and released by other anglers. (Note that the picture above, the hook is stuck in an old wound or possibly two wounds). After being landed a couple of times, steelhead get a little shy. The last full day of my season found me fishing with Bruce Berry, who tied on a Johnson's Outlaw fly and went 3 for 5 in about four hours. The Outlaw was a consistant producer throughout the season. We have a good supply in stock. More Outlaw information...
|37-0810||Johnson's Outlaw Steelhead Fly, SIZE 6||3 for $7.49||Sale Ended|
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