Columbia River Summer Steelhead

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Columbia River Steelhead
Steelhead Numbers
Switch Rods Defined
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Columbia River Summer Steelhead
The Columbia is the largest river draining the Pacific Coast of the western hemisphere and one of the most industrialized rivers in the world. There are 1,800 dams in the Columbia River watershed.
columbia River Redband Steelhead
The Columbia is perfectly situated for to contain the water quality, temperature and gradient to be the largest producer of anadromous salmonids in North America. Historically it has been such for millions of years and despite the encroachment of our modern civilization it is still perhaps the number-one producer of steelhead in the world. As anglers it is always good to be vigilant and protective of our watersheds. The chart and commentary below is meant to be an audit of how we are doing with the Columbia River steelhead fishery. You will draw your own political and biological conclusions and your commentary is always welcome.
Columbia River Steelhead Numbers for Perspective
The 2009 summer steelhead run in the Columbia Basin was far better than average. Counts are incomplete for 2009, as there are still nearly two months left in the year. However, in most years few steelhead pass over Bonneville Dam in November and December. At 602,306 it is doubtful that we will beat the 2001 total of 633,464. The best news is that at 171,538, the 2009 run of wild summer steelhead is the largest ever recorded over Bonneville Dam. The numbers below are offered for your contemplation.
The chart below draws no political or biological conclusions. It is only a table of raw data collected at one Columbia River dam for 71-years (about the length of one average human life). It does appear that within this short period of time that steelhead run numbers fluctuate significantly from year to year. Probably over a longer period of observation they would fluctuate even more. It would also appear that during the last ten year period we are on the high end of these fluctuations. We thought you would like a share of this good news.
The period of 2000-2009 saw 3,989,868 steelhead cross Bonneville Dam.
This compares to the ten year period of 1990-1999 when 2,180,512 steelhead passed through the same fish ladders. Trends might be seen more clearly when these numbers are compared to even earlier ten year periods. The 2000-2009 period has over twice the number of steelhead as any ten-period 1940-1979. Wild steelhead were not counted prior to 1994. The 2009 wild steelhead count exceeds 85% of the total steelhead counts in the 33-year period before 1970. There is much reason for hope and no reason not to fish.
Biologists comments below:
There may be several ways to interpret this information.
2000-2009 = 3,989,868
1990-1999 = 2,180,512
1980-1989 = 2,295,710
1970-1979 = 1,267,834
1960-1969 = 1,343,832
1950-1959 = 1,645,113
1940-1949 = 1,304,445
Year Dam Steelhead Hatchery Wild
2009* BON 602306 430768 171538
2008 BON 356186 251093 105093
2007 BON 320931 239978 80953
2006 BON 333250 249360 83890
2005 BON 314721 225827 88894
2004 BON 311122 213580 97542
2003 BON 361412 249065 112347
2002 BON 481203 338158 143045
2001 BON 633464 483882 149582
2000* BON 275273 199053 76220
1999* BON 206488 151424 55064
1998 BON 185094 149393 35701
1997 BON 258385 224805 33580
1996 BON 205213 187838 17375
1995 BON 202448  
1994 BON 161978 132804 29174
1993 BON 188386  
1992 BON 314974  
1991 BON 274535  
1990* BON 183011  
1989* BON 287802  
1988 BON 279277  
1987 BON 300351  
1986 BON 376752  
1985 BON 330170  
1984 BON 315795  
1983 BON 218419  
1982 BON 157640  
1981 BON 159270  
1980* BON 129254  
1979* BON 114010  
1978 BON 104431  
1977 BON 193437  
1976 BON 124177  
1975 BON 85540  
1974 BON 137054  
1973 BON 157823  
1972 BON 185886  
1971 BON 193966  
1970* BON 113510 **  
1969* BON 140782  
1968 BON 106974  
1967 BON 121872  
1966 BON 143661  
1965 BON 166453  
1964 BON 117252  
1963 BON 129418  
1962 BON 164025  
1961 BON 139719  
1960* BON 113676  
1959* BON 129026  
1958 BON 131437  
1957 BON 139183  
1956 BON 131116  
1955 BON 198411 +  
1954 BON 176260 +  
1953 BON 223914 +  
1952 BON 260990 +  
1951 BON 140689  
1950* BON 114087  
1949* BON 119285  
1948 BON 139062  
1947 BON 135444  
1946 BON 142807  
1945 BON 120133  
1944 BON 100518  
1943 BON 92133  
1942 BON 151800  
1941 BON 118089  
1940* BON 185174 +  
1939* BON 122032  
1938 BON 107003  
ODFW biologist, Rod French has these comments about the data listed here:
Mark,
Attached are estimated steelhead run size estimates upstream from Sherars Falls.  This last year's run estimate will not be available until about May 2010, when the fish have completed spawning. I found your analysis of the Bonneville counts interesting, but I would urge caution in reading too much into those numbers. I'm uncertain how the historic counts actually compare with the modern counts, as there are likely many factors which may confuse the comparison (i.e. counting periods, ability to identify hatchery and wild fish, and other issues). Another issue which comes to mind, is the fact that considerable new upriver hatchery production has come online in the last 10 years. It would be very interesting to pull together the total number of smolts released over those same time periods, as I think you would see a rather large increase in numbers of hatchery fish released. Another potential issue with the Bonneville counts of wild fish, is the large number of unmarked hatchery fish (primarily from tribal hatcheries) that are not fin-clipped and likely counted as wild at Bonneville.
Just a few thoughts, nonetheless it was a huge count over Bonneville, regardless of how it compares to previous counts. Preliminary data from the Deschutes suggest a similar large run. It will be interesting to see the final Deschutes counts this spring.
Let me know if you have further question on the Sherars data. Rod
Rod A. French
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Mid-Columbia District Fish Biologist
3701 W. 13th St.
The Dalles, OR 97058
(541) 296-4628


Mark
Yes, the analysis is correct.  We hit a low period of survival in the 1990's and the returns for 2000-09 are much better.  Although not posted on the websites there is data on wild fish abundance since the early 1980's or late 1970's.
Typically Columbia River TAC uses counts from April 1 - Oct 31 to index summer steelhead counts because winters show up from Novemeber through May.  Which means the count during the winter period is a mixture of summers and winters.
From 1986 to ~2000 all hatchery steelhead were ad clipped. Since then a small portion of hatchery fish are not ad clipped because they were intended to increase escapement in the UC and Snake ESU.  I had a footnote attached to DART explaining this.
IN the end we are doing better probably because of ocean but maybe due to more fish friendly operation of mainstem dams!
Dan Rawding, WDFW

Rod & Dan,
Thanks for the help. MB
Next weeks "Insider" will examine the Sherars Falls counts.

Switch Rods
There is a lot of interest in Switch Rods throughout the fly angling community, and we are asked many Switch Rod questions every week. Here are some of the answers: "Switch" is a classification like single-hand, two-hand, Spey, saltwater, freshwater. Switch Rods fit all of these previous categories, but "Switch" is usually defined as a cross between single-hand and two-hand rods, and a marriage between the two casting styles. Switch Rods can be used with either one-hand casting or two-hand casting. They are equally adapted to over-head or spey casts.
Sage TFO G. Loomis Winston Beulah
Doug Dragoo with a steelhead on the Deschutes river...
As an example:
If you own a 5-weight Switch Rod, you can use it to your advantage over a wide range of applications. On a certain day you are on a tiny meadow stream that is completely surrounded by tall overhanging grass. No problem, you simply sneak up through the grass and dap your fly on the water with your long Switch Rod. The extra rod-lenth has worked to your advantage. The next day you are on a big western river, and you encounter a pod of trout sipping tiny mayfly emergers in the center of an eddy 80-feet from the closest casting position. They are far out of range of most anglers, yet they are not safe from you, because your 5-weight Switch rod can deliver the fly that far. Long rods allow you to fish dry flies at incredible ranges and control slack in your line with maximum authority. The long slim rod also protects fine tippets, because it will absorb shock very efficiently. A 10 1/2' to 11 1/2" rod allows you to control much more line than a standard 9' rod because it's about 20% longer.  Switch rods may be the best of all "nymph" rods for: "high-stick", "indicator" and "Czech" nymphing. Your 5-weight Switch is also an excellent choice for half-pounder and one-salt steelhead. That is only a very few examples of the diverse capabilities of one size of Switch Rod.
Advantages in a wide range of applications:
Switch Rods give the most tactical advantages on medium size and larger rivers for trout, small mouth bass and anadromous fish. Their most popular use is as shorter/lighter Spey rods on moving water where the angle of presentation needs to be changed efficiently. Switch Rods give more advantage while wading, rather than fishing from a boat. Five to seven weight Switch Rods have gained a lot of popularity with anglers fishing from the beaches in Puget Sound for resident trout and salmon.
The most popular line-sizes for Switch Rods overall, are #5, #6, #7, #8. Some manufacturers also offer #4 and #9 sizes. Generally #4, #5, & #6-wights are used for trout, #7 & #8 are for steelhead, and #9 & #10 are used for larger salmon and saltwater much the same as single hand rods. Most Switch rods will perform adequately with lines that are commonly used for both single-hand and two-hand rods. Each series can lean toward single-hand or two-hand weights depending on the manufacturer. Best Switch Rod performance is usually achieved with short belly shooting head Spey lines. We will try to include line preferences in grain weights.
Proven history:
In the time of Izzak Walton, when the Complete Angler book was written, anglers regularly used long rods for fishing for trout because they felt that the extra length gave advantages. The fact that English anglers already had two-hundred years to refine their tackle and techniques probably means they were pretty well thought out. Long rods were use under a wide range of situations. You might go as far as to say that they were using Switch Rods then. So, although Switch Rods are new to our angling scene, they have had a long time to be developed and refined.

Sage Z-AXIS Switch Rods FOR 2010
11' #5 11' #6 11' #7 11' #8
Mark Bachmann with a Sage Rod...
Strategic - Effective - Fun
By: George Cook/Ryan S Petzold

             Application for Switch Rods in the Pacific Northwest stretches both far and wide.  Switch Rods allow the Northwest Angler to pursue a multitude of specific fisheries as well as fishing methodologies with one tool.  Examples of this abound;  

·        Small stream steelheading, particularly in Oregon and Alaska

·        Beach overhead casting on Puget Sound

·        Single hand nymph fishing for both trout and steelhead

·        Small rod spey casting for steelhead, sea run brown, sea run dollies, silvers and chums

·        Strategic, tight-corridor Spey use

 Specific examples of these methods and the applicable versatility could be seen as…

 Alaska-Spring Rainbow fishing, spey or overhead, swinging sculpins or leeches.  Transcending to fall fishing with indicators for both rainbows and dollies as well as fall steelhead fishing in South Central Alaska.

Washington-Lots going on in the Evergreen State-overhead casting on the beaches of Puget Sound for resident coho, sea-run cutthroat, migratory coho and chum salmon; nymph fishing trout on the Yakima transcending to nymph fishing for steelhead on the Klickitat or Methow; strategic single-hand spey-use for summer-runs on the Stilly; tight corridor Spey-use on the Sol Duc in February; bombshot cast with AFS lines on Eastern Washington lakes.

 Oregon- Nymph fishing for steelhead on Saturday on the Rogue transcending to single hand Spey or tradition spey casting swinging flies on the Umpqua for steelhead on Sunday.

 All in all the “Switch Rod” concept allows for a single tool for multiple tasks.  Versatility is at a premium particularly for the angler looking for the dual mode function of both overhead as well as a spey type tool.  Spey rod enthusiasts should view these rods as a small spey rod or strategic spey approach.  Single hand casters can view these as transition tools bridging single hand casting to spey techniques.

The following rod/line match up conversation is based on both specific test sessions along with multiple angling experiences over several years.  The test sessions focused on three application formats. 

  • Straight single hand over head casts.
  • Single hand, single spey and snap T type casts.
All around, all purpose two handed spey cast

5110-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 11'     Line: 5     Pieces: 4

The smallest of the fab-four.  The 5110-4 will mainly see duty as a trout switch rod, with both nymphs and streamers, along with the occasional desire to fish hoppers on the “other bank”.  Sea-Run Cutthroat and Sea-Run Dollies, both beach and stream round out the menu.  Oh yeah, not to be overlooked; the super-mega lake fishing tool with an AFS 5/6 coupled with various 10’ Spey Versileaders. 

Reel Match: Sage 6080, Tibor Everglade, Sage 4580, Redington Rise 9/10

Sinktip Use: 10’ Spey Versileaders, all ‘types’.  15’ 95 grain sinktips in type III & type VI.

Line Matches:

  • Rio Skagit Short 275 A shorten Skagit type line for both single hand and 2-Hand Spey. 
  • Rio AFS 4/5; sweet spey setup.
  • Rio Outbound WF-6-F; Killer overhead.  The “Beach Choice”, also lake applications.
Rio AFS 5/6.  A really nice overall choice for both beach and spey, along with the lake game.
Rod weight: 5 1/16 Ounces
Item
Series
Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
5110-4 Z-AXIS 5 Fast E $715 SALE ENDED

6110-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 11'     Line: 6     Pieces: 4

The all around Northwest performer.  From the beaches of Puget Sound coupled with summer run pursuits from the Rogue to the Stilly. Long over head casts transcend to spey style techniques covering both nymph and steamer fishing. The versatility of this rod will earmark this as a Northwest favorite. 

Reel Match: Sage 6080, Tibor Everglade, Sage 4580, Redington Rise 9/10

Sinktip Use: 10’ Spey Versileaders, all ‘types’.  15’ 95 grain sinktips in type III & type VI and 15’ 109 grain type 8 cut back to 12’.

Line Matches:

  • Rio 5/6 AFS Floater; Proven spey approach along with wicked lake and beach application.
  • Rio Outbound WF-7-F; Good pure over head line.
  • Skagit Short 325. A shorten Skagit type line for both single hand and 2-Hand Spey.  Can combine with #7 Skagit 15’ Floating Tip for nymph fishing. 
WindCutter 5/6; Lovely pure floating line set up, both trout and steelhead.  Single hand spey or two handed spey format
Rod weight: 5 1/8 Ounces
Item
Series
Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
6110-4 Z-AXIS 6 Fast E $715 SALE ENDED

7110-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 11'     Line: 7     Pieces: 4

For those in pursuit of Steelhead, outsized Sea Run Dollies, big Alaskan Rainbows along with TDF Browns this rod is a true trout-anadromous cross over, “the .30-06 of switch”. 

Reel Match: Tibor Everglade, Sage 6080, Sage 4580

Sink Tip Use:  15’ in 109 grain type 3, 6 & 8 densities.  T-8 & T-11 in 9’, 11’ & 13’ lengths.

Line Matches:

  • Rio AFS 6/7; The Vision style head improved.
Rio Skagit Short 375. A shorten Skagit type line for both single hand and 2-Hand Spey.  Can combine with #7 Skagit 15’ Floating tip for nymph fishing.
Rod weight: 5 3/8 Ounces
Item
Series
Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
7110-4 Z-AXIS 7 Fast E $725 SALE ENDED

8110-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 11'     Line: 8     Pieces: 4

A true anadromous performer, the 8110-4 is ideal for Alaskan rainbows, Steelhead and Silvers alike.  Couple this as a true “double threat” switch rod covering such diverse environments as Oregon’s Rogue one day and the Umpqua the next.  The TDF crowd has its Sea Run Brown rod, along with a wide range summer run and Alaska cross over stick. 

Sink Tip Use:  15’ in 129 grain type 3, 6 & 8 densities.   T-8 & T-11 in 9’, 11’ & 13’ lengths. 

Reel Match: Sage 6080, Tibor Everglade, Sage 4580

Line Matches;

·        New for 2010; Skagit Flight 425 grain “the new player has arrived!”  Can combine with #8 15’ Skagit Floating Tip for Nymph fishing.

·        Rio Skagit Short 425. A shorten Skagit type line for both single hand and 2-Hand Spey. 

·        Rio AFS 7/8; Oregon style spey gig.

·        Rio Skagit 400 + 15’ tip; Has been the line for all forms of spey (single hand and traditional).  Good Overhead

Rio Steelhead/Atlantic Salmon WF-9-F; Superb, smooth overhead line.  Really nice with single hand single spey.  A good trout choice.  Think of it as the PowerSpey for switch rods.


Rod weight: 4 1/4 Ounces

Item
Series
Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
8110-4 Z-AXIS 8 Fast E $725 SALE ENDED

$725 SALE ENDED

Temple Fork Deer Creek Switch Rods
11' #4 11' #5 11' #6 11' #7 11' #8 11' #9
Temple fork Switch Rods Designed by: Bob Meiser and Mike Kinney...
Two handed rod designers Mike Kinney and Bob Meiser continue to expand the TFO Deer Creek series of fly rods with the introduction of the Deer Creek Switch Rod Series. Bob Meiser has been in the forefront of popularizing and refining blank designs for the Switch Rod concept of fly rods since the mid 1990s. His expertise with this unique family of rods is well established within the two handed rod community. Bob’s original concept has been universally accepted over the past decade and teaming with Mike Kinney in design and application for these rods has now taken the concept to the next higher level. We have used our proprietary Axiom material lay-up process for these blanks. These are extremely light weight, durable, thoughtfully designed fly rods with superb performance … Best defined simply as: “Totally efficient delivery tools.”
4-peice switch rod  Mike Kinney 

TF 4 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 200-400
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Trout and single hand spey.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 4/5
Skagit:
SA ST-5 <> Tips to +-85 grains
Short Belly Spey:
CND 4/5
Two Hand Overhead: Rio OutBound 7/8
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 6.50 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 4 110 4 DC  Deer Creek Med Deer Creek $324.95 SALE ENDED

TF 5 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 250-450
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Trout, small steelhead and salmon.  Single hand spey.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 5/6
Skagit:
Rio 350 or SA ST-6 or ST-7 <> Tips to +-100 grains
Short Belly Spey: 5/6
CND
Two Hand Overhead: Rio OutBound 8/9
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 6.55 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 5 110 4 DC  Deer Creek   Med Deer Creek $324.95 SALE ENDED

TF 6 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 300-500
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Large trout, salmon and steelhead.  Spey and overhead.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 6/7
Skagit:
Airflo Skagit Compact 420 <> Tips to +-115 grains
Short Belly Spey: Delta 6/7
Two Hand Overhead:
Rio OutBound 10
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 6.65 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 6 110 4 DC  Deer Creek Med Deer Creek $339.95 SALE ENDED

TF 7 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 350-550
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Large trout, salmon and steelhead.  Spey and overhead.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 7/8
Skagit:
Airflo Skagit Compact 450/480 <> Tips to +-130 grains
Short belly Spey: Delta 6/7
Two Hand Overhead:
Rio OutBound 11
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 7 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 7 110 4 DC  Deer Creek   Med Deer Creek $339.95 SALE ENDED

TF 8 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 400-600
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Steelhead and salmon.  Small saltwater species.  Spey and overhead.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 8/9
Skagit:
Airflo Skagit Compact 510/540 <> Tips to +- 145 grains
Short Belly Spey: Delta 7/8
Two Hand Overhead:
Rio OutBound 12
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 7.25 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 8 110 4 DC  Deer Creek   Med Deer Creek $349.95 SALE ENDED

TF 9 110 4 DC

Length: 11'       Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 500-700
TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod

Mike's Remarks:
Large salmon and saltwater.  Spey and overhead.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 9/10
Skagit:
Airflo Compact Skagit 570/600
Short Belly Spey: Delta 8/9
Two Hand Overhead:
Rio OutBound 13
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 7.60 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 9 110 4 DC  Deer Creek   Med Deer Creek $349.95 SALE ENDED

G. Loomis RoaringRiver GLX Switch Rods
11' #5 11' #7 11' #8  
When you'd like the flexibility of making a traditional single hand cast, a roll cast or a full-on spey  cast, our new switch rods offer it up like no others. At 11' they are a little more than traditional single hand rods giving you the ability to throw long casts with one or two hands. From a nice light 5-weight to a 8-weight, you'll be able to cover almost all water from your favorite trout streams to large steelhead drifts. Steve Rajeff & steve Choate on the Sandy River...

FR1325-4NRGLX Switch

Length: 11'    Line: #5     Pieces: 4   

Steve's Remarks:
Medium trout and steelhead.  Great Nymph rod.. Spey and overhead.
Steve's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 5/6 340-grain, Airflo 5/6 330-grain
Skagit: Rio Skagit Short: 325-grains, Airflo Skagit Compact 360 <> Tips to +-130 grains
Two Hand Overhead: Rio OutBound 7

Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: ? ounces
Item Series Line Wt Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11740 Native Run 5 Med-Stiff Med-Fast 1010 $740.00 SALE ENDED

FR1327-4NRGLX Switch

Length: 11'    Line: #7     Pieces: 4   

Steve's Remarks:
Large trout, salmon and steelhead.  Spey and overhead.
Steve's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 7/8 460-grain, Airflo 7/8 450-grain
Skagit:  Rio Skagit Short: 475-grains, Airflo Skagit Compact 450 <> Tips to +-130 grains
Two Hand Overhead: Rio OutBound 9

Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: ? ounces
Item Series Line Wt Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11741 Native Run 7 Med-Stiff Med-Fast 1010 $750.00 SALE ENDED

FR1328-4NRGLX Switch

Length: 11'    Line: #8     Pieces: 4   

Steve's Remarks:
Largest trout, salmon and steelhead.  Spey and overhead.
Steve's Line Recommendations:
Scandi: Rio AFS 8/9 520-grain, Airflo 8/9 540-grain
Skagit:  Rio Skagit Short: 525-grains, Airflo Skagit Compact 510 <> Tips to +-130 grains
Two Hand Overhead: Rio OutBound 10

Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: ? ounces
Item Series Line Wt Power Taper Handle Price To Top
11742 Native Run 8 Med-Stiff Med-Fast 1010 $760.00 SALE ENDED

R.L. Winston BIIX Switch Rod

B2X7011

Length: 11'       Line: #7     Pieces: 4   

Winston Spey

An extraordinary lightweight medium-action Switch Rod that may be cast with one or both hands.
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 401-432 grains.
Floating Line Recommendations: Airflo Scandi Compact 420, Rio AFS 400, Rio WindCutter 5/6
Use: 420-grain Skagit Compact for sinking tip work.

Rod weight: 4 3/4 Ounces. 
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
7011 B2X 7 Medium Fast Spey $735 SALE ENDED

Beulah Switch Rods          Special Report on Beulah 6/7 Switch

4/5 5/6 6/7 7/8 8/9
Beulah Switch Rods are constructed of IM8 graphite using bias ply roll up for maximum strength and lightness. The Beulah Switch rod is a series of fast action 10'6" rods we cary in the following sizes.4/5, 5/6 wt, 7/8 wt, and 8/9wt. These four models are basocally tow trout sizes and two steelhead sizes. The 8/9 wt is also a great beach rod for fishing big lakes or saltwater. Because of their size and relative lightness, Switch Rods have unlimited potential in a variety of casting and fishing applications. The Switch Rod allows an angler to cast with double haul, spey cast, roll cast, and two handed cast. The two handed cast is basically bringing the line back with a back cast and swinging the rod overhead with two hands, allowing the line to shoot forward. Two-hand overhead casts with the larger Switch Rods may reach out over 100-feet with power in reserve. These casts are easy to master and open many new opportunities.

SR1064/5-4

Length: 10' 6"    Line: #4/5     Pieces: 4

Dedicated trout nymph and dry fly rod for fish 8"-18". A perfect spey rod for trout.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
SR1064/5-4 Switch 4/5 Fast Standard $380 SALE ENDED

SR1065/6-4

Length: 10' 6"    Line: #5/6     Pieces: 4

Dedicated trout 10"-24" ish range , and small summer steelhead rod for nymphing, larger dry flies and streamers . This rod has some good spey ability and is great in lakes with sink lines for large trout .

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
SR1065/6-4 Switch 5/6 Fast Standard $386 SALE ENDED

Beulah Switch Rod -10’6” 6/7  4-piece
Put More Fun and Versatility into your quiver for this summers Steelhead season!

Beulah is a comparatively new line of rods coming out of Southern Oregon. They first appeared at the Sandy River Spey Clave in 2007. We started getting requests for them shortly after the event. Their popularity has been building ever since. Like most companies, they offer both single-hand, two-hand rods and "Switch Rods". Switch rods are designed to be cast either with one hand or both hands. Beulah makes a full range of Switch Rod models from 4/5-weight to 10/11-weight. All are 10 1/2' long. The Switch 6/7 is first stick in Beulah’s line-up that can be considered an everyday summer steelhead rod, but can also serve as a trout rod. Progressive in nature, the rod is strong enough to cast for distance and handle windy conditions, yet delicate enough to make the short, ten cast buckets much more enjoyable to fish. This is a short two hander that naturally makes small energized “D” loops. Tough casting situations are when this rod really comes alive. Imagine solving common casting problems such as: two steps in the water with a steep boulder strewn bank, line catching overhead tree branches and other common obstructions call for no changes in style or technique with the Switch 6/7.

Two steps out deep wading with a steep rocky bank and a normal D-loop not a problem.


Deep wade with a "line catching tree obstruction" and a normal D-loop not a problem.

The versatility comes about because the Switch 6/7 covers a variety of species and fishing situations. Of course we’re talking steelhead but the Switch 6/7 is an incredibly diverse fishing tool. Smaller streams to large river trout fishing, fishing lakes from a float tube, Small Mouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Grayling, Silver Salmon and Steelhead. Any fish from a pound to twelve-pounds will put a good bend in this rod and smiles on many fishermen’s faces. Even the occasional trout that forgets you’re Steelhead fishing will be appreciated by the wiggling the Beulah Switch 6/7. Nymph it, Swing it, Overhead cast it, just match the correct line for the job and get to it!

This Sea Run Cutthroat forgot we were Steelhead Fishing, still good fun on a Switch 6/7.


This steelhead did not forget we were Steelhead fishing! Skater and a 6/7 super fun.

Setting up your Switch 10’6” 6/7 to maximize performance!
Scandinavian Shooting Heads:
We recommend a line for summer steelhead fishing that is roughly 2.5 x rod length and a leader that is 1.5 x rod length. The grain window for this rod/line combination will fall between 350-450 grains including your Poly Leader or sink tip of choice. For Example, Beulah Elixir Shooting head for the Switch 6/7 starts 28’ and 335 grains. Add a 10’ Airflo Salmon/Steelhead Poly Leader or Rio VersiLeader, floating through fastest sinking option. These leaders will range from 35-95 grains, giving you a ready to fish system that falls between 370-430 grains. This will cover all of your down and across presentation situations from full floating lines to moderately weighted size #1/0 flies sunk deep in the water column.

Recommended Line List: Beulah Elixir 335, Rio AFS Outbound 6/7 F 400 grain (dry line standard 9’ tapered leader, can be cut back to accept full range of Poly leaders or up to 95 grain max. Rio T8 tips).
Skagit
Shooting Heads: Just a hair over 2 x rod length will be the ticket for getting the groceries to the fish. These lines will excel casting moderate to heavy sink tips, large heavily weighted steelhead flies and large streamers when getting down and getting down quickly is essential to success. Sink Tips from 6-12’ and 80-120 grains will amaze with a properly chosen Skagit line/tip system.
Recommended Line List: Beulah Tonic 320, Scientific Anglers Skagit Spey Single Hand ST-6 (320 grains @ 22’, those who prefer a deeper rod load might look at the ST-7 360 @23’)
Specialty Line Tapers: These are recommendations for fly fisher’s who want a line more specific to overhead casting (single or two-hand), nymph fishing, and some Spey ability.
Recommended Line List: Rio Outbound 7 weight: 37.5’ Head makes a great overhead shooting line and close in control nymph line. Rio Steelhead/Atlantic Salmon 7 weight: 59’ head makes a terrific nymph line to run out long drifts with control. This is also an excellent overhead line for maximum distance casting. Try this line in an 8 weight if your style is turning over nymphs that make spark plugs seem light! Scientific Anglers Mastery Steelhead line 9 weight: This line is a long time classic of Scientific Anglers and maybe does not belong in the specialty line category, but this is another excellent choice for general overhead casting situations, nymph fishing and is probably the best of the bunch for cross-over Spey ability.

SR1066/7-4

Length: 10' 6"    Line: #6/7     Pieces: 4

Trophy trout, Sea-runs, lighter Summer Steelhead rod. Has excellent spey fishing ability, and can throw Clouser's overhead beach fishing. This rod has a fuller flex, is excellent for roll and spey casting and moves a lot of line overhead casting with only a few false casts. Nymphing for Winter Steelhead on really small coastal streams good as well.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
SR1066/7-4 Switch 6/7 Fast Standard $390 SALE ENDED

SR1067/8-4

Length: 10' 6"    Line: #7/8     Pieces: 4

Good crossover Winter/Summer Steelhead rod for Spey or Nymphing. Excellent indicator and nymph fishing from boat or bank. Great for spey work. Would make a terrific dedicated everyday Deschutes river dry line Steelhead rod.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
SR1067/8-4 Switch 7/8 Fast Standard $394 SALE ENDED

SR1068/9-4

Length: 10' 6"    Line: #8/9     Pieces: 4

The first 10'6" Switch rod that can do the work of 12'6"-13'0" Spey rods. Legitimate Spey rod that has no problem with any wind, sink tip, and requires virtually no back-casting room. Also excellent for two hand surf casting.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
SR1068/9-4 Switch 8/9 Fast Standard $398 SALE ENDED

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty