Metalhead Christmas Party 2015, Skagit Head Length Comparisons, CB Billfish Bangers, Fly Tyers Rendezvous

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Especially YOU Are Invited !!!
December 12, Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm
Metal Head Christmas Party
and Annual Winter Steelhead Clinic

A new winter steelhead season is here for celebration!
Free Food, Prizes, Programs, & Demonstrations!
Factory reps and fly fishing experts will share their knowledge.
(This Cast of Celebrities may change - check in often)!
Please Share The Day With Us:

Mark Bachmann


Patty Barnes

Hawkeye Hawkins


(JC) John Christensen


Eric Neufeld


Bruce Berry


Garry Sandstrom

Brian Silvey


Dick Sagara



Marty Sheppard

Charles St. Pierre


Nick Rowell

Slide Shows & Demonstrations
Fly Tying Demonstrations (all day): 
Featuring: the region's most experienced steelhead guides tying
their favorite winter steelhead flies.

Discounts and Prizes Galore!!!
Our agenda is still evolving.

At: The Fly Fishing Shop - Welches, OR
This will be the best party in Welches, Oregon: December 12, 2014 !!!

How To Match A Skagit Line To Fit Your Rod Length

My aim was to do research on two-hand fly rod actions ito wheather wheter certain actions were advantaged to performing certain kinds of Spey casts. One of my early mentors Andy Murray used rods very fast action rods to execute long smooth bullet shaped loops with little effort, yet World Champion, Travis Johnson used a regressive action rod to win tournaments. Master Skagit casters such as Ed Ward and Dec Hogan seem to prefer deeper bending rods, yet I've seen Scott Howell fire worm weight loaded intruders long distance with a fast action Sage Death Star, which was never designed for Skagit casting. Scandi casting rods are normally very fast, yet I've watched Nick Rowel scandi cast with a Beulah ONYX6131-4, one of the most regressive action rods that has ever been produced. The research on rod actions continues.

Three Konnetic Technology rods were loaded with RIO 550-grain lines: 7126-4 Method + Skagit Max Short (orange instructors version) ratio: 2.5 to 1, 7130-4 MOD + Skagit Max ratio: 2.5 to 1, 7136-4 ONE + Skagit Max Long ratio: 2.8 to 1.

The term "Skagit Casting" arose from anglers in the Pacific North West adapting European "Spey Casting" techniques and tackle to local winter steelhead rivers. This evolution started in the late 1980's. By this time Atlantic Salmon anglers had been fishing and refining their tackle for more than 200 years, and had peretty much settled on fifteen foot long 9/10 weight rods being most popular for their average size rivers, flies and fish. The popular fly lines were either double taper or weight forward designs with head lengths of over sixty feet, which were fine for casting small flies on rivers with manicured landscapes. Salmon angler in Europe had been shooting line for a short period and most anglers fished with a head length of line. Tackle specifications and fishing methods were very ridged and dogmatic.

Although Atlantic salmon are similar to steelhead, they are not the same. Most Atlantic salmon enter their rivers during the spring summer, as do a portion of our steelhead, but the largest runs of coastal steelhead enter their rivers during the winter when the water is very cold. Winter steelhead do bite flies, but seldom rise to them. In other words the fly has to be presented near the bottom of the river. Also, most of the time winter steelhead seem to prefer large flies over small ones, and Pacific Northwest rivers are steep and brawly with natural landscapes. To make presentations with large flies to fish that were often holding deep in the water, often in rivers with limited back-cast room, changes in casting dynamics were needed. A whole new approach to tackle and casting technique started to evolve. Rods got shorter, and lines became more compact to facilitate the turn-over of large flies and heavy sinking tips.

As with most kinds of sustained anchor casts, one of the most delicate opperations is straighening a bloody-L...without blowing your anchor. In other words the line has to leave the water in a perfectly straight line while under acceleration. If you can do this followed by an abrupt stop, you will throw satisfying casts with very heavy flies. There are a lot of different moves that will help to get to that point, but they are topic for other discussions.

The longest rods ultimently will throw the longest lines, but the shortest, most compact lines deliver the heaviest pay loads. Many factors of balance come into play to make the any outfit most enjoyable to use. Heavy outfits usually deliver the largest flies, but certain sizes of outfits are most suited to certain sizes of rivers and certain sizes of fish, and certain sizes of flies. All of the different outfits that were tested had advantages under certain conditions.

Whereas most Spey lines were 4 to 6 times the length of the rod, Skagit lines were cut back to 2 to 3 times the lengh of the rod. The first commercially made Skagit lines featured a 27 foot long head and were integrated with a running line. Sinking tips of fifteen feet long were attached with a loop to loop conections for a total head length of 42'. The most popular rods of this era were 14 feet long rated for a nine weight line. This combination gave a rod to line length ratio of 3 to 1, which is still a potent formula for larger rivers with larger steelhead or Pacific salmon. But anglers often found themselves completly hemmed by streamside brush or steep banks. Shorter and shorter, more compact fly lines are continuing to evolve. Almost all Skagit Heads are attached to shooting lines that are made with hard slick surfaces to gain extra casting distance.

For our local rivers, the most popular steelhead rods are thirteen feet long for a 7/8-weight line. The most popular Skagit heads for these rods are 23-26 feet long amd sinking tips average 10-12 feet. This translates to a total head length of 33' to 38'. For a 13-foot long rod, a 33-foot long head translates to a ratio of 2.53 to 1. The same rod with a 38-foot head is a ratio of 2.92 to 1.

Here are some rod to line length ratios:
14' rod - 3 to 1 ratio = 42' 14' rod - 2.5 to 1 ratio = 35'
13.5' rod - 3 to 1 ratio = 40.5' 13.5' rod - 2.5 to 1 ratio = 33.75'
13' rod - 3 to 1 ratio = 39' 13' rod - 2.5 to 1 ratio = 32.5'
12.5' rod - 3 to 1 ratio = 37.5' 12.5' rod - 2.5 to 1 ratio = 31.25'
12' rod - 3 to 1 ratio = 36' 12' rod - 2.5 to 1 ratio = 30'
Airflo Skagit Compact Floating Heads
Airflo Skagit Compact Intermediate Heads
Airflo Skagit Switch Floating Heads
Beaulah Tonic Floating Heads
RIO Skagit Max Short Floating Heads
RIO Skagit Max Floating Heads
RIOSkagit Max Long Floating Heads
RIO Skagit iFlight Intermediate Heads

Actually this fish struck incredibly hard, then went for a hard throbbing run that pulled my whole shooting line off the reel, then fought fairly hard until it was twenty feet from the rod tip, then gave up. If it had come unhooked, I would have thought it was some kind of salmonid, and much larger than it turned out to be. When it finally came int view, my surprised comment was something like, "Wow! It's f@%#ing Squawfish, er Pike Minnow." And then I laughed loudly at the joke my mind had played on me. It really had me going for a while. And, it goes to show how we someties judge things.

 
CB Billfish Banger, Tube Flies
These are beutiful, productive sailfish and marlin flies. We just have too many. You win.
 
CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, White
Hooks sold seperately.
Item Description Size Price To Top
781w-84 CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, White 4/0 Reg. $27.95
NOW $22.95
781w-86 CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, White 6/0 Reg. $27.95
NOW $22.95

CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, Pink
Hooks sold seperately.
Item Description Size Price To Top
781w-84 CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, Pink 4/0 Reg. $27.95
NOW $22.95
781w-86 CB Billfish Banger, Tube Fly, Pink 6/0 Reg. $27.95
NOW $22.95
 
OPST Ostrich - Jerry French and Ed Ward Signature Intruder Drabs
Jerry French and Ed Ward have very discriminating tastes in fly tying materials used in Intruder style flies. This ostrich plumage is consistently great material for tying large flies for all kinds of Anadromous fish. If you tie your own winter steelhead flies, you are going to want to stock up on this stuff.
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Hot Pink
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO01 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack White $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Hot Pink
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO13 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Hot Pink $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Blue
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO33 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Blue $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Orange
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO50 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Orange $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Purple
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO65 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Purple $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Yellow Green
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO75 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Yellow Green $12.00
OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, Brown
Item Description Color Price To Top
BO88 OPST Barred Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Brown $12.00
OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, White
Item Description Color Price To Top
DO01 OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack White $12.00
OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, Pink
Item Description Color Price To Top
DO08 OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Pink $12.00
OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, Blue
Item Description Color Price To Top
DO33 OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Blue $12.00 <
OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, Orange
Item Description Color Price To Top
DO50 OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Orange $12.00
OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, Chartreuse
Item Description Color Price To Top
DO72 OPST Dotted Ostrich Drabs, 2-per pack Chartreuse $12.00 <
Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous 11/14/15
I attended the Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous in Portland yesterday and took with me some OPST Dotted Ostrich and some new eyes by Pro SportFisher. There was an idea in my head about how I wanted to tie a squid pattern for steelhead fishing, and these two new materials were perfect for my plans. The Fly Tyers Rendezvous is a must attend annual event sponsored entirely by the local fly clubs. I saw a lot of old friends at this event. Some were tying and some came as spectators. Not every fly fisher ties flies, but nearly every fly tier fishes. All really good fly fishers do tie flies, because all great flies are born on the water. They are often modified or tweaked at events like the Rendezvous. There is much comradery and cross pollenization that occurs in such gatherings of kindered souls. Be sure to put the Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous on you calendar for next year.
 

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490
flyfish@flyfishusa.com

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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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